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UCSB researchers Douglas Heithoff and Michael Mahan, along with three University of Utah scientists, recently announced a breakthrough vaccine that can prevent multiple strains of salmonella. The group has evidence this prototype will protect a wide range of patients vulnerable to contracting diseases, from cancer victims to the elderly. Their paper will appear in the journal Infection and Immunity in November. (/vaccine)

A team of UCSB scientists are proposing methods of combating what some are calling a mass extinction that could result in the death of nearly half the world’s species, according to an article in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists. Bradley Cardinale, Marc Cadott, and Todd Oakley posit that human activity is driving this extinction and that scientists must now identify the species with the fewest living genetic relatives, as they would be least likely to have their places in food chains filled. (/extinct)

Susan Mazer, vice-chair of UCSB’s department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, is part of a team of scientists stressing the need for a new type of seed bank that would catalogue wild plant species in hopes of making evolution observable. Dubbed “The Resurrection Initiative,” the project would have scientists observing seed bank samples repeatedly over time, noting differences and similarities in genes. The proposal appears in the current issue of the academic journal Bioscience. (/seeds)

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