New Chip Pumps Up Citrus Fruits

A new chip that makes the development of new citrus fruit varieties easier by determining the genes associated with taste, acidic content and ability to resist disease has been developed by a UC Riverside-led research team. Researchers will use the chip to study genetic traits pertinent to the citrus industry, such as easier peeling, seedlessness and flavor components.

The chip, which is made of a glass wafer covered by millions of strands of citrus DNA, works when RNA, DNA’s genetic complement, is purified from citrus tissue and washed over the chip inside a small plastic case. The RNA then binds to corresponding DNA sequences on the chip, allowing researchers to analyze genes found in specific fruits that could then be studied and applied to improving fruit quality.

Asian Tsunami Fault Line Analyzed

The fault line located off the west coast of Indonesia — home to the massive December 2004 underwater earthquake that caused a catastrophic tsunami killing thousands of people across Asia and Africa — has been mapped by a team of multiple scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Researchers used their findings to calculate the actual magnitude of the earthquake to be a 9.15 on the Richter scale, making it the third-largest quake in the past century and the largest quake ever recorded by modern instruments.

In order to map the fault line, researchers measured the post-quake shift in the position of global positioning system stations whose exact locations had been documented by satellites prior to the earthquake.