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“It’s always dinosaur bones,” says Pat Holroyd, feigning exasperation. She handles Vertebrate Collections for the UC Museum of Paleontology. Leslea Hlusko, a professor in the department of integrative biology, interjects: “But it’s actually better ... dire wolves!” 

 

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Daniela Kaufer, professor of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley, shared progress toward addressing another cause of cognitive decline: dysfunction of the blood-brain barrier. The blood-brain barrier ordinarily protects the brain, but Kaufer’s work shows that when the barrier falters, itself a sign of aging, proteins can enter brain cells called astrocytes, which causes inflammation in the brain and leads to cognitive impairments.

According to lead scientist on the project and Miller Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Berkeley Alejandro Rico-Guevara, physical traits observed in male hummingbirds in the tropics of Central and South America could not be explained through adaptations to feeding strategies.