UNLV Television Show Depicts Southern Nevada's Desert Animals and Plants
"Desert Survivors" is a science education television show designed to promote scientific literacy in the local elementary schools of Southern Nevada. Each episode, shown on UNLV-TV on Cox Cable, Channels 110 and 111, spotlights a "survivor" native to the Mojave Desert and features an expert on that organism. During the show, the expert answers questions poised by local elementary school children.
This project is funded by the National Science Foundation as part of a prestigious Faculty Early Career Development Award presented to Frank van Breukelen Ph.D. for $745,000 to support a project, entitled "Protein Metabolism During Mammalian Hibernation." The proposed research will further elucidate our understanding of how hibernators depress basic biochemical pathways used to maintain cellular integrity and how these animals are able to withstand this phenomenon. A better understanding of hibernation may have profound implications for designing therapies for cardiac dysfunction, muscle disuse atrophy, and kidney failure. In addition to the outreach efforts of Desert Survivors, education at both undergraduate and graduate levels will be an integral part of this project.