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Three UCLA professors elected to National Academy of Sciences

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Three UCLA professors have been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences "in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research," the academy announced today.
 
Membership in the academy is one of the highest honors given to a scientist in the United States. Among the academy's most renowned members have been Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Thomas Edison, Orville Wright and Alexander Graham Bell. There are currently more than 2,100 active academy members.
 
The election of this year's UCLA members, who are among 72 new members from across the U.S. and 18 foreign associates from 15 countries, brings the number of current UCLA academy members to 40. The new UCLA members are:
 
Harrison, a geochemistry professor in the UCLA Department of Earth and Space
Sciences and director of UCLA's Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, studies the very early years of the Earth's history. In 2008, he and UCLA colleagues Craig Manning and Michelle Hopkins presented a new picture of what the early Earth was like in the journal Nature, including the surprising finding that plate tectonics may have started more than 4 billion years ago — much earlier than scientists had believed.
 
Jacobsen, a professor of molecular, cell and developmental biology, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and a member of UCLA's Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research, studies how genes function. He works in an area called epigenetics, which focuses on how genes remember when and where they are supposed to turn on or turn off. (Jacobsen discusses his research in a video.)
 
Wright, a professor of physics and astronomy who holds the UCLA's David Saxon Presidential Chair in Physics, is among the most-cited researchers in the field of cosmic microwave background radiation. He is principal investigator for NASA'S Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission, an unmanned satellite that has surveyed the entire sky to discover millions of uncharted stars and galaxies, asteroids, and other ojects, providing valuable new information on our solar system, the Milky Way and the universe. For more on the WISE mission, visit http://wise.astro.ucla.edu.
 
The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by a congressional act of incorporation signed by Abraham Lincoln that calls on the academy to act as an official adviser to the federal government, upon request, in any matter of science or technology. The academy is a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare. More information is available at www.nasonline.org.
 
UCLA is California's largest university, with an enrollment of more than 38,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The UCLA College of Letters and Science and the university's 11 professional schools feature renowned faculty and offer 328 degree programs and majors. UCLA is a national and international leader in the breadth and quality of its academic, research, health care, cultural, continuing education and athletic programs. Six alumni and five faculty have been awarded the Nobel Prize.
 
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