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Open Access Publications from the University of California


Welcome to the UC Merced Undergraduate Research Journal, an open access publication of research conducted by undergraduates at the University of California, Merced. 

In October and March, SUBMIT HERE.

UC Merced Undergraduate Research Journal

By featuring research from the various schools, the UC Merced Undergraduate Research Journal hopes to show what can be accomplished when the definition of “research” is expanded. The journal aims to accurately portray the diversity of research in which students at UC Merced are engaged. Additionally, it serves to connect faculty and students by highlighting the value of an interdisciplinary approach to research.


Novel Medical Treatment using known Vaccines and further Investigation to Research a Cure for:Herpes Simplex Virus – Type 2

Viruses were first discovered in the 18th century, but many aspects of viruses are still questionable, such as the way some viruses replicate, infect or reproduce. Overtime,the scientific community has been able to demystify the virus by first describing its structure, the various types of viruses present in the environment and eventually discovering vaccines. Albeit this research, there are still many incurable viral infections, many of which are sexually transmitted. One such sexually transmitted infection is Herpes Simplex Virus, Type 2. The Herpes Simplex Virus is a highly contagious virus that is passed on from one person to another via direct contact, i.e. sexual contact with multiple partners, having another sexually transmitted infection (STI) or a weakened immune system. Once contracted, the HSV-2 will always live in an infected individual’s nerve cells, and can cause regular outbreaks of symptoms in the genital areas. There are a few medications that can possibly be used in order to control the spread of the virus, but none that can diminish or eliminate the virus completely overtime. Thus, in order to design a vaccine that can potentially cure the virus is the primary goal. This paper defines the various techniques previously used in order to diagnose and treat the virus, and goes on to further explain by giving experimental techniques of how those methods can be applied together to research a possible cure for HSV-2.

The Effectiveness of Phototherapy in working with Adolescents

Photography is more than just an art form; it can also be used in counseling methods when working with patients. When photography is coupled with therapy, the method is widely known as phototherapy. This literature review assesses the effectiveness of phototherapy through past research. Specifically, the literature review examines how intervention methods serve an adolescent population and whether or not these methods are still effective in the 21st century. At a time when digital media has become an integral part of society, especially in adolescent culture, the research in this field is evermore important. This literature review breaks down how effective phototherapy has been when working with adolescents through examining its relationship to the youth, the population it serves, the methodologies of the study, and the future direction of the field.

I Heart Sex

provided in article.

What differences arise between European American and African and American women when it comes to sexual assault?

Research surrounding sexual assault is abundant, but a majority of the research focuses on European American women, leaving out the unique experiences of many other ethnic groups. This literature review examines some of the research that has been done on sexual assault that focuses on of African American women, who experience sexual violence in different ways. Looking at four (4) aspects of sexual assault (types of harassment; leaving relationships; health effects; coping) this review examines the differences that arise within these relationships when African American women are involved. The examination of research suggests that there may be a need for better methods of reporting for these women, along with the completion of sexual assault studies within other ethnic groups, since there is such a vast difference between European and African American women.