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Research News from UC San Diego
Updated: 2 hours 42 min ago

The Microbial Anatomy of an Organ

Thu, 2017-10-19 14:04

University of California San Diego researchers have developed the first 3D spatial visualization tool for mapping “’omics” data onto whole organs. The tool helps researchers and clinicians understand the effects of chemicals, such as microbial metabolites and medications, on a diseased organ in the context of microbes that also inhabit the region. The work could advance targeted drug delivery for cystic fibrosis and other conditions where medications are unable to penetrate.

Inflamed Support Cells Appear to Contribute to Some Kinds of Autism

Wed, 2017-10-18 12:02

Modeling the interplay between neurons and astrocytes derived from children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues in Brazil, say innate inflammation in the latter appears to contribute to neuronal dysfunction in at least some forms of the disease.

Germs Are Your Friends, Top UC San Diego Scientist Shares the Dirt

Tue, 2017-10-17 13:41

A noted scholar and a world-leader in microbiome research, Rob Knight, Ph.D. will take guests inside the human body and share the dirt on the microbiome, the focus of his new book, published in June 2017. On Tuesday, October 24, Knight will discuss Dirt Is Good: The Advantage of Germs for Your Child’s Developing Immune System, from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. in Geisel Library’s Seuss Room. The UC San Diego Library talk is free to attend and open to the public. A reception and a book signing with Dr. Knight will follow. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event from the UC San Diego Bookstore.

SDSC’s ‘Comet’ Supercomputer Assists in Latest LIGO Discovery

Tue, 2017-10-17 13:36

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announcement in early 2016 that scientists for the first time detected gravitational waves in the universe as hypothesized by Albert Einstein in 1915 has led to additional landmark discoveries with the assistance of advanced supercomputers, including Comet at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at UC San Diego.

Pair of Discoveries Illuminate New Paths to Flu and Anthrax Treatments

Tue, 2017-10-17 10:29

Two recent studies led by UC San Diego biologists have set the research groundwork for new avenues to treat influenza and anthrax poisoning. Published in PLOS Pathogens, the studies from Professor Ethan Bier’s laboratory used a series of experiments to identify key pathways and mechanisms previously unknown or overlooked in the body’s defenses, and possible treatments already developed.

Northern CA Wildfires Generate 1.5 Million Views of UC San Diego’s ‘Firemap’ Resource

Fri, 2017-10-13 13:13

A web-based tool recently developed by UC San Diego researchers to perform data-driven predictive modeling and real-time tracking of fires has already been viewed about one million times and generated more than 115,000 unique visitors since the outbreak of numerous wildfires across Northern California late last weekend.

Luring Hornets: Scientists Unlock Sex Pheromone of Notorious Honey Bee Predator

Fri, 2017-10-13 10:39

Biologists have developed a solution for controlling the invasive Asian hornet Vespa velutina based on the insect’s natural chemical mating instincts. They deciphered the Asian hornet’s sex pheromone and devised a method of luring males into traps baited with synthesized versions of the pheromones. Vespa velutina has recently spread its presence with invasions in Europe and Korea, posing risks to honey bees, humans and related economics.

Model Predicts How E. Coli Bacteria Adapt Under Stress

Fri, 2017-10-13 06:20

Researchers at UC San Diego have developed a genome-scale model that can accurately predict how E. coli bacteria respond to temperature changes and genetic mutations. The work sheds light on how cells adapt under environmental stress and has applications in precision medicine, where adaptive cell modeling could provide patient-specific treatments for bacterial infections.

Q&A with Charles Bolden, Former NASA Administrator and Astronaut

Thu, 2017-10-12 12:23

Bolden to receive Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest and deliver a presentation at a free public event at Scripps Oceanography October 17

Laser cavities take on new shapes and functionalities

Thu, 2017-10-12 11:00

Bending laser light around sharp turns and corners—without scattering—is now possible thanks to a new laser cavity developed by electrical engineers at UC San Diego. This is the first laser cavity that can fully confine and propagate light in any shape imaginable: triangle, square, loop with jagged edges. The work could lead to faster computers and optical fibers that perform well even when they’re bent in different directions.

UC San Diego Celebrates Oldest Living Alumnus Walter Munk as He Turns 100

Thu, 2017-10-12 07:00

If you’ve ever checked a surf report to know how big the waves will be for a surfing session, you have Walter Munk to thank. And those calendars that predict high and low tides? They wouldn’t be possible without the research from a UC San Diego legendary oceanographer.

Reducing Racial Bias in Children

Thu, 2017-10-12 06:00

An international team of researchers, including UC San Diego psychologist Gail Heyman, suggests that one way to reduce implicit racial bias in young children is by teaching them to distinguish among faces of a different race. A touch-screen app developed by the team shows promising results.

Powered by Chemo: Patient with Advanced Pancreatic Cancer Tackles Ironman Triathlon

Tue, 2017-10-10 10:42

Despite a diagnosis of stage IV pancreatic cancer and ongoing chemotherapy, Mike Levine boarded a plane this past weekend destined for Kona, Hawaii, where he will compete in one of the most grueling of physical competitions: the Ironman World Championship. Cheering him on will be his wife Jan, friends and Paul Fanta, MD, a pancreatic cancer expert with Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health who has been treating Levine since 2016.

Common Acid Reflux Medications Promote Chronic Liver Disease

Tue, 2017-10-10 02:00

Approximately 10 percent of Americans take a proton pump inhibitor drug to relieve symptoms of frequent heartburn and acid reflux. That percentage can be much higher for people with chronic liver disease. Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered evidence in mice and humans that these medications alter gut bacteria in a way that promotes three types of chronic liver disease. The study is published October 10 in Nature Communications.

Gene Identified That May Provide Potential Therapy for Cerebral Cavernous Malformations

Mon, 2017-10-09 12:01

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with national collaborators, have identified a series of molecular clues to understanding the formation of cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs). The study offers the first genome-wide analysis of the transcriptome of brain microvascular endothelial cells after KRIT1 inactivation.

Exploring Evolutionary Relationships through CIPRES

Mon, 2017-10-09 10:58

CIPRES, for CyberInfrastructure for Phylogenetic RESearch, is a web-based portal or “gateway” launched by the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UC San Diego that allows researchers to explore evolutionary connections among species. Over 20,000 users from 86 countries have run one or more jobs using CIPRES, generating about 3,500 peer-reviewed publications in journals.

Liquid Biopsy May Be New Way to Detect Liver Cancer Earlier, Easier

Mon, 2017-10-09 08:00

An international team of researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center, with colleagues at Sun Yet-sun University Cancer Center and other collaborating institutions, have developed a new diagnostic and prognosis method for early detection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), based on a simple blood sample containing circulating tumor DNA.

UC San Diego Streamlines Path to Commercialization

Thu, 2017-10-05 07:00

Cell and Developmental Biology Professor Yunde Zhao knows firsthand how grueling the pathway to licensing intellectual property can be. He has gone through the standard licensing procedure in the past and discovered, like many other researchers, that the process to reaching an agreement with commercial partners is no easy feat.

Why Was the 2015-16 El Niño Event So Dry?

Thu, 2017-10-05 07:00

Most long-range forecast models predicted a potentially drought-ending deluge in California from the climate pattern known as El Niño in winter 2015-16, but the actual precipitation was far less than expected.

A Flip Flop Revolution

Thu, 2017-10-05 07:00

UC San Diego students and researchers have produced the world’s first algae-based, renewable flip flops.The first prototypes of their new invention, developed over the summer in a York Hall chemistry laboratory, consist of a flexible, spongy slipper adorned with a Triton logo and a simple strap—fairly basic, as flip flops go.But when they go into full production later this academic year at what researchers hope will be a projected cost of $3 a pair, the impact of this campus innovation could be revolutionary, changing the world for the better environmentally.