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University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Articles

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Medical
23rd August 2018
Magnetic stimulation of lower spine eliminates need for catheter

More than 80% of the 250,000 Americans living with a spinal cord injury lose the ability to urinate voluntarily after their injury. According to a 2012 study, the desire to regain bladder control outranks even their wish to walk again. In a study of five men whose injuries occurred five to 13 years ago, UCLA neuroscientists stimulated the lower spinal cord through the skin with a magnetic device placed at the lumbar spine.

Medical
21st August 2018
Magnetic gel can be used to ease pain

UCLA bioengineers have demonstrated that a gel-like material containing tiny magnetic particles could be used to manage chronic pain from disease or injury. Broadly, the study demonstrates the promising use of biomechanical forces that push and pull on cells to treat disease.

Artificial Intelligence
3rd August 2018
AI device identifies objects at the speed of light

A team of UCLA electrical and computer engineers has created a physical artificial neural network — a device modelled on how the human brain works — that can analyse large volumes of data and identify objects at the actual speed of light. The device was created using a 3D printer at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering.

Analysis
23rd May 2018
App tells deaf parents when and why their baby is crying

Parents can often tell what their baby needs simply by the sound of their cry. But what if you couldn’t hear your child’s cry? That’s a challenge deaf and hearing-impaired parents live with every day, but a new app could help overcome that challenge. The ChatterBaby app not only lets deaf parents know when their baby is crying, it also can tell them why they’re crying.

Analysis
20th April 2018
Making use of social media to predict syphilis trends

UCLA-led research found that internet search terms and tweets related to sexual risk behaviours can predict when and where syphilis trends will occur. Two studies from the UCLA-based University of California Institute for Prediction Technology, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, found an association between certain risk-related terms that Google and Twitter users researched or tweeted about and subs...

Medical
14th February 2018
Gene could protect against heart disease

Scientists have identified a gene that may play a protective role in preventing heart disease. Their research revealed that the gene, called MeXis, acts within key cells inside clogged arteries to help remove excess cholesterol from blood vessels. Published in the journal Nature Medicine, the UCLA-led study in mice found that MeXis controls the expression of a protein that pumps cholesterol out of cells in the artery wall.

Medical
15th January 2018
Stem cells enable the sense of touch

Researchers at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA have, for the first time, coaxed human stem cells to become sensory interneurons — the cells that give us our sense of touch. The new protocol could be a step toward stem cell–based therapies to restore sensation in paralysed people who have lost feeling in parts of their body.

Medical
30th October 2017
UCLA Health launches pioneering mobile stroke unit

UCLA Health has officially launched the first mobile stroke unit on the West Coast, enabling rapid delivery of brain-saving medications to stroke patients who might otherwise face debilitating delays in treatment. As part of the first phase of a pilot program, the specialised ambulance unit and highly trained personnel began responding in September to select 911 calls in Santa Monica in coordination with the Santa Monica Fire Department.

Medical
27th October 2017
Electrical neurostimulation can improve memory

Neuroscientists at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA have discovered precisely where and how to electrically stimulate the human brain to enhance people’s recollection of distinct memories. People with epilepsy who received low-current electrical pulses showed a significant improvement in their ability to recognise specific faces and ignore similar ones.

Medical
16th October 2017
Improved brain organoids could help Zika virus research

UCLA researchers have developed an improved technique for creating simplified human brain tissue from stem cells. Because these so-called “mini brain organoids” mimic human brains in how they grow and develop, they’re vital to studying complex neurological diseases. In a study published in the journal Cell Reports, the researchers used the organoids to better understand how Zika infects and damages fetal brain tissue, which...

Medical
9th October 2017
Method could lead to improved cancer treatments

UCLA biophysicists have developed a new method to rapidly determine a single cell’s stiffness and size — which could ultimately lead to improved treatments for cancer and other diseases. The method allows researchers to make standardised measurements of single cells, determine each cell’s stiffness and assign it a number, generally between 10 and 20,000, in a unit of measurement called pascals. Pascals can be used to quanti...

Medical
17th August 2017
Therapeutic material could promote better tissue regeneration

A research team led by UCLA biomolecular engineers and doctors has demonstrated a therapeutic material that could one day promote better tissue regeneration following a wound or a stroke. During the body’s typical healing process, when tissues like skin are damaged the body grows replacement cells. Integrins are class of proteins that are important in the cellular processes critical to creating new tissue.

Medical
14th August 2017
Improving diagnoses of chronic diseases in remote areas

A new system developed by UCLA researchers could make it easier and less expensive to diagnose chronic diseases, particularly in remote areas without expensive lab equipment. The technology uses extremely simple optical hardware and a lens-free microscope, as well as sophisticated algorithms that help reconstruct the images of tissue samples.

Power
17th May 2017
Powering medical implants directly from human body

Researchers from UCLA and the University of Connecticut have designed a new biofriendly energy storage system called a biological supercapacitor, which operates using charged particles, or ions, from fluids in the human body. The device is harmless to the body’s biological systems, and it could lead to longer-lasting cardiac pacemakers and other implantable medical devices.

Test & Measurement
29th March 2017
Method analyses cholesterol distribution on cells

Researchers from UCLA and the University of Western Australia have developed a way of visualising the distribution of cholesterol in cells and tissues. Their research provides insights into the movement of cholesterol into and out of cells and could eventually identify mechanisms linking cholesterol to coronary artery disease. Using a high-resolution imaging mass spectrometry approach called NanoSIMS, the team could visualise and quantify a ...

Test & Measurement
22nd March 2017
DNA detection becomes portable with the use of cellphones

Researchers at UCLA have developed an improved method to detect the presence of DNA biomarkers of disease that is compatible with use outside of a hospital or lab setting. The new technique leverages the sensors and optics of cellphones to read light produced by a new detector dye mixture that reports the presence of DNA molecules with a signal that is more than 10-times brighter.

Aerospace & Defence
17th March 2017
The deathbed of a red giant star

  An international team of astronomers has observed a striking spiral pattern in the gas surrounding a red giant star named LL Pegasi and its companion star 3,400 light-years from Earth, using a powerful telescope in northern Chile called Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, or ALMA.

Medical
16th February 2017
Mobile tool may be used to diagnose serious diseases

Finding practical solutions to detect proteins, cancer biomarkers, viruses and other small objects has been a key challenge for researchers worldwide for decades. These solutions hold promise for saving lives through more timely diagnosis and treatment of serious infections and diseases. Now a UCLA team's research shows how such detections might be done for a fraction of the cost by using "smart" mobile devices designed by machine learning.

Medical
10th February 2017
Positive animal trial results for reversible male contraceptive

Researchers at the University of California have published positive results of a trial in rhesus monkeys for Vasalgel, a long-term, reversible, non-hormonal male contraceptive injection. Vasalgel is injected in a similar manner to the no-scalpel vasectomy. In a vasectomy, the vas deferens, a small tube transporting sperm from the testes, is cut and results in sterilisation. Vasalgel is instead injected into the lumen of the vas deferens wher...

Component Management
19th January 2017
Nanoparticles improve melting and solidification

In an advance that could lead to improved manufacturing, a study by UCLA researchers shows that adding nanoparticles to metals during the melting process allows for better control during melting. The melting and solidification of metals are important processes in manufacturing, used in welding and also 3D printing. For example, laser welding has been used to build cars and ships for decades.

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