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University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) articles

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Magnetic stimulation of lower spine eliminates need for catheter

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.
23rd August 2018

Magnetic gel can be used to ease pain

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.
21st August 2018

App tells deaf parents when and why their baby is crying

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.
23rd May 2018


Making use of social media to predict syphilis trends

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 subsequent syphilis trends that were reported to the CDC.
20th April 2018

Gene could protect against heart disease

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.
14th February 2018

Stem cells enable the sense of touch

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.
15th January 2018

UCLA Health launches pioneering mobile stroke unit

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.
30th October 2017

Electrical neurostimulation can improve memory

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.
27th October 2017

Improved brain organoids could help Zika virus research

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 enabled them to identify drugs that could prevent the virus’s damaging effects.
16th October 2017

Method could lead to improved cancer treatments

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 quantify any material from a cell to rubber, wood, titanium and diamond.
9th October 2017

Therapeutic material could promote better tissue regeneration

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.
17th August 2017

Improving diagnoses of chronic diseases in remote areas

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.
14th August 2017

Magnetic stimulation fights depression by rewiring the brain

Magnetic stimulation fights depression by rewiring the brain
Americans spend billions of dollars each year on antidepressants, but the National Institutes of Health estimates that those medications work for only 60% to 70% of people who take them. In addition, the number of people with depression has increased 18% since 2005, according to the World Health Organisation, which this year launched a global campaign encouraging people to seek treatment.
13th June 2017

Powering medical implants directly from human body

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.
17th May 2017

Method analyses cholesterol distribution on cells

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 pool of cholesterol called “accessible cholesterol” on the surface of cells.
29th March 2017

DNA detection becomes portable with the use of cellphones

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.
22nd March 2017

Mobile tool may be used to diagnose serious diseases

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.
16th 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 where the gel forms a blockage that does not allow sperm to penetrate.
10th February 2017

Stimulator bypasses spine injury and helps patients move hands

Stimulator bypasses spine injury and helps patients move hands
Doctors at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center have implanted a spinal stimulator that is showing early promise in returning hand strength and movement to a California man who broke his neck in a dirt-biking accident five years ago. Brian Gomez, 28, became one of the world's first patients to undergo surgery for the experimental device in June 2016. UCLA scientists positioned the 32-electrode stimulator below the site of Gomez's spinal-cord injury, near the C-5 vertebrae in the middle of his neck.
13th December 2016

Stem cells grown into 3D lung-in-a-dish

Stem cells grown into 3D lung-in-a-dish
By coating tiny gel beads with lung-derived stem cells and then allowing them to self-assemble into the shapes of the air sacs found in human lungs, researchers at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA have succeeded in creating 3D lung "organoids." The laboratory-grown lung-like tissue can be used to study diseases including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which has traditionally been difficult to study using conventional methods.
16th September 2016


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