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U.S. ranks near bottom among industrialized nations in efficiency of health care spending

December 13, 2013 9:05 am | News | Comments

A new study by researchers at the Univ. of California, Los Angeles and McGill Univ. reveals that the U.S. health care system ranks 22nd out of 27 high-income nations when analyzed for its efficiency of turning dollars spent into extending lives. The study illuminates stark differences in countries' efficiency of spending on health care, and the U.S.'s inferior ranking reflects a high price paid and a low return on investment.

New technique improves accuracy, ease of cancer diagnosis

November 22, 2013 8:31 am | News | Comments

A team of researchers have demonstrated a technique that, by measuring the physical properties of individual cells in body fluids, can diagnose cancer with a high degree of accuracy. The technique, which uses a deformability cytometer to analyze individual cells, could reduce the need for more cumbersome diagnostic procedures and the associated costs, while improving accuracy over current methods.

Chemists use MRI to peek at temperatures of gases inside catalytic reactors

October 24, 2013 8:29 am | News | Comments

Univ. of California, Los Angeles chemists, for the first time, have employed magnetic resonance imaging to better measure the temperature of gases inside a catalytic reactor. The research, a major step toward bridging the gap between laboratory studies and industrial catalysis, could help improve the design and environmental impact of catalytic reactors.

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Biological clock found that can measure age of most human tissues

October 21, 2013 8:10 am | News | Comments

Everyone grows older, but scientists don't really understand why. Now a Univ. of California, Los Angeles study has uncovered a biological clock embedded in our genomes that may shed light on why our bodies age and how we can slow the process.

Can thermodynamics help us better understand human cancers?

October 14, 2013 8:40 am | News | Comments

When the "war on cancer" was declared, identifying potential biomarkers that would allow doctors to detect the disease early on was a significant goal. To this day, progress depends on understanding the underlying causes and molecular mechanisms of the disease. In a new study, researchers analyzed the gene-expression profiles of more than 2,000 patients and were able to identify cancer-specific gene signatures for certain cancers.

New metabolic pathway more efficiently converts sugars into biofuels

October 1, 2013 8:41 am | News | Comments

Univ. of California, Los Angeles chemical engineering researchers have created a new synthetic metabolic pathway for breaking down glucose that could lead to a 50% increase in the production of biofuels. The new pathway is intended to replace the natural metabolic pathway known as glycolysis, a series of chemical reactions that nearly all organisms use to convert sugars into the molecular precursors that cells need.

Researchers develop new type of fluorescent camera for blood diagnostics

September 27, 2013 8:32 am | News | Comments

Inspired by how wireless communication networks use multiple radio frequencies to communicate with multiple users, researchers from the Univ. of California, Los Angeles have developed a new high-speed microscopy technique that is an order of magnitude faster than current fluorescence-imaging technologies.

Engineers develop a stretchable, foldable transparent electronic display

September 24, 2013 9:40 am | News | Comments

Imagine an electronic display nearly as clear as a window, or a curtain that illuminates a room, or a smartphone screen that doubles in size, stretching like rubber. Now imagine all of these being made from the same material. Researchers from Univ. of California, Los Angeles have developed a transparent, elastic OLED that could one day make all these possible.

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Scientists explain the formation of unusual ring of radiation in space

September 23, 2013 9:29 am | News | Comments

Since the discovery of the Van Allen radiation belts in 1958, space scientists have believed these belts encircling the Earth consist of two doughnut-shaped rings of highly charged particles. In February of 2013, a team of scientists reported the surprising discovery of a previously unknown third radiation ring. In new research, scientists have successfully modeled and explained the unprecedented behavior of this third ring.

Smartphone microscope can detect a single virus, nanoparticles

September 17, 2013 10:04 am | News | Comments

Your smartphone now can see what the naked eye cannot: A single virus and bits of material less than one-thousandth of the width of a human hair. A team at the Univ. of California, Los Angeles has created a portable smartphone attachment that can be used to perform sophisticated field testing to detect viruses and bacteria without the need for bulky and expensive microscopes and lab equipment. The device weighs less than half a pound.

Researchers invent portable device for common kidney tests

August 23, 2013 9:11 am | News | Comments

A lightweight and field-portable device invented at Univ. of California, Los Angeles that conducts kidney tests and transmits data through a smartphone attachment may significantly reduce the need for frequent office visits by people with diabetes and others with chronic kidney ailments.

Scientists analyze genetic makeup of human, mouse embryos in unprecedented detail

July 31, 2013 9:22 am | by Shaun Mason, UCLA | News | Comments

In collaboration with teams in China, researchers in California have used the technology of single-cell RNA sequencing to track the genetic development of a human and a mouse embryo at a high level of accuracy. The technique could lead to earlier and more accurate diagnoses of genetic diseases, even when the embryo consists of only eight cells.

Computer scientists develop mathematical jigsaw puzzles to encrypt software

July 30, 2013 9:28 am | by Matthew Chin, UCLA | News | Comments

A team of researchers at the Univ. of California, Los Angeles have designed a system to encrypt software so that it only allows someone to use a program as intended while preventing any deciphering of the code behind it. This is known in computer science as "software obfuscation," and it is the first time it has been accomplished.

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Materials scientists reveal organizing principles for design of nanoscopic materials

July 3, 2013 8:57 am | News | Comments

The ultimate dream come true for material scientists is to have the ability to make materials that can take on properties and behaviors to best suit our needs. But scientists first must truly understand the properties of cluster assembly through the individual cluster. Now, material scientists will have greater insight into the organizing principles that allow for the design of nanoscopic materials with specific band gap energy.

Common gene known to cause inherited autism now linked to specific behaviors

June 4, 2013 8:54 am | News | Comments

The genetic malady known as Fragile X syndrome is the most common cause of inherited autism and intellectual disability. Brain scientists know the gene defect that causes the syndrome and understand the damage it does in misshaping the brain's synapses—the connections between neurons. But how this abnormal shaping of synapses translates into abnormal behavior is unclear. Now, researchers believe they know.

Bacteria organize according to "rich-get-richer" principle

May 10, 2013 11:16 am | News | Comments

Bacteria on a surface wander around and often organize into highly resilient communities known as biofilms. It turns out that they organize in a rich-get-richer pattern similar to the distribution of wealth in the U.S. economy, according to a new study.

Bioengineers simplify fluid flows by removing complex math

May 8, 2013 8:42 am | News | Comments

A research team led by UCLA bioengineers has developed a way to program and control the shape of fluids flowing through pipes or conduits without the need to solve complex and time-consuming fluid-motion equations. This strategy could allow researchers to tap the vast, unrealized potential of fluid-flow applications.

Study shows that individual brain cells track where we are, how we move

May 3, 2013 9:36 am | News | Comments

Leaving the house in the morning may seem simple, but with every move we make, our brains are working to create maps of the outside world that allow us to navigate and remember where we are. Ultimately, the brain constructs its own pinpoint geographical chart that is far more precise than anything you'd find on Google Maps. But just how neurons make these maps of space has fascinated scientists for decades. Until now.

Scientists find way to monitor elusive collisions in space

April 24, 2013 9:10 am | News | Comments

Many collisions occur between asteroids and other objects in our solar system, but scientists are not always able to detect or track these impacts from Earth. Space scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles have now devised a way to monitor these types of collisions in interplanetary space by using a new method to determine the mass of magnetic clouds that result from the impacts.

Researchers capture wasted heat, use it to power devices

April 23, 2013 11:37 am | by Matthew Chin and Bill Kisliuk, UCLA | News | Comments

Excess heat, like that generated by extended use of a computer or other device, naturally creates what is known as a spin wave that can move a domain wall, the dividing line between magnetic materials that point in different directions. Using this phenomenon, scientists in California have demonstrated how to add power to a spintronics device using electron spin rather than electron charge.

Nanodiamonds could improve effectiveness of breast cancer treatment

April 16, 2013 7:50 am | News | Comments

Doctors have begun to categorize breast cancers into four main groups according to the genetic makeup of the cancer cells. Which category a cancer falls into generally determines the best method of treatment. But cancers in one of the four groups—called "basal-like" or "triple-negative" breast cancer (TNBC)—have been particularly tricky to treat. Researchers have developed a potential treatment for TNBC that uses nanodiamonds.

Engineers craft material for high-performance supercapacitor

April 15, 2013 8:01 am | News | Comments

Taking a significant step toward improving the power delivery of systems ranging from urban electrical grids to regenerative braking in hybrid vehicles, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles have synthesized a material that shows high capability for both the rapid storage and release of energy.

Scientists map elusive 3D structure of telomerase enzyme

April 12, 2013 9:30 am | News | Comments

Like finally seeing all the gears of a watch and how they work together, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of California, Berkeley have, for the first time ever, solved the puzzle of how the various components of an entire telomerase enzyme complex fit together and function in a 3D structure.

Imaging in 3D reveals never-before-seen defects in platinum nanoparticle

March 28, 2013 12:49 am | News | Comments

A team of scientists in the United States has combine three different imaging methods to produce 3D images and videos of a tiny platinum nanoparticle at atomic resolution that reveal new details of defects in nanomaterials that have not been seen before. Prior to this work, scientists only had flat, two-dimensional images with which to view the arrangement of atoms.

Atomic layer etch analysis accelerates green chemistries

March 26, 2013 8:28 am | News | Comments

Researchers sponsored by Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) have developed a modeling process designed to simulate atomic-level etching with chemicals that are effective alternatives to widely used perfluorocarbon (PFC) gases. The novel approach will identify and evaluate green plasma chemistries for processing emerging memory/logic devices and through-silicon-via (TSV)-enabled technologies for the semiconductor industry.

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