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Scientists capture, preserve cancer cells circulating in blood

December 17, 2012 3:11 pm | News | Comments

Researchers in Japan and California have built a nanoscale Velcro-like device that captures and releases tumor cells that have broken away from primary tumors and are circulating in the bloodstream. This new nanotechnology could be used for cancer diagnosis and give insight into the mechanisms of how cancer spreads throughout the body.

Engineers develop energy-efficient memory using magnetic materials

December 17, 2012 8:03 am | News | Comments

By using electric voltage instead of a flowing electric current, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles have made major improvements to an ultrafast, high-capacity class of computer memory known as magnetoresistive random access memory, or MRAM. The team's improved memory, which they call MeRAM for magnetoelectric random access memory, has great potential to be used in future memory chips for almost all electronic applications.  

Got food allergies? Test your meal on the spot

December 14, 2012 9:48 am | News | Comments

Are you allergic to peanuts and worried there might be some in that cookie? Now you can find out using a rather unlikely source: your cell phone. A team of researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles has developed a lightweight device called the iTube, which attaches to a common cell phone to detect allergens in food samples.


Comet collisions every six seconds explain 17-year-old stellar mystery

November 9, 2012 1:04 pm | News | Comments

Every six seconds, for millions of years, comets have been colliding with one another near a star in the constellation Cetus called 49 CETI, which is visible to the naked eye. Over the past three decades, astronomers have discovered hundreds of dusty disks around stars, but only two—49 CETI is one—have been found that also have large amounts of gas orbiting them. Until now, the answer was unclear as to why.

Engineers control thousands of cells simultaneously using magnetic nanoparticles

October 16, 2012 8:57 am | News | Comments

Using clusters of tiny magnetic particles about 1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, researchers from University of California, Los Angeles have shown that they can manipulate how thousands of cells divide, morph, and develop finger-like extensions. The tool can be used in developmental biology to understand how tissues develop.

Scientists uncover virus with potential to stop pimples

September 26, 2012 6:18 am | News | Comments

Watch out, acne. Doctors soon may have a new weapon against zits: A harmless virus living on our skin that naturally seeks out and kills the bacteria that cause pimples. In the new findings, scientists looked at two little microbes that share a big name: Propionibacterium acnes , a bacterium thriving in our pores that can trigger acne, and P. acnes phages, a family of viruses that live on human skin.

Microscopy technique tracks thousands of cells with precision

September 21, 2012 6:37 am | News | Comments

Researchers have developed a new way to observe and track large numbers of rapidly moving objects under a microscope, capturing precise motion paths in three dimensions. The research, conducted on human sperm cells, used a lens-free, holographic microscopy technique developed over the last several years. When used with a new software algorithm, the approach revealed previously unknown statistical pathways for the cells.

Researchers develop novel 'stamping' process to pattern biomolecules

September 21, 2012 4:05 am | News | Comments

Fabricating precise biomolecular structures at extremely small scales is critical to the progress of nanotechnology. Traditionally this has been accomplished through the use of rubber stamps with tiny features which are covered with molecular inks and then stamped onto substrate surfaces, creating molecular patterns. However, when using this technique at the nanoscale, molecules tend to diffuse on the surface both during and after stamping, blurring the patterns. Now, a team of researchers have turned this "soft lithography" process on its head.


Molecules sense curvature at the nanoscale

September 20, 2012 9:47 am | News | Comments

A team of researchers have used surface photochemical reactions to probe the critical role of substrate morphology on self-assembly and ligand environment, determining that molecules on curved surfaces have a greater range of orientations and, as a result, react more slowly than do molecules on flat surfaces.

Scientist discovers plate tectonics on Mars

August 10, 2012 7:19 am | News | Comments

For years, many scientists had thought that plate tectonics existed nowhere in our solar system but on Earth. Now, a University of California, Los Angeles scientist has discovered that the geological phenomenon, which involves the movement of huge crustal plates beneath a planet's surface, also exists on Mars.

Prozac could be an effective anti-viral

July 30, 2012 4:15 am | News | Comments

Researchers have come across an unexpected potential use for fluoxetine—commonly known as Prozac—which shows promise as an antiviral agent. Using molecular screening, a California research team found that fluoxetine was a potent inhibitor of replication in viruses found in the gastrointestinal tract. The discovery could provide another tool in treating human enteroviruses that sicken and kill people in the U.S. and around the world.

Transparent solar cells for windows generate electricity

July 20, 2012 9:00 am | by Jennifer Marcus | News | Comments

Researchers in California have recently described a new kind of polymer solar cell that produces energy by absorbing mainly infrared light, not visible light, making the cells nearly 70% transparent to the human eye. The device was made from a photoactive plastic that converts infrared light into an electrical current.

Bioengineers find objects moving in a stream create constructive wakes

July 18, 2012 5:57 am | News | Comments

From driftwood traveling down a river to a blood cell flowing through your artery, objects moving in a stream of fluid are mostly thought to passively go with the flow but not disturb it in controllable ways. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles have recently found that objects within a confined stream create controllable disturbances that can be used to move mass or heat at high rates, potentially providing simple solutions to performing chemical reactions on particles or cooling microelectronic chips.


World’s fastest camera use to detect rogue cancer cells

July 6, 2012 8:37 am | News | Comments

The ability to distinguish and isolate rare cells from among a large population of assorted cells has become increasingly important for the early detection of disease and for monitoring disease treatments. A new optical microscope could make the tough task a whole lot easier. It uses photonic time-stretch camera technology and is the world's fastest continuous-running camera.

Team develops world's most powerful nanoscale microwave oscillators

June 26, 2012 4:02 am | News | Comments

A team of University of California, Los Angeles researchers has created the most powerful high-performance nanoscale microwave oscillators in the world, a development that could lead to cheaper, more energy-efficient mobile communication devices that deliver much better signal quality.

Mercury rising

June 22, 2012 10:58 am | News | Comments

A groundbreaking new study led by University of California, Los Angeles climate expert Alex Hall shows that climate change will cause temperatures in the Los Angeles region to rise by an average of 4 to 5 F by the middle of this century, tripling the number of extremely hot days in the downtown area and quadrupling the number in the valleys and at high elevations.

How key enzyme involved in aging, cancer assembles

June 19, 2012 6:02 am | News | Comments

University of California, Los Angeles biochemists have mapped the structure of a key protein–RNA complex that is required for the assembly of telomerase, an enzyme important in both cancer and aging. The researchers found that a region at the end of the p65 protein that includes a flexible tail is responsible for bending telomerase's RNA backbone in order to create a scaffold for the assembly of other protein building blocks.

Rice, UCLA slash energy needs for next-generation memory

June 7, 2012 7:56 am | News | Comments

Researchers from Rice University and the University of California, Los Angeles unveiled a new data-encoding scheme that slashes more than 30% of the energy needed to write data onto new memory cards that use phase-change memory—a competitor to flash memory that has big backing from industry heavyweights.

Optical tweezers help researchers uncover mechanics in cellular communication

June 1, 2012 8:42 am | News | Comments

By using a laser microbeam technology called optical tweezers, University of California, Irvine and University of California, Los Angeles researchers have uncovered fundamental properties of a key molecular signaling system involved with development, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.

Researchers develop way to strengthen proteins with polymers

May 22, 2012 4:37 am | News | Comments

In a new study, investigators from the University of California, Los Angeles describe how they synthesized polymers to attach to proteins in order to stabilize them during shipping, storage, and other activities. The study findings suggest that these polymers could be useful in stabilizing protein formulations.

Scientists unlock mystery of “handedness”

May 9, 2012 5:37 am | by Melody Pupols | News | Comments

The overwhelming majority of proteins and other functional molecules in our bodies display chirality: They can exist in two distinct forms that are mirror images of each other. Seeking out a reason for why biological systems express chiral preferences, researchers used lithography to make achiral triangles with no handedness. Then physical entropic forces took over and scientists were completely surprised.

Researchers use online crowd-sourcing to diagnose malaria

May 3, 2012 6:28 am | News | Comments

Online crowd-sourcing—in which a task is presented to the public, who respond, for free, with various solutions and suggestions—has been used to evaluate potential consumer products, develop software algorithms, and solve vexing research and development challenges. But diagnosing infectious diseases?

New method IDs nanomaterials that can cause oxidative damage to cells

May 2, 2012 5:39 am | News | Comments

University of California, Los Angeles researchers and their colleagues have developed a novel screening technology that allows large batches of metal-oxide nanomaterials to be assessed quickly, based on their ability to trigger certain biological responses in cells as a result of their semiconductor properties.

Engineers put the squeeze on cells to diagnose disease

May 2, 2012 3:34 am | by Wileen Wong Kromhout and Matthew Chin | News | Comments

Researchers have taken advantage of cells' physical properties to develop a new instrument that slams cells against a wall of fluid and quickly analyzes the physical response, allowing for the identification of cancer and other cell states without expensive chemical tags.

Fighting disease with a cell phone

April 27, 2012 12:38 pm | News | Comments

A newly developed cell phone-based platform lets health workers accurately read diagnostic tests in the field and chart the spread of diseases worldwide.

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