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UCLA


— Health & Wellbeing

Researchers discover hormone that mimics diabetes-preventing effects of exercise

All manner of weird and wonderful exercise contraptions pushed on late night infomercials are testament to people's desire for faster and easier ways to get the benefits of exercise – whether said contraptions are effective or not. But now researchers have discovered a hormone that could provide some of the benefits of exercise, without working up a sweat doing stomach crunches or bicep curls. Read More
— Biology

Organism discovered that has remained unchanged for more than 2 billion years

Claimed to be the greatest lack of evolution ever discovered, a deep-sea microorganism – sulfur bacteria – recently uncovered by an international group of scientists is reported not to have evolved for more than 2 billion years. Despite it appearing to be an aberration in nature, researchers say that the microscopic creature’s unchanging nature actually supports Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Read More
— Medical

Activating gene in key organ systems slows aging process throughout the body

With a typical lifespan of around six weeks, the common fruit fly is one animal that could benefit from a slowing of the aging process. And that's just what a team of biologists at UCLA have achieved by activating a gene called AMPK. Possibly of more interest to us higher life forms is the researchers' belief that the discovery could help delay aging and age-related diseases in humans. Read More
— Health & Wellbeing

DARPA wants to develop electronic memory-restoring implants

Earlier this year, we heard about how DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) was setting up its new Biological Technologies Office. The goal of that division is to "merge biology, engineering, and computer science to harness the power of natural systems for national security." This week, the agency released details of one of the office's key projects, called Restoring Active Memory. It's aimed at using implantable "neuroprosthetics" to help army veterans and other people recover from memory deficits caused by brain injury or disease. Read More
— Health & Wellbeing

Steel bonding agent reduces impact forces of helmet-to-helmet hits

One of the most feared football-related injuries is concussion. With the new NFL and NCAA college seasons just about to kick off, fans will be praying that none of their team suffers any serious impact collisions that could end their season or result in memory loss or depression later in life. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) biomechanical engineering professor, Vijay Gupta, is testing a special polymer material that when applied to the inside of helmets, can reduce G-force impact by 25 percent. Read More
— Health & Wellbeing

New techniques to make viral load tests cheaper, faster and portable

To monitor their infection levels, people carrying chronic viral infections such as hepatitis and HIV need to get their viral load regularly checked. This measures how many viruses are present in a certain volume of blood or bodily fluid with current tests being expensive and needing to be done through laboratories. However, newly developed optical techniques being developed by two independent teams at the University of California could deliver cheaper and faster viral load tests that could be carried out in a medical office, hospital or even in the field. Read More
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