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UCLA

Researchers have boosted the efficiency of organic solar cells by 20 percent through the u...

Carbon-based organic photovoltaic cells, which use organic polymers or small molecules as semiconductors, are significantly thinner and cheaper than their inorganic silicon-based counterparts. Unfortunately, they are also much less efficient at converting sunlight into electricity. That could be on its way to changing, however, as an international team of researchers have reportedly boosted the efficiency of organic photovoltaic cells by 20 percent ... with some help from gold nanoparticles.  Read More

The anterior cingulate and prefrontal cortex (red) and frontal gyrus (orange) areas of the...

The World Health Organization has projected that by 2020, major depression will be the second-most significant cause for disability in the world, after heart disease. Along with psychotherapy, the disorder is usually treated using antidepressant drugs. There is often a frustrating trial-and-error period involved in finding the right drug for the right person, however, while side effects can include obesity, sexual dysfunction, and fatigue ... to name a few. Los Angeles-based company NeuroSigma is now looking into an alternative drug-free therapy, that could ultimately incorporate electrodes implanted under the patient’s skin.  Read More

Rob Summers, 25, in the harness that provides support while he receives electrical stimula...

In a move that gives cautious hope to the millions of people suffering some form of paralysis, a team of researchers from UCLA, Caltech and the University of Louisville has given a man rendered paralyzed from the chest down after a hit-and-run accident in 2006 the ability to stand and take his first tentative steps in four years. The team used a stimulating electrode array implanted into the man’s body to provide continual direct electrical stimulation to the lower part of the spinal cord that controls movement of the hips, knees, ankles and toes, to mimic the signals the brain usually sends to initiate movement.  Read More

The mice before and after injections with astressin-B

While conducting research into brain-gut interactions, a team led by researchers from UCLA and the Veterans Administration may have inadvertently stumbled across a new treatment for hair loss. During an investigation into the affect of stress on gastrointestinal function, the researchers believe they may have found a chemical compound that induces hair growth by blocking a stress-related hormone associated with hair loss.  Read More

Bioluminescence imaging (BLI) of T cell trafficking in live mice used in the study

One of the main problems with cancer cells is that the body's immune system generally doesn’t recognize them as enemies. By using a crippled HIV-like virus as a vehicle to arm lymphocytes with T-cell receptors, researchers have been able to genetically engineer a well-armed battalion of tumor-seeking immune system cells. By also inserting a reporter gene, which glows “hot” during positron emission tomography (PET) scanning, the researchers were able to watch in real time as these "special forces" traveled throughout the body to locate and attack dangerous melanomas.  Read More

The new reverse osmosis membrane will help desalination plants avoid costly clogging and m...

Increasing numbers of countries turning to desalination plants to bolster dwindling water supplies with most new facilities making use of reverse osmosis technology. Unfortunately these systems are susceptible to clogging and membrane damage, which places higher energy demands on the pumping system and necessitates costly cleanup and membrane replacement. Now researchers have unveiled a new class of reverse-osmosis membrane that resists the clogging that typically occurs when seawater, brackish water and waste-water are purified.  Read More

Frame one of THEMIS/ASI images shows auroras on a collision course on Feb. 29, 2008. (Imag...

A network of cameras deployed around the Arctic to understand the trigger mechanism for the beautiful light display called the aurora borealis – also known as the Northern Lights – has discovered that sometimes the vast curtains of aurora borealis collide, producing a stunning outburst. The reason no one on Earth has ever noticed these collisions before is that they occur on such a vast scale it takes a network of sensitive cameras spread across thousands of miles to get the whole picture.  Read More

A number of HIV particles, or virions that could be targeted and killed using engineered h...

A proof-of-principle study has demonstrated that it is possible to engineer human blood stem cells into cells that can target and kill HIV-infected cells. The result is the equivalent of a genetic vaccine which is not only good news in the fight against HIV - the process could also be used against a range of chronic viral diseases.  Read More

Graduate student Alex Bartman works with the M3 water filtration and desalination system (...

Desalination is a popular source of potable water in Middle Eastern countries, where large energy reserves and the relative scarcity of water suitable for drinking led to desalination in the region accounting for close to 75% of total world capacity in 2007. If that figure hasn’t already dropped it almost certainly will as access to clean water becomes an issue for many places around the globe. And the shortage isn’t just limited to developing countries, with places like California and parts of Australia facing their worst droughts in recorded history. A new mini-mobile-modular (M3) “smart” water desalination and filtration system could help determine the feasibility of desalination in areas that may be considering it for the first time.  Read More

Engineers UCLA have demonstrated a camera that captures images  at 6 million frames per se...

Using a new approach based on more than 10 years of research, engineers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have demonstrated a camera that captures images at 6 million frames per second - that's a thousand times faster than any existing conventional camera. This technique could lead to fresh insights into fast moving phenomena in physics, chemistry and biology. In medical research for example, it may lead to image capture of individual cells in blood streams, opening up the possibility of detection of unhealthy or cancerous cell forms.  Read More

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