The same sort of mathematical model used to predict which websites people are most apt to visit shows promise in mapping how lung cancer spreads in the human body. Employing a sophisticated system of mathematical equations known as a Markov chain model, researchers found that metastatic lung cancer does not progress in a single direction from primary tumor site to distant locations, which has been the traditional medical view. Instead, they found that cancer cell movement around the body likely occurs in more than one direction at a time.
Students who work together and interact online are more likely to be successful in their college classes, according to a study by a computer scientist at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego. Analyzing 80,000 interactions between 290 students in a collaborative learning environment for college courses, the major finding was that a [...]
Cancer cells need food to survive and grow, and the food they rely upon most is glucose. This has led to attempts to kill cancer cells by blocking access to this energy-rich sugar. Surprisingly, glucose-starved tumors don’t die but continued to grow and become more aggressive.
Understanding the interaction of proteins and enzymes is key to discovering and advancing treatments for diseases. Unfortunately, conventional light microscopes cannot clearly show objects as small as single molecules and electron microscopy cannot be effectively used with living cells.
Computer scientists in the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering have built a small fleet of portable pollution sensors that allow users to monitor air quality on a smartphone. The sensors could be particularly useful to people suffering from chronic conditions, such as asthma, who need to avoid exposure to pollutants.
Two Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) research projects will fly as payloads to the International Space Station in late 2013. In one experiment, space-travel effects on astronaut cardiovascular system will be studied using fruit flies as a model. These organisms are ideal for modeling human heart health: They are small, easy to care for, and their genetics are well understood.
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have made an advance in understanding how flu viruses replicate within infected cells. Using advanced molecular biology and electron-microscopy techniques researchers are now able to “see” one of influenza’s essential protein complexes in detail providing a much clearer picture of the flu virus replication machinery. This is welcomed [...]
1. Natasha Balac is the director of the Predictive Analytics Center of Excellence (PACE), a new initiative of the San Diego Supercomputer Center. PACE will lead a collaborative, nationwide education and training effort among academia, industry and government to create the next generation of data researchers.
Jan 3, 2013 | Posted in Research Report
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Over the past two decades, methamphetamine has become one of the most common drugs of abuse estimated to affect 25 million people worldwide. In the United States alone there are an estimated 400,000 users, and in some states meth accounts for more primary drug abuse treatment admissions than any other drug. Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) report successful tests of an prototype methamphetamine vaccine on rats. A vaccine against any addictive substance needs to evoke antibody responses against drug molecules, just as traditional vaccines evoke antibody responses against viruses or bacteria. The anti-drug antibodies perform their job by grabbing hold of drug molecules and keeping them from entering the brain — preventing the drug high and removing the user’s incentive for taking the drug.
Alcoholism and other addictions led to changes in the brain, such as over-activity of stress-related circuits and a weakening of other circuits that act as a “brake” on emotional reactions and impulsive behaviors. In an effort to understand the sequence of neural events by which these changes come about, researchers at The Scripps Research Institute studied binge-drinking rodents and found signs of cognitive impairment in rats similar to that seen in alcoholics.