Cancer drug may halt premature aging disease in kids

UCLA researchers found that an experimental cancer drug improves the signs of progeria in a mouse model. Progeria is a rare genetic disease causing accelerated aging and cardiovascular disease in children. The new UCLA findings help to define a new strategy for treating children with progeria. One in four million children are born with progeria that can result in dwarfism, baldness, wrinkles, hardened arteries, and osteoporosis. Most children with progeria die from heart disease before age 15.

Anti-terrorism software claims to balance privacy and security

The government’s ability to balance the privacy concerns of lawful U.S. citizens with effective monitoring of potential terrorists has proven an increasingly difficult task, particularly in recent months. But software by researchers at UCLA may ease some of these privacy concerns by making the tracking of terrorist communications over the Internet more efficient, and more targeted.

Immune response to HIV differs, even in identical twins

In findings illustrating the difficulty of developing an AIDS vaccine, UCLA AIDS Institute researchers report the immune systems in two HIV-positive identical twins responded to the infection in different ways. Detailed in the Dec. 5 issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Virology, the findings show that the body’s defenses against the virus are random rather than genetically determined.

NASA software unites weather, climate models

All in oneResearchers from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and several other government and academic institutions have created four new supercomputer simulations that for the first time combine their mathematical computer models of the atmosphere, ocean, land surface and sea ice. These simulations are the first field tests of the new Earth System Modeling Framework (ESMF), an innovative software system that promises to improve and accelerate U.S. predictive capability ranging from short-term weather forecasts to century-long climate change projections.

Men with spouses do better after prostate treatment

Being married or in a relationship significantly improves quality of life for prostate cancer patients following treatment, according to a study by researchers at UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center and the Department of Urology. Partnered men reported better psychosocial and spiritual well-being, suffered fewer adverse effects from treatment and had less fear and anxiety about their cancer coming back than did their single counterparts, the study found.

Researchers Discover New Method to Generate Human Bone

By studying diseases in which the human body generates too much bone, researchers have discovered and isolated a natural molecule that can be used to heal fractures and generate new bone growth in patients who lack it. The core technology is potentially the most significant advancement in bone regeneration since the discovery of bone morphogenetic proteins in the 1960s.

Researchers First to Capture Elusive Lightning-Quick Waveforms

Researchers at UCLA have for the first time been able to capture and digitize electrical signals at the rate of 1 trillion times per second, a discovery that eventually may help scientists develop defenses against high-powered microwave weapons attacks and allow physicists to peer into the fundamental building blocks of nature.

UCLA Launches Major Stem Cell Institute

Drawing together experts from fields as diverse as engineering to molecular biology, UCLA officials announced March 15 the formation of the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Medicine to conduct embryonic and adult stem cell research that may lead to better treatments for HIV, cancer and neurological disorders.

Green tea extract has potential as anti-cancer agent

A study on bladder cancer cells lines showed that green tea extract has potential as an anti-cancer agent, proving for the first time that it is able to target cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. The study, published in the Feb. 15, 2005 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Clinical Cancer Research, also uncovered more about how green tea extract works to counteract the development of cancer, said JianYu Rao, a Jonsson Cancer Center member, an associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and the study’s senior author.

Diet Rich in Omega-3 Protects Brain Against Alzheimer’s

UCLA neuroscientists have shown for the first time that a diet high in the omega-3 fatty acid DHA helps protect the brain against the memory loss and cell damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease. The new research suggests that a DHA-rich diet may lower one’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease and help slow progression of the disorder in its later stages. ”This is the first proof that our diets affect how our brain cells communicate with each other under the duress of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Greg Cole, senior author and a professor of neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. ”We saw that a diet rich in DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, dramatically reduces the impact of the Alzheimer’s gene.