Stuttering is a potentially embarrassing, yet somewhat common affliction that affects nearly one percent of people worldwide. Characterized as a speech pattern in which people stumble, sputter and “trip over their tongue”, stuttering is one step closer to being understood thanks to researchers at UCSB.Read More
Science Market Update
Important things are on the horizon for scientists at UCSB.
Several researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara will take part in the newly funded UC-wide Institute for the Study of Ecological and Evolutionary Climate Impacts (ISEECI). Biology professor Barry Sinervo from UC Santa Cruz is heading the initiative, which was awarded $1.9 million in 2014 as part of the UC President’s Research Catalyst Award.Read More
Sepsis, the leading cause of death in hospitals throughout the United States, is caused when someone has a severe reaction to germs and bacteria. It often occurs as a complication to an infection or a surgery, when the immune system has been weakened and is unable to fight off bacteria. Considering how frequently sepsis occurs, it is surprising how under-represented it is in health talks and research. One researcher at the University of California Santa Barbara was recently awarded a $3.5 million grant from the NIH Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to continue his work on increasing sepsis survival rates. (Image on right courtesy of Wikimedia).Read More
Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara have discovered the age and origin of an E280A gene mutation that has caused early-onset Alzheimer’s in a Columbian family. The family, whose members have had Alzheimer’s with more frequency than most families, was traced to a single founder dating from the 1500’s. The research team sequenced the genomes of more than 100 family members and identified the regions of common ancestry. They then used this information to trace the source of the Alzheimer’s mutation.
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The National Eye Institute, an NIH agency dedicated to vision research, recently announced the winners of their Challenge to Identify Audacious Goals in Vision Research and Blindness Rehabilitation, or the Audacious Goals Challenge for short. The competition was open to professionals and members of the public and called upon them to think big and bold about vision research goals for the next decades. The prize money was nominal ($3,000) but included an invitation and travel money to attend and present their ideas at the NEI Audacious Goals Development Meeting in Maryland later this month. The real prize, of course, was the opportunity to help set research and funding goals for the next 10-12 years. Of the 500 or so proposals submitted, 10 visionaries were selected as winners.
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We've heard about the Golden Fleece Awards (vilifying seemingly-obscure science research) and the Golden Goose Awards (lauding seemingly-obscure science research) more than a little often in this year of threatened federal science budget cuts, but that's more politics than anything else. It certainly isn't half as much fun as the infamous and much-laughed-with Ig Nobel Prizes, given out yearly in honor of improbable research so absurd-sounding we can't help but love it. At this year's awards ceremony, held last Thursday night at Harvard University, 10 unlikely science research projects received their due respect (and a few guffaws) at the hands of genuinely bemused genuine Nobel laureates.
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QPASS stands for Quantitative Parallel Aptamer Selection System, and bioengineers at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and their colleagues at the Morgridge Research Institute in Wisconsin have just received $3.2M to pursue this research into development of a highly efficient system of generating nucleic acid molecules. The end product will be a lab-on-a-chip microfluidic device for instantly detecting disease in a clinical setting, with results that are far more accurate and precise than previous technologies.