Posts Tagged ‘UCLA’
Researchers have reduced blood alcohol levels in intoxicated mice by injecting them with nanocapsules containing enzymes that are instrumental in alcohol metabolism. The treatment demonstrates a novel drug delivery technology that could have broad medical applications.
The new research…described in Nature Nanotechnology…involves packaging multiple enzymes inside a nanoscale shell. The resulting functional enzyme complex, made of a nontoxic polymer, “almost mimics an organelle,” says Yunfeng Lu, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at UCLA, who lead the research with Cheng Ji, a professor of biochemical and molecular biology at the University of Southern California. The capsule stabilizes the proteins and protects them against degrading in the body…
The advance could open the door to a new class of enzyme drugs, says Lu. Down the road, for example, he envisions an alcohol prophylactic or antidote that could be taken orally. Since alcohol metabolism naturally occurs in the liver, it would “almost be like having millions of liver cell units inside your stomach or in your intestine, helping you to digest alcohol,” he says.
The group is also developing other drugs based on the encapsulation method. For example, it is working with the pharmaceutical company Kythera on a hair-loss prevention drug that would rely on nanocapsules to deliver—through the skin—an enzyme that breaks down dihydrotestosterone (commonly called DHT), which causes male pattern baldness.
I’m certain we all can think of a number of useful goals for this technology. I’m equally certain that some portions of the pharmaceuticals industry will concentrate their efforts on the greatest possible short-term profits based on human vanity.
Scientists from the California Institute of Technology and UCLA have discovered evidence of “universal ubiquitous magnetic fields” that have permeated deep space between galaxies since the time of the Big Bang.
Caltech physicist Shin’ichiro Ando and Alexander Kusenko, a professor of physics and astronomy at UCLA, report the discovery in a paper to be published in an upcoming issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters; the research is currently available online.
Ando and Kusenko studied images of the most powerful objects in the universe — supermassive black holes that emit high-energy radiation as they devour stars in distant galaxies — obtained by NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.
Physicists have hypothesized for many years that a universal magnetic field should permeate deep space between galaxies, but there was no way to observe it or measure it until now…
The researchers found that the average magnetic field had a “femto-Gauss” strength, just one-quadrillionth of the Earth’s magnetic field. The universal magnetic fields may have formed in the early universe shortly after the Big Bang, long before stars and galaxies formed, Ando and Kusenko said.
There’s more info about Kusenko’s research over here.
Drinking at least three cups of green or black tea a day can significantly reduce the risk of stroke, a new UCLA study has found. And the more you drink, the better your odds of staving off a stroke…
The UCLA researchers conducted an evidence-based review of all human observational studies on stroke and tea consumption found in the PubMed and Web of Science archives. They found nine studies describing 4,378 strokes among nearly 195,000 individuals, according to lead author Lenore Arab, a professor of medicine in the division of general internal medicine and health services research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
“What we saw was that there was a consistency of effect of appreciable magnitude,” said Arab, who is also a professor of biological chemistry. “By drinking three cups of tea a day, the risk of a stroke was reduced by 21 percent. It didn’t matter if it was green or black tea.”
And extrapolating from the data, the effect appears to be linear, Arab said. For instance, if one drinks three cups a day, the risk falls by 21 percent; follow that with another three cups and the risk drops another 21 percent…
“These findings are so exciting,” she said. “If we can find a way to prevent the stroke, or prevent the damage, that is simple and not toxic, that would be a great advance.”
Although a randomized clinical trial is needed to confirm this effect, the findings suggest that drinking three cups of green or black tea a day could help prevent an ischemic stroke.
The Lipton Tea folks who funded the initial computational analysis got their money’s worth. They were bright enough to take “common knowledge” about tea drinkers and put it to the test.
Of course, junk science whiners won’t check the follow-on peer review or the clinical studies. They’ll just worry about who funded the original study. Ah, well.