News

High vinculin levels help keep aging fruit fly hearts young

July 17, 2018

High vinculin levels help keep aging fruit fly hearts young

A new discovery in how heart muscles maintain their shape in fruit flies sheds light on the crucial relationship between cardiac function, metabolism, and longevity. Researchers from the University of California San Diego discovered that maintaining high levels of the protein vinculin—which sticks heart muscle cells to one another—confers health benefits to fruit flies. Their work shows that fruit flies bred to produce 50 percent more vinculin enjoyed better cardiovascular health and lived a third of their average life span longer.  Full Story


Why are neuron axons long and spindly? Study shows they're optimizing signaling efficiency

July 11, 2018

Why are neuron axons long and spindly? Study shows they're optimizing signaling efficiency

A team of bioengineers at UC San Diego has answered a question that has long puzzled neuroscientists, and may hold a key to better understanding the complexities of neurological disorders: Why are axons, the spindly arms extending from neurons that transmit information from neuron to neuron in the brain, designed the way they are? Full Story


Biosensor chip detects single nucleotide polymorphism wirelessly and with higher sensitivity

July 9, 2018

Biosensor chip detects single nucleotide polymorphism wirelessly and with higher sensitivity

A team led by the University of California San Diego has developed a chip that can detect a type of genetic mutation known as a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and wirelessly send the results in real time to an electronic device. The chip is at least 1,000 times more sensitive at detecting an SNP than current technology. The advance could lead to cheaper, faster and portable biosensors for early detection of genetic markers for diseases such as cancer. Full Story