UCLA launches major mental health study to discover insights about depression
While the capability to diagnose cancer and heart problems has advanced by giant steps in recent years, methods to detect depression have stubbornly stayed the same for more than a century: Observe patients, and ask them how they are doing.UCLA has launched a major new study, sponsored by and in collaboration with Apple, designed to help revolutionize detection and treatment of depression.The three-year study, which begins this week, was co-designed by researchers at UCLA and Apple to obtain objective measures of factors such as sleep, physical activity, heart rate and daily routines to illuminate the relationship between ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 4, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Got COVID-19 antibodies? Donate blood and find out
Here ’s an extra incentive to contribute blood to sick people who need it.The next time you donate to the  UCLA Blood& Platelet Center, staff will screen your blood for antibodies to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Effective immediately, the testwill beoffered for a limited period at the center ’s facilities in Westwood and all UCLA community blood drives.“We are offering the antibody test as a benefit to all UCLA blood donors,”said Dr. Dawn Ward, the center ’s medical director. “The screening determines whether you were previously exposed to the coronavirus. It does ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 29, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Study shows large gaps in access to oral health care for poorest Californians
A newpolicy brief from the  UCLA Center for Health Policy Research shows that low-income California adults are less likely to receive timely dental care like regular checkups and are more likely to visit the dentist for specific problems than those with higher incomes — a fact that holds true even for low-income residents who have dental insurance.The study authors found that among those adults with the lowest incomes, 59% had seen a dentist within the last year, compared with 80% for higher-income residents. The disparity persisted even for those with private dental insurance, with 75% of the lowest-income...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 28, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

2nd bone density test doesn ’t help gauge fracture risk in postmenopausal women
FINDINGSFor postmenopausal women who have undergone an initial bone mineral density test, having a standard second assessment three years after the first does not improve physicians ’ ability to determine their risk of osteoporosis-related hip, spine, forearm and shoulder fractures, a study has found.In addition, the study authors say, the initial testis more predictive of fracture risk than the second test, regardless of race, ethnicity and age.BACKGROUNDPhysicians routinely perform afollow-upbone density tests in postmenopausalwomen approximately three years after the first test todetect any loss in bone mass and t...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 28, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA Health hospitals retain No. 1 ranking in L.A. and California, rise to No. 4 in nation
UCLA Health hospitals in Westwood and Santa Monica placed No. 1 in both Los Angeles and California and No. 4 nationally in annual rankings published today by U.S. News& World Report.For 31 consecutive years, UCLA has appeared on thenational honor roll, a distinction reserved for only 20 hospitals that provide the highest quality care across an array of specialties, procedures and conditions.“Every day, I am inspired by the teamwork of our physicians, nurses, health care professionals and support staff whose knowledge, skill, dedication and compassion make possible the excellence in health care,” said Johnes...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 28, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Risk of Zika virus transmission from mother to unborn child much higher than expected
FINDINGSAccording to a new study by UCLA researchers and colleagues conducted in Brazil, 65% of children born to mothers infected withthe Zikavirusalsotested positive for the mosquito-borneinfection— a much higher rate than expected.The findings indicatethat even babies whohave no outward neurological or other symptoms associated with Zika can still be infected with the virus andare potentially at risk offuturedevelopmental problems.  BACKGROUNDThe study representsthe first time that the mother-to-child transmission rate of Zika has been reportedfor a group of children who were tracked over several years —...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 27, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

How airway cells work together in regeneration and aging
Researchers at theEli and Edythe Broad Center of  Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA have identified the process by which stem cells in the airways of the lungs switch between two distinct phases — creating more of themselves and producing mature airway cells — to regenerate lung tissue after an injury.The study, published in Cell Stem Cell, also sheds light on how aging can cause lung regeneration to go awry, which can lead to lung cancer and other diseases.  “There currently are few therapies that target the biology of lung diseases,” said Dr. Brigitte Gomperts,a profes...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 27, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

In nation ’s 2 largest metros, Blacks and Latinos are more likely to die from COVID-19
A study published today by theUCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative found that Latino and Black residents of Los Angeles County and New York City are roughly twice as likely as white residents to die from COVID-19.The research also revealed that high-poverty neighborhoods in both regions have the highest rates of COVID-19 cases and COVID-19 –related deaths.Sonja Diaz, founding director of the policy initiative, said two significant reasons for those trends are that low-income Black and Latino people in both regions tend to have a greater need to work outside of the home and a greater reliance on public transport...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 27, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

If relaxed too soon, physical distancing measures might have been all for naught
If physical distancing measures in the United States are relaxed while there is still no COVID-19 vaccine or treatment and while personal protective equipment remains in short supply, the number of resulting infections could be about the same as if distancing had never been implemented to begin with, according to a UCLA-led team of mathematicians and scientists.The researchers compared the results of three related mathematical models of disease transmission thatthey used to analyze data emerging from local and national governments, including one thatmeasures thedynamic reproduction number — the average number of susc...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 23, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Jet aircraft exhaust linked to preterm births
A study from theUCLA Fielding School of Public Health has found that pregnant women exposed to high levels of ultra fine particles from jet airplane exhaust are 14% more likely to have a preterm birth than those exposed to lower levels.The researchers examined exposure among women living near Los Angeles International Airport, in an area that includes neighborhoods in Los Angeles, El Segundo, Hawthorne, Inglewood andseveral other communities inland fromthe airport.“The data suggest that airplane pollution contributes to preterm births above and beyond the main source of air pollutionin this area, which is tra ffic,&...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 22, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Coronavirus antibodies fall dramatically in first 3 months after mild cases of COVID-19
FINDINGSA study by UCLA researchers shows that in people with mild cases of COVID-19, antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes the disease — drop sharply over the first three monthsafter infection,decreasing by roughly half every  73 days. If sustained at that rate, the antibodies would disappear within about a year.BACKGROUNDPrevious reports have suggested that antibodies against the novel coronavirus are short-lived, but the rate at which theydecrease has not been carefully defined. This is the first study to carefully estimate the rate at which the antibodies disappear.METHODThe researchers...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 21, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Researchers ID new target in drive to improve immunotherapy for cancer
FINDINGSResearchers at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and UCLA School of Dentistry  have identified a potential new combination therapy to treat advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, the most common type of head and neck cancer.A study in mice found that using an anti-PD1 immunotherapy drug in combination with PTC209, an inhibitor that targets the protein BMI1, successfully stopped the growth and spread of the cancer, prevented reoccurrences and eliminated cancer stem cells. This is the first preclinical study to provide evidence that targeting BMI1 proteins enhances immunotherapy and eliminate...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 21, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Doctors motivated by both health, malpractice concerns when ordering additional tests
FINDINGSA UCLA-led studyhas found that dermatopathologists, who specialize in diagnosing skin diseases at the microscopic level, are motivated both by patient safety concerns and by malpractice fears— often simultaneously —when ordering multiple tests and obtaining second opinions, with a higher proportion of these doctors reporting patient safety as a concern.When ordering additional microscopic tests for patients, 90% of the dermatopathologists surveyed cited patient safety as a concern and 71% of them reported malpractice fears. Similarly, when obtaining second reviews from a consulting pathologist or recomm...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 17, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Will schools be safe this fall?
As schools  begin to share their plans for reopening, concern is growing over how to safely protect children, their families and teachers as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to surge.The alternative to children returning to the classroom is remote learning, an option that Los Angeles Unified School District has announced it will implement. But that, too, presents its own challenges for families.  In an interview with UCLA Health,  Dr. Nava  Yeganeh, a pediatric infectious disease specialist atUCLA Mattel Children ’s Hospital who serves on several school COVID-19 task forc...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 15, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Natural gas flaring poses pregnancy risks
Researchers from theUCLA Fielding School of Public Health and the University of Southern California have found that a high level of exposure to oil and gas “flaring” events — the burning off of excess natural gas at production sites — is associated with a 50% higher risk for preterm birth, compared with women who aren’t exposed to flaring.The researchers defined a high level of exposure as 10 or more nightly flare events within a distance of 5 kilometers (about 3 miles) of the woman ’s home.“Prior studies suggest living near oil and gas wells adversely affects birth outcomes, but n...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 15, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Study aims to bolster California ’s safe-water efforts at child care facilities
Efforts to ensure safe drinking water for children need further support to reach their intended audience, according to an analysis ofCalifornia ’s mandaterequiring child care facilities to test their water for lead, known as AB 2370.Thefindingfrom the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation is part of anew report andpolicy briefthat examine strategiesfor developing and implementing the state ’s testing and remediation program for those sites.Among its recommendations,the report stresses the need for a dedicated funding streamto ensure the program ’s success.“We’ve learned from a similar program...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 13, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Scientists pinpoint surprising new function for histones
FINDINGSUCLA scientists have identified a new function for histones, the spool-shaped proteins that regulate gene expression and help pack long strands of DNA into cells. The resulting matrix, called chromatin, provides the structural foundation for chromosomes.In a surprising finding thatreceived more than 1,400 “likes” and more than 600 shares on Twitter within the first several days after the study was published, the researchers discovered that histones also function asenzymes that convertcopper into a form that can be used by the body ’s cells.Scientists had assumed that copper spontaneously converted...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 9, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Program to prevent falls among seniors shows modest benefit
A new study has found that a set of strategies designed to prevent older people from falling did not significantly reduce serious injuries from falls, but it did lead to a significant decline in the number of overall fall-related injuries participants reported.The study,published July 9 in the New England Journal of Medicine, presents  the results ofSTRIDE,  or  Strategies to Reduce Injuries and Develop Confidence in Elders, which tested the effectiveness of a fall-prevention program that included measures such as installing grab bars in homes, removing throw rugs and discontinuing certain medications, such ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 9, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Coronavirus disproportionately harms U.S. prison population
People incarcerated in U.S. prisons tested positive for COVID-19 at a rate 5.5 times higher than the general public, according to a new paper co-authored by theUCLA COVID-19 Behind Bars Data Project and researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.In theirreport, which was published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the researchers also found that the death rate of U.S. prisoners was 39 per 100,000 people, higher than the U.S. population rate of 29 deaths per 100,000. After adjusting for age and sex differences between the two groups, the death rate would be three times higher for ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 8, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Welcome, Robin the AI robot
“Hi! Do you want to sing a song with me?”With its big WALL-E eyes and sleek plastic body, Robinthe robothas the huggable, child-friendly look of an animatedPixar character — one that is eager to interact with pediatric patients to ease their anxiety and loneliness in the hospital.    The emotional-learning technology that enables Robin to engage realistically with children is even more essential in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which physical isolation has becomeall the moreimportant for sick children, particularly those whose immune systems are compromised.But while physical is...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 7, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

How the body regulates scar tissue growth after heart attacks
New UCLA research conducted in mice could explain why some people suffer more extensive scarring than others after a heart attack. The study,published in the journal Cell, reveals that a protein known as type 5 collagen plays a critical role in regulating the size of scar tissue in the heart.Once formed, heart scar tissue remains for life, reducing the heart ’s ability to pump blood and adding strain to the remaining heart muscle. People who develop larger scars have a higher risk of heart rhythm problems, heart failure and sudden cardiac death. “Two individuals with the same degree of heart attack can end...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 3, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Study shows surge in e-cigarette and marijuana use among state ’s young adults
The use of marijuana and electronic cigarettes jumped dramatically among young adult Californians between 2017 and 2018, with large proportions of users of both products being underage, according to anew study by theUCLA Center for Health Policy Research.The study, which highlights smoking trends among individuals between the ages of 18 and 25, shows that e-cigarette vaping surged by 48% over that period, while marijuana use increased by 19%. Cigarette smoking, which had been declining for a decade, saw no significant change. The authors also suggest several policy approaches to respond to the changing smoking landscape.Us...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - June 30, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

School HPV vaccine policies could result in higher vaccination rates, reduction in cancers
FINDINGSA UCLA-led study has found that in 2 of 3 states and jurisdictions with policies that require students entering school to receive the human papillomavirus vaccine, vaccination rates among 13-to-17-year-olds were significantly higher than in surrounding states without such policies.In Rhode Island, the vaccination rate among adolescents was 91%, compared with an average of 78% in neighboring non-policy states. In the District of Columbia, the rate was 89%, compared with 72% for nearby non-policy states. Virginia, which is in the same region as the district, was the one state with a vaccination policy that showed no ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - June 29, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Q & A: Why the LGBT community is at greater risk from COVID-19
More than 200,000 LGBT adults in California have medical conditions that increase their vulnerability to the effects of COVID-19, according tonew research byKathryn O ’Neill, a policy analyst with theWilliams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.O ’Neill willshare her findings in a webinar hosted by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research at noon on  Monday, June 29. She gave UCLA Newsroom a preview.You found that of 1.7 million LGBT Californians,an estimated210,000 have asthma, 110,000 have diabetes, 80,000 have heart disease and 110,000 have HIV — all of which can make the effects of COVID-1...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - June 25, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Nearly 2 million California adults don ’t get needed mental health care
Of the 3 million California adults who have recently experienced psychological distress and are eligible for public mental health services, 1.8 million say they have received no treatment or support, according to apolicy brief released today by theUCLA Center for Health Policy Research.The findings, the researchers say, highlight the need to expand access to the prevention and early intervention programs of the state ’s Mental Health Services Act, or Proposition 63, passed in 2004 to provide comprehensive support for uninsured residents and those on Medi-Cal or other public insurance programs.While previous studies a...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - June 25, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Researchers use stem cells to model the immune response to COVID-19
Editor ’s note: This announcement was updated on June 23, 2020, to correct the value of a grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. The grant amount was $150,000. Cities across the United States are opening back up, but we ’re still a long way from making the COVID-19 pandemic history. To truly accomplish that, we need to have a vaccine that can stop the spread of infection.But to develop an effective vaccine, we need to understand how the immune system responds to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.Vaccines work by imitating infection. They expose a person ’s immune syst...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - June 23, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

New technique allows scientists to measure mitochondrial respiration in frozen tissue
FINDINGSScientists led by Dr. Orian Shirihai, director of themetabolism theme at theDavidGeffen School of Medicine at UCLA,have developed a method for restoring oxygen-consumption activity to previously frozen mitochondria samples, even years after they have been collected. The process of freezing and thawing mitochondria depresses their oxygen consumption and, until now, has hindered researchers ’ ability to accurately carry out large-scale studies examining the crucial role of mitochondria in both health and disease.BACKGROUNDThe mitochondria in our cells consume 90% of the oxygen we breathe and use that oxygen to ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - June 22, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

A lifesaving lung transplant at UCLA for patient who was turned away by more than 20 hospitals
Miriam Merianos was a healthy mom of three living in Texas when she got the flu in November 2018.Before long, the virus worsened, fluid built up in her lungs and Merianos was strugglingto breathe. She was taken to a local hospital and placed onan ECMO machine, a device that puts oxygen into the blood, bypassing the heart and lungs.Merianos remained on the ECMO machine for 10 months — significantly longer than the typical treatment — and she was told her only chance for survival was a double lung transplant. But her doctors also told Merianos that surgery would be too risky for her. All of the antibodies her imm...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - June 22, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

NBA star and alumnus Kevin Love to fund chair in psychology
The Cleveland Cavaliers ’ Kevin Love, a former Bruin basketball player who has publicly shared his struggles with panic attacks, anxiety and depression, has committed $500,000 through his foundation — matched by a $500,000 UCLA Centennial Term Chair Match — to establish the Kevin Love Fund Centennial Chair in UCLA’ s psychology department.The $1 million investment will support the teaching and research activity of UCLA ’s faculty working to diagnose, prevent, treat and destigmatize anxiety and depression at one of the top-ranked psychology departments in the United States.“Kevin Lov...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - June 22, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Homeless people are more likely to be put on ventilators for respiratory infections than non-homeless
FINDINGSResearchers from UCLA, Harvard Medical School and the University of Tokyo found that during   a recent six-year period, homeless people in New York state were more likely to hospitalized and treated with mechanical ventilators for respiratory infections than people who are not homeless.Of 20,000 patients hospitalized for influenza at 214 New York hospitals between 2007 and 2012, the study found,  6.4% were homeless, and nearly all of the homeless people were seen in just 10 of the hospitals. The gap between homeless and non-homeless hospitalizations was particularly wide during 2009’s H1N1 infl...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - June 18, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Adhesive film turns smartwatch into biochemical health monitoring system
UCLA engineers have designed a thin adhesive film that could upgrade a consumer smartwatch into a powerful health monitoring system. The system looks for chemical indicators found in sweat to give a real-time snapshot of what ’s happening inside the body. Astudy detailing the technology was published inthe journal  Science Advances.Smartwatches can already help keep track of how far you ’ve walked, how much you’ve slept and your heart rate. Newer models even promise to monitor blood pressure. Working with a tethered smartphone or other devices, someone can use a smartwatch to keep track of those heal...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - June 17, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA Mattel Children ’s Hospital rated among best children’s hospitals in U.S.
UCLA Mattel Children ’s Hospital has been recognized for itsbroad excellence in pediatric care inthe 2020 –21 Best Children ’s Hospitals rankings, published today by U.S. News& World Report.The hospital rankedamong the best in the nation in seven pediatric specialties:diabetes and endocrinology,neonatology,cancer,neurology andneurosurgery,  nephrology,gastroenterology andgastrointestinal surgery, andorthopedics.“It’s a privilege to be recognized for the extraordinary contributions of our physicians, nurses, therapists and highly skilled team of healt...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - June 16, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA receives nearly $14 million from NIH to investigate gene therapy to combat HIV
UCLA researchers and colleagues have received a $13.65 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to investigate and further develop an immunotherapy known as CAR T, which uses genetically modified stem cells to target and destroy HIV.The five-year grant, part of an NIH effort to develop gene-engineering technologies to cure HIV/AIDS, will fund a collaboration among UCLA; CSL-Behring, a biotechnology company in the United States and Australia; and the University of Washington –Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.Scott Kitchen, an associate professor of medicine in the division of hematology and oncology,...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - June 15, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Researcher receives federal grant to study how COVID-19 spreads
A research project designed to help answer basic questions about the spread of COVID-19 and co-led by UCLA faculty has received a $1.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.One of the co-leaders of the project is  Marc Suchard, professor of biostatistics, biomathematics, and  human genetics at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Suchard is the senior developer of an open-source software program that’s used by more than 1,000 research groups worldwide to understand, on a genomic level, how infectious diseases spread. “Through the creation of new, scalable stati...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - June 12, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA creates multilingual website for coronavirus information
It ’s abundantly clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has not hit all people equally, and part of that disparity is informational. Many communities have an increased vulnerability because of a lack access to official news, public health information and safety recommendations in a language other than Engl ish.To help remedy that, faculty from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and the Asian American Studies Center quickly came together recently to launchTranslateCovid.org. This new website presents health and safety recommendations and other information in more than 40 languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Korean,...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - May 29, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA names 2020 Switzer Prize recipient
Amita Sehgal, whose pioneering discoveries of mechanisms that regulate circadian rhythms and sleep have deepened scientists ’ understanding of behavioral cycles, metabolism and healthy aging, has been named the 2020 recipient of the Switzer Prize awarded by the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.“I am deeply honored to be selected and to be among the distinguished group of scientists who received this influential prize before me,” said Sehgal, who is the John Herr Musser Professor of Neuroscience at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and director of the C...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - May 27, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

$5.75M grant to help researchers study role of obesity in development of pancreatic cancer
A team of researchers from theUCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and peer institutions has been awarded a $5.75 milliongrant from the National Cancer Institute to study the correlation between obesity, inflammation and pancreatic cancer. The scientists hope their findings may help people avoid getting this cancer.“We know that the biological mechanisms of obesity, such as inflammation, can lead to the development of pancreatic cancer,” said Dr. Guido Eibl, professor-in-residence in the department of surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a Jonsson Cancer Center researcher. “...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - May 21, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA scientists alter genes of innate immune cells with DNA-snipping tool
A UCLA research team has successfully used  the powerful gene-editing tool known as CRISPR-Cas9 to alter the DNA of mature innate immune cells, some of the body’s first responders to infections. These blood cells have been notoriously difficult to genetically engineer in the past.While the work was carried out in mice, the ability to  modify the gene expression of these cells could one day allow clinicians to better harness the power of the immune system in the fight against cancer and autoimmune disease.The study, published in the journal Cell Reports, was led by senior author...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - May 20, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Scientists find evidence of link between diesel exhaust, risk of Parkinson ’s
A newUCLA study in zebrafishhas identified the processby which air pollution can damage brain cells, potentially contributing to Parkinson ’s disease.Publishedin thepeer-reviewed journal  Toxicological Sciences,the findings showthat chemicals in diesel exhaust can trigger the toxic buildup of a protein in the brain called alpha-synuclein, which is commonly seen in people withthe disease.Previous studies have revealed that people living in areas withheightened levels oftraffic-related air pollution tend to have higher rates of Parkinson ’s. To understand what the pollutants do to the brain,Dr. Jeff Bronstei...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - May 19, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Health systems unite to encourage patients to access care when needed
Six of Los Angeles County ’s largest nonprofit health systems with hospitals, clinics and care facilities across the region have come together united in a mission to encourage community members to put health first and access care when needed.  UCLA Health joined Providence, Keck Medicine of USC, Kaiser Permanente, Dignity Health and Cedars-Sinai to launch a public service campaign called BetterTogether.Health. The announcements have themes such as, “Life may be on pause. Your health isn’t.,” “Thanks L.A. for doing your part” and “Ge...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - May 19, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA machine-learning model is helping CDC predict spread of COVID-19
A machine-learning model developed at theUCLA Samueli School of Engineering is helping the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predict the spread of COVID-19.The model was created by a team led by Quanquan Gu, a UCLA assistant professor of computer science, and it is now one of 13 models that feed into aCOVID-19 Forecast Hub at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Data from that hub, in turn, feeds into the CDC ’sonline forecasts for how the disease might continue to spread.Gu said his model is more accurate than most others because it does not rely only on confirmed COVID-19 cases and fatalities. It is ep...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - May 18, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Study finds overwhelming support for smoke-free policies among L.A. tenants, landlords
Half of apartment dwellers in Los Angeles report having been exposed to unwanted secondhand smoke in their homes in the last year, and 9 in 10 of them say they favor policies banning smoking from their buildings, a  new study by researchers at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research reveals.Owners of multiunit housing properties in Los Angeles also expressed strong support, with 92% saying they favor smoke-free policies, according to the study, which surveyed more than 5,000 tenants and owners in some of the city ’s most densely populated areas.“We found that 1 in 2 tenants said that they were...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - May 18, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA establishes COVID-19 pandemic-response training program
A team at UCLA is training thousands of individuals across the state in public health techniques and strategies, including contact tracing, case investigation  and administration, in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.The training program — co-led by the California Department of Public Health, UC San Francisco and UCLA — represents the next stage in California’s statewide response to the COVID-19 pandemic: helping prepare residents for an emergence from safer-at-home orders.The initiative is a campus-wide effort  involving faculty and staff from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health an...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - May 14, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Lack of sick leave guarantees puts nations ’ health and economic security at risk, UCLA study finds
At a time when the world ’s attention is focused on curbing the spread of infectious disease, new research by the UCLA WORLD Policy Analysis Center shows that strengthening guarantees of paid sick leave is crucial to protecting health and economic security around the globe.The study, published in the journal Global Public Health, found that 94% of countries mandate  some form of paid sick leave at the national level. The United States is one of 11 countries that do not.Yet, even in nations that guarantee paid time off for illness,  the analysis showed critical gaps that undermined the ability...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - May 13, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

New treatment extends lives of people with most common type of liver cancer
For the first time in over a decade, scientists have identified a first-line treatment that significantly improves survival for people with hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common type of liver cancer.Researchers found that a  combination of atezolizumab, an immunotherapy drug that boosts the body ’s natural defenses, and bevacizumab, an anti-angiogenesis drug that inhibits the growth of tumors’ blood vessels, improved overall survival and reduced the risk of death by 42%. It also decreased the risk of the disease worsening by 41%, and the percentage of patients whose cancer shrank or disappeared more th...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - May 13, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Psychology professor honored for pioneering work on ‘social cognition’
Shelley Taylor, distinguished research professor of psychology in the UCLA College and the founding scholar in the areas of social cognition, health psychology and social neuroscience, has been awarded the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Social Sciences.The BBVA Foundation praised Taylor, who has been on faculty at UCLA since 1979, as a pioneer of social cognition who revealed the role of cognitive bias in social relations. Social cognition is the process of people making sense of the social world — how people think about themselves, other people, social groups, human history and the future. This soci...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - May 13, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA scientists create first roadmap of human skeletal muscle development
An interdisciplinary team of researchers at theEli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA has developed a first-of-its-kind roadmap of how human skeletal muscle develops, including the formation of muscle stem cells.The study, published May 11 in the peer-reviewed journal Cell Stem Cell, identified various cell types present in skeletal muscle tissues, from early embryonic development all the way to adulthood. Focusing on muscle progenitor cells, which contribute to muscle formation before birth, and muscle stem cells, which contribute to muscle formation after birth and to re...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - May 11, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Do I look mad? Reading facial cues with the touch-screen generation
Are today ’s children, who grew up with mobile technology from birth, worse at reading emotions and picking up cues from people’s faces than children who didn’t grow up with tablets and smartphones? Anew UCLA psychology study suggests today ’s kids are all right.Infancy and early childhood are critical developmental phases during which children learn to interpret important non-verbal cues such as facial expressions, tone of voice and gestures. Traditionally, this happens through direct face-to-face communication. But with the ubiquitous use of tablets and other devices today — among toddlers, ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - May 8, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

$2 million commitment from W. M. Keck Foundation creates COVID-19 research fund at UCLA
UCLA has received a $2 million commitment from the W. M. Keck Foundation to establish the UCLA W. M. Keck Foundation COVID-19 Research Fund.The fund will support basic science research aimed at understanding the SARS-CoV2 virus and the mechanisms by which it causes disease, as well as why some people are more susceptible to life-threatening disease than others; and developing new methods to detect infection and new therapies to treat COVID-19 infection.“When the threat of COVID-19 became known, scientists at theDavid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA ramped up research to develop an effective way to test for it, dete...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - May 7, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson give big boost to UCLA COVID-19 research
It ’s not often that a public health study gets a major visibility boost from a Hollywood power couple. But these are no ordinary times, UCLA’s COVID-19 researchers are no ordinary scientists, and Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are no ordinary power couple.Throughout the pandemic, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health epidemiologistAnne Rimoin has shared her expertise as a frequent guest on MSNBC ’s news commentary program, “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams.” After one of those appearances, Rimoin said, Williams contacted her to ask if he could connect her with “some friends” who had w...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - May 6, 2020 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news