Research Roundup (Fall ’14, Week 2)


Every week our Research Editors highlight a few of the latest headlines in science news and explain why these pieces are interesting and applicable to our classes at UC San Diego. If you find an engaging science article, share it with us on our Facebook page and your highlight may just be featured!

 

An end to needle phobia: Device could make painless injections possible | Science Daily

Approximately 10% of people experience “needle phobia”, which poses numerous negative consequences, such as a decrease in the number of vaccinations taken and blood donations given. However, “needle phobia” could become a thing of the past, as researchers have developed a device that vibrates and applies pressure while the needle is being inserted into the skin and significantly decreases the perception of pain during the injection.

If you are interested in drug function and metabolism, consider taking Pharmacology (BIMM 118).

– Neil Srinivas | Jr. Research Editor

 Bio-inspired ‘nano-cocoons’ offer targeted drug delivery against cancer cells | Science Daily

Researchers have developed a system, composed of nanoscale “cocoons” made of DNA that allows for a targeted drug delivery against cancer cells. The nanoscale “cocoons” trick cancer cells into willingly absorbing them and, once inside, promptly release the anticancer drugs.

If you are interested in learning about the metabolism of cancer cells, consider taking Biology of Cancer (BIMM 134). Or, if you are interested in drug function and metabolism, consider taking Pharmacology (BIMM 118).

– Neil Srinivas | Jr. Research Editor

The Epstein-Barr Virus Wears Chain Mail | Scientific American

The Epstein-Barr virus is a member of the herpesvirus family, a group of viruses known to be difficult to kill due to their resilience. Researchers have recently discovered that their longevity may be due to a layer of “chain mail” protein that protects the virus. Understanding the structure of the virus is key to developing an effective vaccine, so this discovery may be an important step towards finding a vaccine.

If you are interested in diseases, consider taking Immunology (BICD 140).

– Jasmine Chau | Sr. Research Editor

Disorganized Brain Cells Help Explain Autism Symptoms | Scientific American

People with autism lack communication and social skills, and scientists may have discovered a reason for this. In this study, they analyzed parts of the brain in autistic children and discovered that there are areas of the brain that have been disorganized during development. The parts of the brain where this disorganization was found are associated with communication and social abilities. This discovery may help scientists develop preventative measures.

If you are interested in neurobiology, consider taking Systems Neurobiology (BIPN 142).

– Jasmine Chau | Sr. Research Editor

 

 

 



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