Research Roundup (Fall ’14, Week 9)

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!

Clue to why females live longer than males | Science Daily

Scientists discovered that male Drosophila flies have shorter lifespans than do females due to natural and sexual selection. Males that have to compete for females do not live as long as males that do not have the stress of mate competition. Researchers believe that this study can help further the understanding of the mechanisms of aging.

If you are interested in aging, consider taking Dementia, Science, and Society (BILD 38).

– Jasmine Chau | Sr. Research Editor

Photons Double Up to Help Us See Beyond the Visible Light Spectrum | Scientific American

Human eyesight is restricted to the visible spectrum, which ranges from 400 to 720 nm. However, scientists believe that when a pair of infrared photons hit a single pigment protein in the eye at the same time, they provide enough energy to allow people to see infrared light. Although they have not tested this directly, computer simulations suggest that it is possible.

If you are interested in physiology, consider taking Human Physiology (BIPN 100).

– Jasmine Chau | Sr. Research Editor

New substance overcomes treatment-resistance in leukemia | Science Daily

While more patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive leukemia have been cured in recent years, a high percentage of patients who have developed resistance to available medication still exist. As of now, Ponatinib is the only substance known to overcome all forms of clinical resistance. However, Ponatinib may cause life-threatening side effects. This is all potentially about to change, as hematologists from Goethe University Frankfurt, working with a Russian pharmaceutical company, have developed a kinase inhibitor known as PF-114 that may successfully fight more aggressive forms of Philadelphia chromosome-positive leukemia with reduced side effects.

If you are interested in learning about the metabolism of cancer cells, consider taking Biology of Cancer (BIMM 134).

– Neil Srinivas | Jr. Research Editor

Stroke damage mechanism identified | Science Daily

Strokes happen when blood supply to a certain part of the brain is cut off. A large proportion of harm to the survivors’ memories and other cognitive functions is caused by oxidative stress shortly after blood supply returns. A team of researchers from the University of Leeds and Zhejiang University in China examined the second phase of damage and discovered a mechanism in neurons that, once removed, causes a reduction in the damage to brain function.

If you are interested in learning more about neurological diseases, consider taking Diseases of the Nervous System (BIPN 150).

– Neil Srinivas | Jr. Research Editor