Research Roundup (Winter ’15, 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 might even be featured!

First contracting human muscle grown in laboratory | Science Daily

Scientists have grown human skeletal muscle in the lab that contracts and responds to stimuli like real tissue. This has the potential to be used in clinical trials to test drugs without putting a patient’s health at risk from possible side effects.

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

— Jasmine Chau | Sr. Research Editor

Antibiotics in Blood Can Make Malaria Mosquitoes Mightier | Scientific American

Scientists discovered that some antibiotics can increase a mosquito’s susceptibility to the malaria parasite, leading to to a more rapid spread of the disease. More research needs to be done on various antibiotics to see which are enabling the spread of malaria.

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

— Jasmine Chau | Sr. Research Editor

Tattoo-like sensor can detect glucose levels without painful finger prick | Science Daily

Diabetes affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Diabetics are often instructed to closely monitor their blood glucose levels to manage the disease. The standard method of checking glucose requires a prick to the finger to draw blood for testing, and the pain that is associated with this technique tends to discourage people from keeping close tabs on their glucose levels. This is about to change, as scientists have developed an ultra-thin and flexible device that sticks to the skin like a rub-on tattoo and can detect a person’s glucose levels through the use of sensors.

If you are interested in diabetes, consider taking Endocrinology (BICD 150).

— Neil Srinivas | Jr. Research Editor

Feeling cold is contagious, scientists find | Science Daily

Researchers have found that just looking at somebody shivering may be enough to make us feel cold. In the study, 36 volunteers each watched eight videos of people putting their hands in cold water. At the same time, the temperature of their own hands was measured, and it was discovered that their hands were significantly colder while watching the ‘cold’ videos than prior to the start of the videos. Researchers hypothesized that since humans are very social creatures, we naturally tend to empathize with other humans in terms of thoughts, physical feelings, and emotions.

If you are interested in psychology, consider taking General Psychology (PSYC 1).

— Neil Srinivas | Jr. Research Editor