Research Roundup (Winter ’15, Week 7)

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!

Elective Human Egg Freezing on the Rise | Scientific American

More and more women are choosing to freeze their eggs for later pregnancy to increase control over their reproduction. This procedure is ideal for women who wish to delay childbirth, as women are born with a set number of eggs and the quality of the eggs degrades over time. Many companies such as Facebook and Apple have announced that they will pay for their employees’ egg freezing treatments, in the interest of allowing women to focus on their careers before having children.

If you are interested in fertility procedures, consider taking Human Reproduction and Development (BICD 134).

Jasmine Chau | Sr. Research Editor

Paper Test Quickly Detects Ebola, Dengue, and Yellow Fever | Scientific American

Researchers have developed a quick and easy way to test for Ebola, dengue, and yellow fever. The Ebola epidemic brought about a need for fast diagnoses and a way to distinguish between these three diseases, which all have similar initial symptoms. Scientists developed an 8x3cm lateral flow test, which uses a strip of paper containing antibodies attached to silver nanoparticles. These nanoparticles turn different colors depending on the disease, providing a simple diagnostic test that costs only $2.

If you are interested in diseases, consider taking Medical Microbiology (BIMM 124).

Jasmine Chau | Sr. Research Editor

Recovering attention after a stroke: Brain’s right hemisphere may be more valuable | Science Daily

Researchers found that the right hemisphere of the brain may assist a damaged left hemisphere recover after a stroke. The results show that the tasks we do every day change how our brains focus on our surroundings. By understanding how these changes occur in healthy individuals, scientists can focus on developing rehabilitative methods for behaviors that are impaired in stroke patients.

If you’re interested in learning more about strokes, consider taking The Healthy and Diseased Brain (BIPN 152).

Neil Srinivas | Jr. Research Editor

A good night’s sleep keeps your stem cells young | Science Daily

Scientists have discovered that environmental stress is a major factor in driving DNA damage in adult stem cells and have concluded that a good night’s sleep keeps your stem cells healthy. Under normal conditions, many of the different types of tissue-specific adult stem cells, including hematopoietic stem cells, exist in a state of dormancy in which they rarely divide and have very low energy demands. Normal stem cells can repair the majority of stress-induced DNA damage. However, the more often you are exposed to stress, the more likely it is that any given stem cell will inefficiently repair the damage and then die or become mutated, acting as a seed in the development of leukemia.

If you’re interested in learning more about DNA damage, consider taking Multi-Cellular Biology (BILD 2).

— Neil Srinivas | Jr. Research Editor