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May 2016arrow

Calcium channels team up to activate excitable cells

May 18, 2016

Voltage-gated calcium channels open in unison, rather than independently, to allow calcium ions into and activate excitable cells such as neurons and muscle cells, researchers with UC Davis Health System and the University of Washington have found.

Physicians can counsel patients to prevent gun violence, experts say

May 17, 2016

It is not illegal for physicians to ask their patients about firearms, counsel them as they would on any other health matter, and disclose that information to third parties when necessary, according to a review of the literature by physicians at UC Davis, Brown University, and the University of Colorado who are helping to lead the effort to prevent firearm-related injuries in the U.S.

UC Davis researchers identify new metabolic disorder

May 12, 2016

Researchers at UC Davis have identified a new metabolic disorder that affects newborns and leads to death hours after their birth. Identification of the genetic defect has meant the delivery of a healthy newborn to a mother who earlier had lost two other newborns to the condition.

More research needed to identify and measure quality of autism interventions

May 10, 2016

With the dramatic rise of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the numbers and types of interventions promoted to families and individuals with autism have surged as well.

Device worn on eyeglasses offers hope for people with low vision

May 5, 2016

A miniature camera using optical character-recognition technology, mounted onto the eyeglasses of people who are considered legally blind, dramatically improves their ability to read an email, newspaper article, menu or page in a book, a study by researchers with UC Davis Health System.

UC Davis teams receive prestigious CITRIS awards for innovation in human health

May 4, 2016

Three UC Davis Health System teams have been selected from among 54 highly competitive proposals to receive awards to develop innovative information technology solutions in human health care from the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society — CITRIS — a collaboration of the UC campuses at Berkeley, Davis, Merced and Santa Cruz. The grants are awarded in collaboration with the Banatao Institute founded by high-tech entrepreneur and philanthropist Dado Banatao.  

Autism and cancer share a remarkable number of risk genes in common

May 3, 2016

Autism and cancer share more than 40 risk genes, suggesting that common mechanisms underlying the functions of some of these genes could conceivably be leveraged to develop therapies not just for cancer but for autism as well, an extensive assessment by researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute and Comprehensive Cancer Center has found.

Antibiotics allow gut pathogens to breathe

May 2, 2016

Antibiotics are essential for fighting bacterial infection, but, paradoxically, they can also make the body more prone to infection and diarrhea. Research led by Andreas Bäumler, professor of medical immunology and microbiology at UC Davis Health System, has identified the chain of events that occur within the gut lumen after antibiotic treatment that allow “bad” bugs to flourish.

Common supplement boosts kidney cancer therapy

May 2, 2016

Researchers at UC Davis have shown that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a fatty acid commonly found in fish and fish oil supplements, reduces renal cell carcinoma invasiveness, growth rate, and blood vessel growth when combined with the anti-cancer therapy regorafenib. The study was published in the May issue of the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.

Targeted hepatitis B virus screening effective in addressing infection, liver disease risk

May 2, 2016

A community-based hepatitis B virus screening effort led by UC Davis researchers found that targeted outreach to Asian American populations can identify groups at high risk for infection and direct them to appropriate follow-up care to help prevent the onset of liver diseases, including cancer.

April 2016arrow

Stem cell research reveals myelin repair capacity

April 28, 2016

In a study published today in Cell Reports, Wenbin Deng and his colleagues present data showing that immature astroglial transplants, derived from human-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), are highly protective against white matter brain injury — which can occur from lack of oxygen following a stroke or in childbirth — and can improve spatial learning and memory function in mouse models.

Distance language intervention helps adolescents with disabilities communicate

April 27, 2016

Sean Sawicki, who has fragile X syndrome, can be hard to understand and doesn’t always have the attention span to carry on a sustained conversation. But a novel intervention developed by UC Davis MIND Institute researchers seems to be making a difference.

SU2C awards Albeck Innovative Research Grant

April 26, 2016

UC Davis molecular biologist John Albeck is among 10 recipients chosen to receive a 2016 Innovative Research Grant (IRG) from Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C), a non-profit that supports innovative, high-risk, high-reward projects to accelerate the pace of cancer research and give patients access to new therapies as quickly as possible.

Weighing the pros and cons of mental-health apps

April 26, 2016

“There’s an app for that.” The phrase is so ubiquitous it’s a meme, and trademarked by Apple Inc.

New study tests stem cells as a treatment for degenerative disc disease

April 25, 2016

As part of a new multicenter clinical trial, UC Davis Health System researchers will test whether a novel stem cell treatment can reduce the pain and mobility issues caused by degenerative disc disease.

UC Davis MIND Institute joins SPARK, nation's largest autism research study

April 21, 2016

The UC Davis MIND Institute in Sacramento, Calif. today helped launch SPARK, an online research initiative designed to become the largest autism study ever undertaken in the United States. Sponsored by the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI), SPARK will collect information and DNA for genetic analysis from 50,000 individuals with autism — and their families — to advance our understanding of the causes of this condition and to hasten the discovery of supports and treatments. [español]

International Cancer Genome Consortium for Medicine launch announced

April 17, 2016

The International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) today announced plans to launch of the International Cancer Genome Consortium for Medicine (ICGCmed), a new phase in the consortium’s evolution that will link genomics to clinical information and health.

Use of clot-blocking device should be rare, UC Davis study finds

April 13, 2016

Devices intended to stop potentially deadly blood clots from reaching the lungs can help a small portion of the patients who receive them but can also increase the risk of additional clots, researchers at UC Davis Health System have found.

Radiation improves survival in older patients with soft tissue sarcomas

April 11, 2016

UC Davis researchers have shown that radiation therapy following surgery benefits older patients more than their younger counterparts, a surprising finding that could change the way some patients are treated for soft tissue sarcomas (STS).

Behavioral Health Center of Excellence holds seminar on Firearm Violence and Mental Illness

April 7, 2016

Each year in the United States, firearm violence results in approximately 30,000 deaths and 75,000 nonfatal injuries to patients seen in hospital emergency rooms. Garen Wintemute, internationally renowned director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at UC Davis Health System, will discuss “Firearm Violence and Mental Illness.”

Whites receive more state funding for autism services than other racial/ethnic groups

April 4, 2016

Whites with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in California receive more state funding than Hispanics, African Americans, Asians and others, new research from UC Davis Health System has found. The study also showed that spending on ASD increases dramatically with age. [en español]

March 2016arrow

Cancer gene twice as likely to be defective in children with autism

March 30, 2016

A large study by researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute has found that a gene whose role is to suppress cellular damage from environmental stressors is nearly twice as likely to be defective in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and that the deficit is also present in their fathers.

Vascular brain injury is evident in people in their 40s

March 28, 2016

A large, multicenter study led by the UC Davis School of Medicine for the first time has shown that people as young as their 40s have stiffening of the arteries that is associated with subtle structural damage to the brain that is implicated in cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease later in life.

New target makes end run against therapy-resistant prostate cancer

March 28, 2016

Researchers at UC Davis, in collaboration with the other institutions, have found that suppressing the nuclear receptor protein ROR-γ with small-molecule compounds can reduce androgen receptor (AR) levels in castration-resistant prostate cancer and stop tumor growth.

Hispanics with dementia receive antipsychotic medications at twice the rate of non-Hispanics

March 24, 2016

Antipsychotic medications are prescribed to Hispanics with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias at higher rates than non-Hispanic whites, for dementia-related mental-health symptoms such as depression, anxiety and aggression, a UC Davis study conducted using data from a large and diverse population of elderly dementia patients has found.

Cells sensing hostile takeover by pathogens also sound alarm to alert immune system

March 23, 2016

Researchers at UC Davis have discovered an unexpected link between how the immune system sounds an alarm when its cells are taken over by pathogens during an infection and how an inflammatory response is triggered. The finding of this novel link, published in the journal Nature on March 23, is important because it helps researchers understand how a cell senses bacterial or viral infection, and how these pathways are linked to inflammatory diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes and atherosclerosis.

Heavy, persistent pot use linked to economic and social problems at midlife

March 23, 2016

A research study that followed children from birth up to age 38 has found that people who smoked cannabis four or more days of the week over many years ended up in a lower social class than their parents, with lower-paying, less skilled and less prestigious jobs than those who were not regular cannabis smokers. [en español]

Targeted interview technique could help doctors improve patient outcomes

March 21, 2016

New UC Davis Health System research shows that physicians can quickly and easily use a directed communication approach known as SEE IT (or Self-Efficacy Enhancing Interviewing Techniques) that is designed to boost patient confidence in managing chronic disease symptoms and increase the likelihood that they will make healthy changes that improve outcomes.

State stem cell agency approves research funding for UC Davis scientists

March 21, 2016

Two new UC Davis research efforts, one aimed at addressing fatal early childhood conditions known as Tay-Sachs and Sandhoff disease, the other designed to develop an immunotherapy that would eradicate solid tumor cancer stem cells and create sustained anti-tumor effects, have been approved for funding by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).

School of Medicine again ranked among nation's best

March 16, 2016

Once again, U.S. News & World Report has ranked UC Davis School of Medicine among America's best medical schools for the quality of its educational programs in primary care and research.

Human stem cells target Huntington's disease

March 15, 2016

In a promising finding for research into Huntington’s disease (HD) — the devastating inherited neurodegenerative disorder — a team of UC Davis investigators has identified for the first time a way to use human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to deliver the key brain protein growth factor that is dramatically diminished by Huntington’s disease.

UC Davis environmental health researcher receives grant for DDT study

March 4, 2016

UC Davis environmental scientist Michele La Merrill is among five exceptional early-career scientists receiving grants from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) for research on how substances in the environment could harm human health.