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Manipulation of Ataxin 2 Gene (ATXN2) to Treat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Stress granules are transient protein-RNA complexes that are formed and dismantled inside the cytosol as a result of external stress or injury to neurons. Several genes whose mutation causes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and multisystem proteinopathies are RNA binding proteins. Currently, there are no known techniques that have demonstrated reducing or removing these genes will increase the lifespan of disease neurons that model ALS.   The Ataxin 2 gene belongs to a group of genes associated with microsatellite-expansion diseases, a class of neurological and neuromuscular disorders caused by expansion of short stretches of repetitive DNA, that include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, spinocerebellar ataxia-2, and may be associated with susceptibility to type I diabetes, obesity and hypertension.

Preventing the Buildup of Potentially Toxic Protein Aggregates Through Manipulation of Fused in Sarcoma RNA Binding Protein (FUS)

The FUS gene encodes a multifunctional protein component of the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) complex. The hnRNP complex is involved in pre-mRNA splicing and the export of fully processed mRNA to the cytoplasm. This protein belongs to the FET family of RNA-binding proteins (FUS, EWSR1 and TAF15, constitute the FET protein family) which have been implicated in cellular processes that include regulation of gene expression, maintenance of genomic integrity and mRNA/microRNA processing. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants. Defects in this gene result in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis type 6. Stress granules are transient protein-RNA complexes that are formed and dismantled inside the cytosol as a result of external stress or injury to neurons. Several genes whose mutation causes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and multisystem proteinopathies are RNA binding proteins. Currently, there are no known techniques that have demonstrated reducing or removing these genes will increase the lifespan of disease neurons that model ALS.

DARTS: Deep Learning Augmented RNA-seq Analysis of Transcript Splicing

Researchers led by Yi Xing have developed a novel deep learning algorithm to detect alternative splicing patterns in RNA-seq data

Easy to Wear Dry EEG Sensors for Human–Computer Interactions

Measurements based on electroencephalogram (EEG) are made by placing electrodes over a human scalp to apply and receive electrical signals. Various implementations of EEG sensors are available. The electroencephalogram (EEG) has recently gained popularity for use in various non-clinical studies but still lacks any robust, single application outside well-controlled laboratory environments. As the limitations of EEG are mostly due to the low spatial resolution, using multiple bio-sensing modalities proves to be better performing than EEG alone

Carborane-Based Histone Deacetylase (HDAC) Inhibitors

UCLA researchers from the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry have developed a new class of Histone Deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors that can be tuned for isoform specificity and other properties.

Mobile Microscopy Camera

A portable camera device that combines fluorescent imaging with optical sectioning capability of microscopic samples and wireless data transfer. This 3D sectioning imaging system and fluorescent detection will detect bacteria for ease use in remote areas for on-site diagnosis and will connect to a smartphone. The technology will lead to significant improvements in public health.

Low-Cost And Portable Uv Holographic Microscope For High-Contrast Protein Crystal Imaging

UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical Engineering have developed an on-chip UV holographic imaging microscope that offers a low-cost, portable, and robust technique to image and distinguish protein crystals from salt crystals.

Circulating Lipidomic Signature To Identify Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty liver disease (or steatohepatis) is often associated with excessive alcohol intake or obesity, but also has other causes such as metabolic deficiencies including insulin resistance and diabetes. The causation of a fatty liver results from triglyceride fat accumulation in vacuoles of the liver cells resulting in decreased liver function, and possibly leading to cirrhosis or hepatic cancer. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) represents a spectrum of disease occurring in the absence of alcohol abuse. There is a clinical need for a simple test to identify individuals with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in the population. While circulating lipids have been used for this purpose, the large number of analytes within the human lipidome makes it cumbersome to utilize this approach for high throughput screening.

Expression-based Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder and Potential Prognosis of other Complex Diseases

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder with prenatal and early postnatal biological onset. Genetic factors contribute to the predisposition and development of ASD with estimated heritability rates of 50-83%. Large-scale genetic studies have implicated several hundred risk (rASD) genes that appear to be associated with many different pathways, cell processes, and neurodevelopmental stages. This highly heterogeneous genetic landscape has raised challenges in elucidating the biological mechanisms involved in the disorder. While rigorous proof remains lacking, current evidence suggests that rASD genes fall into networks and biological processes that modulate one or more critical stages of prenatal and early postnatal brain development, including neuronal proliferation, migration, neurite growth, synapse formation and function. However, these insights are mostly gained from focused studies on single rASD genes or based on transcriptome data of non-ASD brains, leaving an incomplete picture of rASD-induced molecular changes at the individual level and relationships with early-age clinical heterogeneity.

Virtual Reality Visualization Of Dynamic Images Using Deformable Image Segmentation

Researchers led by Tzung Hsiai from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA have developed a way to visualize moving objects using virtual reality.

A New Human-Monitor Interface For Interpreting Clinical Images

UCLA researchers in the Department of Radiological Sciences have invented a novel interactive tool that can rapidly focus and zoom on a large number of images using eye tracking technology.

Sustained Intracellular RNA Delivery and Expression

UCLA researchers in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have developed a novel method for high protein expression levels, in situ, involving RNA-based therapeutics.

Murine Femoral Critical Defect Model

UCLA researchers in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery have developed an implant system for bone fracture in the mouse femur as a model of intramembranous bone healing.

Glucose-conjugated magnetonanoparticles for visualization and treatment of neoplasms and neurological disorders by MRI

Researchers at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior have developed magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) functionalized with deoxyglucose that can be used as tissue-specific contrast agents for MRI. These novel MNPs can help physicians and researchers to differentiate neoplastic, epileptic, parkinsonian, or Alzheimer tissues from normal tissue based on the metabolic activity of the tissue.

Method to Reuse Multielectrode Arrays in Rodents

Researchers at the University of California have developed a protocol to enable the reuse of MEA probes.  Using this protocol, the MEA probes can be carefully peeled off undamaged from a protective layer, cleaned with ethanol and stored for re-use.  In addition, at each reuse the measured electrode impedances remain within the normal range set by the manufacturer for every channel and the probes may be reused up to six times.  This protocol is an improvement over the existing published protocols in that (1) these particular MEA electrodes are available commercially in a variety of configurations; (2) the MEA can be reused a number of times in order to record EEG in freely moving mice. Fig. 2 Setup of MEA EEG that allowed for enhanced reusability.

The Bic Inhibitor Of Cry-Cry And Cry-Cib Oligomerization/ Clustering

UCLA researchers in the Department of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology have discovered two Arabidopsis proteins, BIC1 and BIC2, that are capable of inhibiting light-dependent dimerization of cryptochrome (CRY) molecules. These BICs can be used as an improved drug screening platform through controlled, titratable, label-free and reversible protein – protein interactions.

Thaw Gelation Process for Encapsulating Cell Spheroids

Researchers at the University of California Davis have developed a thaw gelation process for the formation of cell spheroids within a hydrogel shell.

A High Throughput Biochemical Fluorometric Method For Measuring HDL Redox Activity

UCLA researchers in the Department of Medicine have developed a method of screening for the functional properties of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in the blood that may serve as a more accurate risk indicator of cardiovascular disease.

A Flexible Simulator for Rational Single-Cell RNA Sequencing Experimental Design

Researchers led by Professor Jingyi Li from the Statistics Department at UCLA have developed a simulator that allows researchers to optimally design single-cell RNA sequencing experiments in a cost-effective manner.

Methods For Modulating And Assaying M6a In Stem Cell Populations

The Xing group at UCLA has discovered a method for modulating and assaying m6A in stem cell populations.

A Bio-Impedance Measurement Technique Using Biphasic Current Stimulus Excitation for Implantable Stimulators

UCLA researchers from the Department of Bioengineering have developed a novel efficient, low-cost, low-power technique for measuring the bio-impedance at the electrode-tissue interface, which can be incorporated into implantable stimulators.

Lipid Bilayer Formation Using Sessile Droplets

UCLA researchers in the Department of Bioengineering have developed a method to form a biologically functional lipid bilayer in a high-throughput and automated fashion.

Predicting the Placebo Response and Placebo Responders in Medicated and Unmedicated Patients Using Baseline Psychometric and Clinical Assessment Score

UCLA researchers have developed a method and model to predict the placebo effect and placebo responsiveness using the 30-item baseline positive and negative syndrome scales (PANSS) scores, within both the medicated and unmedicated Schizophrenia patients.

A Non-Progressive Sampling Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT) Method

UCLA researchers in the Department of Radiation Oncology have developed a novel direct aperture optimization method for volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) to solve the current arc optimization problem.

3D Population Maps for Noninvasively Identifying Phenotypes and Pathologies in Individual Patients

UCLA researchers in the Department of Radiological Sciences have developed a novel computation system that uses large imaging datasets to aid in clinical diagnosis and prognosis.

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