Research Spotlight

Predicting how cancer patients will respond to treatments has been a major challenge in the field of oncology, but a new preclinical laboratory model may help to more accurately predict treatment outcomes.

Have you ever stood in a high place and felt the instinctive drive to step back and find safety? Researchers studying the brains of mice may have found the neurons responsible for such deep-seated anxieties.

UC San Francisco scientists have invented a technique that lets them precisely and reversibly disrupt the action of specific cellular proteins at a microscopic scale by making them split apart when illuminated with blue light.

In 2015, a seven-year old boy in Germany lost 60% of his skin due to a genetic disorder. Miraculously, after all conventional treatments had failed and he was nearing death, engineered skin cells were able to promote regrowth of his skin.

Prioritization is an important skill in life, ensuring that the most important tasks are completed first -- turns out the body prioritizes immune response over emotional health.

Cancer is an ever-present scourge in modern society. More than 1.6 million Americans were diagnosed with cancer in 2016, and it is estimated to cost American citizens more than $156 billion annually by 2020. Understanding how a tumor changes through time and recurs after surgery or treatment, as well as what types of drugs best kill the tumor, are essential for improving human cancer therapies. Frequently, mouse models of cancer are used to study the disease and evaluate possible therapeutics, but a recent study from the Broad Institute Cancer Program demonstrates that mouse models do not represent human tumor evolution as well as thought, and these models may yield false-positive drug responses.
Scientists are making discoveries that give hope to global improvements in healthy pregnancies. The immune system is naturally primed to prevent invaders from thriving in the human body. Pregnancy presents an interesting challenge where immunity must balance defense and fetal tolerance — the fetus is foreign but must thrive. A mother reconfigures her own own defense system, constantly, as the fetus grows and changes.

For years we have known that spaceflight causes immune dysfunction, weakening the human body’s ability to fight off even the common cold.

Image of a handheld glucometer, continuous glucose monitor, and insulin pump.

Electronic monitoring and storing of health data is all of the rage right now. Many of us track the number of steps we take with our mobile phones or smart watches, log food consumption, and measure our heart rate. But would you trust a mobile health app to decide when you should receive a life saving, but in some cases, life threatening, drug? For diabetics, this possibility is approaching reality.

Our DNA fits into our cells by tightly coiling into structures called chromosomes. During cell division, the machinery that is responsible for DNA replication cannot replicate the very ends of chromosomes, so some genetic information may be lost d