While legions of medical researchers have been looking to understand the genetic basis of disease and how mutations may affect human health, a group of biomedical researchers at UC Santa Barbara is studying the metabolism of cells and their surrounding tissue, to ferret out ways in which certain diseases begin. This approach, which includes computer modeling, can be applied to Type 2 diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases, among others.
MCDB scientists have discovered that breaking a biological signaling system in an embryo allows them to change the destiny of a cell. The findings could lead to new ways of making replacement organs.
The MCDB department is excited to announce the successful recruitment of two outstanding scientists from Johns Hopkins University, Drs. Denise and Craig Montell.
The Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Department is committed to improving science literacy and inspiring the next generation of scientists. By creating alliances with local educators and the community, we are working to enhance the science knowledge base and awareness in the schools and to inform the community about the exciting biology research occurring here at UCSB and throughout the scientific community. These outreach activities also involves students at the university and allows them to gain experience in a biology teaching environment.
Scientists in the laboratory of Dr. Thomas Weimbs have demonstrated that a new drug is effective in treating a very common genetic disease, polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Over 600,000 people in the U.S., and 12 million worldwide, are affected by PKD, a disease that is characterized by the proliferation of thousands of cysts that eventually debilitate the kidneys, causing kidney failure in half of all patients by the time they reach age 50. The is currently no available treatment for this disease. In collaboration with the Indiana-based biopharmaceutical company Endocyte, Dr.
In 1965, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore made a prediction about computing that has held true to this day. Moore’s law, as it came to be known, forecasted that the number of transistors we’d be able to cram onto a circuit—and thereby, the effective processing speed of our computers—would double roughly every two years. Remarkably enough, this rule has been accurate for nearly 50 years, but most experts now predict that this growth will slow by the end of the decade.
UC Santa Barbara scientists turned to the simple sponge to find clues about the evolution of the complex nervous system and found that, but for a mechanism that coordinates the expression of genes that lead to the formation of neural synapses, sponges and the rest of the animal world may not be so distant after all. Their findings, titled “Functionalization of a protosynaptic gene expression network,” are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Imagine being able to mathematically compute the entire process by which an embryo develops into an animal. Such a capability holds enormous promise for medicine, pointing to the potential for determining when and where development can go awry, and paving the way to possible solutions.
After an announcement by federal officials approving clinical trials for the drug Crenezumab, researchers searching for a way to treat Alzheimer’s Disease are gearing up for a rare study that will allow them to test a therapy for a genetically predestined disease - before its onset.
UC Santa Barbara researchers have discovered Salmonella bacteria that are up to 100 times more capable of causing disease. Their findings may help prevent food poisoning outbreaks that continue to plague public health and the food industry.