Four scientists from UC Santa Barbara contributed to the sequencing of the genome of a Great Barrier Reef marine sponge, from a 650 million-year-old group of organisms -- a project that indicates there were astonishingly rich genetic resources available at the dawn of the animal kingdom. The sequencing also reveals some basic information about cancer. The findings were published in the August 5th issue of the scientific journal Nature.
In a transformative paper published in the May 21 issue of the journal Science, Erkki Ruoslahti, distinguished professor, Kazuki Sugahara, and fellow researchers at UCSB's MCDB department and the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, have shown that a chain of amino acids (called the iRGD peptide), when co-administered with anti-cancer drugs in mice, make those drugs more effective by guiding them to solid tumors and helping them penetrate deeply into tumor tissue.
At UC Santa Barbara, hundreds of sophomores take the introductory biology course each year. Soon, each one will have the opportunity to perform original research on the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, a widely used genetic model for biomedical research, thanks to a $1 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).
Erkki Ruoslahti, distinguished professor in MCDB and UCSB's Sanford-Burnham Institute for Medical Research, has received the decoration of the Commander of the Order of the Lion of Finland. The award was presented by Kirsti Westphalen, the Consul General of Finland.
Scientists led by MCDB Harriman Chair Ken Kosik have made a major discovery in how the brain encodes memories. The finding, published in the December 24 issue of the journal Neuron, could eventually lead to the development of new drugs to aid memory. The team of scientists uncovered a central process in encoding memories that occurs at the level of the synapse, where neurons connect with each other.
Researchers at the Sanford/Burnham Institute for Medical Research at UCSB have identified a peptide that specifically recognizes and penetrates cancerous tumors but not normal tissues. The peptide was also shown to deliver diagnostic particles and medicines into the tumor. This new peptide, called iRGD, could dramatically enhance both cancer detection and treatment. Led by MCDB Distinguished Burnham Professor Erkki Ruoslahti, M.D., Ph.D., this research built on Dr.
A team led by MCDB Professor Dennis Clegg and Pete Coffey, of University College London (UCL) has rescued visual function in laboratory rats with eye disease by using cells similar to stem cells. The research shows the potential for stem cell-based therapies to treat age-related macular degeneration in humans.
Study finds how proteins self assemble to reflect different wavelengths of light.
Carol W. Greider, a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, has been awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Greider shares the Nobel with Elizabeth H. Blackburn and Jack W. Szostak. The three were honored for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase. While a UCSB undergraduate in the College of Creative Studies, Dr. Greider did research in the lab of MCDB Professor Les Wilson, and after graduating went on to do her prize-winning Ph.D. work with Elizabeth Blackburn at U.C. Berkeley.
The green mussel is known for being a notoriously invasive fouling species, but researchers in the lab of MCDB & Chemistry and Biochemistry Professor Herb Waite have discovered that it also has a very powerful form of adhesion in its foot. The stickiness of the mussel's foot could possibly be copied to form new man-made adhesives.