News Releases from 2015

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Why the Flu Vaccine Is Less Effective in the Elderly

Around this time every year, the flu virus infects up to one-fifth of the U.S. population and kills thousands of people, many of them elderly. A study published by Cell Press on Dec. 15 in Immunity now explains why the flu vaccine is less effective at protecting older individuals. More broadly, the findings reveal novel molecular signatures that could be used to predict which individuals are most likely to respond positively to vaccination. Full Story

Chewing slowly helps prevent excessive weight gain in children

Waiting 30 seconds in between bites of food allows children to realize they’re no longer hungry before they overeat—preventing excessive weight gain. That’s the conclusion of a study published by an international team of researchers, including UC San Diego bioengineers. The study is the first clinically controlled trial to test how effective eating slowly is for detecting that feeling of satiety--and losing weight, the researchers said.   Full Story

Mobile Health, the at-home clinic

Engineers at UC San Diego aim to leverage technology that already exists within the wireless ecosystem to deepen the remote doctor-patient interaction. “How can we make a mobile phone the first line of defense in our healthcare?” asked Drew Hall, an electrical engineering professor at the Jacobs School,  Full Story

Researchers are on their way to predicting what side effects you'll experience from a drug

UC San Diego researchers have developed a model for predicting a drug’s side effects on different patients. The proof of concept study is aimed at determining how different individuals will respond to a drug treatment and could help assess whether a drug is suitable for a particular patient based on measurements taken from the patient’s blood. Full Story

UC San Diego Launches Robotics Institute

The Jacobs School of Engineering and Division of Social Sciences at UC San Diego have launched the Contextual Robotics Institute to develop safe and useful robotics systems. These robotics systems will function in the real world based on the contextual information they perceive, in real time. Elder care and assisted living, disaster response, medicine, transportation and environmental sensing are just some of the helpful applications that will emerge from tomorrow’s human-friendly robots.The Contextual Robotics Institute will leverage UC San Diego’s research strengths in engineering, computer science and cognitive science and work collaboratively across the campus and the region to establish San Diego as a leader in the research, development and production of human-friendly robotics systems. Full Story

UC San Diego Unveils Campus-Wide Microbiome and Microbial Sciences Initiative

UC San Diego has launched the Microbiome and Microbial Sciences Initiative, a concerted research and education effort that will leverage the university’s strengths in engineering, medicine, science and the humanities to produce a detailed understanding of microbiomes, and methods for manipulating them for the benefit of human health and the environment. Full Story

Bioengineers cut in half time needed to make high-tech flexible sensors

Bioengineers at UC San Diego have developed a method that cuts down by half the time needed to make high-tech flexible sensors for medical applications. The advance brings the sensors, which can be used to monitor vital signs and brain activity, one step closer to mass-market manufacturing. The new fabrication process will allow bioengineers to broaden the reach of their research to more clinical settings. It also makes it possible to manufacture the sensors with a process similar to the printing press, said Todd Coleman, the bioengineering professor at the Jacobs School leading the project.  Full Story

New electrical engineering professor brings flexible and surgical robotics to UC San Diego

A future in which robots can maneuver with high agility, dexterity and precision is not too far away. Flexible robots from electrical engineering professor Michael Yip's lab could one day assist with surgeries, lead to prosthetics capable of natural movement, and navigate through tight, complex environments with ease.   Full Story

Targeted drug delivery with these nanoparticles can make medicines more effective

Nanoparticles disguised as human platelets could greatly enhance the healing power of drug treatments for cardiovascular disease and systemic bacterial infections. These platelet-mimicking nanoparticles, developed by NanoEngineers at UC San Diego, are capable of delivering drugs to targeted sites in the body — particularly injured blood vessels, as well as organs infected by harmful bacteria.  Full Story

Mouth guard monitors health markers, transmits information wirelessly to smart phone

Engineers at UC San Diego have developed a mouth guard that can monitor health markers, such as lactate, cortisol and uric acid, in saliva and transmit the information wirelessly to a smart phone, laptop or tablet. The technology was developed by teams led by the faculty leaders of the Jacobs School's Center for Wearable Sensors. The work, which is at a proof-of-concept stage, could be used to monitor patients continuously without invasive procedures, as well as to monitor athletes’ performance or stress levels in soldiers and pilots.  Full Story