CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 31, 2007 |
Leslie Orgel, the Salk Institute theoretical chemist who was the father of the RNA world theory of the origin of life and who joined with Nobel laureate Francis Crick to postulate that life might have been seeded on Earth by a higher intelligence, died at the San Diego Hospice & Palliative Care on Oct. 27 from pancreatic cancer. He was 80. Reasoning that DNA was too complex to have been the first repository of genetic information, Orgel and others speculated that RNA could have preceded it, simplifying the evolutionary process.
February 22, 2007 |
A NASA space telescope for the first time has identified molecules in the atmospheres of worlds outside our solar system. Recent observations indicate that two giant gas planets trillions of miles away are cloudier and drier than theorists had predicted. However, just as important as the unprecedented scientific data is the potential the discovery holds for eventually finding life on distant Earth-like bodies.
February 11, 2006 |
Depressed loner mice get more sociable when researchers delete a memory molecule from their brains, a finding that might help treat human ills like social phobia and post-traumatic stress, scientists said Thursday. This molecular therapy worked about as well as giving mice the antidepressants Prozac or Tofranil, the researchers reported in the current issue of the journal Science.
September 7, 2005 |
Rather than a dirty snowball darting across the solar system, the comet targeted by a NASA probe July 4 turns out to be a "snowy dirtball" instead, made mostly of dust, according to the first detailed results from the Deep Impact comet-hunting mission. Mixed in the dust is a soup of potentially life-spawning organic compounds all wrapped within a ball of space fluff with less consistency than a snowbank, scientists reported Tuesday.
October 16, 2004 |
After more than a decade of study and many false leads, researchers have identified the key protein in the ear that translates sound into electrical signals that can be understood by the brain. "This is the most important molecule in the ear," said neurobiologist Peter Gillespie of the Oregon Health & Science University. "Identifying it is getting at the real kernel of how the inner ear works."
January 3, 2004 |
A small group of molecules has been shown to inhibit a deadly toxin associated with inhalational anthrax, a discovery that could lead to new ways of treating the disease, researchers said Monday. Anthrax produces large amounts of a toxin that can kill a person even after antibiotics have destroyed the bacteria, Dr. Lewis Cantley of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and his colleagues reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
August 31, 2003 |
Just because a discipline still exists largely in science fiction is no reason it can't have its own university department. The California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA and UC Santa Barbara means to take us beyond the computer chip to a world where molecules themselves can be controlled, with revolutionary implications for medicine, engineering and, well, fashion.
July 28, 2003 |
Birth control has been dominated for decades by hormones and barriers, or more specifically, pills, condoms and diaphragms. But the next generation of contraceptives may prevent pregnancy by blocking specific genes and proteins. Using technological advances from the fields of molecular biology, genetics and genomics, researchers are identifying targets unique to reproductive cells.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 27, 2003 |
Daniel Kivelson, 73, a UCLA chemistry professor and administrator who studied molecular movement in liquids, died Wednesday at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine of cancer. The New York native earned bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from Harvard, and was awarded Guggenheim, Sloan and Fulbright fellowships. He taught briefly at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before moving to UCLA in 1955.
November 14, 2002 |
Testing blood for amounts of a small molecule called C-reactive protein may be a better predictor of heart disease than the current method of testing cholesterol, a study of nearly 28,000 women has found. The report, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, is the largest yet to find such a link and is likely to influence national guidelines for monitoring heart disease risk, which are currently under review. Heart specialists reacted enthusiastically to the study.