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SCIENCE
June 13, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
The U.S. Supreme Court decision that Myriad Genetics cannot patent two genes linked to ovarian and breast cancer came as welcome relief to researchers whose work on BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes had been thwarted by legal challenges from the company. But while researchers and clinicians no longer will receive cease-and-desist orders from Myriad, they will have to labor for years to catch up with the data and analysis the Utah-based company has been able to accumulate during the 17 years it held a U.S. monopoly on analyzing the genes, said Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla.
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NEWS
January 8, 2011 | By Karen Kaplan
Organic produce is more expensive than the conventional variety, and there are many reasons why consumers fork over that extra money. But if one of those reasons is a belief that organic fruits and veggies are healthier, Danish researchers have some bad news. A detailed scientific assessment of carrots, potatoes and onions – some grown conventionally and some grown organically – found that all of the veggies had essentially the same levels of flavonoids and phenolic acids, two types of nutrients that are thought to be helpful in preventing ailments such as heart disease, cancer and dementia.
NEWS
July 21, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
Researchers at De Montfort University, the University of York and Loughborough University in Britain have released a study suggesting that many students with sickle cell disease aren't getting the help they need from their schools.   Sickle cell disease is a rare, inherited blood condition - in the U.S., most prevalent in African Americans - that causes sufferers to develop abnormally shaped, "sickled" red blood cells that clog blood vessels and cause complications such as chronic severe pain, organ damage and sometimes stroke.
NEWS
September 17, 2010
British researchers reported Friday that it may be possible to identify people who are going to develop Type 2 diabetes even before symptoms occur. If the test can be verified, it might be possible to screen people who are at higher-than-normal risk of developing diabetes and intervene before symptoms, and the broad spectrum of complications that accompany them, occur. Triggered by increases in obesity, Type 2 diabetes is becoming a major health problem, with an estimated 285 million people worldwide now affected by the disease -- a number that is expected to grow to 400 million by 2030.
NEWS
September 6, 2012 | By Mary MacVean
As a parent, I never wished popularity on my children; it takes a lot of work to stay on top. And researchers have come up with a reason I hadn't thought of: Popular kids are more likely to smoke cigarettes, they say. The conclusion, published Wednesday in the Journal of Adolescent Health, is based on surveys among teenagers in ninth and 10 th grades at seven predominantly Latino high schools in the Los Angeles area. It confirms previous studies about high school students in the U.S. and Mexico.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 3, 2014 | By Hector Tobar
We all know that reading a novel can transport you, delight you and intrigue you while you're reading it. Now, thanks research by scientists at Emory University, we know that immersing yourself in a novel causes measurable physical changes in the brain that can be detected up to five days after the reader closes the book. The Emory researchers, in a paper for the journal Brain Connectivity, compared the effect to “muscle memory.” "The neural changes that we found associated with physical sensation and movement systems suggest that reading a novel can transport you into the body of the protagonist," neuroscientist Gregory Berns said, according to a report in the journal Science Codex . "We already knew that good stories can put you in someone else's shoes in a figurative sense.
SCIENCE
May 7, 2013 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
The history of Europe is written in its people's DNA. The Huns and the Slavs made incursions into Eastern Europe about 1,500 years ago. Migrants moved from Ireland to England in recent centuries. Populations in Italy and Spain have been comparatively stable. None of this is breaking news. But scientists were able to see it anew by examining the patterns of genes in 2,257 people now living in 40 countries on the continent. It's surprising "how much past history was still evident in the patterns we've seen," said Peter Ralph, a computational biologist at USC who reported the findings Tuesday in the journal PLOS Biology.
SCIENCE
July 17, 2010 | By Rachel Bernstein, Los Angeles Times
Malaria kills nearly 1 million people a year, but it has a weakness — to infect humans, it needs mosquitoes. In a potential step toward eradicating the disease, researchers report that they have developed a genetically engineered breed of mosquito that cannot be infected by the malaria-causing parasite. Genetically-modified mosquitoes are far from ready for use in the field, but the researchers achieved an unprecedented 100% blockage of the Plasmodium parasite, highlighting the promise of this approach, according to their study.
NEWS
July 24, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
Discriminating against someone for being fat isn't real helpful. That's something scientists have already documented for issues like depression. But a new study says it also seems to make people gain weight. “Rather than motivating individuals to lose weight, weight discrimination increases risk for obesity,” the researchers wrote  in an article released Wednesday in the journal PLOS One. It seems logical that calling someone names  - or worse - for being fat would discourage them from taking part in gym class or other physical activities, and that happens, the researchers said.
NEWS
October 30, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
It's not just what you eat but where and how you eat that seems to affect obesity, say researchers who looked at the effects of family dinner rituals. Families who frequently ate dinner in the kitchen or dining room had significantly lower body mass indices for adults and children, compared with families who ate elsewhere, including in front of the television, the researchers wrote. “Family meals and their rituals might be an underappreciated battleground to fight obesity,” the researchers wrote in the journal Obesity, published Wednesday.
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