While this may look like an EKG, it’s actually what a cough looks like in a .wav file (before getting edited out).
In my early time on all 10 UC campuses, it became clear that some of the most exciting research often occurs when multiple disciplines come together around a single research topic.UC President Janet Napolitano
The banana slug is the mascot of the University of California, Santa Cruz, but ‘sluggish’ is hardly what you’d call the undergrads participating in the campus’ SLUG internship. Astrophysicist Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz explains that SLUG stands for Supercomputer Lab for Undergraduates.
Novel Technologies Advance Brain Surgery to Benefit Patients
Minimally invasive brain surgery at UC San Diego Health System
In a milestone procedure, neurosurgeons at UC San Diego Health System have integrated advanced 3D imaging, computer simulation and next-generation surgical tools to perform a highly complex brain surgery through a small incision to remove deep-seated tumors. This is the first time this complex choreography of technologies has been brought together in an operating room in California.
“Tumors located at the base of the skull are particularly challenging to treat due to the location of delicate anatomic structures and critical blood vessels,” said neurosurgeon Clark C. Chen, MD, PhD, UC San Diego Health System. “The conventional approach to excising these tumors involves long skin incisions and removal of a large piece of skull. This new minimally invasive approach is far less radical. It decreases the risk of the surgery and shortens the patient’s hospital stay.”
“A critical part of this surgery involves identifying the neural fibers in the brain, the connections that allow the brain to perform its essential functions. The orientation of these fibers determines the trajectory to the tumor,” said Chen, vice-chairman of Academic Affairs for the Division of Neurosurgery at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “We visualized these fibers with restriction spectrum imaging, a proprietary technology developed at UC San Diego. Color-coded visualization of the tracts allows us to plot the safest path to the tumor.”
After surgery planning, a 2-inch incision was made near the patient’s hairline, followed by a quarter-sized hole in the skull. The surgery was carried out through a thin tube-like retractor that created a narrow path to the tumor. Aided by a robotic arm and high-resolution cameras, the team was able to safely remove two tumors within millimeter precision.
“What we are seeing is a new wave of advances in minimally invasive surgery for patients with brain cancer,” said Bob Carter, MD, PhD, professor and chief of Neurosurgery, UC San Diego School of Medicine. “These minimally invasive approaches permit smaller incisions and a shorter recovery. In this case, the patient was able to go home the day after the successful removal of multiple brain tumors.”
Right on, ucsdhealthsciences!
When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us.Alexander Graham Bell
If you’re one of the nation’s experts on spiders and the properties of their silk, you best not have a hint of arachnophobia. Fortunately for us UC Riverside’s evolutionary biologist Cheryl Hayashi does not have this problem.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Hayashi in the past and she told us then that one of the spider silk proteins they genetically sequenced dated back about 250 million years.
That’s a really long period of time. I mean, we’re going back to the Mesozoic, when dinosaurs are walking around. And so this is a long time for these sequences to be conserved. And to us, that argues that these regions of the sequence are probably very important for the functioning of spider silks.
Hayashi explained that there’s lots of interest in creating synthetic spider silks.
Spider silk is very strong and very tough. It actually surpasses a lot of the common man-made materials. It’s stronger than high tensile steel and has a toughness that is greater than Kevlar. So there’s a lot of interest in being able to mass produce spider silk.