News In Brief
UCIPD Awards Supervisor and Officer of the Year
The UC Irvine Police Department held its second annual awards ceremony at the University Club on Thursday, Mar. 6.
Those who received awards included Sergeant Eladio Acuna who won Supervisor of the Year, Administrative Manager Marla Purcell who won Civilian of the Year and Corporal Charles Chon who won Officer of the Year.
New Therapy May Improve Brain-Related Diseases
UC Irvine researchers are studying electronic treatments created by Laguna Niguel-based company NeruoMed Devices Inc., for depression, tremors, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Dr. Leon Silverstone, owner of NeuroMed, uses nerve impulses to signal the brain to release neurochemicals, such as serotonin and endorphins, which block pain and combat a variety of diseases.
Dave Schetter, an assistant vice chancellor at UCI, felt the potential benefits of these devices “sounded too good to be true.” Schetter requested advice from UCI experts in neurochemistry to investigate this technology. They have since been analyzing several NeuroMed devices.
Their early evaluation has led them to agree that the technology is amazing, but they have yet to determine how the devices work.
Stem-cell Procedures Modified for Efficiency
UC Irvine researchers Peter Donovan, Leslie Lock and Kristi Hohenstein recently discovered a method that is estimated to be up to 100 times more efficient than current methods of producing modified human embryonic stem cells. The technique combines two older procedures used to create desired changes in stems cells.
The first method utilizes proteins called growth factors, which Donovan and Lock first identified. Growth factors are used to keep cells alive as researchers control the processes of cells such as whether they choose to st,ay as one or divide.
The second process utilized is known as nucleofection, which works through punching tiny holes into existing cells and inserting DNA so that they are modified according to the desires of the scientists. By keeping cells alive while simultaneously modifying them, researchers hope to study and potentially treat thousands of disorders including Huntington’s disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
Political Party Dominance Cycles Every Few Years, Study Shows
Research conducted by UC Irvine political science professor Bernard Grofman shows that political party dominance changes in the United States House, Senate and Presidency more often than previously thought.
According to the study, which analyzed the power held by political parties from 1856 to 2006, the Republican and Democratic parties swap positions as America’s leading party every 14 years.
The study’s findings are contrary to previous findings, which estimated that party dominance changed in roughly 30-year cycles. According to the study, the Republican Party is nearly at the end of its power cycle, making it likely that the Democratic Party will soon become America’s dominant party.