It is the second-oldest of the general-education campuses of the University of California system. UCLA is one of the two flagship universities in the UC system (alongside the oldest UC campus at Berkeley) The university was founded in 1919 as the second campus of the University of California system. It offers 337 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. With an approximate enrollment of 29,000 undergraduate and 13,000 graduate students, UCLA is the university with the largest enrollment in the state of California and the most applied to university in the World with over 100,000 applications for fall 2013. The university has been labeled one of the Public Ivies, a publicly funded university considered as providing a quality of education comparable to those of the Ivy League.
The university is organized into five undergraduate colleges, seven professional schools, and four professional health science schools. The undergraduate colleges are the College of Letters and Science; Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science; School of the Arts and Architecture; School of Theater, Film, and Television; and School of Nursing. Fifteen Nobel laureates, one Fields Medalist, and two Turing Award winners have been affiliated with the university as faculty, researchers, or alumni.
Among the current faculty members, 51 have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, 22 to the National Academy of Engineering, 37 to the Institute of Medicine, and 120 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The university was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1974.
UCLA research articles from Innovation Toronto
- UCLA researchers create exceptionally strong and lightweight new metal – December 24, 2015
- New material developed for accelerated skin regeneration in major wounds – December 17, 2015
- FDA approves game-changing immunotherapy drug to fight lung cancer – October 6, 2015
- Completely paralyzed man voluntarily moves his legs – September 2, 2015
- Algae nutrient recycling is a triple win – August 26, 2015
- Paralyzed men move legs with new non-invasive spinal cord stimulation – August 2, 2015
- UCLA chemists devise technology that could transform solar energy storage – June 19, 2015
- An inexpensive device that can turn any smartphone into a DNA-scanning fluorescent microscope – May 4, 2015
- Artificial Haptic Intelligence: Giving Robots the Human Touch – April 10, 2015
- New Compounds Could Offer Therapy for Multitude of Diseases – March 30, 2015
- Lens-free microscope can detect cancer at the cellular level – December 21, 2014
- ‘Treasure in saliva’ may reveal deadly diseases early enough to treat them, UCLA scientists report – November 2, 2014
- Memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s reversed for first time – October 2, 2014
- UCLA biologists delay the aging process by ‘remote control’ – September 9, 2014
- To Eat or Not to Eat: New Disposable Biosensor May Help Physicians Determine Which Patients Can Safely Be Fed Following Surgery – August 9, 2014
- Memory-restoring implants coming from DARPA – July 10, 2014
- 3D Printed, Life-sized Sand Castles Could be the Mobile Homes of the Future – April 15, 2014
- New data compression method reduces big-data bottleneck; outperforms, enhances JPEG
- VIDEO: University of Virginia Engineers are Designing, Building Mechanical Ray
- UCLA, Rice University Make Phase-Change Memory Breakthrough
- UCLA engineers develop new metabolic pathway to more efficiently convert sugars into biofuels
- UCLA researchers invent portable device for common kidney tests
- Microbial team turns corn stalks and leaves into better biofuel
- Researchers Invent New Tools to Organize Information-Overload Threatening Neuroscience
- UCLA researchers double efficiency of novel solar cell
- Brain rewires itself after damage or injury, life scientists discover
- UCLA engineers craft material for high-performance ‘supercapacitor’
- UCLA scientists turn lowly cell phone camera into lab worthy research microscope
- UCLA First to Perform New Procedure on West Coast to Safely Open Blocked Carotid Arteries
- Researchers Unveil Large Robotic Jellyfish That One Day Could Patrol Oceans
- The New Tomato — UCLA Researchers Engineer Tomatoes That Mimic Good Cholesterol
- How internet culture is rewiring us
- Guiding responsible research in geoengineering
- The Future Of Education Eliminates The Classroom, Because The World Is Your Class
- Tiny capsule effectively kills cancer cells
- On-Demand Synaptic Electronics: Circuits That Learn and Forget
- The costs of climate change can be mitigated if economic activity moves in response
- New Class of Power Inverter Could Mean Cheaper, Faster Hybrid Vehicles
- Green Tea Reduced Inflammation, May Inhibit Prostate Cancer Tumor Growth
- Device that busts blood clots in the brain could change treatment for strokes
- Ultrafast Camera Renews Promise of Blood Test for Early Cancer Detection
- UCLA’s new transparent solar film could be game-changer
- UCLA researchers create highly transparent solar cells for windows that generate electricity
- Free Speech for Computers?
- Crowd-sourcing brain research leads to breakthrough
- Brown liquor and solar cells to provide sustainable electricity
- Laser-Engraved Graphene Could Power New Kinds of Electronics
- Phone-based scanner detects harmful bacteria
- Human stem cell therapy works in blind patients in first trial
- Long-Lived Fruit Flies Offer Clues to Slowing Human Aging and Fighting Disease
- The First Fully Stretchable OLED
- Keeping Tabs on the Infrastructure, Wirelessly
- The internet at forty
- Researchers working on batteries smaller than a grain of salt
- Finding a Medical “Silver Bullet” to Disable Many of the World’s Deadliest Viruses
- New compound provides a better cage for carbon dioxide
- Getting It Wrong: Surprising Tips on How to Learn
- Printed supercapacitor could feed power-hungry gadgets
- New study offers hope for halting incurable citrus disease
- UCLA engineers develop a stretchable, foldable transparent electronic display
- New Electron Beam Writer Enables Next-Gen Biomedical and Information Technologies
- Google and NASA Snap Up Quantum Computer D-Wave Two
- Boosting ‘cellular garbage disposal’ can delay the aging process
- UCLA researchers develop new technique to scale up production of graphene micro-supercapacitors
- Smart satnav drives around the blue highway blues
- Electricity and Carbon Dioxide Used to Generate Alternative Fuel
- Drones Set Sights on U.S. Skies
- New ‘Biopsy in a Blood Test’ to Detect Cancer
- Starting up in Chile, not Silicon Valley
- Ant Harm: Can Genetic Weapons Roll Back the Expansion of Argentine Ant Supercolonies?
- Collaborating for Profits in Nanotechnology
- Far From a Lab? Turn a Cellphone Into a Microscope
- ‘Scary’ climate message from past
- Politics in the Guise of Pure Science – Classic Conundrum
Each year, approximately 700,000 people die from drug-resistant bacterial infections. A study by UCLA life scientists could be a major step toward combating drug-resistant infections. The research, reported in the journal Royal Society Interface, found that combinations of three different antibiotics can often overcome bacteria’s resistance to antibiotics, even when none of the three antibiotics on their own — or even two of the three together — is effective.
UCLA biochemists have devised a way to convert sugar into a variety of useful chemical compounds without using cells
UCLA biochemists have devised a clever way to make a variety of useful chemical compounds, which could lead to the production of biofuels and new pharmaceuticals.
“The idea of synthetic biology is to redesign cells so they will take sugar and run it through a series of chemical steps to convert it into a biofuel or a commodity chemical or a pharmaceutical,” said James Bowie, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the UCLA College, and senior author of the new research. “However, that’s extremely difficult to do. The cell protests. It will take the sugar and do other things with it that you don’t want, like build cell walls, proteins and RNA molecules. The cell fights us the whole way.”
As an alternative, Bowie and his research team have developed a promising approach he calls synthetic biochemistry that bypasses the need for cells.
“We want to do a particular set of chemical transformations — that’s all we want — so we decided to throw away the cells and just build the biochemical steps in a flask,” Bowie said. “We eliminate the annoying cell altogether.”
The biochemists purified more than two dozen enzymes in particular combinations and concentrations, put them in a flask and added glucose. The enzymes and pathways, created in Bowie’s laboratory, are not necessarily found in nature. “When we don’t have to worry about keeping cells happy, it’s easier to rearrange things the way we want,” he said.
The new building material could transform polluting emissions into a valuable resource
Imagine a world with little or no concrete. Would that even be possible? After all, concrete is everywhere — on our roads, our driveways, in our homes, bridges and buildings. For the past 200 years, it’s been the very foundation of much of our planet.
But the production of cement, which when mixed with water forms the binding agent in concrete, is also one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, about 5 percent of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions comes from concrete.
An even larger source of carbon dioxide emissions is flue gas emitted from smokestacks at power plants around the world. Carbon emissions from those plants are the largest source of harmful global greenhouse gas in the world.
A team of interdisciplinary researchers at UCLA has been working on a unique solution that may help eliminate these sources of greenhouse gases. Their plan would be to create a closed-loop process: capturing carbon from power plant smokestacks and using it to create a new building material — CO2NCRETE — that would be fabricated using 3D printers. That’s “upcycling.”
“What this technology does is take something that we have viewed as a nuisance — carbon dioxide that’s emitted from smokestacks — and turn it into something valuable,” said J.R. DeShazo, professor of public policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and director of the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation.
“I decided to get involved in this project because it could be a game-changer for climate policy,” DeShazo said. “This technology tackles global climate change, which is one of the biggest challenges that society faces now and will face over the next century.”
DeShazo has provided the public policy and economic guidance for this research. The scientific contributions have been led by Gaurav Sant, associate professor and Henry Samueli Fellow in Civil and Environmental Engineering; Richard Kaner, distinguished professor in chemistry and biochemistry, and materials science and engineering; Laurent Pilon, professor in mechanical and aerospace engineering and bioengineering; and Matthieu Bauchy, assistant professor in civil and environmental engineering.
This isn’t the first attempt to capture carbon emissions from power plants. It’s been done before, but the challenge has been what to do with the carbon dioxide once it’s captured.
“We hope to not only capture more gas,” DeShazo said, “but we’re going to take that gas and, instead of storing it, which is the current approach, we’re going to try to use it to create a new kind of building material that will replace cement.”
“The approach we are trying to propose is you look at carbon dioxide as a resource — a resource you can reutilize,” Sant said. “While cement production results in carbon dioxide, just as the production of coal or the production of natural gas does, if we can reutilize CO2 to make a building material which would be a new kind of cement, that’s an opportunity.”
The researchers are excited about the possibility of reducing greenhouse gas in the U.S., especially in regions where coal-fired power plants are abundant. “But even more so is the promise to reduce the emissions in China and India,” DeShazo said. “China is currently the largest greenhouse gas producer in the world, and India will soon be number two, surpassing us.”
Thus far, the new construction material has been produced only at a lab scale, using 3-D printers to shape it into tiny cones. “We have proof of concept that we can do this,” DeShazo said. “But we need to begin the process of increasing the volume of material and then think about how to pilot it commercially. It’s one thing to prove these technologies in the laboratory. It’s another to take them out into the field and see how they work under real-world conditions.”
“We can demonstrate a process where we take lime and combine it with carbon dioxide to produce a cement-like material,” Sant said. “The big challenge we foresee with this is we’re not just trying to develop a building material. We’re trying to develop a process solution, an integrated technology which goes right from CO2 to a finished product.
“3-D printing has been done for some time in the biomedical world,” Sant said, “but when you do it in a biomedical setting, you’re interested in resolution. You’re interested in precision. In construction, all of these things are important but not at the same scale. There is a scale challenge, because rather than print something that’s 5 centimeters long, we want to be able to print a beam that’s 5 meters long. The size scalability is a really important part.”
Another challenge is convincing stakeholders that a cosmic shift like the researchers are proposing is beneficial — not just for the planet, but for them, too.
“This technology could change the economic incentives associated with these power plants in their operations and turn the smokestack flue gas into a resource countries can use, to build up their cities, extend their road systems,” DeShazo said. “It takes what was a problem and turns it into a benefit in products and services that are going to be very much needed and valued in places like India and China.”
UCLA geochemist finds striking similarities between climate change patterns today and millions of years ago
In the early Miocene Epoch, temperatures were 10 degrees warmer and ocean levels were 50 feet higher — well above the ground level of modern-day New York, Tokyo and Berlin.
It was more than 16 million years ago, so times were different. But there was one important similarity with the world we live in today: The air contained about the same amount of carbon dioxide. That parallel raises serious concerns about the stability of ice sheets in Antarctica, according to a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
All told, Antarctica’s glaciers are the size of the United States and Mexico combined, and they contain enough water to raise the world’s sea level by 180 feet. And although no humans live permanently in Antarctica, what happens there impacts everyone, said Aradhna Tripati, a geochemist at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability who collaborated on the research.
“The ice sheets serve as huge stores of water,” Tripati said. “As the ice melts, it gets dumped in the ocean and the sea level rises.”
The study is the latest revelation of ANDRILL, a $20 million research project focused on the South Pole. The effort, now 12 years old, has involved 100 researchers from seven countries. ANDRILL researchers were the first to bore holes through Antarctic ice shelves and sea ice to sample the ocean floor below.
Previous research showed that ice shelves — the parts of the ice sheets that extend over water — are vulnerable to even small increases in greenhouse gases. But the new study, which was written by Richard Levy of GNS Science, a New Zealand research organization, was the first to demonstrate that the huge, land-based glaciers are also vulnerable.
David Harwood, a University of Nebraska paleontologist who led the study, said the project’s goal was to see what prehistoric environments could tell us about the modern era of climate change.
“We’re drilling back into the past to understand the future and how dynamic our planet can be,” he said.
To do that, researchers set 90 tons worth of drilling equipment on a floating sea ice in McMurdo Sound, where conditions can be particularly harsh: The average August temperature is minus 23 degrees Fahrenheit, and savage windstorms can occur at a moment’s notice. Using a diamond-tipped tubular drill, researchers bored through 24 feet of ice, 1,200 feet of water and 3,300 feet of ocean floor. The rock samples they collected preserve a chronological record of environmental conditions dating back 20 million years.
The samples were sent to Tripati for analysis. As she looked at the sedimentary layers, a story began to emerge. Samples that were formed during warmer times, when the ice shelf was gone or unstable, were tan-colored and rich with fossils. But samples drawn from years when the sea was covered with ice, were mostly rock with fossils from only a few deep sea organisms.
Looking even closer, Tripati examined individual molecules from the samples to determine air and water temperatures at different times in history. Warmer times correlated with higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, melting ice shelves and the loss of parts of the East Antarctic ice sheet.
According to Tripati, scientists are seeing early signs of the same conditions today.
“If carbon dioxide is sustained at current levels, we run the risk of Antarctic ice shelf disappearance,” she said.
The ice shelves are critical because they act like a cork in a Champagne bottle, holding back the huge, land-based flows of glacial ice on the Antarctic continent, Tripati said. But they are particularly sensitive to temperature changes. Just a few degrees of increased warmth can make them disappear because they are warmed by both the air and the sea.
And disappearing ice shelves lead to even more warming because of something called the albedo effect: Light-colored ice reflects the sun’s radiation away from Earth. After it melts, the darker-colored seas absorb more radiation and more heat.
That process could take hundreds of years, but signs of rapid change are already here. In 2002, the Larsen B ice shelf — which was made up of more than 1,250 square miles of 720-foot-thick ice — disintegrated into the ocean over the course of a month, shocking scientists and observers. Over the past several decades, seven out of 12 ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula have collapsed.
“They’ve just been going like dominoes,” Tripati said.
Still, researchers say the PNAS findings offer a glimmer of hope. Policymakers rely on computer models to predict future climate change, and the models now can be refined based on the new information about changes that occurred millions of years ago, Tripati said.
The big question that remains is how fast melting will occur. Harwood said the ANDRILL findings emphasize the fragility of ice shelves and the urgency of taking action on a global scale.
“The models simulate thresholds, points of no return,” he said. “It’s good for policymakers to know how fast we have to get off this train or turn it in a new direction.”
Learn more: Antarctica could be headed for major meltdown
Stem cell gene therapy could be key to treating Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Scientists at the UCLA Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research and Center for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at UCLA have developed a new approach that could eventually be used to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The stem cell gene therapy could be applicable for 60 percent of people with Duchenne, which affects approximately 1 in 5,000 boys in the U.S. and is the most common fatal childhood genetic disease.