Sunday, May 19

Research Recap: Energy-efficient buildings, cancer detection and HIV elimination strategy


March 27

  • UCLA researchers found that green building certification programs have successfully and significantly improved energy efficiency in large commercial buildings. However, programs such as LEED, Energy Star and the Better Buildings Challenge did not have significant increases in energy savings on smaller buildings.

March 28

  • A team of UCLA researchers working with colleagues at the University of Southern California has developed a computer program called CancerLocator that detects cancer based on blood sampling and chemical modifications of DNA, such as methylation. CancerLocator has accurately diagnosed disease in about 80 percent of lung and liver cancer samples and has a lower overall error rate than Support Vector Machine and Random Forest – two popular machine learning methods in the field.

March 29

  • The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS has proposed to prevent the spread of HIV through treatment of those already infected in sub-Saharan Africa. However, a study by UCLA researchers found that it may be unlikely to diagnose 90 percent of all HIV cases and treat 90 percent of those diagnosed by 2020. They found through statistical mapping techniques that HIV-infected adults are widely dispersed, with most living in rural areas. This spatial demographic significantly hinders possible elimination of the disease because researchers would have to test every person in every rural settlement, which is expensive and difficult.

April 3

  • UCLA researchers created a system to produce structures called artificial thymic organoids, which have the ability to produce T cells from stem cells. T cells are white blood cells that can fight cancer cells and other infections in the body. If the system can be used with pluripotent stem cells, it may be able to produce a steady supply of cancer-fighting T cells for patients in critical condition.

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