Tag Archives: stuart wolpert

UCLA Life Scientists View Biodiversity Through a Whole New Dimension

Study of body size, feeding rates has implications for ecosystems, food supply

How can blue whales, the largest animals on the planet, survive by feeding on krill, shrimp-like creatures that are the size of a penny? According to UCLA life scientists, it’s all a matter of dimensions.

In findings published May 30 in the journal Nature, the researchers demonstrate for the first time that the relationship between animals’ body size and their feeding rate — the overall amount of food they consume per unit of time — is largely determined by the properties of the space in which they search for their food. (more…)

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A Bird’s Song May Teach Us About Human Speech Disorders

*UCLA scientists identify 2,000 important genes*

Can the song of a small bird provide valuable insights into human stuttering and speech-related disorders and conditions, including autism and stroke? New research by UCLA life scientists and colleagues provides reason for optimism.

The scientists discovered that some 2,000 genes in a region of the male zebra finch’s brain known as “Area X” are significantly linked to singing. More than 1,500 genes in this region, a critical part of the bird’s song circuitry, are being reported for the first time. Previously, a group of scientists including the UCLA team had identified some 400 genes in Area X. All the genes’ levels of expression change when the bird sings. (more…)

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Tiny Amounts of Alcohol Dramatically Extend A Worm’s Life, But Why?

Minuscule amounts of ethanol, the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, can more than double the life span of a tiny worm known as Caenorhabditis elegans, which is used frequently as a model in aging studies, UCLA biochemists report. The scientists said they find their discovery difficult to explain.

“This finding floored us — it’s shocking,” said Steven Clarke, a UCLA professor of chemistry and biochemistry and the senior author of the study, published Jan. 18 in the online journal PLoS ONE, a publication of the Public Library of Science. (more…)

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