UCI scientists have created the first three-dimensional tissue structure from human embryonic stem cells — an eight-layer, early-stage retina. It's the initial step toward developing transplant-ready retinas to treat eye disorders such as macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa that affect millions. "We made a complex structure consisting of many cell types," said study leader Hans Keirstead of the Reeve-Irvine Research Center and the Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center. "This is a major advance in our quest to treat retinal disease."
A lack of effective regulation and enforcement by the U.S. government allowed financial fraud to flourish during the last decade and set the stage for the subprime mortgage crisis, says Henry Pontell, UCI professor of criminology, law & society. He testified recently at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on crime and drugs, advocating harsher criminal penalties for perpetrators of financial fraud. "The war on drugs snared a vast horde of financially marginal people," Pontell says. "There has been no similar war on financial thugs."
The shock of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks may have caused pregnant women in the U.S. to miscarry male fetuses. Tim Bruckner, UCI assistant professor of public health, and colleagues at UC Berkeley found that the fetal death rate for males spiked in September 2001 and that significantly fewer boys than expected were born that December. "The theory of 'communal bereavement' holds that societies may react adversely to unsettling national events, despite having no direct connection to persons involved," Bruckner said. "Our results appear to demonstrate this, as the shock of 9/11 may have threatened the lives of male fetuses across the U.S."
Parents, take note: Your choice of preschool child care could have ramifications a full decade later. A recent study by UCI education professor and chair Deborah Lowe Vandell found that teens who had attended high-quality child care programs scored higher on academic and cognitive tests than their peers. Vandell also discovered a link between the amount of time spent in child care — regardless of quality — and bad behaviors, such as risk-taking and impulsivity.