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pericytes Alzheimer's APOE4 gene
Damage to pericytes, the layer of cells that wrap around blood vessels in the brain, leads to decline in cognition and is accelerated in people who carry the APOE4 gene. (Image/Courtesy of Jim Stanis and Arthur W. Toga, USC Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute)

Alzheimer’s gene triggers early breakdowns in blood-brain barrier, predicting cognitive decline

Although scientists have long known APOE4 is a leading risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, they were unsure how exactly it drives a decline in memory. USC researchers now believe they have an answer.

Health
cell receptor obesity
A discovery by Ray Stevens of the Bridge Institute at the USC MIchelson Center for Convergent Bioscience may lead to new or better treatments for patients with obesity. They've configured a key cell receptor that is the likely target for new therapies. (Illustration/Yekaterina Kadyshevskaya)

Better obesity treatments may lie ahead after discovery of key protein structure

An international team of scientists, led by Raymond Stevens of USC’s Bridge Institute, is investigating a protein in the brain that will likely be the target of improved obesity therapies.

University
L.A. County distance learning gap
Ideal resources for distance learning — such as access to a computer and high-speed internet at home — are not available to one in three households among Los Angeles Unified School District students, according to a recent study. (Photo/iStock)

COVID-19 crisis reveals ‘digital divide’ for L.A. County students

The stay-at-home orders have forced 1.5 million K-12 students to online classes, but a new USC Annenberg analysis found that 1 in 4 households lack the necessary tech for learning at home.

Health
Covid antibody testing results
Based on the results of the first round of testing, the research team estimates that approximately 4.65% of the county’s adult population has an antibody to the virus. (Photo/Kit Karzen)

Early antibody testing suggests COVID-19 infections in L.A. County greatly exceed documented cases

USC and L.A. County Department of Public Health officials have released the preliminary results of their antibody tests, which show a surprising number of residents have been infected with the coronavirus.