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Katherine Unger Baillie covers the School of Veterinary Medicine, the School of Dental Medicine, and in the School of Arts and Sciences, manages media relations for biology, earth and environmental science, and history and sociology of science. She also occasionally covers scientific research coming from other parts of Penn.
Humans possess six forms of the protein actin, which perform essential functions in the body. Two in particular, β-actin and γ-actin, are nearly identical, only differing by four amino acids. Yet these near-twin proteins carry out distinct roles. A long standing question for biologists has been, how is this possible?
Gene therapy holds promise for treating a variety of diseases, including some inherited blinding conditions. But for a gene therapy to be effective, one must know the precise gene responsible for a given individual’s disorder and develop a tailored treatment.
The surface of a riverbed is typically lined by relatively large rocks, which protect the layers of finer sand and gravel beneath from erosion. Geologists have long thought that fluid mechanics control this pattern; the idea being that the flow of the river washes away the finer particles from the bed’s surface, leaving the larger particles behind.
Nine American research universities and a major cancer institute today announced plans to give would-be life scientists clear, standardized data on graduate school admissions, education and training opportunities and career prospects.
One way to learn about climate change is to read about it, exploring the scientific literature, perusing science news and combing through reams of relevant data. Another way is to experience it firsthand.
Dentists rely on composite materials to perform restorative procedures, such as filling cavities. Yet these materials, like tooth enamel, can be vulnerable to the growth of plaque, the sticky biofilm that leads to tooth decay.
Imagine you’re in a restaurant, hungry, anxious and a bit irritable awaiting your food order to arrive at the table. The server exits the kitchen with a tray full of steaming plates and a flood of relief washes over you.