Biology

Parasites and the microbiome

In a study of ethnically diverse people from Cameroon, the presence of a parasite infection was closely linked to the make-up of the gastrointestinal microbiome, according to a research team led by Penn scientists.

Katherine Unger Baillie



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In the News


NPR

Are there zombie viruses—like the 1918 flu—thawing in the permafrost?

Michael Zimmerman of the School of Arts & Sciences said the possibility of reviving long frozen pathogens is “extremely unlikely.”

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National Geographic

Horses and dogs share a surprisingly common language of play

Sue McDonnell of the School of Veterinary Medicine commented on new research that finds shared play language between dogs and horses. “It’s a wonderful study, and takes the questions surrounding play behavior to a new level,” she said.

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The Wall Street Journal

Coronavirus vs. flu: Which virus is deadlier?

Neil Fishman of the Perelman School of Medicine weighed in on the novel coronavirus and how it differs from the flu. “I think what we’re seeing with Covid-19 is what influenza would look like without a vaccine,” he said.

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PBS

Study finds kittens bond with their human caregivers like babies do

Carlo Siracusa of the School of Veterinary Medicine advised readers to keep in mind that while babies and kittens are similar, they’re not analogous; scientific findings about one may not hold true for the other. “We should be open-minded about the idea that there are other variables [at play],” he said.

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ScienceFriday.com

A squid’s eye view

Alison Sweeney of the School of Arts and Sciences discussed the complex structure of squids’ eyes, which have special lenses that allow for crisp vision in dark water. “The resolution of their eyes is approaching that of humans, their retinas are much more sensitive than ours are to light, and if you dig into the nitty-gritty of how nature figured it out, I’m forever blown away at the level of nuance to get it to work.”

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WBUR Boston

What Puerto Rico’s monkeys post-Maria teach us about survival

PIK Professor Michael Platt joined a conversation about surviving trauma and Puerto Rico’s “monkey island.”

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