Why we have hair here, but not there
A new study answers a fundamental question in human evolution about how and where hair grows on the body, and reveals the existence of a naturally-occurring inhibitor to hair growth.
Multidisciplinary team to develop stem cell-based approaches to restore vision
Gene therapies have had success in treating blindness but can’t save areas of the retina where cells have already died. In a new effort, School of Veterinary Medicine scientists John Wolfe and William Beltran will attempt to develop a stem-cell-based approach that restores vision.
A study in prenatal gene editing with DNA in utero
A Penn Medicine and CHOP team shows the first example of using base-editing tools to treat a disease in animal models in utero.
The next frontier of precision medicine: Parkinson’s disease
The Molecular Integration in Neurological Diagnosis (MIND) Initiative is working to understand the nature of Parkinson's disease with molecular-level accuracy, so doctors can treat the root cause.
Knockdown and replace: A gene therapy twofer to treat blindness
More than 150 different mutations in the light-sensing molecule rhodopsin can cause retinitis pigmentosa, characterized by a progressive loss of night and peripheral vision, and a team of researchers have developed a treatment for the condition. Successful results in dogs set the stage for testing in humans.
Study finds mutation driving deadly brain tumors, and a potential remedy
Researchers at Penn and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research discovered that a mutation in the epidermal growth receptor gene indicates a severe glioblastoma, and targeting this particular gene may further treatment.
Correcting a blind spot
A groundbreaking genetic study seeks to transform the prevention and treatment of glaucoma while reversing historical racial disparities in who suffers from the disease, and who benefits from such research.
Could a new blood test predict preterm labor?
Research that included Medicine’s Michal Elovitz reveals that a non-invasive blood test might have the ability to determine a baby’s gestational age in utero and predict preterm delivery.
The varying skin colors of Africa: light, dark, and all in between
A team of geneticists led by Sarah Tishkoff, a Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor, has shown that there is a huge amount of variation of skin color within Africa, ranging from skin as light as some Asians to the darkest skin on a global level.
Race has a place in human genetics research, philosopher argues
New research out of the philosophy department argues that certain racial classifications have utility in medical genetics, particularly when considering those classifications as ancestry groups.
In the News
Scientists break the rules of reproduction by breeding mice from single-sex parents
The Perelman School of Medicine’s Marisa Bartolomei offered commentary on same-sex reproductive experiments, which have proven easier in bimaternal than bipaternal pairings.
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Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test: How reliable is it? A Penn prof explains
Theodore Schurr of the School of Arts and Sciences said U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s genetic analysis, which used indigenous DNA samples from Peru, Mexico, and Colombia as reference points, was legitimate due to historical migration patterns.
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