A new drug target for chemically induced Parkinson’s disease
An enzyme that modifies chemicals formed in the body by alcohol, tobacco, and certain foods may be a new target for treating Parkinson’s disease. The altered compounds may play a role in triggering the onset or advancing the progression of the neurodegenerative condition.
Novel model for studying intestinal parasite could advance vaccine development
The intestinal parasite Cryptosporidium causes frequent outbreaks in the U.S., and has been historically difficult to study. A novel model of infection from Penn Vet serves as a new tool to pursue a vaccine.
Meaningful science, with students at the helm
With CANINE, a collaboration between the School of Veterinary Medicine and the School of Arts and Sciences’ Biology Department, undergraduates are breaking new ground in immunology.
Quantifying the health risks of being a family caregiver
Health care and economics researchers find that more research is needed in the area of ‘next friend risk,’ or the full dimension of health risks faced by family and friends who become caregivers to the homebound.
How to reinvigorate exhausted immune cells to stop cancer
A Penn study has identified a protein called TOX that regulates exhausted T-cells, and could be a key to new immunotherapies.
OncoLink: 25 years—and millions of hits—later
The online source for cancer information turns 25. Last year alone, the website had 4.5 million visits, with half from other countries, and nurses looking for reliable material to educate patients.
A push for emergency texting services across the United States
Today, fewer than half of U.S. counties have this capability. Rising juniors Anthony Scarpone-Lambert and Kirti Shenoy want to change that with their nonprofit Text-911.
Better prognosticating for dogs with mammary tumors
For dogs with mammary tumors, a course of treatment can depend on a variety of factors, some of which may seem to contradict one another. A new system developed by Penn Vet’s Karin Sorenmo and colleagues can make determining a prognosis and making treatment decisions an easier task.
Untreated white coat hypertension leads to more death from heart disease
Researchers at Penn Medicine say white coat hypertension, a condition in which a patient’s blood pressure readings are higher when taken at the doctor’s office compared to other settings, underscores the need for increased out-of-office blood pressure monitoring.
Predicting post-injury depression and PTSD risk
Up to half of all acute injury patients experience post-traumatic stress disorder in the months after injury. For urban black men, some of whom have experienced prior trauma, childhood adversity, and neighborhood disadvantage, acute post-injury stress responses are exacerbated.
In the News
Experts offer new recommendations for screening more women for breast cancer
Susan Domcheck of the Basser Center for BRCA at the Abramson Cancer Center said that while new recommendations for the screening for BRCA1 and 2 gene mutations are “very valuable,” they don’t address many persistent problems. She stressed the need for additional research regarding BRCA mutations and risk factors, including the effect of race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status.
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Treating gun violence in Philadelphia trauma bay
Jeremy Cannon, Jose Pascual, and Franklin Caldera of the Perelman School of Medicine and Rhonda Browning, Michael Atweh, and John Ehman of Penn Medicine were quoted in an article about the impact of gunshot wounds on hospital employees.
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Does the placenta carry germs? What parents should know before they eat one
Frederic Bushman of Perelman School of Medicine commented on research that found that placenta encapsulation kits may be pre-contaminated by outside microbes. “It was really a very impressive bunch of detective work,” he said. “They were absolutely artistic at figuring out the sources of different kinds of contamination.”
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Scientists seek better guidelines for editing genes in human embryos
Bruce Levine of the Perelman School of Medicine called for a moratorium on scientific research that entails gene editing in human embryos. “There has not been a conversation with society at large—the lay public, government, religious groups, NGOs [nongovernmental organizations], stakeholders—because the science has been moving faster than [our own] conversations have been,” he said.
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The ethical mess of our healthcare system
President Amy Gutmann and PIK Professor Jonathan Moreno authored an op-ed about the U.S. health care system. “By revising and reinforcing the A.C.A.,” they wrote, “we can benefit all Americans without threatening any with the loss of hard-fought, lifesaving health coverage. Surely our fellow Americans with life-threatening diseases of all sorts are also worth saving.”
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