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Penn Vet News

 

 

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Taking on wildlife disease

When wildlife biologist Matthew Schnupp began his career, the emphasis was on conserving habitat. “The paradigm of wildlife management for the last 20 years has been habitat management,” he says, aiming to conserve the land and ecosystems animals require to thrive.

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A roadblock for disease-causing parasites

The threadlike parasite Dirofilaria immitis causes the debilitating canine heartworm disease. A related parasite, Brugia malayi, infects humans and is one of the parasites responsible for lymphatic filariasis, a neglected disease that affects 120 million and can give rise to elephantiasis, characterized by disfiguring and painful swollen limbs.

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What we do and don’t know about the novel coronavirus

Until a month ago, it’s possible to never have heard of coronavirus, despite the fact that science has known about this family of seven viruses since the 1960s. Four are common, causing mild or moderate respiratory symptoms like a runny nose and sore throat, all of which dissipate quickly. 

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With a protein ‘delivery,’ parasite can suppress its host’s immune response

Toxoplasma gondii is best known as the parasite that may lurk in a cat’s litter box. Nearly a third of the world’s population is believed to live with a chronic Toxoplasma infection. It’s of greatest concern, however, to people with suppressed immune systems and to pregnant women, who can pass the infection to their fetuses.

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Safeguarding farms and food

The Calving Corner is a popular attraction at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. Dairy cows on the verge of giving birth rest in a spacious pen while an audience seated on surrounding bleachers eagerly awaits. On a Saturday earlier this month, Karen, a cow from Meadow Spring Farm in Lititz, had been showing signs of readiness for hours: changing position frequently, “nesting" in the bedding straw, and breathing rapidly, with occasional pauses for contractions.

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Eight new pups report for duty

More sure-footed and confident by the day, the U litter puppies of the Working Dog Center are not yet 3 months old, yet are already a month into their training to use their agile bodies and sensitive noses to serve society.

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A new role for a triple-negative breast cancer target

These changes require energy. In a study using a new, genetically altered mouse model, researchers led by Rumela Chakrabarti of Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine have uncovered a key protein involved in supplying the mammary gland with fuel during puberty. It’s a protein that her group had earlier shown to play a role in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), a particularly aggressive form of the disease

Dr. Zhengxia Dou, Penn Vet, Agricultural Systems

Amazing Cows Hold Promise in Pioneering Sustainable Food Systems of the Future

In today’s climate change narrative, animal-based agriculture often endures criticism for its alleged contributions to the global problem. With some naysayers ranking the industry second only to the population explosion as a root contributor to global warming and other weather-related devastation, the concern for how food is – and can be – produced has become even more pressing.

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Penn Vet Clinicians Awarded Diplomate Status, Deepen New Bolton Center’s Emergency and Food Animal Clinical Expertise

The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) today announced the recognized achievement of board certification of two New Bolton Center clinicians.

Gene doping in equines can now be tested for, thanks to Penn Vet researchers.

Fingerprints of an invisible, restricted horseracing therapy

A treatment called extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) is used in patients both human and equine to speed healing of injured tendons and ligaments. Using high-pressure sonic waves, ESWT is thought to increase blood flow to the treated area, and has been shown to reduce pain over the short term.

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Penn Vet Scientists Receive Two of Six Penn Center for Innovation Annual Commercialization Awards

[December 9, 2019; PHILADELPHIA, PA – Three researchers from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn Vet) are among the recipients of the annual Innovation awards from the Penn Center for Innovation (PCI), which recognizes the six most significant scientific discoveries or partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania during the preceding twelve months.

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Predicting treatment outcome for leishmaniasis

For patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis, a skin infection transmitted by a sand fly that can lead to painful and disfiguring ulcers, treatment can be grueling. The first-line therapy offered to many requires daily infusions of the metalloid pentavalent antimony for three weeks, and half of patients don’t respond to just one round of therapy. Some fail two or even three courses. And the side effects of therapy can range from mere irritation to far more serious conditions.

Performing the mapping of Sophie’s heart and the ablation procedure was a team effort, involving experts from both Penn Vet and the Perelman School of Medicine.

This Penn heart patient is a 9-year-old boxer dog named Sophie

For Karen Cortellino, her 9-year-old dog Sophie is more than just a companion.

“There’s this bumper sticker that says, ‘Rescue dogs: Who rescued who?’” says Cortellino, a physician from New Jersey. “That’s exactly how I feel.” Eight years ago, she adopted Sophie, a boxer, two weeks after the death of the family’s first boxer, and “she’s been Mommy’s baby ever since.”

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Dr. Christopher Hunter Named President-Elect of the International Cytokine and Interferon Society

[November 18, 2019; Philadelphia, PA] – Christopher A. Hunter, PhD, Mindy Halikman Heyer Distinguished Professor of Pathobiology at the School of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania (Penn Vet), has been elected President-elect of the International Cytokine and Interferon Society. Hunter officially began his term in November and will take office as President following the Cytokines 2021 Cardiff meeting in October 2021.

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Penn Vet Announces Appointment of Katrin Hinrichs, DVM, PhD, to Chair of the Department of Clinical Studies, Werner Professorship

Katrin Hinrichs, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACT, an internationally renowned expert in equine reproductive medicine, has been appointed the new chair of the Department of Clinical Studies at New Bolton Center in the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn Vet).

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Stopping Disease in its Tracks: How Geospatial Mapping Protects Pennsylvania’s Producers

Tell a swine or poultry producer that their animals are sick and the first question they ask is, “How?”

Thanks to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet), producers can now get an answer to that pressing question fast – or even stop disease from encroaching past their property lines altogether.

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Estrogen’s opposing effects on mammary tumors in dogs

Dogs that are spayed at a young age have a reduced risk of developing mammary tumors, the canine equivalent of breast cancer. Early spaying reduces levels of estrogen production, leading many veterinarians and scientists to cast estrogen in a negative light when it comes to mammary cancer.

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Electronic sow feeding shows promise, despite challenges

It’s feeding time at the University of Pennsylvania’s Swine Teaching and Research Center in Chester County’s horse country.

Actually, it’s always feeding time in this loose pig environment. Sow gestation stalls are gone, free-roaming pig pens are in. The sow decides when she wants to eat, not the other way around.

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The importance of wild animal health

Penn Vet and the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) recently initiated the Pennsylvania Wildlife Futures Program (WFP), a new science-based, wildlife health program that will increase disease surveillance, management and innovative research aimed at better protecting wildlife across the Commonwealth. 

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Genes play a role in dog breed differences in behavior

Given the dazzling array of dog breeds, from dachshunds to mastiffs, from poodles to bloodhounds, it’s easy to forget that most of that diversity arose only in the last few centuries or so, thanks to human tinkering. People have bred dogs for their looks, but the lion’s share of breeding efforts have taken aim at eliciting particular behaviors, according to the University of Pennsylvania’s James A. Serpell.