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Science & Research News


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Penn Vet Study Shows How Solid Tumors Resist Immunotherapy

Immunotherapies have revolutionized cancer treatment, offering hope to those whose malignancies have stubbornly survived other existing treatments. Yet solid tumor cancers are often resistant to these approaches.

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Working Dog Center adds full-time law enforcement trainer

Bob Dougherty, who served for three decades as a police K9 officer for Cheltenham Township, recently joined the Penn Vet Working Dog Center as a full-time law enforcement trainer to enhance the Center’s teaching resources for police dogs and their handlers.

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Penn Vet Research Identifies New Target for Taming Ebola

Viruses and their hosts are in a eternal game of one-upmanship. If a host cell evolves a way to stop a virus from spreading, the virus will look for a new path. And so on and so forth.

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Epigenetic Change Ties Mitochondrial Dysfunction to Tumor Progression

In a new report published in the journal Cell Discovery, a team led by researchers in the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine has identified a mechanism by which mitochondria can drive changes in nuclear gene expression that are associated with tumor progression. The epigenetic process is carried out by a protein that is triggered in response to mitochondrial oxidative or metabolic stress. When this interaction was blocked by chemical compounds, the team was able to reduce cancer gene expression.

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Equine Laminitis Expert Dr. Andrew van Eps Joins New Bolton Center Faculty

Renowned for his research on equine laminitis, Dr. Andrew van Eps joined the faculty of Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center in December as Associate Professor of Equine Musculoskeletal Research.

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Ten Penn Professors Named AAAS Fellows for 2016

Ten professors from the University of Pennsylvania have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. They are among a class of 391 members honored for their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. Election as a Fellow of AAAS, the world’s largest scientific society, is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.

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Penn Vet Professor’s Work in the Lab Aims to Improve Surgical Results

Oftentimes the most important scientific work is accomplished via serendipity; by following up on an unexpected finding and uncovering an entirely new area of research.

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Penn Study Shows How Some Intestinal Cells Resist Chemotherapy and Radiation

When treating cancer with chemotherapy and radiation, decisions about dose must walk a fine line between attacking cancerous cells and preserving healthy ones. Overly aggressive radiation therapy to the torso, for example, can damage the epithelial cells that line the intestines, leading to chronic gastrointestinal problems.

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Drs. John Farrar, Elliot Hersh, and Rosemary Polomano to Receive 2016 One Health Award

Dr. John T. Farrar, MD, PhD, of the Perelman School of Medicine; Dr. Elliot V. Hersh, DMD, PhD, of the School of Dental Medicine; and Dr. Rosemary Polomano, RN, PhD, of the School of Nursing Science at the University of Pennsylvania have been named the 2016 recipients of Penn’s One Health Award, recognizing their exemplary contributions to expanding interdisciplinary collaboration and improving health care for the benefit of humans, animals, and the environment.

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Penn Vet Study Identifies New Mechanism for Antibacterial Immunity

The innate immune system serves as a first-line defense, responding to infections almost immediately after a pathogen makes its way into the body. This response is carried out in two major ways: the cell can amplify the message that the body has been invaded, triggering an inflammatory response to recruit other cells to help fight off the pathogen, or the cell can undergo programmed cell death in order to stop the spread of infection and perhaps even release signaling molecules that alert neighboring cells to the presence of an invader.

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Penn Vet-CHOP partnership probes link between cattle and Crohn’s disease

Researchers still have a lot to learn about Crohn’s disease, a chronic form of inflammatory bowel disorder that affects as many as 700,000 Americans. It’s unknown, for example, precisely how heredity, environment, diet, and stress all interact to influence the risk of developing Crohn’s. But new insights into a possible cause of the disease are emerging from a surprising source: cattle researchers at Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine.

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Author Maryn McKenna to Discuss Antibiotic Use in Livestock During 3rd Annual Microbiome Symposium

In the late 1940s, pharmaceutical companies seeking an additional market for newly achieved antibiotics happened on “growth promoters” – microdoses of antibiotics given to livestock that boosted the animals’ weight, got them to market faster, and jumpstarted profits for both pharma and agriculture. Today, many recognize the growth-promoter effect as a deliberate perturbation of the gut microbiome.

The Changing Landscape of Mosquito- and Tick-borne Diseases

Targeting Mosquito Immunity to Fight Disease

Before a mosquito can transmit a disease like dengue fever, Zika, or malaria to a human, the mosquito itself must get infected. That means the parasite or virus must find a way around the natural defenses of the insect’s immune system.

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The Nose Knows: Sniffing Out Cancer at the Penn Vet Working Dog Center

It’s so quiet you could hear a pin drop. The only sound is that of a Springer Spaniel methodically sniffing twelve ports on a stainless steel wheel. Suddenly he stops and sits.

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Penn: Blinding Disease in Canines and Humans Shares Causative Gene, Pathology

Ciliopathies are diseases that affect the cilia, sensory organelles that most mammalian cells possess and which play a critical role in many biological functions. One such disease is Senior Løken Syndrome, a rare condition that can involve both a severe kidney disease and the blinding disease Leber congenital amaurosis, or LCA.

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Reversing Dyskeratosis Congenita

Typically diagnosed in childhood, Dyskeratosis congenita, or DC, is a rare, inherited disease for which there are limited treatment options and no cure.

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Researchers Explore Animal Microbiomes

Three new studies, facilitated by Penn Vet’s Center for Host-Microbial Interactions, explore how microbes impact viral susceptibility, infection response, and infection predisposition.

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Multi-photon Microscope Offers Faster, Deeper Images

Penn Vet's new multi-photon microscope that specializes in capturing 3-D images of thick living and fixed tissues will enhance the bio-imaging infrastructure at Penn.

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New Bolton Center’s Robots Scan Turtle Fossil

Veterinarians at Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center used a new robotics-controlled imaging system to scan an exceedingly rare turtle fossil, estimated at about 65 million years old.

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Turtle Secrets

The precise moment of death, 65 million years ago, is captured in stone. The head and the legs are tucked under the shell, just as a threatened turtle would do today. Nearly intact, the fossil is exceedingly rare.