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Science & Research News


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Parasitic worms offer ‘the missing link’ on the dual nature of a key immune regulator

De’Broski Herbert has a philosophy that’s guided his career researching helminths, or parasitic worms, and their interaction with their hosts’ immune systems: “Follow the worm.”

 

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Five Penn faculty elected to the National Academy of Medicine

Five faculty members from Penn have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), one of the nation’s highest honors in the fields of health and medicine, including Penn Vet's Dr. William Beltran.

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Novel canine scent detection program holds promise in PA’s fight against Spotted Lanternfly

A new pilot training program from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) points to a promising solution in Pennsylvania’s efforts to thwart the Spotted Lanternfly. By utilizing scent detection dogs to identify Spotted Lanternfly egg masses, Penn Vet researchers hope to proactively neutralize the destructive insects before they become a fully realized threat as a mature adult.

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Creating ‘Farms of the Future’: New Penn-led webinar series to host grassroots discussions about sustainable, regenerative agriculture

A new virtual symposium series presented by the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet), in collaboration with PennPraxis, the community engagement arm at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design, will explore the advantages, challenges, and opportunities surrounding animal agriculture and food production systems within Pennsylvania, the surrounding region, and across the United States. 

 

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Progress toward a treatment for Krabbe disease

In one out of 100,000 infants, a mutation in the GALC gene causes an incurable, always fatal disorder known as infantile Krabbe disease, or globoid cell leukodystrophy. Most children with the condition die before they turn 2. 

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Poultry in a pandemic: Getting the facts on keeping backyard flocks

With the COVID-19 pandemic wearing on, many Americans are turning to raising poultry to fill their extra time at home. While raising backyard birds is a great idea – whether for food, for educational purposes, or as a hobby – the influx of new flocks has put humans, as well as the birds they care for, at risk of Salmonella sickness.

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Getting gene therapy to the brain

A lone genetic mutation can cause a life-changing disorder with effects on multiple body systems. Lysosomal storage diseases, for example, of which there are dozens, arise due to single mutations that affect production of critical enzymes required to metabolize large molecules in cells. These disorders affect multiple organs including, notably, the brain, causing intellectual disability of varying degrees.  

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Bats and COVID

COVID-19 is a zoonotic disease. For the 200+ bats currently in wildlife rehabilitation facilities across Pennsylvania, this presents a threat. Eman Anis, a microbiologist with Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center, is leading a study to test for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in North American bats, work being done with associate professors Lisa Murphy and Julie Ellis and Pennsylvania Game Commission biologist Greg Turner. 

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Navigating cytokine storms

It’s a trajectory followed by many who experience a severe case of COVID-19: They feel poorly for a few days, improve over a day or two and then, a week or 10 days into their infection, have respiratory difficulties, a stroke, organ damage, or another dangerous complication and wind up in the intensive care unit.

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Glowing dye may aid in eliminating cancer

"Clean margins” are a goal of cancer excision surgery. If even a small piece of cancerous tissue is left behind, it increases the likelihood of a local recurrence and spread of the disease, possibly reducing overall survival time.

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Seven Penn Vet Researchers Receive COVID-19 Pilot Awards

Seven researchers from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn Vet) have been selected to receive distinctive COVID-19 Pilot Awards from the Penn Vet COVID Research Innovation Fund. The Fund, provided with critical start-up support through a generous gift from Vernon and Shirley Hill, will bolster Penn Vet’s rapidly expanding research and response program to fight the novel coronavirus. 

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New Penn survey points to food insecurity - not the ‘Quarantine 15’ – as real pandemic concern

As many Americans are spending more time at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a newly minted phrase – ‘the Quarantine 15’ – has crept into collective thought. But results from a recent nationwide survey conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) indicate that claims about the trending pandemic-weight-gain concern may not be credible after all.

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Blocking tumor signals can hinder cancer’s spread

For most people who die of cancer, the spread of the initial tumor is to blame. “Metastasis is what kills most cancer patients,” says Serge Fuchs, a professor in Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine. “Yet there are not many, if any, drugs that specifically target metastatic processes.”

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Coming together to solve the many scientific mysteries of COVID-19

As the rumblings of a pandemic began to be felt at the beginning of the year, scientists at Penn started work to develop a vaccine and assess possible treatments. But the scope of COVID-19 studies at the University goes much broader. Scientists whose typical work finds them investigating autoimmune disease, influenza, HIV/AIDS, Ebola, cancer, hemophilia, and more, are now applying their deep understanding of biology to confront a novel threat.

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Penn Vet Launches COVID-19 Canine Scent Detection Study

A pilot training program utilizing scent detection dogs to discriminate between samples from COVID-19 positive and COVID-19 negative patients is the focus of a new research initiative at Penn Vet.

Household Food Insecurity and the COVID-19 Pandemic

How does a Pandemic impact our relationship with food? A new Penn survey seeks insights

A newly launched internet survey led by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania looks to explore the multidimensional impact that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has had on our collective relationship with food.

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Tailoring treatment for triple-negative breast cancer

Immunotherapies have revolutionized treatment for people with a variety of cancers. But when given to those with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), a particularly aggressive form of the disease, less than 20% respond.

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A critical enzyme for sperm formation could be a target for treating male infertility

While some of our body’s cells divide in a matter of hours, the process of making sperm, meiosis, alone takes about 14 days from start to finish. And fully six of those days are spent in the stage known as the pachytene, when pairs of chromosomes from an individual’s mother and father align and connect.

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

A Tipping Point for Catastrophic Injuries in Racehorses? Penn Vet Researchers Seek Answers in Novel Interaction Study

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) today announced the launch of a novel study exploring possible effects resulting from the combined use of furosemide, commonly known as Lasix, and bisphosphonates in equine athletes.

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Demystifying feline behavior

They know their names. We can read their facial expressions, sort of. And some of them really like having us around. These are among the purported findings of recent scientific studies aimed at deciphering the behavior of some of our most mysterious yet ubiquitous companions: pet cats.