Penn Medicine News Blog Archive: Basic Science

Using Collaboration and Innovation to Counteract Flat Federal Research Funding

By Karen Kreeger | December 18, 2014 | Comments Light bulb by shuttermonkey via Flickr

With such astounding shortfalls in funding for biomedical research, Penn Medicine, a key stakeholder of the new Penn Center for Innovation (PCI), is looking for fresh ways to fund research and partner with the private sector. The PCI consolidates and unifies the enterprise previously known as the Penn Center for Technology Transfer with other campus entities charged with commercializing Penn research and Development into license agreements, sponsored research agreements, startup companies and other collaborative relationships. Read more

The Trend: More than a Twitter Sidebar

By Robert Press | December 5, 2014 | Comments image from http://s3.amazonaws.com/hires.aviary.com/k/mr6i2hifk4wxt1dp/14120517/ef8774b6-3264-4137-8771-02f4522ceb1c.png

I've always found one of the most fascinating aspects of social media to be its Hemingway-like quest to pack as much information into as small a space as possible. What started with Xanga and LiveJournal — two of the many longform blogging platforms us angsty teenagers of the early 2000s... Read more

Cell-adelphia?

By Karen Kreeger | December 4, 2014 | Comments ASCB Larger Than Life Gallery hall between Terminals E-F installation view

A preview of Penn Medicine cell biologists’ activities -- from art to advocacy to abstracts -- at the 2014 American Society for Cell Biology Annual Meeting in Philadelphia this week. Read more

Looking for Answers in the Genes of ‘Exceptional’ Cancer Patients

By Steve Graff | December 1, 2014 | Comments Bile duct cancer

The little-known metastatic bile duct cancer—or cholangiocarcinoma—is one of the toughest cancers out there to beat. It’s usually caught late and requires an aggressive round of chemotherapy and radiation that, in most cases, only stabilizes it briefly. It can come roaring back and often leads to death. But that wasn’t... Read more

Geroscience? Much More Than a Reaction to the “Silver Tsunami”

By Karen Kreeger | November 25, 2014 | Comments Geroscience The Seven Pillars of Aging

Geroscience is essentially an interdisciplinary field at the crossroads of aging and age-related diseases. Read more

Celebrating Women in Science

By Karen Kreeger | November 20, 2014 | Comments Women in science pic larger

Recently, the New York Times published the provocative op-ed, “Academic Science Isn’t Sexist,” which described a soon-to-be-published study that found that experiences of young and midcareer women in math-intensive fields are, for the most part, similar to those of their male counterparts in terms of hiring, pay, tenure and promotion,... Read more

Using Neural Tissue Engineering to Restore Brain Function and Form Bionic Connections

By Lee-Ann Donegan | November 19, 2014 | Comments Cullen neuron.axon image November 2014

Restoring Brain Connections using Micro-Tissue Engineered Neural Networks (TENNs): Micro-TENNs are miniature preformed capsule-like constructs (shown above) that consist of neurons spanned by long axon tracts. These are grown outside the body and mimic the anatomy of axon pathways in the brain. They can then be implanted in the brain... Read more

Penn Medicine Day in the Life 2014

By Robert Press | November 12, 2014 | Comments

It’s fall, and with fall come a few annual traditions: the leaves changing color, pumpkin spice everything, Christmas decorations a full two months early, and — most relevant to us here at Penn Medicine — the Day in the Life project. It’s a yearly visual documentation of life here at... Read more

Roundabout RNA: How Circular RNAs Form

By Karen Kreeger | October 24, 2014 | Comments Wilusz Genes Dev blog post pic from Science. jpg

Penn scientists are at the forefront of exploring and pushing back the boundaries of the bewilderingly complex world of RNA.And, Jeremy Wilusz, PhD, a new faculty member in the department of Biochemistry & Biophysics, is adding to that knowledge with a recently published paper in Genes & Development on circular RNAs. Read more

How a Fish-Killing Natural Product Opens Doors to the Basics of Cell Metabolism

By Karen Kreeger | October 1, 2014 | Comments Blair Rotenone pic Oct 14

Rotenone exposure is also associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD) in humans, but the exact mechanism is unknown. In fact, rotenone is used to induce a rodent model of PD. Mitochondrial abnormalities have been well documented in PD patients, often coinciding with elevated markers of oxidative stress. Despite this evidence, not much is known about how nerve cells die because of the stress. Read more

Whole Genome Sequencing of Amish Families Reveals Complexity of Bipolar Disorder

By Karen Kreeger | September 16, 2014 | Comments Lonestar

Perelman School genetics professor Maja Bucan, PhD, told me of her deep appreciation for the work going on at the clinic: “From my first visit to the clinic [Clinic for Special Children], I knew I wanted to be part of their team as a collaborator.” Read more

Liver Regeneration Revealed: Hepatocytes Beget Hepatocytes

By Karen Kreeger | September 11, 2014 | Comments Prometheus Karl-Ludwig Poggemann Flickr

The regenerating liver is center stage in a modern story about how science similarly reinvents and readjusts itself, with a paper out in an early September issue of Cell Stem Cell from the lab of Ben Stanger. Read more

Double Trouble: How Parasitic Worms Weaken Antiviral Immunity

By Karen Kreeger | September 5, 2014 | Comments Artis CM cover warhol worms Sept 14

David Artis, PhD, professor of Microbiology and his team, including first author Lisa Osborne, PhD, demonstrated that mice already infected with parasitic helminths were worse at fighting viral infection. Read more

Making the Summer Count

By Karen Kreeger | August 15, 2014 | Comments SUIP_Poster Session_1

Every summer, the news is filled with profiles of summer student programs, and those that are aimed at increased participation by minority students in STEM are no exception. The Summer Undergraduate Internship Program at Penn Medicine is one such program. Read more

A Picture Really is Worth 1000 Words

By Karen Kreeger | August 1, 2014 | Comments Talamas winning image 2014

The winners of the Penn Medicine 2014 “Art in Science" can certainly make pretty pictures with fancy microscopes, but there is also a rich story of scientific inquiry behind each. Read more

Penn Medicine Remembers Victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight: A Loss to the HIV/AIDS Community

By Steve Graff | July 25, 2014 | Comments Ribbon

WHYY’s Radio Times’ show last Friday focused on much of the progress that’s been made in the world of HIV/AIDS research and care, but there was one terrible set back that had to be addressed. Earlier that morning, news broke that the Malaysia Airlines plane struck down over the Ukraine... Read more

The Force from Outside In: Cells Sense Surrounding Protein Stiffness for Insider Info

By Karen Kreeger | July 11, 2014 | Comments Assoian Bae blog post image final July 14

A new study is shedding light on how cells respond to surrounding “stiff” tissue that can influence cells to go rogue—and ultimately cause disease. A better understanding of that process could help advance the development of treatments for cancers and cardiovascular disease resistant to therapy. An article in Science Signaling... Read more

Exploring the Human Microbiome

By John Shea | July 2, 2014 | Comments PENN-Med_SPRING_2014_F3b_LR-1

Like many people, I have gone through life without paying much attention to my gut –- except, that is, for the times my stomach gave unmistakable indications that it was upset. Most of the time, what was happening inside said stomach remained unknown. On the whole, it was out of... Read more

What’s the Real Target for Attacking Pancreatic Tumors?

By Karen Kreeger | June 11, 2014 | Comments Pancreatic cancer ribbon

The lab of Ben Stanger, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology, and colleagues, recently showed in a Cancer Cell study that some tumor components, particularly fibroblasts, constrain tumor growth. Read more

Dean Samuel Gurin Looks Ahead 50 Years

By John Shea | June 9, 2014 | Comments Gurin

As the Perelman School of Medicine fast approaches its 250th birthday (to be celebrated next May), I’ve found it fascinating to look at how the school has changed -- and sometimes how its leaders have seemed to anticipate what lay ahead. Last month, the medical campus was visited by some... Read more

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