Penn Medicine News Blog Archive: Research

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

Forget Me Not

By Greg Richter | October 14, 2014 | Comments DSC_9129

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the fourth leading cause of death among African Americans. Once patients have the disease, there is no treatment available that can stop its progression. The Penn Memory Center seeks to change that. Last month, the Penn... Read more

The Future of Telemedicine is Here

By Katie Delach | October 9, 2014 | Comments image from http://s3.amazonaws.com/hires.aviary.com/k/mr6i2hifk4wxt1dp/14101416/dea91fca-1943-42dc-a0fe-b26e31c313e0.png

Over the past 20 years, advancements in research and the understanding of genetics have created a boom in patient demand for genetic tests. According to the National Library of Medicine, less than 300 genetic tests were available in the 1990s; in contrast, at the end of 2012, almost 3,000 genetic... 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

Robots – Hi-Tech Help or Freaky Fiction?

By Olivia Fermano | August 10, 2014 | Comments image from http://s3.amazonaws.com/hires.aviary.com/k/mr6i2hifk4wxt1dp/14080820/612efab5-13b5-4786-b3a5-4e61fcc0285e.png

Robots cause a polarizing effect in the minds of people. We only have to look to Hollywood to illustrate this. They’re either portrayed as endearing characters like Star Wars’ C-3PO and R2D2 and the adorably-animated WALL-E – or they’re killing machines as seen in Terminator and iRobot. The fact is... Read more

Psoriasis: The Heart and Skin Connection

By Katie Delach | August 6, 2014 | Comments image from http://s3.amazonaws.com/hires.aviary.com/k/mr6i2hifk4wxt1dp/14080613/3ab5cafc-77b2-4bc5-9216-5340ce17a3b6.png

Did you know that psoriasis is more than merely a skin condition? It's a chronic inflammatory disease that increases a patient’s risk for other systemic disorders, such as atherosclerosis and renal damage. In the last year alone, researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have... 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

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

Cycling for Rare Diseases

By Karen Kreeger | May 1, 2014 | Comments image from http://s3.amazonaws.com/hires.aviary.com/k/mr6i2hifk4wxt1dp/14061615/ea083ced-d221-4295-800d-0e745dcaf7ba.png

The first annual Million Dollar Bike Ride is finally here. On Saturday, May 3, 2014, close to 500 riders and many other volunteers and family members will gather at Highline Park on Penn’s campus to raise funds for and awareness about rare diseases. Read more

Sleep the Night Away with Penn Med Scientists at the Philadelphia Science Festival

By Karen Kreeger | April 29, 2014 | Comments PSF sleep blog post image

Sleep -- elusive to some, mysterious to all -- is the topic of a special event at Franklin Institute’s Fels Planetarium on Wednesday, April 30, at 6:30 p.m. called Sleep: A Bedtime Story, part of the signature programs on the 2014 Philadelphia Science Festival schedule.

An Outdoor Kickoff to the Philadelphia Science Festival

By Karen Kreeger | April 23, 2014 | Comments Sci Fest logo outside

Head outdoors this weekend with Penn Medicine to kick off the fourth annual Philadelphia Science Festival.The weather for Saturday and Sunday is predicted to be 0% showers, with highs in the upper 60s and low 70s. Join Penn Medicine faculty, students, and staff at two of the city’s most spectacular...

Using the Penn High Performance Computing Cluster to Unravel the Spider’s Web

By Karen Kreeger | April 15, 2014 | Comments Golden Silk Orb Weaver L Church Flickr Creative Commons

Uncovering the genomic architecture of spider silk genes wasn’t top of mind for Benjamin Voight, PhD, when he first came to Penn a few years ago. But he and postdoctoral researcher Paul Babb are now deep into sequencing the whole genomes of two spider species: a Golden Silk Orb Weaver and Darwin's Bark Spider. Read more

No Magic Number - Penn Medicine Researcher to Be Among Architects of New National Sleep Recommendations

By Jessica Mikulski | April 8, 2014 | Comments image from http://s3.amazonaws.com/hires.aviary.com/k/mr6i2hifk4wxt1dp/14040813/5d9df654-4164-420e-8d13-d2ec60b7aabb.png

We’ve all heard it before…“sleep experts recommend you get 7 – 8 hours of sleep per night for optimal health.” But is that true for everyone? The answer is there really is no magic number. “For years, members of the sleep research and clinical community have been discussing the issue... Read more

2014 Facts and Figures Shows Penn Medicine’s Expanding Footprint

By Greg Richter | March 28, 2014 | Comments Facts-cover-2014

In the 2014 edition of Penn Medicine’s annual Facts and Figures report, readers can find numerous achievements in research, education, and patient care from the past year. Highlights from this year’s text include Penn Medicine continuing as one of the nation’s top recipients of National Institutes of Health funding, the... Read more

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