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Updated: 23 hours 21 min ago

Mosquitoes Ramp Up Immune Defenses After Sucking Blood, Penn Vet Researcher Finds

Fri, 02/06/2015 - 16:57
blurb:  According to a new study by University of Pennsylvania and Imperial College London researchers, mosquitoes ramp up their immune defenses after consuming blood meals, helping to fight off parasites that blood might contain.

If you were about to enter a crowded subway during flu season, packed with people sneezing and coughing, wouldn’t it be helpful if your immune system recognized the potentially risky situation and bolstered its defenses upon stepping into the train?

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Sharp, Sustained Increases in Suicides Closely Shadowed Austerity Events in Greece, Penn Study Finds

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 18:01

Sharp and significant increases in suicides followed select financial crisis events and austerity announcements in Greece, from the start of the country’s 2008 recession to steep spending cuts in 2012, Penn Medicine researchers report in a new study published online this week in the British  Medical Journal Open, along with colleagues from Greece and the United Kingdom.

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Penn Medicine's New Immunotherapy Study Will Pit PD-1 Inhibitor Against Advanced Lung Cancer

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 18:00

Penn Medicine researchers have begun a new immunotherapy trial with the “checkpoint inhibitor” known as pembrolizumab in patients with oligometastatic lung cancer—a state characterized by a few metastases in a confined area—who have completed conventional treatments and are considered free of active disease but remain at a high risk for recurrence.

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Penn Researchers Show Value of Tissue-Engineering to Repair Major Peripheral Nerve Injuries

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 17:58

Peripheral nerve injury (PNI) is a common consequence of traumatic injuries, wounds caused by an external force or an act of violence, such as a car accident, gun shot or even surgery. In those injuries that require surgical reconstruction, outcomes  can result in partial or complete loss of nerve function and a reduced quality of life. But, researchers at Penn Medicine have demonstrated a novel way to regenerate long-distance nerve connections in animal models using tissue-engineered nerve grafts (TENGs).

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Penn Center for Innovation Awarded NSF Grant to Foster Entrepreneurship

Mon, 02/02/2015 - 17:19

The Penn Center for Innovation, the University of Pennsylvania’s commercialization organization, announced today that it has been awarded a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation to establish an I-Corps Site to support translation of research areas into the marketplace by providing educational programming, financial support and strategic guidance. 

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Self-affirmation Can Boost Acceptance of Health Advice, Penn-led Study Finds

Mon, 02/02/2015 - 14:22

A new discovery shows how a simple intervention—self-affirmation—can open our brains to accept advice that is hard to hear.  

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Penn Professor Shows How ‘Spontaneous’ Social Norms Emerge

Mon, 02/02/2015 - 12:49
blurb:  A new study led by the University of Pennsylvania’s Damon Centola provides a scientific explanation for how social conventions – everything from acceptable baby names to standards of professional conduct – can emerge suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, with no external forces driving their creation.

Fifteen years ago, the name “Aiden” was hardly on the radar of Americans with new babies. It ranked a lowly 324th on the Social Security Administration’s list of popular baby names. But less than a decade later, the name became a favorite, soaring into the top 20 for five years and counting.

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Penn Senior Emma Schad Investigates the Politics of Philadelphia’s Parks

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 13:13
blurb:  Growing up in Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania senior Emma Schad spent countless days in the city’s parks, enjoying nature within the urban cityscape. Now, as a science, technology and society major with a minor in environmental science, Schad has turned a scholarly eye toward examining how Philadelphia manages its 186 parks.

By Sarah Welsh

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Penn Medicine Study Shows Menopause Does Not Increase or Create Difficulty Sleeping

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 17:02

Women in their late thirties and forties who have trouble sleeping are more than three times more likely to suffer sleep problems during menopause than women who have an easier time getting shut-eye, according to a new study by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Penn Study Reveals Possible Therapeutic Target for Common, But Mysterious Brain Blood Vessel Disorder

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 16:54

Tens of millions of people around the world have abnormal, leak-prone sproutings of blood vessels in the brain called cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs). These abnormal growths can lead to seizures, strokes, hemorrhages, and other serious conditions, yet their precise molecular cause has never been determined. Now, cardiovascular scientists at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have studied this pathway in heart development to discover an important set of molecular signals, triggered by CCM-linked gene defects, that potentially could be targeted to treat the disorder.

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Penn-led Study: Children With Respiratory Failure Can Be Awake Yet Comfortable in ICU

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 15:57
blurb:  Standard practice in hospitals is to fully sedate children on ventilators for their comfort and safety, but a new study shows that lighter, more finely-tuned sedation can be just as effective.

For small children, being hospitalized is an especially frightening experience above and beyond the challenges of whatever they are being treated for. They are often connected to a variety of unpleasant tubes and monitors, which they may instinctively try to remove.    

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Gospel Choir Fuels Hopefulness and Happiness at Penn

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 12:58

For members of the New Spirit of Penn Gospel Choir, singing and producing shows together is a joyful and meaningful part of their educational experience at the University of Pennsylvania.

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A Message to the Penn Community

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 17:00
blurb:  In the past year, we led a comprehensive review of the University’s protocols for responding to complaints of sexual violence. Finding the best policies and procedures for complaints of sexual violence is a matter of the upmost importance for every university in the country. We reviewed the University’s disciplinary process for handling complaints of sexual violence, consulted widely with campus constituents, and analyzed legislative changes, guidance from the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, and procedures utilized by peer institutions. As a result of this work, we determined that our procedures for handling complaints could be strengthened.

A Message to the Penn Community

From

Amy Gutmann, President

Vincent Price, Provost

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Researchers at Penn, Berkeley and Illinois Use Oxides to Flip Graphene Conductivity

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 13:33

Graphene, a one-atom thick lattice of carbon atoms, is often touted as a revolutionary material that will take the place of silicon at the heart of electronics. The unmatched speed at which it can move electrons, plus its essentially two-dimensional form factor, make it an attractive alternative, but several hurdles to its adoption remain.

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Penn Professor Kathryn Hellerstein Wins National Jewish Book Award

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 13:19

The Jewish Book Council has named University of Pennsylvania professor Kathryn Hellerstein recipient of the 2014 Barbara Dobkin Award for Women’s Studies for her A Question of Tradition: Women Poets in Yiddish, 1586-1987 (Stanford University Press, 2014).

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Penn Dental Medicine Team Shows Why Wound Healing Is Impaired in Diabetics

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 10:53
blurb:  Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine have identified a critical molecule that helps explain why diabetics suffer from slow wound healing and pinpoints a target for therapies that could help boost healing.

One of the most troubling complications of diabetes is its effect on wound healing. Roughly 15 percent of diabetics will suffer from a non-healing wound in their lifetime. In some cases, these open ulcers on the skin lead to amputations.

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Penn PIK Professor Dorothy Roberts to Receive APA’s 2015 Fuller Award

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 17:35

The American Psychiatric Association has named University of Pennsylvania professor Dorothy Roberts recipient of the 2015 Solomon Carter Fuller Award in recognition of her demonstrated leadership and exceptional achievements.

The award honors “a Black citizen who has pioneered in an area which has significantly benefitted the quality of life for Black people.”

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Open Learning Initiative Reaches Penn Alumni Online and Around the Globe

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 16:50
blurb:  Last semester, Penn offered a modified, alumni-exclusive version of “History of the Slave South,” an online course taught by history professor Stephanie McCurry from the School of Arts & Sciences.

For the first time last fall, the University of Pennsylvania invited Quakers from around the globe to participate in an alumni-exclusive version of a massive open online course.

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Field Center at Penn Addresses America’s ‘Throwaway Children’ Through History

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 11:54
blurb:  The Field Center for Children's Policy, Practice & Research will host “The U.S. Response to Throwaway Children: From Orphan Trains to the Current Migrant Crisis,” which will include Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train, the 2015 One Book, One Philadelphia reading selection, Monday, Feb. 9.

The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research at the University of Pennsylvania will host a community symposium in conjunction with One Book, One Philadelphia, Monday, Feb. 9, at 8:30 a.m.

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