University Communications Staff

Katherine Unger Baillie

Science News Officer

Anthropology, Archaeology, Biology, Dental Medicine, Earth and Environmental Science, History and Sociology of Science, Penn Museum, Penn Science Café, Science, Technology, Veterinary Medicine

215-898-9194

kbaillie@upenn.edu

Pulmonary hypertension is a devastating disease that occurs when the arteries feeding the lungs narrow, making the right side of the heart work harder to pump blood to the lungs. Over time, the heart weakens, leading to heart failure. The disease can affect the young as well as the old. There is no cure, and the most successful treatments currently available cost tens of thousands of dollars, putting them out of reach to significant numbers of patients. Research by Penn scientists, however, aims to change that.
By Madeleine Stone  @themadstone
Almost anyone who has spent time in a hospital is familiar with the routine checks of blood pressure and oxygen levels that serve as signposts of a patient’s overall health. But these measures only reflect the pulsing of blood through the large vessels, arteries and veins, not the smaller arterioles, venules and capillaries, which directly feed tissues and cells.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Florida have identified a drug that can be used to treat pulmonary hypertension, a disease for which few therapy options exist.
For many dog owners, incessant barking is the bane of their existence. Some resort to using “shock collars” that deliver a jolt when their animal barks. The brainchild of a School of Veterinary Medicine student, however, may one day help pet lovers quiet their pets using positive reinforcement in the form of food rewards.
For many dog owners, incessant barking is the bane of their existence. Some resort to using “shock collars” that deliver a jolt when their animal barks. The brainchild of a School of Veterinary Medicine student, however, may one day help pet lovers quiet their pets using positive reinforcement in the form of food rewards.
By Madeleine Stone  @themadstone Every morning this past July, Max Emanuel, a veterinary student at the University of Pennsylvania, would get up and drive to work. But Emanuel’s was no run-of-the-mill morning commute.
It’s an early lesson in genetics: we get half our DNA from Mom, half from Dad. But that straightforward explanation does not account for a process that sometimes occurs when cells divide. Called gene conversion, the copy of a gene from Mom can replace the one from Dad, or vice versa, making the two copies identical.
They live on our skin, in our guts, in our bathtubs, and in the soil. They can keep us healthy, and they can kill us. We know a lot about them, but we’ve only scratched the surface.
As long as humans have been alive, they’ve been seeking ways to extend life just a little longer. So far no one has found the fountain of youth, but researchers have begun to understand how humans age, little by little, offering hope for therapies that may blunt the effects of time on the body.