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

At the turn of the millennium, the cost to sequence a single human genome exceeded $50 million, and the process took a decade to complete. Microbes have genomes, too, and the first reference genome for a malaria parasite was completed in 2002 at a cost of roughly $15 million. But today researchers can sequence a genome in a single afternoon for just a few thousand dollars.
Philadelphia is home to many beautiful waterways, from the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers to the Wissahickon and Cobbs creeks. A visit to their banks affords city dwellers a chance to escape the concrete jungle to fish, hike, picnic, or let their dogs romp and roam. Yet after a heavy rainfall, these may not be the safest places for urbanites to get their nature fix. The reason? Sewage.
Science fiction is often said to reflect human culture: who we are today and what we dream to be in the future. But those who write on the future also have a hand in shaping it. Indeed, many future thinkers of the past have predicted technologies of the present with uncanny accuracy.
For the millions of people around the world with inherited forms of blindness, the path toward a gradually dimming world may seem inexorable. But a new therapy that melds chemical and genetic approaches offers hope for restoring vision, even in patients whose world has gone dark. The treatment has already allowed once-blind mice to regain some vision, and shows promise in dogs, whose eyes share many similarities with those of humans.
A new chemical-genetic therapy restores light responses to the retinas of blind mice and dogs and enables the mice to guide their behavior according to visual cues, setting the stage for clinical trial in humans.
By Madeleine Stone  @themadstone
This past March, tens of thousands of people around the world tuned in to the School of Veterinary Medicine’s “foal cam” to welcome Boone, a leggy colt born to mare My Special Girl at the New Bolton Center campus in Kennett Square, Pa. For these viewers, watching over the internet was the next best thing to being in the stall. But for animal lovers wanting to get more up close and personal, there is an opportunity to do so this spring.
This past March, tens of thousands of people around the world tuned in to the School of Veterinary Medicine’s “foal cam” to welcome Boone, a leggy colt born to mare My Special Girl at the New Bolton Center campus in Kennett Square, Pa. For these viewers, watching over the internet was the next best thing to being in the stall. But for animal lovers wanting to get more up close and personal, there is an opportunity to do so this spring.
By Madeleine Stone  @themadstone
Last year, University of Pennsylvania researchers Alexander J. Stewart and Joshua B.