Research

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194June 11, 2014

Gum Disease Bacteria Selectively Disarm Immune System, Penn Study Finds

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In a new study, University of Pennsylvania researchers show that bacteria responsible for many cases of periodontitis cause an imbalance in the microbial community in the gums, with a sophisticated, two-prong manipulation of the human immune system.

The human body is comprised of roughly 10 times more bacterial cells than human cells. In healthy people, these bacteria are typically harmless and often helpful, keeping disease-causing microbes at bay. But, when disturbances knock these bacterial populations out of balance, illnesses can arise. Periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease, is one example.

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Media Contact:Lee-Ann Donegan | leeann.donegan@uphs.upenn.edu | 215-349-5660June 9, 2014

Lifetime Costs for Autism Spectrum Disorder May Reach $2.4 Million Per Patient, Penn Study Finds

Costs for a lifetime of support for each individual with autism spectrum disorder may reach $2.4 million, according to a new study from researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604June 9, 2014

Penn Research Develops ‘Onion’ Vesicles for Drug Delivery

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University of Pennsylvania researchers have shown that a certain kind of molecule that has tree-like branches can self-assemble into drug delivery vehicles that have multiple with concentric layers of membranes.

One of the defining features of cells is their membranes. Each cell’s repository of DNA and protein-making machinery must be kept stable and secure from invaders and toxins. Scientists have attempted to replicate these properties, but, despite decades of research, even the most basic membrane structures, known as vesicles, still face many problems when made in the lab.

Take Your Heart Medicine – and Win a Prize!

June 8, 2014

Shivan Mehta of the Perelman School of Medicine and Kevin Volpp of the Wharton School and the Perelman School of Medicine are quoted about a study called Heartstrong.

Article Source: Wall Street Journal
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Media Contact:Joseph J. Diorio | jdiorio@asc.upenn.edu | 215-746-1798June 5, 2014

Demographics Drive Fitness Partner Decisions Online, Penn Study Finds

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According to a new study led by University of Pennsylvania’s Damon Centola, participants in an online fitness program ignored the fitness aptitude of their potential partners, instead paying attention to age, gender and body mass index.

Who would you rather have as a fitness partner: a paragon of athleticism and dedication who could motivate you to exceed your current level of fitness or an equal, with whom you could exchange tips and encouragement on the road to better health?

Study Links Pot Use With Poor Sleep

June 4, 2014

Michael Grandner and Jilesh Chheda of the Perelman School of Medicine are quoted about the use of marijuana and how it is linked to difficulty sleeping.

Article Source: HealthDay

Female Hormone Estriol Showing Promise as MS Therapy

June 4, 2014

Rhonda Voskuhl of the Perelman School of Medicine is highlighted for leading a study that shows a form of the hormone estrogen can reduce relapses in multiple sclerosis patients.

Article Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

MOOCs Pose No Threat to Business Schools Say Penn Researchers

June 3, 2014

Ezekiel Emanuel of the Office of Global Initiatives is quoted about researching massive open online courses and their impact on traditional business-education programs.

Article Source: Financial Times

Study Pinpoints When People Are Most Likely to Commit Suicide

June 3, 2014

Michael Perlis of the Perelman School of Medicine says, “This appears to be the first data to suggest that circadian factors may contribute to suicidality and help explain why insomnia is also a risk factor for suicidal ideation and behavior.”

Article Source: CBS News
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Media Contact:Jeanne Leong | jleong@upenn.edu | 215-573-8151June 3, 2014

2012 Portfolio by Penn’s Terry Adkins Reconsidered Through Exhibition

Following the death in February of the University of Pennsylvania’s Terry Adkins, a fine arts professor in the School of Design, Matt Neff, found a way to pay tribute his former colleague in a special way.