Health & Medicine

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | | 215-898-9194August 11, 2015

Penn Study Details ‘Rotten Egg’ Gas’ Role in Autoimmune Disease

A new study led by Songtao Shi of the University of Pennsylvania has demonstrated how regulatory T cells can themselves be regulated, by an unexpected source: hydrogen sulfide, a gas produced by the body’s muscle cells and one often associated with the smell of rotten eggs.

The immune system not only responds to infections and other potentially problematic abnormalities in the body, it also contains a built-in brake in the form of regulatory T cells, or Tregs. Tregs ensure that inflammatory responses don’t get out of hand and do damage. In autoimmune diseases, sometimes these Treg cells don’t act as they should.

Silence of the Lambs

August 1, 2015


Rebecca Wells and Michael Pack of the Perelman School of Medicine are featured for leading a study about biliary atresia in zebrafish and mammals.

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Media Contact:Karen Kreeger | | 215-349-5658July 30, 2015

Penn Medicine: Cell Aging Slowed by Putting Brakes on Noisy Transcription

Working with yeast and worms, researchers found that incorrect gene expression is a hallmark of aged cells and that reducing such “noise” extends lifespan in these organisms. The team published their findings this month in Genes & Development.

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Media Contact:Karen Kreeger | | 215-349-5658July 30, 2015

Penn Study Questions Presence in Blood of Heart-Healthy Molecules from Fish Oil Supplements

The importance of a diet rich in fish oils – now a billion dollar food-supplement industry -- has been debated for over half a century. A few large clinical trials have supported the idea that fish oils confer therapeutic benefits to patients with cardiovascular disease. Researchers think that hearts and blood vessels may benefit in part from their anti-inflammatory properties.

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Media Contact:Karen Kreeger | | 215-349-5658July 28, 2015

Sleepy Fruitflies Get Mellow: Sleep Deprivation Reduces Aggression, Mating Behavior in Flies, Penn Study Finds

Whether you're a human, a mouse, or even a fruitfly, losing sleep is a bad thing, leading to physiological effects and behavioral changes. One example that has been studied for many years is a link between sleep loss and aggression. But it can be difficult to distinguish sleep loss effects from stress responses, especially in rodent or human models.

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Media Contact:Karen Kreeger | | 215-349-5658July 27, 2015

Penn Scientists Find That Flow Means "Go" for Proper Lymph System Development

The lymphatic system provides a slow flow of fluid from our organs and tissues into the bloodstream. It returns fluid and proteins that leak from blood vessels, provides passage for immune and inflammatory cells from the tissues to the blood, and hosts key niches for immune cells. How this system develops hasn’t been well understood, but now researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have found from experiments in mice that the early flow of lymph fluid is a critical factor in the development of mature lymphatic vessels.

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Media Contact:Anna Duerr | | 215-349-8369July 23, 2015

Penn Study Finds Link between Physician Training and Brand Name Prescribing

Physicians in training are twice as likely to order a costly brand-name statin (used to lower blood cholesterol levels) when supervised by senior physicians who prefer those medications in their own practice, according to a new study led by researchers at the

Video: World’s First Pediatric Double-hand Transplant Performed in Phila.

July 29, 2015

L. Scott Levin of the Perelman School of Medicine discusses leading a team of surgeons to perform the world’s first bilateral hand transplant on a child.

Article Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | | 215-898-9194July 28, 2015

Penn Vet Study Shows Immune Cells in the Skin Remember and Defend Against Parasites

Now, research led by a team from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine shows that resident memory T cells form in response to parasite infection. The new study found that, after infection with the parasitic disease leishmaniasis, a population of T cells with a memory for the parasite remained in the skin.

Just as the brain forms memories of familiar faces, the immune system remembers pathogens it has encountered in the past. T cells with these memories circulate in the blood stream looking for sites of new infection.

Study Questions Radiation Use for ‘Low-Risk’ Prostate Cancers

July 17, 2015

Anusha Kalbasi and Justin Bekelman of the Perelman School of Medicine are highlighted for research into the impact of radiation on prostate cancer patients.

Article Source: HealthDay News