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Media Contact:Michele Berger | mwberger@upenn.edu | 215-898-6751December 14, 2015

Kindness, Charitable Behavior Influenced by Amygdala, Penn Research Reveals

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University of Pennsylvania PIK professor Michael Platt discovered that the amygdala, a small structure in the brain, is associated with charitable giving and positive social behavior, not just fear.

The amygdala, a small structure at the front end of the brain’s temporal lobe, has long been associated with negative behaviors generally, and specifically with fear. But new research from Michael Platt, the James S.

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Media Contact:Michele Berger | mwberger@upenn.edu | 215-898-6751December 10, 2015

AIDS Treatment Benefits Health, Economics of People Without HIV, Penn Study Shows

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Sociology’s Hans-Peter Kohler, along with researchers from the University of Melbourne and the University of Chicago, discovered that AIDS treatment can help HIV-negative people by quelling fear of the virus and boosting mental health and productivity.

In rural Malawi, roughly 10 percent of the adult population has HIV.

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Media Contact:Steve Graff | stephen.graff@uphs.upenn.edu | 215-349-5653December 7, 2015

Testosterone-Lowering Therapy for Prostate Cancer May Increase Alzheimer's Risk

Men taking androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for prostate cancer were almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in the years that followed than those who didn’t undergo the therapy, an analysis of medical records from two large hospital systems by Penn Medicine and Stanford University researchers has shown.

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Media Contact:Katie Delach | katie.delach@uphs.upenn.edu | 215-349-5964December 7, 2015

Penn Study Points to Economic and Racial Barriers That Impact the Treatment of Psoriasis

In the first known study to examine the prevalence and treatment of psoriasis in older Americans, experts from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have found that black patients receiving Medicare are less likely to receive biologic therapies –medications derived from human or animal cells or tissues – for the treatment of mo

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194December 7, 2015

Winter and Holiday 2015 Health Tips from Penn

The winter months come with their own special health challenges. From delicious food everywhere you look to harsh weather conditions to the stress of creating a perfect holiday, the season can be challenging.

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194December 3, 2015

Gene Pair Plays Crucial Role in Colon Cancer, Penn Vet Team Shows

Colon cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide, and researchers are hard at work to understand the disease’s complex molecular underpinnings.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604December 3, 2015

Penn Researchers Make Thinnest Plates That Can Be Picked Up by Hand

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Scientists and engineers are engaged in a global race to make new materials that are as thin, light and strong as possible, but these properties are only useful if they can leave the carefully controlled conditions of a lab.

Scientists and engineers are engaged in a global race to make new materials that are as thin, light and strong as possible. These properties can be achieved by designing materials at the atomic level, but they are only useful if they can leave the carefully controlled conditions of a lab.

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194November 30, 2015

HIV/AIDS Drugs Interfere With Brain’s ‘Insulation,’ Penn-CHOP Team Shows

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In a new study, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia teamed up to investigate the underlying reasons why HIV patients on antiretroviral regimens experience mild to moderate cognitive impairments. They found that commonly used antiretroviral medications disrupted the function of oligodendrocytes, crucial brain cells that manufacture myelin, the fatty material that serves to insulate neurons, helping them transmit signals in the brain fast and efficiently.

Antiretroviral therapies, or ART, have enabled people with HIV and AIDS to live much longer lives, transforming what was considered a death sentence into a chronic condition. Yet concerns for these patients remain.

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Media Contact:Michele Berger | mwberger@upenn.edu | 215-898-6751November 30, 2015

Linguists at Penn Document Philadelphia ‘Accent’ of American Sign Language

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Linguists Jami Fisher and Meredith Tamminga of the University of Pennsylvania began a project to record American Sign Language variations in Philly, aided by a Research Opportunity Grant from the School of Arts and Sciences.

Jami Fisher, a lecturer in the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Linguistics, has a long history with American Sign Language.

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Media Contact:Michele Berger | mwberger@upenn.edu | 215-898-6751November 30, 2015

Teens Know Dangers of Driving and Cellphone Use, Yet Do It Anyway, Penn Research Shows

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Catherine McDonald and Marilyn (Lynn) Sommers sat down with 30 teens to better understand their perceptions of driving and distractions such as cell-phone use.

What happens when “Tom Hanks,” “Tom Cruise” and “Kesha” sit around a table? When the talkers are actually teens using researcher-requested pseudonyms they chose to anonymously discuss their driving habits, the results are surprising, maybe even more so than if the real celebrities got together.