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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194October 19, 2015

Penn: Stressed Dads Affect Offspring Brain Development Through Sperm MicroRNA

blurb: 
University of Pennsylvania researchers have shown at the molecular level how experiencing stress changes a male mouse’s sperm in such a way that it affects his offspring’s response to stress.

More and more, scientists have realized that DNA is not the only way that a parent can pass on traits to their offspring. Events experienced by a parent over a lifetime can also have an impact.

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194October 13, 2015

Plant Hormone ‘Switch’ Unravels Chromatin to Form Flowers, Penn Biologists Find

blurb: 
University of Pennsylvania researchers have identified a hormone-mediated “chromatin switch” that directs a plant to form flowers. In the absence of auxin, genes that initiate flower formation are tucked away in tangled chromatin, a tightly packed bundle of DNA. But, in the hormone’s presence, proteins are recruited to unravel chromatin and make the genes responsible for flower formation more accessible.

Because plants cannot pick up and move, they have evolved a plethora of strategies to cope with environmental stresses, whether they bring a harsh spell of drought or a browsing deer.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604October 13, 2015

NIH New Innovator Award Goes to Penn Bioengineer for Study of ‘3-D Epigenome’

The National Institutes of Health have named Jennifer Phillips-Cremins, an assistant professor in the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science’s Department of Bioengineering, as a member of its

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194October 13, 2015

Pebbles on Mars Likely Traveled Tens of Miles Down a Riverbed, Penn Study Finds

blurb: 
In a new report led by University of Pennsylvania geophysicists, they estimate that rounded pebbels on Mars traveled roughly 30 miles from their source, providing additional evidence for the idea that Mars once had an extensive river system, conditions that could support life.

While new evidence suggests that Mars may harbor a tiny amount of liquid water, it exists today as a largely cold and arid planet. Three billion years ago, however, the situation may have been much different.

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194October 9, 2015

Penn Study Stops Vision Loss in Late-stage Canine X-linked Retinitis Pigmentosa

blurb: 
Three years ago, a team from the University of Pennsylvania announced that they had cured X-linked retinitis pigmentosa, a blinding retinal disease, in dogs. Now they’ve shown that they can cure the canine disease over the long term, even when the treatment is given after half or more of the affected photoreceptor cells have been destroyed.

Version en français

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Media Contact:Michele Berger | mwberger@upenn.edu | 215-898-6751October 8, 2015

Penn Researcher Earns Early Career Award for Work on Brain Stimulation

blurb: 
When John Medaglia joined the University of Pennsylvania a year ago as a postdoctoral fellow, he didn’t yet have a precise path. Now it’s a little clearer, thanks to the prestigious NIH Early Independence Award given out to just 16 young scientists across the country.

When John Medaglia joined the University of Pennsylvania a year ago as a postdoctoral fellow, he didn’t yet have a precise path. Now it’s a little clearer, thanks to a prestigious honor given out to just 16 young scientists across the country.

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194October 1, 2015

Penn Vet-Temple Team Characterizes Genetic Mutations Linked to a Form of Blindness

blurb: 
A collaboration between University of Pennsylvania and Temple University scientists has identified two naturally occurring genetic mutations in dogs that result in achromatopsia, a form of blindness.

Achromatopsia is a rare, inherited vision disorder that affects the eye’s cone cells, resulting in problems with daytime vision, clarity and color perception. It often strikes people early in life, and currently there is no cure for the condition.

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

Penn Dental Medicine Study Blocks Inflammatory Bone Loss in Gum Disease

blurb: 
A new study led by University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine researchers demonstrates that a protein called Del-1, can inhibit bone loss associated with periodontitis. They also found the protein curbs the activity of osteoclasts, cells that absorb bone tissue, leading to a mechanistic explanation of how Del-1 can prevent periodontal bone loss.

Periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease, doesn’t just cause soft-tissue inflammation and bleeding. It also destroys the bone that supports the teeth. If it progresses unchecked, it can lead to tooth loss and is even associated with systemic inflammatory conditions like atherosclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. 

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

Penn Dental Medicine Study Produces Low-cost Drug in Lettuce

blurb: 
At the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, Henry Daniell and colleagues produced an effective, low-cost drug that promotes tolerance to clotting factors, which could be taken by hemophilia patients, using freeze-dried lettuce leaves.

Biopharmaceuticals, or drugs that are based on whole proteins, are expensive to make and require refrigeration to store. Insulin, for example, is unaffordable and inaccessible to most of the global population.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604
Media Contact:Sean Nealon | sean.nealon@ucr.edu | 951-827-1287
Media Contact:Julie Cohen | julie.cohen@ucsb.edu | 805-893-7220
Media Contact:Joyce Conant | joyce.m.conant2.civ@mail.mil | 410-278-8603October 1, 2015

Penn, University of California and Army Research Lab Show How Brain’s Wiring Leads to Cognitive Control

How does the brain determine which direction to let its thoughts fly? Looking for the mechanisms behind cognitive control of thought, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, University of California and United States Army Research Laboratory have used brain scans to shed new light on this question.