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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194August 24, 2015

World Water Week at Penn

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Penn's health schools are celebrating World Water Week by featuring stories that highlight the University's expertise in water-related issues. Follow along on Twitter at ‪#‎PennOneHealth‬.

The University of Pennsylvania's health schools are showing support for World Water Week by highlighting the University's expertise in a broad range of water-related issues. Each day we'll feature a different topic. Follow along and learn more on Twitter at ‪#‎PennOneHealth‬. 

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604
Media Contact:Robert Sanders | rlsanders@berkeley.edu | 510-643-6998 August 20, 2015

Experiment Attempts to Snare Penn Astrophysicist’s Dark Energy ‘Chameleons’

If dark energy is hiding in the form of hypothetical particles called “chameleons,” a team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Berkeley, plans to flush them out.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604August 17, 2015

Penn Researchers Use Nanoscopic Pores to Investigate Protein Structure

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University of Pennsylvania researchers have made strides toward a new method of gene sequencing a strand of DNA’s bases are read as they are threaded through a nanoscopic hole. In a new study, they have shown that this technique can also be applied to proteins as way to learn more about their structure.

University of Pennsylvania researchers have made strides toward a new method of gene sequencing a strand of DNA’s bases are read as they are threaded through a nanoscopic hole. 

In a new study, they have shown that this technique can also be applied to proteins as way to learn more about their structure.

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194August 14, 2015

Penn/Baylor Med Study Describes Underlying Cause of Diabetes in Dogs

In a new effort, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Baylor College of Medicine have used advanced imaging technology to fill in details about the underlying cause of canine diabetes, which until now has been little understood.

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194August 11, 2015

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

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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.

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194August 11, 2015

Penn/Arizona Team to Study Little-understood lncRNA Molecules

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With an award of more than $2.5 million from the National Science Foundation’s Plant Genome Research Program, the University of Pennsylvania’s Brian Gregory will join two scientists from the University of Arizona to study the true nature of a class of mysterious RNA molecules known as lncRNA.

There is a theory that RNA, instead of DNA, is the original building block of all life. Yet many RNA molecules remain mysterious, their true nature and function little understood.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604August 6, 2015

Penn Helps Develop Algorithm Aimed at Combating Science’s Reproducibility Problem

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Researchers can have a tough time telling when they have unearthed a nugget of truth, or what amounts to fool’s gold: a correlation that seems to have predictive value but actually does not because it results just from random chance.

Big data sets are important tools of modern science. Mining for correlations between millions of pieces of information can reveal vital relationships or predict future outcomes, such as risk factors for a disease or structures of new chemical compounds.  

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194August 5, 2015

Lightning Reshapes Rocks at the Atomic Level, Penn Study Finds

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At a rock outcropping in southern France, a jagged fracture runs along the granite. The surface in and around the crevice is discolored black, as if wet or covered in algae. But, according to a new paper coauthored by the University of Pennsylvania’s Reto Gieré, the real explanation for the rock’s unusual features is more dramatic: a powerful bolt of lightning.

At a rock outcropping in southern France, a jagged fracture runs along the granite. The surface in and around the crevice is discolored black, as if wet or covered in algae.

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194August 4, 2015

For Penn’s Timothy Linksvayer, Ants Are a Model of Complex Societies

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Timothy Linksvayer is expanding his research into how genetics and behavior allow complex societies, like those of his lab’s pharaoh ants, to survive and thrive. What he finds may shed light on the mechanisms that other organisms, humans included, have evolved to live in large, orderly social groups.

In small plastic tubs lining the shelves of a basement laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, a million organisms live in complex societies.

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194July 28, 2015

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

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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.