Latest University of Pennsylvania School Stories

2009-02-12 10:14:24

First-of-its-kind study shows how brain connections strengthen during sleep If you ever argued with your mother when she told you to get some sleep after studying for an exam instead of pulling an all-nighter, you owe her an apology, because it turns out she's right. And now, scientists are beginning to understand why. In research published this week in Neuron, Marcos Frank, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, postdoctoral researcher...

2009-02-12 07:10:00

Nearly half a million people die every year from tobacco use in the United States. A recent study has shown that people were three times more likely to stay off cigarettes for at least six months if they were rewarded with up to $750, Reuters reported. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, polled 878 General Electric workers at 85 different facilities around the United States to further test earlier studies on cash incentives. Dr. Kevin Volpp of the University of...

2009-02-08 08:20:00

Implications for circumventing studies too costly or unethical for clinical trial For years controversy has surrounded whether electronic medical records (EMR) would lead to increased patient safety, cut medical errors, and reduce healthcare costs. Now, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have discovered a way to get another bonus from the implementation of electronic medical records: testing the efficacy of treatments for disease. In the first study of its kind,...

2009-01-28 08:31:28

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have likely found one reason why the Ebola virus is such a powerful, deadly, and effective virus. Using a cell culture model for Ebola virus infection, they have discovered that the virus disables a cellular protein called tetherin that normally can block the spread of virus from cell to cell. "Tetherin represents a new class of cellular factors that possess a very different means of inhibiting viral replication," says study...

2009-01-22 09:00:00

Improvement in brain electrical signaling is critical both for vertebrate evolution and for preventing epileptic seizuresStudies at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine on brain electrical signaling offer a fresh perspective on vertebrate evolution, provide additional evidence supporting Darwinian views of evolution, and may also lead to more effective treatment of epileptic seizures in infants. Researchers discovered how evolutionary changes produced a series of improvements in...

2009-01-09 15:30:00

A research team led by Nancy Speck, PhD, Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, has identified the location and developmental timeline in which a majority of bone marrow stem cells form in the mouse embryo. The findings, appearing online this week in the journal Nature, highlight critical steps in the origin of hematopoietic (or blood) stem cells (HSCs), says senior author Speck, who is also an Investigator with the Abramson Family...

2008-12-10 11:09:40

Findings show promise for drugs to treat smokers who may be genetically prone to relapse A new study from the Abramson Cancer Center and Department of Psychiatry in the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine shows that smokers who carry a particular version of a gene for an enzyme that regulates dopamine in the brain may suffer from concentration problems and other cognitive deficits when abstaining from nicotine "“ a problem that puts them at risk for relapse during attempts to...

2008-12-10 08:44:46

Getting skinny and making cash is a powerful combo according to U.S. researchers who said the incentive is more effective than conventional approaches. Dr. Kevin Volpp of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine started the study because he was looking for an effective way to treat obesity. He said the major problem with many weight-loss programs is due to people sacrificing now for rewards in the future. "We wanted to create a reward system which gave them rewards in the present,"...

2008-11-30 07:35:00

A survey of pharmacies in three large U.S. cities showed women have easier and quicker access to the morning after pill since the Food and Drug Administration ruled the medication could be sold to adults without a prescription. The FDA approved "behind the counter" status for plan B, in 2006, meaning that people aged 18 and older can buy the emergency contraceptive over the counter, while younger people need a prescription from a doctor.  This medication consists of a high dose of...

2008-04-22 00:35:00

Parents of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder should consider heart examinations before being prescribed with Ritalin or other stimulants, The American Heart Association said on Monday.The group said that it is not certain that stimulants can increase the risk of cardiac arrest in children, but issued a warning that heart exams are a necessary precaution that should be considered."There's been concern that these drugs might be associated in a very small number of...

Word of the Day
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'