University of Pennsylvania

  • ​For many years, people suffering from dry eye disease have turned to omega-3 fatty acid supplements to help relive their symptoms. According to a new study funded by the US National Eye Institute (NEI), however, such supplements make virtually no difference.
  • ​A new study has uncovered the mechanism by which our gut communicates with the brain to regulate the sensation of hunger. The researchers also discovered a novel combination of hormones that can mimic the signal sent to our brain telling it that enough food has been consumed.
  • ​When you get a cavity filled, you certainly don't want plaque growing on the filling – it could cause the tooth to decay all over again. That's why scientists have evaluated a new dental composite material that not only kills bacteria on contact, but that also stands up to everyday wear and tear.
  • A coral reef resident may seem like an strange source to make biofuels practical, but the characteristic iridescent blue muscle tissues that the giant clam shows when it's open is giving researchers at the University of Pennsylvania clues on how to produce algae more efficiently.
  • A team of researchers has discovered that the norovirus bug can escape destruction by hiding in a rare type of cell found in the gut. Norovirus is the leading cause of non-bacterial gastroenteritis, which causes 267 million infections, and 200,000 deaths worldwide each year.
  • A pair of independent studies from two teams used CRISPR technology​ to genetically alter ants to remove their ability to "smell," which resulted in their inability to interact with normal ants and produced changes in their brains.
  • On average, 22 people die in the US daily while waiting to receive an organ transplant. Typically, organs from patients with diseases that can be spread to recipients are simply discarded. But a new approach from researchers could change that, increasing the organ pool available to surgeons.
  • ​There are a couple of reasons that scar tissue looks different than regular skin – it lacks hair follicles, and it has no fat cells. Recently, though, scientists succeeded in addressing both factors. They're now able to get wounds to heal with regenerated skin, instead of with scar tissue.
  • It's vitally important to detect the onset of Alzheimer's as early as possible, and a new test could help doctors do just that. It involves getting patients to smell things.​
  • Researchers have used an algorithm to analyze Shakespeare's writing style and some of his contemporaries, and determined which of his plays were likely collaborations and with whom. For the first time, an upcoming scholarly collection will credit Christopher Marlowe as co-author on Henry VI.
  • Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have taken yet another step forward through the development of injectable gels that can strengthen areas most weakened by heart attacks and minimize the chances of heart failure.​
  • ​The organ-on-a-chip concept has been around for a while now, providing researchers with working, lab-based models of hearts, kidneys, and more. Now, researchers have created a new placenta-on-a-chip, a device that could provide insights to help prevent preterm births.