Latest News from: Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

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Newswise: Community-Based Programs Reduce Sexual Violence, Study Shows
18-Dec-2020 12:25 PM EST
Community-Based Programs Reduce Sexual Violence, Study Shows
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

Through small, neighborhood classes, researchers at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and Promundo-US significantly reduced sexual violence among teenage boys living in areas of concentrated disadvantage. The study appears in JAMA.

Newswise: Some States May Lack Facilities for Administering COVID-19 Vaccine to Residents
Released: 16-Dec-2020 4:45 PM EST
Some States May Lack Facilities for Administering COVID-19 Vaccine to Residents
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

As the biggest vaccination effort in U.S. history gets underway, several states may not have enough facilities in some areas to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to all residents who want it, according to a new analysis from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy and the nonprofit West Health.

Newswise: Pitt Scientists Identify Genetic Risks of Rare Inflammatory Disease
7-Dec-2020 12:05 PM EST
Pitt Scientists Identify Genetic Risks of Rare Inflammatory Disease
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

A group of international collaborators led by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh identified new genetic associations that can predict individual susceptibility to Takayasu arteritis.

Newswise: Synthetic Biology and Machine Learning Speed the Creation of Lab-Grown Livers
1-Dec-2020 11:20 AM EST
Synthetic Biology and Machine Learning Speed the Creation of Lab-Grown Livers
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have combined synthetic biology with a machine learning algorithm to create human liver organoids with blood and bile handling systems. When implanted into mice with failing livers, the lab-grown replacement livers extended life.

Newswise: Circadian Gene Mutation Increases Self-Administration of Cocaine in Mice
1-Dec-2020 10:15 AM EST
Circadian Gene Mutation Increases Self-Administration of Cocaine in Mice
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

University of Pittsburgh researchers reveal a molecular basis for the deep and fundamental connection between the disruption in circadian rhythms and predisposition to substance abuse.

Newswise: Pitt Scientists Identify Predictors of Satisfaction after Bariatric Surgery and Demonstrate Positive Effects of Physical Activity in Patients
23-Nov-2020 1:00 PM EST
Pitt Scientists Identify Predictors of Satisfaction after Bariatric Surgery and Demonstrate Positive Effects of Physical Activity in Patients
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

While most patients are at least somewhat satisfied with their surgery long-term, satisfaction decreased from 85% to 77% three to seven years post-surgery. Most patients also continue to lead sedentary lives, which contributes to weight regain and negatively affects their mental well-being.

Newswise: Pitt Scientists Discover Secret to Superbug’s Virulence in Diabetic Infections
10-Nov-2020 11:30 AM EST
Pitt Scientists Discover Secret to Superbug’s Virulence in Diabetic Infections
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

The bodies of people with uncontrolled diabetes appear to be the perfect environment for a common type of superbug to thrive unchecked and do its worst damage, according to new research by University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine scientists.

Newswise: Increase in Early-Stage Cancer Diagnoses Tied to ACA’s Medicaid Expansion, Pitt Study Finds
10-Nov-2020 10:15 AM EST
Increase in Early-Stage Cancer Diagnoses Tied to ACA’s Medicaid Expansion, Pitt Study Finds
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

The study showed that health insurance expansions increased early-stage cancer diagnoses, while rates of late-stage cancer decreased.

Newswise: University of Pittsburgh Neuroscientists Advance Understanding of Pain from Light Touch
9-Nov-2020 3:15 PM EST
University of Pittsburgh Neuroscientists Advance Understanding of Pain from Light Touch
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

Researchers from the Pittsburgh Center for Pain Research uncovered additional complexities behind mechanical allodynia – the sensation of pain from innocuous stimuli, such as light touch.

Newswise:Video Embedded llama-nanobodies-could-be-a-powerful-weapon-against-covid-19
VIDEO
Released: 5-Nov-2020 2:00 PM EST
Llama Nanobodies Could be a Powerful Weapon Against COVID-19
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

Today in Science, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine describe a new method to extract tiny but extremely powerful SARS-CoV-2 antibody fragments from llamas, which could be fashioned into inhalable therapeutics with the potential to prevent and treat COVID-19.

Newswise:Video Embedded rapid-method-finds-potent-covid-19-monoclonal-antibody-among-a-trillion-possibilities
VIDEO
Released: 2-Nov-2020 4:40 PM EST
Rapid Method Finds Potent COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody Among a Trillion Possibilities
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine scientists have discovered the fastest way to identify potent, neutralizing human monoclonal antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The method – as well as a trio of successful animal studies on an antibody called “Ab1” – are described today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Ab1 is on track for human clinical trials by early next year.

Newswise: 2020 Dickson Prize in Medicine Awarded to Pioneer Researcher in Synthetic Biology
Released: 26-Oct-2020 11:40 AM EDT
2020 Dickson Prize in Medicine Awarded to Pioneer Researcher in Synthetic Biology
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

James J. Collins, Ph.D., an innovator in synthetic biology whose ideas have contributed to novel diagnostics and treatments targeting infections and complex diseases, has been awarded the 2020 Dickson Prize in Medicine, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine’s highest honor.

Newswise: Bacterial Metabolism of Dietary Soy May Lower Risk Factor for Dementia
20-Oct-2020 8:00 AM EDT
Bacterial Metabolism of Dietary Soy May Lower Risk Factor for Dementia
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

A metabolite produced following consumption of dietary soy may decrease a key risk factor for dementia – with the help of the right bacteria, according to a new discovery.

Newswise: Two Pitt Faculty Members Inducted into National Academy of Medicine for Work on Aging and Neuro-Rehab
Released: 19-Oct-2020 12:35 PM EDT
Two Pitt Faculty Members Inducted into National Academy of Medicine for Work on Aging and Neuro-Rehab
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

Two physician scientists at the University of Pittsburgh have been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Medicine: Dr. Toren Finkel, director of the Pitt Aging Institute, and Dr. Amy Wagner, professor of physical medicine and neuroscience at Pitt.

Newswise: ‘Use it or Lose it’: Regular Social Engagement Linked to Healthier Brain Microstructure in Older Adults
15-Oct-2020 8:00 AM EDT
‘Use it or Lose it’: Regular Social Engagement Linked to Healthier Brain Microstructure in Older Adults
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

Older people who report greater levels of social engagement have more robust gray matter in regions of the brain relevant in dementia, according to new research. The findings matter during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Newswise: Improved Mobility in Frail and Elderly Adults Linked to Common Gene Variant
Released: 12-Oct-2020 8:00 AM EDT
Improved Mobility in Frail and Elderly Adults Linked to Common Gene Variant
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

Variations in a gene that regulates dopamine levels in the brain may influence the mobility of elderly and frail adults, according to new research.

Newswise: ‘Repliclones’ Fuel Perplexing Persistence of HIV in the Blood of Some Patients on Medication
1-Oct-2020 10:45 AM EDT
‘Repliclones’ Fuel Perplexing Persistence of HIV in the Blood of Some Patients on Medication
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

In a new study, infectious disease researchers show that HIV viremia isn’t always nonadherence to medication or resistance to the drugs. Instead, the patients are victims of what the scientists have dubbed “repliclones” – large clones of HIV-infected cells that produce infectious virus particles.

Newswise: Computer Model Shows How COVID-19 Could Lead to Runaway Inflammation
Released: 29-Sep-2020 9:30 AM EDT
Computer Model Shows How COVID-19 Could Lead to Runaway Inflammation
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

New study addresses a mystery first raised in March: Why do some people with COVID-19 develop severe inflammation? The research shows how the molecular structure and sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein could be behind life-threatening inflammatory conditions MIS-C and cytokine storm.

Newswise: Artificial Intelligence Detects Osteoarthritis Years Before it Develops
21-Sep-2020 10:30 AM EDT
Artificial Intelligence Detects Osteoarthritis Years Before it Develops
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

Researchers have created a machine-learning algorithm that can pick up on subtle signs of osteoarthritis – too abstract to register in the eye of a trained radiologist – on an MRI scan taken years before symptom onset.

Newswise: Pollution Exposure Linked to Stroke Risk in People with Common Heart Rhythm Disorder
Released: 16-Sep-2020 9:00 AM EDT
Pollution Exposure Linked to Stroke Risk in People with Common Heart Rhythm Disorder
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

People with atrial fibrillation who are exposed to greater levels of pollution have a higher risk of stroke than their peers who live with less pollution.

Newswise: Potent Drug Supply Drop, Not U.S. Domestic Drug Policies, Likely Behind 2018’s Overdose Death Downturn
14-Sep-2020 8:00 AM EDT
Potent Drug Supply Drop, Not U.S. Domestic Drug Policies, Likely Behind 2018’s Overdose Death Downturn
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

The slight decline in drug overdose deaths in 2018 coincides with Chinese regulations on the powerful opioid carfentanil, rather than the result of domestic U.S. efforts to curb the opioid epidemic, a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health analysis revealed today.

Newswise:Video Embedded tiny-antibody-component-highly-effective-against-sars-cov-2-in-animal-studies
VIDEO
Released: 14-Sep-2020 1:00 PM EDT
Tiny Antibody Component Highly Effective Against SARS-COV-2 in Animal Studies
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

Scientists announced today that they have isolated the smallest biological molecule to date that completely and specifically neutralizes the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is the cause of COVID-19.

Newswise: Magee-Womens Research Institute Opens Applications for $1 Million Prize
Released: 10-Sep-2020 2:25 PM EDT
Magee-Womens Research Institute Opens Applications for $1 Million Prize
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

The $1 million Magee Prize will support a collaborative team whose groundbreaking research in reproductive sciences and women’s health could improve lives globally.

Newswise: Editing the Immune Response Could Make Gene Therapy More Effective
31-Aug-2020 11:00 AM EDT
Editing the Immune Response Could Make Gene Therapy More Effective
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

Researchers created a system that uses CRISPR in a new way. Rather than acting on the genome to create permanent change, their system briefly suppresses genes specific to adenovirus antibody production, just long enough for the virus to deliver its gene therapy cargo unimpeded.

Newswise:Video Embedded it-takes-more-than-plexiglass-to-protect-against-aerosolized-sars-cov-2
VIDEO
1-Sep-2020 10:50 AM EDT
It Takes More than Plexiglass to Protect Against Aerosolized SARS-CoV-2
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

The FDA just revoked their EUA for intubation boxes - plastic shields that supposedly protect health care workers from becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 - due to concerns over aerosol leaks. This study describes a better box, with negative pressure and filtration, that contains airborne virus.

Newswise: Compared to Placebo, Vitamin D Has No Benefit for Severe Asthma Attacks
20-Aug-2020 6:30 PM EDT
Compared to Placebo, Vitamin D Has No Benefit for Severe Asthma Attacks
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

Contrary to earlier observational results, vitamin D supplements do not prevent severe asthma attacks in at-risk children, according to the first placebo-controlled clinical trial to test this relationship.

Newswise: Pigs Grow New Liver in Lymph Nodes, Study Shows
Released: 24-Aug-2020 9:30 AM EDT
Pigs Grow New Liver in Lymph Nodes, Study Shows
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

Hepatocytes – the chief functional cells of the liver – are natural regenerators, and the lymph nodes serve as a nurturing place where they can multiply. Researchers demonstrated that large animals with ailing livers can grow a new organ in their lymph nodes from their own hepatocytes.

Newswise: Short-Term Use of HIV-Prevention Medication Protects At-Risk Men on Vacation
Released: 12-Aug-2020 1:05 PM EDT
Short-Term Use of HIV-Prevention Medication Protects At-Risk Men on Vacation
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

Men at particular risk for HIV are very likely to consistently take prevention medication during vacations when their odds of contracting the virus are higher, according to a new study.

Newswise: Retesting for COVID-19: UPMC Shares its Experience
Released: 10-Aug-2020 10:25 AM EDT
Retesting for COVID-19: UPMC Shares its Experience
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

In the first large, multicenter analysis of its kind, the 40-hospital UPMC health system today reported its findings on clinician-directed retesting of patients for presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Newswise: Non-Invasive Nerve Stimulation Boosts Learning of Foreign Language Sounds
3-Aug-2020 4:00 PM EDT
Non-Invasive Nerve Stimulation Boosts Learning of Foreign Language Sounds
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

New research by neuroscientists at the University of Pittsburgh and UC San Francisco (UCSF) revealed that a simple, earbud-like device developed at UCSF that imperceptibly stimulates a key nerve leading to the brain could significantly improve the wearer’s ability to learn sounds of a new language.

3-Aug-2020 9:30 AM EDT
Men Scoring Higher on ’Man Box’ Scale are Prone to Violence, Mental Illness
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

Study finds that men who harbor more harmful attitudes about masculinity – including beliefs about aggression and homophobia – also tend toward bullying, sexual harassment, depression and suicidal thoughts.

Newswise: Trial Finds Drug Safe and Effective in Treating Hep-C During Pregnancy
24-Jul-2020 12:00 AM EDT
Trial Finds Drug Safe and Effective in Treating Hep-C During Pregnancy
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

Critics of the universal hepatitis C screening argue that it’s wasteful to test pregnant women for a disease that can’t be immediately treated, but results of a small phase I clinical trial suggest otherwise: pregnancy could be an excellent time to diagnose and cure hepatitis C infection.

Newswise: Artificial Intelligence Identifies Prostate Cancer with Near-Perfect Accuracy
24-Jul-2020 11:00 AM EDT
Artificial Intelligence Identifies Prostate Cancer with Near-Perfect Accuracy
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

Study reports 98% sensitivity and 97% specificity in recognizing and characterizing prostate cancer using an artificial intelligence (AI) program.

Newswise:Video Embedded spinal-stimulators-for-pain-relief-repurposed-to-restore-touch-in-a-lost-limb
VIDEO
Released: 21-Jul-2020 8:00 AM EDT
Spinal Stimulators for Pain Relief Repurposed to Restore Touch in a Lost Limb
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

Devices commonly implanted for chronic pain could expand patient access to prosthetic arms that "feel."

Newswise: Boosting Immune Memory Could Reduce Cancer Recurrence
Released: 14-Jul-2020 8:00 PM EDT
Boosting Immune Memory Could Reduce Cancer Recurrence
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

New study on how immune memory can be targeted and improve immunotherapy and prevent cancer recurrence.

Newswise: Umbilical Cord Blood Successfully Treats Rare Genetic Disorders in Largest Study to Date
Released: 14-Jul-2020 11:45 AM EDT
Umbilical Cord Blood Successfully Treats Rare Genetic Disorders in Largest Study to Date
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

Infusing umbilical cord blood – a readily available source of stem cells – safely and effectively treated 44 children born with various non-cancerous genetic disorders, including sickle cell, thalassemia, Hunter syndrome, Krabbe disease, MLD, and an array of immune deficiencies.

Released: 13-Jul-2020 9:00 AM EDT
Alliance for Regenerative Rehabilitation and Training Receives $5 Million NIH Grant to Continue Innovative Work
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

The National Institutes of Health has renewed a five-year grant for $5 million for the Alliance for Regenerative Rehabilitation and Training (AR3T) to continue its work expanding scientific knowledge, expertise and methodologies focused on science and regenerative medicine.

Newswise: New Drug Reduces Stroke Damage in Mice
29-Jun-2020 12:35 PM EDT
New Drug Reduces Stroke Damage in Mice
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

Mice that received an injection of a new experimental drug, TAT-DP-2, after a stroke had smaller areas of damage, and their long-term neurological function was better than that of untreated animals.

Newswise: Lab-Grown Miniature Human Livers Successfully Transplanted in Rats
28-May-2020 11:00 AM EDT
Lab-Grown Miniature Human Livers Successfully Transplanted in Rats
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

Using skin cells from human volunteers, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have created fully functional mini livers, which they then transplanted into rats. In this proof-of-concept experiment, the lab-made organs survived for four days inside their animal hosts.

Newswise:Video Embedded upmc-designs-playbook-for-return-of-youth-high-school-and-collegiate-team-sports
VIDEO
Released: 1-Jun-2020 2:00 PM EDT
UPMC Designs Playbook for Return of Youth, High School and Collegiate Team Sports
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

A multidisciplinary team of clinicians and researchers led by UPMC Sports Medicine has developed guidelines to assist coaches, athletic trainers and organizers creating a safe environment for youth athletes, fans and staff as they consider a return to play.

Newswise: Study Traces Brain-to-Gut Connections
14-May-2020 8:00 AM EDT
Study Traces Brain-to-Gut Connections
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

Using rabies virus injected into the stomach of rats, researchers trace the nerves back to the brain and find distinct "fight or flight" and "rest and digest" circuits. These results explain how mental states can affect the gut, and present new ways to treat gastrointestinal problems.

Newswise: Immune System Discovery Paves Way to Lengthen Organ Transplant Survival
Released: 8-May-2020 2:20 PM EDT
Immune System Discovery Paves Way to Lengthen Organ Transplant Survival
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

A new discovery in mice shows the innate immune system has "memory," previously thought to be a unique feature of the adaptive immune system. Blocking this memory prevented transplanted organs from being rejected, providing a way to more specific drugs that could lengthen organ transplant survival.

Newswise:Video Embedded drug-overdose-epidemic-is-transmitted-from-old-to-young-study-shows
VIDEO
30-Apr-2020 4:15 PM EDT
Drug Overdose Epidemic is Transmitted from Old to Young, Study Shows
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

The generation a person was born into – Silent Generation, Baby Boomer, Generation X or Millennial – strongly predicts how likely they are to die from a drug overdose, and at what age. Within each generation, there was a steady march toward greater overdose risk at younger ages.

Newswise: Long-Lasting, Low Toxicity Antimicrobial Peptide Fights ‘Superbug’ Lung Infections
27-Apr-2020 9:00 AM EDT
Long-Lasting, Low Toxicity Antimicrobial Peptide Fights ‘Superbug’ Lung Infections
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

Through serendipity, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health considerably reduced the toxicity of a potential antibiotic against the most feared drug-resistant bacteria, while also improving its stability in fighting infections.

Newswise: UPMC Leads Global Effort to Fast Track Testing of Hydroxychloroquine and other COVID-19 Therapies with ‘Learning While Doing’ Clinical Trial
Released: 9-Apr-2020 11:00 AM EDT
UPMC Leads Global Effort to Fast Track Testing of Hydroxychloroquine and other COVID-19 Therapies with ‘Learning While Doing’ Clinical Trial
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

Novel 'learning while doing' clinical trial approach called REMAP helps doctors find the optimal trade-off between quickly adopting new therapies during a pandemic, such as the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, and waiting until they are tested in longer clinical trials. The trial announced today at UPMC, called UPMC-REMAP-COVID19 learns from similar trials enrolling around the world and uses artificial intelligence to quickly arrive at answers.

Newswise:Video Embedded covid-19-vaccine-candidate-shows-promise-in-first-peer-reviewed-research
VIDEO
31-Mar-2020 9:45 AM EDT
COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate Shows Promise in First Peer-Reviewed Research
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

A potential COVID-19 vaccine, delivered by microscopic needles, produces antibodies specific to the virus when tested in mice. This is the first peer-reviewed paper describing a COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The next step is a human clinical trial.

Newswise: UPMC to Protect Staff Pay During Covid-19 Pandemic Response
Released: 30-Mar-2020 4:45 PM EDT
UPMC to Protect Staff Pay During Covid-19 Pandemic Response
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

UPMC is implementing a staffing and pay protection program, which will ensure that all staff will continue to be paid at their current rate for normally scheduled hours through May 9, 2020 even if they are assigned to alternative work during their regular hours.

Newswise: Mimicking Cancer’s Evasive Tactics, Microparticles Show Promise Against Transplant Rejection
8-Mar-2020 9:00 PM EDT
Mimicking Cancer’s Evasive Tactics, Microparticles Show Promise Against Transplant Rejection
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

Inspired by a tactic cancer cells use to evade the immune system, University of Pittsburgh researchers have engineered tiny particles that can trick the body into accepting transplanted tissue as its own, while leaving the immune system intact.

Newswise: DARPA Awards $22 Million to Create ‘Smart’ Device for Healing Large Muscle Wounds
Released: 11-Mar-2020 9:00 AM EDT
DARPA Awards $22 Million to Create ‘Smart’ Device for Healing Large Muscle Wounds
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

Researchers from seven institutions team up to create a device combining artificial intelligence, bioelectronics and regenerative medicine for regrowing muscle tissue, especially after combat injuries.


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