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Untangling the biological effects of blue light

Untangling the biological effects of blue light

Blue light can both set the mood and set in motion important biological responses. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine and School of Arts and Sciences have teased apart the separate biological responses of the human eye to blue light, revealing an unexpected contest for control. Their work addresses the properties of melanopsin, a light-sensitive protein in the eye that establishes the rhythm of our day-night cycle and the familiar constriction of the pupil to bright light. Continue reading

Untangling the biological effects of blue light

Untangling the biological effects of blue light

Blue light can both set the mood and set in motion important biological responses. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine and School of Arts and Sciences have teased apart the separate biological responses of the human eye to blue light, revealing an unexpected contest for control. Continue reading

Decreased length of ICU stay among improved patient outcomes from nurse-led initiatives at Philadelphia hospitals

Decreased length of ICU stay among improved patient outcomes from nurse-led initiatives at Philadelphia hospitals

Recent nurse-led initiatives addressing some of critical care’s most pressing challenges resulted in shorter average lengths of stay and other positive patient and fiscal outcomes in seven Philadelphia-area hospitals. Teams of staff nurses developed the initiatives while participating in AACN Clinical Scene Investigator (CSI) Academy, a 16-month, hospital-based nurse leadership and innovation training program delivered and funded by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). The program empowers bedside nurses as clinician leaders and change agents whose initiatives generate quantifiable improvements in the quality of patient care and hospital bottom lines. Continue reading

Myasthenia gravis: Efficacy of potential therapy for autoimmune disorder of muscle weakness

Myasthenia gravis: Efficacy of potential therapy for autoimmune disorder of muscle weakness

Nearly 60,000 Americans suffer from myasthenia gravis (MG), a non-inherited autoimmune form of muscle weakness. The disease has no cure, and the primary treatments are nonspecific immunosuppressants and inhibitors of the enzyme cholinesterase. Now, a pair of researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a fast-acting “vaccine” that can reverse the course of the disease in rats, and, they hope, in humans Continue reading

Study questions the prescription for drug resistance

Study questions the prescription for drug resistance

In response to the rise of drug-resistant pathogens, doctors are routinely cautioned against overprescribing antimicrobials. But when a patient has a confirmed bacterial infection, the advice is to treat aggressively to quash the infection before the bacteria can develop resistance Continue reading

Study questions the prescription for drug resistance

Study questions the prescription for drug resistance

In response to the rise of drug-resistant pathogens, doctors are routinely cautioned against overprescribing antimicrobials. But when a patient has a confirmed bacterial infection, the advice is to treat aggressively to quash the infection before the bacteria can develop resistance Continue reading

We drink more alcohol on gym days

We drink more alcohol on gym days

A new Northwestern Medicine ® study finds that on days when people exercise more — typically Thursdays to Sundays — they drink more alcohol, too. This is the only study to use smartphone technology and a daily diary approach for self-reporting physical activity and alcohol use. “Monday through Wednesday people batten down the hatches and they cut back on alcohol consumption,” said David E. Continue reading

New cancer drug target involving lipid chemical messengers

New cancer drug target involving lipid chemical messengers

More than half of human cancers have abnormally upregulated chemical signals related to lipid metabolism, yet how these signals are controlled during tumor formation is not fully understood. Youhai Chen, PhD, MD, and Svetlana Fayngerts, PhD, both researchers in the department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues report that TIPE3, a newly described oncogenic protein, promotes cancer by targeting these pathways. Lipid second messengers play cardinal roles in relaying and amplifying signals from outside the cell to its interior and outer membrane Continue reading

Exercise boosts tumor-fighting ability of chemotherapy, team finds

Exercise boosts tumor-fighting ability of chemotherapy, team finds

Study after study has proven it true: exercise is good for you. But new research from University of Pennsylvania scientists suggests that exercise may have an added benefit for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Their work, performed in a mouse model of melanoma, found that combining exercise with chemotherapy shrunk tumors more than chemotherapy alone. Continue reading

Reduced energy density in foods can create healthier food environment, may help to reduce obesity

Reduced energy density in foods can create healthier food environment, may help to reduce obesity

On the heels of new research showing that 16 major food and beverage companies have collectively cut 6.4 trillion calories from U.S. food products, The Obesity Society (TOS) issues an official position statement pointing to the pervasive availability of foods high in calories per unit of weight, or energy density, as a contributing factor for weight gain and obesity. The Society goes further to urge food companies to test and market foods that will help individuals reduce the energy density in their diets and better manage body weight. Continue reading