OH Digest: Protection for grizzlies, mosquitoes carrying plastic, and more

OH Digest: Protection for grizzlies, mosquitoes carrying plastic, and more

A court has ruled that protections should remain in place for grizzly bears in Yellowstone. (Photo: US Geological Survey)

By Jacob Williamson-Rea

Our weekly round-up compiles stories and news, both from here at Penn and around the world, that highlight the intersection of animal, environmental, and human health.

FEATURED ITEM:
Court restores federal protections for Yellowstone-area grizzly bears
The Washington Post, September 24, 2018
The Trump Administration recently announced that Yellowstone grizzly populations had recovered and therefore no longer needed safeguarding. A judge overturned this decision, restoring federal protections for the bears.

Common weed killer—believed harmless to animals—may be harming bees worldwide
Science, September 13, 2018
Glyphosate has been considered safe for animals, but it now appears as though it might wreck honey bee populations. Pollinators like the honeybee are disappearing worldwide, and this only adds to researchers’ concerns.

Europe’s farmers on red alert as deadly African swine fever spreads to Belgium
The Guardian, September 14, 2018
An outbreak of highly contagious African swine fever has been reported in the Belgian town of Étalle, in the country’s southeast region. A separate outbreak continues to spread throughout Chinese provinces.

Saltmarsh sparrows fight to keep their heads above water
The New York Times, September 17, 2018
Even the smallest increase in sea levels causes a huge threat to the species. Researchers predict that if those waters keep rising at the current rate, it will be too late to save the birds.

Mosquitoes could carry plastic particles into the food chain
Scientific American, September 19, 2018
Mosquito larvae, and possibly other insect larvae, eat and then carry small plastic particles that remain in their bodies for the duration of their lives, according to new study in Biology Letters. These plastic particles are then consumed by insectivores, such as birds or spiders, which could mean a rapid spread of this undetected pollution.

DNA from seized elephant ivory unmasks three big trafficking cartels in Africa
The Guardian, September 19, 2018
Researchers report in Science Advances that they can work toward locating ivory tracking cartels by identifying elephant DNA in separate batches of tusks.

CANCELED: Tech innovations in health care: A conversation with six Penn experts

Imagine a clinician using 3-D printing to plan a dental surgery or oncologists offering virtual reality guided meditation to soothe a patient waiting for chemotherapy. Technology innovations in health care are progressing rapidly, not only to fulfill unmet clinical needs, but as tools that prove lifesaving. 

Please join us Wednesday, September 26 for a light breakfast and conversation as experts from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Dental Medicine, School of Nursing, Perelman School of Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, School of Engineering and Applied Science, and School of Arts and Sciences discuss technology-enabled advancements aimed at improving health outcomes. Their talks, emphasizing a “One Health” approach, will showcase:

  • 3-D technology revolutionizing surgical planning, procedures, and training
  • Optical imaging to visualize disease
  • Social media language as an indicator of health and well-being
  • Virtual reality in supportive cancer care and improving response to cardiac arrest

What: Six brief presentations with Q&A following 

When: Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Join us for a light breakfast at 9:30 a.m., with presentations beginning at 10:00.

Where:  University of Pennsylvania, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center (main entrance on Locust Walk), Meyerson Conference Center, Room 223, 3420 Walnut Street. A campus map is available here: https://www.facilities.upenn.edu/maps

Who:

Anneke Buffone, lead research scientist, World Well-Being Project, Positive Psychology Center, Penn Arts and Sciences
Topic: Using social media networks to predict stress, resilience, and other well-being topics

Ronald Harty, professor, Department of Pathobiology, Penn Vet
Topic: Optical imaging in identifying and studying infectious disease

Marion Leary, director of innovation research at the Center for Resuscitation Science, Department of Emergency Medicine, Penn Med; innovation specialist, Penn Nursing
Topic: Virtual reality and augmented reality for sudden cardiac arrest

William Levin, associate professor, Department of Clinical Radiation Oncology, Penn Med
Topic: New virtual reality in radiation-oncology waiting rooms

Rabie Shanti, associate professor, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery/Pharmacology, Penn Dental
Topic: 3-D technology for surgical and reconstructive planning

Sagar Yadavali, postdoctoral fellow, Department of Bioengineering, Penn Engineering
Topic: Microparticles on a chip to scale up drug manufacturing

Please RSVP by Friday Sept 21 to Michele Berger at mwberger@upenn.edu.

We look forward to seeing you!

Sent on behalf of the Penn One Health Communications Group.

OH Digest: CRISPR and dogs with muscular dystrophy, venom to treat medical conditions, and more

OH Digest: CRISPR and dogs with muscular dystrophy, venom to treat medical conditions, and more

Researchers have used CRISPR gene-editing software to treat dogs with muscular dystrophy. (Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons/mo01229/)

By Jacob Williamson-Rea

Our weekly round-up compiles stories and news, both from here at Penn and around the world, that highlight the intersection of animal, environmental, and human health.

FEATURED ITEM:
CRISPR used to repair gene mutation in dogs with muscular dystrophy
The Wall Street Journal, August 30, 2018
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and the Royal Veterinary College in London have tackled Duchene muscular dystrophy in dogs by repairing the gene mutation with CRISPR gene-editing. This method could eventually treat the same disease in humans.

Beavers—once nearly extinct—could help fight climate change
National Geographic, August 24, 2018
Beavers play an important role not only in ecosystems and have a wide-ranging effect on our landscapes and economy. As climate change intensifies, beavers could serve as “ecological and hydrological Swiss army knives.”

How animal venoms are helping to treat a wide range of medical conditions
Live Science, August 31, 2018
While we rightfully avoid venomous animals, it turns out components of their venom can treat an array of medical conditions including chronic pain, diabetes, and epilepsy, according to a new article published in Science.

Despite many threats, some coral reefs are thriving
Scientific American, September 9, 2018
Almost half of the Great Barrier Reef is threatened by bleaching. What can researchers and communities do to protect these reefs, as well as reefs that continue to thrive against all odds?

Toxic red tide algae moves north near Tampa Bay, killing hundreds of thousands of fish
The Washington Post, September 9, 2018
Tampa Bay’s toxic algae bloom has moved north along the coastline, leaving behind worrying numbers of dead fish, turtles, dolphins, and even sharks.

A deadly pig disease raging in China is bound to spread to other Asian countries, experts warn
Science, September 10, 2018
Animal health experts warn that an August outbreak of African swine fever will spread from northeast China to other Asian countries. There is no cure for ASF, and though the disease cannot infect humans, it’s almost always universally fatal for pigs.

OH Digest: Gene drive mosquitoes, the extinction crisis, and more

OH Digest: Gene drive mosquitoes, the extinction crisis, and more

Scientists are set to release “gene drive” mosquitoes, which could control mosquito populations in Africa. (Photo credit: James Gathany, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

By Jacob Williamson-Rea

Our weekly round-up compiles stories and news, both from here at Penn and around the world, that highlight the intersection of animal, environmental, and human health.

FEATURED ITEM:
Researchers to release genetically engineered mosquitoes in Africa for the first time
Scientific American, September 5, 2018
“Gene drive” mosquitoes, which have mutations that would efficiently reduce mosquito populations, will be released in three African countries: Burkina Faso, Mali, and Uganda.

The bugs are coming, and they’ll want more of our food
The New York Times, August 30, 2018
Climate change–induced warming is set to increase the number of bugs that consume our crops, according to a recent study published in Science.

The world of an oyster: Scientists are using microphones to spy on reef life
NPR, September 4, 2018
Scientists use water cannons to create reef-like habitats for oysters. But what impact does this have on overall biodiversity?

Eight bird species are first confirmed avian extinctions this decade
The Guardian, September 4, 2018
The extinctions appear to result from an increasingly worrisome crisis. Scientists warn that this is part of a human-driven sixth great extinction.

How plant microbes could feed the world and save endangered species
Science News, September 6, 2018
Each plant has its own microbiome, and scientists are exploring how to use them to help endangered plants.

With limited funds for conservation, researchers spar over which species to save—and which to let go
Science, September 6, 2018
Scientists are making tough decisions about allocating funds to save certain species—but this also involves deciding when a species is too far gone to even try.

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