Researchers have figured out how to turn off certain genes in the liver that can cause dangerous health problems. (Photo credit: istock/vchal)

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.

Hope for heart disease patients
Science, July 9, 2018
Using a non-human primate animal model, researchers were able to edit and turn off genes in the liver, which has the potential to lower blood cholesterol levels, treat heart disease, and tackle some genetic diseases.

Scientists hope test-tube embryos can save near-extinct white rhino
Reuters, July 4, 2018
There are only two northern white rhinoceroses left, and both are female. Luckily, scientists collected semen from bull rhinos before they died, and in an attempt to save the near-extinct species, will attempt to create hybrid embryos.

Nerve cells that help control hunger have been IDed in mice
Science News, July 5, 2018
Mice and humans contain similar neurons that control appetite, a new study finds. These neurons might play a role in attacking obesity and eating disorders.

A fence built to keep out wild dogs has dramatically altered the Australian landscape
Science, July 6, 2018
Researchers discovered that a century-old fence completely changed part of the Australian desert. The fence was built to keep dingoes away from livestock but has now entirely modified the area’s ecosystem, including predator-prey relationships and vegetation.

Is sunscreen killing coral reefs?
CNN, July 9, 2018
Hawaii recently banned sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate. These chemicals impact coral health, but do they affect animals and humans as well?

Orcas of the Pacific Northwest are starving and disappearing
The New York Times, July 9, 2018
King salmon are dying off, which means Pacific Northwest orcas have nothing to eat. Orcas have been endangered since 2005, and scientists worry that with this latest setback, the mammals won’t make a comeback.