If you watch the evening news in Northern California, it's not unusual to hear the results of studies being done at Sacramento's UC Davis Medical Center campus, especially if those results are raising eyebrows. But an autism study out of the M.I.N.D. Institute at UCDMC has gone national recently, appearing on dozens of media outlets, as well as in Monday's issue of the journal Pediatrics. The news? Research study results showing a corellation between a mother's obesity during pregnancy and increased risk for autism in her child. More specifically, women with metabolic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and hypertension were 1.6 times more likely to have children with autism spectrum disorders than healthy women.
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The UC Davis Cancer Center was recently recognized as a "comprehensive" center by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). This is the most prestigious honor that a cancer center can receive and designates the renamed, UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center as one of the top cancer research institutions in the country.
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Bioresearch students at the University of Colorado, Boulder will be able to do new in depth research into the conversion of biomass to various chemicals and fuels, thanks to a new bioresearch grant from the NSF. The NSF grant was awarded to the Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels, or C2B2, a joint research renewable energy facility used by CU-Boulder, Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
The 225th Anniversary of the University of Pittsburgh will be celebrated this year. One of their most notable accomplishments was contributing to the launch of the "Biotech Industry". Herbert Boyer, a Pitt PhD graduate helped discover how to cut and transfer individual genes within the DNA molecule and transfer them from one organism to another. Boyer eventually founded Genetech, widely considered one of the first successful biotech companies.
With many accomplishments, in 2000, Herbert Boyer and his wife established the Herbert W. and Grace Boyer Chair in molecular biology in the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Biological Sciences. Today the Herbert W. and Grace Boyer Chair in Molecular Biology is used to support an outstanding faculty member in the field of post-genomic molecular biology.
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The NIH has funded a five-year, $21 million Integrative Neuroscience Initiative on Alcoholism grant to support a multi-site consortium led by Oregon Health & Science University researchers Kathleen A. Grant and Betsy Ferguson. The grant represents the second competitive renewal for the INIA consortium (founded in 2001), which is made up of 15 lead investigators from 10 institutions in the United States and Europe. OHSU's share of the current funding is $6.3M. Dr. Grant is the head of neuroscience at the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC), where Dr. Ferguson is an associate scientist. The Division of Neuroscience at the ONPRC conducts research aimed at identifying and defining fundamental aspects of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying nervous system function.
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Science researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are offering to sequence the DNA of 99 patients with rare genetic diseases in order to find the genetic alterations that made them ill. The new effort, known as the Rare99X Clinical Exome Challenge, will allow patients’ DNA to be decoded at the university’s Genomics and Pathology Services (GPS) at no cost to the patients or advocacy groups who represent them.
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Thanks to a $15M charitable gift from the Helmsley Trust, Rockefeller University is establishing a new research center to focus on digestive diseases: the Center for Basic and Translational Research on Disorders of the Digestive System. With research faculty from 20 Rockefeller labs working in the fields of immunology, microbiology, cancer biology, and metabolic disease, the collaborative center will support the training of Ph.D students, postdoctoral researchers, and physician-scientists, as well as provide seed grants for early phase projects and funding for the purchase of equipment.
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Led by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the six-week MyHeartMap Challenge is a trial science research project that uses crowd-sourcing to locate and gather information about automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in Philadelphia. The challenge runs from January 31 to March 13, during which time participants can use a free app on their iPhones or Android phones to take pictures and document the location of publicly accessible AEDs in Philadelphia.
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A dangerous situation presents itself when bacteria evolve defenses against antibiotics. Experience has shown us that it can be a discouraging catastrophe for public health when a new drug-resistant strain, or a gene that confers resistance, shows up in a new place, as happened when the NDM-1 gene (which is resistant to up to 14 drugs) showed up in New Delhi drinking water. Scientists are searching for a way to defeat that debilitating resistance, however, and every so often there's encouraging news: On February 4, North Carolina State University chemistry researchers published a study in which they said that they’ve found a molecule that makes antibiotics 16 times more effective against recently identified antibiotic-resistant “superbugs.”