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News roundup: October 2018

News roundup: October 2018

A selection of health news from the University of Chicago and around the globe curated just for you.

Three UChicago Scientists Earn NIH Grants to Pursue Innovative Research
Three UChicago scientists—including Jun Huang, who studies the immune system and its role in treating infectious diseases and cancer—each have been awarded $1.5 million grants over five years from the National Institutes of Health in support of their innovative, high-impact biomedical research. (UChicago News)

Noah’s Ark for Microbes
A team of researchers, including Jack Gilbert, is calling for the creation of a global microbiota vault to protect the long-term health of humanity. (Science)

These 19 MassChallenge Startups Just Won $1.65M
Nineteen early-stage startups, including Oxalo Therapeutics, won a total of $1.65 million at Wednesday night’s MassChallenge awards ceremony. (BostInno)

Polsky Opens its High-Profile Accelerator to Alumni Startups
UChicago’s New Venture Challenge, ranked among the top accelerator programs in the country, is launching an alumni track as part of its annual startup competition. (American Inno)

Meet the Carousing, Harmonica-Playing Texan Who Just Won a Nobel for his Cancer Breakthrough
This year, the Nobel Prize was awarded to James Allison, PhD—a colleague, friend, and “The Checkpoints” bandmate of Tom Gajewski—for research that laid the groundwork for the development of checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapies. (WIRED)

 

News roundup: September 2018

News roundup: September 2018

A selection of health news from the University of Chicago and around the globe curated just for you.

The end of an epidemic
The number of people with food allergies has exploded in recent years. A dream team of researchers from UChicago may have figured out why, and now they’re developing therapies that could end the epidemic. Cathy Nagler featured. (Chicago magazine)

UChicago startup gets $2.3 million for kidney stone prevention
Biotechnology startup Oxalo Therapeutics is closer to developing a first-of-its-kind drug to prevent kidney stones thanks to $2.3 million from the National Institutes of Health. Hatim Hassan and Yang Zheng featured. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

Science by the sea
In three weeks, there are just over 500 hours. The students in the Marine Biological Laboratory’s September intensive courses tried to use them all. Jack Gilbert featured. (UChicago Magazine)

Nasal bacteria linked to cold severity
In a study, people with certain bacteria in their noses were more likely to develop more severe cold symptoms. (U.S. News & World Report)

Brain-gut link may be way faster than we thought
New research with mice may upend our understanding of the connection between the gut and the brain, as well as appetite. (Futurity)

 

News roundup: August 2018

News roundup: August 2018

A selection of health news from the University of Chicago and around the globe curated just for you.

UChicago awarded $1 million grant to study microbiome dynamics
Researchers from UChicago have received a $1 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation to study how the molecular activity of the microbiome changes in response to the environment. Eugene Chang and Tao Pan featured. (The Forefront)

Reliable point-of-care blood test can help prevent toxoplasmosis
A recent study, performed in Chicago and Morocco found that a novel finger-prick test can accurately predict infection with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii during pregnancy. Rima McLeod, whose broader work is reported in an earlier WellNews post, featured. (The Forefront)

‘Zombie gene’ protects against cancer—in elephants
With such enormous bodies, elephants should be particularly prone to tumors. But an ancient gene in their DNA, somehow resurrected, seems to shield the animals. Vincent Lynch featured. (New York Times)

Hospital bacteria are starting to tolerate hand sanitizer
Strains of bacteria have developed increased tolerance to the alcohols in hand sanitizers, which requires hospitals to rethink how they protect patients from drug-resistant bacteria. (Futurity)

Oxalo Therapeutics among recipients of scholarships from drug accelerator
Cydan II Inc., an orphan drug accelerator dedicated to creating therapies that impact the lives of people living with rare genetic diseases, announced it has selected four start-up organizations and companies, including Oxalo, to receive $5,000 scholarships to support innovations that impact the lives of people with rare conditions. (BusinessWire)

 

News roundup: July 2018

News roundup: July 2018

A selection of health news from the University of Chicago and around the globe curated just for you.

Anglerfish and their headlamp bacteria have a crazy relationship
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the genomes of the glowing bacteria living in the bulbs that hang off the heads of anglerfish. (Futurity)

Can a cat-poo parasite turn you into a millionaire
Scientists have discovered that people infected with toxoplasmosis are more go-getting. But that doesn’t mean we should all be trying to catch it. (The Guardian)

What the mystery of the tick-borne meat allergy could reveal
Unraveling why tick bites are suddenly causing a strange reaction in some people who eat meat could help scientists better understand how all allergies work. (The New York Times Magazine)

Could viruses attacking the microbiome be responsible for inflammatory bowel disease?
New research done in a mouse model of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has suggested that viruses called phages, which have the ability to infect and kill gut bacteria, may be involved in the disease. David Rubin featured. (Forbes)

Celiac disease: A look at what triggers it, possible prevention
Bana Jabri and colleagues at UChicago have found that a common, but mostly harmless, virus could trigger celiac disease. (KPRC 2 Houston)

 

News roundup: June 2018

News roundup: June 2018

A selection of health news from the University of Chicago and around the globe curated just for you.

Research at Shedd Aquarium explores how environment impacts microbiome of dolphins
Research conducted at the Shedd Aquarium with UChicago revealed new details about the microbiome of Pacific white-sided dolphins at the aquarium and how it is influenced by the surrounding environment. (The Forefront)

Can a daily pill prevent kidney stones?
Hatim Hassan and other researchers at Oxalo Therapeutics are developing a drug that uses the microbiome to prevent kidney stones. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

Viruses love what we’ve done with the planet
The more of the planet humans take over, the more we inadvertently make it a viral paradise, and a dangerous place for us to live. (Quartz)

Probiotic, supplement combo extends fruit fly lifespan
A combination of probiotics and an herbal supplement called Triphala extended the lives of fruit flies by 60 percent, report researchers. (Futurity)

Students and UChicago scientists turn Wrigley Field into data lab
Lane Tech students came to Wrigley Field to help UChicago-Argonne researchers install sensors for Array of Things, a project that collects environmental data. (UChicago News)

 

News roundup: March 2018

News roundup: March 2018

A selection of health news from the University of Chicago and around the globe curated just for you.

In the battle against cancer, microbes could be the answer
Can your microbiome fight cancer? Evelo Biosciences CEO Simba Gill is working with UChicago cancer expert Thomas Gajewski to find ways to harness microbes against an array of cancers. (WIRED UK)

How trees make people happier and healthier
It’s no surprise that a little nature can go a long way in making people feel better. But the research of UChicago environmental psychologist Marc Berman shows that adding trees to a city can have a significant impact on a person’s health and happiness. (Knowledge Applied podcast)

Gut feelings
This issue of the newsletter μChicago features some of the microbiome work of Eugene Chang and Vanessa Leone, with a fun and informative animation from CNN. (μChicago newsletter)

They don’t make baby poop like they did in 1926, that’s for sure. Here’s why scientists care.
Most of us do our best not to think too much about baby poop. But, as it turns out, stool has a lot more power than we think and that’s true from the first soiled diaper. As Jack Gilbert notes, we need to understand what we can learn from baby’s changing poop to improve our health. (Popular Science)

Immune history influences effectiveness of flu vaccine
New research on why the influenza vaccine was only modestly effective in recent years shows that immune history with the flu influences a person’s response to the vaccine. Flu experts Emily Landon and Allison Bartlett answer questions on Facebook Live. (The Forefront)