Science & Technology

University of Utah School of Medicine investigators were awarded two grants totaling $6.4 million to investigate why children born with severe heart defects often have neurodevelopment disorders including hyperactivity, difficulty paying attention, and trouble keeping up in school.

Why Do So Many Children Born With Heart Defects Have Trouble in School?

September 1, 2015

30 years ago, being born with a severe heart defect was practically a death sentence. But as advances in medicine have given rise to generations of survivors, it’s emerging that over half have behavioral problems and difficulty keeping up academically. Two groups from the University of Utah School of Medicine were awarded $6.4 million from the National […]


Sam Vincent, Stephanie Martin, Hannah Hendrickson and Director of Capstone Initiatives Stephen Goldsmith

U students develop electronic device to help homeless patients remember medical appointments

August 24, 2015

Imagine not having access to the Internet, a cellphone or even a place to call home. Not having access to these basics can deprive a person of social interaction, education, health care and so much more. As of 2014, this was the reality for nearly 600,000 people across the nation, with over 13,000 people in […]


Suresh Venkatasubramanian, an associate professor in the University of Utah’s School of Computing, leads a team of researchers that have discovered a technique to determine if algorithms used for tasks such as hiring or administering housing loans could in fact discriminate unintentionally. The team also has discovered a way to fix such errors if they exist. Their findings were recently revealed at  the 21st Association for Computing Machinery’s SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining in Sydney, Australia.

Programming and prejudice

August 14, 2015

Software may appear to operate without bias because it strictly uses computer code to reach conclusions. That’s why many companies use algorithms to help weed out job applicants when hiring for a new position. But a team of computer scientists from the University of Utah, University of Arizona and Haverford College in Pennsylvania have discovered […]


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4 million years at Africa’s salad bar

August 3, 2015

As grasses grew more common in Africa, most major mammal groups tried grazing on them at times during the past 4 million years, but some of the animals went extinct or switched back to browsing on trees and shrubs, according to a study led by the University of Utah. “It’s as if in a city, […]


A team led by Christopher Gregg, Ph.D., associate professor in neurobiology and anatomy at the University of Utah School of Medicine reports a targeted version of parental control over gene expression is more common than classic genomic imprinting. Published in Cell Reports, so-called noncanonical imprinting is particularly prevalent in the brain, and skews the genetic message in subpopulations of cells so that mom, or dad, has a stronger say. Subsets of cells predominantly express a single copy of the autism-linked gene Ahi1 inherited from one parent (one dot) while others express both copies (two dots).

Genetic Tug of War in the Brain Influences Behavior

July 30, 2015

Not every mom and dad agree on how their offspring should behave. But in genetics as in life, parenting is about knowing when your voice needs to be heard, and the best ways of doing so. Typically, compromise reigns, and one copy of each gene is inherited from each parent so that the two contribute […]


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Drought’s lasting impact on forests

July 30, 2015

In the virtual worlds of climate modeling, forests and other vegetation are assumed to bounce back quickly from extreme drought. But that assumption is far off the mark, according to a new study of drought impacts at forest sites worldwide. Living trees took an average of two to four years to recover and resume normal […]


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Health Care Providers A Major Contributor to Problem of Antibiotic Overuse

July 21, 2015

A new study, led by the Veterans Affairs Salt Lake City Health Care System and the University of Utah and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, suggests that differences in the routines of individual providers drives variation in antibiotic prescribing more than differences in patient characteristics, standards of practice at different hospitals, or clinical settings (emergency department, primary care, urgent care). The findings are an important step toward understanding the problem of antibiotic overuse, a major public health concern given the rise in antibiotic-resistant “superbugs”.


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Where does water go when it doesn’t flow?

July 9, 2015

More than a quarter of the rain and snow that falls on continents reaches the oceans as runoff. Now a new study helps show where the rest goes.


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Genetic Testing in Kids is Fraught with Complications

July 6, 2015

A woman coping with the burden of familial breast cancer can’t help but wonder if her young daughter will suffer the same fate. Has she inherited the same disease-causing mutation? Is it best to be prepared for the future, or to wait? During the last decade, genetic tests have been through a sea change, both in their availability and the technologies behind them. Today there are at least 34 companies that offer direct to consumer (DTC) DNA testing, some of which return health results. And now it is possible to sequence someone’s entire genetic code for the price of a laptop.


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Why big dinosaurs steered clear of the tropics

June 15, 2015

For more than 30 million years after dinosaurs first appeared, they remained inexplicably rare near the equator, where only a few small-bodied meat-eating dinosaurs eked out a living. The age-long absence of big plant-eaters at low latitudes is one of the great, unanswered questions about the rise of the dinosaurs. And now the mystery has […]