JOHN A. MORAN EYE CENTER RESEARCHER, PATIENTS, PLAY KEY ROLE IN GENETIC DISCOVERY LINKED TO RARE EYE DISEASE

John A. Moran Eye Center physician-researcher Paul S. Bernstein and his patients at the University of Utah played a key role in the recent discovery of the first genetic cause for a rare eye disease.

Macular telangiectasia type 2 (MacTel) affects about one in 5,000 people, causing a gradual loss of central vision, typically after age 40. As part of an international research effort directed by the Lowy Medical Research Institute … Read more

“Fire inversions” lock smoke in valleys

Smoke from a summer wildfire is more than just an eye-stinging plume of nuisance. It’s a poison to the lungs and hearts of the people who breathe it in and a dense blanket that hampers firefighting operations.

There’s an atmospheric feedback loop, says University of Utah atmospheric scientist Adam Kochanski, that can lock smoke in valleys in much the same way that temperature inversions lock the smog and gunk in the … Read more

Tanner Humanities Center hosts conference with Mormons Building Bridges

In partnership with Mormons Building Bridges, the Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah will host “A Spiritual Home: Building Bridges for Sexual and Gender Minorities in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Sept. 27-28 at the Salt Lake City Main Library.

“In the established tradition of the Tanner Humanities Center and the Mormon Studies Initiative at the U, this conference is organized around the philosophy that open … Read more

Native foods are key to preserving rodent gut bacteria in captivity

Sept. 9, 2019 — As Rodolfo Martinez-Mota well knows, from the cactus spines in his clothes and skin, white-throated woodrats love to eat prickly pear cactus (from the Opuntia genus). They like the cactus so much that their gut microorganism community, or microbiome, is specially equipped to break down toxins in the cactus.

But Martinez-Mota and his colleagues in the University of Utah School of Biological Sciences also know that if the … Read more

First Marker for Mysterious Vaping Illness Identified 

Doctors have identified a previously unrecognized characteristic of the vaping-related respiratory illness that has been emerging in clusters across the U.S. in recent months. Within the lungs of these patients are large immune cells containing numerous oily droplets, called lipid-laden macrophages.

The finding may allow doctors to definitively diagnose the nascent syndrome more quickly and provide the right treatment sooner. It could also provide clues into the causes of the new and mysterious condition. Investigators at University of Utah Health reported the findings in a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine on … Read more

U’s Genetic Science Learning Center Awarded $1.7 Million from the All of Us Research Program

The Genetic Science Learning Center (GSLC) at University of Utah has been awarded $1.7 million for the first year of a partnership award from the All of Us Research Program, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The award may total up to $8.7 million over the anticipated five-year project period. With this funding the GSLC will work collaboratively with the All of Us Engagement Team to create educational materials … Read more

LED bulb exchange program brings sustainability to west side communities

For low-income families, paying the energy bill every month can be challenging, as energy bills can account for up to twice the percentage of income as for families with median income. Further, converting to an energy-efficient lifestyle can come with a steep up-front cost, adding another financial barrier to saving energy.

But a recent pilot study, a partnership between the University of Utah and Utah Clean Energy, showed how to break … Read more

What we don’t know about prenatal opioid exposure

Aug. 28, 2019— Pregnancy can be a time of anxious uncertainty, particularly if there are any risks of complications. The question always arises, from parents, grandparents, friends and others: “Will the baby be OK?”

In cases where the baby has been exposed to opioids in the womb, the answer is unclear. As part of a National Institutes of Health initiative to study the effects of a child’s environment on his or … Read more