Research

Scientists restore youthful plasticity to the brains of adult mice

August 8, 2017

Like much of the rest of the body, the brain loses flexibility with age, impacting the ability to learn, remember and adapt. Now, scientists at University of Utah Health report they can rejuvenate the plasticity of the mouse brain, specifically in the visual cortex, increasing its ability to change in response to experience. Manipulating a […]


What it takes to recover from drought

August 3, 2017

Drought-stricken areas anxiously await the arrival of rain. Full recovery of the ecosystem, however, can extend long past the first rain drops on thirsty ground. According to a study published August 10 in Nature, the length of drought recovery depends on several factors, including the region of the world and the post-drought weather conditions. The […]


New look at archaic DNA rewrites human evolution story

August 2, 2017

August 7, 2017—Hundreds of thousands of years ago, the ancestors of modern humans diverged from an archaic lineage that gave rise to Neanderthals and Denisovans. Yet the evolutionary relationships between these groups remain unclear. A University of Utah-led team developed a new method for analyzing DNA sequence data to reconstruct the early history of the […]


Mind-body therapies immediately reduce unmanageable pain in hospital patients, new study finds

July 25, 2017

Mindfulness training and hypnotic suggestion significantly reduced acute pain experienced by hospital patients, according to a new study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. After participating in a single, 15-minute session of one of these mind-body therapies, patients reported an immediate decrease in pain levels similar to what one might expect from an […]


Researchers Propose New Approach to Identify Genetic Mutations in Men with Prostate Cancer

June 28, 2017

Scientists have had limited success at identifying specific inherited genes associated with prostate cancer, despite the fact that it is one of the most common non-skin cancers among men. Researchers at University of Utah Health studied prostate cancer patients with multiple cancer diagnoses, many who would not be recommended for genetic tests following current guidelines, […]


Utah home to earliest use of wild potato in North America

June 28, 2017

July 3, 2017—The town of Escalante in southern Utah is no small potatoes when it comes to scientific discovery; a new archaeological finding within its borders may rewrite the story of tuber domestication. Researchers from the Natural History Museum of Utah and Red Butte Garden at the University of Utah have discovered potato starch residues […]


Woodrats can’t stomach favorite foods at high temps

June 27, 2017

You’d think desert woodrats already had a lot of adversity. Besides the constant threat of coyotes and other predators and the scorching Mojave Desert heat, their primary source of food is the creosote bush, or chaparral – a plant so toxic that few other animals will even go near it. But the woodrats’ unique adaptation […]


From DNA to decision-making: University of Utah Health awarded $4M for comprehensive approach to heart birth defects

June 23, 2017

The American Heart Association (AHA) awarded investigators at University of Utah Health $3.7 million to conduct collaborative research to prevent and treat congenital heart disease. U of U Health is one of four groups across the country to join the AHA’s Strategically Focused Research Network (SFRN) for children. Martin Tristani-Firouzi, a clinican-scientist at U of […]


Piling on pressure solves enduring mystery about metal’s makeup

June 22, 2017

Scientists have solved decades long puzzle about lithium, an essential metal in cellphone and computer batteries. Using extreme pressure experiments and powerful supercomputing, the international team has unraveled the mystery of a fundamental property of lithium. Its atoms are arranged in a simple structure, and may be the first direct evidence of a quantum solid […]


Yarraman flu or horse flu? Words and graphics influence willingness to vaccinate

June 22, 2017

“Yarraman flu is a virus quickly infecting the U.S. …” The mock announcement was enough to make readers worry. But when the name of the hypothetical illness was changed to “horse flu,” the news elicited a different reaction. Readers were not as concerned, and reported being less motivated to get a vaccine that would prevent […]