In case you missed it: News from The Forefront

In case you missed it, Science Life has a new home at The Forefront, a science, health and wellness news and information website for the University of Chicago Medicine, the Biological Sciences Division and the Pritzker School of Medicine.

Be sure to visit the Forefront’s dedicated research and discoveries channel to read about our basic science and biomedical discoveries. We will be launching a newsletter to bring you the latest updates soon, but in the meantime here’s what you may have missed this week:

Genetic screening tool identifies how the flu infiltrates cells

Researchers at the University of Chicago have developed a genetic screening tool that identified two key factors that allow the influenza virus to infect human lung cells. The technique uses new gene editing tools to create a library of modified cells, each missing a different gene, allowing scientists to see which changes impact their response to flu. This in turn could identify potential targets for antiviral drugs.

Specific bacteria in the small intestine are crucial for fat absorption

Although the vast majority of research on the gut microbiome has focused on bacteria in the large intestine, a new study — one of a few to concentrate on microbes in the upper gastrointestinal tract — shows how the typical calorie-dense western diet can induce expansion of microbes that promote the digestion and absorption of high-fat foods.

Continuous glucose monitors proven cost-effective, add to quality of life for diabetics

Continuous glucose monitors (CGM) offer significant, daily benefits to people with type 1 diabetes, providing near-real time measurements of blood sugar levels, but they can be expensive. A new study by researchers from the University of Chicago Medicine, based on a 6-month clinical trial, finds that use of a CGM is cost-effective for adult patients with type 1 diabetes when compared to daily use of test strips. The results are well within the thresholds normally used by insurance plans to cover medical devices. During the trial, CGMs improved overall blood glucose control for the study group and reduced hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar episodes.

Nigeria: Cleaner fuels could prevent adverse pregnancy outcomes

A randomized controlled study of household air pollution found that pregnant Nigerian women who used biomass or kerosene-based cook stoves had a higher risk of pregnancy-related complications and adverse outcomes than women who replaced their traditional cooking fuels with ethanol cookstoves.

Human protein important for cellular communication resembles bacterial toxin

A protein that plays an important role in embryonic development and nervous system wiring in humans appears to have been borrowed from bacteria. In a study published April 19, 2018, in Cell, scientists from the University of Chicago and Stanford University describe the three-dimensional structure of proteins called teneurins for the first time.

Just tribute: Honoring the legacy of pioneering biologist Ernest Everett Just, PhD 1916

Ernest Everett Just, PhD, spent only three academic quarters on the University of Chicago campus. A professor at Howard University and a research assistant at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, he was pursuing his PhD in zoology in absentia and needed to fulfill the residency requirement. More than 100 years later, a group of Biological Sciences Division (BSD) graduate students formed the E.E. Just Working Group to promote his achievements and legacy, including the challenges Just faced as an African American scientist in the early 20th century.

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About Matt Wood (531 Articles)
Matt Wood is a senior science writer and manager of communications at the University of Chicago Medicine & Biological Sciences Division.
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