The University of Pittsburgh

Science & Technology
2:40 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Pitt Creates 'Quantum Repository' of Molecules in 3D

The way chemistry is taught has changed a lot over the years. With the advent of new technology, molecules and chemical reactions can be brought to life through digital models.

Now, a new quantum repository at the University of Pittsburgh will supplement college science lessons with a web-based database of 3D molecules and other data. Chemistry professor Daniel Lambrecht says the repository will begin with 50,000 to 100,000 molecules and chemical data.

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3:30 am
Mon January 19, 2015

12-Year Study Finds Genes That Cause Pancreatitis

For years, heavy drinking was believed to be one of the main factors that led to pancreatitis, but after a 12-year study at the University of Pittsburgh, doctors have found a few genes that are the culprits in some cases.

Most heavy drinkers never pancreatitis, but many who don’t drink heavily are affected. The research found that genes determine if the pancreas will be susceptible to drinking, smoking and abnormal processes.

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Flower Pig
3:15 am
Mon January 12, 2015

Flower's Take Defence Against the Sun

"Many flowers that appear uniform in color to humans (left) have patterns in the ultraviolet spectrum (right) that are used by pollinators. Interestingly, these patterns can also protect pollen from damage caused by solar UV radiation," said Matt Koski, researcher at University of Pittsburgh.

  People living closer to the equator have darker skin due to higher UV radiation, and this is passed down through generations of people having higher levels of melanin, but is the same true for flowers? Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh say yes, but it’s not noticeable to the human eye.

“Pigmentation patterns getting darker towards lower latitudes is ... an ecological rule called ‘Gloger’s Rule’, and it’s been formulated towards animals, so this is kind of the first extension of this ecological rule to plants,” said researcher and grad student Matt Koski.

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3:14 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

Health Data Isn't Shared, Researchers Say

The more public health data is shared, the better the world’s public health outcome.

So says an analysis that was recently released by a team of researchers, including several from The University of Pittsburgh. The analysis was published in the journal BMC Public Health.

At present, public health data isn’t always shared on a local, national or international data. Researchers wanted to know why public health data isn’t shared as widely as for example genomic data is.

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Science & Technology
2:38 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

Local Experts Push to Improve and Standardize Wheelchair Design

A group of University of Pittsburgh scientists is working with the U.S. Agency for International Development to create an international network of wheelchair professionals.

The newly formed International Society of Wheelchair Professionals was recently launched with a two-year $2.3 million award from USAID to teach and professionalize device repair, build affiliations and improve the lives of the nearly 70 million people worldwide who require a wheelchair for mobility.

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3:30 am
Sun November 9, 2014

Pitt Study Reveals Stem Cells In Esophagus

A new discovery by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine could impact the treatment of esophageal cancer and a condition known as Barrett’s esophagus.

In a study released in the current issue of Cell Reports, researchers found a pool of stem cells in the esophagus, something that was never considered before.

The study, which was done in mice, could unveil major implications if similar results are found in humans.

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2:03 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

33 Genes Linked to Autism by CMU, Pitt Study

An international research team led by professors from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University has identified 33 genes that contribute to the risk of autism.

The team also uncovered 70 genes that are “likely” linked to autism risk, and have estimated that more than 1,000 have yet to be identified. According to the researchers, the discovery, which is the largest to date, enhances the scientific community’s understanding of how a brain with autism spectrum disorder works.

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2:13 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Lack of Donations to Ebola Crisis Could be for Emotional Reasons

Ebola has killed thousands of people in West Africa — yet the absence of victims’ names and faces could be just one reason why large numbers of people have not been donating money to the fight the outbreak.

“Unlike many natural disasters that we have seen in the past with massive outpouring of donations support, we’re not seeing people making donations … it’s something that everybody’s talking about, but it’s not driving us to donate,” said Nicole Coleman, assistant professor of business and marketing at University of Pittsburgh.

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3:55 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Pitt's New Center Will Advance Research on Technology, Media and Health

With an eye on examining both the negative influences and positive capabilities of today’s media and technology on health, the University of Pittsburgh has created the Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health (CRMTH).  

Director Dr. Brian Primack said although every generation tends to think its innovations will have dire negative effects, there are reasons to think today’s larger-than-life media portrayals do  have a significant impact on sleep and cognition.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:53 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

VFW Celebrates 100 Years In Pittsburgh

VFW historical marker outside of the William Pitt Union
Credit Marcus Charleston

In September of 1914, 250 veterans from across the U.S. and its territories gathered at the Schenley Hotel in Pittsburgh to form what would become the largest veterans’ advocacy group in the nation, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).

The hotel is now the William Pitt Union, but former military members and public officials are assembling there once again to mark the organization's centennial.

“The people can feel that the community supports veterans around here,” Matt Hannan, president of Pitt-Vets, said, “but they don’t understand the legacy of what the veterans have committed to the community and contributed and that that legacy continues.”

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Behavioral Health
3:30 am
Tue August 12, 2014

What Makes You Scratch That Itch? New Research Aims To Find Out

Junichi Hachisuka at the University of Pittsburgh prepares the spine of a genetically modified mouse for itch-related experiments.
Credit Erika Beras / 90.5 WESA

Poison ivy, bug bites, allergies — just hearing those words can make you want to scratch. But even though we all itch, and we all scratch, we don’t know very much about what is happening in our brains when we do so.

New work by researchers, including one in Pittsburgh, is attempting to figure it out.

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Junior Ranger Program
8:29 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Flight 93 Memorial Unveils Junior Ranger Program

The story of what happened in the terrorist attacks of 9/11 is difficult to fathom for most adults. So how do you explain it to children?

That’s the question the new Flight 93 National Memorial Junior Rangers Program hopes to address, using two years of research into how children deal with traumatic events.

On Saturday, the program and a specially-designed children’s activity booklet for visitors ages six to twelve will be unveiled during “Junior Ranger Day.” The day will also feature a Children’s Discovery Table where kids can make their own tributes.

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4:05 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Pitt Chancellor Nordenberg Gives Final Report To Trustees Before Stepping Down

Pitt Chancelor Mark Nordenberg attended his final Board of Trustees meeting as head of the institution. Board Chairman Stephen Tritch thanked him for his service.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

After 19 years as the head of the University of Pittsburgh, Mark Nordenberg will step down in August. He made the announcement last year, and Friday he attended his last Pitt Board of Trustees meeting, where Nordenberg was unanimously elected chancellor emeritus.

The designation will take effect when he officially leaves his post. At a news conference following the board meeting, Nordenberg said his greatest triumph is the chance in culture that has occurred since 1995.

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Autism Awareness
3:21 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Cathedral Of Learning To Shine Blue For Autism Awareness

If you’re traveling around Pittsburgh next Wednesday, you might be seeing blue, as more than a dozen buildings across the city are shining a light on autism, including the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning.

The cathedral is one of more than 8,400 buildings and landmarks around the world are participating in this year’s “Light It Up Blue” campaign to raise autism awareness, including Pittsburgh’s Gulf Tower, BNY Melon Building, and the Carnegie Science Center.

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