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Health and Medicine

Mom may pass bacteria to baby in utero: Study

Jul. 5, 2018—New findings by Jörn-Hendrik Weitkamp and colleagues provide the first account of bacterial signatures in mammalian fetal intestinal tissue. The results suggest that bacterial DNA moves from the mother’s microbiome into the fetal intestine, which may be a critical stimulus for normal mucosal immune development.

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SMAD4 clue to colon cancer

Jul. 5, 2018—Chronic inflammation is a predisposing condition for colorectal cancer, the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Anna Means, Ph.D., and colleagues have now linked inflammation-driven carcinogenesis in the colon to loss of an important signaling protein called SMAD4.

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Oak Ridge and Vanderbilt come together to explore cellular processes

Jul. 3, 2018—Vanderbilt and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are combining their expertise in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and computation to tackle some of the most pressing problems in biology.

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Scavengers “protect” HDL

Jun. 29, 2018—Lipid molecules that bind to HDL can modify its function — and blocking that modification can protect HDL and potentially lower the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease.

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New staph virulence factor

Jun. 28, 2018—The new factor, an enzyme involved in host-pathogen interactions, may be a viable target for treating staph infections.

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Shared genetics may shape treatment options for certain brain disorders

Jun. 14, 2018—Symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, including psychosis, depression and manic behavior, have both shared and distinguishing genetic factors, an international consortium led by researchers from Vanderbilt University and Virginia Commonwealth University is reporting.

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Novel infection fighter

Jun. 13, 2018—A drug in use clinically to help make vaccines more effective may be a powerful new tool for fighting antibiotic-resistant infections.

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Confronting TB resistance

Jun. 11, 2018—Vanderbilt researchers describe how certain tuberculosis treatments work and suggest these medications may overcome the threat of drug-resistant tuberculosis.

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$8.1 million grant funds new center to research highly aggressive form of lung cancer

Jun. 8, 2018—A five-year National Cancer Institute grant will fund an interdisciplinary research center for the study of small cell lung cancer, a highly aggressive, incurable form of the disease.

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A “public” target for HIV

Jun. 8, 2018—Common sequences of antibodies against HIV may be key to developing a successful vaccine strategy for the virus.

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Enzyme protects against obesity-related heart disease

Jun. 7, 2018—Vanderbilt scientists have discovered that a certain enzyme plays a crucial role in preventing obesity-related cardiac dysfunction.

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Student-run clinics may reduce hospital utilization

Jun. 7, 2018—Student-run free health clinics, a hallmark of most medical schools across the country, not only provide valuable clinical experience for the students who volunteer there, but may actually reduce hospital utilization by the patients in their care, according to a Vanderbilt study recently published in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.

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