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Genetic Tug of War in the Brain Influences Behavior

Not every mom and dad agree on how their offspring should behave. But in genetics as in life, parenting is about knowing when your voice needs to be heard, and the best ways of doing so. Typically, compromise reigns, and one copy of each gene is inherited from each parent so that the two contribute equally to the traits who make us who we are. Occasionally, a mechanism called genomic imprinting, first described 30 years ago, allows just one parent to be heard by completely silencing the other.

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Health Care Providers A Major Contributor to Problem of Antibiotic Overuse

A new study,l ed by the Veterans Affairs Salt Lake City Health Care System and the University of Utah and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, suggests that differences in the routines of individual providers drives variation in antibiotic prescribing more than differences in patient characteristics, standards of practice at different hospitals, or clinical settings (emergency department, primary care, urgent care). The findings are an important step toward understanding the problem of antibiotic overuse, a major public health concern given the rise in antibiotic-resistant “superbugs”.

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National Cancer Institute Awards Huntsman Cancer Institute Elite Comprehensive Cancer Center Designation

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah its Comprehensive Cancer Center status, the highest designation possible. The announcement was made today in an award letter from NCI to Dr. Mary Beckerle, HCI’s CEO and director. The award was the result of an extensive review process that culminated in a full-day on-site visit by national cancer research experts and thought leaders in the fourth quarter of 2014.

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Genetic Testing in Kids is Fraught with Complications

A woman coping with the burden of familial breast cancer can’t help but wonder if her young daughter will suffer the same fate. Has she inherited the same disease-causing mutation? Is it best to be prepared for the future, or to wait? During the last decade, genetic tests have been through a sea change, both in their availability and the technologies behind them. Today there are at least 34 companies that offer direct to consumer (DTC) DNA testing, some of which return health results. And now it is possible to sequence someone’s entire genetic code for the price of a laptop.

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J. Steven Price joins U Board of Trustees

J. Steven Price has been appointed to the University of Utah’s Board of Trustees, effective July 1. Price is the founder of Price Realty Group, which has developed, acquired and actively manages approximately 2.5 million square feet of industrial, distribution and manufacturing real estate. The company’s portfolio includes local, national and international tenants in the life and bio sciences, information technology, aerospace, defense, transportation, supply chain logistics, e-commerce and outdoor recreation sectors of the economy.

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Genomics England Selects Omicia and University of Utah Technology for 100,000 Genomes Project

Genomics England announced that it will be using technology co-developed in a partnership between the University of Utah and Omicia, and exclusively commercialized through Omicia, to interpret the DNA of Britons as part of the 100,000 Genomes Project, a national effort to hasten creation of diagnostics and treatments that are tailored to a person’s genetic make-up. The VAAST (Variant Annotation, Analysis and Search Tool) and Phevor (Phenotype Driven Variant Ontological Re-ranking tool) algorithms are core components of the Omicia Opal platform, which transforms genomic data into clinically relevant information.

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Seminal Discoveries in Metabolism Earn Biochemist Jared Rutter, Ph.D., HHMI Investigator Appointment

A University of Utah biochemist whose research has significantly expanded the understanding of human metabolism–chemical processes that synthesize and break down the building blocks of cells–and its relation to disease has received a highly prized honor in the world of science: selection as an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).

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