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research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: Obesity can lead to the alteration of specific genes

In a new study from the University of Minnesota, researchers found there are numerous areas of the genome where obese and non-obese individuals differ in terms of their “methylome.”

Essentially, the researchers found that the level of DNA methylation (addition or subtraction of a methyl group on the DNA molecule) was related to level of body mass index (BMI), a marker of obesity. These differences in methylome are a type of “epigenetic” variation, which does not involve the genetic sequence itself, but rather is thought to alter which genes are turned “on” and “off” at a given point in time in a given tissue. Typical genetic sequences do differ but data shows these differences go beyond that.

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beyond-minnesota

Improving dental therapy education in Rwanda

When the U.S.-based Rwanda Human Resources for Health (HRH), was tasked with rebuilding Rwanda’s only dentistry school, leaders faced a dilemma.

Dental therapists had practiced in Rwanda for several years, but their education wasn’t viewed as quite up-to-standard. HRH wanted to improve the education of dental therapy students to provide higher quality care in a clinical setting. But they didn’t have any experience with dental therapy.

They sought out Karl Self, D.D.S, Director of Dental Therapy at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry – the only dental school in the United States to train dental therapists.

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beyond-minnesota

Vaccination program for pet dogs may not fully prevent lion infections in Serengeti

In June 2014, Health Talk first shared that a virus carried by domestic dogs is threatening the health of wild cats like the Serengeti lion. Now, in an update to that research, new findings led by the University of Glasgow and co-authored by the University of Minnesota suggest vaccinating domestic dogs against this virus, known as canine distemper, is not enough to keep Serengeti lions and their cohabitants, the endangered African wild dog, safe from infection.

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research-and-clinical-trials

UMN research finds room for improvement in Latin American & Caribbean food safety safeguards

Food safety standards can be shaky at best in developing Caribbean and Latin American regions. In 2002, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated at least one-third of individuals in developing countries likely contract a foodborne illness each year. And with Latin America and the Caribbean forecasted to play a growing role in global food production and exports in the coming years, that high rate of foodborne illness is one worth paying attention to.

University of Minnesota food safety risk analyst and assistant professor, Fernando Sampedro Parra, Ph.D., has focused his sights on the problem and recently conducted first-of-its-kind research for the region.

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news-and-notes

The link between human rights and public health

Medical professionals work under a shared ethical principle: to heal. It’s a part of the Hippocratic Oath, the ethical code of conduct binding physicians and health care professionals to putting patient care first.

Clinical medicine is not just about the ethics of bedside doctoring; the practice of medicine must engage human rights to improve health, says Steven Miles, M.D., Ph.D., Maas Family Endowed Chair in Bioethics in the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Center for Bioethics.

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beyond-minnesota

U of M graduates first cohort of Saudi Arabia MHA students

A unique cohort of 25 Executive Master of Health Administration (MHA) students graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health having never before stepped foot in Minnesota, and having taken all of their classes while living in Saudi Arabia.

Similar to many students of the stateside MHA program, students of the Saudi Arabian program were all full-time professionals who completed a University of Minnesota MHA degree in 25 months.

The Saudi Arabia Executive MHA program launched at the King Fahad Medical City (KFMC) in Riyadh, Saudi in 2012. The program was the first of its kind available in Saudi Arabia and attracted healthcare professionals who wished to further grow their careers.

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