The findings suggest that there may be a way to promote survival of neurons by helping a beneficial protein linger a little longer inside nerve cells. Patients with SMA gradually lose the motor neurons in the spine that control most of their muscles. Researchers have known since the 1990s that the disease is nearly always linked to the absence or disruption of a gene known as SMN1 (Survival of Motor Neuron 1). A nearby gene, SMN2, is virtually identical to SMN1, and in principle could produce enough SMN protein to keep neurons healthy – yet somehow fails to do so. The findings appear in the March issue of Genes & Development.
For more, read the HHMI summary at http://www.hhmi.org/news/dreyfuss20100301.html
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Penn’s School of Medicine is currently ranked #3 in U.S. News & World Report’s survey of research-oriented medical schools, and is consistently among the nation’s top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $367.2 million awarded in the 2008 fiscal year.
Penn Medicine’s patient care facilities include:
- The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania – the nation’s first teaching hospital, recognized as one of the nation’s top 10 hospitals by U.S. News & World Report.
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- Pennsylvania Hospital – the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751, nationally recognized for excellence in orthopaedics, obstetrics & gynecology, and behavioral health.
Additional patient care facilities and services include Penn Medicine at Rittenhouse, a Philadelphia campus offering inpatient rehabilitation and outpatient care in many specialties; as well as a primary care provider network; a faculty practice plan; home care and hospice services; and several multispecialty outpatient facilities across the Philadelphia region.
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