49,000 COVID-19 infections: That is how many excess infections could occur in a city of 1 million people in which 1 percent of households experience eviction monthly, according to an epidemiological model published in Nature Communications. The researchers point out that their model supports policies to stem evictions in cities where the virus is circulating.
606 steps: On average, a group of diabetes patients walked this much more daily when participating in a group that asked them to compete against other participants in reaching individual step-count and weight goals, compared to a control group which simply received feedback on step counts and weight. After a year, all groups of participants experienced weight loss and a reduction of blood sugar. The study was published in JAMA Network Open.
111 years: That’s how long it took to illuminate the functions of “nuclear speckles,” tiny structures within the nucleus of every mammalian cell, were first observed with a microscope in 1910. Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine published their discovery in Molecular Cell: The speckles work in partnership with a key protein best known as a tumor suppressor, p53.
42 genes: Roughly a third of the 122 genes tied to disorders of the cilium that were analyzed in a Perelman School of Medicine study had strong associations with diabetes, kidney failure, liver disease, and high cholesterol levels in blood samples in a large biobank. The cilum, an antenna-like structure found on the surface of most human cells was thought to be largely vestigial, but the analysis, published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, suggests for the first time that it could be a target for therapies.
15 amino acids: Snipping a relatively small number of amino acids off could help make chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy effective again, according to a study published in Nature Medicine. When researchers shortened the single-chain variable fragment — the linker that bridges the two halves of the receptor that allows CAR T cells to latch onto tumor cells and attack them — they found that helped pre-activate the CAR cells, improving the anti-cancer activity in pre-clinical studies.
10x more sweat glands: Humans are the sweatiest ape, with sweat gland density tenfold greater than chimpanzees and macaques. Penn Medicine research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that this higher density is due largely to accumulated changes in a regulator region of DNA that drives expression of a sweat gland-building gene.
2.4 percent: How much does a neighborhood affect racial disparities in maternal health? Severe maternal morbidity was 2.4 percent higher for each 10 percent increase in the percentage of Black or African American individuals in a Census tract, according to the epidemiological study published in Obstetrics and Gynecology. In the last two decades, maternal mortality has doubled in the U.S. and racial disparities for Black mothers have widened. The researchers point to the potential of neighborhood-level interventions to address health disparities likely resulting from historical and structural racism.