Research Roundup
Here’s a glimpse at other research happening at the University of Washington

KIDNEY DISEASE
Dialysis starting earlier than ever

A UW-Group Health Research Institute study found that over a 10-year period (1997 to 2007), patients started dialysis at higher and higher levels of kidney function, about five months earlier on average. Another study showed that maintaining good blood-sugar control early in the course of type 1 diabetes could lessen the long-term risk of kidney disease.

HOLDING OFF HIV
Creating a vaccine to bolster the immune system

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a $6.7 million, four-year grant to UW Pharmacy Professor Shiu- Lok Hu and co-investigators at the Universities of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts to find a safe, effective vaccine that will help the immune system ward off HIV infection.

COST OF LIVING
Making ends meet costs us 8% more

It costs 8 percent more on average than it did two years ago for Washington residents to make ends meet, according to research at the School of Social Work. A single parent with one preschooler and one school-age child living in Seattle needs an annual income of $56,904—up 13 percent from $50,268 two years ago—to meet the family’s most basic requirements.

ROBOTIC SURGERY
New hands-off approach improves outcomes

Named Raven, seven identical robots with wing-like arms that end in tiny claws have been designed to perform surgery on a simulated patient. Five of them were shipped from the UW to other universities so researchers can share software and collaborate on projects that will help speed up procedures, reduce errors and improve patient outcomes.

THE DEMENTIA RISK
Diabetes, depression could boost dementia

A new study of 19,000 Californians suggests that people with diabetes who also have a major depression have a two-fold increased risk for developing dementia. That said, the study’s investigators say that the absolute risk of dementia for any one person with depression and diabetes is one in 50.

EPILEPSY’S SCOURGE
Combining 2 drugs may be the answer

Dr. Nicholas P. Poolos, UW associate professor of neurology, conducted a study that showed two drugs combined are more effective in treating difficult-to-control epilepsy. The two drugs are lamotrigine and valproate. Of the more than 3 million Americans who have epilepsy, 1 million of these have a difficult-to-treat form.

DIGGING HISTORY
2,000-year-old tablet deciphered

Alexander Hollman, assistant professor of classics, had an article published in a German publication about a 2,000-yearold tablet he deciphered. It was found in Antioch, one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire. The writer curses a vegetable seller named Babylas calling on the gods to “drown and chill his soul.”

POLLUTION FALLOUT
Study shows damage in lakes far away

Postdoctoral researcher Gordon Holtgrieve was the lead author of a study in Science that showed nitrogen from human activities has polluted lakes in the Northern Hemisphere for more than a century and these changes are evident even in remote lakes thousands of miles from the nearest city, industrial area or farm.

PERCEIVING FAIRNESS
Basic sense of equality found in infancy

Jessica Sommerville, UW associate professor of psychology, led a study that presented the first evidence that a basic sense of fairness and altruism appears in infancy. Babies as young as 15 months perceived the difference between equal and unequal distribution of food and this awareness was linked to their willingness to share a toy.

AGING AND LGBT
Disability, distress add to senior challenges

LGBT seniors face higher rates of disability, physical and mental distress and a lack of access to services, according to the first study on aging and health in these communities. The School of Social Work study indicates that new strategies must be developed to address their needs.

One Response to Research Roundup

  1. Christine Owens says:

    I would love to read more about or read the entire study on Aging and LGBT. My Columns magazine states on page 24, “For more information on these stories, go to http://www.washington.edu.” However, I can’t find any links to additional info nor can I find a link to the original study. I don’t have the name of the author, article, or journal, so I fear that I’ll have a tough time finding the article. Any suggestions? Thanks.

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