University of Utah Health Sciences

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New research out of the University of Utah shows that the use of methamphetamine increases the risk of developing a neurological disease later in life. The study published this month in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence also suggests that gender may influence that risk.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

BioFire Diagnostics announced its plans Wednesday to double its workforce in Salt Lake City and build a new facility. The announcement comes as the company awaits federal emergency authorization to release a rapid test for Ebola.

Salt Lake County

The University of Utah announced Thursday the findings of an investigation into allegations of sperm donation tampering by a former lab employee. Texas couple John and Pamela Branum prompted the investigation after learning that their daughter is the offspring of Thomas Lippert, an employee at the University of Utah lab where the family received a sperm donation in 1991.  

Huntsman Cancer Institute

The Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah is about to double its research space. On Friday, philanthropist and cancer survivor Jon Huntsman Senior announced plans for a new research building on campus focused on children and the genetics of cancer.

Jon Huntsman Senior watched his mother die of breast cancer, his father of prostate cancer, and his step-mother of ovarian cancer. Huntsman himself has fought four separate battles with cancer. His goal is to find a cure before his children and grandchildren have to go through the same thing. 

Amid public concern about air pollution generated by Stericycle’s North Salt Lake incinerator, two major hospital systems in Utah say they are reconsidering their processes for disposing of medical waste. Officials from University of Utah Health Sciences and Intermountain Healthcare say they are exploring their options, but are continuing to use Stericycle’s incinerator for the time being.

Andrea Smardon

A University of Utah Rehabilitation Center now has the ability to help paralyzed patients walk again.  A clinic in Sugar House is the first in the Intermountain West to obtain a robotic exoskeleton known as ReWalk.

He’s not exactly Iron Man, but when you see Stephen Wilson moving around in a ReWalk exoskeleton, it does feel like you’re watching something out of a sci-fi movie.  

Researchers at the University of Utah have found that doctors are prescribing antibiotics when people don’t really need them, a practice that may cause long-term problems.

Researchers say that when patients take antibiotics, the “good” bacteria living in the body is killed, which can cause side effects like rashes and diarrhea. Andrew Pavia, a professor of pediatrics at the U. who contributed to the study, says that’s only one consequence.

Researchers at the University of Utah are exploring an alternative therapy for treating severe depression.  A pilot study suggests that the anesthetic gas isoflurane commonly used during surgery could be used as an antidepressant. 

Andrea Smardon

The University of Utah expects to lose 19 million dollars of its medical research budget as a result of sequestration. KUER looks at how that loss will impact the research, industry, and health of the state. 

In the Genetics building, on the wall of cardiologist Dean Li’s lab is a map of North and South Korea. He uses it as inspiration for a pair of graduate students. North Korea, in this case, represents cancer.