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University of Iowa News Release


At A Glance

UI team helps advance understanding of autism genetics

University of Iowa researchers have contributed to two studies advancing the understanding of the genetics of autism.

One study pinpoints missing or duplicated stretches of DNA that may account for up to 15 percent of autism cases, while another study identifies genes along two crucial gene pathways that may also be involved in autism. The first study involved 88 families at the UI, while the second involved 115 families.

The studies, which were led by researchers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, appeared online April 28 in the journal Nature.

The findings could aid genetic counseling and planning and may eventually help with treatment, said study contributor Thomas Wassink, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the UI Carver College of Medicine and UI Children's Hospital.


UI study seeks current and former smokers ages 45 to 80

A University of Iowa study on lung disease seeks current and former smokers ages 45 to 80 who are non-Hispanic white or African-American. The study aims to look for genetic differences and learn why some smokers develop Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and others do not. COPD is the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States and includes conditions such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

People who have a respiratory disorder other than COPD or who already have a close relative in the study are not eligible to participate. In addition, pregnant women are not eligible for the study.

Participation involves one visit to UI Hospitals and Clinics. The visit will last three to four hours and include a breathing test, questionnaires, blood samples and a chest CT scan.

Approximately 6,000 people with COPD and 4,500 current or former smokers without COPD will participate in the study nationwide. The principal investigator for the UI site is Geoffrey McLennan, M.D., UI professor of internal medicine.

For more information contact Angela Delsing or Sara Kraus, 319-356-1810 or Kimberly Sprenger,

For more information visit

UI School of Art and Art History hosts Arts Festival May 1

The University of Iowa School of Art and Art History will host a free Arts Festival, an open house featuring more than 300 artists, performances and demonstrations, and concluding with live music, 4 to 8 p.m. in the Studio Arts Building, 1375 Highway 1 West.

The festival is co-sponsored by the Oasis, which will provide refreshments.

Learn more at

Glassblower to speak at 'Finding God' Forum May 1

At the next "Finding God at Iowa" Lunch Forum on Friday, May 1, Peter Hatch, scientific glassblower for the UI Department of Chemistry, will share how his spiritual journey included becoming a glassblower.

The talk, "God Loves Us and Is in Control," will be from noon to 1 p.m. in the Penn State Room (Room 337), of the Iowa Memorial Union.

The forums, sponsored by Geneva Campus Ministry, provide an opportunity for UI faculty and students to reflect on issues from the standpoint of their faith.

For more information contact Ed Laarman, 319-341-0007 or


Photos for At A Glance items, if available, may be found at (for arts news) or (for all other news).

For arts information and calendar items visit

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to participate in a program, please contact the sponsoring department in advance.