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R&D Briefs

Mapping a Pathogen

Researchers at UVA have determined the structure of the protein package, or capsid, that delivers the genetic material of HIV to human cells. “This paper is a milestone for research from our group,” says the study’s senior author, Dr. Mark Yeager. These findings may provide the foundation for developing drugs that can disrupt capsid formation and prevent infection by HIV.

Too Much Work

Could too much work be bad for teens? Those who work a job for more than 20 hours a week tend to be less engaged with school and more prone to substance abuse and delinquency, says a team of researchers, including the Curry School’s Joanna Lee Williams. “Our findings suggest that families should consider monitoring the number of hours that teens work while in high school,” Williams says. “Since moderate levels of employment—fewer than 20 hours per week—were generally not associated with negative outcomes, working during the school year is not a bad thing in and of itself.”

Ruff Workout

Dogs. They’re cuddly. They’re loyal. They’re good for your teen’s health? Teens with dogs get about 15 more minutes of exercise a week than those who don’t have pets, according to a study led by UVA assistant professor John Sirard. He found these results by surveying 618 pairs of adolescents and their parents about the number of dogs in their households and time spent doing physical activities, then having teens wear accelerometers, wrist watch-like devices that collect data about body movement. “We hypothesized [dog ownership] would have an effect on adults, but we didn’t see that. We saw it in the kids,” Sirard said.