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This week: Researchers combine protein and DNA engineering, track empathy loss in dementia, and involve medical students

Two different biomedical fields, DNA engineering and protein engineering, will be combined in a study by an Upstate scientist. Stewart Loh, Ph.D., discusses how this project will unfold, its long- and short-term goals, its possible medical applications and how part of the process resembles Japanese origami on this week's "HealthLink on Air." Loh is a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology.

Also this week, empathy -- responding to the feelings of others -- is sometimes lost in people with dementia. Postdoctoral researcher Hannah Phillips, Ph.D., explains what she and her colleagues learned from their study of this phenomenon. She led graduate students in the lab of Wei-Dong Yao, Ph.D., at Upstate.

And those studying to become doctors and scientists conduct research -- sometimes optional, sometimes required -- while working on their degrees. It can enhance their knowledge, making them better physicians, and sometimes leads to new career choices, explains Dimitra Bourboulia, Ph.D., the director of the Office of Research for Medical Students at Upstate's Norton College of Medicine. She describes the opportunities for, and value of, research for these trainees. Bourboulia is an associate professor in the department of urology and the assistant dean for undergraduate and graduate medical education.

Listen to Healthlink on Air every Sunday at 6 a.m. on WRVO.

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