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Indigenous ethnologist

Gladys Tantaquidgeon, the first Native American student in Penn’s anthropology department, published a series of academic articles, authored a book on ethnobotany and accompanied the department chair as his assistant, interviewing tribes and collecting folklore.

Penn Today Staff

‘Robotic blood’ powers and propels synthetic lionfish

Combining different functional components that are normally compartmentalized can lead to both powerful and lightweight future robots. A new paper by James Pikul highlights the success of a robotic lionfish that combines energy storage and movement through the use of a hydraulic liquid referred to as “robotic blood.”

Penn Today Staff

Relieving water scarcity, one home at a time

Due to a rapidly depleting underground aquifer, many residents of Mexico City are left with little-to-no easily accessible clean water for hours or days at a time. This summer, members of the Penn chapter of Isla Urbana helped install rainwater harvesting and filtration systems to provide residents of the Mexican capital with clean water year-round.

Gina Vitale

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The New Yorker

The promise and price of cellular therapies

Carl June of the Perelman School of Medicine was profiled for his contributions to the field of CAR-T cellular therapy.

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NPR

“Can we change social norms?”

Cristina Bicchieri of the School of Arts and Sciences joins a philosophical discussion about the possibility of changing social norms.

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The New York Times

Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy plan is almost done, and it could start a fight

David Skeel of the Law School commented on Puerto Rico’s plan to restructure its $124 billion in debt using a bankruptcy-like law called Promesa. “If this works—if Promesa works and the restructuring works—it may make bankruptcy for states seem like something that lawmakers should be considering a little more seriously,” he said. “But if it doesn’t work, it would have the opposite effect.”

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Philadelphia Inquirer

In surgical recovery—or any tough task—the key is to keep moving, cardiac resident learns

Jason Han, a surgical resident in the Perelman School of Medicine, wrote about the importance of movement to post-operative recovery. When patients get some momentum, “their mindset about recovery changes. They begin to believe their recovery is within their control and they challenge themselves to participate in their recovery.”

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Vox.com

Everyone wants to Instagram the world’s most beautiful canyon. Should they?

Anjan Chatterjee of the Perelman School of Medicine spoke about the tourist appeal of photogenic sites like Antelope Canyon. “There is a beauty to the space, but it is also overwhelming in the sense that you feel small and insignificant, and almost associated with some anxiety. There’s something about being forced to look upward that seems to convey both elevation and a sense of your own smallness.”

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Reuters Health

Reduced work hours for trainee doctors not seen to compromise care

Krisda Chaiyachati of the Perelman School of Medicine weighed in on workday reforms that limited doctors in training to an 80-work week and 30-hour shifts. “I imagine it would be politically challenging to ask young physicians to routinely work, say, 100 hours a week.”

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Wired

Twitter and Instagram unveil new ways to combat hate—again

Jessa Lingel of the Annenberg School for Communication said “we need humans” to help parse what is and isn’t offensive language based on context. “The tech just isn’t there yet.”

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Vox.com

What could be next for the Affordable Care Act lawsuit

Allison Hoffman of the Law School was interviewed about an Affordable Care Act lawsuit being evaluated by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. “The fact that this case is being heard seriously by the Fifth Circuit is just, sort of, implausible,” said Hoffman. “It reflects on, a little bit on who the judges are.”

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Bloomberg

Trump calls for overhaul of costly kidney dialysis program

In response to President Trump’s push to reform the kidney dialysis program, which largely relies on clinic-based treatment, Jeffrey Berns of the Perelman School of Medicine said “there is under-utilization of home dialysis and under-exposure to it.”

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WBUR Radio (Boston)

Employers want to do more with less. Where does that leave expertise?

Angela Duckworth of the School of Arts and Sciences spoke about grit and other non-IQ competencies achieved through hard work over sustained periods of time.

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