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The healing word

Deborah Thomas embeds herself in communities stricken by violence to chronicle the humanity revealed during the aftermath.

Blake Cole

Inside Penn

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Philadelphia Inquirer

Trump-friendly Newsmax bundled into Comcast’s Xfinity service

The Annenberg School for Communication’s Victor Pickard discussed conservative news channel Newsmax and its recent deal with Comcast. If Comcast is “feeling the heat from the right, it will make sense to appease some of those critics,” said Pickard.

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CNBC

Dieting is out. That poses a problem for a company named Weight Watchers as it rebrands itself WW

Kevin Volpp of the Wharton School and Perelman School of Medicine offered commentary on the “universal challenge” of dieting. “People generally speaking are much more successful in achieving initial weight loss than maintaining weight loss,” he said.

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Philadelphia Inquirer

Penn physicists win $3 million Breakthrough Prize

The School of Arts and Sciences’ Charles Kane and Eugene Mele have been awarded the 2019 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for their work developing a two-dimensional topological insulator, which forces electrons to travel in an orderly fashion. The material could some day be used to improve energy efficiency.

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Bloomberg

Barbara Kahn discusses the retail revolution (podcast)

Barbara Kahn of the Wharton School was interviewed about changes in the world of retail and marketing. “People talk about [contemporary online shopping] as ‘omnichannel’ but right now it’s just retail. Retail has now become a seamless integration between online and offline,” said Kahn.

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Philadelphia Inquirer

Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test: How reliable is it? A Penn prof explains

Theodore Schurr of the School of Arts and Sciences said U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s genetic analysis, which used indigenous DNA samples from Peru, Mexico, and Colombia as reference points, was legitimate due to historical migration patterns.

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CNN

Smoking featured in half of hip-hop videos, study finds

The Annenberg Public Policy Center’s Dan Romer offered commentary on a study of smoking in music videos. He noted that the study didn’t differentiate between marijuana and tobacco products or consider the role of product placement.

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Bloomberg

Sears bankruptcy hits close to home for Trump

Speaking about Sears’ decline, the Wharton School’s Daniel Raff said that expressions of nostalgia for the store, which has long catered to blue-collar Americans, “may well resonate with [Trump’s] core voters.”

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Philadelphia Inquirer

Depression often goes undiagnosed. Researchers are turning to Facebook to change that

Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine co-authored a study on social media and mental illness. “Depression is a really debilitating disease and we have treatments that can help people,” said Raina Merchant. “We want to think of new ways to get people resources and identification for depression earlier.”

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Economic Times

Bigger Billion Days: How this year’s festive season could prove transformative for Flipkart

Discussing Indian e-commerce, the Wharton School’s Kartik Hosanagar said that the ratio of customer acquisition costs to customer lifetime value is “even more lopsided than in the U.S., Europe, and China.” The key to profitability, he said, is reducing those acquisition costs and improving customer retention.

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Vanity Fair

Is the Harvey Weinstein criminal case in trouble?

“We’re in a different arena than we were 10 years ago,” said Marci Hamilton of the School of Arts and Sciences, comparing the current moment to the pre-#MeToo era. As prosecutors, “the public and the politics are on your side now…. You can find juries that will convict.”

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