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Walt Whitman up close

As part of the Penn Manuscript Collective, students transcribe rare documents and original works by Walt Whitman in the University’s collection. Their discoveries will be included in an international symposium at Penn this spring, Whitman at 200, led by the Penn Libraries marking the anniversary of the poet’s birth.

Louisa Shepard

Writers House reborn

Renovations were recently completed at Kelly Writers House to expand its premier Arts Cafe and make the space more technologically friendly.

Greg Johnson

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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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Science

The brain’s traffic problems

James Shorter of the Perelman School of Medicine was cited for research about breaking up “stress granules,” tiny packets of protein and RNA that form during cellular stress, which can accumulate in, and ultimately harm, people with ALS or frontotemporal dementia. Shorter’s work aims to equip cells with a gene that would prevent that accumulation.

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Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane (WHYY-FM)

ACA contraceptive coverage

Allison Hoffman of the Law School discussed the significance of a ruling by a federal judge in Philadelphia that stopped the expansion of employer exemptions for covering contraception on religious or moral grounds.

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Toronto Star

Arrivals: Books that show women rock the world

Kristen Ghodsee of the School of Arts and Sciences was highlighted for her new book, Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism and Other Arguments for Economic Independence.

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Philadelphia Inquirer

Researchers call for oversight of burgeoning brain stimulation market

In a recent issue of the journal Science, Anna Wexler of the Perelman School of Medicine called for more oversight of brain stimulation devices and apps, which claim to improve cognitive performance. “We just don’t know what the long-term effects of brain stimulation are,” said Wexler.

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National Public Radio

An unlikely treatment offers hope for chronic pains sufferers but drug makers see little incentive

Patricia Danzon of the Wharton School commented on drug companies’ hesitance to produce new medications. “Bringing a new drug to market requires getting FDA approval and that requires doing clinical trials,” she said. “That’s a significant investment, and companies, unsurprisingly, are not willing to do that unless they can get a patent and be the sole supplier of that drug for at least some period of time.”

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Vox.com

16 big predictions about 2019, from Trump’s impeachment to the rise of AI

Wharton’s Philip Tetlock was cited for his research on “superforecasters,” people who appear to be systematically better at predicting world events. Common traits among those people include lots of practice and an openness to being wrong.

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Houston Chronicle

Houston police team up with Ring app to tackle crime

Maria Cuellar of the School of Arts and Sciences commented a partnership between the Houston Police Department and Ring, a home surveillance company that offers video doorbells, saying that there is not enough evidence to claim that the devices reduce crime.

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Philadelphia Inquirer

Raymond G. Perelman, master investor and philanthropist, dies at 101

Businessman, philanthropist, and Wharton alum Raymond G. Perelman died at the age of 101. His gifts “helped advance Penn’s position as a global model for comprehensive academic medical centers,” said President Amy Gutmann.

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The New York Times

Company known for deep cost-cutting offers to buy Gannett

Victor Pickard of the Annenberg School for Communication commented on a possible takeover of Gannett Co., publisher of several major daily papers, by Digital First Media. “If Digital First acquires Gannett it will be good for their business but bad for everyone else, including employees that work at Gannett papers and the local communities that those newsrooms serve,” said Pickard.

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