Breaking through the medical fake news bubble
In a new perspective piece published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Raina Merchant and David A. Asch provide some guidance for medical professionals and scientists as they wade into online discussions.
Treating spinal pain with ‘engineered living tissue’ moves closer to reality
A multidisciplinary team at Penn successfully demonstrated the feasibility of an innovative new disc replacement made of living material.
Why we have hair here, but not there
A new study answers a fundamental question in human evolution about how and where hair grows on the body, and reveals the existence of a naturally-occurring inhibitor to hair growth.
How to survive baseball’s ‘most fearsome injury’
There is one injury that can thwart both an all-star pitcher with the Chicago Cubs and a teen practicing to make the varsity team: a torn labrum.
Staging the plague
Eighty-one students training in a diversity of health professions worked with regional and federal agencies to confront an imagined outbreak scenario centered around bubonic plague in Philadelphia.
Skin cream use OK’d during radiation therapy
A new study challenges common advice given to patients about whether topical creams increase radiation dose during cancer treatment.
Drivers of inflammation provide valuable targets for new gum disease therapies
A subset of T cells contributes to the inflammation and bone loss that characterizes periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease. According to new research by George Hajishengallis and scientists at the National Institutes of Health, drugs that specifically inhibit these cells may offer an effective therapy.
Elected to the NAM, four faculty members earn the highest honor in biomedicine
Susan M. Domchek, Daniel E. Polsky, Marie Celeste Simon, and Rachel M. Werner are four of the 85 newly-elected members of the National Academy of Medicine.
Multidisciplinary team to develop stem cell-based approaches to restore vision
Gene therapies have had success in treating blindness but can’t save areas of the retina where cells have already died. In a new effort, School of Veterinary Medicine scientists John Wolfe and William Beltran will attempt to develop a stem-cell-based approach that restores vision.
Linguistic red flags from Facebook posts can predict future depression diagnoses
The language people use in these social media posts can make these predictions as accurately as the tools clinicians use in medical settings to screen for the disease.
In the News
The mystery of the Havana Syndrome
The Perelman School of Medicine’s Douglas Smith offered commentary on the concussion-like symptoms experienced by American diplomats in Havana in the winter of 2017. While some have suggested that their symptoms were psychosomatic, Smith said that “there was not one individual on the team [at Penn] who was not convinced that this was a real thing.”
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Eating more fish or taking omega-3 fish oil supplements can cut heart attack risk, studies find
To lower one’s risk of heart disease, the Perelman School of Medicine’s Helene Glassberg recommended eating more fish over taking fish oil supplements. “Get it in your diet if you can, from omega-3 fatty fish like salmon or sardines,” said Glassberg. “This is the best way to get it and not spend $30 on a bottle of supplements at a health food store.”
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