Medicine

A COVID vaccine for kids

Jeff Gerber, who is heading the clinical trial of the Moderna vaccine in kids under 12 at CHOP, speaks with Penn Today about the trial and why getting children vaccinated is so essential.

Katherine Unger Baillie

Getting to the heart of genetic cardiovascular diseases

Day, a physician-scientist and cardiologist works to unlock the mysteries of genetic heart disease, integrating translational and clinical science to understand the full spectrum of genetic heart disease evolution and progression.

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Science

How scientists are subtracting race from medical risk calculators

Nwamaka Eneanya of the Perelman School of Medicine said researchers need to consider the drivers of health disparities, rather than merely correlating race with health outcomes. “That’s not a standard that is expected of scientists in this day and age, and it needs to be,” she says. “This is a wake-up call for the scientific community.”

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STAT News

In the same health system, Black patients are prescribed fewer opioids than white patients

Salimah Meghani of the School of Nursing commented on a study that found that white patients are prescribed opioids more frequently and in greater quantities than Black patients within the same health system. Because the study was conducted using data from before the CDC’s revised opioid prescription guidelines, it “may be underestimating the actual size of disparities,” she said.

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Today

What to know about mammograms if you have a tattoo

Susan Summerton of the Perelman School of Medicine spoke about how tattoos can affect breast cancer screenings. “It could be 20 to 30 years later after a tattoo that you can see changes in the lymph nodes,” she said. “I’m a breast imager so I care most about it because I see the tattoo pigment in lymph nodes in the armpit. But people are seeing it in other lymph nodes that are also tricking them into thinking that there’s a tumor, like they are a melanoma.”

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Los Angeles Times

Thanks to the pandemic, we now also have ‘an epidemic of sleep deprivation’

Michael Perlis of the Perelman School of Medicine said it’s normal for sleep to suffer under stressful circumstances, such as a pandemic. “Evolution or God programmed us not to sleep when there’s a perceived threat,” he said. “If you have a lion looking at you and licking its lips, you shouldn’t go to sleep.”

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WebMD

Third COVID vaccine dose helps some transplant patients

Richard Wender of the Perelman School of Medicine said specialists, not primary care doctors, should be responsible for responding to emerging vaccination recommendations for unique populations such as transplant patients. Primary care doctors’ “focus needs to be on helping to overcome hesitancy, mistrust, lack of information, or anti-vaccination sentiment to help more people feel comfortable being vaccinated—this is a lot of work and needs constant focus,” he said.

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Reuters

Analysis: U.S. FDA faces mounting criticism over Alzheimer’s drug approval

Jason Karlawish of the Perelman School of Medicine spoke about the FDA’s decision to approve a new Alzheimer’s drug in spite of objections by some experts. "This decision has shaken the foundations of the scientific process and methods," said Karlawish.

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