Health Sciences

Jumping Genes Provide Extensive “Raw Material” for Evolution, Penn Study Finds

PHILADELPHIA - Using high-throughput sequencing to map the locations of a common type of jumping gene within a person’s entire genome, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found extensive variation in these locations among the individuals they studied, further underscoring the role of these errant genes in maintaining genetic

Karen Kreeger

Penn-Led Collaboration Mimics Library of Bio-Membranes for Use In Nanomedicine, Drug Delivery

PHILADELPHIA –- An international collaboration led by chemists and engineers from the University of Pennsylvania has prepared a library of synthetic biomaterials that mimic cellular membranes and that show promise in targeted delivery of cancer drugs, gene therapy, proteins, imaging and diagnostic agents and cosmetics safely to the body in the emerging field called nanomedicine.  

Jordan Reese

New Tissue-Hugging Implant Maps Heart Electrical Activity in Unprecedented Detail

PHILADELPHIA – A team of cardiologists, materials scientists, and bioengineers have created and tested a new type of implantable device for measuring the heart’s electrical output that they say is a vast improvement over current devices. The new device represents the first use of flexible silicon technology for a medical application.

Karen Kreeger

In the News

The New Yorker

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.”


Philadelphia Inquirer

Rate of births to white single moms accelerates, as low-income women wrest ‘beauty’ from hard lives

The Graduate School of Education’s Rebecca Maynard said that middle- and upper-class women are taught that having kids before marriage can derail one’s college and career, which explains why higher-income women use contraception more consistently than lower-income women.


Philadelphia Inquirer

Black people more likely to die of sudden cardiac arrest, but why?

Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine have found that the black people were more than twice as likely as white people to die of sudden cardiac arrest. Lead author Rajat Deo said that “a combination of awareness, education, and resource allocation may help reduce the burden of sudden cardiac death in a city like Philadelphia.”


CBS News

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.”


Popular Science

Cell phones pose plenty of risks, but none of them are cancer

Reviewing the results of a study exploring the relationship between cell phones and cancer, Kenneth Foster of the School of Engineering and Applied Science remains unconvinced of potential dangers. “Health agencies are saying that if there’s something there, it’s probably so small that there’s not likely to be a large effect on the population,” Foster said.