Health Sciences

The allure of fad diets, and why they fail

In a new book, Penn nutritional anthropologist Janet Chrzan and Kima Cargill of the University of Washington, Tacoma, explain the cultural, social, and psychological fixation on fad diets and why they don’t typically succeed.

Michele W. Berger

Quit removing wax from your ears

For the vast majority, ear wax does not cause any problems and there’s no need to remove it—not only do cotton swabs not remove ear wax, but they can pose a risk of hearing loss.

Caren Begun

Pregnancy, childbirth, the pandemic, and stress

For two years, the interdisciplinary Project IGNITE has followed 1,000 pregnant individuals and their children to learn more about what role environmental factors play in preterm birth, poor pregnancy outcomes, and social and emotional development.

Michele W. Berger

In the News

Philadelphia Inquirer

Penn Medicine is going all in on proton therapy, a costly treatment that is unproven for most common cancers

A profile examines Penn Medicine’s commitment to the advancement of proton therapy, a new radiation cancer treatment, with remarks from James Metz and Justin E. Bekelman of the Perelman School of Medicine.


Philadelphia Inquirer

For breast cancer patients, Penn researchers are comparing costly proton therapy with standard radiation

The Perelman School of Medicine’s Justin E. Bekelman is leading a $12 million study to compare the effects of proton therapy and standard radiation treatment on breast cancer.


Smithsonian Magazine

Genetics society issues apology for ties to eugenics and racism

Sarah Tishkoff of the Perelman School of Medicine says that an American Society of Human Genetics’ apology for past mistakes is overdue and much needed.


The Hill

Virology is part of the golden age of health: Don’t dismantle it

James Alwine of the Perelman School of Medicine co-writes that over-regulation could unduly constrain the ability to respond to future viral pandemic threats.


The Washington Post

Want a well-trained dog? Start with a better-trained human

Cynthia M. Otto of the School of Veterinary Medicine advises that a good dog trainer actually listens to the dog.