Perspectives in Research

BRCA Testing: The Hidden Cost of Knowledge

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In late March 2015, Angelina Jolie penned a new op-ed, “Diary of a Surgery,” in which she detailed her continued struggles with hereditary cancer risks. After having a preventive mastectomy in 2013, she recently shared her decision to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed, in an effort to prevent a cancer that killed three(...)

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Can Tasty Food Reduce Stress?

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According to the World Health Organization, more than 1 billion adults in the world are overweight, making them candidates for chronic disease and disability. Many of these people have one thing in common: They unconsciously start eating sweet and high-calorie foods to deal with stress and anxiety. And though later detriments to health may ultimately(...)

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To Reduce Youth Violence, Prescribe a Summer Job

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Troubling tales of race, poverty and violence seem to span the contours of today’s media. However, University of Pennsylvania criminologist Sara Heller’s research1, published last month in Science, contributes a hopeful voice to the dialogue. In a randomized controlled trial of disadvantaged youth in Chicago, her study shows a significant link between joblessness and youth(...)

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Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer via MicroRNAs

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Since their discovery in the early 1990s and 2000s, microRNAs have been implicated in a variety of human conditions. Most recently, however, microRNAs are being scrutinized under a different light: not as causative agents in human diseases, but rather as potential guides for cancer detection. The microRNA is a short nucleotide sequence, usually 21 to(...)

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Lessons from the Dr. Oz Senate Appearance

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As 2014 ended, Medscape released “The Year in Medicine 2014: News That Made a Difference.” Among the notable stories were the Dr. Oz Senate hearings, in which the celebrity doctor was censured for “perpetuating weight loss fraud.” He defended himself, saying he believed in his products, though still admitting the products’ claims were not backed(...)

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Scientists Discover Widespread Age-Associated ‘Fingerprints’ in the Human Brain

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An interdisciplinary team of scientists from the Lieber Institute and Johns Hopkins has discovered more than 50,000 regions of the genome that show different levels of activity in the brain across six stages of human development. Their report1, published online on Dec. 15 in Nature Neuroscience, highlights the complexity of genes associated with brain growth(...)

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