Showing posts from 2017

A look back at last year, and plans for 2017-2018

July 19, 2017

To the Penn Community:

In the fast paced and changing world we live in it is now more important than ever for policymakers to rely on facts. Our current political climate has exposed the serious need for science informed policymaking and also the importance of maintaining and establishing collaborations with other countries. In the past year, the Penn Science Policy Group (PSPG) and the Penn Science Diplomacy Group (PSDG) have been organizing events to address this gap in our Penn and Philadelphia community. Our groups consist of graduate and undergraduate students, and postdoctoral fellows interested in learning about the intersections of science, government, and international relations. We have sought to educate the Penn community on the relationship between science and society, and to create an environment that provides scientists with the tools necessary to become effective science advocates. For these reasons, PSPG and PSDG established a strong collaboration which …

Podcast: Pipelines & Science Budgets

By: Ian McLaughlin & Liana Vaccari

References: Pipelines:

Science Budget:…

UPenn Scientists Are Investigating Better Treatments for Sarcoma Tumors

by Adrian Rivera-Reyes and Koreana Pak
Soft tissue sarcomas (STS) are rare cancers of the connective tissues, such as bone, muscle, fat, and blood vessels. Soft and elastic, sarcoma tumors can push against their surroundings as they grow silent and undetected. Residing in an arm, torso, or thigh, it can take years before a sarcoma begins to cause pain. By the time a patient presents their tumor to a doctor, amputation may be unavoidable1.
In 2017, it is predicted that 12,390 Americans will be diagnosed with sarcoma, and approximately 5,000 patients will die from these tumors2. But the vast majority of these patients aren’t dying from the first tumor in their arm or leg—the real danger is metastasis, which is responsible for more than 90% of cancer-related deaths3-5.
Metastasis occurs when tumor cells leave their original site and colonize a new area of the body, such as the lungs, liver, or bones3-5. The current treatment options for sarcoma—surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation—are not v…

The arguments for and against a graduate student union at Penn

Hosted By: Ian McLaughlin

For more information about each of these two groups, please visit: GET-UP (pro graduate student union): Against this graduate student union effort:

Podcast: What is Science Diplomacy?

By: Ian McLaughlin & Enrique Lin Shiao

Podcast: Contacting Congress, 21st Century Cures, & Antibiotics

By: Ian McLaughlin & Liana Vaccari

Antibiotic resistance, policy and prevention By: Liana Vaccari

What are antibiotics? Antibiotics, which might also be called antimicrobial or antibacterial agents, are chemicals that can disrupt the life-cycle of bacteria in a few different ways; some actively kill the cells, others prevent them from reproducing, and others inhibit their ability to metabolize energy sources.  Over the years, they’ve been used for everything from strep throat to pneumonia1, but use has recently been dialed back because bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics that currently exist. One reason this has become an issue is that discoveries of new antibiotics can’t keep pace with the ability of the bacteria to resist old ones because developing new drugs is a long and expensive process.2,3 Early this year, a woman died of an infection caused by a strain of bacteria that none of the 26 antibiotics available in America could clear.4 This is pretty unusual and alarming …