• Baking soda & cancer

Baking soda may be the next big thing in the fight against cancer.  At the very least, it can make cells more susceptible to treatment by waking them up from dormancy, a state induced by rising acidity levels. When researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania gave baking soda to mice with tumors, their tumor cells resumed metabolic activity and became more responsive to therapy. The findings have implications for a variety of cancer treatments, as well as treatments for drug resistance, which is also thought to be caused by cell dormancy.

• Cash & smoking

Move over, nicotine patches and chewing gum. Despite being staples of many corporate wellness programs aimed at encouraging cessation, conventional
aids alone do not help smokers quit. Rather, cash is key. When aids were coupled with financial incentives, they became three times more effective, according to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. In a study involving 6,000 participants, researchers also discovered that e-cigarettes were not as effective as once thought. The findings hold significant policy as
well as health implications.

• Insomnia

No one is a stranger to a poor night’s sleep. But how does a single sleepless night turn into many? Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania sought to understand chronic insomnia by tracking 1,435 adults nationwide for a year. All subjects began as verified good sleepers, but during the course of the study 1 in 4 developed insomnia, and 75 percent of those recovered without medical intervention. While no significant differences were observed along racial, ethnic, or gender lines, the data sheds light on the various paths of insomnia development and recovery. This could be lifesaving, given that insomnia heightens the risk of suicide.

• Skin cancer

Melanoma is the least common of skin cancers. It’s also the most dangerous. "Unlike some of the more common skin cancers,” said Emily Chu at the
University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, “it can travel from the skin to affect other parts of the body.” As a result, most dermatologists
recommend never getting it in the first place. Avoiding sun exposure, especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., is the most effective way to protect the
skin and guard against cancer. Another rule of thumb is to wear sun-protective clothing and liberally apply sunscreen.

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