Opioid use • Farm of the future • Info gerrymandering
Sep 12, 2019 | 205 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print

• Opioid use

          Patients in the U.S. and Canada are seven times more likely to receive an opioid prescription after surgery than patients in Sweden. That's the conclusion of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, who also found that while the U.S. and Canada have similar opioid prescription rates, U.S. patients tend to receive higher doses of medication. “Our findings reveal stark differences in prescribing practices across the three countries and suggest real opportunities to encourage more judicious use of opioids before and after surgery for patients in the United States and Canada,” said researcher Mark D. Neuman. (EDITORS: Additional information)

• Farm of the future

          Veterinary researchers are developing a “farm of the future” that can help make U.S. pig farming more sustainable. A goal of the University of Pennsylvania’s Swine Teaching and Research Center is to reshape the environmental and social impacts of raising swine using humane conditions and efficient resource usage. At Penn's New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pa., for example, a model pig farm includes free-roaming sows implanted with RFID chips that allow them to receive personalized, pre-measured amounts of organic feed so that the animals do not have to compete with one another to eat. (EDITORS: Additional information)


• Info gerrymandering


          Social networks can impede the free flow of information. In what scientists have termed “information gerrymandering,” it’s not geographical boundaries that confer bias but the structure of social networks, such as social media connections. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and University of Houston conducted experiments with thousands of human subjects and analyzed a variety of real-world networks, finding examples of information gerrymandering on Twitter, in the blogosphere, and in U.S. and European legislatures. “People come to form opinions, or decide how to vote, based on what they read and who they interact with,” said Joshua Plotkin of Penn. “Information gerrymandering can induce a strong bias in the outcome of collective decisions. This tells us that we need to be cautious about relying on social media for communication because the network structure is not under our control and yet it can distort our collective decisions.” (EDITORS: Additional information)


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