There are more men with mustaches in medical leadership roles than women, period.

While this sounds like it could be an Onion headlinePenn researchers actually analyzed over a thousand pictures of department leaders at the top 50 medical schools receiving NIH (National Institutes of Health) funding. They defined and categorized mustaches to standardize the process, with options such as Dali, Fu Manchu and Super Mario. They then came up with a “mustache index,” the proportion of women/proportion of mustachioed department leaders, so as to produce statistically significant results. The overall mustache index was a meager 0.72, and mustachioed men outnumbered all women by six percent. The researchers drew conclusions from these less–than–shocking data to recommend more women be appointed to leadership roles, in particular in academic medical environments.


Omg wait, are exercise and healthy eating good for me? Tell me more.

Okay, okay we get it. We all know that sitting on our asses watching Netflix and stuffing our faces with Allegro Pizza all winter may not be the best thing for us, but as long as it’s 20 degrees out, why should we care? Isaac Perron, a Penn PhD student, showed that mice eating higher fat diets slept a lot worse and napped more than those eating regular meals. Even just a week of unhealthy eating had mice sleeping as poorly as if they’d been chowing down for nine weeks straight, regardless of their weight. So basically, if you have a hell week and are stress–eating like crazy, not only will you feel gross and pimply, but you’ll also be tired and fall asleep in class. Great!

Next up are two hopefully less–applicable–to–Penn–students (but still pretty cool) findings. Neha Vapiwala found that the side effects of radiation therapy for men with prostate cancer can be mitigated by yoga. Attending classes twice a week helped relieve cancer–related fatigue, which can severely impair quality of life. Prostate cancer is second only to skin cancer among men, so chances are this could someday help someone you know.

Just to really rub in our faces how great exercise is, Penn researcher Kathryn Schmitz showed that exercise can reduce estrogen–sensitive breast tissue (associated with breast cancer) in women at a high risk for breast cancer. If someone is found to be high risk or BRCA–positive, doctors may recommend a life–altering double mastectomy (think Angelina Jolie) and removal of ovaries to be safe. While exercise doesn’t prevent breast cancer, it can delay the onset and severity and give women more time to decide whether or not to proceed with preventative surgery.


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