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Chronic illness causes less harm when carnivores cooperate
Chronic illness causes less harm when carnivores cooperate 17 May 2015Gray wolves in Yellowstone National Park have given researchers the first scientific evidence from wild mammals that living in a group can lessen the impacts of a chronic disease. The research also is one of the first studies to measure the costs of infected non-human individuals of any species on members of their group. A paper describing the research will be published in Ecology Letters on May 18, 2015.
Astrobiology students explore alien environment on Earth
Astrobiology students explore alien environment on Earth 20 May 2015Sonny Harman never thought he’d be able to travel far enough to do field work. That’s because the Penn State doctoral student studies atmospheres on other planets. But to his surprise, Harman recently stepped into an alien world -- complete with environments and life unlike just about anything he’d seen on Earth. And he didn’t have to go to Mars to do it. Harman was among a group of graduate students who recently traveled to Italy for an annual astrobiology field course.
Andrew Read elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society
Andrew Read elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society 21 May 2015Andrew F. Read, Evan Pugh Professor of Biology and Entomology and Eberly Professor in Biotechnology at Penn State, has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, the leading academy of sciences of the United Kingdom. The Royal Society is a self-governing fellowship of many of the world’s most distinguished scientists. The stated purpose of the society is to recognize, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity. Each year, the Fellows of the Royal Society elect up to 52 new fellows and up to ten new foreign members who have made substantial contributions to the improvement of knowledge in science, engineering, or medicine.
Booker named an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Booker named an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute 22 May 2015Squire J. Booker, professor of chemistry and of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State University, has been named an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), a science philanthropy whose mission is to advance biomedical research and science education for the benefit of humanity. As one of 26 new HHMI investigators chosen from 894 applicants, Booker joins a group of scientists, including 17 Nobel laureates, widely recognized for their creativity and research accomplishment. The HHMI chooses investigators based on a "people, not projects" philosophy allowing its investigators the freedom to explore creative approaches to difficult biomedical problems. Booker will receive flexible support designed to enable him to move his research forward in creative new directions.
Invasive microbe protects corals from global warming, but at a cost
Invasive microbe protects corals from global warming, but at a cost 02 June 2015An invasive species of symbiotic micro-alga has spread across the Caribbean Sea, according to an international team of researchers. These single-cell algae, which live within the cells of coral animals, are improving the resilience of coral communities to heat stress caused by global warming, but also are diminishing the abilities of corals to build reefs.
Mercedes Richards elected Councilor of American Astronomical Society
Mercedes Richards elected Councilor of American Astronomical Society 04 June 2015Mercedes Richards, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State University, has been elected as a Councilor of the American Astronomical Society (AAS). The AAS was founded in 1899 and is the major organization of professional astronomers in North America with over 7,000 members. Richards is one of three Councilors elected this year from among the membership of the AAS. She will serve a three-year term on the AAS Council, which is the governing body of the AAS and is responsible for the management of the affairs and property of the society.
Unlocking the biofuel energy stored in plant cell walls: Plants may no longer be an untapped energy source
Unlocking the biofuel energy stored in plant cell walls: Plants may no longer be an untapped energy source 09 June 2015By virtue of their chloroplasts, plants are superb harvesters of solar energy. They use it to build leaves, flowers, fruits, stems, and roots. We harvest a small percentage of that energy in the form of food and a smaller amount in the form of wood for heating.
免疫抑制将加速糖尿病患者的伤口愈合
免疫抑制将加速糖尿病患者的伤口愈合 15 June 2015来自美国哈佛大学,波士顿儿童医院和宾夕法尼亚州立大学科学家的最新研究发现,伤口发生感染时,被激活的免疫系统在抗击感染的同时,也会减慢伤口的愈合速度。研究者们发现,在患有糖尿病的小鼠模型中,抑制嗜中性粒细胞形成胞外染色质网(Neutrophil Extracellular Traps,NETs)可以加速伤口的愈合。这种胞外染色质网-NETs的主要作用是捕获并杀死细菌。此项研究将于2015年6月15日发表在Nature Medicine杂志上。
Disabling infection-fighting immune response speeds up wound healing in diabetes
Disabling infection-fighting immune response speeds up wound healing in diabetes 15 June 2015One of the body's tools for fighting off infection in a wound may actually slow down the healing process, according to new research by a team of Harvard University, Boston Children's Hospital, and Penn State University scientists. In a study published online in Nature Medicine on June 15, 2015, the researchers show that they can speed up wound healing in diabetic mice by preventing immune cells called neutrophils from producing structures called NETs (neutrophil extracellular traps) that trap and kill bacteria.
A First: Exoplanet smaller than Earth gets its size and mass measured
A First: Exoplanet smaller than Earth gets its  size and mass measured 16 June 2015A team of astronomers has measured the mass and size of a Mars-sized planet orbiting a red dwarf star about 200 light years from our solar system. The planet, named Kepler-138b, is the first exoplanet smaller than the Earth to have both its mass and its size measured. A paper by the team, which includes astronomers at Penn State University, NASA Ames Research Center, the SETI Institute, and the University of Chicago, will be published in the journal Nature on 18 June 2015.
John Badding awarded Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement
John Badding awarded Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement 18 June 2015John Badding, professor of chemistry and physics at Penn State, has been selected to receive the 2015 Penn State Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the Physical Sciences. Established in 1980, the award recognizes scholarly or creative excellence represented by a single contribution or a series of contributions around a coherent theme. A committee of faculty peers selects candidates after reviewing nominations together with outside evaluations from peer institutions.
Marylyn Ritchie appointed Paul Berg Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Marylyn Ritchie appointed Paul Berg Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 18 June 2015Marylyn Ritchie, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, and the director of the Center for Systems Genomics at Penn State University, has been named the Paul Berg Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The professorship was created in 1995 by an anonymous donor in honor of Paul Berg, a 1948 Penn State graduate who was named a Distinguished Alumnus in 1974 and earned the Nobel Prize in 1980 for developing a method to map the structure and function of DNA.
Song Tan awarded Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement
Song Tan awarded Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement 18 June 2015Song Tan, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State, has been selected to receive the 2015 Penn State Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the Life and Health Sciences. Established in 1980, the award recognizes scholarly or creative excellence represented by a single contribution or a series of contributions around a coherent theme. A committee of faculty peers selects candidates after reviewing nominations together with outside evaluations from peer institutions.
Cavener named new dean of the Eberly College of Science
Cavener named new dean of the Eberly College of Science 19 June 2015Penn State announced today (June 19) that Douglas R. Cavener will become the new dean of the Eberly College of Science, pending approval by the University Board of Trustees at its July 17 meeting.
Lord of the Rings: Astronomers Pinpoint the Location of a Mysterious Neutron Star with Superlative Rings of X-ray Light
Lord of the Rings: Astronomers Pinpoint the Location  of a Mysterious Neutron Star with Superlative  Rings of X-ray Light 23 June 2015The largest and brightest set of cosmic rings resulting from echoes of X-ray light has been discovered by a science team that includes a Penn State astronomer. The team used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to discover the beautiful and extraordinary rings, which were produced by an intense burst of energy from a neutron star. Rings of this type give astronomers a rare chance to determine the distance from Earth to an object in our Milky Way Galaxy.
Charlton honored with President's Award for Excellence in Academic Integration
Charlton honored with President's Award for Excellence in Academic Integration 30 June 2015Jane Charlton, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State University, has been selected to receive the 2015 President's Award for Excellence in Academic Integration. The award is given to faculty members who excel at integrating teaching, research, and service to the University. The award is presented by the Office of the President of the University, based on the recommendations of the President's Council and academic deans.
Black hole, quiet since 1989, now caught burping a rare X-ray flare
Black hole, quiet since 1989, now caught burping a rare X-ray flare 30 June 2015A NASA satellite controlled by Penn State University has detected a brief, super-bright, high-energy flare -- an X-ray nova -- erupting from a star system 8,000 light-years away from Earth named V404 Cygni. This system is in the constellation Cygnus and includes a black hole and a star just slightly smaller than the Sun. This black hole has been known to burp up an X-ray nova occasionally, but it had been slumbering since 1989 until the detection by NASA's Swift Gamma-ray Burst Explorer on June 15, just before 2:32 p.m. EDT. About 10 minutes after the detection by Swift, the Japanese " MAXI" experiment (Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image) on the International Space Station also picked up the flare.
Kin Fai Mak to receive Department of Energy Early Career Research Program funding
Kin Fai Mak to receive Department of Energy Early Career Research Program funding 01 July 2015Kin Fai Mak, assistant professor of physics, has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science to receive funding for his research as part of the DOE's Early Career Research Program. With this funding, Mak will study a new method for transmitting information by controlling a parameter of electrons known as the "valley degree of freedom" in two-dimensional crystals. The research has potential application in next-generation electronic and optoelectronic devices, such as spin and valley transistors and polarization-sensitive LEDs. The DOE program, in its sixth year, is designed to bolster the nation's scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during the crucial early years of their careers, when many scientists do their most formative work. Awardees are chosen based on peer review by outside scientific experts and receive five years of research funding.
How the Mammoth Got its Wool: Genetic changes are identified that helped the woolly mammoth survive in the Arctic
How the Mammoth Got its Wool: Genetic changes are identified that helped the woolly mammoth survive in the Arctic 02 July 2015Evolutionary change in a gene resurrected in the lab from the extinct woolly mammoth altered the gene's temperature sensitivity and likely was part of a suite of adaptations that allowed the mammoth to survive in harsh arctic environments, according to new research. In a study published in Cell Reports on July 2, 2015, researchers determined the whole-genome sequence of two woolly mammoths and three modern Asian elephants, predicted the function of genetic changes found only in the mammoths, and then experimentally validated the function of a woolly mammoth gene reconstructed in the lab. The research team includes scientists from Penn State University, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and the University of Chicago.
AstroFest 2015 is Four Evenings of Astronomy Activities and Stargazing During Arts Festival
AstroFest 2015 is Four Evenings of Astronomy Activities and Stargazing During Arts Festival 07 July 2015Penn State University's popular "AstroFest" program, a four-night festival of astronomy activities and stargazing during the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, will welcome visitors from Wednesday, July 8 through Saturday, July 11 from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. each night. All ages are welcome to participate in a variety of exciting and educational activities sponsored by the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Events are free and will occur rain or shine in classrooms and in the planetarium located on the fifth floor of Davey Laboratory.

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