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2D materials researchers aim 'beyond graphene': In the realm of 2D materials, weirdness works
2D materials researchers aim 'beyond graphene': In the realm of 2D materials, weirdness works 20 July 2015Joshua Robinson recalls the day in 2006 when he learned of a material that is, for all practical purposes, two-dimensional. At the time, he was a post-doctoral researcher at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. His advisor, Eric Snow, was raving about graphene, a newly isolated form of carbon. A cousin of the widely known buckminsterfullerene (or "buckyballs") and carbon nanotubes, graphene was a flat sheet only one carbon atom thick. The atoms were linked together in a six-sided, chicken-wire pattern, forming a lattice with astonishing properties. It was flexible, transparent, and stronger than steel. It conducted electricity better than copper and heat better than anything. In short, carbon in this form didn't behave like carbon anymore. It acted like an entirely new material.
Jane Charlton selected as Penn State Teaching Fellow
Jane Charlton selected as Penn State Teaching Fellow 20 July 2015Jane Charlton, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State University, has been selected to receive one of three Penn State Teaching Fellows Awards for 2015/2016. The Teaching Fellow Award was established jointly in 1986 by the Penn State Alumni Association, the Undergraduate Student Government, and the Graduate Student Association with the purpose of honoring distinguished teaching and providing incentive for teaching excellence at Penn State.
Increasing prevalence of autism is due, in part, to changing diagnoses
Increasing prevalence of autism is due, in part, to  changing diagnoses 22 July 2015The greater than three-fold increase in autism diagnoses among students in special education programs in the United States between 2000 and 2010 may be due in large part to the reclassification of individuals who previously would have been diagnosed with other intellectual disability disorders, according to new research. In a paper to be published online in the American Journal of Medical Genetics on July 22, 2015, scientists at Penn State University report their analysis of 11 years of special-education enrollment data on an average of 6.2 million children per year. The researchers found no overall increase in the number of students enrolled in special education. They also found that the increase in students diagnosed with autism was offset by a nearly equal decrease in students diagnosed with other intellectual disabilities that often co-occur with autism. The researchers conclude that the large increase in the prevalence of autism is likely the result of shifting patterns of diagnosis that are complicated by the variability of autism and its overlap with other related disorders.
Some Vaccines Support Evolution of More-Virulent Viruses
Some Vaccines Support Evolution of More-Virulent Viruses 27 July 2015Scientific experiments with the herpesvirus that causes Marek's disease in poultry have confirmed, for the first time, the highly controversial theory that some vaccines could allow more-virulent versions of a virus to survive, putting unvaccinated individuals at greater risk of severe illness. The research has important implications for food-chain security and food-chain economics, as well as for other diseases that affect humans and agricultural animals.
From twitching lizards to noisy frogs, adaptation is often survival of the weird
From twitching lizards to noisy frogs, adaptation is often survival of the weird 28 July 2015Forces like climate change and globalization are making the world smaller, hotter, noisier and weirder than ever and this is putting even more pressure on species to quickly adapt, according to Tracy Langkilde, associate professor of biology.
Clump of a star's gas, catapulting into space at 40 million miles per hour, appears to be picking up speed
Clump of a star's gas, catapulting into space at 40 million miles per hour, appears to be picking up speed 28 July 2015A fast-moving pulsar appears to have punched a hole in a disk of gas around its companion star and to have launched a fragment of the disk outward at a speed of about 40 million miles per hour. NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory is tracking this cosmic clump, which appears to be picking up speed as it moves out. The catapulted material weighs about as much as all the water in the Earth's oceans.
New Milky Way Map Reveals Stars in Our Galaxy Move Far from Home
New Milky Way Map Reveals Stars in Our Galaxy Move Far from Home 30 July 2015Scientists with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey-III (SDSS) have created a new map of the Milky Way, which provides the first clear evidence that migration of stars occurs throughout our Galaxy. The study, which determined that 30 percent of stars have moved far across the Galaxy, is bringing a new understanding of how stars are formed and travel throughout the Milky Way.
Meichen Bian to Represent Penn State's Eberly College of Science as Student Marshal at Summer Commencement 2015
Meichen Bian to Represent Penn State's Eberly College of Science as Student Marshal at Summer Commencement 2015 10 August 2015Meichen Bian of Hefei City, Anhui Province, China will be honored as the student marshal for the Eberly College of Science during Penn State University's summer commencement ceremonies on Saturday, August 15, 2015 on the University Park campus. Bian's faculty escort for the commencement exercises will be Russell Cooper, professor of economics at Penn State.
NSF funds Industry/University Center for Atomically Thin Coatings
NSF funds Industry/University Center for Atomically Thin Coatings 10 August 2015The study and development of atomically thin coatings will be the focus of a one of a kind National Science Foundation funded university/industry center.
Five Schreyer Scholars selected for Summer Exposure M.D./Ph.D. program Ten-week program combines biomedical research, clinical experience
Five Schreyer Scholars selected for Summer Exposure M.D./Ph.D. program Ten-week program combines biomedical research, clinical experience 10 August 2015Five Schreyer Honors College students were selected for the Penn State College of Medicine M.D./Ph.D. Summer Exposure Program that prepares individuals for career paths combining clinical medicine and research. Kaleb Bogale, Erik Grinn, Jenna Mandel, Rhea Sullivan and Andrew Tucker were accepted into the program and began their studies in May in Hershey with the opportunity to interact with biomedical researchers, medical professionals and patients during the 10-week program. They will also attend a research forum at the end of the summer program.
Quantum computing advance locates neutral atoms
Quantum computing advance locates neutral atoms 12 August 2015For any computer, being able to manipulate information is essential, but for quantum computing, singling out one data location without influencing any of the surrounding locations is difficult. Now, a team of Penn State physicists has a method for addressing individual neutral atoms without changing surrounding atoms.
Software can automatically critique composition of digital photographs
Software can automatically critique composition of digital photographs 13 August 2015Software provides digital photographers with constructive feedback
WPSU Penn State garners seven Mid-Atlantic Emmy nominations
WPSU Penn State garners seven Mid-Atlantic Emmy nominations 17 August 2015WPSU Penn State has earned seven Mid-Atlantic Emmy nominations from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The regional awards recognize local productions for excellence in television programming and individual achievement.
Gerald Mahan honored with 2015 International Thermoelectric Society Outstanding Achievement in Thermoelectrics Award
Gerald Mahan honored with 2015 International Thermoelectric Society Outstanding Achievement in Thermoelectrics Award 24 August 2015Gerald D. Mahan, distinguished professor of physics at Penn State University, has been honored with the 2015 Outstanding Achievement in Thermoelectrics Award from the International Thermoelectric Society (ITS). The award recognizes the outstanding achievements of a senior scientist for contributions to the field of thermoelectricity. Mahan is being recognized for his seminal contributions to the theoretical understanding of electronic and thermal transport in thermoelectric materials. The ITS award citation noted that Mahan's "numerous journal articles, conference proceedings papers, and books and book chapters have served as continuing inspiration for generations of researchers working in the field." The award was presented at the banquet of the 2015 International Conference on Thermoelectrics in Dresden, Germany, where Mahan presented a plenary lecture.
Millennium Scholars Program connects diversity and STEM degrees
Millennium Scholars Program connects diversity and STEM degrees 31 August 2015They looked exactly like the other underclassmen trudging up the stairs to the dining commons at Pollock Halls. They dressed and spoke alike, and until their group reached a set of doors, they acted alike, too.
Graduate students develop sustainability solutions to change the world
Graduate students develop sustainability solutions to change the world 31 August 2015Five interdisciplinary teams, made up of Penn State graduate students, presented their sustainability-related solutions to world challenges at the Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Awards (SISCA). These students highlighted the connection to their homes and their research, showing why their work matters not just to them, but to those around the world.
Penn State hosts 19 National Science Foundation graduate researchers
Penn State hosts 19 National Science Foundation graduate researchers 31 August 2015Penn State is hosting 19 new National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recipients for the 2015-16 academic year. The students join 62 prior recipients continuing in the University’s graduate degree programs in the Eberly College of Science and the colleges of Agricultural Sciences, Earth and Mineral Sciences, Engineering, Health and Human Development, Information Sciences and Technology, and the Liberal Arts, as well as the Intercollege Graduate Degree Programs.
David Weiss named chair of the Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics of the American Physical Society
David Weiss named chair of the Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics of the American Physical Society 10 September 2015David Weiss, professor and associate head of the Department of Physics at Penn State University, has been elected as chair of the Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (DAMOP) of the American Physical Society (APS). DAMOP is the oldest and third largest division of the APS, with over 3,000 members. The chair is an elected position with administrative responsibility for all the division's operations, including the 1,100-attendee annual meeting. "The distinguished history of the division's chairmanship started in 1943 with Nobel Laureate I.I. Rabi," said Nitin Samarth, George A. and Margaret M. Downsbrough Department Head and Professor of Physics, "and has included laureates Arthur Schawlow, Dave Wineland, and Carl Wieman." Previous chairs with Penn State affiliation include the late Erwin Mueller, professor of physics, and Daniel J. Larson, professor of physics and former dean of Penn State's Eberly College of Science.
Penn State receives two awards for materials research and education
Penn State receives two awards for materials research and education 14 September 2015The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced six Partnership for Research and Education in Materials (PREM) awards this year -- two of them involving Penn State University. The awards are designed to improve materials-science research by increasing diverse perspectives within the field.
Ecology on the wing: Aerial photography enhances conservation research
Ecology on the wing: Aerial photography enhances conservation research 18 September 2015Drones have been flying over the Ugalla Forest in Western Tanzania. Far from being part of a military operation, these drones are being used to map chimpanzee habitat as part of an international research collaboration.

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