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Under Pressure: New technique could make large, flexible solar panels more feasible
Under Pressure: New technique could make large, flexible solar panels more feasible 13 May 2016A new, high-pressure technique may allow the production of huge sheets of thin-film silicon semiconductors at low temperatures in simple reactors at a fraction of the size and cost of current technology. A paper describing the research by scientists at Penn State University appears May 13, 2016 in the journal Advanced Materials.
How depression and antidepressant drugs work: New insight from depressed mice helps researchers unite two hypotheses
How depression and antidepressant drugs work: New insight from depressed mice helps researchers unite two hypotheses 17 May 2016New research demonstrates the effectiveness of ketamine to treat depression in a mouse model of the disease and brings together two hypotheses for the cause of depression. The research, led by Bernhard Lüscher, professor of biology and of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State University, is in press and will be published in the September 15, 2016 print edition of the journal Biological Psychiatry.
How did the giraffe get its long neck? Clues now revealed by new genome sequencing
How did the giraffe get its long neck? Clues now revealed  by new genome sequencing 17 May 2016For the first time, the genomes of the giraffe and its closest living relative, the reclusive okapi of the African rainforest, have been sequenced -- revealing the first clues about the genetic changes that led to the evolution of the giraffe’s exceptionally long neck and its record-holding ranking as the world’s tallest land species. The research will be published in the scientific journal Nature Communications on May 17, 2016.
New targets for vaccines identified on the surface of the malaria parasite
New targets for vaccines identified on the surface of the malaria parasite 23 May 2016Dozens of potential new protein targets for malaria vaccines have been identified and characterized on the surface of the transmitted sporozoite stage of the malaria parasite. The research also demonstrates for the first time that some proteins on the surface of the parasite have sugar additions that could cloak them from the human immune system. A paper describing the research by a collaboration of scientists from Johns Hopkins University; the Center for Infectious Disease Research in Seattle, Washington; the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, Washington; Harvard Medical School; and Penn State University, is available online in the April 29, 2016 issue of the journal PLOS Pathogens.
Discovered: Why warm galaxies stop birth of new stars
Discovered: Why warm galaxies stop birth of new stars 25 May 2016Today, astronomers from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), including scientists at Penn State University, are announcing the discovery of a new class of galaxies called "red geysers." These galaxies harbor supermassive black holes with winds that produce a mysterious kind of "galactic warming" that, over the last few billion years, has turned huge numbers of galaxies into deserts devoid of fresh young stars.
Penn State scientists share in Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics
Penn State scientists share in Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics 26 May 2016Penn State scientists are members of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) team that has been recognized with a Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. This special award, which can be given at any time in recognition of an extraordinary scientific achievement, recognizes the team's detection of gravitational waves 100 years after Albert Einstein predicted their existence. The award, which recognizes major insights into the deepest questions of the universe, includes a $3 million prize that will be shared between two groups of laureates: the three founders of LIGO will equally share $1 million, and 1012 contributors to the experiment will equally share $2 million.
Albert elected to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Albert elected to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences 02 June 2016Reka Albert, Distinguished Professor of Physics and Biology at Penn State University, has been elected as an external member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Albert was elected to the Section of Biological Sciences of the Academy and is being honored for her work applying network models to complex biological systems. Founded in 1825, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences is the oldest scientific institution in Hungary. Its main functions are to cultivate and to promote scientific research in Hungary and by Hungarian scientists.
New gravitational-wave finder scores again
New gravitational-wave finder scores again 15 June 2016Less than four months after the historic first-ever detection of gravitational waves, scientists on a team that includes Penn State University physicists and astronomers now have detected another gravitational wave washing over the Earth. "I would never have guessed that we would be so fortunate to have, not only one, but two definitive binary black-hole detections within the first few months of observations," said Chad Hanna, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy & astrophysics at Penn State and co-chair of the Compact Binary Coalescence Group of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), which detected both the first gravitational wave and this new one since beginning observations last fall.
Fastest-spinning brown-dwarf star is detected by its bursts of radio waves
Fastest-spinning brown-dwarf star is detected by  its bursts of radio waves 24 June 2016Astronomers have detected what may be the most-rapidly-rotating, ultra-cool, brown-dwarf star ever seen. The super-fast rotation period was measured by using the 305-meter Arecibo radio telescope -- the same telescope that was used to discover the first planets ever found outside our solar system.
New, better way to build circuits for world's first useful quantum computers
New, better way to build circuits for world's first useful quantum computers 27 June 2016The era of quantum computers is one step closer as a result of research published in the current issue of the journal Science. The research team has devised and demonstrated a new way to pack a lot more quantum computing power into a much smaller space and with much greater control than ever before. The research advance, using a 3-dimensional array of atoms in quantum states called quantum bits -- or qubits -- was made by David S. Weiss, professor of physics at Penn State University, and three students on his lab team.
New clues could help scientists harness the power of photosynthesis
 New clues could help scientists harness the power of photosynthesis 07 July 2016Identification of a gene needed to expand light harvesting in photosynthesis into the far-red-light spectrum provides clues to the development of oxygen-producing photosynthesis, an evolutionary advance that changed the history of life on Earth. "Knowledge of how photosynthesis evolved could empower scientists to design better ways to use light energy for the benefit of mankind," said Donald A. Bryant, the Ernest C. Pollard Professor of Biotechnology and professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State University and the leader of the research team that made the discovery.
AstroFest 2016 is Four Evenings of Astronomy Activities and Stargazing During Arts Festival
AstroFest 2016 is Four Evenings of Astronomy Activities and Stargazing During Arts Festival 11 July 2016Penn 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 13 through Saturday, July 16 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 on the University Park campus.
Record-breaking map of 1.2-million galaxies now ready to reveal secrets of dark energy
Record-breaking map of 1.2-million galaxies now ready to reveal secrets of dark energy 14 July 2016Astronomers are announcing this week the sharpest view yet of the properties of dark energy -- the force that currently is driving the accelerated expansion of the universe. "These results are a milestone in the study of the large-scale structure of the universe," said Penn State Professor Donald Schneider, who was the survey coordinator and scientific publications coordinator for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-III) -- a collaboration of hundreds of scientists whose work produced the largest-ever, three-dimensional map of distant galaxies as well as one of the most precise measurements yet of dark energy.
Chad Hanna appointed as the Norman and Trygve Freed Early Career Professor in Physics
29 July 2016Chad Hanna, assistant professor of physics at Penn State University, has been honored with the inaugural Norman and Trygve Freed Early Career Professorship in Physics. Trygve Freed -- whose husband Norman Freed (1936 - 2014) joined the Penn State faculty in the Department of Physics in 1965, was named Associate Dean of Penn State's Eberly College of Science in 1979, and served in that position until he retired in 2011 -- established the professorship to support outstanding early-career faculty in physics in the Penn State Eberly College of Science. The professorship offers recognition for outstanding early accomplishments and provides financial support to promising young faculty members to encourage establishing a commitment to teaching and exploring new areas of research.
John Lin to Represent Penn State's Eberly College of Science as Student Marshal at Summer Commencement 2016
John Lin to Represent Penn State's Eberly College of Science as Student Marshal at Summer Commencement 2016 08 August 2016John Lin of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, will be honored as the student marshal for the Eberly College of Science during Penn State University's summer commencement ceremonies on Saturday, August 13, 2016, on the University Park campus. Lin's faculty escort for the commencement exercises will be Gong Chen, professor of biology and the Verne M. Willaman Chair in Life Sciences at Penn State.
Ashtekar elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences
Ashtekar elected as a member of the  National Academy of Sciences 22 August 2016Penn State University Professor of Physics Abhay Ashtekar, Holder of the Eberly Family Chair in Physics and Director of the Penn State Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos, has been elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Election to membership in the academy is one of the highest honors accorded to U.S. scientists or engineers by their peers.
Coral conservation efforts aided by computer simulations: New research shows that endangered corals in the eastern Pacific Ocean are isolated from healthy coral populations in the west
Coral conservation efforts aided by computer simulations:     New research shows that endangered corals in the eastern Pacific Ocean are isolated from healthy coral populations in the west 23 August 2016Contrary to a prevailing theory, coral larvae could not survive the five-thousand-kilometer trip across the Pacific Ocean to replenish endangered corals in the eastern Pacific, according to new research. Researchers used a supercomputer to simulate billions of coral larvae traveling on ocean currents over a 14.5-year period. The simulations showed that even during extreme environmental events that speed ocean currents, like the 1997-1998 El Niño, coral larvae could not survive long enough to make the trip from coral reefs in the western and central Pacific to help corals in the east recover from environmental damage.
Katriona Shea Elected as Fellow of Ecological Society of America
30 August 2016Katriona Shea, Alumni Professor in the Biological Sciences at Penn State University, has been elected as a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America (ESA). Shea is being recognized for "developing important insights into pressing environmental problems, including reconciling conflicting empirical results about invader richness and disturbance-diversity relationships." Fellows of the ESA are members who have made outstanding contributions to a wide range of fields served by the ESA and are elected for life. The ESA, founded in 1915, is the world’s largest community of professional ecologists committed to advancing the understanding of life on Earth.
NSF grant to promote more diversity, inclusion in STEM fields
NSF grant to promote more diversity, inclusion in STEM fields 12 September 2016Monica Medina, associate professor of biology, Penn State, is one of three researchers awarded a National Science Foundation grant aimed at building alliances and partnerships that can increase participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics -- or STEM -- for underrepresented populations.
Swift telescope detects slowest-spinning neutron star
Swift telescope detects slowest-spinning neutron star 14 September 2016A new record-holder may have been found as the slowest spinning neutron star -- the class of stars with the most powerful magnetic fields in the universe -- thanks to clues first detected by NASA's Swift space observatory, whose science and flight operations are controlled by Penn State from the University Park campus. Swift's X-Ray Telescope captured a short burst of unusual X-rays on June 22, 2016 coming from the object's location roughly 9,000 light-years from Earth.

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