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Mystery of rare 5-hour space explosion explained with help from US/Russia and US/UK/Italy satellites
17 September 2014Next week in St. Petersburg, Russia, scientists on an international team that includes Penn State University astronomers will present a paper that provides a simple explanation for mysterious ultra-long gamma-ray bursts -- a very rare form of the most powerful explosions in the universe.
Niel Brandt Named Verne M. Willaman Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics
02 September 2014Niel Brandt, distinguished professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State University, has been selected as the Verne M. Willaman Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics. The appointment, effective on August 1, 2014, is awarded by the Office of the President of the University, based on the recommendation of the Dean of the Eberly College of Science, in recognition of Brandt’s national and international reputation for excellence in research and teaching.
Mark Maroncelli Receives Joel Henry Hildebrand Award in the Theoretical and Experimental Chemistry of Liquids
28 August 2014Mark Maroncelli, professor of chemistry at Penn State, has won the American Chemical Society’s Joel Henry Hildebrand Award in the Theoretical and Experimental Chemistry of Liquids. Maroncelli will receive this award in recognition of his distinguished contributions to the understanding of the chemistry and physics of liquids in a ceremony during 2015 at the 249th annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in Denver. The award is sponsored by ExxonMobil Research and Engineering.
Penn State launches new online graduate certificate in applied bioinformatics
28 August 2014The breakthrough of sequencing the human genome created a need for professionals with backgrounds in life and computer sciences to analyze vast amounts of biological data for developing gene-based drugs and treatments. In response, Penn State World Campus is offering a new graduate certificate in applied bioinformatics that will train a new generation of biomedical researchers in computational thinking and procedures. These skills will allow them to apply algorithmic processes, tools and techniques to their data for a deeper understanding of biological processes.
Internships Solidify Research Career Path for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Student
28 August 2014Internships and externships can be valuable experiences that help you define your career path. Sarah Chang, a junior in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, has participated in both experiences as a Penn State Science student.
Eric Feigelson Awarded Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement
26 August 2014Eric Feigelson, professor of astronomy and astrophysics and of statistics at Penn State, has been selected to receive the 2014 Penn State Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the physical sciences. 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 reviews nominations and selects winners of the award.
Zombie ant fungi 'know' brains of their hosts
22 August 2014A parasitic fungus that reproduces by manipulating the behavior of ants emits a cocktail of behavior-controlling chemicals when encountering the brain of its natural target host, but not when infecting other ant species, a new study shows.
Hot-spring bacteria reveal ability to use far-red light for photosynthesis
20 August 2014Bacteria that grow in environments enriched in far-red light use a previously unknown process for harvesting energy. This discovery lays the foundation for further research aimed at improving plant growth and harvesting energy from the Sun, and understanding dense blooms like those now occurring on Lake Erie and other lakes worldwide. This discovery lays the foundation for further research aimed at improving plant growth, harvesting energy from the Sun, and understanding dense blooms like those now occurring on Lake Erie and other lakes worldwide. A paper describing the discovery will be published in the Science Express edition of the journal Science on 21 August 2014.
Miriam Freedman Receives National Science Foundation CAREER Award
20 August 2014Miriam Freedman, an assistant professor of chemistry at Penn State University, has been honored with a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The CAREER award is the most prestigious award given by the NSF in support of junior faculty members who exemplify the role of teacher-scholar through outstanding research, excellent teaching, and the integration of education and research. The CAREER award provides five years of funding and is given to assistant professors by NSF directorates at different times during the year.
Penn State is a Member of the New $678 million Telescope Now Approved for Construction
18 August 2014The U.S. National Science Foundation and Department of Energy have completed an agreement to support the $678 million construction costs of a major new tool for studying the universe, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). Penn State has been a member institution of the LSST and a participant in its planning since 2005. "The LSST data will provide an unprecedented view of the universe, and will allow investigation of important questions ranging from charting unknown objects in our own solar system, to the large-scale structure of the universe, to the mysterious nature of dark energy and dark matter," said Lawrence Ramsey, a member of the LSST Board of Directors, who is a Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics and an Eberly College of Science Distinguished Senior Scholar at Penn State.
C. R. Rao Receives 38th Honorary Doctoral Degree from the Indian Institute of Technology
18 August 2014Penn State's C.R. Rao, Emeritus Holder of the Eberly Family Chair in Statistics, long recognized as one of the world's top statisticians, has been awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. He received the degree at the Convocation of the Indian Institute of Technology on July 26 this year “for his contributions to the foundations of modern statistics through the introduction of concepts such as Cramer-Rao-Inequality, Rao-Blackwellization, Rao-Distance, Rao-Measure and for introducing the idea of Orthogonal Arrays for the industry to design high quality products.”
Penn State Joins New Project to Map the Universe
12 August 2014Penn State is an institutional partner in a major new research effort to investigate the structure of our galaxy, the evolution of nearby galaxies, and the nature of dark energy. The effort is the newest phase of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-IV), an international collaboration of more than 200 astronomers at over 40 institutions. "The SDSS has been one of the most productive endeavors in the history of astronomy, and it provides exciting scientific opportunities to Penn State faculty and students," remarked Donald Schneider, the head of the Penn State's Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics.
Jeffrey Oliver to Represent Penn State's Eberly College of Science as Student Marshal at Summer Commencement 2014
06 August 2014Jeffrey Oliver of Newark, Delaware will be honored as the student marshal for the Eberly College of Science during Penn State University's summer commencement ceremonies on Saturday, 16 August 2014 on the University Park campus. Oliver's faculty escort for the commencement exercises will be Leana Topper, a lecturer in biology.
Penn State Science Faculty Get Involved With Science-U Summer Camps
28 July 2014Six Penn State Science faculty and instructors devoted their time this summer to directing science summer camps that are part of the Science-U program in the college.
Impact of Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Coral Communities Is Deeper and Broader than Predicted
28 July 2014A new discovery of two additional coral communities showing signs of damage from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill expands the impact footprint of the 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The discovery was made by a team led by Charles Fisher, professor of biology at Penn State University. A paper describing this work and additional impacts of human activity on corals in the Gulf of Mexico will be published during the last week of July 2014 in the online Early Edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The Birth of Topological Spintronics
23 July 2014The discovery of a new material combination that could lead to a more effcient approach to computer memory and logic will be described in the journal Nature on July 24, 2014. The research, led by Penn State University and Cornell University physicists, studies "spin torque" in devices that combine a standard magnetic material with a novel material known as a "topological insulator." The team's results show that such a scheme can be 10 times more effcient for controlling magnetic memory or logic than any other combination of materials measured to date.
Boal Named 2014 Searle Scholar
22 July 2014Amie Boal, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, and of chemistry, recently was named a Searle Scholar. The Searle Scholars Program was established at the Chicago Community Trust in 1980 and is funded from the estates of Mr. and Mrs. John G. and Frances C. Searle. Mr. Searle was the grandson of the founder of the pharmaceutical company G.D. Searle & Company. The program annually recognizes fifteen exceptional young faculty members and supports independent research in medicine, chemistry, and the biological sciences.
Crowdfunding Campaign Underway to Support Student Research on Sustainable Agriculture
18 July 2014A group of Penn State students led by Assistant Professor of Biology Charles Anderson has launched a crowdfunding campaign to support their new research project in sustainable agriculture, Fast Farming: Feeding a Hot, Dry World. The campaign is the first to launch under a new partnership between Penn State and USEED, a crowd funding platform that partners with universities to enable researchers to invite friends, family members, colleagues, alumni, and the public to support projects that are important to them.
Alex Radosevich Receives Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow Award
08 July 2014Alex Radosevich, an assistant professor of chemistry at Penn State University, has been honored with an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow award in recognition of his research accomplishments. Sloan Research Fellowships are intended to enhance the careers of the very best young faculty members in seven fields of science: chemistry, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, computer science, economics, mathematics, neuroscience, and physics.
Controversial Clues of Two 'Goldilocks Planets' That Might Support Life are Proven False
03 July 2014Mysteries about controversial signals coming from a dwarf star considered to be a prime target in the search for extraterrestrial life now have been solved in research led by scientists at Penn State University.

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