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Complex nerve-cell signaling traced back to common ancestor of humans and sea anemones
16 February 2015New research shows that a burst of evolutionary innovation in the genes responsible for electrical communication among nerve cells in our brains occurred over 600 million years ago in a common ancestor of humans and the sea anemone. The research, led by Timothy Jegla, an assistant professor of biology at Penn State University, shows that many of these genes, which when mutated in humans can lead to neurological disease, first evolved in the common ancestor of people and a group of animals called cnidarians, which includes jellyfish, coral, and sea anemones. A paper describing the research is scheduled to be posted online in the Early Edition (EE) of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America sometime during the week beginning February 16, 2015.
Penn State Science Students Selected to Study at CERN
16 February 2015Stephanie Brown and Melissa Quinnan, undergraduate students in the Eberly College of Science and Schreyer Honors College, were selected for a prestigious undergraduate research fellowship at CERN this summer as part of the University of Michigan’s CERN Summer Undergraduate Research Experience program.
Dragonfly gut infections suggest environmental role in obesity
11 February 2015Obesity and diabetes are not just problems of modern-day humans and their domesticated pets. Insects also are affected by these health conditions, and intestinal infections by protozoans are the cause, according to researchers at Penn State. The research suggests that intestinal infections may contribute to metabolic diseases, including diabetes and obesity, in humans as well.
Lin receives William G. Hunter Award
10 February 2015Dennis Lin, Distinguished Professor of Statistics at Penn State University, has been selected to receive the William G. Hunter Award from the Statistics Division of the American Society for Quality. Named in memory of the founding chair of the Statistics Division, the Hunter Award was established to promote and acknowledge outstanding career accomplishments in the broad field of applied statistics.
Research in Action: NSF Grant Helps to Further the Search for Earthlike Exoplanets
06 February 2015A four-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) is allowing scientists in the Eberly College of Science to better search for Earthlike planets outside of our solar system.
Maroncelli honored with title of Distinguished Professor
03 February 2015Mark Maroncelli, associate head for Undergraduate Education and professor of chemistry at Penn State, has been selected to receive the title of Distinguished Professor of Chemistry. Maroncelli was honored with the title in recognition of his exceptional record of teaching, research, and service to the University community. The honor is designated by the Office of the President of Penn State based on the recommendations of colleagues and the dean of the Eberly College of Science.
Albert honored with title of Distinguished Professor
03 February 2015Reka Albert, a professor of physics and biology at Penn State University, has been selected to receive the title of Distinguished Professor of Physics and Biology. Albert was honored with the title in recognition of her exceptional record of teaching, research, and service to the University community. The honor is designated by the Office of the President of Penn State based on the recommendations of colleagues and the dean of the Eberly College of Science.
Lin honored with title of Distinguished Professor
03 February 2015Dennis Lin, professor of statistics at Penn State University, has been selected to receive the title of Distinguished Professor of Statistics. Lin was honored with the title in recognition of his exceptional record of teaching, research, and service to the University community. The honor is designated by the Office of the President of Penn State based on the recommendations of colleagues and the dean of the Eberly College of Science.
Research in Action: NIJ Grant Allows Penn State Scientists to Explore Heteroplasmic Variants in Mitochondrial DNA
21 January 2015A new grant from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) will help scientists from Penn State’s Eberly College of Science delve deep into the world of mitochondrial DNA, or mtDNA, used to help solve crime in forensic investigations.
Penn State and Geisinger Announce Establishment of Medical Bioinformatics and Genomics Research Collaborative
16 January 2015Marylyn Ritchie, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and director of the Center for Systems Genomics in the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences at Penn State University, will lead a collaborative effort between Penn State and Geisinger Research to connect the genome data of 100,000 anonymous patients with their medical histories, in order to identify the genetic and environmental basis of human disease. This new program was developed to harness the data resources being generated through a large-scale DNA-sequencing project at Geisinger in collaboration with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, where at least 100,000 Geisinger patients will be sequenced over the next five years. In recognition of Richie's key role in this groundbreaking effort, she was named the founding director of the new Biomedical and Translational Informatics Program of Geisinger Research.
Mathematical approach provides a new step in resolving the mystery of glass
16 January 2015An interdisciplinary team of mathematicians and physicists has developed a new quantitative approach to understanding the mysterious properties of the materials called glasses. The study is described in a paper in the Nature Publishing Group journal Scientific Reports on January 16, 2015. The research, led by Leonid Berlyand, professor of mathematics at Penn State University and Valerii Vinokur, Argonne Distinguished Fellow in the Materials Science Division of the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, enables a breakthrough in the description of the subclass of glasses, known as a “Coulomb glass,” and has wide-ranging application to understanding a variety of glassy systems in nature.
New science from Einstein's greatest discovery is the theme of the 2015 Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science
13 January 2015"100 Years After Einstein's Greatest Discovery: New Science from General Relativity" is the theme of the 2015 Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science, a series of six weekly lectures designed as a free minicourse for the general public. The lectures will take place on Saturday mornings from January 24 to February 28 in 100 Thomas Building from 11:00 a.m. to about 12:30 p.m. on the Penn State University Park campus.
Runze Li Named Verne M. Willaman Professor of Statistics
13 January 2015Runze Li, Distinguished Professor of Statistics at Penn State University, has been selected as the Verne M. Willaman Professor of Statistics. The appointment, effective on December 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 Li's national and international reputation for excellence in research and teaching.
$15 million research grant awarded to Penn State Center for Nanoscience
12 January 2015The Penn State Center for Nanoscale Science, a National Science Foundation Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC), has been awarded a six-year, $15 million grant to continue its research and education program in the development and application of nanoscale materials.
Research in Action: With New Grant, Penn State Aims to Bring Next-Generation DNA Sequencing to Working Crime Laboratories
08 January 2015Penn State’s Forensic Science program is a partner on a new National Institute of Justice grant that will test DNA investigative tools that utilize next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology. Penn State will work in conjunction with the Battelle Memorial Institute, the lead institution on the grant, and six other federal and local laboratories. As the sole university partner, Penn State will be performing evaluations of forensic investigative tools that will expand the capabilities of forensic DNA laboratories.
Huge New Astronomy Database Now Available to the Public
07 January 2015Penn State University astronomers are among the scientists of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) who this week are releasing to the public a massive collection of new information about the universe. "This set of observations is one of the largest astronomical databases ever assembled," remarked Donald Schneider, Distinguished Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Penn State.
Gilliland is Part of Team that Wins Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics
16 December 2014Ronald L. Gilliland, professor of practice in astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State University, is a member of a team of scientists that is being recognized with the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. Gilliland and other members of the High-z Supernova Project are being recognized along with members of the Supernova Cosmology Project for demonstrating that the expansion of the universe is accelerating, rather than slowing as had long been assumed. The award, which recognizes major insights into the deepest questions of the universe, includes a $3 million prize that will be split among members of the teams.
Victor Cotton to Represent Penn State's Eberly College of Science as Student Marshal at Fall Commencement 2014
11 December 2014Victor Cotton of Hershey, Pennsylvania will be honored as the student marshal for the Eberly College of Science during Penn State University's fall commencement ceremonies on Saturday, 20 December 2014 on the University Park campus. Cotton's faculty escort for the commencement exercises will be James Strauss, senior lecturer in biology.
Four Alumni Honored with Penn State's Outstanding Science Alumni Award
03 December 2014The Penn State University Eberly College of Science has selected four alumni to be honored with the Outstanding Science Alumni Award for the year 2014. The Board of Directors of the Eberly College of Science Alumni Society established this award to recognize alumni who have a record of significant professional achievements in their field and who are outstanding role models for students in the college. Receiving this award are: Eric Freed, '85 B.S. Molecular and Cell Biology Ann Hornschemeier, '99 M.S. Astronomy and Astrophysics; '02 Ph.D. Astronomy and Astrophysics John W. Pierce, Jr., '76 B.S. Biochemistry Kathryn Roeder, '88 Ph.D. Statistics
Eight Penn State researchers named AAAS Fellows
24 November 2014Eight Penn State faculty members have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the organization announced today.

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