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Closing in on high-temperature superconductivity
16 September 2016The quest to know the mysterious recipe for high-temperature superconductivity, which could enable revolutionary advances in technologies that make or use electricity, just took a big leap forward thanks to new research by an international team of experimental and theoretical physicists. The research paper appears in the journal Science on September 16, 2016.
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.
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.
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.
New NSF Grant Aims To Learn More About Operator Algebras
14 July 2016A new National Science Foundation (NSF) focused research group grant awarded to a mathematician in the Eberly College of Science aims to learn new information about operator algebras and their connections with dynamical systems.
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.
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.
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.
Physics Graduate Student Kelly Malone Receives DOE Award
06 July 2016 Kelly Malone, a fourth year graduate student studying particle astrophysics, has received the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program award. According to the DOE, the SCGSR program provides supplemental awards to outstanding U.S. graduate students to pursue part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE laboratory in areas that address scientific challenges central to the DOE Office of Science mission.
Penn State, TB Alliance, and GSK Partner to Discover New Treatment Options for Tuberculosis
27 June 2016A new collaboration between TB Alliance, GSK, and scientists in the Eberly College of Science seeks to find new small molecules that can be used to create antibiotics in the fight against tuberculosis (TB).
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.
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 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.
Science-U Summer Camps Inspire Future Scientists
15 June 2016What do disease transmission, water conservation, crime scene investigation, LEGO robotics, and science leadership all have in common? Science summer camp! From June 19 through August 5, the Eberly College of Science’s summer camp program, Science-U, will host hundreds of campers from grades 2-12 in its 15 different science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) camps.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Quinnan Receives NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
18 May 2016Melissa Quinnan, who recently graduated from the Eberly College of Science with an undergraduate degree in physics, was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship.
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.

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