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Marker Lectures in Genetic Engineering Scheduled for January 23 and 24
17 January 2017William R. Jacobs, Jr., professor of microbiology and immunology and professor of genetics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, will present the Russell Marker Lectures in Genetic Engineering on January 23 and 24, 2017 at the Penn State University Park campus. The free public lectures are sponsored by the Penn State Eberly College of Science.
An ecological invasion mimics a drunken walk
11 January 2017A theory that uses the mathematics of a drunken walk describes ecological invasions better than waves, according to Tim Reluga, associate professor of mathematics and biology, Penn State.
Deepest x-ray image ever reveals black hole treasure trove
09 January 2017An unparalleled image from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory is giving an international team of astronomers the best look yet at the growth of black holes over billions of years beginning soon after the Big Bang. This is the deepest X-ray image ever obtained, collected with about 7 million seconds, or 11 and a half weeks, of Chandra observing time.
Donald Richards presents invited address at world’s largest mathematics meeting
09 January 2017Donald Richards, professor of statistics at Penn State University, presented the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) - American Mathematical Society (AMS) Invited Address at the Joint Mathematics Meeting (JMM) in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 6, 2017. The JMM is the largest mathematics meeting in the world. This year’s meeting is the 100th annual meeting of the MAA and the 123rd annual meeting of the AMS.
Free public minicourse starts on January 21: Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science
05 January 2017"The Quest for One Healthy Planet" is the 2017 theme of the annual Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science -- a free public minicourse that does not require registration or exams. The lectures take place on six consecutive Saturday mornings beginning at 11:00 a.m. in 100 Thomas Building on the Penn State University Park campus. The six speakers are scientists whose research is at the frontiers of knowledge about how the health of the Earth is affecting the health of people and other forms of life on our planet.
Emily Very to Represent Penn State's Eberly College of Science as Student Marshal at Fall Commencement 2016
14 December 2016Emily Very of Murrysville, Pennsylvania, will be honored as the student marshal for the Eberly College of Science during Penn State University's fall commencement ceremonies on Saturday, December 17, 2016, on the University Park campus. Very’s faculty escort for the commencement exercises will be Aimin Liu, associate professor of biology.
Mak awarded 2016 Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering
13 December 2016Kin Fai Mak, assistant professor of physics, has been awarded a 2016 Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. The Packard Foundation established the fellowships program in 1988 to support the research of "the nation's most innovative early-career scientists," providing them with "flexible funding and the freedom to take risks and explore new frontiers in their fields." Mak is one of only 18 scientists nationwide to be honored this year.
How to make a motor neuron: Mechanisms underlying direct programming of stem cells could eventually lead to cell-replacement therapies
09 December 2016A team of scientists has uncovered details of the cellular mechanisms that control the direct programming of stem cells into motor neurons. The scientists analyzed changes that occur in the cells over the course of the reprogramming process. They discovered a dynamic, multi-step process in which multiple independent changes eventually converge to change the stem cells into motor neurons.
Key regulator of bone development identified
07 December 2016Loss of a key protein leads to defects in skeletal development including reduced bone density and a shortening of the fingers and toes -- a condition known as brachydactyly. The discovery was made by researchers at Penn State University who knocked out the Speckle-type POZ Protein (Spop) in the mouse and characterized the impact on bone development.
Coral genomes reveal how populations rebound after environmental catastrophes
17 November 2016New genome-sequence data show that Caribbean corals that have survived mass-extinction events caused by environmental change can rebound and expand their populations. An international team of researchers, led by scientists at Penn State University, sequenced the genomes of three species of corals in the genus Orbicella and used the data to model the population histories of these corals over the past several million years.
"Cosmic Whistle" Packs a Surprisingly Energetic Punch
14 November 2016Penn State University astronomers have discovered that the mysterious "cosmic whistles" known as fast radio bursts can pack a serious punch, in some cases releasing a billion times more energy in gamma-rays than they do in radio waves and rivaling the stellar cataclysms known as supernovae in their explosive power.
New strategy for antidepressant therapies: Increasing the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brains of depressed mice has antidepressant effects
08 November 2016Experimentally increasing the activity of a subclass of nerve cells that produce the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) has antidepressant effects similar to pharmaceutical antidepressants in depressed mice. The discovery lends new credence to the idea that GABA-enhancing drugs could serve as rapidly acting and more effective antidepressants. A paper describing the research, led by Penn State scientists, appears online in the journal Molecular Psychiatry on November 8, 2016.
Cosgrove awarded the inaugural Masatoshi Nei Innovation Prize in Biology
03 November 2016Daniel Cosgrove, professor and Holder of the Eberly Family Chair in Biology at Penn State University, has been awarded the inaugural Masatoshi Nei Innovation Prize in Biology.
Cotruvo named Louis Martarano Career Development Professor of Chemistry
03 November 2016Joseph Cotruvo, Jr., assistant professor of chemistry, has been named the Louis Martarano Career Development Professor of Chemistry at Penn State University. The Louis Martarano Career Development Professorship is supported by a gift from Louis Martarano, the former director of project finance for Merrill Lynch International and a 1976 graduate of Penn State with a bachelor's degree in chemistry.
Parasitic Plants May Form Weapons Out of Genes Stolen from Hosts
27 October 2016Sneaky parasitic weeds may be able to steal genes from the plants they are attacking and then use those genes against the host plant, according to a team of scientists.
Sensory response to environmental stimuli modulated by form of vitamin B3 in worms
12 October 2016Experiments show that too much of a form of vitamin B3 -- nicotinamide -- that is produced naturally inside of cells can lead to cell death in certain sensory cells and cause behavioral changes in the worm, Caenorhabditis elegans. The research, by a team of Penn State scientists, shows that excess nicotinamide causes overactivity of the TRPV ion channel that is involved in sensory perception by controlling the movement of certain charged particles in and out of cells. The work also provides clues to the mechanism causing the cells to die, and links these cellular processes to behavior. A paper describing the research is published in the October 12, 2016 edition of the journal Nature Communications.
New, carbon-nanotube tool for ultra-sensitive virus detection and identification
07 October 2016A new tool that uses a forest-like array of vertically-aligned carbon nanotubes that can be finely tuned to selectively trap viruses by their size can increase the detection threshold for viruses and speed the process of identifying newly-emerging viruses. The research, by an interdisciplinary team of scientists at Penn State, is published in the October 7, 2016 edition of the journal Science Advances.
Using satellite images to better target vaccination
07 October 2016A team of researchers led by Penn State scientists have combined satellite imagery, vaccination records, and measles case reports to illustrate how using predictable population fluctuations can help to improve vaccination coverage -- a vital factor in combatting infectious disease outbreaks. The research is published in the October 5, 2016 edition of the journal Scientific Reports.
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.

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