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Michael Zeman Honored as American Graduate Champion for STEM Education Efforts by Penn State Public Media
07 October 2015Penn State Public Media, WPSU, celebrated American Graduate Day 2015 on October 1. American Graduate Day celebrates the work of individuals and groups across the country who help local youth stay on track to college and career success. This year, Michael Zeman was one of three people recognized as American Graduate Champions in the WPSU-TV viewing area who are helping kids stay in school until graduation.
Ecology on the wing: Aerial photography enhances conservation research
18 September 2015Drones have been flying over the Ugalla Forest in Western Tanzania. Far from being part of a military operation, these drones are being used to map chimpanzee habitat as part of an international research collaboration.
Penn State receives two awards for materials research and education
14 September 2015The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced six Partnership for Research and Education in Materials (PREM) awards this year -- two of them involving Penn State University. The awards are designed to improve materials-science research by increasing diverse perspectives within the field.
Graduate students develop sustainability solutions to change the world
31 August 2015Five interdisciplinary teams, made up of Penn State graduate students, presented their sustainability-related solutions to world challenges at the Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Awards (SISCA). These students highlighted the connection to their homes and their research, showing why their work matters not just to them, but to those around the world.
Millennium Scholars Program connects diversity and STEM degrees
31 August 2015They looked exactly like the other underclassmen trudging up the stairs to the dining commons at Pollock Halls. They dressed and spoke alike, and until their group reached a set of doors, they acted alike, too.
Research in Action: NIH Grant Enables Cavener Lab to Discover Mechanisms to Improve Insulin Regulation
17 August 2015A typical day for Doug Cavener, the new Dean of the Eberly College of Science, is anything but typical. While he spends most of his week attending to administration and fundraising duties for the college, one may also find him sitting at a microscope looking at fluorescent pancreatic beta cells with one of his graduate students or analyzing giraffe genome sequences at his computer.
Software can automatically critique composition of digital photographs
13 August 2015Software provides digital photographers with constructive feedback
Quantum computing advance locates neutral atoms
12 August 2015For any computer, being able to manipulate information is essential, but for quantum computing, singling out one data location without influencing any of the surrounding locations is difficult. Now, a team of Penn State physicists has a method for addressing individual neutral atoms without changing surrounding atoms.
Five Schreyer Scholars selected for Summer Exposure M.D./Ph.D. program Ten-week program combines biomedical research, clinical experience
10 August 2015Five Schreyer Honors College students were selected for the Penn State College of Medicine M.D./Ph.D. Summer Exposure Program that prepares individuals for career paths combining clinical medicine and research. Kaleb Bogale, Erik Grinn, Jenna Mandel, Rhea Sullivan and Andrew Tucker were accepted into the program and began their studies in May in Hershey with the opportunity to interact with biomedical researchers, medical professionals and patients during the 10-week program. They will also attend a research forum at the end of the summer program.
Meichen Bian to Represent Penn State's Eberly College of Science as Student Marshal at Summer Commencement 2015
10 August 2015Meichen Bian of Hefei City, Anhui Province, China will be honored as the student marshal for the Eberly College of Science during Penn State University's summer commencement ceremonies on Saturday, August 15, 2015 on the University Park campus. Bian's faculty escort for the commencement exercises will be Russell Cooper, professor of economics at Penn State.
Increasing prevalence of autism is due, in part, to changing diagnoses
22 July 2015The greater than three-fold increase in autism diagnoses among students in special education programs in the United States between 2000 and 2010 may be due in large part to the reclassification of individuals who previously would have been diagnosed with other intellectual disability disorders, according to new research. In a paper to be published online in the American Journal of Medical Genetics on July 22, 2015, scientists at Penn State University report their analysis of 11 years of special-education enrollment data on an average of 6.2 million children per year. The researchers found no overall increase in the number of students enrolled in special education. They also found that the increase in students diagnosed with autism was offset by a nearly equal decrease in students diagnosed with other intellectual disabilities that often co-occur with autism. The researchers conclude that the large increase in the prevalence of autism is likely the result of shifting patterns of diagnosis that are complicated by the variability of autism and its overlap with other related disorders.
How the Mammoth Got its Wool: Genetic changes are identified that helped the woolly mammoth survive in the Arctic
02 July 2015Evolutionary change in a gene resurrected in the lab from the extinct woolly mammoth altered the gene's temperature sensitivity and likely was part of a suite of adaptations that allowed the mammoth to survive in harsh arctic environments, according to new research. In a study published in Cell Reports on July 2, 2015, researchers determined the whole-genome sequence of two woolly mammoths and three modern Asian elephants, predicted the function of genetic changes found only in the mammoths, and then experimentally validated the function of a woolly mammoth gene reconstructed in the lab. The research team includes scientists from Penn State University, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and the University of Chicago.
Black hole, quiet since 1989, now caught burping a rare X-ray flare
30 June 2015A NASA satellite controlled by Penn State University has detected a brief, super-bright, high-energy flare -- an X-ray nova -- erupting from a star system 8,000 light-years away from Earth named V404 Cygni. This system is in the constellation Cygnus and includes a black hole and a star just slightly smaller than the Sun. This black hole has been known to burp up an X-ray nova occasionally, but it had been slumbering since 1989 until the detection by NASA's Swift Gamma-ray Burst Explorer on June 15, just before 2:32 p.m. EDT. About 10 minutes after the detection by Swift, the Japanese " MAXI" experiment (Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image) on the International Space Station also picked up the flare.
Lord of the Rings: Astronomers Pinpoint the Location of a Mysterious Neutron Star with Superlative Rings of X-ray Light
23 June 2015The largest and brightest set of cosmic rings resulting from echoes of X-ray light has been discovered by a science team that includes a Penn State astronomer. The team used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to discover the beautiful and extraordinary rings, which were produced by an intense burst of energy from a neutron star. Rings of this type give astronomers a rare chance to determine the distance from Earth to an object in our Milky Way Galaxy.
Cavener named new dean of the Eberly College of Science
19 June 2015Penn State announced today (June 19) that Douglas R. Cavener will become the new dean of the Eberly College of Science, pending approval by the University Board of Trustees at its July 17 meeting.
A First: Exoplanet smaller than Earth gets its size and mass measured
16 June 2015A team of astronomers has measured the mass and size of a Mars-sized planet orbiting a red dwarf star about 200 light years from our solar system. The planet, named Kepler-138b, is the first exoplanet smaller than the Earth to have both its mass and its size measured. A paper by the team, which includes astronomers at Penn State University, NASA Ames Research Center, the SETI Institute, and the University of Chicago, will be published in the journal Nature on 18 June 2015.
Disabling infection-fighting immune response speeds up wound healing in diabetes
15 June 2015One of the body's tools for fighting off infection in a wound may actually slow down the healing process, according to new research by a team of Harvard University, Boston Children's Hospital, and Penn State University scientists. In a study published online in Nature Medicine on June 15, 2015, the researchers show that they can speed up wound healing in diabetic mice by preventing immune cells called neutrophils from producing structures called NETs (neutrophil extracellular traps) that trap and kill bacteria.
Unlocking the biofuel energy stored in plant cell walls: Plants may no longer be an untapped energy source
09 June 2015By virtue of their chloroplasts, plants are superb harvesters of solar energy. They use it to build leaves, flowers, fruits, stems, and roots. We harvest a small percentage of that energy in the form of food and a smaller amount in the form of wood for heating.
Invasive microbe protects corals from global warming, but at a cost
02 June 2015An invasive species of symbiotic micro-alga has spread across the Caribbean Sea, according to an international team of researchers. These single-cell algae, which live within the cells of coral animals, are improving the resilience of coral communities to heat stress caused by global warming, but also are diminishing the abilities of corals to build reefs.
MINERVA Telescope Array Dedicated in Ceremony on Mount Hopkins
28 May 2015The MINERVA telescope array in Arizona was dedicated in an official ceremony at the facility on Mount Hopkins on May 18, 2015.

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