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Three Eberly College of Science faculty members elected as Fellows of the AAAS
31 January 2017Kathleen Postle, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology; Paul Babitzke, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology; and Jorge Sofo, professor of physics and of materials science and engineering, have been named as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed by peers upon members of the AAAS, the world's largest general scientific society and the publisher of the journal Science.
Mostafá and Dykstra awarded C.I. Noll Award for Excellence in Teaching
31 January 2017Miguel Mostafá, associate professor of physics and of astronomy and astrophysics, and Sheryl Dykstra, lecturer and director of undergraduate instrumentation laboratories in chemistry have been honored with the 2016 C.I. Noll Award for Excellence in Teaching by the Eberly College of Science Alumni Society.
Coutu and Mostafá Elected as Fellows of the American Physical Society
26 January 2017Stephane Coutu, professor of physics and of astronomy and astrophysics, and Miguel Mostafá, associate professor of physics and of astronomy and astrophysics, have been elected as Fellows of the American Physical Society.
The Rise and Fall of Diseases Caused by Insects is a free public lecture on January 28  in the 2017 Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science
25 January 2017A free public lecture titled "The Rise and Fall of Diseases Caused by Insects" will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 28, in 100 Thomas Building on the Penn State University Park campus. The event is the second of six consecutive Saturday lectures in the 2017 Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science, a free public minicourse that does not require registration or exams. The overall theme of the 2017 lecture series is "The Quest for One Healthy Planet." 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.
Rebekah Dawson awarded Annie Jump Cannon Award in Astronomy
24 January 2017Rebekah Dawson, assistant professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State University, has been awarded the 2017 Annie Jump Cannon Award by the American Astronomical Society. The Cannon Award is given to a female scientist within five years of receiving a Ph.D. to recognize outstanding research and promise for the future.
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.

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