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Garrison Honored with Special Edition of Chemistry Journal
02 April 2010The American Chemical Society is honoring Barbara Garrison, the Shapiro Professor of Chemistry and the head of the Department of Chemistry at Penn State, by dedicating the current April 2010 edition of the Journal of Physical Chemistry C to the celebration of her scientific career. This special "festschrift" issue of the journal contains 49 scientific articles, many of which are authored by Garrison's colleagues, some of whom she mentored earlier in their careers when they were members of her research lab.
Sandra Murray Receives Distinguished Service Award
01 April 2010Sandra Murray, the administrative assistant in the Penn State Eberly College of Science Office of Associate Dean Norman Freed, has received the 2009 Eberly College of Science Alumni Society Distinguished Service Award. The award was established in 1979 to recognize individuals who have made significant and outstanding leadership and service contributions to the Eberly College of Science over a sustained period of time.
Ancient Snakes Living on Madagascar
31 March 2010"Blindsnakes are not very pretty, are rarely noticed, and are often mistaken for earthworms," admits Blair Hedges, professor of biology at Penn State University. "Nonetheless, they tell a very interesting evolutionary story." Hedges and Nicolas Vidal, of the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris, are co-leaders of the team that discovered that blindsnakes are one of the few groups of organisms that inhabited Madagascar when it broke from India about 100 million years ago and are still living today.
Science Students Expand Their Horizons with Costa Rica Trip
23 March 2010For twenty Penn State science students and three faculty members, the break between fall and spring semesters included sixteen days of humid weather, many different climates, and exotic wildlife. These science majors and faculty members stepped out of their typical classroom laboratories and flew to Costa Rica from December 27, 2009 to January 10, 2010 as part of Biology 499A, Tropical Field Ecology. It is an embedded course that includes sixteen intense days of experiments and studying in different climates of Costa Rica.
Discovery of Earliest Known Black Holes
17 March 2010Astronomers have discovered what appear to be two of the earliest and most primitive supermassive black holes known. The discovery, based on observations with the NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and other space observatories, will be published in the 18 March 2010 edition of the scientific journal Nature.
Musk Ox Population Decline Due to Climate, Not Humans, Study Finds
08 March 2010A team of scientists has discovered that the drastic decline in Arctic musk ox populations that began roughly 12,000 years ago was due to a warming climate rather than to human hunting. "This is the first study to use ancient musk ox DNA collected from across the animal's former geographic range to test for human impacts on musk ox populations," said Beth Shapiro, the Shaffer Career Development assistant professor of biology at Penn State University and one of the team's leaders. "We found that, although human and musk ox populations overlapped in many regions across the globe, humans probably were not responsible for the decline and eventual extinction of musk oxen across much of their former range." The team's findings will be published in the 8 March 2010 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Ancient DNA from Rare Fossil Reveals that Polar Bears Evolved Recently and Adapted Quickly
01 March 2010A rare, ancient polar bear fossil discovered in Norway in 2004 is yielding a treasure trove of essential information about the age and evolutionary origins of the species whose future is now seen as synonymous with the devastation wrought by climate change. A paper published in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by researchers at Penn State University, the University at Buffalo, the University of Oslo, and other institutions is filling in key pieces of the evolutionary history of polar bears and brown bears, including their response to past climate changes.
THON: An Amazing and Inspiring Experience
26 February 2010Since 1977, Penn State students have participated in THON to raise money for The Four Diamonds Fund and raise awareness of pediatric cancer. Over those 30+ years, many Eberly College of Science students have been fund raisers, dancers, moralers, and spectators. Read about THON experiences from science alumni and current students.
Video Interviews: THON 2010 Dancers
26 February 2010Four dancers from two Eberly College of Science student organizations danced in the 46-hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon to raise funds and awareness for pediatric cancer. Watch Stephanie Huff, Michele Sassano, Andrew Shoemaker, and Sasha Slipak talk about their THON experiences.
Scientists Develop New Method for Tracking Seed Dispersal and Establishment
26 February 2010A Penn State biologist and his collaborators have developed a new method for tracking seed movement and germination. According to Tomas Carlo, assistant professor of biology at Penn State and the leader of the study, the technique will be useful for studying plant dispersal and how plants adjust to global climate change. The technique also will enable scientists to gather biological information about invasive plants that is critical to controlling their spread.
Astronomers Discover Ancient Galaxies Coming Together after Billions of Years
23 February 2010A team of astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and other space instruments has discovered that a collection of small, ancient galaxies, called the Hickson Compact Group 31 (HCG 31), finally is coming together into one larger galaxy after 10 billion years. The images the team recorded offer a window into the universe's early years, when the buildup of large galaxies from smaller building blocks was common.
Contest Winner Happy About Win, Student Involvement
22 February 2010As Penn State freshmen arrive to campus in late August, many begin their college journey by making new friends from all areas of the globe, following maps to classes, piling up trays with unlimited food at the dining halls, adjusting to dorm life, and taking their first spoonful of Creamery ice cream. But one freshman mechanical engineering major started her Penn State experience just a little differently. Siri Maley of Exton, Pennsylvania, won the Eberly College of Science NameMe contest to rename the east wing of Ritenour, an 88-year-old campus building.
Lessons from the Past: Research Reveals Ancient Civilization's Water-Supply Secrets" is a Free Public Event on 27 February
19 February 2010A free public event, titled "Lessons from the Past: Research Reveals Ancient Civilization's Water-Supply Secrets," will feature Kirk French, a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at Penn State, on 27 February 2010 in room 100 Thomas Building on the Penn State University Park campus. The presentation is the last of six events in the 2010 Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science, a free minicourse for the general public with the theme "Water: The Next Frontier." No registration is required. The minicourse takes place on six consecutive Saturday mornings from 11:00 a.m. to about 12:30 p.m. in Thomas Building.
Four Eberly College of Science Students Will Dance in THON This Weekend
18 February 2010THON 2010 is quickly approaching as four dancers from two Eberly College of Science student organizations gear up for the 46-hour no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon. The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, which raises funds and awareness for the fight against pediatric cancer, is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world.
"Melting Landscapes: How Climate Change is Affecting Ice Under the Arctic" is a Free Public Lecture on 20 February
12 February 2010A free public event, titled "Melting Landscapes: How Climate Change is Affecting Ice Under the Arctic," will feature Michael Gooseff, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Penn State, at 11:00 a.m. on 20 February 2010 in room 100 Thomas Building on the Penn State University Park campus. No registration is required.
Diversity of Corals, Algae in Warm Indian Ocean Suggests Resilience to Future Global Warming
12 February 2010Penn State researchers and their international collaborators have discovered a diversity of corals harboring unusual species of symbiotic algae in the warm waters of the Andaman Sea in the northeastern Indian Ocean. "The existence of so many novel coral symbioses thriving in a place that is too warm for most corals gives us hope that coral reefs and the ecosystems they support may persist — at least in some places — in the face of global warming," said the team's leader, Penn State Assistant Professor of Biology Todd LaJeunesse.
Stellar Detective
25 January 2010Research Penn State profiles Mercedes Richards, professor of astronomy and astrophysics in the Eberly College of Science. Printed on the pages of Mercedes Richards' high school yearbook, a friend's parting sentiment reads: "Mad Mercy! Her ambition is to obtain a Ph.D. in Astronomy!" Like only a few of her classmates back in Kingston, Jamaica, loved looking up at the skies. "I made a decision 'round about 6th grade or so that I wanted to be an astronomer," she declares.
Mammoth Achievement
20 January 2010Forget Jurassic Park. By successfully sequencing the DNA of a long-extinct species, Stephan Schuster and Webb Miller have helped push back the boundaries of molecular biology. Research Penn State features the work of these two Eberly College of Science faculty who have successfully sequenced the DNA of the woolly mammoth.
"Water: The Next Frontier" is the topic of the 2010 Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science
12 January 2010"Water: The Next Frontier" is the theme of the 2010 Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science, a series of free public lectures that will begin on Saturday, January 23. This free public minicourse will take you on a tour of the latest research on water, the miracle molecule that supports all life on Earth.
Penn State's mammoth research to be included on '60 Minutes'
08 January 2010An episode on "60 Minutes" will include information about Penn State's achievement in recreating the first genome sequences of the woolly mammoth, a mammal as large as an elephant that became extinct about 10,000 years ago. The episode is scheduled to air as the second 15-minute feature story during the "60 Minutes" show on Sunday, Jan. 10.

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