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Ashtekar Receives Honorary Doctorate from France
17 December 2010Penn State University Professor of Physics Abhay Ashtekar, Holder of the Eberly Family Chair in Physics and director of the Penn State Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos, has received an honorary doctoral degree from the Universite Mediterranee in Aix-Marseille, France. The presentation took place on 18 November 2010.
88-Year-Old Clarence Kasales Receives B.S. Degree
14 December 2010Clarence J. Kasales, a retired physician who attended Penn State University's School of Chemistry and Physics from 1940 to 1942, will be awarded a Premedicine B.S. degree at the fall commencement ceremony on 18 December 2010 at the Bryce Jordan Center. Kasales is one of many students who left Penn State during World War II, when it was possible to enter medical school without an undergraduate degree. Many of these individuals, including Kasales, went on to receive M.D. degrees and had rewarding careers in the medical profession.
Penn State Joins Major Astronomical Survey
14 December 2010Penn State University has become a participant in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey-III (SDSS-III), a six-year project that will expand our knowledge in fields ranging from the planets outside our solar system to the large-scale structure and evolution of the universe. "The SDSS-III is investigating some of the currently most compelling scientific questions," said Lawrence Ramsey, head of Penn State's Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics. "This is a great opportunity for Penn State faculty and students."
New Research Sheds Light on How Contagious Diseases Spread through Communities
13 December 2010Any parent knows that colds spread like wildfire, especially through schools. New research using human-networking theory may give a clearer picture of just how, exactly, infectious diseases such as the common cold, influenza, whooping cough, and SARS can spread through a closed group of people, and even through populations at large. With the help of 788 volunteers at a high school, Marcel Salathé, a faculty member in the Department of Biology at Penn State University, developed a new technique to count the number of possible disease-spreading events that occur in a typical day.
Bruce Lindsay Receives the 2010 Fisher Lecture Award
13 December 2010Bruce Lindsay, Willaman Professor of Statistics and head of the Department of Statistics, has been honored as the recipient of the 2010 Fisher Lecture award, presented by the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies and sponsored by the American Statistical Association, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, the International Biometric Society, and the Statistical Society of Canada. Lindsay delivered the 2010 Fisher Lecture, "Likelihood: Efficiency and Deficiency -- and the Special Role of Hidden Variables," in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Science Co-op Helps Prepare Student for Life After Graduation
10 December 2010Do you want to gain valuable experience while you’re still in college and make money at the same time? The answer seems like a no-brainer. Of course you do – who wouldn’t? To be competitive for graduate school, medical school, or a full time job, you need to set yourself apart from the large pool of applicants. A great way to achieve this is through securing a co-op. Laura Logeman is a senior Life Science major who is currently finishing up her final co-op with Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland. For Logeman, experience has been a key factor in making future decisions.
A Key Protein Allows Nerve Cells to Repair Themselves
09 December 2010A team of scientists led by Melissa Rolls, an assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State University, has peered inside neurons to discover an unexpected process that is required for regeneration after severe neuron injury. The process was discovered during Rolls's studies aimed at deciphering the inner workings of dendrites -- the part of the neuron that receives information from other cells and from the outside world.
Buckley to Represent Penn State's Eberly College of Science as Student Marshal at Fall Commencement 2010
08 December 2010Patrick J. Buckley of Reading, Pennsylvania, will be honored as the student marshal for the Eberly College of Science during Penn State University's fall commencement ceremonies on 18 December 2010 at the University Park campus. Buckley has selected Paul A. Bartell of the Department of Poultry Sciences to be his faculty escort for the commencement exercises.
Team Receives Grant for Data-Privacy Research
08 December 2010A team of researchers led by Aleksandra Slavkovic, associate professor of statistics, and Adam Smith and Sofya Raskhodnikova, faculty members in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, has been awarded a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation Cyber-Enabled Innovation and Discovery program. The team will use a multidisciplinary approach combining statistics and computer science to study how research data in the social and heath sciences can be made more widely available without compromising privacy.
Externships Give Insight to Possible Careers
07 December 2010As a freshman, it’s easy to feel lost while adjusting to college life. Science underclassmen shouldn’t stress about not knowing exactly what they want to do after graduation - even some seniors aren’t sure! But there are ways students can put themselves ahead of the crowd, and applying for an externship is one of the best.
Research Website Takes Viewers Deep into the Gulf of Mexico
07 December 2010Researchers on an expedition in the Gulf of Mexico to view first-hand the possible effects of the oil spill on the sea floor are posting daily reports of their explorations on the web. Charles Fisher, a biological oceanographer from Penn State University, is the Chief Scientist on this research expedition. The research team's daily updates, photos, and videos will be added to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's (WHOI) "Dive and Discover" website until 14 December.
Forensic Science Students to Defrost Cold Case from 1975
03 December 2010Penn State’s forensic science students will have the opportunity to explore evidence in the 1975 case of William Thomas Zeigler as part of Criminalistics - Advanced Analysis and Crime Scene Investigation, a forensic science capstone course. The Penn State Forensic Science program is collaborating with Defrosting Cold Cases and the Zeigler legal team to give students this educational opportunity that grants students access to a real case.
Rainforest Conservation Needs a New Direction to Address Climate Change
01 December 2010Conservation and international aid groups may be on the wrong course to address the havoc wreaked by climate change on tropical rainforests, according to a commentary appearing in the journal Nature on 2 December 2010.
Hundreds of Students and Parents Participate in Science Night
19 November 2010Nearly 400 students and their parents took part in the third annual Bellefonte Family Science Night on November 18, co-hosted by the Bellefonte Area School District and Penn State’s Eberly College of Science. Along with teachers from the district, over 100 volunteers, including 60 staff and students from 15 organizations at Penn State, provided hands-on activities for students and their families.
Penn State Science Students Cover the Globe
15 November 2010Penn State celebrates International Education Week from November 15-19 by commemorating 100 years of internationalization. The Eberly College of Science is celebrating by showcasing science students who have taken advantage of study abroad opportunities all over the world.
Scientists Demystify an Enzyme Responsible for Drug and Food Metabolism
11 November 2010For the first time, scientists have been able to "freeze in time" a mysterious process by which a critical enzyme metabolizes drugs and chemicals in food. By recreating this process in the lab, a team of researchers has solved a 40-year-old puzzle about changes in a family of enzymes produced by the liver that break down common drugs such as Tylenol, caffeine, and opiates, as well as nutrients in many foods. The breakthrough discovery may help future researchers develop a wide range of more efficient and less-expensive drugs, household products, and other chemicals. The scientists' findings are published in the journal Science on 12 November 2010.
Scientists Use Skin Cells to Study Autism in a Petri Dish
11 November 2010A team of researchers has used stem cells taken from the skin of patients with Rett syndrome — the most physically disabling of the autism disorders — to replicate autism in the lab and to study how the disease affects brain cells. The team's findings reveal disease-specific cellular defects, such as fewer functional connections between particular neurons, and demonstrate these defects are reversible. The results raise the hope that, one day, autism maybe become a treatable condition.
Scientists Discover Dying Corals and Creatures Near Deep Water Horizon Oil-Spill Site in the Gulf
05 November 2010On a research ship in the Gulf of Mexico on Election Day this week, seven miles south-west of the site of the Deep Water Horizon oil-spill, a team of scientists discovered a community of corals that includes many recently dead colonies and others that clearly are dying. "We discovered a community of coral that has been impacted fairly recently by something very toxic," said the chief scientist on the cruise, Charles Fisher, who is a professor of biology at Penn State University and a member of the research team that selected the site for study.
Science Alum Bruce Wellman Receives the 2009 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
03 November 2010Bruce Wellman, an alumnus of Penn State University ('91 B.S. Science), has been selected by President Obama to receive the prestigious 2009 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The annual award, one of the nation's highest honors for teachers, is given to the best pre-college-level science and mathematics teachers from across the country.
Penn State Forensic Scientists to Study Reliability of Fingerprint Identification Techniques
01 November 2010While most of America’s knowledge of forensic science doesn’t extend much further than the CSI coming from their TV screens, those involved in science know there’s much more to it than that. Forensic science is a major “to die for,” and it is really an area of science in which constant research is being conducted and new discoveries are being made. CSI is actually right on point in their attempt to test fingerprints, but there is never mention of questioning of the tests. Since fingerprint comparison is one of the cornerstones of forensic crime investigation, and is recognized as an efficient means of personal identification, it is critical that the forensic examination of fingerprint retains public confidence.

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