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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.
Flowering Plants Have Evolved Multiple Genes to Prevent Inbreeding
28 October 2010A research team led by Teh-hui Kao, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State University, in collaboration with a team led by Professor Seiji Takayama at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology in Japan, has discovered a large suite of genes in the petunia plant that acts to prevent it from breeding with itself or with its close relatives, and to promote breeding with unrelated individuals.
The Perks of Being Well-­Rounded: Alumna has one up on grad school
28 October 2010There’s always a question lingering in the back of every college student’s mind. While we would like to enjoy the four years we have to spend here, there’s always the burning question: “What am I going to do after graduation?” The hard part is, for most, there is no concrete answer. But the good news is there are plenty of options at Penn State that will help you to decide. Being proactive both now and when she was an Eberly College of Science student has always been the driving force of Emily Kuiper’s success. Kuiper is a 2010 graduate who has since moved to graduate school at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
Penn State to Lead $7.3-Million Project to Reveal Genes of the Most Ancient Living Lineage of Flowering Plants
28 October 2010Unlocking the genetic secrets of Earth's most ancient living lineage of flowering plants -- the original source of genes for all economically important flowering crops -- is the goal of a new $7.3-million research project led by Claude W. dePamphilis, professor of biology at Penn State University. The 4-year Amborella Genome Project, funded by the National Science Foundation, involves scientists at five universities who will share the complex task of discovering the genetic structure of a rare plant species named Amborella, which has been found only on the island of New Caledonia in the southwest Pacific Ocean.
Japanese and U.S. Space Telescopes Reveal Previously Unknown Brilliant X-Ray Explosion in Our Milky Way Galaxy
22 October 2010Astronomers in Japan, using an X-ray detector on the International Space Station, and at Penn State University, using NASA's Swift space observatory, are announcing the discovery of an object newly emitting X-rays, which previously had been hidden inside our Milky Way galaxy in the constellation Centaurus.
$8-Million National Science Foundation Grant for International Dark-Energy Project Includes Penn State Scientists
20 October 2010An international program to unveil the nature of Dark Energy, the mysterious force that is causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate, has been awarded a grant of $8 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The survey, the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Project (HETDEX), is led by the University of Texas at Austin and includes Penn State University, Texas A&M University, and three institutions in Germany.
Stephen Benkovic to Receive National Medal of Science
15 October 2010Stephen J. Benkovic, an Evan Pugh Professor of Chemistry and Holder of the Eberly Family Chair in Chemistry at Penn State, is one of ten eminent researchers named today by President Obama to receive the 2009 National Medal of Science, the nation's highest award for lifetime achievement in scientific research. The honorees will receive medals at a White House ceremony later this year.

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