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Michael DiRaimo Jr. to Represent Penn State's Eberly College of Science as Student Marshal at Fall Commencement 2011
30 November 2011Michael DiRaimo Jr., of State College, Pennsylvania, will be honored as the student marshal for the Eberly College of Science during Penn State University's fall commencement ceremonies on Saturday, 17 December 2011 on the University Park campus. DiRaimo's faculty escort for the commencement exercises will be Thomas Mallouk, the DuPont Professor of Materials Chemistry and Physics and Evan Pugh Professor of Chemistry.
Asteroid Video Captured by NASA's Swift Satellite
11 November 2011As an asteroid the size of an aircraft carrier streaked past Earth during the early-morning hours this week, a team of astronomers at Penn State University and other institutions using NASA's Swift satellite monitored the fast-moving space rock, as did other professional and amateur astronomers using other instruments around the globe.
Galaxy DNA-Analysis Software is Now Available "in the Cloud"
08 November 2011Galaxy -- an open-source, web-based platform for data-intensive biomedical and genetic research -- is now available as a "cloud computing" resource. A team of researchers including Anton Nekrutenko, an associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State University; Kateryna Makova, an associate professor of biology at Penn State; and James Taylor from Emory University, developed the new technology, which will help scientists and biomedical researchers to harness such tools as DNA-sequencing and analysis software, as well as storage capacity for large quantities of scientific data.
Humans and Climate Contributed to Extinctions of Large Ice-Age Mammals, New Study Finds
02 November 2011The genetic history of six large herbivores -- the woolly rhinoceros, woolly mammoth, wild horse, reindeer, bison, and musk ox -- has shown that both climate change and humans were responsible for the extinction or near extinction of large mammal populations within the last 10,000 years. The study, which is the first to use genetic, archeological, and climatic data together to infer the population history of large-bodied Ice-Age mammals, will be published in the journal Nature.
Jawbone Found in England is from the Earliest Known Modern Human in Northwestern Europe
02 November 2011A piece of jawbone excavated from a prehistoric cave in England is the earliest evidence for modern humans in Europe, according to an international team of scientists. The bone first was believed to be about 35,000 years old, but the new research study shows it to be significantly older -- between 44,000 and 41,000 years old, according to the findings that will be published in the journal Nature. The new dating of the bone is expected to help scientists pin down how quickly the modern humans spread across Europe during the last Ice Age. It also helps confirm the much-debated theory that early humans coexisted with Neanderthals.
Student’s Research Aims to Wash Away Childhood Disease
25 October 2011In the United States, washing one’s hands is an ordinary, everyday habit. But after a visit to Uganda in the summer of 2009, Schreyer Honors College Scholar Ce Zhang learned that hand washing could mean the difference between life and death. Startled by the lack of hand washing facilities in the Ugandan village he visited, Ce, a senior majoring in biology in the Eberly College of Science, came up with the “Tippy Tap,” a device designed to increase hand washing among children.
Now There's an App for NASA's Swift Observatory
25 October 2011Interested in the latest discoveries of NASA's Swift satellite? The Swift team has released a free iPhone application that gives you the details of all the latest Gamma-Ray-Burst discoveries that the Swift observatory is making throughout the universe. The app also allows users to track, in real time, the location of Swift as it orbits the Earth, to see where Swift is pointed right now, and to view an informative gallery of beautiful images obtained by the Swift satellite.
Rene Garcia Named 2011 Homecoming King
21 October 2011Rene Garcia, a senior forensic science major from Herndon, Virginia, was named the 2011 Penn State homecoming king during the Homecoming pep rally on October 14. Paige Rothaus, a senior advertising student, was named homecoming queen.
Twitter Data Used to Track Vaccination Rates and Attitudes
13 October 2011A unique and innovative analysis of how social media can affect the spread of a disease has been designed and implemented by a scientist at Penn State University studying attitudes toward the H1N1 vaccine. Marcel Salathé, an assistant professor of biology, studied how users of Twitter -- a popular microblogging and social-networking service -- expressed their sentiments about a new vaccine.
Robinson Named 2011 Co-op Student of the Year
12 October 2011Zachary Robinson of Mechanicsburg, PA, has been selected as the recipient of the 2011 Co-op Student of the Year Award, sponsored by the Eberly College of Science. This award is given annually to a participant in the Eberly College of Science Cooperative Education Program in recognition of the student’s academic achievements and contributions to employers, the University, the community, and the field of cooperative education.
Squire Booker Receives Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award
11 October 2011Squire J. Booker, an associate professor of chemistry and an associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State University, has been honored with an Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award. The award, which consists of a monetary prize and an unrestricted research grant, is given by the American Chemical Society "to recognize and encourage excellence in organic chemistry."
Molecular Depth Profiling Modeled Using Buckyballs and Low-Energy Argon
11 October 2011A team of scientists led by a Penn State University chemist has demonstrated the strengths and weaknesses of an alternative method of molecular depth profiling -- a technique used to analyze the surface of ultra-thin materials such as human tissue, nanoparticles, and other substances. In the new study, the researchers used computer simulations and modeling to show the effectiveness and limitations of the alternative method, which is being used by a research group in Taiwan. The new computer-simulation findings may help future researchers to choose when to use the new method of analyzing how and where particular molecules are distributed throughout the surface layers of ultra-thin materials. The research will be published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.
Garcia Named to 2011 Homecoming Court
04 October 2011Rene Garcia, a senior forensic science major from Herndon, Virginia, was selected to be part of the 2011 Penn State homecoming court. Homecoming is set for October 14-15, 2011. This year's theme is "Forever Lions Endless Pride."
Penn State Awarded $3.3 Million to Build Instrument for Finding Planets in Habitable Zones Around Nearby Stars
29 September 2011A new state-of-the-art instrument -- a precision spectrograph for finding planets in habitable zones around cool, nearby stars -- is being developed at Penn State with support from a new $3.3-million grant from the National Science Foundation. "This new Habitable Zone Planet Finder instrument will allow us to detect the existence of planets that are similar in mass to Earth and also are in orbits that allow liquid water to exist on their surfaces," said Suvrath Mahadevan, assistant professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State and a co-principal investigator of the project.
Penn State Honors Five with Outstanding Science Alumni Award
28 September 2011Five alumni of the Penn State University Eberly College of Science will be honored with the Outstanding Science Alumni Award for the year 2011. Receiving this award are David Dunson, Susan Gardlik, Albert "Fred" Hartman, Allan Silberman, and Bruce Wellman. The Board of Directors of the Eberly College of Science Alumni Society established this award in 1997 to recognize alumni who have a record of significant professional achievements in their field and who are outstanding role models for the current students in the college.
Lasse Jensen Named a Presidential Early Career Award Winner
26 September 2011Lasse Jensen, an assistant professor of chemistry at Penn State University, has been selected by President Obama and the National Science Foundation to receive a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) "for addressing fundamental questions relevant to optical spectroscopy of bio- and nano-systems and for exemplary teaching efforts and the dissemination of computational tools to the chemistry community." The PECASE Award, which is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists in the early stages of their careers, is "intended to recognize some of the finest scientists and engineers who show exceptional potential for leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge during the twenty-first century." Jensen will receive the award during a ceremony at the White House.
Raymond Schaak Receives National Fresenius Award
19 September 2011Raymond Schaak, a professor of chemistry at Penn State, has been selected by the American Chemical Society to receive the National Fresenius Award, named in recognition of the eminent chemist Carl Remigius Fresenius and sponsored by Phi Lambda Upsilon, the National Chemistry Honor Society. The award, which was established in 1965, is presented annually to an outstanding young scientist who has attained national recognition in the areas of research, teaching, and/or administration.
Record-breaking Solar Cell Announced by Multinational Research Team
19 September 2011The most efficient colloidal-quantum-dot solar cell ever created will be described in a scientific paper to be published in a print edition of the journal Nature Materials by a team of scientists that includes John Asbury, assistant professor of chemistry at Penn State University. Other members of the research team are at the University of Toronto (U of T) in Canada and the King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia. The journal also will publish the team's achievement on its Advance Online Publication website at 1:00 p.m., U.S. Eastern Time, on Sunday, 18 September 2011.
Winograd Receives an American Chemical Society Award in Analytical Chemistry
16 September 2011Nicholas Winograd, an Evan Pugh Professor of Chemistry at Penn State University, has been honored with an American Chemical Society Award in Analytical Chemistry sponsored by the Batelle Memorial Institute. The award recognizes Winograd for his four decades of creative research in surface analysis and mass spectrometry, for his mentoring of nearly 80 Ph.D. students and 35 postdoctoral associates, and for his extensive service to the chemistry community.
Rosenberger Receives Distinguished Service Award from the National Institute of Statistical Sciences
08 September 2011James Rosenberger, a professor of statistics at Penn State University, has been honored with a Distinguished Service Award from the National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS). The award was presented in August at a reception in Miami, Florida. The NISS Distinguished Service Awards were established by in 2005 to recognize individuals who have given extraordinary service that significantly advances NISS and its mission.

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