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A multi-page list of all research press releases since 1997

Search for Advanced Civilizations Beyond Earth Finds Nothing Obvious in 100,000 Galaxies
Search for Advanced Civilizations Beyond Earth  Finds Nothing Obvious in 100,000 Galaxies 15 April 2015After searching 100,000 galaxies for signs of highly advanced extraterrestrial life, a team of scientists using observations from NASA's WISE orbiting observatory has found no evidence of advanced civilizations in them. "The idea behind our research is that, if an entire galaxy had been colonized by an advanced spacefaring civilization, the energy produced by that civilization's technologies would be detectable in mid-infrared wavelengths -- exactly the radiation that the WISE satellite was designed to detect for other astronomical purposes," said Jason T. Wright, an assistant professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds at Penn State University, who conceived of and initiated the research.
Inside the most powerful explosions: Discoveries pave the way for next-generation neutrino telescopes
Inside the most powerful explosions: Discoveries pave the way for next-generation neutrino telescopes 10 April 2015New research by an international team that includes Penn State University scientists provides new information about what can happen inside the gigantic bursts of gamma rays that are produced by the catastrophic death of extremely massive stars -- the most powerful explosions in the universe. The research has enabled the scientists to begin solving the mystery of whether these gamma ray bursts are the source of extremely high-energy cosmic rays and neutrinos that bombard Earth as astroparticles from space.
Crowd-Funding Campaign to Accelerate Clinical Trials of New Brain-Repair Discovery Begins on March 30
Crowd-Funding Campaign to Accelerate Clinical Trials of New Brain-Repair Discovery Begins on March 30 30 March 2015Pushing promising new Penn State brain-repair research from the lab into clinical trials is the goal of a quick crowd-funding campaign that kicks off on March 30, 2015. The Penn State research team recently discovered a way to transform one type of brain cell -- called a glial cell -- into healthy, functioning nerve cells to replace nerves damaged by Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease, brain or spinal-cord traumas, or stroke.
Benkovic research featured as "Paper of the Week" by The Journal of Biological Chemistry
Benkovic research featured as "Paper of the Week" by The Journal of Biological Chemistry 23 March 2015The Journal of Biological Chemistry has featured as its "Paper of the Week" research led by Stephen J. Benkovic, Evan Pugh Professor of Chemistry and Holder of the Eberly Family Chair in Chemistry at Penn State University. A podcast interview with Benkovic, Postdoctoral Associate Hong Zhao, and Penn State Assistant Professor of Molecular Toxicology Andrew Patterson explaining the results of the research is available online. The paper, titled " Quantitative Analysis of Purine Nucleotides Indicates That Purinosomes Increase de Novo Purine Biosynthesis," demonstrates that the cellular synthesis of purines -- multifunctional organic compounds that are a building block of DNA, involved in cellular signaling, and a source of energy in cells -- is directly related to the presence of complexes known as purinisomes.
Research in Action: PML Consortium Grant Seeks to Identify How JC Virus Causes Fatal Brain Disease
Research in Action: PML Consortium Grant Seeks to Identify How JC Virus Causes Fatal Brain Disease 20 March 2015A two-year grant from the PML Consortium awarded to scientists in the Eberly College of Science aims to unravel sequence variations within the JC virus genome that could case the development of a rare fatal brain disease.
First Successful Lab Breeding of Rare Caribbean Coral Species
First Successful Lab Breeding of Rare Caribbean Coral Species 13 March 2015A rare and threatened Caribbean coral species has been successfully bred and raised in the lab for the first time by a research team whose achievement will be published in the scientific journal BMC Ecology. Penn State University Associate Professor of Biology Mónica Medina is among the three scientists on this research team. Its work provides the first photos and documentation of juveniles of this species, and could provide information to aid the conservation of coral reefs in the study area. The team plans to 'out-plant' these lab-grown juveniles in the wild, which could help populations become more resilient to climate change.
Complex nerve-cell signaling traced back to common ancestor of humans and sea anemones
Complex nerve-cell signaling traced back to common ancestor of humans and sea anemones 16 February 2015New research shows that a burst of evolutionary innovation in the genes responsible for electrical communication among nerve cells in our brains occurred over 600 million years ago in a common ancestor of humans and the sea anemone. The research, led by Timothy Jegla, an assistant professor of biology at Penn State University, shows that many of these genes, which when mutated in humans can lead to neurological disease, first evolved in the common ancestor of people and a group of animals called cnidarians, which includes jellyfish, coral, and sea anemones. A paper describing the research is scheduled to be posted online in the Early Edition (EE) of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America sometime during the week beginning February 16, 2015.
Dragonfly gut infections suggest environmental role in obesity
Dragonfly gut infections suggest environmental role in obesity 11 February 2015Obesity and diabetes are not just problems of modern-day humans and their domesticated pets. Insects also are affected by these health conditions, and intestinal infections by protozoans are the cause, according to researchers at Penn State. The research suggests that intestinal infections may contribute to metabolic diseases, including diabetes and obesity, in humans as well.
Research in Action: NSF Grant Helps to Further the Search for Earthlike Exoplanets
Research in Action: NSF Grant Helps to Further the Search for Earthlike Exoplanets 06 February 2015A four-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) is allowing scientists in the Eberly College of Science to better search for Earthlike planets outside of our solar system.
Research in Action: NIJ Grant Allows Penn State Scientists to Explore Heteroplasmic Variants in Mitochondrial DNA
Research in Action: NIJ Grant Allows Penn State Scientists to Explore Heteroplasmic Variants in Mitochondrial DNA 21 January 2015A new grant from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) will help scientists from Penn State’s Eberly College of Science delve deep into the world of mitochondrial DNA, or mtDNA, used to help solve crime in forensic investigations.
Focus on Research: Research gives new hope for restoring cells in damaged brains and spinal cords
Focus on Research: Research gives new hope for restoring cells in damaged brains and spinal cords 19 January 2015This article, written by Barbara Kennedy and featuring the work of Penn State biologist Gong Chen , originally appeared in the Centre Daily Times (CDT) on 17 January 2015 in the weekly "Focus on Research" column, which highlights different research projects being conducted at Penn State.
Mathematical approach provides a new step in resolving the mystery of glass
Mathematical approach provides a new step in resolving the mystery of glass 16 January 2015An interdisciplinary team of mathematicians and physicists has developed a new quantitative approach to understanding the mysterious properties of the materials called glasses. The study is described in a paper in the Nature Publishing Group journal Scientific Reports on January 16, 2015. The research, led by Leonid Berlyand, professor of mathematics at Penn State University and Valerii Vinokur, Argonne Distinguished Fellow in the Materials Science Division of the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, enables a breakthrough in the description of the subclass of glasses, known as a “Coulomb glass,” and has wide-ranging application to understanding a variety of glassy systems in nature.
$15 million research grant awarded to Penn State Center for Nanoscience
$15 million research grant awarded to Penn State Center for Nanoscience 12 January 2015The Penn State Center for Nanoscale Science, a National Science Foundation Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC), has been awarded a six-year, $15 million grant to continue its research and education program in the development and application of nanoscale materials.
Research in Action: With New Grant, Penn State Aims to Bring Next-Generation DNA Sequencing to Working Crime Laboratories
Research in Action: With New Grant, Penn State Aims to Bring Next-Generation DNA Sequencing to Working Crime Laboratories 08 January 2015Penn State’s Forensic Science program is a partner on a new National Institute of Justice grant that will test DNA investigative tools that utilize next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology. Penn State will work in conjunction with the Battelle Memorial Institute, the lead institution on the grant, and six other federal and local laboratories. As the sole university partner, Penn State will be performing evaluations of forensic investigative tools that will expand the capabilities of forensic DNA laboratories.
Huge New Astronomy Database Now Available to the Public
Huge New Astronomy Database Now Available to the Public 07 January 2015Penn State University astronomers are among the scientists of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) who this week are releasing to the public a massive collection of new information about the universe. "This set of observations is one of the largest astronomical databases ever assembled," remarked Donald Schneider, Distinguished Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Penn State.
Acoustic tweezers manipulate cell-to-cell contact
Acoustic tweezers manipulate cell-to-cell contact 22 December 2014Sound waves can precisely position groups of cells for study without the danger of changing or damaging the cells, according to a team of Penn State researchers who are using surface acoustic waves to manipulate cell spacing and contact.
Living African group discovered to be the most populous humans over the last 150,000 years
Living African group discovered to be the most populous humans over the last 150,000 years 04 December 2014New genetic research reveals that a small group of hunter-gatherers now living in Southern Africa once was so large that it comprised the majority of living humans during most of the past 150,000 years. Only during the last 22,000 years have the other African ethnicities, including the ones giving rise to Europeans and Asians, become vastly most numerous. Now the Khoisan (who sometimes call themselves Bushmen) number about 100,000 individuals, while the rest of humanity numbers 7 billion. Their lives and ways have remained unaltered for hundreds of generations, with only recent events endangering their hunter-gatherer lifestyles. The study's findings will be published in the journal Nature Communications on 4 December 2014.
NASA's Swift Satellite Marks 10 Years of Game-changing Astrophysics: Mission Control Is at Penn State
NASA's Swift Satellite Marks 10 Years of Game-changing Astrophysics:  Mission Control Is at Penn State 20 November 2014On the tenth anniversary of its launch, NASA’s Swift Gamma-ray Burst Explorer -- an orbiting space observatory with major and continuing contributions from Penn State scientists -- is recognized as one of the most versatile astrophysics missions ever flown. It remains the only satellite that can precisely locate gamma-ray bursts -- the universe’s most powerful explosions. It also is the only satellite that can monitor the explosions in space across a broad range of wavelengths using multiple instruments before these powerful bursts fade from view.
Major New Study Reveals New Similarities and Differences Between Mice and Humans
Major New Study Reveals New Similarities and Differences Between Mice and Humans 19 November 2014Powerful clues have been discovered about why the human immune system, metabolism, stress response, and other life functions are so different from those of the mouse. A new, comprehensive study of the mouse genome by an international group of researchers including Penn State University scientists reveals striking similarities and differences with the human genome. The study may lead to better use of mouse models in medical research.
Battling drug-resistant pathogens: Biologist Andrew Read argues for new treatment strategies in race against rapidly evolving 'bugs.'
Battling drug-resistant pathogens: Biologist Andrew Read argues for new treatment strategies in race against rapidly evolving 'bugs.' 12 November 2014Evolution kills people. Andrew Read has been saying so for years. But he never actually saw it firsthand until he worked this summer in a hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. That's when Read, who is Evan Pugh Professor of Biology at Penn State, stepped away from his busy University Park lab to study the problem of drug resistance up close, sifting through massive clinical databases and consulting with infectious-disease specialists struggling with difficult cases in real time. He well remembers the first patient he saw die.

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