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

Coral genomes reveal how populations rebound after environmental catastrophes
Coral genomes reveal how populations rebound after environmental catastrophes 17 November 2016New genome-sequence data show that Caribbean corals that have survived mass-extinction events caused by environmental change can rebound and expand their populations. An international team of researchers, led by scientists at Penn State University, sequenced the genomes of three species of corals in the genus Orbicella and used the data to model the population histories of these corals over the past several million years.
"Cosmic Whistle" Packs a Surprisingly Energetic Punch
"Cosmic Whistle" Packs a Surprisingly Energetic Punch 14 November 2016Penn State University astronomers have discovered that the mysterious "cosmic whistles" known as fast radio bursts can pack a serious punch, in some cases releasing a billion times more energy in gamma-rays than they do in radio waves and rivaling the stellar cataclysms known as supernovae in their explosive power.
New strategy for antidepressant therapies: Increasing the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brains of depressed mice has antidepressant effects
New strategy for antidepressant therapies: Increasing the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brains of depressed mice has antidepressant effects 08 November 2016Experimentally increasing the activity of a subclass of nerve cells that produce the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) has antidepressant effects similar to pharmaceutical antidepressants in depressed mice. The discovery lends new credence to the idea that GABA-enhancing drugs could serve as rapidly acting and more effective antidepressants. A paper describing the research, led by Penn State scientists, appears online in the journal Molecular Psychiatry on November 8, 2016.
Parasitic Plants May Form Weapons Out of Genes Stolen from Hosts
Parasitic Plants May Form Weapons Out of Genes Stolen from Hosts 27 October 2016Sneaky parasitic weeds may be able to steal genes from the plants they are attacking and then use those genes against the host plant, according to a team of scientists.
Sensory response to environmental stimuli modulated by form of vitamin B3 in worms
Sensory response to environmental stimuli modulated by form of vitamin B3 in worms 12 October 2016Experiments show that too much of a form of vitamin B3 -- nicotinamide -- that is produced naturally inside of cells can lead to cell death in certain sensory cells and cause behavioral changes in the worm, Caenorhabditis elegans. The research, by a team of Penn State scientists, shows that excess nicotinamide causes overactivity of the TRPV ion channel that is involved in sensory perception by controlling the movement of certain charged particles in and out of cells. The work also provides clues to the mechanism causing the cells to die, and links these cellular processes to behavior. A paper describing the research is published in the October 12, 2016 edition of the journal Nature Communications.
New, carbon-nanotube tool for ultra-sensitive virus detection and identification
New, carbon-nanotube tool for ultra-sensitive virus detection and identification 07 October 2016A new tool that uses a forest-like array of vertically-aligned carbon nanotubes that can be finely tuned to selectively trap viruses by their size can increase the detection threshold for viruses and speed the process of identifying newly-emerging viruses. The research, by an interdisciplinary team of scientists at Penn State, is published in the October 7, 2016 edition of the journal Science Advances.
Using satellite images to better target vaccination
Using satellite images to better target vaccination 07 October 2016A team of researchers led by Penn State scientists have combined satellite imagery, vaccination records, and measles case reports to illustrate how using predictable population fluctuations can help to improve vaccination coverage -- a vital factor in combatting infectious disease outbreaks. The research is published in the October 5, 2016 edition of the journal Scientific Reports.
RNA, gravitational waves focus of two new grants
23 September 2016Four Penn State researchers have been awarded a total of $450,000 by the Charles E. Kaufman Foundation to carry out basic science research over the next two years.
Closing in on high-temperature superconductivity
Closing in on high-temperature superconductivity 16 September 2016The quest to know the mysterious recipe for high-temperature superconductivity, which could enable revolutionary advances in technologies that make or use electricity, just took a big leap forward thanks to new research by an international team of experimental and theoretical physicists. The research paper appears in the journal Science on September 16, 2016.
Swift telescope detects slowest-spinning neutron star
Swift telescope detects slowest-spinning neutron star 14 September 2016A new record-holder may have been found as the slowest spinning neutron star -- the class of stars with the most powerful magnetic fields in the universe -- thanks to clues first detected by NASA's Swift space observatory, whose science and flight operations are controlled by Penn State from the University Park campus. Swift's X-Ray Telescope captured a short burst of unusual X-rays on June 22, 2016 coming from the object's location roughly 9,000 light-years from Earth.
NSF grant to promote more diversity, inclusion in STEM fields
NSF grant to promote more diversity, inclusion in STEM fields 12 September 2016Monica Medina, associate professor of biology, Penn State, is one of three researchers awarded a National Science Foundation grant aimed at building alliances and partnerships that can increase participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics -- or STEM -- for underrepresented populations.
Coral conservation efforts aided by computer simulations: New research shows that endangered corals in the eastern Pacific Ocean are isolated from healthy coral populations in the west
Coral conservation efforts aided by computer simulations:     New research shows that endangered corals in the eastern Pacific Ocean are isolated from healthy coral populations in the west 23 August 2016Contrary to a prevailing theory, coral larvae could not survive the five-thousand-kilometer trip across the Pacific Ocean to replenish endangered corals in the eastern Pacific, according to new research. Researchers used a supercomputer to simulate billions of coral larvae traveling on ocean currents over a 14.5-year period. The simulations showed that even during extreme environmental events that speed ocean currents, like the 1997-1998 El Niño, coral larvae could not survive long enough to make the trip from coral reefs in the western and central Pacific to help corals in the east recover from environmental damage.
Record-breaking map of 1.2-million galaxies now ready to reveal secrets of dark energy
Record-breaking map of 1.2-million galaxies now ready to reveal secrets of dark energy 14 July 2016Astronomers are announcing this week the sharpest view yet of the properties of dark energy -- the force that currently is driving the accelerated expansion of the universe. "These results are a milestone in the study of the large-scale structure of the universe," said Penn State Professor Donald Schneider, who was the survey coordinator and scientific publications coordinator for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-III) -- a collaboration of hundreds of scientists whose work produced the largest-ever, three-dimensional map of distant galaxies as well as one of the most precise measurements yet of dark energy.
New clues could help scientists harness the power of photosynthesis
 New clues could help scientists harness the power of photosynthesis 07 July 2016Identification of a gene needed to expand light harvesting in photosynthesis into the far-red-light spectrum provides clues to the development of oxygen-producing photosynthesis, an evolutionary advance that changed the history of life on Earth. "Knowledge of how photosynthesis evolved could empower scientists to design better ways to use light energy for the benefit of mankind," said Donald A. Bryant, the Ernest C. Pollard Professor of Biotechnology and professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State University and the leader of the research team that made the discovery.
New, better way to build circuits for world's first useful quantum computers
New, better way to build circuits for world's first useful quantum computers 27 June 2016The era of quantum computers is one step closer as a result of research published in the current issue of the journal Science. The research team has devised and demonstrated a new way to pack a lot more quantum computing power into a much smaller space and with much greater control than ever before. The research advance, using a 3-dimensional array of atoms in quantum states called quantum bits -- or qubits -- was made by David S. Weiss, professor of physics at Penn State University, and three students on his lab team.
Fastest-spinning brown-dwarf star is detected by its bursts of radio waves
Fastest-spinning brown-dwarf star is detected by  its bursts of radio waves 24 June 2016Astronomers have detected what may be the most-rapidly-rotating, ultra-cool, brown-dwarf star ever seen. The super-fast rotation period was measured by using the 305-meter Arecibo radio telescope -- the same telescope that was used to discover the first planets ever found outside our solar system.
New gravitational-wave finder scores again
New gravitational-wave finder scores again 15 June 2016Less than four months after the historic first-ever detection of gravitational waves, scientists on a team that includes Penn State University physicists and astronomers now have detected another gravitational wave washing over the Earth. "I would never have guessed that we would be so fortunate to have, not only one, but two definitive binary black-hole detections within the first few months of observations," said Chad Hanna, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy & astrophysics at Penn State and co-chair of the Compact Binary Coalescence Group of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), which detected both the first gravitational wave and this new one since beginning observations last fall.
Discovered: Why warm galaxies stop birth of new stars
Discovered: Why warm galaxies stop birth of new stars 25 May 2016Today, astronomers from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), including scientists at Penn State University, are announcing the discovery of a new class of galaxies called "red geysers." These galaxies harbor supermassive black holes with winds that produce a mysterious kind of "galactic warming" that, over the last few billion years, has turned huge numbers of galaxies into deserts devoid of fresh young stars.
New targets for vaccines identified on the surface of the malaria parasite
New targets for vaccines identified on the surface of the malaria parasite 23 May 2016Dozens of potential new protein targets for malaria vaccines have been identified and characterized on the surface of the transmitted sporozoite stage of the malaria parasite. The research also demonstrates for the first time that some proteins on the surface of the parasite have sugar additions that could cloak them from the human immune system. A paper describing the research by a collaboration of scientists from Johns Hopkins University; the Center for Infectious Disease Research in Seattle, Washington; the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, Washington; Harvard Medical School; and Penn State University, is available online in the April 29, 2016 issue of the journal PLOS Pathogens.
How did the giraffe get its long neck? Clues now revealed by new genome sequencing
How did the giraffe get its long neck? Clues now revealed  by new genome sequencing 17 May 2016For the first time, the genomes of the giraffe and its closest living relative, the reclusive okapi of the African rainforest, have been sequenced -- revealing the first clues about the genetic changes that led to the evolution of the giraffe’s exceptionally long neck and its record-holding ranking as the world’s tallest land species. The research will be published in the scientific journal Nature Communications on May 17, 2016.

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