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

Software can automatically critique composition of digital photographs
Software can automatically critique composition of digital photographs 13 August 2015Software provides digital photographers with constructive feedback
Quantum computing advance locates neutral atoms
Quantum computing advance locates neutral atoms 12 August 2015For any computer, being able to manipulate information is essential, but for quantum computing, singling out one data location without influencing any of the surrounding locations is difficult. Now, a team of Penn State physicists has a method for addressing individual neutral atoms without changing surrounding atoms.
New Milky Way Map Reveals Stars in Our Galaxy Move Far from Home
New Milky Way Map Reveals Stars in Our Galaxy Move Far from Home 30 July 2015Scientists with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey-III (SDSS) have created a new map of the Milky Way, which provides the first clear evidence that migration of stars occurs throughout our Galaxy. The study, which determined that 30 percent of stars have moved far across the Galaxy, is bringing a new understanding of how stars are formed and travel throughout the Milky Way.
Clump of a star's gas, catapulting into space at 40 million miles per hour, appears to be picking up speed
Clump of a star's gas, catapulting into space at 40 million miles per hour, appears to be picking up speed 28 July 2015A fast-moving pulsar appears to have punched a hole in a disk of gas around its companion star and to have launched a fragment of the disk outward at a speed of about 40 million miles per hour. NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory is tracking this cosmic clump, which appears to be picking up speed as it moves out. The catapulted material weighs about as much as all the water in the Earth's oceans.
From twitching lizards to noisy frogs, adaptation is often survival of the weird
From twitching lizards to noisy frogs, adaptation is often survival of the weird 28 July 2015Forces like climate change and globalization are making the world smaller, hotter, noisier and weirder than ever and this is putting even more pressure on species to quickly adapt, according to Tracy Langkilde, associate professor of biology.
Some Vaccines Support Evolution of More-Virulent Viruses
Some Vaccines Support Evolution of More-Virulent Viruses 27 July 2015Scientific experiments with the herpesvirus that causes Marek's disease in poultry have confirmed, for the first time, the highly controversial theory that some vaccines could allow more-virulent versions of a virus to survive, putting unvaccinated individuals at greater risk of severe illness. The research has important implications for food-chain security and food-chain economics, as well as for other diseases that affect humans and agricultural animals.
Increasing prevalence of autism is due, in part, to changing diagnoses
Increasing prevalence of autism is due, in part, to  changing diagnoses 22 July 2015The greater than three-fold increase in autism diagnoses among students in special education programs in the United States between 2000 and 2010 may be due in large part to the reclassification of individuals who previously would have been diagnosed with other intellectual disability disorders, according to new research. In a paper to be published online in the American Journal of Medical Genetics on July 22, 2015, scientists at Penn State University report their analysis of 11 years of special-education enrollment data on an average of 6.2 million children per year. The researchers found no overall increase in the number of students enrolled in special education. They also found that the increase in students diagnosed with autism was offset by a nearly equal decrease in students diagnosed with other intellectual disabilities that often co-occur with autism. The researchers conclude that the large increase in the prevalence of autism is likely the result of shifting patterns of diagnosis that are complicated by the variability of autism and its overlap with other related disorders.
2D materials researchers aim 'beyond graphene': In the realm of 2D materials, weirdness works
2D materials researchers aim 'beyond graphene': In the realm of 2D materials, weirdness works 20 July 2015Joshua Robinson recalls the day in 2006 when he learned of a material that is, for all practical purposes, two-dimensional. At the time, he was a post-doctoral researcher at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. His advisor, Eric Snow, was raving about graphene, a newly isolated form of carbon. A cousin of the widely known buckminsterfullerene (or "buckyballs") and carbon nanotubes, graphene was a flat sheet only one carbon atom thick. The atoms were linked together in a six-sided, chicken-wire pattern, forming a lattice with astonishing properties. It was flexible, transparent, and stronger than steel. It conducted electricity better than copper and heat better than anything. In short, carbon in this form didn't behave like carbon anymore. It acted like an entirely new material.
How the Mammoth Got its Wool: Genetic changes are identified that helped the woolly mammoth survive in the Arctic
How the Mammoth Got its Wool: Genetic changes are identified that helped the woolly mammoth survive in the Arctic 02 July 2015Evolutionary change in a gene resurrected in the lab from the extinct woolly mammoth altered the gene's temperature sensitivity and likely was part of a suite of adaptations that allowed the mammoth to survive in harsh arctic environments, according to new research. In a study published in Cell Reports on July 2, 2015, researchers determined the whole-genome sequence of two woolly mammoths and three modern Asian elephants, predicted the function of genetic changes found only in the mammoths, and then experimentally validated the function of a woolly mammoth gene reconstructed in the lab. The research team includes scientists from Penn State University, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and the University of Chicago.
Black hole, quiet since 1989, now caught burping a rare X-ray flare
Black hole, quiet since 1989, now caught burping a rare X-ray flare 30 June 2015A NASA satellite controlled by Penn State University has detected a brief, super-bright, high-energy flare -- an X-ray nova -- erupting from a star system 8,000 light-years away from Earth named V404 Cygni. This system is in the constellation Cygnus and includes a black hole and a star just slightly smaller than the Sun. This black hole has been known to burp up an X-ray nova occasionally, but it had been slumbering since 1989 until the detection by NASA's Swift Gamma-ray Burst Explorer on June 15, just before 2:32 p.m. EDT. About 10 minutes after the detection by Swift, the Japanese " MAXI" experiment (Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image) on the International Space Station also picked up the flare.
Lord of the Rings: Astronomers Pinpoint the Location of a Mysterious Neutron Star with Superlative Rings of X-ray Light
Lord of the Rings: Astronomers Pinpoint the Location  of a Mysterious Neutron Star with Superlative  Rings of X-ray Light 23 June 2015The largest and brightest set of cosmic rings resulting from echoes of X-ray light has been discovered by a science team that includes a Penn State astronomer. The team used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to discover the beautiful and extraordinary rings, which were produced by an intense burst of energy from a neutron star. Rings of this type give astronomers a rare chance to determine the distance from Earth to an object in our Milky Way Galaxy.
A First: Exoplanet smaller than Earth gets its size and mass measured
A First: Exoplanet smaller than Earth gets its  size and mass measured 16 June 2015A team of astronomers has measured the mass and size of a Mars-sized planet orbiting a red dwarf star about 200 light years from our solar system. The planet, named Kepler-138b, is the first exoplanet smaller than the Earth to have both its mass and its size measured. A paper by the team, which includes astronomers at Penn State University, NASA Ames Research Center, the SETI Institute, and the University of Chicago, will be published in the journal Nature on 18 June 2015.
Disabling infection-fighting immune response speeds up wound healing in diabetes
Disabling infection-fighting immune response speeds up wound healing in diabetes 15 June 2015One of the body's tools for fighting off infection in a wound may actually slow down the healing process, according to new research by a team of Harvard University, Boston Children's Hospital, and Penn State University scientists. In a study published online in Nature Medicine on June 15, 2015, the researchers show that they can speed up wound healing in diabetic mice by preventing immune cells called neutrophils from producing structures called NETs (neutrophil extracellular traps) that trap and kill bacteria.
Unlocking the biofuel energy stored in plant cell walls: Plants may no longer be an untapped energy source
Unlocking the biofuel energy stored in plant cell walls: Plants may no longer be an untapped energy source 09 June 2015By virtue of their chloroplasts, plants are superb harvesters of solar energy. They use it to build leaves, flowers, fruits, stems, and roots. We harvest a small percentage of that energy in the form of food and a smaller amount in the form of wood for heating.
Invasive microbe protects corals from global warming, but at a cost
Invasive microbe protects corals from global warming, but at a cost 02 June 2015An invasive species of symbiotic micro-alga has spread across the Caribbean Sea, according to an international team of researchers. These single-cell algae, which live within the cells of coral animals, are improving the resilience of coral communities to heat stress caused by global warming, but also are diminishing the abilities of corals to build reefs.
MINERVA Telescope Array Dedicated in Ceremony on Mount Hopkins
MINERVA Telescope Array Dedicated in Ceremony on Mount Hopkins 28 May 2015The MINERVA telescope array in Arizona was dedicated in an official ceremony at the facility on Mount Hopkins on May 18, 2015.
Astrobiology students explore alien environment on Earth
Astrobiology students explore alien environment on Earth 20 May 2015Sonny Harman never thought he’d be able to travel far enough to do field work. That’s because the Penn State doctoral student studies atmospheres on other planets. But to his surprise, Harman recently stepped into an alien world -- complete with environments and life unlike just about anything he’d seen on Earth. And he didn’t have to go to Mars to do it. Harman was among a group of graduate students who recently traveled to Italy for an annual astrobiology field course.
Chronic illness causes less harm when carnivores cooperate
Chronic illness causes less harm when carnivores cooperate 17 May 2015Gray wolves in Yellowstone National Park have given researchers the first scientific evidence from wild mammals that living in a group can lessen the impacts of a chronic disease. The research also is one of the first studies to measure the costs of infected non-human individuals of any species on members of their group. A paper describing the research will be published in Ecology Letters on May 18, 2015.
Schreyer Scholar credited with co-discovery of new pulsar: Never-before-seen star found during NSF-funded educational outreach program
Schreyer Scholar credited with co-discovery of new pulsar: Never-before-seen star found during NSF-funded educational outreach program 11 May 2015A team of highly determined high school students, which included current Penn State University sophomore and Schreyer Honors College Scholar Cecilia McGough, has discovered a never-before-seen pulsar by painstakingly analyzing data from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT). Further observations by astronomers using the GBT have revealed that this pulsar has the widest orbit of any around a neutron star and is part of only a handful of double neutron star systems.
New technique shows shale-drilling additives in drinking-water taps near leak
New technique shows shale-drilling additives in drinking-water taps near leak 05 May 2015Substances commonly used for drilling or extracting Marcellus shale gas foamed from the drinking water taps of three Pennsylvania homes near a reported well-pad leak, according to new analysis from a team of scientists.

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