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

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.
First detailed picture of a cancer-related cell enzyme in action on a chromosome unit
First detailed picture of a cancer-related cell enzyme in action on a chromosome unit 29 October 2014A landmark study to be published in the October 30, 2014 print edition of the journal Nature provides new insight into the function of an enzyme related to the BRCA1 breast cancer protein. The study by a team at Penn State University is the first to produce a detailed working image of an enzyme in the Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 (PRC1) -- a group that regulates cell development and is associated with many types of cancer.
In Disease Outbreak Management, Flexibility Can Save Lives and Money
In Disease Outbreak Management, Flexibility Can Save  Lives and Money 21 October 2014A new approach for responding to and managing disease outbreaks is being proposed by a team of epidemiologists led by two Penn State University researchers. The team's flexible approach could save many lives and millions of dollars.
Greater Rates of Mitochondrial Mutations Discovered in Children Born to Older Mothers
Greater Rates of Mitochondrial Mutations Discovered in Children Born to Older Mothers 13 October 2014The discovery of a "maternal age effect" by a team of Penn State scientists that could be used to predict the accumulation of mitochondrial DNA mutations in maternal egg cells -- and the transmission of these mutations to children -- could provide valuable insights for genetic counseling. These mutations cause more than 200 diseases and contribute to others such as diabetes, cancer, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease. The study found greater rates of the mitochondrial DNA variants in children born to older mothers, as well as in the mothers themselves. The research will be published in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on October 13, 2014.
Predicting the Future of Antarctic Ice
Predicting the Future of Antarctic Ice 30 September 2014The National Science Foundation's Division of Mathematical Sciences has awarded more than $500,000 to Penn State to develop new statistical methods needed for predicting the future of Antarctic ice sheets. Using information gleaned from geologic data from the past 20,000 years, the scientists also will apply their new methods to provide a better understanding of the past and current behavior of the ice sheets.
Smallest Possible Diamonds Form Ultra-thin Nanothreads
Smallest Possible Diamonds Form Ultra-thin Nanothreads 21 September 2014For the first time, scientists have discovered how to produce ultra-thin "diamond nanothreads" that promise extraordinary properties, including strength and stiffness greater than that of today's strongest nanotubes and polymers. A paper describing this discovery by a research team led by John V. Badding, a professor of chemistry at Penn State University, will be published in the 21 September 2014 issue of the journal Nature Materials.
Mystery of rare 5-hour space explosion explained with help from US/Russia and US/UK/Italy satellites
Mystery of rare 5-hour space explosion explained with help from US/Russia and US/UK/Italy satellites 17 September 2014Next week in St. Petersburg, Russia, scientists on an international team that includes Penn State University astronomers will present a paper that provides a simple explanation for mysterious ultra-long gamma-ray bursts -- a very rare form of the most powerful explosions in the universe.

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