Biology Research News

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A collection of press releases about biology research conducted by Penn State scientists.

Community-based conservation management has positive effect on wildlife
Community-based conservation management has positive effect on wildlife 13 August 2018Putting land management in the hands of local communities helps the wildlife within, according to new research by Penn State biologist Derek Lee.
Wildfire management designed to protect Spotted Owls may be outdated
Wildfire management designed to protect Spotted Owls may be outdated 24 July 2018According to a new study, forest fires are not a serious threat to populations of Spotted Owls, a species that acts as an indicator of biological health to the old-growth forests where they live. These findings suggest that management strategies for this species are outdated.
'Nuru' becomes African farmers' newest ally against fall armyworm
'Nuru' becomes African farmers' newest ally against fall armyworm 25 June 2018Penn State researchers have joined forces with the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization to release the first app, called Nuru, to help African farmers recognize fall armyworm — a new and fast-spreading crop pest in sub-Saharan Africa — so that they can take immediate steps to destroy it and curb its spread.
Climate change forced zombie ant fungi to adapt
Climate change forced zombie ant fungi to adapt 30 May 2018Zombie ants clamp on to aerial vegetation and hang for months spewing the spores of their parasitic fungi, but researchers noticed that they do not always clamp on to the same part of the plant. Now the researchers know that the choice of leaves or twigs is related to climate and that climate change forced the fungi to adapt to local conditions.
Altered body odor indicates malaria even if microscope doesn't
Altered body odor indicates malaria even if microscope doesn't 14 May 2018Typhoid Mary may have infected a hundred or more people, but asymptomatic carriers of malaria infect far more people every year through mosquito vectors. An international team of researchers is working toward a way to identify malaria patients including infected individuals who show no malaria symptoms.
Penn State–developed plant-disease app recognized by Google
Penn State–developed plant-disease app recognized by Google 02 April 2018A mobile app designed by Penn State researchers to help farmers and others diagnose crop diseases has earned recognition from one of the world's tech giants.
Deep-sea fish use hydrothermal vents to incubate eggs
Deep-sea fish use hydrothermal vents to incubate eggs 12 February 2018An international team of researchers, including Penn State biologist Charles Fisher, discovered egg cases of deep-sea fish near hydrothermal vents. The team believes that deep-sea skates use the warm water near the vents to accelerate the typically years-long incubation time of the eggs.
Agricultural parasite takes control of host plant’s genes
Agricultural parasite takes control of host plant’s genes 03 January 2018Dodder, a parasitic plant that causes major damage to crops in the U.S. and worldwide every year, can silence the expression of genes in the host plants from which it obtains water and nutrients.
Turning pathogens against each other to prevent drug resistance
Turning pathogens against each other to prevent drug resistance 11 December 2017Limiting a much-needed resource could pit pathogens against one another and prevent the emergence of drug resistance.
Mimicking biological process, hydrogel signals and releases proteins
Mimicking biological process, hydrogel signals and releases proteins 26 October 2017An artificial system using a DNA-laced hydrogel can receive a chemical signal and release the appropriate protein, according to Penn State researchers. Further stimulation by the chemical signal continues to trigger a response.
Gene associated with schizophrenia risk regulates neurodevelopment
Gene associated with schizophrenia risk regulates neurodevelopment 22 September 2017A gene associated with the risk of schizophrenia regulates critical components of early brain development, according to a new study led by researchers from Penn State University. The gene is involved in the translation of proteins from RNA and in the proliferation and migration of neurons in the brain.
Viruses up their game in arms race with immune system
Viruses up their game in arms race with immune system 14 August 2017In a classic example of the evolutionary arms race between a host and a pathogen, the myxoma virus -- introduced to control the rabbit population in Australia in 1950 -- has developed a novel and deadly ability to suppress the immune response of its host rabbits.
Antibodies may reveal timing of previous influenza infection
Antibodies may reveal timing of previous influenza infection 31 July 2017The amount of influenza-specific antibodies present in an individual’s blood can indicate not only if they experienced the flu, but potentially when -- a finding that could improve disease monitoring in the tropics, where flu season is unending.
Newly Described Algae Species Toughens Up Corals to Endure Warming Oceans
Newly Described Algae Species Toughens Up Corals to Endure Warming Oceans 14 July 2017Using innovative methods, researchers at Penn State University have identified a new species of stress-tolerant algae that associate with corals in a partnership that promotes the health and growth of coral reef ecosystems.
Research expedition continues monitoring impact of Deepwater Horizon oil spill on deep sea corals
Research expedition continues monitoring impact of Deepwater Horizon oil spill on deep sea corals 07 June 2017The 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in the deaths of 11 oil rig workers and ultimately the largest marine oil spill in history. As this environmental disaster recedes into history, researchers from institutions across the U.S. continue to study its enduring ecological impacts.
Two-part system turns stem cells into whatever you want
Two-part system turns stem cells into whatever you want 06 June 2017Whether using embryonic or adult stem cells, coercing these master cells to convert to the desired target cell and reproduce flawlessly is difficult. Now an international team of researchers has a two-part system that can convert the cells to the targets and then remove the remnants of that conversion, leaving only the desired DNA behind to duplicate.
Lessons from Ebola: New approach improves disease outbreak management
Lessons from Ebola: New approach improves disease outbreak management 15 May 2017A new approach to information gathering could allow scientists to quickly identify the most effective way to manage a disease outbreak, an advance that could save lives. Developed by an international team of researchers led by Penn State scientists using insights from the 2014 Ebola outbreak, the method pinpoints critical pieces of missing information required to improve management decisions during an outbreak.
Penn State University and Salus University Establish Strategic Alliance through Memorandum of Understanding
12 April 2017Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry (Salus PCO) and Penn State University (Penn State) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to create an Early Assurance Admission Program.
Study reveals 10,000 years of genetic continuity in northwest North America
Study reveals 10,000 years of genetic continuity in northwest North America 05 April 2017A study of the DNA in ancient skeletal remains adds to the evidence that indigenous groups living today in southern Alaska and the western coast of British Columbia are descendants of the first humans to make their home in northwest North America more than 10,000 years ago.
Discovery rewriting the evolutionary history of the nervous system
Discovery rewriting the evolutionary history of the nervous system 08 March 2017Penn State researchers at the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences uncover a long-standing, fundamental error in the story of the nervous system’s evolution.

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