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

Grant to help pave a big data highway to explore genome, enhance health
15 February 2017A $6.1 million, five-year grant from the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health may help researchers leverage massive amounts of genomic data to develop medical treatments and pharmaceuticals, according to an international team of researchers.
Measuring entropy: A scanning-tunneling microscope provides a glimpse of the mysterious property
Measuring entropy: A scanning-tunneling microscope provides a glimpse of the mysterious property 13 February 2017New research shows that a scanning-tunneling microscope (STM), used to study changes in the shape of a single molecule at the atomic scale, impacts the ability of that molecule to make these changes. The study, appearing this week in the journal Nature Communications, demonstrates that the position of the tip of the STM relative to the molecule changes the energy requirements of the molecule to make changes in shape, and in turn, changes the entropy of the system.
How best to treat infections and tumors: Choice of containment versus aggressive treatment depends on drug resistance
How best to treat infections and tumors: Choice of containment versus aggressive treatment depends on drug resistance 09 February 2017In cases where drug resistance can lead to treatment failure, new research shows that therapies tailored to contain an infection or a tumor at tolerable levels can, in some cases, extend the effective life of the treatment and improve patient outcomes. In other cases, aggressive treatments aimed at eliminating as much of the infection or tumor as possible — the traditional approach — might be best. But how can we know which stands the better chance of working?
A tale of two pulsars' tails: Plumes offer geometry lessons to astronomers
A tale of two pulsars' tails: Plumes offer geometry lessons to astronomers 17 January 2017In two studies, international teams of astronomers suggest that recent images from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory of two pulsars — Geminga and B0355+54 — may help shine a light on the distinctive emission signatures of pulsars, as well as their often perplexing geometry.
An ecological invasion mimics a drunken walk
An ecological invasion mimics a drunken walk 11 January 2017A theory that uses the mathematics of a drunken walk describes ecological invasions better than waves, according to Tim Reluga, associate professor of mathematics and biology, Penn State.
Deepest x-ray image ever reveals black hole treasure trove
Deepest x-ray image ever reveals black hole treasure trove 09 January 2017An unparalleled image from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory is giving an international team of astronomers the best look yet at the growth of black holes over billions of years beginning soon after the Big Bang. This is the deepest X-ray image ever obtained, collected with about 7 million seconds, or 11 and a half weeks, of Chandra observing time.
Stressed snakes strike first
Stressed snakes strike first 21 December 2016Whether a wild cottonmouth snake will attempt to strike in an encounter depends on its baseline stress level, according to a team of scientists led by Penn State undergraduate researcher Mark Herr.
How to make a motor neuron: Mechanisms underlying direct programming of stem cells could eventually lead to cell-replacement therapies
How to make a motor neuron: Mechanisms underlying direct programming of stem cells could eventually lead to cell-replacement therapies 09 December 2016A team of scientists has uncovered details of the cellular mechanisms that control the direct programming of stem cells into motor neurons. The scientists analyzed changes that occur in the cells over the course of the reprogramming process. They discovered a dynamic, multi-step process in which multiple independent changes eventually converge to change the stem cells into motor neurons.
Key regulator of bone development identified
Key regulator of bone development identified 07 December 2016Loss of a key protein leads to defects in skeletal development including reduced bone density and a shortening of the fingers and toes -- a condition known as brachydactyly. The discovery was made by researchers at Penn State University who knocked out the Speckle-type POZ Protein (Spop) in the mouse and characterized the impact on bone development.
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.

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