Research News at Penn State's Eberly College of Science
- Coral genomes reveal how populations rebound after environmental catastrophes
- 17 November 2016 — New 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
- 14 November 2016 — Penn 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
- 08 November 2016 — Experimentally 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.