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How massive is supermassive? Astronomers measure more black holes, farther away
10 January 2018A team of astronomers from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), including several Penn State scientists, announced new measurements of the masses of a large sample of supermassive black holes far beyond the local universe.
Flies' disease-carrying potential may be greater than thought, researchers say
28 November 2017A new study adds further proof to the suspicion that houseflies and blowflies carry and spread a variety of species of bacteria that are harmful to humans.
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.
New gravitational wave hits Earth -- For the first time, 3 detectors zoom in on its location
27 September 2017For the first time, three detectors have tracked the gravitational waves emitted by a merger of two black holes -- a critical new capability that allows scientists to more closely locate a gravitational wave's birthplace in space.
Penn State DNA ladders: inexpensive molecular rulers for DNA research
26 May 2017New, license-free DNA ladders will allow researchers to estimate the size of fragments of DNA for a fraction of the cost of currently available methods.
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.
New way to weigh a white dwarf: Use Hubble Space Telescope
09 June 2017Astronomers have used, for the first time, a novel method to determine the mass of a nearby dead star. The new method is based on the bending of a beam of light near a massive object. Now, astronomers have achieved a solid estimate of the mass of a white dwarf by measuring the deflection of light rays as they pass near the star.
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.
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.
Low cost, scalable water-splitting fuels the future hydrogen economy
01 June 2017The "clean-energy economy" always seems a few steps away but never quite here. Fossil fuels still power transportation, heating and cooling, and manufacturing, but a team of scientists from Penn State and Florida State University have come one step closer to inexpensive, clean hydrogen fuel with a lower cost and industrially scalable catalyst that produces pure hydrogen through a low-energy water-splitting process.
New gravity waves hit Earth after record-breaking trip through space
01 June 2017Gravitational waves produced by the birth of a massive black hole, a record-breaking billions of light-years from Earth, have been detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO). The waves were generated when two smaller black holes collided and then merged to form a larger black hole with a mass about fifty times larger than our sun's.
You can see that from here: New telescope attachment allows ground-based observations of new worlds to rival those from space
05 October 2017A new, low-cost attachment to telescopes allows previously unachievable precision in ground-based observations of exoplanets -- planets beyond our solar system. With the new attachment, ground-based telescopes can produce measurements of light intensity that rival the highest quality photometric observations from space.
Exploring how herpes simplex virus changes when passed between family members
20 October 2017A new study explores how herpes simplex virus might change when passed from one individual to another, information that may prove useful in future development of therapeutics and vaccines.
Malaria parasites sense and adapt to their host’s nutritional status
05 July 2017A new study shows that the infectious agent responsible for malaria, the Plasmodium parasite, is able to sense its host’s nutritional status and actively adapt through changes in gene expression to reduce the number of offspring it produces.
Big black holes outpace their galaxies in growth
15 February 2018The growth of the biggest black holes in the universe is outrunning the growth of the galaxies that they inhabit, according to a new study led by researchers at Penn State.
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.
Three types of extreme-energy space particles may have unified origin
22 January 2018New model connects the origins of very high-energy neutrinos, ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays, and high-energy gamma rays with black-hole jets embedded in their environments.
Genes, Ozone, and Autism: Increased risk for autism when genetic variation and air pollution meet
22 June 2017A new analysis shows that individuals with high levels of genetic variation and elevated exposure to ozone in the environment are at an even higher risk for developing autism than would be expected by adding the two risk factors together.
New research agenda for malaria elimination and eradication
08 January 2018Manuel Llinás, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, and Jason Rasgon, professor of entomology and disease epidemiology, have participated in the formulation of an updated research agenda for global malaria elimination and eradication.
Survival of the least-fit: antiviral drug selectively targets the nastiest viruses
08 November 2017An antiviral drug that inhibits a virus' replication machinery selectively targets the most-aggressive viruses, according to new research that looked at the infection of individual cells by a virus and the consequence of antiviral intervention.

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