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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.
New, better way to build circuits for world's first useful quantum computers
27 June 2016The era of quantum computers is one step closer as a result of research published in the current issue of the journal Science. The research team has devised and demonstrated a new way to pack a lot more quantum computing power into a much smaller space and with much greater control than ever before. The research advance, using a 3-dimensional array of atoms in quantum states called quantum bits -- or qubits -- was made by David S. Weiss, professor of physics at Penn State University, and three students on his lab team.
Speeding Star Gives New Clues to Breakup of Multi-Star System
29 March 2017A remarkable new discovery using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope reveals three stars that now hold the record as the youngest-known examples of a super-fast-flying breed. The new discovery is published in this month's Astrophysical Journal Letters.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Catalytic Conveyer Belt: A new method for controlled delivery of particles via fluid flow
20 February 2017Researchers have developed a new method of transporting particles that utilizes chemical reactions to drive fluid flow within microfluidic devices. The research, which capitalizes on previous studies in self-powered chemo-mechanical movement, is a collaboration between scientists at Penn State’s Department of Chemistry and the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering.
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.
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.
Fastest-spinning brown-dwarf star is detected by its bursts of radio waves
24 June 2016Astronomers have detected what may be the most-rapidly-rotating, ultra-cool, brown-dwarf star ever seen. The super-fast rotation period was measured by using the 305-meter Arecibo radio telescope -- the same telescope that was used to discover the first planets ever found outside our solar system.
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.
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.
Mysterious cosmic explosion surprises astronomers studying the distant x-ray universe
30 March 2017A mysterious flash of X-rays has been discovered by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory in the deepest X-ray image ever obtained. This source likely comes from some sort of destructive event, but it may be of a variety that scientists have never seen before.
Next-generation dark matter detector in a race to finish line: Mile-deep U.S.-based experiment is on a fast track to help solve science mystery
24 February 2017The race is on to build the most sensitive U.S.-based experiment designed to directly detect particles of dark matter. Department of Energy (DOE) officials formally approved a key construction milestone that will propel the project named LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) toward its goal for completion by April 2020.
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.
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.

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