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Capturing light in a waveguide array: Confined, insensitive light could improve lasers, solar cells
04 June 2018Cheaper and more efficient photonic devices, such as lasers, optical fibers, and other light sources, may be possible with confined light that is unaffected by imperfections in the material that confines it, according to new research.
Diverse symbionts of reef corals have endured since 'age of dinosaurs'
09 August 2018Coral-algal partnerships dating back 160 million years show ability to withstand severe environmental change
Don't avoid the outdoors, avoid tick bites
06 August 2018Penn State researchers' study of tick-borne disease dynamics could thwart future outbreaks
Births, deaths and collisions: Swift’s telescope snaps one millionth UV image
22 August 2018The Ultraviolet Optical Telescope (UVOT) aboard the NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory captured its millionth image on May 13. Swift's science and flight operations are controlled by Penn State from the Mission Operations Center at the University Park campus.
Lab Bench to Commercialization 2018–19 grant recipients announced
25 September 2018Three faculty members will receive $75,000 each toward commercializing intellectual property
Penn State set to lead on new exoplanet science priorities
07 November 2018A report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine sets the stage for Penn State's Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds to expand its role in NASA's exoplanetary science initiatives
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.
Nova-like explosion of spinning live bacteria explained
06 April 2018Suspensions of live bacteria in a viscous liquid do not act as expected when spun at certain speeds and now a team of researchers knows why the bacterial aggregation appears to explode when the spinning stops.
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.
Mechanical force controls the speed of protein synthesis
16 May 2018As cells create proteins, the proteins modulate synthesis speed by exerting a mechanical force on the molecular machine that makes them, according to a team of scientists who used a combination of computational and experimental techniques to understand this force.
Discovering the beauty of living cells: Science meets coffee shop art
17 January 2019A recent art exhibition in downtown State College featured "The Art of Cell Biology," with 18 works produce by Penn State scientists. Claire Thomas, associate professor of biology and of biochemistry and molecular biology and curator of the exhibit, discusses the exhibit as well as the intersection of science and art.
Could a demon help to create a quantum computer? Physicists implement a version of Maxwell's famous thought experiment for reducing entropy
05 September 2018Reduced entropy in a three-dimensional lattice of super-cooled, laser-trapped atoms could help speed progress toward creating quantum computers.
Family genetic background vital for understanding progression of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders
07 September 2018Whether an individual develops a neurodevelopmental disorder like autism or ADHD, and the severity of that disorder, depends on genetic changes beyond a single supposedly disease-causing mutation. A new study led by researchers at Penn State reveals that the total amount of rare mutations—deletions, duplications, or other changes to the DNA sequence—in a person’s genome can explain why individuals with a disease-associated mutation can have vastly different symptoms.
New NSF-funded ultrafast microscopy laboratory to support research of 2D materials
15 October 2018The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $1.4 million to a team of Penn State scientists led by John Asbury, associated professor of chemistry, to develop a new laboratory at Penn State with ultra-fast microscopes that will provide a high-resolution look at two-dimensional materials.
Unprecedented screen of 500,000 compounds reveals new candidates for malaria prevention drug
06 December 2018More than 600 promising new antimalarial drug candidates that inhibit the malaria parasite at an earlier stage in its lifecycle than most current drugs have been identified from a screen of over 500,000 chemical compounds.
Shake, Rattle, and Roll to High Efficiency Photovoltaics
27 September 2018New insight into how a certain class of photovoltaic materials allows efficient conversion of sunlight into electricity could set up these materials to replace traditional silicon solar cells.
Beyond the black hole singularity
20 December 2018Our first glimpses into the physics that exist near the center of a black hole are being made possible using “loop quantum gravity”—a theory that uses quantum mechanics to extend gravitational physics beyond Einstein’s theory of general relativity.
New NSF-funded center to explore chemistry of “nanothreads”
27 August 2018The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $1.8 million to a team of scientists led by John Badding, professor of chemistry, physics, and materials science and engineering at Penn State, to establish the NSF Center for Nanothread Chemistry (CNC).
New method uses fluorescence to identify disease-causing forms of proteins
13 February 2019A new method uses fluorescence to detect potentially disease-causing forms of proteins as they unravel due to stress or mutations.
Young children’s oral bacteria may predict obesity
19 September 2018Weight gain in early childhood is related to the composition of oral bacteria of two-year-old children, suggesting that this understudied aspect of a child’s microbiota -- the collection of microorganisms residing in the mouth -- could serve as an early indicator for childhood obesity.

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