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Evidence found for cloaked black hole in early universe
08 August 2019A group of astronomers, including Penn State scientists, has announced the likely discovery of a highly obscured black hole existing only 850 million years after the Big Bang, using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. This is the first evidence for a cloaked black hole at such an early time.
White dwarf planet remnants survive long enough to ‘tune in’ to their radio waves
15 August 2019Signals from mostly destroyed planets can be heard millions of years later on Earth, providing important information about how solar systems age.
How many Earth-like planets are around sun-like stars?
14 August 2019  
Human settlements and rainfall affect giraffe home ranges
25 February 2019Giraffes that live close to densely populated towns have larger home ranges than giraffes that live far from towns.
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
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 sensor detects rare metals used in smartphones
23 April 2019A more efficient and cost-effective way to detect lanthanides, the rare earth metals used in smartphones and other technologies, could be possible with a new protein-based sensor that changes its fluorescence when it binds to these metals.
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).
Gravitational forces in protoplanetary disks may push super-Earths close to their stars
09 May 2019New research led by Penn State astronomers improves understanding of why very large planets called super-Earths with small, quick orbits form so close to their host stars.
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.
Differences in genes’ geographic origin influence mitochondrial function
14 January 2019A new study explores whether interactions between genomes found in the nucleus of a cell and within the mitochondria of a cell, which are fine-tuned by natural selection over deep evolutionary time, could be altered when genes of different geographic origins are brought together within a genome.
Searching the stars
03 January 2019With forward-looking, concurrent development of a new global research hub and a unique graduate curriculum, Penn State is growing the worldwide SETI community, looking for intelligent life across the cosmos.

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