News Archive

Penn State harnessing research muscle to fight infectious diseases

The Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics (CIDD) brings a cross-disciplinary approach to the study of infectious diseases.

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Project aims to improve learning in young people with Down Syndrome

Children with Down Syndrome face many unique challenges, including being able to communicate effectively as they enter into their school years. A new Penn State study is looking to improve communications aids to better meet their academic and social needs.

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Discovered: How to unlock inaccessible genes

An international team of biologists has discovered how specialized enzymes remodel the extremely condensed genetic material in the nucleus of cells in order to control which genes can be used.

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What dose of medication is best to prevent the evolution of drug resistance?

A new model shows that the standard practice of treating infections with the highest tolerable dose of anti-microbial medications may not be best for preventing the evolution of drug resistance in all cases.

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Acoustic tweezers move cells in three dimensions, build structures

Acoustic tweezers that can move single cells in three dimensions using surface acoustic waves without touching, deforming or labeling the cells are possible, according to a team of engineers.

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Conflict among honey bee genes supports theory of altruism

Using modern genetic approaches, a team of researchers has provided strong support for the long-standing, but hotly debated, evolutionary theory of kin selection, which suggests that altruistic behavior occurs as a way to pass genes to the next generation.

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Discovery of a new drug target could lead to novel treatment for severe autism

Penn State scientists have discovered a novel drug target and have rescued functional deficits in human nerve cells derived from patients with Rett Syndrome, a severe form of autism-spectrum disorder. The research, led by Gong Chen, professor of biology and the Verne M. Willaman Chair in Life Sciences at Penn State, could lead to a new treatment for Rett Syndrome and other forms of autism-spectrum disorders.

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Pill that targets gut receptor treats fatty liver disease, obesity in mice

A bile acid that can turn off a receptor in the gut has prevented and reversed fatty liver disease in mice, according to an international team of researchers. The compound may help treat certain metabolic disorders, such as Type 2 diabetes and obesity, as well.

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Researchers receive $10.2 million to study new malaria-prevention method

In collaboration with partners in Europe and Africa, researchers at Penn State have received a five-year, $10.2-million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to investigate a new method for preventing the transmission of malaria.

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New $4.4 million research project targets obesity in Pennsylvania

A deeper understanding of the causes of obesity, and improved treatments for obesity and many of its related health problems, are among the goals of a new $4.4 million, four-year research grant awarded by the Pennsylvania Department of Health to a team of scientists from Geisinger Health System, Penn State University, and the University of Pennsylvania.

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Smartphones enlisted in the battle versus crop disease

Crop diseases, a major cause of famine, have always been diagnosed by visual inspection, though scientists today also use microscopes and DNA sequencing. But the first line of defense is still the keen eyes of farmers around the world, many of whom do not have access to advanced diagnostics and treatment advice.

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Loss of mastodons aided domestication of pumpkins, squash

If Pleistocene megafauna -- mastodons, mammoths, giant sloths and others -- had not become extinct, humans might not be eating pumpkin pie and squash for the holidays, according to an international team of anthropologists.

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The Sepia Rainbow: The fascinating story of human skin

Nina Jablonski’s focus on skin began with a request to give a lecture. It was 1991, and she and her husband and collaborator George Chaplin had recently moved from Hong Kong to take positions at the University of Western Australia.

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Skip Smith commits $5 million to advance brain repair research

Penn State alumnus and philanthropist Charles H. “Skip” Smith has committed $5 million to advance the research of Gong Chen, professor of biology and the Verne M. Willaman Chair in Life Sciences in the Eberly College of Science.

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Penn State, Harvard team up to enhance science education for minority students

Jablonski and Gates hoping to inspire love of STEM through genetics and genealogy research

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Headed for the field: Commercializing a new diagnostic test for cows

Troy Ott, professor of reproductive physiology in the College of Agricultural Sciences, is developing a blood test that dairy farmers and livestock veterinarians can use to tell whether a cow failed to conceive after insemination.

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Gut bacteria could be blamed for obesity and diabetes

An excess of bacteria in the gut can change the way the liver processes fat and could lead to the development of metabolic syndrome, according to health researchers.

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Molecular motor grows cell's microtubules

Motor proteins that pause at the ends of microtubules and produce pushing forces can also stimulate their growth, according to researchers at Penn State.

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Response to environmental change depends on individual variation in partnership between corals and algae

New research reveals that some corals are more protective than others of their partner algae in harsh environmental conditions.

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Bees to scientists: "We're more complicated than you think"

Chemical signaling among social insects, such as bees, ants and wasps, is more complex than previously thought, according to researchers at Penn State and Tel Aviv University, whose results refute the idea that a single group of chemicals controls reproduction across numerous species.

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