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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
New technology discovered for brain repair: Chemical transformation of human glial cells into neurons
For the first time, researchers have used a cocktail of small molecules to transform human brain cells, called astroglial cells, into functioning neurons for brain repair.
Stress in adolescence prepares rats for future challenges
Rats exposed to frequent physical, social, and predatory stress during adolescence solved problems and foraged more efficiently under high-threat conditions in adulthood compared with rats that developed without stress, according to Penn State researchers.
Caterpillar deceives corn plant into lowering defenses against it
In a deception that likely has evolved over thousands of years, a caterpillar that feeds on corn leaves induces the plant to turn off its defenses against insect predators, allowing the caterpillar to eat more and grow faster, according to chemical ecologists in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
Only above-water microbes play a role in cave development
Only the microbes located above the water's surface contribute to the development of hydrogen-sulfide-rich caves, suggests an international team of researchers.
Water heals a bioplastic
A drop of water self-heals a multiphase polymer derived from the genetic code of squid ring teeth, which may someday extend the life of medical implants, fiber-optic cables and other hard to repair in place objects, according to an international team of researchers.
Announcing new instrumentation for life scientists
In collaboration with the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, the Materials Research Institute (MRI) has purchased a Horiba LabRam HR Evolution Raman spectroscope which will be arriving in its core facilities within the next several months.
Reading comprehension focus of NSF grant
Understanding how different levels of readers comprehend science texts is the focus of a nearly $1 million grant awarded to an interdisciplinary team of Penn State psychology and education researchers by the National Science Foundation.
On-chip processor is first step in point-of-care asthma and tuberculosis diagnostics
A device to mix liquids using ultrasonics is the first and most difficult component in a miniaturized system for low-cost analysis of sputum from patients with pulmonary diseases such as tuberculosis and asthma.
Some vaccines support evolution of more-virulent viruses
Scientific experiments with the herpesvirus that causes Marek's disease in poultry have confirmed, for the first time, the highly controversial theory that some vaccines could allow more virulent versions of a virus to survive, putting unvaccinated individuals at greater risk of severe illness.
Increasing prevalence of autism is due, in part, to changing diagnoses
The greater than three-fold increase in autism diagnoses among students in special education programs in the United States between 2000 and 2010 may be due in large part to the reclassification of individuals who previously would have been diagnosed with other intellectual disability disorders, according to new research led by Santhosh Girirajan.