New technique uses immune cells to deliver anti-cancer drugs
Some researchers are working to discover new, safer ways to deliver cancer-fighting drugs to tumors without damaging healthy cells. Others are finding ways to boost the body's own immune system to attack cancer cells. Researchers at Penn State have combined the two approaches by taking biodegradable polymer nanoparticles encapsulated with cancer-fighting drugs and incorporating them into immune cells to create a smart, targeted system to attack cancers of specific types.
Fungus-infecting virus could help track spread of white-nose syndrome in bats
A newly discovered virus infecting the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats could help scientists and wildlife agencies track the spread of the disease that is decimating bat populations in the United States, a new study suggests.
Research suggests climate change affecting plants above ground more than below
Shifts in plant-growth patterns have been widely reported in response to global warming, and it is well documented that warming generally advances aboveground plant growth, but warming's influence on root phenology is unclear. Most terrestrial biosphere models assume that root and shoot growth occur at the same time and are influenced by warming in the same manner, but recent studies suggest that this is not the case.
Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
Bacterial resistance does not come just through adaptation to antibiotics, sometimes the bacteria simply go to sleep. An international team of researchers is looking at compounds that attack bacteria's ability to go dormant and have found the first oxygen-sensitive toxin antitoxin system.
Grants from NSF power super-resolution microscope, probe cell walls in plants
A new super-resolution microscope and some of the first dynamic imaging experiments it enables are being supported by two grants totaling nearly $1.5 million awarded to Penn State researchers by the National Science Foundation.
Key regulator of bone development identified
Loss 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. ThIS discovery, made by researchers at Penn State University, redefines the role of the Speckle-type POZ Protein (Spop) during bone development and provides a new potential target for the diagnosis and treatment of bone diseases such as osteoporosis.
American chestnut restoration effort getting a boost from molecular geneticists
Efforts to restore American chestnut trees to their rightful place in the North American forest ecosystem are progressing, although progress has come at a slower pace than once expected, according to researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, who explain they have reached a pivotal point.
Penn State communication arts and sciences faculty receive CDC grant
A one-year, $322,876 grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will enable researchers from the Penn State Department of Communication Arts and Sciences to evaluate antibiotic prescriptions for childhood ear infections, examine doctor-parent conversations about the use of antibiotics, survey parents’ attitudes toward antibiotic use, and, ultimately, identify effective communication strategies that reduce the overuse of antibiotics in treating pediatric illness.
New strategy for antidepressant therapies
Increasing the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brains of depressed mice has antidepressant effects
Geier recipient of early career professorship award
Charles Geier, assistant professor of human development and family studies at Penn State, was recently named as the inaugural recipient of the Dr. Frances Keesler Graham Early Career Professorship.
Parasitic plants may form weapons out of genes stolen from hosts
Sneaky parasitic weeds may be able to steal genes from the plants they are attacking and then use those genes against the host plant, according to a team of scientists.
America the Bountiful ag workforce event highlights Penn State initiative
PlantVillage, an online crop-disease knowledge library and image database co-founded by Penn State researcher David Hughes, was represented at an event unveiling a new agricultural workforce development initiative Oct. 6 in Washington, D.C.
Too much of a form of vitamin B3 in cells can cause behavioral changes in worms
Experiments show that too much of a form of vitamin B3 -- nicotinamide -- that is produced naturally inside of cells can lead to cell death in certain sensory cells and cause behavioral changes in the worm, Caenorhabditis elegans.
New, carbon-nanotube tool for ultra-sensitive virus detection and identification
A new tool that uses a forest-like array of vertically-aligned carbon nanotubes that can be finely tuned to selectively trap viruses by their size can increase the detection threshold for viruses and speed the process of identifying newly-emerging viruses.
Using satellite images to better target vaccination
A 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.
Retired congressman, AAAS CEO Holt to lead panel on science and politics
The Penn State community is invited to join a panel discussion featuring a scientist-turned-lawmaker and a group of leading Penn State researchers about the role of scientists helping to shape policy for a more sustainable future.
Artificial intelligence could help farmers diagnose crop diseases
A network of computers fed a large image dataset can learn to recognize specific plant diseases with a high degree of accuracy, potentially paving the way for field-based crop-disease identification using smartphones, according to a team of researchers at Penn State and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Low-cost sensor for cystic fibrosis diagnosis based on citrate
Penn State biomaterials scientists have developed a new, inexpensive method for detecting salt concentrations in sweat or other bodily fluids. The fluorescent sensor, derived from citric acid molecules, is highly sensitive and highly selective for chloride, the key diagnostic marker in cystic fibrosis.
Foliage display may suffer in parts of Pa. due to drought conditions
Drought conditions in parts of Pennsylvania, particularly in the northcentral region, are likely to dampen the fall foliage display, according to a forest ecologist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
First accurate simulation of a virus invading a cell
For the first time, scientists know what happens to a virus' shape when it invades a host cell, thanks to an experiment by researchers at Penn State College of Medicine and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Understanding how the virus shape changes could lead to more effective anti-viral therapies.