The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences

News

Ground-breaking roots

The team working in Penn State's Roots Lab, led by Jonathan Lynch, is studying the work going on underneath the ground that enables the growth of healthier crops.

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Bubbles are the new lenses for nanoscale light beams

Bending light beams to your whim sounds like a job for a wizard or a complex array of bulky mirrors, lenses, and prisms; but a few tiny liquid bubbles may be all that is necessary to open the doors for next-generation high-speed circuits and displays, according to Huck Institutes affiliate Tony Jun Huang.

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USDA announces EPA registration of gonacon immunocontraceptive vaccine for white-tailed deer

Collaborative study with the National Wildlife Research Center to address deer overpopulation in many areas across the United States. This research focuses on developing safe and effective ways for the long-term contraception of deer.

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Gong Chen selected as holder of the Verne M. Willaman Chair in the Life Sciences

Gong Chen, a professor of biology at Penn State, has been appointed as Holder of the Verne M. Willaman Chair in the Life Sciences effective July 1, 2013 in recognition of his national and international reputation for excellence in research and teaching.

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Short-term gene-expression "memory" is inherited in proteins associated with DNA

By studying a gene in yeast, a team of scientists led by Huck Institutes affiliate Lu Bai has found that modifications to proteins associated with DNA can control whether or not a gene is allowed to function and may be important in maintaining a gene's "expression potential" so that future cells will behave as the parent cell did.

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Temperature alters population dynamics of common plant pests

Temperature-driven changes alter outbreak patterns of tea tortrix an insect pest and may shed light on how temperature influences whether insects emerge as cohesive cohorts or continuously, according to an international team of researchers that includes Huck Institutes affiliate Ottar Bjornstad.

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Arctic sea-ice loss has widespread effects on wildlife

An international team of scientists that includes Huck Institutes affiliate Eric Post tackles the question of how ecological communities in the Arctic might be affected by the continued and even accelerated melting of sea ice over the next decades.

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Aquatic playground can turn water tanks into fish schools

Raising fish in tanks that contain hiding places and other obstacles can make the fish both smarter and improve their chances of survival when they are released into the wild, according to an international team of researchers that includes Huck Institutes affiliate Victoria Braithwaite.

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What ants can teach us about agriculture

David Hughes and other researchers discuss parasites and food security

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Announcing the Huck Institutes Graduate Enrichment Fund

The Huck Institutes are pleased to announce a new fund to provide research support for students in our graduate programs.

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Huck Institutes seek new Associate Directors for positions in science leadership

The Huck Institutes wish to appoint a series of new Associate Directors to work with the management team and help in developing new initiatives.

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Scientists mimic natural conditions in the lab to more accurately test stress

Bolstering results with methodological insight, a team of scientists led by Huck Institutes researcher Victoria Braithwaite and graduate student Lauren Chaby has garnered compelling evidence that chronic, unpredictable stress during adolescence causes long-term changes in individuals' cognitive bias and coping response.

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Penn State team wins Department of Energy poster competition

A group of Penn State scientists from the Center for Lignocellulose Structure and Formation led by Huck Institutes affiliate Daniel Cosgrove took first prize in a U.S. Department of Energy "Ten-Hundred and One Word Challenge" contest in which scientists were challenged to explain their research using only images, cartoons, photos, and the 1,000 most commonly used words in the English language.

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Dark chocolate lovers show tolerance for bitterness in ice cream

In light of the global obesity epidemic, many consumers and health professionals are concerned about the levels of added sugars in foods. Now, a study by Penn State researchers including Huck Institutes affiliate John Hayes has shown that some consumers may not need all the added sugars in order to enjoy one of America's favorite comfort foods: chocolate ice cream.

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Unique pathogen requires a novel approach to studying virulence

Huck Institutes researcher Moriah Szpara takes an interdisciplinary tack in her work -- using tools from neurobiology, virology, bioinformatics, and comparative genomics to find keys to a cure for human herpesvirus.

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Announcing the new Predoctoral Training Program in Computation, Bioinformatics and Statistics (CBIOS)

The Huck Institutes announce a new NIH-funded predoctoral training program the CBIOS Training Program aimed at preparing a cadre of young scientists to excel in cross-disciplinary genomics research cutting across the traditional disciplines of life sciences, computer science, bioinformatics, and statistics.

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Even zombies need an agent

While unraveling a dramatic case of mind control, biologist David Hughes brought the real science behind zombies to the big-screen Hollywood blockbuster "World War Z."

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Avocado farmers face unique foe in fungal-farming beetle

Beetles with unusual "green thumbs" for growing fungi are threatening avocado crops and could transform into a more destructive pest, according to an international team of researchers that includes Huck Institutes affiliate David Geiser.

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Mathematical models target disease with drugs chosen by your DNA

Medicines that are personally tailored to your DNA are becoming a reality, thanks to the work of U.S. and Chinese scientists including Huck Institutes affiliate Rongling Wu who have developed statistical models to predict which drug is best for a specific individual with a specific disease.

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Drought response identified in potential biofuel plant

Drought resistance is key to large-scale production of Jatropha, a potential biofuel plant, and an international group of scientists that includes Huck Institutes affiliate John Carlson has identified the first step toward engineering a hardier variety.

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