The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences


Rescuing honey bee hives

Honey bee colonies are collapsing in record numbers, and Penn State entomologists -- including Huck Institutes affiliate Christina Grozinger -- are leading the pack of researchers scrambling to figure out why.

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Huck Institutes researcher featured by Chemical Heritage Foundation's "Distillations"

Koraly Perez-Edgar, a Huck Institutes affiliate in the Department of Psychology at Penn State, talks about cerebral development in utero and in young children.

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3 billion-year-old microfossils include plankton

Spindle-shaped inclusions in 3 billion-year-old rocks are microfossils of plankton that probably inhabited the oceans around the globe during that time, according to an international team of researchers that includes Huck Institutes affiliate Christopher House.

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Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, and autism now can be studied with mature brain cells reprogrammed from skin cells

A research team led by Huck Institutes affiliate Gong Chen has developed a new method for obtaining mature neurons from reprogrammed skin cells, allowing difficult-to-study diseases such as Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, and autism to be probed more safely and effectively.

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Huck Institutes acquire a new multi-laser, biosafety level 2 (BSL2)-capable cell sorter

The Huck Institutes Microscopy and Cytometry Facility is preparing laboratory space within the Millennium Science Complex for its latest major equipment acquisition, a Beckman Coulter MoFlo Astrios cell sorter.

The Microscopy and Cytometry Facility has secured funding for the purchase of the new cell sorter, which will take the Facility's offerings beyond those currently available with the

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New kind of antibiotic may be more effective at fighting tuberculosis, anthrax, and other diseases

Diseases such as tuberculosis, anthrax, and shigellosis a severe food-borne illness eventually could be treated with an entirely new and more-effective kind of antibiotic, thanks to a team of scientists led by Huck Institutes affiliate Kenneth Keiler, an associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State.

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David Hughes consulted in production of post-apocalyptic video game "The Last of Us"

Sony and video game developer Naughty Dog have consulted Huck Institutes affiliate David Hughes in making their new PlayStation game "The Last of Us," set in a post-apocalyptic world brought on by a Cordyceps-type fungus pandemic.

"In 'The Last of Us,' the developers at Naughty Dog Studios and Sony have gravitated towards the ever-popular dystopian view where civilization is devastated by some nasty infectious

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Researchers develop a faster method to identify Salmonella strains

A new laboratory method developed by a research team including Huck Institutes affiliate Edward Dudley may significantly reduce the time it takes health officials to identify Salmonella strains.

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Debashis Ghosh Honored with the Mortimer Spiegelman Award of the American Public Health Association

Penn State statistics professor Debashis Ghosh has been honored with the Mortimer Spiegelman Award of the American Public Health Association.

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Looking back at the 11th Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease Conference

One attendee, Stanford scientist James Holland Jones, calls the conference "quite possibly the best meeting I have ever attended".

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Study confirms U.S. amphibian populations declining at rapid rate

The first-ever estimate of how fast frogs, toads and salamanders in the United States are disappearing from their habitats a study contributed to by Huck Institutes affiliate David Miller reveals they are vanishing at an alarming and rapid rate.

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Vivek Narayan and Walter Jackson III receive IID travel awards

Vivek Narayan and Walter Jackson III, two Ph.D. candidates in the Huck Institutes' Immunology and Infectious Diseases (IID) program, were the recipients of recent IID travel awards.

Narayan presented "Modulating epigenetic changes during HIV infection via the selenium-mediated inhibition of KAT3B activity in macrophages" at Experimental Biology 2013 in Boston, MA.

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Huck Institutes IID graduate student awarded for innovative research

Walter Jackson III, a Ph.D. candidate in the Huck Institutes' Immunology and Infectious Diseases (IID) program, is the recipient of the 2013 Robert T. Simpson Graduate Award for Innovative Research.

The award was created in 2005 to recognize innovative research by graduate students who have made important contributions in forwarding the research in their selected areas of study and who work in the laboratory of a faculty member in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at

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Mosquito behavior may be immune response, not parasite manipulation

What appears to be parasite manipulation may simply be part of malaria-carrying mosquitoes' immune response, according to a group of Penn State entomologists including Huck Institutes affiliates Lauren Cator, Simon Blanford, Courtney Murdock, Tom Baker, Andrew Read, and Matt Thomas.

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Getting to the bottom of the zombie ant phenomenon

While unraveling a dramatic case of mind control, Huck Institutes affiliate David Hughes is taking calls from Hollywood and gaining new insights into the role behavior plays in spreading disease.

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Environmental Law Institute recognizes Penn State wetlands scientist

Robert Brooks, a wetlands scientist at Penn State and a Huck Institutes faculty affiliate, has received the 2013 National Wetlands Award for Science Research.

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Millennium Science Complex awarded prestigious LEED green building certification

The Millennium Science Complex has been awarded LEED Gold certification established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).

LEED is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings, and the Millennium Science Complex achieved LEED® Gold certification for the incorporation of sustainable strategies in its energy, l

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Penn State professor finding new ways to repair nerve injuries

Nerve injury is a major health problem, with 12,000 new injuries occurring in the U.S. each year. Recovery can be difficult or impossible, which is why Huck Institutes affiliate Mohammad Reza Abidian is focusing his research on special materials called "conducting polymers," which could one day offer a solution to these injuries.

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Protein Crystallization Workshop receives high marks from attendees

The X-Ray Crystallography Facility's recent workshop was well-attended and well-received.

"I highly recommend attendance at the Protein Crystallization Workshop," said Eric Smidansky from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

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Penn State graduate students study plant stress in the Arizona desert

At the Apache Root Biology Center in Willcox, Arizona, graduate students from the Huck Institutes' Plant Biology program and the Penn State Department of Plant Science study plants' responses to the stresses of growing in drought and low-nitrogen conditions.

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