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.
While we tend to think of viruses as nasty germs that we try desperately to get rid of, only a small percentage of viruses are pathogens, said Huck Institutes affiliate Marilyn Roossinck in a recent presentation at the Millennium Cafe.
While public health officials around the world are on alert about the pandemic potential of new disease threats, a team that includes Penn State University biologist Marcel Salathe is developing innovative new systems and techniques to track the spread of infectious diseases, with the help of news websites, blogs, and social media.
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.
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.
An interdisciplinary research team with several scientists from the Huck Institutes has made key discoveries elucidating dynamics of pneumonia in bighorn sheep as mortality from the disease continues to limit recovery of the once nearly extirpated bighorn population in the western United States.
Research by Huck Institutes affiliate Eric Harvill suggests that managing bacteria and other microorganisms in the body, rather than just fighting them, may be lead to better health and a stronger immune system.
In a free new online course, "Epidemics: the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases," offered by the Eberly College of Science at Penn State, students and members of the public will learn about how infectious diseases spread by playing a real-time epidemic game " a "virtual apocalypse," which instructors will run in parallel with the more traditional lessons.
Researchers have studied viruses as agents of disease in humans, domestic animals, and plants, but a study of plant viruses in the wild may point to a more cooperative, benevolent role of the microbe, according to Marilyn Roossinck.
Peter Hudson, Scott Selleck, David Hughes, Melissa Rolls, Paula Droege, Tracy Langkilde, Phil Bevilacqua, Stephen Schaeffer, and Robert Paulson talk about research that's driving scientific discovery at Penn State.
Crafting public health messages about a disease may create stigmas that influence how likely people are to endorse certain interventions " such as isolating infected persons, forcing treatment on them, and mapping their location " according to researcher Rachel Smith.
Research conducted by Penn State's Andrew Read reveals that malaria parasites evolve to become more virulent in response to their hosts being immunized with a critical component of several candidate human malaria vaccines which are currently in clinical trials.