News

In the Metabolomics Core Facility, vials filled with extracts of bodily fluid wait in an auto-sampler. Each sample will be passed through a chromatography system that sorts the complex sample into its constituents. Droplets of the separated sample are then misted into the mass spectrometer for analysis.IMAGE: PATRICK MANSELL

Listening to your gut: A powerful new tool on the microbiome and cell metabolism

Many aspects of our lives — not only the presence or absence of certain diseases, but conditions like obesity, sleep patterns, even mood — may be determined, to a surprising extent, by the microbes living inside of us.

Water lily genome expands picture of the early evolution of flowering plants

The newly reported genome sequence of a water lily sheds light on the early evolution of angiosperms, the group of all flowering plants. An international team of researchers, including scientists at Penn State, used high-throughput next-generation sequencing technology to read out the water lily’s (Nymphaea colorata) genome and transcriptome — the set of all genes expressed as RNAs.

New tool reveals DNA structures that influence disease

Disruption of certain DNA structures — called topologically associating domains, or TADs — is linked with the development of disease, including some cancers. With its newly created algorithm that quickly locates and helps elucidate the complex functions of TADs, an international team of researchers is making it easier to study these important structures and help prevent disease.

Tracking inheritance of human mitochondrial DNA

New insight into how genetic information stored in human mitochondria is passed from one generation to the next could have important implications for genetic counseling of people planning pregnancies, according to a study by researchers at Penn State and the University of California, Berkeley.

Personalized gene networks may enhance study of disease

Researchers at Penn State College of Medicine have developed a new method to model how genes interact with each other — and it may someday contribute to the development of personalized treatments for patients.

Liquid-Cell Electron Tomography (LC-ET) offers an exciting technical advance to study dynamic materials in solution. The figure illustrates how LC-ET was used to define the “rules of engagement” for pathogenic phages and its host bacterium. IMAGE: KELLY LAB/PENN STATE

Scientists have first 3D view of life's processes in liquid

A new liquid-cell technology allows scientists to see living biological materials and systems in three dimensions under an electron microscope, according to researchers at Penn State, Virginia Tech and Protochips Inc.

New tool in fight against malaria

Redesigning molecules originally developed to treat the skin disease psoriasis could lead to an effective new drug against malaria, according to an international team of researchers.

Research suggests how environmental toxin produced by algae may lead to ALS

Can a computer be used to explain why an environmental toxin might lead to neurodegenerative disease? According to Penn State College of Medicine researchers, a computer generated-simulation allowed them to see how a toxin produced by algal blooms in saltwater might cause Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

Francesca Chiaromonte named Huck Chair in Statistics for the Life Sciences

Francesca Chiaromonte, professor of statistics at Penn State, was recently named Lloyd and Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair in Statistics by the University’s Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences.

Research predicts stability of mosquito-borne disease prevention

More than half of the people in the world, including in the United States, live alongside Aedes aegypti — the mosquito that transmits dengue, Zika and other often deadly viruses. Dengue virus, alone, infects nearly 400 million people worldwide each year.