News

Researchers identify evolutionary origins of SARS-CoV-2

By reconstructing the evolutionary history of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, an international research team of Chinese, European and U.S. scientists has discovered that the lineage that gave rise to the virus has been circulating in bats for decades and likely includes other viruses with the ability to infect humans.

Researchers offer solution for one of synthetic biology's biggest problems

A team of Penn State and University of Washington researchers recently developed a new algorithm to help prevent the failure of engineered genetic systems, or organisms engineered to have new capabilities.

What determines a warbler's colors?

A new study has narrowed down the region of the genome that drives the black color in throat and face of warblers by studying the hybrid offspring produced when two species mate.

Genes affecting brains and brawn?

Genes located in "copy number variants" (CNVs) — parts of chromosomes that are missing in some individuals and duplicated in others — that are associated with neurodevelopmental disorders affect more than just brain development, according to new research..

BG student receives award for research on immunologic, rheumatologic diseases

Bioinformatics and Genomics student Chachrit Khunsriraksakul has been selected as the recipient of the 2020 Finkelstein Memorial Student Research Award.

Plants pass on 'memory' of stress to some progeny, making them more resilient

By manipulating the expression of one gene, geneticists can induce a form of “stress memory” in plants that is inherited by some progeny, giving them the potential for more vigorous, hardy and productive growth, according to Penn State researchers, who suggest the discovery has significant implications for plant breeding.

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.