News

Penn State researchers to study novel coronavirus potential to infect livestock

A grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will enable Penn State researchers to study the potential for SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, to infect and spread among livestock.

Flavonoids' presence in sorghum roots may lead to frost-resistant crop

​Flavonoid compounds — produced by the roots of some sorghum plants — positively affect soil microorganisms, according to Penn State researchers, who suggest the discovery is an early step in developing a frost-resistant line of the valuable crop for North American farmers.​

Determining how a coronavirus protein takes over human protein-making machinery

Jean-Paul Armache, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, has been awarded seed funding from the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences at Penn State to use cryo-electron microscopy to study how an important SARS-CoV-2 protein binds to and takes over the human ribosome — a protein factory in the cell that the virus uses to copy itself.

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 to examine relation of dysfunctional brain hubs to mental disorders

The National Institutes of Health has awarded Penn State researchers a $1.85 million grant to develop a new way to test if dysfunctions in certain areas of the brain lead to mental health complications and brain disorders. If successful, the research could lead to better mental health treatments.

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.

Custom nanoparticle regresses tumors when exposed to light

A unique nanoparticle to deliver a localized cancer treatment inhibits tumor growth in mice, according to a team of Penn State researchers.

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..

Tuberculosis spread from animals to humans greater than previously thought

The number of human tuberculosis (TB) cases that are due to transmission from animals, as opposed to human-to-human transmission, may be much higher than previously estimated, according to an international team of researchers. The results could have implications for epidemiological studies and public health interventions.

New image of a cancer-related enzyme in action helps explain gene regulation

New images of an enzyme in action as it interacts with the chromosome could provide important insight into how cells — including cancer cells — regulate their genes.