Microbiologists get grant to study biofilms guarding foodborne pathogen Listeria

Microbiologists in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences have received a $605,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study how microbial biofilms protect Listeria monocytogenes, the bacterium that causes the deadly foodborne illness listeriosis.

Preventing, controlling spread of animal diseases focus of forum at Penn State

Exploring the emergence, spread and control of animal infectious diseases was the focus of the inaugural Emerging Animal Infectious Disease Conference held Nov. 29-Dec.1, 2021, at Penn State. It was hosted by the College of Agricultural Sciences, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, and Penn State’s Center for Security Research and Education.

Inhalable aerogel triggers immunity to COVID-19 in mice, may block transmission

An inhalable "aerogel" loaded with DNA that encodes for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein successfully induces an immune response against COVID-19 in the lungs of mice, according to new research conducted at Penn State.

Huck Students Receive Alumni Awards

Two Huck IGDP students have been recognized as part of the 2021-22 Graduate School Alumni Association faculty and student awards in the Life & Health Sciences section.

Omicron detected for first time in white-tailed deer

Some white-tailed deer living in Staten Island, New York, are actively infected with the Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant of SARS-CoV-2, according to new research led by scientists at Penn State. The team also found neutralizing antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in one of the Omicron-infected deer, suggesting that, like humans, deer can be reinfected with the virus.

Penn State biochemist Manuel Llinás named distinguished professor

Manuel Llinás, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and of chemistry at Penn State, has been selected to receive the title of distinguished professor of biochemistry and molecular biology in recognition of his exceptional record of teaching, research, and service to the University community.

World’s first gene editing tools for ticks may help decrease tick-borne diseases

Reducing tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease, may now be possible thanks to two new gene editing methods developed by researchers at Penn State; the University of Nevada, Reno; and the University of Maryland. The methods could allow scientists to alter parts of the tick genome that are involved in harboring and transmitting pathogens.

Nita Bharti to deliver 2022 Darwin Day Lecture

Nita Bharti, Penn State assistant professor of biology, will deliver a virtual lecture titled “Adaptation for Survival: Humans and Their Pathogens” at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 10, as part of Penn State’s 2022 Darwin Day celebration. Advance registration is required for the event, which is open to the public.

Omicron genetics and early transmission patterns are characterized in new study

The Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 diverged from previous SARS-CoV-2 variants as a result of adaptive evolution, in which beneficial mutations are passed on to future generations through natural selection, rather than through recombination between previous variants, according to a large international team of researchers. The study, which published recently in Nature, is the first to describe the genomic profile of Omicron and explore the origins of the variant.

Researchers use satellites to monitor bat habitat and study virus spillover

Over the last year and a half, the word "remote" has come to dominate a large portion of our collective consciousness. We’ve had to work remotely, learn remotely, and even socialize remotely. But before the pandemic, because of the nature of their research, remote was already a part of the daily lexicon of some Penn State researchers.