News

Penn State biologist and colleagues receive $4M to identify heat-tolerant corals

An international team that includes Penn State biologist Iliana Baums has been awarded a $4 million grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation to identify corals that are naturally resilient to climate change. This is one of four newly funded projects supported by the foundation that are focused on the conservation and restoration of coral reefs in the context of the climate crisis.

Reef-building corals and microscopic algae within their cells evolve together

The microscopic algae that live inside and provide nutrients to their reef-building coral hosts may be evolving in tandem with the corals they inhabit, so each partner is fine-tuned to meet one another’s needs. A new study by Penn State biologists reveals that genetic differences within a species of these microalgal symbionts correspond to the coral species they inhabit, a discovery that could have implications for the conservation of these endangered corals.

Data 4 Action enriches student experience while documenting pandemic

​The Data 4 Action (D4A) project is comprised of dozens of Penn State researchers who are documenting the impacts of COVID-19 in Centre County. While the goal of the project is to assess the biological, psychological and social functioning of Penn State students and community members, the project is also providing new and impactful opportunities for a growing group of students working as research assistants.

Widespread coral-algae symbioses endured historical climate changes

One of the most important and widespread reef-building corals, known as cauliflower coral, exhibits strong partnerships with certain species of symbiotic algae, and these relationships have persisted through periods of intense climate fluctuations over the last 1.5 million years, according to a new study led by researchers at Penn State.

Photo Gallery: A New Home for Ancient DNA

Penn State, the College of the Liberal Arts, and the Department of Anthropology are going online with the new Penn State Ancient Biomolecules Research Environment, or PSABRE. The new facility is one of the largest ancient DNA laboratories in the United States and will host a variety of University and international research teams.

Little crop of horrors

An international team of researchers has received a grant from the Human Frontier Science Program to investigate how carnivory-related genes, such as those involved in digestion, could help crops not only avoid pests, but also thrive in low-nutrient environments.

Ancient oral biome points to overall health

When a baby puts something from the floor in their mouth, we panic, but the mouth already contains thousands of bacteria. Now a team of researchers is looking at archaeological remains for an example of how Japanese oral biomes have changed and what they say about the people who owned those mouths and teeth.

Three Huck Students Collect Grad School Awards

Two students from the intercollegiate graduate degree program in plant biology and one from ecology have been named among the recipients of prestigious 2020-21 Penn State Graduate School awards.

Ottar Bjørnstad elected to Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters

Ottar N. Bjørnstad, distinguished professor of entomology and biology and J. Lloyd & Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair of Epidemiology at Penn State, has been elected to the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters. Bjørnstad was recommended as a result of his significant contributions to the fields of population ecology and quantitative epidemiology.

Silencing the alarm

An enzyme in the saliva of certain insects prevents their food plants from warning neighboring plants of an attack.