News

A new study by Penn State researchers reveals that lizard with ancestors who were frequently exposed to stressful encounters with invasive fire ants have an improved immune response to stress. Photo credit: Gail McCormick, Penn State

Having stressed out ancestors improves immune response to stress

Having ancestors who were frequently exposed to stressors can improve one's own immune response to stressors, according to Penn State researchers who studied fence lizards and their stress response. The results suggest that family history should be considered to predict or understand the health implications of stress.

A recent art exhibition in downtown State College featured 18 works by Penn State scientists. IMAGE: PENN STATE

Discovering the beauty of living cells: Science meets coffeeshop art

A December exhibition at Webster's Bookstore Cafe titled “The Art of Cell Biology,” featured 18 pieces of science-based artwork produced by Penn State research,

Differences in geographic origin of a person’s mitochondrial and nuclear genomes due to admixture can affect function of mitochondria, energy-generating organelles located inside cells that have their own separate genome. A new study reveals that mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number decreases with increasing “mito-nuclear” dissimilarity in geographic origins of the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes (e.g. as the proportion of nuclear DNA from population 1 decrease). IMAGE: ARSLAN ZAIDI, PENN STATE

Differences in genes’ geographic origin influence mitochondrial function

Differences in the geographic origin of genes may affect the function of human mitochondria — energy-generating organelles inside of cells — according to a new study. Mitochondria have their own genome, separate from the nuclear genome contained in the nucleus of the cell, and both genomes harbor genes integral to energy production by mitochondria. The study explores whether these “mito-nuclear” interactions, which are fine-tuned by natural selection over deep evolutionary time, could be altered when genes of different geographic origins are brought together within a genome.

This image shows a cell infected with Zika virus (green). The red is heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70), which appears to play a role in enabling Zika infection of host cells. IMAGE: RASGON LABORATORY / PENN STATE

Cellular protein a target for Zika control

A cellular protein that interacts with invading viruses appears to help enable the infection process of the Zika virus, according to an international team of researchers who suggest this protein could be a key target in developing new therapies to prevent or treat Zika virus infection.

Peter Hudson, Willaman Professor of Biology in the Eberly College of Science, will be featured at the annual Mark Luchinsky Memorial Lecture on Jan. 28 at Palmer Lipcon Auditorium.IMAGE: PATRICK MANSELL

Peter Hudson to deliver 2019 Mark Luchinsky Memorial Lecture

Peter Hudson, Willaman Professor of Biology in the Eberly College of Science at Penn State, will present “One Health, One Planet: Building Global Health Security Against Infectious Diseases” as part of the 24th annual Mark Luchinsky Memorial Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28, in the Palmer Musuem of Art's Palmer Lipcon Auditorium.

Gang Ning, director of Penn State’s Microscopy & Cytrometry Facility (left), Todd LaJeunesse, associate professor of biology at Penn State (middle), and Drew Wham, a former graduate student in LaJeunesse’s lab, have been selected to receive the 2017 Tyge Christiansen Prize by the International Phycological Society

Huck Researchers Awarded Tyge Christensen Prize

Gang Ning, director of Penn State’s Microscopy & Cytrometry Facility, Todd LaJeunesse, associate professor of biology at Penn State, and Drew Wham, a former graduate student in LaJeunesse’s lab, have been selected to receive the 2017 Tyge Christensen Prize by the International Phycological Society

Plant Bio grad student Chris Benson

Plant Biology Student Chris Benson Lands $90,000 Grant From United States Golf Association

Chris Benson's work concerns adaptability in the turfgrass species Poa annua, with plans to guide breeding efforts for a phenotypically stable variety with applications on golf course putting greens. That research has attracted significant support from the USGA.

The application deadline to attend the 2019 Summer Institute in Migration Research Methods at Penn State is Feb. 18. IMAGE: FISHMAN64/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Summer Institute in Migration Research Methods to be held at Penn State

Penn State will host the second Summer Institute in Migration Research Methods from June 9-16 at the Millennium Science Complex at University Park.

Reconstructed 3D image of porous tissue strand using magnetic resonance imaging. IMAGE: OZBOLAT LABORATORY / PENN STATE

Micropores let oxygen and nutrients inside biofabricated tissues

Micropores in fabricated tissues such as bone and cartilage allow nutrient and oxygen diffusion into the core, and this novel approach may eventually allow lab-grown tissue to contain blood vessels, according to a team of Penn State researchers.

Living cells, regardless of the type, can be kept around for a long time and because they move constantly, can be photographed repeatedly to create new encryption keys. IMAGE: JENNIFER M. MCCANN / PENN STATE MRI

Better security achieved with randomly generating biological encryption keys

​Data breaches, hacked systems and hostage malware are frequently topics of evening news casts — including stories of department store, hospital, government and bank data leaking into unsavory hands — but now a team of engineers has an encryption key approach that is unclonable and not reverse-engineerable, protecting information even as computers become faster and nimbler.​