News

New, environmentally friendly method to extract and separate rare earth elements

A new method improves the extraction and separation of rare earth elements — a group of 17 chemical elements critical for technologies such as smart phones and electric car batteries — from unconventional sources.

New way to image whole organisms in 3D brings key skin color pigment into focus

To understand the biological underpinnings of skin and hair pigmentation and related diseases such as albinism or melanoma, scientists and doctors need quantitative, three-dimensional information about the architecture, content and location of pigment cells. Penn State College of Medicine researchers have developed a new technique that allows scientists to visualize every cell containing melanin pigment in 3D, in whole zebrafish.

Warm, wet autumn could mute and delay foliage display in Pennsylvania

Because of the warm, wet summer, trees in Pennsylvania are mostly in great shape. But for the state’s forests to exhibit their most vibrant colors, conditions need to be cooler and drier in the next few weeks, according to a Penn State expert.

Vasant Honavar named Huck Chair in Biomedical Data Sciences and AI

Vasant Honavar, professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology, has been named the Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Chair in Biomedical Data Sciences and Artificial Intelligence by the University’s Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences.

Coral microbiome is key to surviving climate change, new study finds

Researchers tease apart contributions of symbiotic bacteria and algae to corals’ heat tolerance and identify genes involved in stress response.

New tool predicts changes that may make COVID variants more infectious

The first key step in SARS-CoV-2 infection is when the virus’ spike protein binds to the ACE2 receptor on human cells. Researchers at Penn State have created a novel framework that can predict with reasonable accuracy the amino-acid changes in the virus’ spike protein that may improve its binding to human cells and confer increased infectivity to the virus.

Small but mighty: Microgreens go from trendy vegetables to functional food

Starting decades ago as fashionable, high-value gourmet greens, today microgreens have gained popularity among consumers for their nutritional profile and high content of antioxidant compounds. Now, a new study suggests that the tiny plants have the potential to help provide global nutrition security.

Male giraffes are more socially connected than females

Although female giraffes have closer “friends” than male giraffes, male giraffes have more “acquaintances” than females, according to a new study by an international team that includes a Penn State biologist. The study demonstrates that giraffes form a complex multilevel society that is driven by differences in the social connections among individuals, which could have conservation implications for the endangered giraffes.

Past Winners and Current Contenders: IBC Fellows Compete in Nittany AI Challenge

Two IBC graduate student fellows, Edward Kwadwo Amoah and Codey Mathis, will be sharing their research in upcoming AI for Good Expo!

When will the pandemic end?

The worst of the pandemic may finally be over, according to new modeling results from a consortium of researchers advising the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The team’s “COVID-19 Scenario Modeling Hub,” which is co-coordinated by researchers at Penn State, projects that COVID-19 cases will decrease across the United States, barring the emergence of any new variants or major changes in behavior.