Feb 13, 2019
New method uses fluorescence to identify disease-causing forms of proteins
A new method uses fluorescence to detect potentially disease-causing forms of proteins as they unravel due to stress or mutations. A team of researchers from Penn State and the University of Washington reengineered a fluorescent compound and developed a method to simultaneously light up two different proteins as they misfold and aggregate inside a living cell, highlighting forms that likely play a role in several neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Feb 13, 2019
Troy Ott to discuss "the improbable series of events that led to your birth"
At this month’s "Science on Tap" event, Huck Associate Director and professor of reproductive biology Troy Ott will discuss viviparity — the development of an embryo inside the body leading to the birth of a live offspring. Viviparity is thought to have evolved from egg-laying animals. Ott's talk will focus on one of the enigmas of live birth that relates to the mother’s immune system.
Feb 11, 2019
Toward automated animal identification in wildlife research
A new automated method to prepare digital photos for analysis will help wildlife researchers who depend on photographs to identify individual animals by their unique markings. A wildlife biologist from Penn State teamed up with scientists from Microsoft Azure, a cloud computing service, using machine learning technology to improve how photographs are turned into usable data for wildlife research. A paper describing the new technique appears online in the journal Ecological Informatics.
Feb 07, 2019
Simple drug combination creates new neurons from neighboring cells
A simple drug cocktail that converts cells neighboring damaged neurons into functional new neurons could potentially be used to treat stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and brain injuries. A team of researchers at Penn State identified a set of four, or even three, molecules that could convert glial cells—which normally provide support and insulation for neurons—into new neurons.
Feb 05, 2019
College of Engineering and Atlantic Council host workshop on strategic foresight
The College of Engineering partnered with the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security to host a three-day workshop, a joint initiative to understand the evolving interactions between technology and our economic, political and social institutions, in spring 2018.
Jan 31, 2019
Membraneless protocells could provide clues to formation of early life
Membraneless assemblies of positively- and negatively-charged molecules can bring together RNA molecules in dense liquid droplets, allowing the RNAs to participate in fundamental chemical reactions. These assemblies, called “complex coacervates,” also enhance the ability of some RNA molecules themselves to act as enzymes — molecules that drive chemical reactions.
Jan 30, 2019
Melik Demirel named Huck Chair in Biomimetic Materials
Melik C. Demirel, professor of engineering science and mechanics at Penn State, was recently named Lloyd and Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair in Biomimetic Materials by the University’s Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences.
Jan 25, 2019
Prospective Grad Students Get A Taste of Life at Penn State
Students interested in the Bioinformatics and Genomics; Plant Biology; Neuroscience; and Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Biosciences graduate programs were given a warm welcome on a snowy weekend.
Jan 25, 2019
Sean B. Carroll to deliver 2019 Darwin Day Lecture
Sean B. Carroll, vice president of science education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), will deliver the 2019 Darwin Day Lecture titled “The Serengeti Rules: The Regulation and Restoration of Biodiversity” at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8 in 101 Thomas Building. Carroll’s lecture will be followed by a reception from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. in the Commons on the third floor of the Millennium Science Complex. Both events are free and open to the public.
Jan 22, 2019
New method uses ultraviolet light to control fluid flow and organize particles
A new, simple and inexpensive method that uses ultraviolet light to control particle motion and assembly within liquids could improve drug delivery, chemical sensors and fluid pumps. The method encourages particles — from plastic microbeads, to bacterial spores, to pollutants — to gather and organize at a specific location within a liquid and, if desired, to move to new locations.