The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences

News

Researchers receive $3.6 million to study genetics of plant disease resistance

A $3.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation will support a new research project aimed at pinpointing the genes that confer disease resistance in cacao.

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New technique uses immune cells to deliver anti-cancer drugs

Some researchers are working to discover new, safer ways to deliver cancer-fighting drugs to tumors without damaging healthy cells. Others are finding ways to boost the body's own immune system to attack cancer cells. Researchers at Penn State have combined the two approaches by taking biodegradable polymer nanoparticles encapsulated with cancer-fighting drugs and incorporating them into immune cells to create a smart, targeted system to attack cancers of specific types.

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Fungus-infecting virus could help track spread of white-nose syndrome in bats

A newly discovered virus infecting the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats could help scientists and wildlife agencies track the spread of the disease that is decimating bat populations in the United States, a new study suggests.

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Research suggests climate change affecting plants above ground more than below

Shifts in plant-growth patterns have been widely reported in response to global warming, and it is well documented that warming generally advances aboveground plant growth, but warming's influence on root phenology is unclear. Most terrestrial biosphere models assume that root and shoot growth occur at the same time and are influenced by warming in the same manner, but recent studies suggest that this is not the case.

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Announcing new Galaxy-based Science Gateways at Penn State

The Institute for CyberScience is now offering consulting services for Penn State researchers interested in building Galaxy-based Science Gateways integrating advanced cyber-infrastructure components (e.g., data collections, instruments, supercomputers, and analytical tools) behind user-friendly interfaces for high-performance computing (HPC) resources.

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Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks

Bacterial resistance does not come just through adaptation to antibiotics, sometimes the bacteria simply go to sleep. An international team of researchers is looking at compounds that attack bacteria's ability to go dormant and have found the first oxygen-sensitive toxin antitoxin system.

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Grants from NSF power super-resolution microscope, probe cell walls in plants

A new super-resolution microscope and some of the first dynamic imaging experiments it enables are being supported by two grants totaling nearly $1.5 million awarded to Penn State researchers by the National Science Foundation.

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Key regulator of bone development identified

Loss of a key protein leads to defects in skeletal development including reduced bone density and a shortening of the fingers and toes -- a condition known as brachydactyly. ThIS discovery, made by researchers at Penn State University, redefines the role of the Speckle-type POZ Protein (Spop) during bone development and provides a new potential target for the diagnosis and treatment of bone diseases such as osteoporosis.

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Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences builds on commitment to graduate student professional development

Over the past two years, the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, with the assistance of members of Penn State’s Industrial/Organizational Psychology program, has built and implemented a developmental system for graduate students in the Intercollege Graduate Degree Programs (IGDPs) in the life sciences.

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Imaging symposium kicks off new cross-campus convergence of materials and life sciences

At the Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, PA, speakers from the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences' Microscopy Facility and the Materials Research Institute's Materials Characterization Lab (MCL) presented new imaging technologies and techniques that are spanning traditional disciplinary boundaries.

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NRC rankings place Penn State's research doctorate programs among the nation's best

Penn State was one of the largest institutional participants from among 212 universities in the latest National Research Council Assessment of Research Doctorate Programs, with 69 Ph.D. programs participating (65 ranked) in 51 different primary and three emerging fields of study.

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Penn State's doctoral programs gain top outcomes in national rankings

The National Research Council (NRC) recently released its long-awaited report on the quality of research doctorate programs in the U.S. The report, available at http://www.nap.edu/rdp/ online, confirmed that Penn State has a wealth of outstanding programs that are among the very best in the nation.

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Graduate students seek solutions to complex challenges through novel research

What if you could predict when a civil war would break out in a country? Or, what if there was a way to reverse the nerve damage associated with traumatic brain injury? Two graduate students at Penn State are doing extraordinary research to solve these problems that impact our global society.

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President's blog: The power of language

At a recent brown bag luncheon, Penn State President Eric Barron learned about the Center for Language Science, an outfit that examines everything from language acquisition to bilingualism to cognition to neurobiology.

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American chestnut restoration effort getting a boost from molecular geneticists

Efforts to restore American chestnut trees to their rightful place in the North American forest ecosystem are progressing, although progress has come at a slower pace than once expected, according to researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, who explain they have reached a pivotal point.

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Penn State communication arts and sciences faculty receive CDC grant

A one-year, $322,876 grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will enable researchers from the Penn State Department of Communication Arts and Sciences to evaluate antibiotic prescriptions for childhood ear infections, examine doctor-parent conversations about the use of antibiotics, survey parents’ attitudes toward antibiotic use, and, ultimately, identify effective communication strategies that reduce the overuse of antibiotics in treating pediatric illness.

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New strategy for antidepressant therapies

Increasing the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brains of depressed mice has antidepressant effects

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Geier recipient of early career professorship award

Charles Geier, assistant professor of human development and family studies at Penn State, was recently named as the inaugural recipient of the Dr. Frances Keesler Graham Early Career Professorship.

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Research Penn State 2016 a success

This first-of-its-kind showcase event for the University's five interdisciplinary research institutes, held over two days in October, highlighted the breadth and depth of research in the life sciences, energy and the environment, materials science and engineering, cyber-enabled science, and the social sciences at Penn State.

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Parasitic plants may form weapons out of genes stolen from hosts

Sneaky parasitic weeds may be able to steal genes from the plants they are attacking and then use those genes against the host plant, according to a team of scientists.

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