November 2020

Andrew's Angle

When I moved to the US in 2007, one of my favorite discoveries was Thanksgiving. There is no equivalent in New Zealand or Europe. I really like it because it’s not been overly commercialized, even the excessive food and drink. Instead, it’s about people. And best of all, it’s a nationally scheduled opportunity to reflect on what’s good.


Inside Penn State’s COVID-19 Response

On October 26, 2020, we interviewed Cat Paules and Andrew Read about their experiences serving on Penn State’s coronavirus task force. Like their colleagues across the university, both have spent countless hours since the start of the pandemic doing all they can to help protect students, faculty, staff, and local community members in an ever-changing, endlessly challenging environment. View a 2-minute trailer here.  

Evolution-proof COVID Vaccines?

Similar to bacteria evolving resistance to antibiotics, viruses can evolve resistance to vaccines, and the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 could undermine the effectiveness of vaccines that are currently under development, according to a paper published Nov. 9 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by David Kennedy and Andrew Read.

Epigenetic Growing Breakthrough!

Director of Penn State’s Plant Institute Sally MacKenzie has found a way to epigenetically modify tomato plants for resilience. They “believe” they’ve been under stress, resulting in progeny that are on average 35% more productive.

Deb Kelly Chairs NIH Study Section

Deborah Kelly, Penn State Lloyd & Dottie Foehr Huck Chair in Molecular Biophysics, director of the Penn State Center for Structural Oncology and professor of biomedical engineering, has accepted an appointment as chair of the National Institutes of Health’s Macromolecular Structure and Function B Study Section, directed by the Center for Scientific Review.

Rainbow Science Network

Through this initiative, prospective research team members at the undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral, and technical levels in the LGBTQ+ community can readily identify research groups where faculty members have received training in LGBTQ+ issues and are committed to fostering a fully inclusive environment.

Making Huck Stories Move

Congratulations to Huck’s Digital Content Producer, Dan Lesher, winner of the October Kudos Award! Thanks to Dan’s tireless efforts to stay creative in spite of the pandemic, our YouTube channel has served up a whopping 71 videos since March, including the popular “Ask CIDD” series that answers the public’s COVID-19 questions.
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