The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences

News

Smartphones enlisted in the battle versus crop disease

Crop diseases, a major cause of famine, have always been diagnosed by visual inspection, though scientists today also use microscopes and DNA sequencing. But the first line of defense is still the keen eyes of farmers around the world, many of whom do not have access to advanced diagnostics and treatment advice.

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Loss of mastodons aided domestication of pumpkins, squash

If Pleistocene megafauna -- mastodons, mammoths, giant sloths and others -- had not become extinct, humans might not be eating pumpkin pie and squash for the holidays, according to an international team of anthropologists.

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The Sepia Rainbow: The fascinating story of human skin

Nina Jablonski’s focus on skin began with a request to give a lecture. It was 1991, and she and her husband and collaborator George Chaplin had recently moved from Hong Kong to take positions at the University of Western Australia.

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Skip Smith commits $5 million to advance brain repair research

Penn State alumnus and philanthropist Charles H. “Skip” Smith has committed $5 million to advance the research of Gong Chen, professor of biology and the Verne M. Willaman Chair in Life Sciences in the Eberly College of Science.

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Penn State, Harvard team up to enhance science education for minority students

Jablonski and Gates hoping to inspire love of STEM through genetics and genealogy research

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Headed for the field: Commercializing a new diagnostic test for cows

Troy Ott, professor of reproductive physiology in the College of Agricultural Sciences, is developing a blood test that dairy farmers and livestock veterinarians can use to tell whether a cow failed to conceive after insemination.

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Rice Research to Production short course helps young scholars advance their careers in rice science

Getting their feet wet in rice paddies, three Asia Rice Foundation USA (ARFUSA) grant winners and other scholars learn how rice is connected to the international community.

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Penn State receives prestigious HEED Award for diversity

Penn State has received the 2015 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

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Gut bacteria could be blamed for obesity and diabetes

An excess of bacteria in the gut can change the way the liver processes fat and could lead to the development of metabolic syndrome, according to health researchers.

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Molecular motor grows cell's microtubules

Motor proteins that pause at the ends of microtubules and produce pushing forces can also stimulate their growth, according to researchers at Penn State.

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Response to environmental change depends on individual variation in partnership between corals and algae

New research reveals that some corals are more protective than others of their partner algae in harsh environmental conditions.

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Bees to scientists: "We're more complicated than you think"

Chemical signaling among social insects, such as bees, ants and wasps, is more complex than previously thought, according to researchers at Penn State and Tel Aviv University, whose results refute the idea that a single group of chemicals controls reproduction across numerous species.

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New technology discovered for brain repair: Chemical transformation of human glial cells into neurons

For the first time, researchers have used a cocktail of small molecules to transform human brain cells, called astroglial cells, into functioning neurons for brain repair.

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Stress in adolescence prepares rats for future challenges

Rats exposed to frequent physical, social, and predatory stress during adolescence solved problems and foraged more efficiently under high-threat conditions in adulthood compared with rats that developed without stress, according to Penn State researchers.

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Interdisciplinary graduate training at Penn State enhanced by NIH supplemental award

An $80,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with matching support from the University, will fund five years of advanced training in data reproducibility and entrepreneurship.

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Oligo synthesis service discontinued

The Penn State Genomics Core no longer provides oligonucleotide synthesis as a service. However, IDT and Penn State have established an internet ordering portal for researchers at University Park that automatically discounts your orders and provides free shipping on all non-expedited orders.

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Caterpillar deceives corn plant into lowering defenses against it

In a deception that likely has evolved over thousands of years, a caterpillar that feeds on corn leaves induces the plant to turn off its defenses against insect predators, allowing the caterpillar to eat more and grow faster, according to chemical ecologists in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

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Only above-water microbes play a role in cave development

Only the microbes located above the water's surface contribute to the development of hydrogen-sulfide-rich caves, suggests an international team of researchers.

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Water heals a bioplastic

A drop of water self-heals a multiphase polymer derived from the genetic code of squid ring teeth, which may someday extend the life of medical implants, fiber-optic cables and other hard to repair in place objects, according to an international team of researchers.

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Macromolecular X-ray Crystallography and Automated Biological Calorimetry Facilities Newsletter Summer 2015

Auto-ITC 200 gets a system upgrade VP-Cap DSC has a new heater Next free training sessions for auto ITC, DSC and CD is scheduled for Sept. 24, 2015

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