The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences


Textbook for Domestic Animal Reproductive Genomics

Center member Troy Ott co-edited "Reproductive Genomics in Domestic Animals," a thorough examination of genomics in the livestock industry, encompassing genome sciences, genome biotechnology, and reproduction.

Recent developments in molecular genetics and genomics have enabled scientists to identify and characterize genes contributing to the complexity of reproduction in domestic animals, allowing scientists to improve reproductive traits.

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Introducing Jian Yang

There is a new researcher in the Millennium Science Complex developing vascular grafts to treat atherosclerosis, bio-glue to aid wound closure without stitches, a biopolymer to induce bone regeneration, an injectible hydrogel to aid in cancer treatment, and biodegradable photoluminescent nanomaterials for use in therapeutic nanomedicine.

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Public health messages can influence infectious disease stigmas

Crafting public health messages about a disease may create stigmas that influence how likely people are to endorse certain interventions " such as isolating infected persons, forcing treatment on them, and mapping their location " according to researcher Rachel Smith.

Dr. Smith used a hypothetical disease — a virus carried by rodents — to develop 16 different health alerts describing the virus and those who were infected.

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New method of resurfacing bone improves odds of successful grafts

Coating a bone graft with an inorganic compound found in bones and teeth may significantly increase the likelihood of a successful implant, according to researchers including Henry Donahue at Penn State's College of Medicine.

Natural bone grafts need to be sterilized and processed with chemicals and radiation before implantation into the body to ensure that disease is not transmitted by the graft. Human bones have a rough surface.

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Research looks at hydrology, soil constraints to shale-gas development

Across the Appalachian Plateau in Pennsylvania, 50 to 70 percent of shale-gas pads are being developed on slopes that could be prone to erosion and sedimentation problems, according to Patrick Drohan and other researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

The potential for erosion problems is substantial because of the extensive scale of the shale-gas play, said Dr.

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A warm, wet fall would dampen foliage colors

This summer was notable because of drought conditions in June and July, and searing heat in July, but that won't limit the beauty of Pennsylvania's fall foliage.

Instead, it's the next few weeks' weather that will be determinant, according to Marc Abrams, a forest expert in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

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Physiology students awarded for research and scholarship

Paige Chandler, Alexandra Machikas, Mariano Russo, Sarah Owusu, Nathan Garvin, and Darshan Trivedi have all received awards from state and national institutions.

“We have a group of serious young scientists who are committed to excellence.  I commend their recent accomplishments and look forward to their continued career development as they matriculate through the Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Physiology,” said

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ScholarSphere repository launched

Designed to collect, preserve, and share digital research content across a broad spectrum of academic disciplines and media types, ScholarSphere is now available to the Penn State University community.

Created at Penn State, ScholarSphere will promote research collaboration and discovery while preserving the University’s immense and growing archive of digital research information.

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DNA analysis aids in classifying single-celled algae

A group of single-celled algae known as Symbiodinium, which live inside corals and are critical to their survival, are only now being separated into species via DNA analysis by researchers including Todd LaJeunesse.

For nearly 260 years, since Carl Linnaeus developed his system of naming plants and animals, researchers have classified species based on visual attributes like color, shape, and size; but in the past few decades, researchers have found that species can be more accurately identified through DNA s

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Wolf mange is part of nature's cycle

Emily Almberg and Peter Hudson discuss the impact of mange and viral diseases on the wolf packs living in Yellowstone National Park.

Following the restoration of gray wolves to Yellowstone in 1996, researchers collected blood from the animals to monitor parasite-induced disease and death, and they also tracked the wolves in each pack to follow their survival and allow additional data-gathering.

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Huge study of the human genome includes Penn State research

The first integrated understanding of the functioning of the human genome has finally been published"the triumphant result of a collaborative five-year project involving more than 440 researchers in 32 labs worldwide.

On September 6, 2012, the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements project, also known as ENCODE, published a massive number of scientific papers—including 1 main integrative paper and 5 others in Nature, 18 in Genome Research, 6 in Genome Biology, and other affiliated papers in Scien

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In touch with Peter Hudson

The Huck Institutes' director champions a collaborative approach to life science research at Penn State.

Peter Hudson came to Penn State a decade ago from the University of Stirling, in his native Great Britain, to serve as the Verne Willaman Chair of Biology.

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New Illumina DNA sequencers acquired by the Genomics Core Facility

A HiSeq 2000 has been obtained through a grant from the National Science Foundation's Major Research Instrumentation Program, and a MiSeq has been purchased with funding from the Huck Institutes.


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Gulf of Mexico research led by Penn State biologist will be honored with government award

The project, led by Penn State professor and lead scientist Charles Fisher and project manager James Brooks of TDI Brooks International, has been honored by the National Oceanographic Partnership Program with the Excellence in Partnership award.

Entitled "Exploration and Research of Northern Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Natural and Artificial Hard Bottom Habitats with Emphasis on Coral Communities: Reefs, Rigs, and Wrecks," and also known as "Lophelia II" (for the main reef-building coral found in deep waters in the Gulf), the project has re

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Call for proposals: Shared Technology Facilities pilot projects

Principal investigators are eligible for up to $10,000 per proposal; deadline for submissions is October 1, 2012.

Deadline for submissions: October 1, 2012
Award date: November 1, 2012
Funds available: TBD
Likely support: multiple awards of up to $10,000

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Announcing the John Snow Biomedical Seminars

A lecture and open forum for discussing broader issues in biomedical sciences, to be held on the first Thursday of each month at 5:15pm

About John Snow

John Snow was an independent-thinking physician who pre-empted the germ theory of disease and stopped the 1854 major cholera epidemic in London by simply removing the handle of the water pump on Broad Street.

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Graduate Program Research Retreat

Projects by faculty and graduate students featured at second annual event

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ScholarSphere repository will enable research sharing and discovery

On September 24, Penn State will launch a new online repository service which will allow users to securely collect, preserve, and share scholarly works with the Penn State community and the world.

ScholarSphere will allow users to securely collect, preserve, and share scholarly works such as research data sets, working papers, reports, posters, and video and image collections with the Penn State community and the world.

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Darwin was right: the Eastern Pacific Barrier is virtually impassable by coral species

Iliana Baums and colleagues have discovered that a coral species found in abundance from Indonesia eastward to Fiji, Samoa, and the Line Islands rarely crosses the Eastern Pacific Barrier toward the coast of the Americas.

Charles Darwin hypothesized in 1880 that most species could not disperse across the marine barrier, and Baums' study is the first comprehensive test of that hypothesis using coral.

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Is it possible to save coral reefs?

Coral reefs are suffering from overfishing and other types of resource exploitation, and are being degraded by pollution from sewage and agricultural runoff as well as by increasing sea-surface temperatures and acidification as a result of global warming.

It's one thing for consumers to know intellectually that our gas-guzzling, polluting ways are taking their toll on the planet.

It's another thing to connect all the dots in terms of actions and consequences.

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