Practical Data Analyisis course offered Fall 2011
Introduce students to the various applications of high-throughput sequencing as it relates to life sciences research.
Graduate students needed for NIH Training Grant in Animal Models of Inflammation
Applications are being accepted for the four positions available as part of the NIH training grant awarded to Penn State for research in animal models of inflammation.
Increased Next-Generation Sequencing Capacity
The Genomics Core Facility at University Park has increased its next-generation sequencing capacity with the addition of an Ion PGM by Ion Torrent and by upgrading their existing SOLiD 4 to the 5500xl SOLiD system.
Symposium on biological calorimetry
On Friday, May 13th, 2011, the Center for RNA Molecular Biology and the Automated Biological Calorimetry Facility hosted a symposium on biological calorimetry with over 60 attendees.
New mass spectrometry equipment empowers proteomics research at Penn State
A new high resolution mass spectrometer will provide high-end proteomics capabilities to researchers at all Penn State campuses.
Epidemic! Infectious Disease on a Changing Planet
This series of six public lectures on consecutive Saturday mornings is designed as a free minicourse in infectious diseases for the general public.
Unexpected Discovery Reveals Key Protein Plays a Crucial Role in Regeneration of Injured Nerve Cells
New research conducted by a Penn State research team, sheds light on the mechanism by which damaged nerve cells are repaired. Their findings point to the impact of a motor protein, Kinesin-2, in steering the successful growth and organization of the polarized microtubule arrays contained within neurons.
Reversing autism in a petri dish
Using stem cells taken from the skin of patients with Rett syndrome - the most physically disabling of the autism disorders researchers replicated autism in the lab, identified disease-specific cellular defects, and demonstrated that these defects are reversible. The results raise the hope that, one day, autism may become a treatable condition.
Students spread flu with thousands of close encounters
On a typical day, high school students engage more than 760,000 social interactions that can spread an infectious disease, according to researchers, who suggest that using social contact networks to devise immunization strategies would be more effective than random vaccination campaigns.
Loss of species increases infectious disease risk
As biodiversity declines, the emergence and transmission of infectious diseases increases, according to a review of current experimental data published this month in Nature. In an age of unprecedented species extinction rates, it is urgent that the biodiversity of natural ecosystems be preserved to protect humans from increasing pathogenic threats.
Researchers propose new cause of major depressive disorder
GABAergic deficits appear to play a central and causal role in Major Depressive Disorder, a neuropsychiatric disorder affecting approximately 17% of the population worldwide, according to researchers from the Center for Molecular Investigation of Neurological Disorders.
Computations 19x faster with new adaptive algorithm
Researchers using a new algorithmic process for a heuristic embedding strategy they call "Adaptive GDDA-BLAST" can now see the results of their computations 19 times faster than with their previous computational method. The new method has the added benefits of detecting structural homology in highly divergent protein sequences and isolating secondary structural elements of transmembrane and ankyrin-repeat domains, with possibly wide-ranging impacts on human health and disease studies.
Institute for CyberScience Faculty Fellows Program
The ICS Faculty Fellows Program is now accepting applications for 2011 for internal funding.
Huck Institutes' graduate programs ranked among the nation's best
Three of the Huck Institutes' graduate programs were ranked among the nation's best in the latest report from the National Research Council (NRC). The NRC study ranked 5,000 doctoral programs from 212 universities in over 60 fields.
Root decomposition study calls for new experimental methods
Observations made in a new study of root decomposition dynamics to be published by the Ecological Society of America later this year were in some cases directly opposed to classic hypotheses, suggesting that true understanding of the contributions of root turnover to carbon and nutrient cycling requires a fundamental shift in experimental methods.
Possible new target found in fight against malaria
A team of Penn State researchers has determined the dynamic expression and cellular localization of the PfMYST protein, and provided experimental evidence about its role in transcription regulation, cell cycle progression and DNA damage repair, providing a possible new target in the fight against a drug-resistant and extremely virulent form of malaria.
Sequencing chocolate genome helps farmers in the developing world
The sequencing and analysis of the genome for Theobroma cacao, the chocolate tree, has been completed by an international team that included Mark Guiltinan, Siela Maximova, Stephan C. Schuster, John E. Carlson, Zi Shi, Michael Axtell, Zhaorong Ma, and Yufan Zhang of the Huck Institutes. The team sequenced the cacao Criollo type that produces a fine flavored chocolate, using a specimen that was collected in the Mayan mountains of Belize. The identification of various gene families that impact specific plant qualities and disease resistance could lead to accelerated breeding programs which would have a beneficial impact on the economy of many developing countries in which cocoa is of great economic importance.
Scientists capture first-ever atomic view of key genetic processes
Using a 3-D visualization method called X-ray crystallography, Song Tan, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology has built the first-ever image of a protein interacting with the nucleosome -- DNA packed tightly into space-saving bundles organized around a protein core. The research, performed at the Penn State Center for Eukaryotic Gene Regulation of the Huck Institutes, is expected to aid future investigations into diseases such as cancer.
Pulsed UV light shows promise in delivering a safer egg
Pulsed UV light has the ability to reduce Salmonella Enteritidis on eggshells by 99.999998%, greatly increasing public food safety, without affecting the quality of the egg, the strength of its shell or damaging its natural protective layer, the cuticle, Penn State researchers, including Ali Demirci of the Huck Institutes, found.
Ancient gene family linked to the future of epileptic seizures
A potassium-channel gene belonging to an ancient gene family more than 542 million years old is opening new avenues in epilepsy research, and may one day allow researchers to develop more effective drugs with fewer side effects for the treatment of epileptic seizures.