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Latest Penn State University Stories

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2010-08-02 08:08:01

New research points to a genetic route to understanding and treating epilepsy. Timothy Jegla, an assistant professor of biology at Penn State University, has identified an ancient gene family that plays a role in regulating the excitability of nerves within the brain. "In healthy people, nerves do not fire excessively in response to small stimuli. This function allows us to focus on what really matters. Nerve cells maintain a threshold between rest and excitement, and a stimulus has to cross...

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2010-06-24 09:30:00

Discoveries about tropical coral reefs, published on June 23, 2010, are expected to be invaluable in efforts to restore the corals, which are succumbing to bleaching and other diseases at an unprecedented rate as ocean temperatures rise worldwide. The research gives new insights into how the scientists can help to preserve or restore the coral reefs that protect coastlines, foster tourism, and nurture many species of fish. The research, published in the journal PLoS One, was accomplished by...

2010-05-25 10:22:00

WASHINGTON, May 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Background: America's Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) President and CEO Regina Hopper issued the following statement on a report released today by Penn State University showing jobs and economic growth as a result of natural gas development in Pennsylvania. The study shows natural gas production in Pennsylvania from the Marcellus shale could generate more than $8 billion in economic benefits this year and add more than 88,000 jobs in the state -...

2010-05-20 12:30:00

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Pistachio nuts, eaten as part of a healthy diet, can increase the levels of antioxidants in the blood of adults with high cholesterol, according to an international team of nutritional scientists. (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100520/CG08300) "Our previous study showed the benefits of pistachios in lowering lipids and lipoproteins, which are a risk factor for heart disease," said Penny Kris-Etherton, distinguished professor of...

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2010-04-06 09:15:00

As our telescopes grow more powerful, astronomers are uncovering objects that defy conventional wisdom. The latest example is the discovery of a planet-like object circling a brown dwarf. It's the right size for a planet, estimated to be 5-10 times the mass of Jupiter. But the object formed in less than 1 million years "” the approximate age of the brown dwarf "” and much faster than the predicted time it takes to build planets according to some theories. Kamen Todorov of Penn...

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2010-03-31 08:36:48

"Blindsnakes are not very pretty, are rarely noticed, and are often mistaken for earthworms," admits Blair Hedges, professor of biology at Penn State University. "Nonetheless, they tell a very interesting evolutionary story." Hedges and Nicolas Vidal, of the Mus©um National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris, are co-leaders of the team that discovered that blindsnakes are one of the few groups of organisms that inhabited Madagascar when it broke from India about 100 million years ago and are...

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2010-03-08 15:35:39

A team of scientists has discovered that the drastic decline in Arctic musk ox populations that began roughly 12,000 years ago was due to a warming climate rather than to human hunting.  "This is the first study to use ancient musk ox DNA collected from across the animal's former geographic range to test for human impacts on musk ox populations," said Beth Shapiro, the Shaffer Career Development assistant professor of biology at Penn State University and one of the team's leaders. ...

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2010-02-17 14:38:33

Benefits for human health expected Human genomes from Southern African Bushmen and Bantu individuals have been sequenced by a team of scientists seeking a greater understanding of human genetic variation and its effect on human health. The study's findings will be published in the journal Nature on 18 February 2010. The research was completed by scientists from American, African, and Australian research institutions, with support from Penn State University in the United States and from...

2009-12-06 13:51:03

Structurally, functionally different cell component replaces injured part Studies with fruit flies have shown that the specialized nerve cells called neurons can rebuild themselves after injury. These results, potentially relevant to research efforts to improve the treatment of patients with traumatic nerve damage or neurodegenerative disease, were presented at the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) 49th Annual Meeting, Dec. 5-9, 2009 in San Diego. An injured neuron's remarkable ability...

2009-10-29 09:00:00

BIGLERVILLE, Pa., Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania acting Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced today that after 10 years, the Plum Pox Virus has been eradicated in the state. The Plum Pox Virus is a disease that severely affects stone fruit production. Found in Adams County peach trees in 1999 -- the first-ever detection of the virus in North America -- the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the United States Department of Agriculture, and Penn State...


Word of the Day
abrosia
  • Wasting away as a result of abstinence from food.
The word 'abrosia' comes from a Greek roots meaning 'not' and 'eating'.