University Communications Staff

Evan Lerner

Science News Officer

Astronomy, Chemistry, Computer Science, Computing, Engineering, PCI, Penn Science Café, Physics, Science, Technology, Weiss Tech House


Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. Named from the Latin for “glue,” its springy, tough coils are the main component of connective tissue, like ligaments and tendons, as well as of skin.
How does the brain determine which direction to let its thoughts fly? Looking for the mechanisms behind cognitive control of thought, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, University of California and United States Army Research Laboratory have used brain scans to shed new light on this question.
The precise link between concussions and debilitating conditions like chronic traumatic encephalopathy is still being explored, but as the name suggests, repeated head injuries are a main culprit. Unfortunately, unlike a broken bone or a torn ligament, concussions are invisible and tricky to diagnose.
The Y-Prize is returning for a fourth year, encouraging people throughout the Penn community to come up with business plans for technology emerging from the University’s engineering and medical labs.
Graphene, a one-atom thick lattice of carbon atoms, has been the focus of intense research since its discovery more than a decade ago. Effectively two-dimensional, graphene has unique physical properties and ultra-high conductivity and promises to revolutionize electronic devices as the ability to mass produce it grows.
On Friday, Sept. 4, nearly 2,000 of the world’s top young computer scientists and engineers assembled in the bowl of the Wells Fargo Center. They were awaiting the start of PennApps, the world’s largest collegiate hackathon. In the opening ceremony, Vijay Kumar, the Nemirovsky Family Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, put a fine point on the purpose of the event.
The National Science Foundation awarded the University of Pennsylvania’s Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology a five-year, $5 Million grant to establish the Mid-Atlantic Nanotechnology Hub for Research, Education, & Innovation.
The University of Puerto Rico and University of Pennsylvania have been awarded a $3 million National Science Foundation grant to support their Partnership for Research and Education in Materials.
Most studies of psychological mechanisms involve watching those mechanisms in action and then devising a theory for how they work.
The first NFL game of the 2015 season kicks off a week from today, and with it, a national conversation about the long-term health effects of concussions will be reignited. Deaths of former players and a lawsuit from others, books and documentaries about the league’s reticence to come to grips with medical evidence, and now a Hollywood dramatization of this saga, make this crisis hard to ignore.