PHILADELPHIA –- Biologists at the University of Pennsylvania studying oocytes in mice, the immature egg cells necessary for sexual reproduction, have demonstrated an unusual behavior in microRNA, or miRNA, activity that may be the first event in reprogramming the differentiated oocyte into pluripotent blastomeres of the embryo. MicroRNAs are a member of the family of small RNAs, the so-called dark matter of the biological world.
PHILADELPHIA –- Psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Memphis have released a new study on linguistic evolution that challenges the prominent hypothesis for why languages differ throughout the world.
The study argues that human languages may adapt more like biological organisms than previously thought and that the more common and popular the language, the simpler its construction to facilitate its survival.
Penn Biologists Explain How Organisms Can Tolerate Mutations, Yet Adapt and Survive Environmental Change
PHILADELPHIA –- Biologists at the University of Pennsylvania studying the processes of evolution appear to have resolved a longstanding conundrum: How can organisms be robust against the effects of mutations yet simultaneously adaptable when the environment changes?
PHILADELPHIA –- Skirkanich Hall, home to the Bioengineering Department in the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, has received the 2010 Institute Honor Award for Architecture from the American Institute of Architects.
Spikes in News Coverage of HPV, Cervical Cancer Linked to Increased Knowledge, but Important Information Omitted
PHILADELPHIA -– In the months surrounding the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the human papillomavirus vaccine, an increase in the volume of news coverage was associated with changes in the public’s knowledge about HPV and cervical cancer. However, a new study reveals that many news stories were missing important information, including the sexually transmitted nature of the disease.
Genetic Study Led by University of Pennsylvania and Cornell Clarifies African and African-American Ancestry
PHILADELPHIA –- People who identify as African-American may be as little as 1 percent West African or as much as 99 percent, just one finding of a large-scale, genome-wide study of African and African-American ancestry released today.
PHILADELPHIA –- Sarah-Jane Littleford, a 2009 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, has been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship for study at Oxford University in England.
Littleford, who is from Harare, Zimbabwe, was one of two Rhodes Scholars selected from that country. She learned of the honor today after an interview with the selection committee.
“I am delighted and humbled to have been selected as one of two Zimbabwe Rhodes Scholars for this year!” she said in an email this morning.
Penn, Georgia Collaboration Awarded $14.6 Million to Expand Pathogen Database, Expedite Worldwide Research
PHILADELPHIA -– Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Georgia have been awarded a five-year, $14.6 million contract from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the US National Institutes of Health, to expand and extend work on the Eukaryotic Pathogen Genome Database Resource, http://EuPathDB.org. This revolutionary open database enables scientists to examine genes, genomes, isolates, and other attributes related to a variety of important human pathogens.