Using a video game in which people navigate through a virtual town delivering objects to specific locations, a team of neuroscientists from the University of Pennsylvania and Freiburg University has discovered how brain cells that encode spatial information form “geotags” for specific memories and are activated immediately before those memories are recalled.
WHO: Alison Sweeney
Assistant Professor of Physics
The blood stem cells that live in bone marrow are at the top of a complex family tree. Such stem cells split and divide down various pathways that ultimately produce red cells, white cells and platelets.
WHO: Anthony H. Williams
Pennsylvania State Senator
The instructions for building all of the body’s proteins are contained in a person’s DNA, a string of chemicals that, if unwound and strung end to end, would form a sentence 3 billion letters long.
Burgeoning India is facing historic macroeconomic instability, and 2014 is shaping up to be a contentious election year there. Add a rapidly growing population and an overtaxed infrastructure, and it’s clear India is a case study in the urgent need for innovation.
It’s no coincidence that the expression “to leave a bitter taste in one’s mouth” has a double meaning; people often have strong negative reactions to bitter substances, which, though found in healthful foods like vegetables, can also signify toxicity. For this reason, the ability to sense bitterness likely played an important role in human evolution.
For solar panels, wringing every drop of energy from as many photons as possible is imperative. This goal has sent chemistry, materials science and electronic engineering researchers on a quest to boost the energy-absorption efficiency of photovoltaic devices, but existing techniques are now running up against limits set by the laws of physics.
An interdisciplinary team of University of Pennsylvania researchers has already developed a technique for controlling liquid crystals by means of physical templates and elastic energy, rather than the electromagnetic fields that manipulate them in televisions and computer monitors. They envision using this technique to direct the assembly of other materials, such as nanoparticles.