PHILADELPHIA — Vision is amazing because it seems so mundane. Peoples’ eyes, nerves and brains translate light into electrochemical signals and then into an experience of the world around them. A close look at the physics of just the first part of this process shows that even seemingly simple tasks, like keeping a stable perception of an object’s color in different lighting conditions or distinguishing black and white objects, is, in fact, very challenging.
WHO: Michael Meister, professor of South Asia Studies in the Department of Art History at the University of Pennsylvania
WHAT: Penn Lightbulb Café lecture on “Conducting Research in Pakistan: Restoring Religious Monuments in Swat”
Keith Hampton of the Annenberg School for Communication comments on how Facebook might bebeneficial to users’ relationships.
PHILADELPHIA - Scientists at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine Center for Research in FOP and Related Disorders have developed a new genetic approach to specifically block the damaged copy of the gene for a rare bone disease, while leaving the normal copy untouched.
PHILADELPHIA —The documentary “Saving Philanthropy” will be shown on Wednesday, Nov. 9, from 4:30 to 7 p.m., in 1206 Steinberg Dietrich-Hall, 3620 Locust Walk, on the University of Pennsylvania campus. The event is hosted by the Center for High Impact Philanthropy, the School of Social Policy & Practice, the Wharton Program for Social Impact and the Wharton Leadership Program.
PHILADELPHIA - The most common form of heritable cognitive impairment is Fragile X Syndrome, caused by mutation or malfunction of the FMR1 gene. Loss of FMR1 function is also the most common genetic cause of autism. Understanding how this gene works is vital to finding new treatments to help Fragile X patients and others.
Janet Monge of the School of Arts and Sciences and Penn Museum is cited for her skeleton research.
Richard Gelles has written a book, and he is pretty sure about one thing: He is going to upset a lot of people — liberals and conservatives alike.
PHILADELPHIA - Obesity and insulin resistance are almost inevitably associated with increases in lipid accumulation in the liver, a serious disease that can deteriorate to hepatitis and liver failure. A real paradox in understanding insulin resistance is figuring out why insulin-resistant livers make more fat. Insulin resistance occurs when the body does a poor job of lowering blood sugars.
PHILADELPHIA - The pigmented cells called melanocytes aren't just for making freckles and tans. Melanocytes absorb ultraviolet light, protecting the skin from the harmful effects of the sun. They also are the cells that go haywire in melanoma, as well as in more common conditions as vitiligo and albinism.