Natural Science

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194April 6, 2015

Penn Celebrates National Public Health Week

Penn's health schools are celebrating National Public Health Week by featuring stories that highlight public health efforts across the University. Follow along on Twitter at ‪#‎PennOneHealth‬.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604April 3, 2015

Penn Researchers Use ‘Soft’ Nanoparticles to Model Behavior at Interfaces

blurb: 
By engineering nanoparticles that stick to an oil-water interface but not each other, Penn researchers have created a system that acts like a two-dimensional liquid.

Where water and oil meet, a two-dimensional world exists. This interface presents a potentially useful set of properties for chemists and engineers, but getting anything more complex than a soap molecule to stay there and behave predictably remains a challenge.   

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604March 31, 2015

Penn Team Discovers New Liquid Crystal Configurations

blurb: 
Water-based liquid crystals are less well understood than their oil-based counterparts. New research advances the understanding of this class of materials by confining a water-based liquid crystal in a cylinder.

Oil-based liquid crystals are ubiquitous; a deep understanding of their properties is behind the displays found in most computer monitors, televisions and smartphones. Water-based liquid crystals are less well understood, though their biocompatibility makes them a potential candidate for a variety of biological and medical applications. 

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Media Contact:Amanda Mott | ammott@upenn.edu | 215-898-1422March 31, 2015

Penn Netter Center’s STEM Programs Promote Inclusion and Better Science

blurb: 
Amir Jones, a 10th grade student at West Philadelphia’s Sayre High School, has always had an interest in science, but partnership activities coordinated by Moelis Access Science, a program operated by the University of Pennsylvania’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships, helped his interests reach a whole new level.

By Julie McWilliams

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604March 26, 2015

Swimming Algae Offer Penn Researchers Insights Into Living Fluid Dynamics

blurb: 
Very little is known about the dynamics of so-called “living fluids,” those containing cells, microorganisms or other biological structures. Penn researchers have shown how a model organism's swimming strokes change along with a fluid's elasticity.

 By Madeleine Stone  @themadstone

None of us would be alive if sperm cells didn’t know how to swim, or if the cilia in our lungs couldn’t prevent fluid buildup. But we know very little about the dynamics of so-called “living fluids,” those containing cells, microorganisms or other biological structures.

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194March 24, 2015

New Penn Program Studies the Body’s Cells, One By One

blurb: 
The Penn Program in Single Cell Biology is a new effort by faculty members James Eberwine and Junhyong Kim to understand biology as it happens in each individual cell.

By Sarah Welsh

Cancer starts with a single cell going haywire. What is it about that one cell that makes it different from the rest, setting it on a path of destruction? A new program at the University of Pennsylvania may help find an answer to that and many other questions.

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194March 16, 2015
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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194March 16, 2015

Penn Vet Team Points to New Colon Cancer Culprit

blurb: 
Colon cancer is a heavily studied disease — and for good reason. It is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide, and its numbers are on the rise, from 500,00 deaths in 1990 to 700,000 in 2010. This growth comes despite scientists’ ever-increasing knowledge of the genetic mutations that initiate and drive this disease. Now, a team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania has found evidence of a new culprit in the disease, a protein called MSI2.

Colon cancer is a heavily studied disease — and for good reason. It is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide, and its numbers are on the rise, from 500,000 deaths in 1990 to 700,000 in 2010.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604March 12, 2015

Penn and ExxonMobil Researchers Address Long-standing Mysteries Behind Anti-wear Motor Oil Additive

blurb: 
Motor oil contains chemical additives that extend how long engines can run without failure, but, despite decades of ubiquity, how such additives actually work to prevent this damage have remained a mystery.

The pistons in your car engine rub up against their cylinder walls thousands of times a minute; without lubrication in the form of motor oil, they and other parts of the engine would quickly wear away, causing engine failure.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604March 11, 2015

Penn Researchers Develop Way of Making Light-bending ‘Raspberry-like Metamolecules’

blurb: 
Penn researchers have now devised a way of mass-producing metamaterials that exhibit magnetic resonance in optical frequencies.

The field of metamaterials is all about making structures that have physical properties that aren’t found in nature. Predicting what kinds of structures would have those traits is one challenge; physically fabricating them is quite another, as they often require precise arrangement of constituent materials on the smallest scales.