Natural Science

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194June 19, 2014

Penn Biologist Daniel Janzen Selected to Receive Blue Planet Prize

blurb: 
Daniel Janzen of the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Biology was chosen to receive a 2014 Blue Planet Prize, an international environmental award sponsored by the Asahi Glass Foundation.

Daniel Janzen of the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Biology in the School of Arts & Sciences was chosen to receive a 2014 Blue Planet Prize,

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194June 18, 2014

Penn Team Links Placental Marker of Prenatal Stress to Neurodevelopmental Problems

blurb: 
New findings by University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine scientists suggest that an enzyme found in the placenta is likely playing an important role in translating stress experienced by a mother early in pregnancy into a reprogramming of her developing baby's brain.

When a woman experiences a stressful event early in pregnancy, the risk of her child developing autism spectrum disorders or schizophrenia increases. Yet how maternal stress is transmitted to the brain of the developing fetus, leading to these problems in neurodevelopment, is poorly understood. 

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604June 18, 2014

Penn Lends Support to National ‘Maker Movement’

In conjunction with the first White House Maker Faire being held today, the University of Pennsylvania signed a joint letter along with more than 150 other institutions, pledging support to foster a “generation of makers.” The letter details the need for young tinkerers, inventors and entrepreneurs to bring life to future innovations.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604June 17, 2014

Preview of Penn Engineering’s New 3-D Printing Lab as Part of National ‘Day of Making’

This fall, thanks to an anonymous $250,000 gift, the University of Pennsylvania‘s School of Engineering and Applied Science will be opening the AddLab, a new additive manufacturing facility that will feature a suite of state-of-the-art 3-D printing tools.

Who

Robert W. Carpick

John Henry Towne Professor and Department Chair
Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics
School of Engineering and Applied Science          
University of Pennsylvania

Mechanical Engineering Faculty and Students

What

Tour of new additive manufacturing facility
Demonstration of 3-D printed objects
 

When

Wednesday, June 18, 12-1 p.m. 

Where

Towne Building Room 187 (gather by the CyberCafe)
Chancellor Walk Entrance
Accessible from 34th and Walnut streets

Details

This fall, thanks to an anonymous $250,000 gift, the University of Pennsylvania‘s School of Engineering and Applied Science will be opening the AddLab, a new additive manufacturing facility that will feature a suite of state-of-the-art 3-D printing tools. Professor Robert Carpick, chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, will lead a preview of the facility; other members of the department will demonstrate 3-D printers and the kinds of objects they can make.

The event is timed to coincide with the first White House Maker Faire and national "Day of Making," a celebration of America as a nation of tinkerers, inventors and entrepreneurs who are using cutting-edge technologies like 3-D printers, laser cutters, desktop machine tools and free, user-friendly design software, democratizing the act of making and enabling citizens to build just about anything.

“Penn's founder Benjamin Franklin was an author, diplomat, inventor, physicist, engineer, politician and printer,” Carpick said. “While we can only imagine what he would think of today's revolution in manufacturing that is being brought about by the advent of 3-D printing, we are sure that he'd be proud to see Penn making its mark in the area.”

The event is free and open to the public.

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194June 11, 2014

Gum Disease Bacteria Selectively Disarm Immune System, Penn Study Finds

blurb: 
In a new study, University of Pennsylvania researchers show that bacteria responsible for many cases of periodontitis cause an imbalance in the microbial community in the gums, with a sophisticated, two-prong manipulation of the human immune system.

The human body is comprised of roughly 10 times more bacterial cells than human cells. In healthy people, these bacteria are typically harmless and often helpful, keeping disease-causing microbes at bay. But, when disturbances knock these bacterial populations out of balance, illnesses can arise. Periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease, is one example.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604June 9, 2014

Penn Research Develops ‘Onion’ Vesicles for Drug Delivery

blurb: 
University of Pennsylvania researchers have shown that a certain kind of molecule that has tree-like branches can self-assemble into drug delivery vehicles that have multiple with concentric layers of membranes.

One of the defining features of cells is their membranes. Each cell’s repository of DNA and protein-making machinery must be kept stable and secure from invaders and toxins. Scientists have attempted to replicate these properties, but, despite decades of research, even the most basic membrane structures, known as vesicles, still face many problems when made in the lab.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604June 2, 2014

University of Pennsylvania Establishes Penn Center for Innovation

President Amy Gutmann today announced the launch of the Penn Center for Innovation, a new initiative that will provide the infrastructure, leadership and resources needed to transfer promising Penn inventions, know-how and related assets into the marketplace for the public good.   

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194May 21, 2014
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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194May 20, 2014

Penn Team Identifies Promising New Target for Gum Disease Treatment

blurb: 
University of Pennsylvania researchers have been searching for ways to prevent, half and reverse periodontitis. In a report published in the Journal of Immunology, they describe a promising new target: a component of the immune system called complement.

Nearly half of all adults in the United States suffer from the gum disease periodontitis, and 8.5 percent have a severe form that can raise the risk of heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and pregnancy complications.

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194May 15, 2014

Penn Vet Study Reveals Salmonella’s Hideout Strategy

blurb: 
A study led by researchers in the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine reveals how some Salmonella bacteria hide from the immune system, allowing them to persist and cause systemic infection.

The body’s innate immune system is a first line of defense, intent on sensing invading pathogens and wiping them out before they can cause harm. It should not be surprising then that bacteria have evolved many ways to specifically evade and overcome this sentry system in order to spread infection.