Natural Science

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PIK Prof Chris Murray: From Industry to Ivy League

For Christopher B. Murray, the promise of major investments in nanoscale science and technology—including a commitment to build what is now the world-class Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology—lured him from a big-time career in industry to a whole new world at Penn.

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

Penn Engineer Danielle Bassett Receives 2014 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship

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Bassett will receive a five-year, $625,000, no-strings-attached grant. She is being recognized for her research that uses network science to better understand on how the brain can learn and adapt.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced Wednesday that the University of Pennsylvania’s Danielle S. Bassett has been selected as a 2014 MacArthur Fellow.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604September 15, 2014

Penn Team Studies Nanocrystals by Passing Them Through Tiny Pores

An interdisciplinary team of University of Pennsylvania researchers has now applied a cutting-edge technique for rapid gene sequencing toward measuring other nanoscopic structures. By passing nanoscale spheres and rods through a tiny hole in a membrane, the team was able to measure the electrical properties of those structures’ surfaces.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604September 14, 2014

Penn Research Helps Uncover Mechanism Behind Solid-Solid Phase Transitions

Two solids made of the same elements but with different geometric arrangements of the atoms, or crystal phases, can produce materials with different properties. Coal and diamond offer a spectacular example of this effect.

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194September 9, 2014

Penn Study Finds Genetic Mutations Linked With Ethnic Disparities in Cancer

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In a new study published in the journal BMC Medical Genomics, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania identified more than 30 previously undescribed mutations in important regulatory molecules called microRNAs. Many of these mutations influence whether a person develops cancer or the severity of the disease.

One of the goals of genome sequencing is to identify genetic mutations associated with increased susceptibility to disease. Yet by and large these discoveries have been made in people of European or Asian ancestry, resulting in an incomplete picture of global genetic variation in disease vulnerability.

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

Penn Research Shows How Brain Can Tell Magnitude of Errors

University of Pennsylvania researchers have made another advance in understanding how the brain detects errors caused by unexpected sensory events. This type of error detection is what allows the brain to learn from its mistakes, which is critical for improving fine motor control.  

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604September 5, 2014

Penn Engineers Advance Understanding of Graphene’s Friction Properties

An interdisciplinary team of engineers from the University of Pennsylvania has made a discovery regarding the surface properties of graphene, the Nobel-prize winning material that consists of an atomically thin sheet of carbon atoms.

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Media Contact:Amanda Mott | ammott@upenn.edu | 215-898-1422September 4, 2014

Penn Sophomore Seeks to Globalize Iceland’s Innovations in Renewable Energy

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This summer, University of Pennsylvania sophomore Elizabeth Dresselhaus of Boulder, Colo., studied renewable energy in Iceland, a country with vast reserves of geothermal energy and hydropower.

By Christina Cook

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194September 4, 2014

Plant-based Research at Penn Prevents Complication of Hemophilia Treatment in Mice

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In a new study, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine and the University of Florida College of Medicine teamed up to develop a strategy to prevent a common complication of hemophilia treatment.

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Audio: Penn Professor Alison Sweeney Explains the Mysterious Sex Lives of Corals

August 28, 2014

Alison Sweeney of the School of Arts & Sciences is interviewed about studying the sex lives of corals.