Natural Science

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604April 15, 2015

Penn Senior Adrian Lievano to Tackle Water Security in Kenya

blurb: 
Building prosthetic limbs and developing rain-water filtration systems may seem like they have nothing in common. But to Adrian Lievano, a University of Pennsylvania senior from Miami majoring in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics, there’s a synergy: In both cases, the user is the designer’s top priority.

By Madeleine Stone @themadstone       

(This is the second in a series of features introducing the inaugural Penn President’s Engagement Prize winners.)  

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604April 13, 2015

Penn Researchers Help Make Maps of the Universe’s Dark Matter

blurb: 
Members of the Dark Energy Survey have released the first in a series of maps that show the concentration of dark matter in the cosmos. These maps, created with one of the world’s most powerful digital cameras, are the largest contiguous maps created at this level of detail and will improve researchers’ understanding of dark matter’s role in the formation of galaxies.

Members of the Dark Energy Survey have released the first in a series of maps that show the concentration of dark matter in the cosmos.

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194April 10, 2015

Penn Dental Medicine Launches First Open Online Course

blurb: 
The School of Dental Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania's free online course, “Introduction to Dental Medicine,” will allow anyone with access to the Internet to learn what dentistry is all about.

By Sarah Welsh

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604April 9, 2015

After the Higgs: Penn Gears Up for New Physics Discoveries at CERN

blurb: 
After a two-year hiatus, the Large Hadron Collider is gearing up for its second run. The LHC enabled the 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson, which gives mass to all particles, but the world’s most complicated scientific apparatus is far from finished

by Sarah Welsh

After a two-year hiatus, the Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, is gearing up for its second run. The LHC enabled the 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson, which gives mass to all particles, but the world’s most complicated scientific apparatus is far from finished

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Media Contact:Amanda Mott | ammott@upenn.edu | 215-898-1422April 9, 2015

On the Road, Penn Senior Examines Environmental-Economic Conflict

blurb: 
An interest in journalism led senior Brennan Cusack of Santa Barbara, Calif., on a road trip focused on examining cases of environmental-economic conflict.

By Julie McWilliams

Aspiring journalist Brennan Cusack set off on a solo cross-country trek last summer to get an insider’s look and to research four instances where environmental and economic interests were at odds.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604April 6, 2015

Penn, Johns Hopkins and UCSB Research: Differences in Neural Activity Change Learning Rate

blurb: 
A new study suggests that recruiting unnecessary parts of the brain for a given task, akin to over-thinking the problem, plays a critical role in the difference between people who pick up a new skill faster or slower.

Why do some people learn a new skill right away, while others only gradually improve? Whatever else may be different about their lives, something must be happening in their brains that captures this variation.

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194
Media Contact:Peter Iglinski | peter.iglinski@rochester.edu | 585-273-4726April 6, 2015

Penn-Rochester Study Identifies a Novel Way to Deliver Drugs to Control Dental Plaque

Therapeutic agents intended to reduce dental plaque and prevent tooth decay are often removed by saliva and the act of swallowing before they can take effect. But a team of researchers has developed a way to keep the drugs from being washed away.

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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.