Natural Science

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194February 7, 2012

Penn Biologist Daniel Janzen Honored With BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award

PHILADELPHIA — Daniel Janzen of the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Biology is the recipient of the 2011 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Ecology and Conservation Biology category. Janzen was singled out for his contributions to the conservation and scientific understanding of tropical ecosystems.

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194February 6, 2012

Penn Researchers Uncover a Mechanism to Explain Dune Field Patterns

PHILADELPHIA — In a study of the harsh but beautiful White Sands National Monument in New Mexico, University of Pennsylvania researchers have uncovered a unifying mechanism to explain dune patterns. The new work represents a contribution to basic science, but the findings may also hold implications for identifying when dune landscapes like those in Nebraska’s Sand Hills may reach a “tipping point” under climate change, going from valuable grazing land to barren desert.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604January 31, 2012

Penn Receives NSF Grant to Research Geological Record of Chilean Earthquakes

PHILADELPHIA — Geological evidence of earthquakes and tsunamis aids in anticipating the timing and magnitude of future events. This natural warning system now influences building codes and planning in the United States, Canada and Japan, particularly where the geological record demonstrates prehistoric earthquakes larger than those known from written and instrumental records.

Penn Research Finds Genetic Link Between Native Americans, Russian Region

January 30, 2012

Theodore Schurr of the School of Arts and Sciences is cited for research that helps clarify the genetic link between Native Americans and Asians.

Article Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

Survival’s Ick Factor

January 23, 2012

Paul Rozin of the School of Arts and Sciences is cited as a pioneer of modern disgust research.

Article Source: New York Times
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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604January 23, 2012

Gene Therapy Research Team From Penn Vet and Scheie Eye Institute Cures Retinitis Pigmentosa in Dogs

PHILADELPHIA -- Members of a University of Pennsylvania research team have shown that they can prevent, or even reverse, a blinding retinal disease, X-linked Retinitis Pigmentosa, or XLRP, in dogs.

The disease in humans and dogs is caused by defects in the RPGR gene and results in early, severe and progressive vision loss. It is one of the most common inherited forms of retinal degeneration in man.

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Media Contact:Jill DiSanto | jdisanto@upenn.edu | 215-898-4820January 19, 2012

Penn Researcher Examines Public-Health Issues Concerning Firearms and Senior Citizens

PHILADELPHIA — More than 17 million Americans 65 or older have at least one firearm.  Based on the current patterns of gun ownership and population growth, the number of elderly people who own a firearm is expected to increase.  In an article released by the American Journal of Public Health, Susan B.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604January 20, 2012

Penn Researchers Help Solve Questions About Ethiopians’ High-Altitude Adaptations

PHILADELPHIA --  Over many generations, people living in the high-altitude regions of the Andes or on the Tibetan Plateau have adapted to life in low-oxygen conditions. Living with such a distinct and powerful selective pressure has made these populations a textbook example of evolution in action, but exactly how their genes convey a survival advantage remains an open question.

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194January 26, 2012

Penn Anthropologists Clarify Link Between Asians and Early Native Americans

PHILADELPHIA — A tiny mountainous region in southern Siberia may have been the genetic source of the earliest Native Americans, according to new research by a University of Pennsylvania-led team of anthropologists.

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194January 12, 2012

Penn Geologist Edward Doheny Named to Irish Education 100

PHILADELPHIA — Edward Doheny of the University of Pennsylvania has been named to the 2011 Irish Education 100 by the Irish Voice newspaper. The annual list honors leading educators of Irish descent. 

Doheny is a lecturer and senior graduate advisor in Penn’s Professional Program in Applied Geoscience in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science. He traces his Irish heritage to County Waterford on his mother’s side and to County Tipperary on his father’s side.