Natural Science

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Media Contact:Jordan Reese | jreese@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604 August 4, 2010

Penn’s Positive Psychology Center Awards $2.9 Million for Research

PHILADELPHIA –- The Positive Psychology Center of the University of Pennsylvania and the John Templeton Foundation have announced the recipients of the 2010 Templeton Positive Neuroscience Awards, $2.9 million given to 15 new research projects at the intersection of neuroscience and positive psychology.

The winning projects explore a range of topics including how the brain enables humans to flourish, the biological bases of altruism and the effects of positive interventions on the brain.

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Media Contact:Jordan Reese | jreese@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604 August 3, 2010

Two University of Pennsylvania Chemists Named American Chemical Society Fellows

PHILADELPHIA — Marsha I. Lester and Gary Molander of the University of Pennsylvania have been named 2010 fellows of The American Chemical Society, an honor bestowed on 192 scientists who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in chemistry and made important contributions to ACS, the world’s largest scientific society.

Study Finds Clues to Kidney Disease in African Americans

August 2, 2010

Lawrence Holzman of the School of Medicine discusses a study on kidney disease among African-Americans.

Article Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

Scientists Finding How Crucial Bacteria Can Be to Health

August 2, 2010

Jeffrey Weiser of the School of Medicine says there is such a thing as good bacteria.

Article Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

Growing Up Poor Can Affect Brain Development

August 1, 2010

Martha Farah of the School of Arts and Sciences says poverty may affect brain function.

Article Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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Media Contact:Jordan Reese | jreese@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604August 1, 2010

Mechanical Regulation Effects Stem Cell Development, Adhesion

PHILADELPHIA –- Bioengineers at the University of Pennsylvania have created a system to control the flexibility of the substrate surfaces on which cells are grown without changing the surface properties, providing a technique for more controlled lab experiments on cellular mechanobiology, an important step in the scientific effort to understand how cells sense and respond to mechanical forces in their environment.

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Media Contact:Karen Kreeger | karen.kreeger@uphs.upenn.edu | 215-349-5658July 29, 2010

Calcium Connections: Penn Researchers Discover Basic Pathway for Maintaining Cell’s Fuel Stores

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine researchers have described a previously unknown biological mechanism in cells that prevents them from cannibalizing themselves for fuel. The mechanism involves the fuel used by cells under normal conditions and relies on an ongoing transfer of calcium between two cell components via an ion channel. Without this transfer, cells start consuming themselves as a way of to get enough energy.

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Media Contact:Jordan Reese | jreese@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604July 26, 2010

Collaboration Solves Structure of Herpes Virus Protein, Provides New Drug Directions

PHILADELPHIA  -– The mechanism by which a herpes virus invades cells has remained a mystery to scientists, but now research from Tufts University and the University of Pennsylvania reveals the unusual structure of a key member of the protein complex that allows a herpes virus to invade cells.

The new map details an essential piece of the herpes virus “cell-entry machinery,” providing scientists with a new target for antiviral drugs.

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Media Contact:Jordan Reese | jreese@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604 July 23, 2010

First Step Towards Electronic DNA Sequencing: Translocation Through Graphene Nanopores

PHILADELPHIA –- Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a new, carbon-based nanoscale platform to electrically detect single DNA molecules.

Using electric fields, the tiny DNA strands are pushed through nanoscale-sized, atomically thin pores in a graphene nanopore platform that ultimately may be important for fast electronic sequencing of the four chemical bases of DNA based on their unique electrical signature.

Kidney Disease Is Parasite-Slaying Protein's Downside

July 16, 2010

Sarah Tishkoff of the School of Medicine and the School of Arts and Sciences discusses “Jekyll-and-Hyde genetic variations."

Article Source: Science