Natural Science

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604February 24, 2014

Penn Researchers Show Nuclear Stiffness Keeps Stem Cells and Cancer Cells in Place

blurb: 
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have shown that cell migration through micron-size pores is regulated by lamin-A, a nuclear protein that is very similar to the fibrous ones that make up hair.

Adult stem cells and cancer cells have many things in common, including an ability to migrate through tiny gaps in tissue. Both types of cells also experience a trade-off when it comes to this ability; having a flexible nucleus makes migration easier but is worse at protecting the nucleus’ DNA compared to a stiffer nucleus.

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

Three Penn Researchers Awarded Sloan Fellowships

Three University of Pennsylvania faculty members are among this year’s Sloan Fellowship recipients. Since 1955, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has granted yearly fellowships to early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them the next generation of scientific leaders.

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194February 12, 2014

Penn Geophysicist Teams With Mathematicians to Describe How River Rocks Round

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A new study by the University of Pennsylvania’s Douglas Jerolmack, working with mathematicians at Budapest University of Technology and Economics, has found that rocks traveling down a riverbed follow a distinct pattern, first becoming rounder, and then smaller.

For centuries, geologists have recognized that the rocks that line riverbeds tend to be smaller and rounder further downstream. But these experts have not agreed on the reason these patterns exist. Abrasion causes rocks to grind down and become rounder as they are transported down the river.

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Media Contact:Jeanne Leong | jleong@upenn.edu | 215-573-8151February 10, 2014

Penn Performers Celebrate Culture Through South Asian Dancing With a Twist

Penn Dhamaka’s energetic, arm-pumping, feet-shuffling, body-twisting dance routines are inspired by traditional South Asian dance, but the all-male troupe’s flair is all their own.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604February 6, 2014

Penn Researchers ‘Design for Failure’ With Model Material

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Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have devised a method to study stress at the macro and micro scales at the same time, using a model system in which microscopic particles stand in for molecules.

When deciding what materials to use in building something, determining how those materials respond to stress and strain is often the first task. A material’s macroscopic, or bulk, properties in this area — whether it can spring back into shape, for example — is generally the product of what is happening on a microscopic scale.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604February 3, 2014

Penn Engineer Promotes Sustainability in Argentina

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For eight weeks last summer, University of Pennsylvania junior Doug Roman had the opportunity to share his sustainability philosophy at schools in Buenos Aires.

By Marjorie Ferrone

For eight weeks last summer, University of Pennsylvania junior Doug Roman had the opportunity to share his sustainability philosophy at schools in Buenos Aires.

For Fourth Year, Penn and Drexel Host Philly Materials Day

On Saturday, Feb. 1, Philly Materials Science and Engineering Day offers people of all ages the chance to participate in hands-on science and engineering activities. The event is free and open to the public.

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Media Contact:Jeanne Leong | jleong@upenn.edu | 215-573-8151January 24, 2014

Frederick Ding: Penn Ambassador, Leader and Mentor

Frederick Ding’s interest in making an impact by improving the lives of others begins with his work on campus assisting fellow students at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604January 20, 2014

Liquid Crystal Turns Water Droplets Into ‘Gemstones,’ Penn Research Shows

blurb: 
A new study describes research into a type of liquid crystal that dissolves in water rather than avoids it as do the oily liquid crystals found in displays.

Liquid crystals are remarkable materials that combine the optical properties of crystalline solids with the flow properties of liquids, characteristics that come together to enable the displays found in most computer monitors, televisions and smartphones.

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

University of Pennsylvania Student Wins Churchill Scholarship

Sarah Foster, a senior at the University of Pennsylvania, has been awarded a Winston Churchill Scholarship, a merit-based award for American college students who are outstanding in engineering, mathematics and physical and biological sciences.