Natural Science

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Media Contact:Jordan Reese | jreese@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604June 15, 2009

“Shortcuts” of the Mind Lead to Miscalculations of Weight and Caloric Intake, Says Penn Psychology Study


PHILADELPHIA -– Psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania have identified a cognitive shortcut, or heuristic, they call “Unit Bias,” which causes people to ignore vital, obvious information in their decision-making process, points to a fundamental flaw in the modern, evolved mind and may also play a role in the American population’s 30 years of weight gain.

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Media Contact:Jordan Reese | jreese@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604June 10, 2009

Social Moms Make Better Moms, at Least in Baboons, According to Penn and UCLA Study

PHILADELPHIA –- Female baboons who have strong social relationships with other females give birth to offspring who are much more likely to survive to adulthood than baboons reared by less social mothers, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of California, Los Angeles, and others. The results support a growing body of research on humans — especially women — indicating that strong social networks are crucially important to health and reduced stress.

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Media Contact:Jordan Reese | jreese@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604June 8, 2009
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Media Contact:Jordan Reese | jreese@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604June 8, 2009

The New York City Premiere of the Documentary BLAST!, featuring Penn's Balloon-Borne, High-Altitude Telescope


WHAT: The 2008 documentary film BLAST! follows a team of scientists, led by Mark Devlin, professor of astronomy and astrophysics, in their attempts to figure out how galaxies form by launching a revolutionary new telescope on a NASA high-altitude balloon.

The film follows cosmologists from Sweden to Antarctica as they attempt — and fail and try again — to launch the high-altitude telescope above the earth’s atmosphere.

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Media Contact:Jordan Reese | jreese@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604June 3, 2009
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Media Contact:Jordan Reese | jreese@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604May 13, 2009

Arjun G. Yodh Named Director of Penn's Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter


PHILADELPHIA –- Arjun G. Yodh, a researcher studying condensed matter physics, medical and biophysics and optics has been named director of the Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Media Contact:Jordan Reese | jreese@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604April 30, 2009
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Media Contact:Jordan Reese | jreese@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604April 17, 2009
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Media Contact:Jordan Reese | jreese@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604April 17, 2009
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Media Contact:Jordan Reese | jreese@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604April 9, 2009

First Results from Penn's Balloon-Borne Telescope BLAST: Extragalactic Survey Reveals Half the Universe's Starlight

PHILADELPHIA –- After two years spent analyzing data from BLAST, the Balloon-borne Large-Aperture Sub-millimeter Telescope, physicists are releasing the first results.

The study, published in the current issue of Nature, reveals that the Far Infrared Background, or FIRB, originates from individual galaxies some 7 to 10 billion light years away.