Natural Science

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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.

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

Penn Biologists Discover How "Silent" Mutations Influence Protein Production

PHILADELPHIA -– Biologists at the University of Pennsylvania have revealed a hidden code that determines the expression level of a gene, providing a way to distinguish efficient genes from inefficient ones. The new research, which involved creating hundreds of synthetic green-glowing genes, provides an explanation for how a cell “knows” how much of each protein to make, providing just the right amount of protein to maintain homeostasis yet not too much to cause cell toxicity.

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Media Contact:Jordan Reese | jreese@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604April 8, 2009
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Media Contact:Jordan Reese | jreese@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604April 3, 2009

Penn Vet Honors Students With Largest Individual Research Awards In Veterinary Medicine


PHILADELPHIA –- The 2009 Student Inspiration Awards have been announced by the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Award recipients receive $100,000 in research funding, the largest unrestricted student award in veterinary medicine, from the Vernon and Shirley Hill Foundation.

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Media Contact:Jordan Reese | jreese@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604March 24, 2009

Visual Learners Convert Words to Pictures in the Brain And Vice Versa, Says Penn Psychology Study

PHILADELPHIA –- A University of Pennsylvania psychology study, using functional magnetic resonance imaging technology to scan the brain, reveals that people who consider themselves visual learners, as opposed to verbal learners, have a tendency to convert linguistically presented information into a visual mental representation. The more strongly an individual identified with the visual cognitive style, the more that individual activated the visual cortex when reading words.

The opposite also appears to be true from the study’s results.

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Media Contact:Jordan Reese | jreese@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604
Media Contact:Gail Luciani | luciani@vet.upenn.edu | 215-898-1475March 20, 2009

Frederick A. Murphy Honored With $100,000 Penn Vet World Leadership Award


PHILADELPHIA –- Frederick A. Murphy has been selected as the 2009 recipient of the Penn Vet World Leadership Award. Murphy is the James W. McLaughlin Professor in Residence, Department of Pathology at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

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Media Contact:Jordan Reese | jreese@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604
Media Contact:Pam Kosty | pkosty@sas.upenn.edu | 215-898-4045March 10, 2009

Penn Museum to Open "Painted Metaphors: Pottery and Politics of the Ancient Maya"


PHILADELPHIA –- A world-renowned collection of ancient Maya painted pottery, excavated by the University of Pennsylvania Museum nearly a century ago and reinterpreted in light of recent research, provides the centerpiece for “Painted Metaphors: Pottery and Politics of the Ancient Maya,” an exhibition opening at Penn Museum April 5 and running through December before beginning a multi-city national tour.

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Media Contact:Jordan Reese | jreese@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604March 2, 2009

Penn Research Team Tests Bedside Monitoring of Brain Blood Flow and Metabolism in Stroke Victims


PHILADELPHIA – A University of Pennsylvania team has completed the first successful demonstration of a noninvasive optical device to monitor cerebral blood flow in patients with acute stroke, a leading cause of disability and death.

The ultimate goal of this research is to improve the management of patients with stroke and other brain disorders by providing continuous bedside monitoring of brain blood flow and metabolism.

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Media Contact:Jordan Reese | jreese@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604February 26, 2009

Penn Evolutionary Biologist and Computer Scientist Awarded Sloan Research Fellowships


PHILADELPHIA -– Joshua Plotkin, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Pennsylvania, and Steve Zdancewic, associate professor of computer and information science at Penn, have been named Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellows for 2009.