Using a video game in which people navigate through a virtual town delivering objects to specific locations, a team of neuroscientists from the University of Pennsylvania and Freiburg University has discovered how brain cells that encode spatial information form “geotags” for specific memories and are activated immediately before those memories are recalled.
WHO: Alison Sweeney
Assistant Professor of Physics
The blood stem cells that live in bone marrow are at the top of a complex family tree. Such stem cells split and divide down various pathways that ultimately produce red cells, white cells and platelets.
WHO: Anthony H. Williams
Pennsylvania State Senator
Dustin Brisson of the School of Arts and Sciences says, “There are other data that suggest that there could be selection on evolvability, but this is the first example where there really aren’t any other confounding answers for the data.”
The instructions for building all of the body’s proteins are contained in a person’s DNA, a string of chemicals that, if unwound and strung end to end, would form a sentence 3 billion letters long.
For solar panels, wringing every drop of energy from as many photons as possible is imperative. This goal has sent chemistry, materials science and electronic engineering researchers on a quest to boost the energy-absorption efficiency of photovoltaic devices, but existing techniques are now running up against limits set by the laws of physics.
An interdisciplinary team of University of Pennsylvania researchers has already developed a technique for controlling liquid crystals by means of physical templates and elastic energy, rather than the electromagnetic fields that manipulate them in televisions and computer monitors. They envision using this technique to direct the assembly of other materials, such as nanoparticles.