Natural Science

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Audio: Brain Cells ‘Geotag’ Memories to Cache What Happened – and Where

November 28, 2013

Michael Kahana of the School of Arts and Sciences discusses his research on the interplay between memories of events and places.

Article Source: National Public Radio
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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604November 28, 2013

Memories Are ‘Geotagged’ With Spatial Information, Penn Researchers Say

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.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604November 26, 2013

Penn Science Café: Squid Camouflage

blurb: 
Alison Sweeney has a Ph.D. in biology, yet is a member of Penn’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. What is a physicist doing studying giant clams and exotic squid? Her research is focused on photonic structures found in these creatures that give them unique and surprising abilities.

WHO:            Alison Sweeney
                     Assistant Professor of Physics

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604November 25, 2013

Researchers at Penn Uncover Mechanism Behind Blood Stem Cells’ Longevity

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.

What Does Cancer Smell Like?

November 19, 2013

A.T. Charlie Johnson of the School of Arts and Sciences is mentioned for studying electronic nose sniff blood samples of both sick and healthy patients.

Article Source: New York Times
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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604November 19, 2013

Penn’s AppItUP Challenge Will Culminate With Launch of Five New Companies

blurb: 
In the AppItUP Challenge, faculty and staff are encourage to submit their ideas for mobile applications, which are then judged by a panel of venture capital partners. The top ten ideas then go on to a public event, where development partners bid for the opportunity to turn the ideas into functional prototypes.

WHO:              Anthony H. Williams
                       Pennsylvania State Senator

Lyme Bacteria Show That Evolvability Is Evolvable

November 14, 2013

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.”

Article Source: Nature
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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604November 14, 2013

Penn Produces Graphene Nanoribbons With Nanopores for Fast DNA Sequencing

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.

A New Solar Material Shows Its Potential

November 10, 2013

Andrew Rappe of the School of Arts and Sciences is mentioned for researching a new material to make inexpensive and efficient solar panels.

Article Source: MIT Technology Review
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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604November 11, 2013

Penn and Drexel Team Demonstrates New Paradigm for Solar Cell Construction

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.