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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604December 3, 2015

Penn Researchers Make Thinnest Plates That Can Be Picked Up by Hand

blurb: 
Scientists and engineers are engaged in a global race to make new materials that are as thin, light and strong as possible, but these properties are only useful if they can leave the carefully controlled conditions of a lab.

Scientists and engineers are engaged in a global race to make new materials that are as thin, light and strong as possible. These properties can be achieved by designing materials at the atomic level, but they are only useful if they can leave the carefully controlled conditions of a lab.

Global Leaders Are Ignoring One of the Greatest Causes of Climate Change

December 1, 2015

Cary Coglianese of the Law School is quoted about sources of America’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Article Source: Quartz.com
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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194November 30, 2015

HIV/AIDS Drugs Interfere With Brain’s ‘Insulation,’ Penn-CHOP Team Shows

blurb: 
In a new study, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia teamed up to investigate the underlying reasons why HIV patients on antiretroviral regimens experience mild to moderate cognitive impairments. They found that commonly used antiretroviral medications disrupted the function of oligodendrocytes, crucial brain cells that manufacture myelin, the fatty material that serves to insulate neurons, helping them transmit signals in the brain fast and efficiently.

Antiretroviral therapies, or ART, have enabled people with HIV and AIDS to live much longer lives, transforming what was considered a death sentence into a chronic condition. Yet concerns for these patients remain.

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Media Contact:Michele Berger | mwberger@upenn.edu | 215-898-6751
Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604November 24, 2015

Penn’s Engheta and Ghrist Earn National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowships

blurb: 
With new Department of Defense grants, Engineering’s Nader Engheta and PIK Professor Robert Ghrist, also of Math, can push the boundaries of metamaterials and algebraic topology, respectively.

When the Department of Defense offers researchers the chance to think big and take risks, and provides the funding to back it up, scientists tend to get really excited.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604November 23, 2015

Four Penn Professors Among Class of 2015 AAAS Fellows

Four faculty members at the University of Pennsylvania have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  They are among a class of 347 researchers that have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194November 23, 2015

Penn Biologists Characterize New Form of mRNA Regulation

blurb: 
In a new report in the journal Plant Cell, University of Pennsylvania biologists used material from both humans and plants to examine chemical modifications to messenger RNA, or mRNA, finding that the modifications appear to play a significant role in the process by which mRNAs either survive and become translated into protein or are targeted for degradation.

RNA, once thought to be a mere middleman between DNA and protein, is now recognized as the stage at which a host of regulatory processes can act to allow for flexibility in gene expression and thus the functions of cells and tissues.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604November 25, 2015

Penn Researchers Discover Why E. coli Move Faster in Syrup-like Fluids Than in Water

Swimming in a pool of syrup would be difficult for most people, but for bacteria like E. coli, it’s easier than swimming in water. Scientists have known for decades that these cells move faster and farther in viscoelastic fluids, such as the saliva, mucus, and other bodily fluids they are likely to call home, but didn’t understand why.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604November 19, 2015

Penn Chemists Put a New Twist on Chirality

blurb: 
Chemistry’s Virgil Percec has lead a team of researchers in a study that shows chiral structures, which have a defined handedness, can be made out of a mix of left- and right-handed parts.

Biological molecules are chiral. Like gloves, they have either left- or right-handed versions that can’t be superimposed on one another. Macromolecules like DNA are also chiral and are exclusively made of building blocks with the same handedness.  

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194November 16, 2015

New Penn Program Will Support Interdisciplinary Research on Sex and Gender Differences

blurb: 
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have received a $1.9 million award from the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health to establish the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health program at Penn.

By Niharika Gupta

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194November 12, 2015

Ancient Mass Extinction Led to Dominance of Tiny Fish, Penn Paleontologist Shows

blurb: 
According to new research led by the University of Pennsylvania’s Lauren Sallan, a mass extinction 359 million years ago known as the Hangenberg event triggered a drastic and lasting transformation of Earth’s vertebrate community. Beforehand, large creatures were the norm, but, for at least 40 million years following the die-off, the oceans were dominated by markedly smaller fish.

When times are good, it pays to be the big fish in the sea; in the aftermath of disaster, however, smaller is better.