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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604August 6, 2015

Penn Helps Develop Algorithm Aimed at Combating Science’s Reproducibility Problem

blurb: 
Researchers can have a tough time telling when they have unearthed a nugget of truth, or what amounts to fool’s gold: a correlation that seems to have predictive value but actually does not because it results just from random chance.

Big data sets are important tools of modern science. Mining for correlations between millions of pieces of information can reveal vital relationships or predict future outcomes, such as risk factors for a disease or structures of new chemical compounds.  

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

Penn Researchers Discover New Chiral Property of Silicon, With Photonic Applications

By encoding information in photons via their spin, “photonic” computers could be orders of magnitude faster and efficient than their current-day counterparts. Likewise, encoding information in the spin of electrons, rather than just their quantity, could make “spintronic” computers with similar advantages.   

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604July 17, 2015

Researchers at Penn Develop Scar-like Culture Systems to Understand and Treat Fibrosis

A scar might be a reminder of an accident or surgery, but the fibrous tissue that makes up a scar also forms after a heart attack and arises in solid tumors as well as in chronic diseases such as liver cirrhosis and muscular dystrophy. Implanted medical devices and materials are similarly surrounded by fibrous capsules that impede their function.  

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604July 13, 2015

Imagination Institute at Penn Awards Nearly $3M to Develop ‘Imagination Quotient’

The Imagination Institute, based at the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center, has announced nearly $3 million worth of grants to researchers at 16 institutions. The grants are aimed at the development of better ways of assessing and promoting imagination and creativity.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604July 6, 2015

Penn Researchers Answer Question about Nematode Behavior: Nature, Nurture, or Physics?

blurb: 
Nature versus nurture is an age-old question in biology, centering on whether a given trait is determined by an organism’s genes or by its environment. Most times the answer is “both,” but research at the University of Pennsylvania has found one trait in particular that is not easily described by either.

By Sarah Welsh

Nature versus nurture is an age-old question in biology, centering on whether a given trait is determined by an organism’s genes or by its environment. Most times the answer is “both,” but research at the University of Pennsylvania has found one trait in particular that is not easily described by either.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604July 1, 2015

New Penn Center Will Investigate the Physics of Cancer Via $10M NIH Grant

Investigators at a new University of Pennsylvania research center will focus on key physical principles that underpin cancer’s development and growth.

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

First Place Finish for Penn’s Electric Race Car

blurb: 
REV1 took first place among electrics overall, winning seven of the eight categories. These included overall design, cornering, endurance and time-trials on a full racetrack.

Penn Electric Racing has taken home top honors at an international competition.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604June 17, 2015

Penn Research Simplifies Recycling of Rare-earth Magnets

Despite their ubiquity in consumer electronics, rare-earth metals are, as their name suggests, hard to come by. Mining and purifying them is an expensive, labor-intensive and ecologically devastating process.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604June 15, 2015

Penn Researchers Develop a New Type of Gecko-like Gripper

Picking things up and putting them down is a mainstay of any kind of manufacturing, but fingers, human or robotic, are not always best for the task at hand.    

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

Penn Vet Research Confirms a More Accurate Method for Blood Glucose Testing

blurb: 
While glucometers have the advantage of being fast and requiring only a small drop of blood, they are not as accurate as some other methods of measuring blood glucose. In a new study, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine have found a way of obtaining more accurate measurements from glucometers: by using blood plasma or serum rather than whole blood.

For diabetics, a quick prick of the finger can give information about their blood glucose levels, guiding them in whether to have a snack or inject a dose of insulin. Point-of-care glucose meters, or glucometers, are also used in the veterinary world to monitor cats and dogs with diabetes or pets hospitalized for other reasons.