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PennApps Brings World's Largest Collegiate Hackathon to Wells Fargo Center Sept. 4-6

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 14:04

Two thousand of the world’s top young coders will descend on the Wells Fargo Center from Friday, September 4 to Sunday September 6, battling for over $30,000 in prizes at the world’s largest collegiate hackathon: 

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Categories: University News

Penn Study Details ‘Rotten Egg’ Gas’ Role in Autoimmune Disease

Tue, 08/11/2015 - 15:33
blurb:  A new study led by Songtao Shi of the University of Pennsylvania has demonstrated how regulatory T cells can themselves be regulated, by an unexpected source: hydrogen sulfide, a gas produced by the body’s muscle cells and one often associated with the smell of rotten eggs.

The immune system not only responds to infections and other potentially problematic abnormalities in the body, it also contains a built-in brake in the form of regulatory T cells, or Tregs. Tregs ensure that inflammatory responses don’t get out of hand and do damage. In autoimmune diseases, sometimes these Treg cells don’t act as they should.

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Penn President Amy Gutmann to Welcome Incoming Freshmen

Tue, 08/11/2015 - 15:06

 

                       MEDIA ADVISORY

Penn President Amy Gutmann to Welcome Incoming Freshmen

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Penn/Arizona Team to Study Little-understood lncRNA Molecules

Tue, 08/11/2015 - 09:57
blurb:  With an award of more than $2.5 million from the National Science Foundation’s Plant Genome Research Program, the University of Pennsylvania’s Brian Gregory will join two scientists from the University of Arizona to study the true nature of a class of mysterious RNA molecules known as lncRNA.

There is a theory that RNA, instead of DNA, is the original building block of all life. Yet many RNA molecules remain mysterious, their true nature and function little understood.

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Penn Student Travels to Israel for Eye-opening Lessons in Civil Society

Fri, 08/07/2015 - 15:54
blurb:  Amidst the religious, political and social unrest in Israel, Brittany Keesling from the Fels Institute of Government, along with four students from the School of Social Policy & Practice, learned about the possibilities for peace.

Amidst the religious, political and social unrest in Israel, one student from the University of Pennsylvania got a look at a diverse group of learners who explored the possibilities for a peaceful coexistence.

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

Thu, 08/06/2015 - 09:45
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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Lightning Reshapes Rocks at the Atomic Level, Penn Study Finds

Wed, 08/05/2015 - 12:26
blurb:  At a rock outcropping in southern France, a jagged fracture runs along the granite. The surface in and around the crevice is discolored black, as if wet or covered in algae. But, according to a new paper coauthored by the University of Pennsylvania’s Reto Gieré, the real explanation for the rock’s unusual features is more dramatic: a powerful bolt of lightning.

At a rock outcropping in southern France, a jagged fracture runs along the granite. The surface in and around the crevice is discolored black, as if wet or covered in algae.

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For Penn’s Timothy Linksvayer, Ants Are a Model of Complex Societies

Tue, 08/04/2015 - 12:00
blurb:  Timothy Linksvayer is expanding his research into how genetics and behavior allow complex societies, like those of his lab’s pharaoh ants, to survive and thrive. What he finds may shed light on the mechanisms that other organisms, humans included, have evolved to live in large, orderly social groups.

In small plastic tubs lining the shelves of a basement laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, a million organisms live in complex societies.

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PennPraxis Awarded a Grant to Develop Preservation Plan for The George Nakashima House

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 14:34

PennPraxis has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Getty Foundation to develop a conservation management plan for The George Nakashima House and Studio in New Hope, Pennsylvania.

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PennDesign Team announced as the 1st Prize Winner for Vertical Cities International Design Competition

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 14:14

Over the course of the summer, six PennDesign students developed two alternate proposals as submittals for the Vertical Cities Asia International Design Competition, an event organized by the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the World Future Foundation.

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Studying Abroad Enriches Miranda Lupion’s Penn Experience

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 12:16

Miranda Lupion’s interest in Russian language, history and culture began at a young age and has deepened during her time as a student at the University of Pennsylvania.

Her elementary school offered basic Russian language instruction teaching the alphabet and singing songs, and she began listening to stories in Russian in the fourth grade.

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Rising Junior From Penn Returns to Summer Camp, This Time as a Leader

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 11:46
blurb:  As a child, Suzy Bernstein, an English major at Penn's School of Arts and Sciences, spent her summers at Camp Modin in Belgrade, Maine. This year, she's serving as one of its top counselors.

As a child, Suzy Bernstein spent her summers at Camp Modin in Belgrade, Maine. This summer, the rising junior at the University of Pennsylvania is using her experience as a former camper and the many skills that she’s learned at Penn to further strengthen her leadership abilities. 

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Penn Ph.D. Student Starts Teaching Program for French Speakers at Lea School

Fri, 07/31/2015 - 11:25

Fiona Moreno is not from France. But the French-speaking, Ph.D. student from Switzerland, says she was and still is startled by how confidently people deem her to be French, solely based on hearing her accent. The realization that many people aren’t aware of the diversity of the Francophone world prompted her to found the Francophone Community Partnership.

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Freshman Seminar Explores Penn’s Contributions to Middle Eastern Studies

Fri, 07/31/2015 - 11:13

For students in a University of Pennsylvania freshman seminar on the evolution of Penn’s engagement in the study of the Middle East, research involved historic objects and materials close at hand. That's because Penn has a long historical connection to the region.

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Penn Announces New Testing Requirements for Applicants

Fri, 07/31/2015 - 11:01

Beginning with the 2015-2016 admissions cycle, the University of Pennsylvania will require all freshman applicants to submit the results of either the SAT or the ACT college entrance exams. In addition, Penn will recommend that each student submit the results of two SAT Subject Tests. 

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Penn Education Prof Promotes Ideas on International Development

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 16:42
blurb:  Daniel Wagner from Penn's Graduate School of Education has crisscrossed the globe, exchanging ideas on educational development and sustainability.

Daniel Wagner has crisscrossed the globe, exchanging ideas on educational development and sustainability.

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Penn Medicine: Cell Aging Slowed by Putting Brakes on Noisy Transcription

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 16:32

Working with yeast and worms, researchers found that incorrect gene expression is a hallmark of aged cells and that reducing such “noise” extends lifespan in these organisms. The team published their findings this month in Genes & Development.

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Penn Study Questions Presence in Blood of Heart-Healthy Molecules from Fish Oil Supplements

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 16:30

The importance of a diet rich in fish oils – now a billion dollar food-supplement industry -- has been debated for over half a century. A few large clinical trials have supported the idea that fish oils confer therapeutic benefits to patients with cardiovascular disease. Researchers think that hearts and blood vessels may benefit in part from their anti-inflammatory properties.

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Penn Bioethicists Call for End to "Pay-to-Play" Clinical Research

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 16:28

Charging people to participate in research studies is likely to undermine the fundamental ethical basis of clinical research, according to a new paper written by bioethicists, including lead author Ezekiel Emanuel, MD, PhD, chair of the department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medi

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Sleepy Fruitflies Get Mellow: Sleep Deprivation Reduces Aggression, Mating Behavior in Flies, Penn Study Finds

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 16:26

Whether you're a human, a mouse, or even a fruitfly, losing sleep is a bad thing, leading to physiological effects and behavioral changes. One example that has been studied for many years is a link between sleep loss and aggression. But it can be difficult to distinguish sleep loss effects from stress responses, especially in rodent or human models.

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