Science & Technology

Paving the way for new light-powered devices

By combining cutting-edge concepts from theoretical physics, researchers from Penn Engineering developed “sypersymmetric microlaser arrays” that are both stable and have high power density.

Evan Lerner



In the News


The New York Times

Grumpy dogs outperform the friendlies on some learning tests

Cynthia Otto of the School of Veterinary Medicine spoke about dog personality traits. At Penn’s Working Dog Center, she said, “we allow dogs to choose their careers and it’s based on their personalities and on their interactions and on their relationships.”

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Philadelphia Inquirer

No battery? No problem. At Penn, a mini electric car draws energy from its surroundings

Min Wang and James Pikul of the School of Engineering and Applied Science discuss their work on a car that eats metal and breathes air. The technology also could run a generator during a power outage, with no noise or fumes.

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WHYY (Philadelphia)

Science vs science: The contradictory fight over whether electromagnetic hypersensitivity is real

Electromagnetic fields are everywhere, and especially so in recent years. To most of us, those fields are undetectable. But a small number of people believe they have an actual allergy to electromagnetic fields. Ken Foster, a professor emeritus of bioengineering, has heard these arguments before.  “Activists would point to all these biological effects studies and say, ‘There must be some hazard’; health agencies would have meticulous reviews of literature and not see much of a problem.”

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The Conversation

Neuralink’s monkey can play Pong with its mind. Imagine what humans could do with the same technology

Anna Wexler of the Perelman School of Medicine expressed skepticism about Neuralink, a company developing brain-machine interfaces. “Neuroscience is far from understanding how the mind works, much less having the ability to decode it,” she said.

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6ABC.com

University of Penn nursing student co-creates product to help frontline workers care for patients in the dark

Anthony Scarpone-Lambert, a senior in the School of Nursing, spoke about the wearable nightlight he helped develop. The invention allows nurses to check on patients at night without turning on bright white lights. "On average, patients regularly report poor quality of sleep as their number one complaint during hospitalization," he said.

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The New York Times

Biden’s push for electric cars: $174 billion, 10 years and a bit of luck

John Paul MacDuffie of the Wharton School spoke about the push to develop a robust charging network for electric vehicles in the U.S. “It is, famously, one of the ways that China has become the No. 1 country in E.V.s on most dimensions,” he said.

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MIT Technology Review

Keeping COVID vaccines cold isn’t easy. These ideas could help

Drew Weissman of the Perelman School of Medicine and Michael Mitchell of the School of Engineering and Applied Science spoke about efforts to develop new ways to keep temperature-sensitive COVID-19 vaccines cold during shipment.

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Philadelphia Business Journal

Strella Biotechnology, whose backers include Mark Cuban, expands its presence at Pennovation Works

Strella Biotechnology, a company developing technology to reduce food spoilage, has moved into a 2,000 square foot space at the Pennovation Lab. The company’s founders won the $100,000 Penn President’s Innovation Prize in 2019.

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The Atlantic

Why celebrities are agog over this tiny climate think tank

Zane Cooper, a doctoral candidate in the Annenberg School for Communication, said all networked computation, including cryptocurrency, is powered by fossil fuels and harmful to the environment. “Bitcoin reveals a fundamental truth about the relationship between computing and energy,” he said.

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WHYY (Philadelphia)

Wolf administration to buy half of state government’s electricity from solar

Mark Hughes of the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy said Pennsylvania’s solar fields will provide jobs and tax revenue and move the state toward clean energy. “You want to make it hip, you want to make it cheap—but eventually you’re going to have to make it mandatory,” he said.

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