Science & Technology

A new platform for creating material blends

A novel way to rapidly create and characterize blends of polymers, nanoparticles, and other materials could significantly accelerate material development.

Evan Lerner

Dynamic plants

Led by School of Arts & Sciences prof Brian Gregory and postdoc Xiang Yu, researchers have uncovered one way plants respond to hormonal cues. A similar process is likely at play in mammals.

Katherine Unger Baillie

In the News

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


The New York Times

Black NFL players want new advocate in concussion settlement

PIK Professor Dorothy Roberts said algorithms can reflect the biases of their creators. “Technology can be used to promote equality or perpetuate inequality. It depends on who’s in control of it and what data they are putting into the algorithms,” she said.



7 women scientists who defied the odds and changed science forever

Ashley Wallace of the School of Engineering and Applied Science spoke about Kizzmekia Corbett, a viral immunologist who co-developed Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. "The pandemic exposed layers of racial disparities in medical treatment and clinical research, resulting in conversations surrounding the effects of how COVID-19 disproportionately infects and kills people of color," said Wallace. "Dr. Corbett is not only advancing science but she is also using her voice and platform to contribute to these conversations."


The Atlantic

How female frogs tune out useless, noisy males

Amritha Mallikarjun, a postdoc in the School of Veterinary Medicine, weighed in on a study that found that female frog lungs can not only amplify the mating calls of male frogs but also muffle noises from other species. “It seems incredibly smart,” she said. “They’re taking sounds that aren’t interesting and trying to reduce them.”