Science & Technology

Regrowing dental tissue with stem cells from baby teeth

In a clinical trial led by Songtao Shi of the School of Dental Medicine, stem cells extracted from baby teeth were used to regrow the living tissue in teeth damaged by injury. The promising findings highlight the potential of dental stem cells, which could be used in a wide range of dental procedures, or treating certain systemic diseases.

Katherine Unger Baillie

Finding patterns in a class of neurological disorders

Research from Penn Engineering and the Perelman School of Medicine has found that the shared pattern is misfolded in Fragile X Syndrome, a member of the class of disorders that also includes ALS and Huntington’s disease

Penn Today Staff



In the News


National Geographic

This tiny fish can recognize itself in a mirror. Is it self-aware?

PIK Professor Michael Platt commented on an animal sentience study. While he found the research “fascinating and well-executed,” he pointed out that the study doesn’t necessarily confirm that animals have a human-like sense of self.

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Quartz India

Google sees gold in Indian languages

The Wharton School’s Kartik Hosanagar weighed in on Nevlekha, a new platform from Google that uses AI to render PDFs in Indian languages editable, making them easier to share online. “It’s only one of a series [of moves] Google will need if it hopes to penetrate the hundreds of millions of Indians,” said Hosanagar.

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Philadelphia Inquirer

Should Philly join New York City in capping Uber and Lyft?

Erick Guerra of the School of Design weighed in on the effects of ride-sharing apps on cities, saying, “I’m confident Uber and Lyft have contributed in some small way to the increase in congestion but not nearly as much as the economic growth and increase in population.”

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Independent

Radio: Incredible dignity in the face of a terrible tragedy

Lauren Sallan of the School of Arts and Sciences discussed “mass extinction events,” defined as “an event that wipes out biodiversity at orders of magnitude far above what we call ‘background extinction’—wiping out, say, 60 percent of species or species that wouldn't be expected to die off.”

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“PBS NewsHour”

An 11-year-old changed election results on a replica Florida state website in under 10 minutes

The School of Engineering and Applied Science’s Matt Blaze discussed a hacking experiment, saying it was “not surprising that these precocious, bright kids would be able to do it because the websites that are on the internet are vulnerable…. What was interesting is just how utterly quickly they were able to do it.”

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Wired.co.uk

Why people can't resist the viral lure of the Kiki Challenge

Damon Centola of the Annenberg School for Communication explained the phenomenon of dangerous viral challenges: “Slightly dangerous or slightly risky challenges may have the best combination of high-enough riskiness to make it easy to create emotional excitement about participating, but low-enough risk that they can spread with only moderate levels of social reinforcement.”

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The New York Times

Worker ants: You could have been queens

The Perelman School’s Roberto Bonasio discussed the difficulties of studying insulin signaling in ants. The relevant genes, said Bonasio, are involved in numerous bodily functions, making it tough to isolate their role in differentiating queens from workers.

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Reuters

Viral content-vaccine scandal test Beijing’s grip on information control

The Annenberg School for Communication’s Kecheng Fang discussed the Chinese government’s failed attempts to suppress discourse about current events on WeChat, a popular messaging platform. “This is a guerrilla war. The government cannot tackle it just like it does traditional media,” said Fang.

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The Washington Post

Testosterone boost feeds U.S. men’s hunger for luxury products, study indicates

Researchers at the Wharton School found that men who were given doses of testosterone expressed more interest in high-status goods. However, the study authors also noted that “status signals are not universal” and that results may vary between cultures.

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Technical.ly Philly

The Drone From This Penn Spinout Can Fly Inside Mines Without Maps or GPS

Exyn Technologies will be sending out a drone to explore a Latin American mine using only its own onboard sensors. The startup, which originated in Penn’s GRASP lab, was cofounded by Dean Vijay Kumar of the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

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