Biology

Ballerina Emily Davis is ‘on her toes’

May graduate Emily Davis earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the College of Liberal and Professional Studies while working full-time as a ballerina with the Pennsylvania Ballet and volunteering to conduct research at CHOP and community service with Philadelphia nonprofits.

Louisa Shepard



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In the News


Psychology Today

Hyenas inherit their moms’ social connections

Erol Akçay of the School of Arts & Sciences and former postdoc Amiyaal Ilany discussed their research on hyena’s social networks. “We show that a simple process—social inheritance—is important to understanding network structure and dynamics,” said Akçay.

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Quanta Magazine

’Social’ mitochondria, whispering between cells, influence health

James Eberwine of the Perelman School of Medicine spoke about how mitochondria interact, communicate, and mutate. “If we understand how the mitochondria are acting together, and we learn how to manipulate it,” he said, “we’re going to gain so much more insight into biology.”

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Scientific American

What monkeys can teach humans about resilience after disaster

PIK Professor Michael Platt and Camille Testard, a Ph.D. student in the Perelman School of Medicine, spoke about their research on how rhesus macaques in Puerto Rico adapted in the wake of Hurricane Maria. “We see this massive surge in the time they spend in proximity to other partners, and their social tolerance increasing toward many different partners,” said Testard. “We saw active building of relationships with individuals that they didn’t really interact with before.”

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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.”

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Popular Science

Like humans, naked mole-rats have regional accents

Robert Seyfarth of the School of Arts & Sciences weighed in on a new study that found naked mole-rat colonies have unique vocal signatures. “Mole-rats have this incredible society,” he said. “It looks like their vocal communication, and the way their brain organizes vocalizations, has evolved to fit the demands of that society.”

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Philadelphia Inquirer

How to conduct an engaging lab experiment in the time of COVID: Brew beer

Biology instructors at Penn assembled and mailed hundreds of lab kits to students to aid virtual learning. “It’s important to get students off of their computers and using some of the tools and techniques that are used by scientists,” said Linda Robinson of the School of Arts & Sciences.

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