Breadwinning from 1850-1940
6:00p.m. - 7:00p.m.
Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 S. Broad St.
Superstitious beliefs may seem irrational, but they catch on in a society. Using an evolutionary approach to studying the emergence of coordinated behaviors, Erol Akçay and Bryce Morsky showed how a jumble of individual beliefs, including superstitions, coalesce into an accepted social norm.
Taking a game theory approach to study cooperation, School of Arts and Sciences evolutionary biologists find that empathy can help cooperative behavior ‘win out’ over selfishness.
The majority of lupus patients are female, and new findings from Montserrat Anguera of the School of Veterinary Medicine and colleagues shed light on why. The research suggests that female lupus patients don’t fully silence their second X chromosome in T cells, leading to an immune response gone awry.
The discovery of these seemingly out-of-place sensing cells may lend insight into possibilities for protecting lung function in people who experience severe influenza infections.
Flowers aren’t just pretty to look at; without them, plants couldn’t reproduce. Investigating the critical process of flower formation in plants, School of Arts and Sciences biologist Doris Wagner and colleagues discovered how a key gene is shut off in order for blooms to form. “Identity is not just what you are; it’s what you aren’t,” she says.
A revamped lesson in plant diversity added a tour of the campus greenhouse for students in introductory biology courses. Greenhouse coordinator Samara Gray worked with Linda Robinson and Karl Siegert to enhance the curriculum, incorporating lessons about plant biology and taxonomy that rely on the wide range of specimens present.
PIK Professor Sarah Tishkoff, Laura Scheinfeldt, and Sameer Soi use data from 50 populations to study African genetic diversity. Their analysis suggests that geographically far-flung hunter-gatherer groups share a common ancestry.
To determine what goes on during sleep, a trio of Penn experts studied sleep function across phylogeny—that is, the evolutionary development of species—to find the origins of the need for sleep.
Linking genomics to evolution to ecology, the work takes an unusual approach to reveal broad implications of how species adapt to their local environment.
In the largest study of its kind, researchers led by PIK Professor Sarah Tishkoff, Matthew Hansen, and Meagan Rubel investigated the gut microbiomes of people from Botswana and Tanzania, and illuminate the impact of lifestyle, geography, and genetics in shaping the microbiome.
Katherine Unger Baillie
Science News Officer
Edward E. Morrisey, of the Perelman School of Medicine, has co-authored a paper on lung stem cells in mice and humans, which may lead to the development of new strategies for human lung regeneration.
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David Roos of the School of Arts and Sciences was profiled for his journey from art major to scientist and for his current work developing EuPathDB, a catalog of “parasites and other pathogens.”
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