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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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ABC Australia

Are very long-lived trees immortal and what can they teach humans?

Brenda Casper of the School of Arts & Sciences said it’s hard to measure age-related deterioration in trees that are older than 1,000 years. “It’s not just internal physiology per se but it’s the interaction of the tree with its environment,” she said.

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NPR

Are there zombie viruses—like the 1918 flu—thawing in the permafrost?

Michael Zimmerman of the School of Arts & Sciences said the possibility of reviving long frozen pathogens is “extremely unlikely.”

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National Geographic

Horses and dogs share a surprisingly common language of play

Sue McDonnell of the School of Veterinary Medicine commented on new research that finds shared play language between dogs and horses. “It’s a wonderful study, and takes the questions surrounding play behavior to a new level,” she said.

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The Wall Street Journal

Coronavirus vs. flu: Which virus is deadlier?

Neil Fishman of the Perelman School of Medicine weighed in on the novel coronavirus and how it differs from the flu. “I think what we’re seeing with Covid-19 is what influenza would look like without a vaccine,” he said.

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PBS

Study finds kittens bond with their human caregivers like babies do

Carlo Siracusa of the School of Veterinary Medicine advised readers to keep in mind that while babies and kittens are similar, they’re not analogous; scientific findings about one may not hold true for the other. “We should be open-minded about the idea that there are other variables [at play],” he said.

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