Science & Technology

Fostering a ‘culture of innovation’

Penn President Amy Gutmann opened McKinsey’s first-ever “Innovation Night,” held at the Penn Museum on Thursday, March 14. It’s a testament to the University’s critical, visionary role in Philadelphia.

Lauren Hertzler

Penn at SXSW

This is the third year the Penn Center for Innovation has led a group of University-affiliated startups to participate in South by Southwest’s innovative arm, SXSW Interactive.

Lauren Hertzler



In the News


BBC

Do mosquitoes feel the effects of alcohol

Tanya Dapkey of the School of Arts and Sciences said it’s unlikely that mosquitoes feed on inebriated humans to get drunk themselves. However, she said, the fact that “alcohol makes us more attractive to them is an interesting question to me.”

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Philadelphia Magazine

Can the new Penn Center for Neuroaesthetics unlock the science of beauty?

Anjan Chatterjee of the Perelman School of Medicine was profiled for his work founding Penn’s Center for Neuroaesthetics, which aims to “understand the neural systems that underlie aesthetic experiences and choices,” exploring beauty, art, design, and architecture.

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Defense News

U.S. military changing ‘killing machine’ robo-tank program after controversy

Michael Horowitz of the School of Arts and Sciences said the controversy over the U.S. army’s plans for a new Advance Targeting and Lethality Automated System “demonstrates that there are continuing technological and ethical issues surrounding the integration of autonomy into weapon systems.”

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Philadelphia Citizen

Second (science) city no more

Kevin Mahoney of the Perelman School of Medicine and the Health System said Philadelphia is “creating new history” with its efforts to catch up to other major cities known for innovation. Penn is leading the way with investments designed to create jobs, fund research, and keep talent local.

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Science News

Physics explains how pollen gets its stunning diversity of shapes

The School of Arts and Sciences’ Alison Sweeney explained how phase separation contributes to the unique shapes of pollen grains.

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NBC News

Mood-forecasting tech could help stop bad moods before they even strike

Sharath Guntuku of Penn Medicine’s Center for Digital Health said that “based on how we use technology, our mental state can be predicted.”

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Science News

A new insulation material is practically weightless yet still durable

The School of Engineering and Applied Science’s Deep Jariwala commented on a new, nearly weightless insulation material made of porous aerogel capable of withstanding temperature shifts of over 1,000 degrees Celsius. “It’s notoriously hard to make materials that are not just lightweight but can also be heavily heat resistant.”

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Christian Science Monitor

Have you heard the buzz? Honeybees can count

Elizabeth Brannon and postdoc Rosa Rugani of the School of Arts and Sciences discussed new research about honeybees’ ability to add and subtract numbers. Brannon said bees use ratios, rather than exact digits, to understand quantities. “When animals are comparing two numerical values, they’re much better if they differ by a large ratio than if they differ by a very small ratio,” she said.

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Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane (WHYY-FM)

Protecting your privacy online

The Annenberg School for Communication’s Joseph Turow joined a conversation on about data mining and online privacy.

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The Conversation

People don’t trust blockchain systems—Is regulation a way to help?

The Wharton School’s Kevin Werbach wrote about blockchain and the contradiction between its “allegedly trust-less technology and its trust-needing users.”

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