Science & Technology



In the News


CBS Philadelphia

University of Pennsylvania program training dogs to sniff out spotted lanternfly eggs

Jennifer Essler, a postdoc in the School of Veterinary Medicine, spoke about a new program that trains dogs to detect the presence of spotted lanternfly eggs. “For the dogs, it’s a game, it’s like anything else. They don’t know that they are saving the planet in any way,” she said.

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The Washington Post

Drone maker hurt by US-China rift, opening door to US rivals

Dean Vijay Kumar of the School of Engineering and Applied Science spoke about the challenges of using drones for commercial purposes and about American perceptions of DJI, a China-based drone manufacturer.

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The Hill

Pandemic exposes broadband divide

Christopher Yoo of the Law School spoke about the importance of expanding broadband infrastructure in the U.S. “Investing in infrastructure would be a terrific way to support the economy. It not only spends money but also lays the foundation for future growth and future jobs,” he said.

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CNN

What you need to know about coronavirus on Wednesday, September 2

Kenneth Foster of the School of Engineering and Applied Science debunked conspiracy theories that link 5G networks and radio frequencies to the spread of COVID-19. "There's nothing different in terms of exposure," he said.

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BBC News

Elon Musk to show off working brain-hacking device

Ari Benjamin, a doctoral student in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, said the biggest stumbling block for brain-to-machine interface technology is the complexity of the human brain. "Once they have the recordings, Neuralink will need to decode them and will someday hit the barrier that is our lack of basic understanding of how the brain works, no matter how many neurons they record from,” he said. "Decoding goals and movement plans is hard when you don't understand the neural code in which those things are communicated."

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Gizmodo

Does your cat actually hate you?

Carlo Siracusa of the School of Veterinary Medicine spoke about how cats interact with their owners. “Humans are very physical in their relationships—they want to hold their cat, hug their cat, etc. This can be terrible for any animal that doesn’t enjoy your presence, but it’s even worse for cats, because the way in which cats express their preferences is through proximity,” he said.

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Forbes

National Science Foundation invests $104 million to launch four new engineering research centers

Cherie Kagan of the School of Engineering and Applied Science spoke about the Penn-led IoT4Ag center’s work: “We need new technology to meet the challenges of a world with a growing population and changing climate. We simply need to produce more crops for every drop of water or Joule of energy we’re currently using to realize a food, energy and water-secure future.”

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STAT News

Boosting the promise—and reining in the peril—of COVID-19 preprints

PIK Professor Jonathan Moreno and an AAAS colleague wrote about scientific preprints, web-based publications of yet-to-be-peer-reviewed research findings. “Let’s revel in the knowledge that preprints today are helping researchers share—especially with each other—their latest advances with great ease and speed. At the same time, let’s impose some discipline on our own proclivities to celebrate prematurely or sink into despair,” they wrote.

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The Hill

Wealthy households have 25 percent higher carbon impacts than lower-income homes

Vincent Reina of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design spoke about how class affects access to sustainable energy alternatives. “For higher income individuals, it's a function of choice," he said. "For lower income individuals, it's a function of constraints.”

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The New York Times

Who’s a bot? Who’s not?

Sarah Jackson of the Annenberg School for Communication said it’s important to focus on where bots exist within social networks as well as with whom they actually interact. “Even if there are a lot of bots in a network, it is misleading to suggest they are leading the conversation or influencing real people who are tweeting in those same networks,” she said.

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