Science & Technology

Giant comet found in outer solar system

The discovery of the comet estimated to 100-200 kilometers across was made by Penn researchers following a comprehensive search of data from the Dark Energy Survey. Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein is the most distant comet ever discovered and possibly the largest seen in modern times.

Erica K. Brockmeier

Growing ‘metallic wood’ to new heights

“Metallic wood” is full of regularly spaced cell-sized pores that radically decrease its density without sacrificing the material’s strength, which not only gives metallic wood the strength of titanium at a fraction of the weight, but unique optical properties.

Evan Lerner

‘I Look Like an Engineer’

For the third year in a row, Penn Engineering’s Advancing Women in Engineering program, dedicated to recruiting, retaining and promoting all female-identified students in the School, participated in the “I Look Like an Engineer” social media movement.

From Penn Engineering



In the News


NPR

More retailers are using AI. What does this mean for privacy?

Joseph Turow of the Annenberg School for Communication weighed in on how machine learning and automation are shaping the job market and consumer privacy.

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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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WESA Radio (Pittsburgh)

More than 1,000 cases of mysterious bird disease reported in Pennsylvania

Scott Weber of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Penn’s Wildlife Futures Program said wildlife veterinarians are concerned about the numerous reports of sick or dead songbirds in the Mid-Atlantic region. “It does seem to be spreading through the U.S. pretty quickly, and spreading to a fairly wide geographical area,” he said.

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NPR

A mysterious illness is killing Mid-Atlantic songbirds

Lisa Murphy of the School of Veterinary Medicine spoke about the Wildlife Futures Program’s research on the illness killing songbirds in the Mid-Atlantic region. "I think what's especially challenging about this is that it's not localized ... to one specific geographic area [and] it's not localized to one particular bird species,” she said.

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U.S. News & World Report

‘Transmitted down the leash:’ Anxious owners, anxious dogs

James Serpell of the School of Veterinary Medicine spoke about the reciprocal relationship between pets’ and their owners’ feelings. “You can think of many contexts in which having an animal that can anticipate your thoughts is wonderful, in terms of training or performing tasks for people,” he said. “But in the context of an owner who's experiencing a lot of anxiety, you can see the disadvantage.”

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The New York Times

The hills are alive with the flows of physics

In the lab of Douglas Jerolmack, researchers led by doctoral candidate Nakul Deshpande of the School of Arts & Sciences explored how landscapes gradually move over time.

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MIT Technology Review

These creepy fake humans herald a new age in AI

Aaron Roth of the School of Engineering and Applied Science spoke about synthetic data and privacy concerns. “Just because the data is ‘synthetic’ and does not directly correspond to real user data does not mean that it does not encode sensitive information about real people,” he said.

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6ABC.com

Cyberattack temporarily shuts down JBS meat processing plants, including one in Montgomery County

Gary Althouse of the School of Veterinary Medicine commented on a ransomware attack that targeted one of the largest suppliers of beef, pork, and chicken in the U.S. “With food production, computerized systems are used in most aspects of it. We need to identify where these vulnerabilities are," he said.

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Philadelphia Inquirer

These Penn scientists discovered how the brain engages in imagination

Joseph Kable of the School of Arts & Sciences and alumni Arthur Lee and Trishala Parthasarathi used MRI brain scans to study the neuroscience of imagination.

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Scientific American

A better way to cool ourselves

Dorit Aviv of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design and international collaborators wrote an opinion piece about their work developing a healthier and more sustainable alternative to air conditioning.

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