Science & Technology

Hands-on learning in the greenhouse

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.

Katherine Unger Baillie

Two Penn faculty named 2019 Sloan Research Fellows

Jessica Anna and Davi Maximo of the School of Arts and Sciences are among the 126 recipients of this year’s Sloan Research Fellowships, which recognize early-career researchers and scholars in North America. Each will receive a two-year, $70,000 Fellowship for research.

Erica K. Brockmeier

The flower that blooms in the winter

The witchhazel is a species of flower that blooms in cold temperatures and lives around campus, and in abundance at the Morris Arboretum. The Arboretum’s Anthony Aiello talks the ins and outs of the strange species.

Brandon Baker

Wired up at FemmeHacks

Penn President Amy Gutmann and Vijay Kumar, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, visited the all-women collegiate hackathon this weekend.

Penn Today Staff



In the News


The Wall Street Journal

How the U.S. surrendered to China on scientific research

In an op-ed, PIK Professor Ezekiel Emanuel and Amy Gadsden and Scott Moore, all of Penn Global, said America’s “lead in science and technology fields has been significantly eroded.” The authors say the U.S. needs to “meet [China’s] strength with strength” by investing in innovation.

FULL STORY →



The New York Times

‘Partly alive’: Scientists revive cells in brains from dead pigs

PIK Professor Jonathan Moreno weighed in on an experiment that revived tissue in the brains of dead pigs. “If ever there was an issue that merited big public deliberation on the ethics of science and medicine, this is one.”

FULL STORY →



Associated Press

Senior’s weakness for scams may be warning sign of dementia

Jason Karlawish of the Perelman School of Medicine said a recent study on aging and scam awareness doesn’t prove a link between susceptibility and cognitive decline in seniors. However, Karlawish says, the results “should be a call to action to health care systems, the financial services industry and their regulators.”

FULL STORY →



Science

This physicist is trying to make sense of the brain’s tangled networks

Danielle Bassett of the School of Engineering and Applied Science was profiled.

FULL STORY →



Wired.com

Tracking readers’ eye movements can help computers learn

Dan Roth of the School of Engineering and Applied Science said it’s “clear to everyone” that signals within brain activity exist and may eventually improve machine learning.

FULL STORY →



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.”

FULL STORY →



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.

FULL STORY →



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.”

FULL STORY →



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.

FULL STORY →



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.

FULL STORY →