Science & Technology

‘Metallic wood’ has the strength of titanium and the density of water

In a study published in Nature Scientific Reports, researchers at the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, and the University of Cambridge have built a sheet of nickel with nanoscale pores that make it as strong as titanium, but four to five times lighter.

Penn Today Staff

Engineers 3D print smart objects with ‘embodied logic’

Researchers at the School of Engineering and Applied Science have taken inspiration from the sorts of systems embodied in Venus fly traps, utilizing stimuli-responsive materials and geometric principles to design structures that have “embodied logic.”

Penn Today Staff

Physics on display

Hundreds of regional junior high and high school students visited Penn’s campus in early January to beat the winter blues—and reds—by watching physics demonstrations about lights and waves.

Erica K. Brockmeier



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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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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