Science & Technology



In the News


“PBS NewsHour”

An 11-year-old changed election results on a replica Florida state website in under 10 minutes

The School of Engineering and Applied Science’s Matt Blaze discussed a hacking experiment, saying it was “not surprising that these precocious, bright kids would be able to do it because the websites that are on the internet are vulnerable…. What was interesting is just how utterly quickly they were able to do it.”

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Wired.co.uk

Why people can't resist the viral lure of the Kiki Challenge

Damon Centola of the Annenberg School for Communication explained the phenomenon of dangerous viral challenges: “Slightly dangerous or slightly risky challenges may have the best combination of high-enough riskiness to make it easy to create emotional excitement about participating, but low-enough risk that they can spread with only moderate levels of social reinforcement.”

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Reuters

Viral content-vaccine scandal test Beijing’s grip on information control

The Annenberg School for Communication’s Kecheng Fang discussed the Chinese government’s failed attempts to suppress discourse about current events on WeChat, a popular messaging platform. “This is a guerrilla war. The government cannot tackle it just like it does traditional media,” said Fang.

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The New York Times

Worker ants: You could have been queens

The Perelman School’s Roberto Bonasio discussed the difficulties of studying insulin signaling in ants. The relevant genes, said Bonasio, are involved in numerous bodily functions, making it tough to isolate their role in differentiating queens from workers.

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The Washington Post

Testosterone boost feeds U.S. men’s hunger for luxury products, study indicates

Researchers at the Wharton School found that men who were given doses of testosterone expressed more interest in high-status goods. However, the study authors also noted that “status signals are not universal” and that results may vary between cultures.

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Technical.ly Philly

The Drone From This Penn Spinout Can Fly Inside Mines Without Maps or GPS

Exyn Technologies will be sending out a drone to explore a Latin American mine using only its own onboard sensors. The startup, which originated in Penn’s GRASP lab, was cofounded by Dean Vijay Kumar of the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

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Philadelphia Inquirer

Penn Makes Third Big Biotech Bet, Helping to Raise $53M for Carisma

Cancer-fighting biotech company Carisma Therapeutics Inc. is the latest addition to Penn’s recently-announced investment plan. Roy Rosin, CIO at Penn Medicine, said, “Penn’s commitment is pretty exciting for this region.”

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Philadelphia Inquirer

Penn Invests $50 million in Biotech in a Bold Bid to Build Philly’s Innovation Cluster

Kevin B. Mahoney of the Perelman School of Medicine and UPHS confirmed Penn’s plans to invest in biotech companies, with long-range goals “to create jobs, synergy and an innovation cluster around Penn technology and spin outs.”

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Philadelphia Inquirer

Philly’s First Maker Faire: A Summer Carnival of Innovation

The School of Engineering and Applied Science’s Dean Vijay Kumar, Dan Koditschek, and Mark Yim were participants in Sunday’s Maker Faire, hosted at Pennovation.

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Nature

Microsoft’s Purchase of GitHub Leaves Some Scientists Uneasy

Post-doc Daniel Himmelstein of the Perelman School of Medicine discussed problematic elements of GitHub’s model. “Regardless of the Microsoft acquisition, GitHub, as a centralized and closed company, possesses a dangerous level of control over the open-source ecosystem,” said Himmelstein.

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