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Living a stress-free life may have benefits, but also a downside

Living a stress-free life may have benefits, but also a downside

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Stress is a universal human experience that almost everyone deals with from time to time. But a new study found that not only do some people report feeling no stress at all, but that there may be downsides to not experiencing stress.The researchers found that people who reported experiencing no stressors were more likely to experience better daily well-being and fewer chronic health conditions. However, they were also more likely to have lower cognitive function, as well.David M. Almeida, professor of human development and family studies at Penn State, said the study...

Mar 19
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Light smokers may not escape nicotine addiction, study reveals

Light smokers may not escape nicotine addiction, study reveals

HERSHEY, Pa. -- Even people who consider themselves to be casual cigarette smokers may be addicted, according to current diagnostic criteria. Researchers at Penn State College of Medicine and Duke University found that many light smokers -- those who smoke one to four cigarettes per day or fewer -- meet the criteria for nicotine addiction and should therefore be considered for treatment."In the past, some considered that only patients who smoke around 10 cigarettes per day or more were addicted, and I still hear that sometimes," said Jonathan Foulds, professor of public health sciences and...

Dec 23
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Research lays groundwork for ultra-thin, energy efficient photodetector on glass

Research lays groundwork for ultra-thin, energy efficient photodetector on glass

Though we may not always realize it, photodetectors contribute greatly to the convenience of modern life. Also known as photosensors, photodetectors convert light energy into electrical signals to complete tasks such as opening automatic sliding doors and automatically adjusting a cell phone's screen brightness in different lighting conditions.A new paper, published by a team of Penn State researchers in ACS Nano, seeks to further advance photodetectors' use by integrating the technology with durable Gorilla glass, the material used for smart phone screens that is manufactured by Corning...

Nov 4
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Oldest monkey fossils outside of Africa found

Oldest monkey fossils outside of Africa found

Three fossils found in a lignite mine in southeastern Yunan Province, China, are about 6.4 million years old, indicate monkeys existed in Asia at the same time as apes, and are probably the ancestors of some of the modern monkeys in the area, according to an international team of researchers."This is significant because they are some of the very oldest fossils of monkeys outside of Africa," said Nina G. Jablonski, Evan Pugh University Professor of Anthropology, Penn State. "It is close to or actually the ancestor of many of the living monkeys of East Asia. One of the interesting things from...

October 9, 2020
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Engineers imitate human hands to make better sensors

Engineers imitate human hands to make better sensors

An international research team has developed "electronic skin" sensors capable of mimicking the dynamic process of human motion. This work could help severely injured people, such as soldiers, regain the ability to control their movements, as well as contribute to the development of smart robotics, according to Huanyu "Larry" Cheng, Dorothy Quiggle Early Career Professor in the Penn State Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics.Cheng and collaborating researchers based in China published their work in a recent issue of Nano Energy."The skin of the human hand is amazing -- that's...

September 21, 2020
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Cannabinoid compounds may inhibit growth of colon cancer cells

Cannabinoid compounds may inhibit growth of colon cancer cells

Medical marijuana has gained attention in recent years for its potential to relieve pain and short-term anxiety and depression. Now, Penn State College of Medicine researchers say some cannabinoid compounds may actually inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells in the lab.The researchers tested the effects of synthetic cannabinoid compounds on colon cancer cells in an experiment in test tubes. While the compounds most commonly associated with cannabis -- THC and CBD -- showed little to no effect, 10 other compounds were effective at inhibiting cancer cell growth.Kent Vrana, chair of the...

February 8, 2019
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Astrocytes Converted to Neurons

Astrocytes Converted to Neurons

A simple drug cocktail that converts cells neighboring damaged neurons into functional new neurons could potentially be used to treat stroke, Alzheimer's disease, and brain injuries. A team of researchers at Penn State identified a set of four, or even three, molecules that could convert glial cells--which normally provide support and insulation for neurons--into new neurons. A paper describing the approach appears online in the journal on February 7, 2019."The biggest problem for brain repair is that neurons don't regenerate after brain damage, because they don't divide," said Gong Chen,...

February 11, 2019
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