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  • richardmitnick 8:27 pm on November 29, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "At the Penn Center for Innovation new discoveries for societal benefit", Penn Today,   

    From “Penn Today” At The University of Pennsylvania : “At the Penn Center for Innovation new discoveries for societal benefit” 

    From “Penn Today”

    at

    U Penn bloc

    The University of Pennsylvania

    11.28.22
    Dee Patel

    1
    Credit: Eric Sucar

    The Penn Center for Innovation (PCI) is “the premier university innovation, venture creation, and commercialization center,” says Associate Vice Provost for Research and Managing Director John Swartley.

    The center helps translate discoveries and ideas created at Penn into new products and businesses for societal benefit.

    “I am truly excited about the future, and the opportunity and privilege of helping Penn innovators translate their ideas into real world solutions,” Swartley says. “It’s been a huge amount of work, but I’m 100% confident that we have the right team and structure to continue to accelerate innovation at Penn.”

    The Penn Center for Innovation’s Celebration of Innovation on Tuesday, Dec. 6, will honor the patent recipients from this past fiscal year, as well as select partners, inventors, and startups that made exceptional achievements. The event will take place at the Glandt Forum in the Singh Center for Nanotechnology at 3205 Walnut St. from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

    The Center also recently released its annual Year In Review. Inside this report, readers can learn more about the different ways that PCI catalyzed another record-breaking year for commercialization activity at Penn across multiple different technology sectors, further extending and expanding the University’s already prodigious global innovation impact.

    Swartley talks to Penn Today about what the Penn Center for Innovation is and some notable accomplishments and highlights.

    2
    At the December 2021 Celebration of Innovation, the Penn ICorps team describes their startup idea. (Image: Penn Center for Innovation)

    What is the Penn Center for Innovation?

    Formally launched in 2014, we help faculty, staff, and student innovators translate the discoveries and ideas they create at Penn into new products and businesses for societal impact and benefit. Unlike most licensing and commercialization offices at other universities, PCI differentiates itself as a one-stop shop for virtually every type of potential business relationship between Penn innovators and their partners in the commercial sector. The expert staff at PCI is highly adept at helping to structure mutually beneficial business arrangements across a wide range of industries and technology development interests. Every day at PCI, we help convene a variety of deals and commercial partnerships, including startup companies, corporate alliances, and technology access agreements that result in the translational advancement of important technologies and innovative business ideas created at Penn, frequently inclusive of significant inflows of sponsored research funding.

    One of the things that I often say to help explain the key difference between PCI and other more typical university technology transfer offices is that while traditional offices focus mainly on the ‘patent license’ transaction itself, PCI is more concerned with creating meaningful partnership connections and business relationships between Penn innovators and the private sector. Our philosophy is that if you get these types of vital connections right, the optimal business structure, transactional needs, and contractual agreements will naturally follow.

    Talk about some of the major accomplishments highlighted in this year’s report.

    We hit record levels in numerous categories across our key metrics dashboard in FY22. To me, this is absolute validation of the philosophical underpinnings of PCI and our single-minded focus on providing world-class client service to all our stakeholders across the University and building productive relationships with external partners. The number of executed commercial agreements is a great example of this. Prior to the launch of PCI, Penn typically entered into 200-250 commercial agreements per year, but nowadays that figure has nearly tripled, and we routinely enter into more than 700 agreements per year. These agreements are with startups and established companies alike, and they now form a broad, robust, and diverse pipeline and portfolio of commercial and translative activity.

    That is extraordinary growth, and the results of unleashing so much commercial activity is increasingly evident in the number of Penn startups that are launched and receive professional investor capital, as well as the substantial and transformative flows of licensing income back to the University that is available to further support a broad range of research activities at Penn. It’s a truly virtuous cycle that we hope will generate lasting returns for the University for many years to come.

    What is a key highlight for this fiscal year?

    There are so many highlights to choose from, but the one that really stands out for me for FY22 is the patient impact story. Penn expertise and technologies licensed from the University are key components in nearly two dozen FDA-approved drugs and devices, directly impacting and improving the lives of more than a billion human beings. These approved treatments include numerous small molecule and cell-based cancer therapies, gene therapies for genetic diseases, and a recently approved surgical device. This ever-growing list of approved treatments also includes the two most widely deployed COVID vaccines currently available, Comirnaty® and Spikevax®, both of which rely upon foundational mRNA technology discovered at Penn by Drew Weissman and Katalin Karikó.

    How does PCI help provide Penn innovations and inventors with the best chance to advance the University’s strategic goals and impact the world at large?

    The incredible and ever-expanding Penn mRNA story mentioned previously is a perfect example of how the technology nurturing, protection, and commercial partnership support provided by PCI is so vitally important to the overall innovative process at the University. At the time of Weissman’s and Karikó’s fundamental mRNA discoveries nearly two decades ago, it would have been virtually impossible to predict the immense and unprecedented impact their invention would eventually have on worldwide health, and in the midst of an unforeseen global pandemic to boot. But that is precisely what is so important about academic technology commercialization in direct support of promising early stage technologies at world-class research institutions like Penn. By encouraging, protecting, and seeking development partners for hundreds, if not thousands, of discoveries and inventions before it has become fully apparent that they will actually become products and make a societal impact, University programs like PCI play a critically important role in the overall continuum of technology development and eventual social impact.

    PCI’s model facilitates an efficient and comprehensive service for faculty through a variety of means. Talk about some of those initiatives.

    At PCI, we’re always interested in refining and expanding the range of services and products we offer to our many different innovation clients. During FY22, we were pleased to support complementary innovation efforts across the University, including programs and centers in the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), the School of Dental Medicine, and Wharton. We supported a SEAS-led initiative focused on the internet of things for agricultural technology development, and we entered into a new drug-development accelerator program with Autobahn Labs. These are just a few examples drawn from many, but they emphasize our commitment to understanding the diverse needs of our clients across the entire University and bringing new business connections and solutions to the table to meet those needs.

    Anything else you would like to add?

    I would like to take a few moments to specifically recognize my amazing staff and team at PCI who do the heavy lifting every day and deserve a large share of the credit for PCI’s achievements. I’d also like to express my sincere gratitude to my predecessor Mike Cleare, my visionary boss Dawn Bonnell, former President Amy Gutmann, and Penn’s entire executive leadership team and Board of Trustees. Their consistent support and encouragement over the last decade has been absolutely vital to ensuring the success of this groundbreaking new model in support of innovation at Penn. Of course, none of this would be possible without the amazing creativity, inventiveness, and relentless energy of Penn’s world-class faculty and research community.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Penn campus

    Academic life at University of Pennsylvania is unparalleled, with 100 countries and every U.S. state represented in one of the Ivy League’s most diverse student bodies. Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the country, Penn enrolls 10,000 undergraduate students and welcomes an additional 10,000 students to our world-renowned graduate and professional schools.

    Penn’s award-winning educators and scholars encourage students to pursue inquiry and discovery, follow their passions, and address the world’s most challenging problems through an interdisciplinary approach.

    The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university claims a founding date of 1740 and is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered prior to the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn’s founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum.

    Penn has four undergraduate schools as well as twelve graduate and professional schools. Schools enrolling undergraduates include the College of Arts and Sciences; the School of Engineering and Applied Science; the Wharton School; and the School of Nursing. Penn’s “One University Policy” allows students to enroll in classes in any of Penn’s twelve schools. Among its highly ranked graduate and professional schools are a law school whose first professor wrote the first draft of the United States Constitution, the first school of medicine in North America (Perelman School of Medicine, 1765), and the first collegiate business school (Wharton School, 1881).

    Penn is also home to the first “student union” building and organization (Houston Hall, 1896), the first Catholic student club in North America (Newman Center, 1893), the first double-decker college football stadium (Franklin Field, 1924 when second deck was constructed), and Morris Arboretum, the official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was developed at Penn and formally dedicated in 1946. In 2019, the university had an endowment of $14.65 billion, the sixth-largest endowment of all universities in the United States, as well as a research budget of $1.02 billion. The university’s athletics program, the Quakers, fields varsity teams in 33 sports as a member of the NCAA Division I Ivy League conference.

    As of 2018, distinguished alumni and/or Trustees include three U.S. Supreme Court justices; 32 U.S. senators; 46 U.S. governors; 163 members of the U.S. House of Representatives; eight signers of the Declaration of Independence and seven signers of the U.S. Constitution (four of whom signed both representing two-thirds of the six people who signed both); 24 members of the Continental Congress; 14 foreign heads of state and two presidents of the United States, including Donald Trump. As of October 2019, 36 Nobel laureates; 80 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; 64 billionaires; 29 Rhodes Scholars; 15 Marshall Scholars and 16 Pulitzer Prize winners have been affiliated with the university.

    History

    The University of Pennsylvania considers itself the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, though this is contested by Princeton University and Columbia University. The university also considers itself as the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies.

    In 1740, a group of Philadelphians joined together to erect a great preaching hall for the traveling evangelist George Whitefield, who toured the American colonies delivering open-air sermons. The building was designed and built by Edmund Woolley and was the largest building in the city at the time, drawing thousands of people the first time it was preached in. It was initially planned to serve as a charity school as well, but a lack of funds forced plans for the chapel and school to be suspended. According to Franklin’s autobiography, it was in 1743 when he first had the idea to establish an academy, “thinking the Rev. Richard Peters a fit person to superintend such an institution”. However, Peters declined a casual inquiry from Franklin and nothing further was done for another six years. In the fall of 1749, now more eager to create a school to educate future generations, Benjamin Franklin circulated a pamphlet titled Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania, his vision for what he called a “Public Academy of Philadelphia”. Unlike the other colonial colleges that existed in 1749—Harvard University, William & Mary, Yale Unversity, and The College of New Jersey—Franklin’s new school would not focus merely on education for the clergy. He advocated an innovative concept of higher education, one which would teach both the ornamental knowledge of the arts and the practical skills necessary for making a living and doing public service. The proposed program of study could have become the nation’s first modern liberal arts curriculum, although it was never implemented because Anglican priest William Smith (1727-1803), who became the first provost, and other trustees strongly preferred the traditional curriculum.

    Franklin assembled a board of trustees from among the leading citizens of Philadelphia, the first such non-sectarian board in America. At the first meeting of the 24 members of the board of trustees on November 13, 1749, the issue of where to locate the school was a prime concern. Although a lot across Sixth Street from the old Pennsylvania State House (later renamed and famously known since 1776 as “Independence Hall”), was offered without cost by James Logan, its owner, the trustees realized that the building erected in 1740, which was still vacant, would be an even better site. The original sponsors of the dormant building still owed considerable construction debts and asked Franklin’s group to assume their debts and, accordingly, their inactive trusts. On February 1, 1750, the new board took over the building and trusts of the old board. On August 13, 1751, the “Academy of Philadelphia”, using the great hall at 4th and Arch Streets, took in its first secondary students. A charity school also was chartered on July 13, 1753 by the intentions of the original “New Building” donors, although it lasted only a few years. On June 16, 1755, the “College of Philadelphia” was chartered, paving the way for the addition of undergraduate instruction. All three schools shared the same board of trustees and were considered to be part of the same institution. The first commencement exercises were held on May 17, 1757.

    The institution of higher learning was known as the College of Philadelphia from 1755 to 1779. In 1779, not trusting then-provost the Reverend William Smith’s “Loyalist” tendencies, the revolutionary State Legislature created a University of the State of Pennsylvania. The result was a schism, with Smith continuing to operate an attenuated version of the College of Philadelphia. In 1791, the legislature issued a new charter, merging the two institutions into a new University of Pennsylvania with twelve men from each institution on the new board of trustees.

    Penn has three claims to being the first university in the United States, according to university archives director Mark Frazier Lloyd: the 1765 founding of the first medical school in America made Penn the first institution to offer both “undergraduate” and professional education; the 1779 charter made it the first American institution of higher learning to take the name of “University”; and existing colleges were established as seminaries (although, as detailed earlier, Penn adopted a traditional seminary curriculum as well).

    After being located in downtown Philadelphia for more than a century, the campus was moved across the Schuylkill River to property purchased from the Blockley Almshouse in West Philadelphia in 1872, where it has since remained in an area now known as University City. Although Penn began operating as an academy or secondary school in 1751 and obtained its collegiate charter in 1755, it initially designated 1750 as its founding date; this is the year that appears on the first iteration of the university seal. Sometime later in its early history, Penn began to consider 1749 as its founding date and this year was referenced for over a century, including at the centennial celebration in 1849. In 1899, the board of trustees voted to adjust the founding date earlier again, this time to 1740, the date of “the creation of the earliest of the many educational trusts the University has taken upon itself”. The board of trustees voted in response to a three-year campaign by Penn’s General Alumni Society to retroactively revise the university’s founding date to appear older than Princeton University, which had been chartered in 1746.

    Research, innovations and discoveries

    Penn is classified as an “R1” doctoral university: “Highest research activity.” Its economic impact on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 2015 amounted to $14.3 billion. Penn’s research expenditures in the 2018 fiscal year were $1.442 billion, the fourth largest in the U.S. In fiscal year 2019 Penn received $582.3 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health.

    In line with its well-known interdisciplinary tradition, Penn’s research centers often span two or more disciplines. In the 2010–2011 academic year alone, five interdisciplinary research centers were created or substantially expanded; these include the Center for Health-care Financing; the Center for Global Women’s Health at the Nursing School; the $13 million Morris Arboretum’s Horticulture Center; the $15 million Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at Wharton; and the $13 million Translational Research Center at Penn Medicine. With these additions, Penn now counts 165 research centers hosting a research community of over 4,300 faculty and over 1,100 postdoctoral fellows, 5,500 academic support staff and graduate student trainees. To further assist the advancement of interdisciplinary research President Amy Gutmann established the “Penn Integrates Knowledge” title awarded to selected Penn professors “whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge”. These professors hold endowed professorships and joint appointments between Penn’s schools.

    Penn is also among the most prolific producers of doctoral students. With 487 PhDs awarded in 2009, Penn ranks third in the Ivy League, only behind Columbia University and Cornell University (Harvard University did not report data). It also has one of the highest numbers of post-doctoral appointees (933 in number for 2004–2007), ranking third in the Ivy League (behind Harvard and Yale University) and tenth nationally.

    In most disciplines Penn professors’ productivity is among the highest in the nation and first in the fields of epidemiology, business, communication studies, comparative literature, languages, information science, criminal justice and criminology, social sciences and sociology. According to the National Research Council nearly three-quarters of Penn’s 41 assessed programs were placed in ranges including the top 10 rankings in their fields, with more than half of these in ranges including the top five rankings in these fields.

    Penn’s research tradition has historically been complemented by innovations that shaped higher education. In addition to establishing the first medical school; the first university teaching hospital; the first business school; and the first student union Penn was also the cradle of other significant developments. In 1852, Penn Law was the first law school in the nation to publish a law journal still in existence (then called The American Law Register, now the Penn Law Review, one of the most cited law journals in the world). Under the deanship of William Draper Lewis, the law school was also one of the first schools to emphasize legal teaching by full-time professors instead of practitioners, a system that is still followed today. The Wharton School was home to several pioneering developments in business education. It established the first research center in a business school in 1921 and the first center for entrepreneurship center in 1973 and it regularly introduced novel curricula for which BusinessWeek wrote, “Wharton is on the crest of a wave of reinvention and change in management education”.

    Several major scientific discoveries have also taken place at Penn. The university is probably best known as the place where the first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was born in 1946 at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering.

    ENIAC UPenn

    It was here also where the world’s first spelling and grammar checkers were created, as well as the popular COBOL programming language. Penn can also boast some of the most important discoveries in the field of medicine. The dialysis machine used as an artificial replacement for lost kidney function was conceived and devised out of a pressure cooker by William Inouye while he was still a student at Penn Med; the Rubella and Hepatitis B vaccines were developed at Penn; the discovery of cancer’s link with genes; cognitive therapy; Retin-A (the cream used to treat acne), Resistin; the Philadelphia gene (linked to chronic myelogenous leukemia) and the technology behind PET Scans were all discovered by Penn Med researchers. More recent gene research has led to the discovery of the genes for fragile X syndrome, the most common form of inherited mental retardation; spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, a disorder marked by progressive muscle wasting; and Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the hands, feet and limbs.

    Conductive polymer was also developed at Penn by Alan J. Heeger, Alan MacDiarmid and Hideki Shirakawa, an invention that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. On faculty since 1965, Ralph L. Brinster developed the scientific basis for in vitro fertilization and the transgenic mouse at Penn and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2010. The theory of superconductivity was also partly developed at Penn, by then-faculty member John Robert Schrieffer (along with John Bardeen and Leon Cooper). The university has also contributed major advancements in the fields of economics and management. Among the many discoveries are conjoint analysis, widely used as a predictive tool especially in market research; Simon Kuznets’s method of measuring Gross National Product; the Penn effect (the observation that consumer price levels in richer countries are systematically higher than in poorer ones) and the “Wharton Model” developed by Nobel-laureate Lawrence Klein to measure and forecast economic activity. The idea behind Health Maintenance Organizations also belonged to Penn professor Robert Eilers, who put it into practice during then-President Nixon’s health reform in the 1970s.

    International partnerships

    Students can study abroad for a semester or a year at partner institutions such as the London School of Economics(UK), University of Barcelona [Universitat de Barcelona](ES), Paris Institute of Political Studies [Institut d’études politiques de Paris](FR), University of Queensland(AU), University College London(UK), King’s College London(UK), Hebrew University of Jerusalem(IL) and University of Warwick(UK).

     
  • richardmitnick 3:48 pm on November 2, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Physics of disaster - How mudslides move", "Rheology": the study of how complex materials flow, , , During the 2018 Montecito mudslides powerful flows of debris pushed boulders out of creek-carved canyons toward homes causing destruction and 23 deaths., , , , , , Penn Today, , , What is the tipping point at which a solid slope begins to ooze like a liquid?   

    From “Penn Today” At The University of Pennsylvania : “Physics of disaster – How mudslides move” 

    From “Penn Today”

    at

    U Penn bloc

    The University of Pennsylvania

    11.1.22
    Katherine Unger Baillie

    1
    During the 2018 Montecito mudslides, powerful flows of debris pushed boulders out of creek-carved canyons toward homes, causing destruction and 23 deaths. New findings from a Penn-led team leveraged recent developments in physics to understand the forces that govern the mudslides. (Image: Douglas Jeromack)

    In early December 2017, the Thomas Fire ravaged nearly 300,000 acres of Southern California. The intense heat of the flames not only killed trees and vegetation on the hillsides above Montecito, it vaporized their roots as well.

    A month later, in the pre-dawn hours of Jan. 9, a strong storm pelted the barren slopes with more than half an inch of rain in five minutes. The rootless soil transformed into a powerful slurry, churning down a creek-carved canyon and picking up boulders in the rush before fanning out at the bottom and barreling into homes. Twenty-three people died in the disaster.

    Could this tragedy have been avoided? What is the tipping point at which a solid slope begins to ooze like a liquid? New findings from a team led by Douglas Jerolmack of Penn’s School of Arts & Sciences and School of Engineering and Applied Science in collaboration with Paulo Arratia of Penn Engineering and researchers from the University of California-Santa Barbara, apply cutting-edge physics to answer these questions. Their study, published in the PNAS [below], performed laboratory experiments that determined how the failure and flow behavior of samples from the Montecito mudslides was related to material properties of the soil.

    2
    Field setting. (A) Digital elevation model of the Montecito region. Sample names used throughout this study are shown in yellow. Main catchment regions are designated in red, with the two primary catchments and fluvial channels of interest labeled. Major lithological units are shown throughout and denoted in the legend. Debris flow deposits from the 2018 event are indicated as a dark brown lithological unit with primary flow paths following the channel paths. (B) Field image showing a site of source material used for rheologic testing. Rills are the concentrated zones of erosion on the hillslope. (C) Close up of hillslope soil deposited on a boulder, showing that source materials formed viscous, yield stress flows.

    3
    The Thomas Fire charred the hillsides above Montecito in late 2017, setting up conditions for mudslides in early 2018. (Image: Douglas Jerolmack)

    “We weren’t there to see it happen,” says Jerolmack, “but our idea was, ‘Could we learn something about the process of how a solid hillside loses its rigidity by measuring how mixtures of water and soil flow when they’re at different concentrations?’”

    Melding the theoretical and the applied

    During the winter of 2018, Jerolmack was on sabbatical and traveled to the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at UCSB—but not to study mudslides. “It’s a place to come and hammer out problems that are frontier topics in physics,” he says. “I’m a geophysicist, but I wasn’t there to do geoscience. I was there to learn about that frontier physics, especially about the physics of dense suspensions.”

    Three days after Jerolmack arrived, however, the debris flows occurred. About a month later, when it was safe to do so, Thomas Dunne, a geologist at UCSB and a coauthor on the paper, invited him to collect samples from Montecito.

    It was a grim task. Some samples came from the devastated remains of homes, where mud flows from the hillside were strong enough to push massive boulders down creek beds all the way up to—and sometimes through—houses. “By the time we got near the mouth of the canyon, it was almost like a phalanx of boulders,” Jerolmack says. “Houses were buried to their roof lines; cars were pulverized and unrecognizable.”

    4
    Jerolmack joined Thomas Dunne (foreground) and Doug Burbank of University of California-Santa Barbara to take samples from the field a month after the mudslides. The scientists used them to understand how the composition of mud influenced the forces required for it to lose its solidity. (Image: Douglas Jerolmack)

    Taking the samples back to the lab, the researchers’ goal was to model how the composition of the mud and the stresses it is subjected to influence when it begins to flow, overcoming the forces that lend substances rigidity, what scientists call a “jammed state.”

    It wasn’t the first time that engineers and scientists have attempted this kind of modeling from field samples. Some studies had tried to simulate conditions in the field by placing shovelfuls of dirt and mud in large rheometers, a device that spins samples rapidly to measure their viscosity, or how their flow responds to a defined force. Typical rheometers, however, only give accurate results if a substance is homogeneous and well-mixed, not like the Montecito samples, which contained various amounts of ash, clay, and rocks.

    More high-tech and sensitive rheometers, which measure the viscosity of tiny quantities, can overcome this drawback. But they come with another: samples that contain larger particles—say, rocks in mud—could clog their delicate workings.

    “We realized we could take measurements that we knew to be reliable and precise if we used this exquisitely sensitive device,” Jerolmack says, “even if it came at the cost of having to sieve out the coarsest material from our samples.”

    A clear signal from ‘dirty’ samples

    The investigation relied on the expertise of each team member. UCSB postdoc Hadis Matinpour prepared, recorded, and plotted out the first samples and analyzed the composition of natural particles. Sarah Haber, at the time a research assistant at Penn, determined the chemical composition of the materials, including important quantities like clay content.

    “We had all this raw data and were having trouble making sense of it,” Jerolmack says. “Robert Kostynick, then a master’s student at Penn, picked up the project for his thesis and put in a huge amount of legwork and thought to organize, interpret, and try to collapse a lot of the data.”

    Those contributions leaned on an understanding of cutting-edge physics related to the forces at work in dense suspensions. These include friction, as particles rub against one another; lubrication, if a thin film of water helps particles slide past one another; or cohesion, if sticky particles like clay bind together.

    “We had the audacity, or maybe the naiveté, to try to apply some really recent developments in physics to a really messy material,” says Jerolmack.

    Penn postdoc Shravan Pradeep, who has a deep background in rheology, or the study of how complex materials flow, also joined the team. He pinpointed precisely how the material properties of the soil—particle sizes and clay content—determined its failure and flow properties. His analysis showed that understanding particles’ stickiness, measured as “yield stress,” and how closely particles can pack together in the “jammed state,” could almost entirely account for the results observed in the Montecito samples.

    Yield stress can be envisioned by picturing toothpaste or hair gel, Jerolmack says. In a tube, these materials do not flow. Only when a force is applied to the tube—a firm squeeze—do they begin to flow. The jammed state can be thought of as the point at which particles are so crowded together that they are unable to move past one other.

    “What we realized was with debris flows, when you’re not pushing on them hard, their behavior is governed entirely by yield stress,” says Jerolmack. “But when you’re pushing very hard—the force of gravity carrying a debris flow down a mountainside—the viscous behavior comes to dominate and is determined by how far the particle density is from the jammed state.”

    In the lab, the researchers were not able to simulate failure, the point at which a solid soil, constrained by “jamming,” transitioned into a moveable mud. But they could approximate the reverse, evaluating the muddy materials mixed with water at different concentrations to extrapolate the jammed state.

    “The beauty of it is that, when you get samples from nature, they can be all over the place in terms of their composition, how much ash they contain, the location you collected from,” says Arratia. “Yet in the end, all the data just collapsed into a single master curve. This tells you that now, you have a universal understanding that holds whether you’re in the lab or you’re on the mountains of Montecito.”

    With climate change, wildfire frequency and intensity are growing in many regions, as is the intensity of precipitation events. Thus, the risk of catastrophic mudslides isn’t disappearing any time soon.

    The new findings to predict yield stress and the jammed state can help inform modeling that federal and local governments do to simulate debris flows, the researchers say. “Say, if it rains this hard and I have this kind of material, how fast is it going to flow and how far,” Jerolmack says.

    And in a more general way, Jerolmack and his colleagues hope the work, which combined theoretical and empirical sciences, leads to more such interdisciplinary approaches. “We can take late-breaking discoveries in physics and actually relate them pretty directly to a meaningful environmental or geophysical problem.”

    Science paper:
    PNAS

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Penn campus

    Academic life at University of Pennsylvania is unparalleled, with 100 countries and every U.S. state represented in one of the Ivy League’s most diverse student bodies. Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the country, Penn enrolls 10,000 undergraduate students and welcomes an additional 10,000 students to our world-renowned graduate and professional schools.

    Penn’s award-winning educators and scholars encourage students to pursue inquiry and discovery, follow their passions, and address the world’s most challenging problems through an interdisciplinary approach.

    The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university claims a founding date of 1740 and is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered prior to the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn’s founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum.

    Penn has four undergraduate schools as well as twelve graduate and professional schools. Schools enrolling undergraduates include the College of Arts and Sciences; the School of Engineering and Applied Science; the Wharton School; and the School of Nursing. Penn’s “One University Policy” allows students to enroll in classes in any of Penn’s twelve schools. Among its highly ranked graduate and professional schools are a law school whose first professor wrote the first draft of the United States Constitution, the first school of medicine in North America (Perelman School of Medicine, 1765), and the first collegiate business school (Wharton School, 1881).

    Penn is also home to the first “student union” building and organization (Houston Hall, 1896), the first Catholic student club in North America (Newman Center, 1893), the first double-decker college football stadium (Franklin Field, 1924 when second deck was constructed), and Morris Arboretum, the official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was developed at Penn and formally dedicated in 1946. In 2019, the university had an endowment of $14.65 billion, the sixth-largest endowment of all universities in the United States, as well as a research budget of $1.02 billion. The university’s athletics program, the Quakers, fields varsity teams in 33 sports as a member of the NCAA Division I Ivy League conference.

    As of 2018, distinguished alumni and/or Trustees include three U.S. Supreme Court justices; 32 U.S. senators; 46 U.S. governors; 163 members of the U.S. House of Representatives; eight signers of the Declaration of Independence and seven signers of the U.S. Constitution (four of whom signed both representing two-thirds of the six people who signed both); 24 members of the Continental Congress; 14 foreign heads of state and two presidents of the United States, including Donald Trump. As of October 2019, 36 Nobel laureates; 80 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; 64 billionaires; 29 Rhodes Scholars; 15 Marshall Scholars and 16 Pulitzer Prize winners have been affiliated with the university.

    History

    The University of Pennsylvania considers itself the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, though this is contested by Princeton University and Columbia University. The university also considers itself as the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies.

    In 1740, a group of Philadelphians joined together to erect a great preaching hall for the traveling evangelist George Whitefield, who toured the American colonies delivering open-air sermons. The building was designed and built by Edmund Woolley and was the largest building in the city at the time, drawing thousands of people the first time it was preached in. It was initially planned to serve as a charity school as well, but a lack of funds forced plans for the chapel and school to be suspended. According to Franklin’s autobiography, it was in 1743 when he first had the idea to establish an academy, “thinking the Rev. Richard Peters a fit person to superintend such an institution”. However, Peters declined a casual inquiry from Franklin and nothing further was done for another six years. In the fall of 1749, now more eager to create a school to educate future generations, Benjamin Franklin circulated a pamphlet titled Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania, his vision for what he called a “Public Academy of Philadelphia”. Unlike the other colonial colleges that existed in 1749—Harvard University, William & Mary, Yale Unversity, and The College of New Jersey—Franklin’s new school would not focus merely on education for the clergy. He advocated an innovative concept of higher education, one which would teach both the ornamental knowledge of the arts and the practical skills necessary for making a living and doing public service. The proposed program of study could have become the nation’s first modern liberal arts curriculum, although it was never implemented because Anglican priest William Smith (1727-1803), who became the first provost, and other trustees strongly preferred the traditional curriculum.

    Franklin assembled a board of trustees from among the leading citizens of Philadelphia, the first such non-sectarian board in America. At the first meeting of the 24 members of the board of trustees on November 13, 1749, the issue of where to locate the school was a prime concern. Although a lot across Sixth Street from the old Pennsylvania State House (later renamed and famously known since 1776 as “Independence Hall”), was offered without cost by James Logan, its owner, the trustees realized that the building erected in 1740, which was still vacant, would be an even better site. The original sponsors of the dormant building still owed considerable construction debts and asked Franklin’s group to assume their debts and, accordingly, their inactive trusts. On February 1, 1750, the new board took over the building and trusts of the old board. On August 13, 1751, the “Academy of Philadelphia”, using the great hall at 4th and Arch Streets, took in its first secondary students. A charity school also was chartered on July 13, 1753 by the intentions of the original “New Building” donors, although it lasted only a few years. On June 16, 1755, the “College of Philadelphia” was chartered, paving the way for the addition of undergraduate instruction. All three schools shared the same board of trustees and were considered to be part of the same institution. The first commencement exercises were held on May 17, 1757.

    The institution of higher learning was known as the College of Philadelphia from 1755 to 1779. In 1779, not trusting then-provost the Reverend William Smith’s “Loyalist” tendencies, the revolutionary State Legislature created a University of the State of Pennsylvania. The result was a schism, with Smith continuing to operate an attenuated version of the College of Philadelphia. In 1791, the legislature issued a new charter, merging the two institutions into a new University of Pennsylvania with twelve men from each institution on the new board of trustees.

    Penn has three claims to being the first university in the United States, according to university archives director Mark Frazier Lloyd: the 1765 founding of the first medical school in America made Penn the first institution to offer both “undergraduate” and professional education; the 1779 charter made it the first American institution of higher learning to take the name of “University”; and existing colleges were established as seminaries (although, as detailed earlier, Penn adopted a traditional seminary curriculum as well).

    After being located in downtown Philadelphia for more than a century, the campus was moved across the Schuylkill River to property purchased from the Blockley Almshouse in West Philadelphia in 1872, where it has since remained in an area now known as University City. Although Penn began operating as an academy or secondary school in 1751 and obtained its collegiate charter in 1755, it initially designated 1750 as its founding date; this is the year that appears on the first iteration of the university seal. Sometime later in its early history, Penn began to consider 1749 as its founding date and this year was referenced for over a century, including at the centennial celebration in 1849. In 1899, the board of trustees voted to adjust the founding date earlier again, this time to 1740, the date of “the creation of the earliest of the many educational trusts the University has taken upon itself”. The board of trustees voted in response to a three-year campaign by Penn’s General Alumni Society to retroactively revise the university’s founding date to appear older than Princeton University, which had been chartered in 1746.

    Research, innovations and discoveries

    Penn is classified as an “R1” doctoral university: “Highest research activity.” Its economic impact on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 2015 amounted to $14.3 billion. Penn’s research expenditures in the 2018 fiscal year were $1.442 billion, the fourth largest in the U.S. In fiscal year 2019 Penn received $582.3 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health.

    In line with its well-known interdisciplinary tradition, Penn’s research centers often span two or more disciplines. In the 2010–2011 academic year alone, five interdisciplinary research centers were created or substantially expanded; these include the Center for Health-care Financing; the Center for Global Women’s Health at the Nursing School; the $13 million Morris Arboretum’s Horticulture Center; the $15 million Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at Wharton; and the $13 million Translational Research Center at Penn Medicine. With these additions, Penn now counts 165 research centers hosting a research community of over 4,300 faculty and over 1,100 postdoctoral fellows, 5,500 academic support staff and graduate student trainees. To further assist the advancement of interdisciplinary research President Amy Gutmann established the “Penn Integrates Knowledge” title awarded to selected Penn professors “whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge”. These professors hold endowed professorships and joint appointments between Penn’s schools.

    Penn is also among the most prolific producers of doctoral students. With 487 PhDs awarded in 2009, Penn ranks third in the Ivy League, only behind Columbia University and Cornell University (Harvard University did not report data). It also has one of the highest numbers of post-doctoral appointees (933 in number for 2004–2007), ranking third in the Ivy League (behind Harvard and Yale University) and tenth nationally.

    In most disciplines Penn professors’ productivity is among the highest in the nation and first in the fields of epidemiology, business, communication studies, comparative literature, languages, information science, criminal justice and criminology, social sciences and sociology. According to the National Research Council nearly three-quarters of Penn’s 41 assessed programs were placed in ranges including the top 10 rankings in their fields, with more than half of these in ranges including the top five rankings in these fields.

    Penn’s research tradition has historically been complemented by innovations that shaped higher education. In addition to establishing the first medical school; the first university teaching hospital; the first business school; and the first student union Penn was also the cradle of other significant developments. In 1852, Penn Law was the first law school in the nation to publish a law journal still in existence (then called The American Law Register, now the Penn Law Review, one of the most cited law journals in the world). Under the deanship of William Draper Lewis, the law school was also one of the first schools to emphasize legal teaching by full-time professors instead of practitioners, a system that is still followed today. The Wharton School was home to several pioneering developments in business education. It established the first research center in a business school in 1921 and the first center for entrepreneurship center in 1973 and it regularly introduced novel curricula for which BusinessWeek wrote, “Wharton is on the crest of a wave of reinvention and change in management education”.

    Several major scientific discoveries have also taken place at Penn. The university is probably best known as the place where the first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was born in 1946 at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering.

    ENIAC UPenn

    It was here also where the world’s first spelling and grammar checkers were created, as well as the popular COBOL programming language. Penn can also boast some of the most important discoveries in the field of medicine. The dialysis machine used as an artificial replacement for lost kidney function was conceived and devised out of a pressure cooker by William Inouye while he was still a student at Penn Med; the Rubella and Hepatitis B vaccines were developed at Penn; the discovery of cancer’s link with genes; cognitive therapy; Retin-A (the cream used to treat acne), Resistin; the Philadelphia gene (linked to chronic myelogenous leukemia) and the technology behind PET Scans were all discovered by Penn Med researchers. More recent gene research has led to the discovery of the genes for fragile X syndrome, the most common form of inherited mental retardation; spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, a disorder marked by progressive muscle wasting; and Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the hands, feet and limbs.

    Conductive polymer was also developed at Penn by Alan J. Heeger, Alan MacDiarmid and Hideki Shirakawa, an invention that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. On faculty since 1965, Ralph L. Brinster developed the scientific basis for in vitro fertilization and the transgenic mouse at Penn and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2010. The theory of superconductivity was also partly developed at Penn, by then-faculty member John Robert Schrieffer (along with John Bardeen and Leon Cooper). The university has also contributed major advancements in the fields of economics and management. Among the many discoveries are conjoint analysis, widely used as a predictive tool especially in market research; Simon Kuznets’s method of measuring Gross National Product; the Penn effect (the observation that consumer price levels in richer countries are systematically higher than in poorer ones) and the “Wharton Model” developed by Nobel-laureate Lawrence Klein to measure and forecast economic activity. The idea behind Health Maintenance Organizations also belonged to Penn professor Robert Eilers, who put it into practice during then-President Nixon’s health reform in the 1970s.

    International partnerships

    Students can study abroad for a semester or a year at partner institutions such as the London School of Economics(UK), University of Barcelona [Universitat de Barcelona](ES), Paris Institute of Political Studies [Institut d’études politiques de Paris](FR), University of Queensland(AU), University College London(UK), King’s College London(UK), Hebrew University of Jerusalem(IL) and University of Warwick(UK).

     
  • richardmitnick 9:18 am on October 21, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New Penn Global program fosters ethical research around the world", , , , , , Penn Today, The first student cohort of the Penn Global Research Institute piloted the program this summer in the Galápagos.   

    From “Penn Today” : “New Penn Global program fosters ethical research around the world” 

    From “Penn Today”

    at

    U Penn bloc

    The University of Pennsylvania

    10.20.22
    Marilyn Perkins

    The first student cohort of the Penn Global Research Institute piloted the program this summer in the Galápagos.

    1
    As part of the pilot program for PGRI, Penn students like Victoria Moffitt (right) conducted research in the Galápagos with GERA, a research organization co-led by Ernesto Vaca (left). (Image: Victoria Moffitt)

    The Galápagos Islands off the coast of mainland Ecuador are home to a long legacy of scientific research. The archipelago’s rich biodiversity inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, and its unique wildlife continue to draw researchers from around the world.

    But from the perspective of the islands’ residents, scientific institutions have rarely fostered a sense of trust or collaboration. “Science in the Galápagos has traditionally been exclusionary,” says Maddie Tilyou, lab manager for the Galapagos Education and Research Alliance (GERA) and 2019 Penn alumni. “Foreign researchers come in, extract their data, and publish it in English behind a paywall.”

    To help reverse that pattern, Michael Weisberg, professor of philosophy at Penn’s School of Arts & Sciences; Deena Weisberg of Villanova University; and Galapagos resident and naturalist guide Ernesto Vaca established GERA, a social ecology lab that emphasizes partnership with the local community. Its mission is to promote ecological and scientific understanding in the Galápagos.

    Now, Penn Global is collaborating with GERA to pilot the Penn Global Research Institutes (PGRI), a new initiative that prioritizes long-term, community-driven research around the world. Four undergraduate students and two Master’s of Public Health students formed the program’s first cohort, venturing to the Galápagos this summer to carry out research projects based around the needs of the local community.

    A student’s commitment to the program spans the entire year, with the spring dedicated to planning, the summer to research, and the fall to data analysis and presentation. While student research topics for the PGRI’s first iteration varied from engineering to education, a shared focus was the impact that climate change would have on San Cristóbal, the easternmost island of the Galápagos archipelago. Climate change threatens not only the island’s wildlife but also its infrastructure and the health of its residents.

    Mapping extreme weather

    In 1983, San Cristóbal faced a season of unrelenting rains that residents remember vividly, decades later. Shifting water temperatures and El Niño wind currents spurred storms, floods, and ecological tumult. Models from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggest that temperatures and precipitation levels will continue to rise in the Pacific Ocean surrounding the Galápagos, which will make extreme weather events like the 1983 El Niño floods even more common.

    Third-year student Lía Enríquez wanted to document how San Cristóbal withstood extreme weather events, hoping the weather of the past could offer hints for the future. She says the IPCC models provide a general prediction of what may happen on the island, “but what the community’s knowledge can tell us is what that is actually going to look like on the ground.”

    Enríquez, an environmental studies major from Ecuador, conducted interviews with island residents to learn how and where extreme weather impacted San Cristóbal, down to the specific roads that flooded and the services that failed. She then used software to map points of concern in future extreme weather events.

    Her project, called LAVA-Clima, revealed patterns in how extreme rainfall affected the island. Enríquez learned that in 1983, as well as the similarly stormy years of 1997 and 1998, heavy rainfall flooded the canals that flow from the island’s central higher elevations down to the sea-level coastline. While regulations prohibit residences built too close to these canals, the rules are often ignored. Enríquez identified these houses as being at major risk in future flood years.

    Though climate change jeopardizes infrastructure on San Cristóbal, Enríquez also found that the island had “community systems of support for extreme weather events,” even though they weren’t “formally institutionalized,” she says. She hopes that her results will help the community have a clearer picture of how climate change may affect them in the future and adapt ahead of time.

    3
    As part of the PGRI program, students are studying the effects of climate change, which threatens both wildlife and humans living in the Galápagos. (Image: Victoria Moffitt)

    Studying climate anxiety

    Stress over the future effects of climate change can lead to climate anxiety, a mental health condition that can stoke feelings of worry, helplessness, and fear. Previous research [Nature (below)] has shown that children and youth in particular are vulnerable to climate anxiety, with nearly 60% of survey respondents aged 16 to 25 saying they felt “very worried” or “extremely worried” about the future of the climate.

    Victoria Moffitt, an MD-MPH graduate student, used her PGRI project to explore how youth in the Galápagos felt about climate change. In a previous summer research project through GERA, Moffitt had conducted a needs assessment with the Ecuadorian Ministry of Health and found that mental health was a major public health concern. However, the impact of climate change on Galapagueño children’s mental health had never been studied. “We weren’t sure if the children even were aware of the threats that climate change would be posing to their island,” says Moffitt.

    To see how youth in San Cristóbal were responding to the threat of climate change, Moffitt gave participants aged 7 to 17 a blank sheet of paper and asked them to draw what they thought the island would look like in 100 years.

    She found that a majority of the children drew negative depictions of the island’s future. Their drawings showed San Cristóbal covered in litter and garbage, with missing or crossed out animals, and even abandoned towns. While some children drew positive interpretations of the island’s future, illustrating volunteer trash collectors and garbage-cleaning drones, it was clear that climate change loomed heavy in the minds of San Cristóbal’s youth.

    “Even if the children don’t have a perfect understanding of what climate change is, they’re definitely experiencing concerns and, at the very least, a negative perception of what the future of their home is going to look like,” says Moffitt.

    Enduring research

    The first PGRI cohort will continue to analyze their data and report their conclusions through the fall semester. They’re also laying the groundwork for their projects to continue with future students and residents of the island.

    While PGRI will continue to evolve, its commitment to the community will be a constant. “We didn’t want this to be something where Penn faculty and students swoop in and swoop out of a location,” says Laurie Jensen, associate director of Penn Abroad. “A really important piece of PGRI is that it sustains engagement with the community over several years.” PGRI will return to San Cristóbal with GERA for the next two years, with the hope of establishing a long-term commitment after that.

    According to Enríquez, a local pastor is carrying on her extreme weather project. “He has contacts in every single neighborhood in the town, and he’s trying to get as much engagement as possible,” she says. “He’s getting a lot off the ground right now.”

    Moffitt says she plans to use her results to design school programs about climate change for students in San Cristóbal. Her participants’ drawings revealed that many children conflated climate change with littering, so she hopes to partner with local teachers to address those knowledge gaps. When it comes to helping children deal with their climate anxiety, Moffitt says she wants to encourage art therapy and project-based learning activities that will let students “express their perspective on climate change, instead of leaving it as something that’s brushed under the rug.”

    Science article:
    Nature
    Science paper:
    The Lancet Planetary Health

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Penn campus

    Academic life at University of Pennsylvania is unparalleled, with 100 countries and every U.S. state represented in one of the Ivy League’s most diverse student bodies. Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the country, Penn enrolls 10,000 undergraduate students and welcomes an additional 10,000 students to our world-renowned graduate and professional schools.

    Penn’s award-winning educators and scholars encourage students to pursue inquiry and discovery, follow their passions, and address the world’s most challenging problems through an interdisciplinary approach.

    The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university claims a founding date of 1740 and is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered prior to the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn’s founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum.

    Penn has four undergraduate schools as well as twelve graduate and professional schools. Schools enrolling undergraduates include the College of Arts and Sciences; the School of Engineering and Applied Science; the Wharton School; and the School of Nursing. Penn’s “One University Policy” allows students to enroll in classes in any of Penn’s twelve schools. Among its highly ranked graduate and professional schools are a law school whose first professor wrote the first draft of the United States Constitution, the first school of medicine in North America (Perelman School of Medicine, 1765), and the first collegiate business school (Wharton School, 1881).

    Penn is also home to the first “student union” building and organization (Houston Hall, 1896), the first Catholic student club in North America (Newman Center, 1893), the first double-decker college football stadium (Franklin Field, 1924 when second deck was constructed), and Morris Arboretum, the official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was developed at Penn and formally dedicated in 1946. In 2019, the university had an endowment of $14.65 billion, the sixth-largest endowment of all universities in the United States, as well as a research budget of $1.02 billion. The university’s athletics program, the Quakers, fields varsity teams in 33 sports as a member of the NCAA Division I Ivy League conference.

    As of 2018, distinguished alumni and/or Trustees include three U.S. Supreme Court justices; 32 U.S. senators; 46 U.S. governors; 163 members of the U.S. House of Representatives; eight signers of the Declaration of Independence and seven signers of the U.S. Constitution (four of whom signed both representing two-thirds of the six people who signed both); 24 members of the Continental Congress; 14 foreign heads of state and two presidents of the United States, including Donald Trump. As of October 2019, 36 Nobel laureates; 80 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; 64 billionaires; 29 Rhodes Scholars; 15 Marshall Scholars and 16 Pulitzer Prize winners have been affiliated with the university.

    History

    The University of Pennsylvania considers itself the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, though this is contested by Princeton University and Columbia University. The university also considers itself as the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies.

    In 1740, a group of Philadelphians joined together to erect a great preaching hall for the traveling evangelist George Whitefield, who toured the American colonies delivering open-air sermons. The building was designed and built by Edmund Woolley and was the largest building in the city at the time, drawing thousands of people the first time it was preached in. It was initially planned to serve as a charity school as well, but a lack of funds forced plans for the chapel and school to be suspended. According to Franklin’s autobiography, it was in 1743 when he first had the idea to establish an academy, “thinking the Rev. Richard Peters a fit person to superintend such an institution”. However, Peters declined a casual inquiry from Franklin and nothing further was done for another six years. In the fall of 1749, now more eager to create a school to educate future generations, Benjamin Franklin circulated a pamphlet titled Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania, his vision for what he called a “Public Academy of Philadelphia”. Unlike the other colonial colleges that existed in 1749—Harvard University, William & Mary, Yale Unversity, and The College of New Jersey—Franklin’s new school would not focus merely on education for the clergy. He advocated an innovative concept of higher education, one which would teach both the ornamental knowledge of the arts and the practical skills necessary for making a living and doing public service. The proposed program of study could have become the nation’s first modern liberal arts curriculum, although it was never implemented because Anglican priest William Smith (1727-1803), who became the first provost, and other trustees strongly preferred the traditional curriculum.

    Franklin assembled a board of trustees from among the leading citizens of Philadelphia, the first such non-sectarian board in America. At the first meeting of the 24 members of the board of trustees on November 13, 1749, the issue of where to locate the school was a prime concern. Although a lot across Sixth Street from the old Pennsylvania State House (later renamed and famously known since 1776 as “Independence Hall”), was offered without cost by James Logan, its owner, the trustees realized that the building erected in 1740, which was still vacant, would be an even better site. The original sponsors of the dormant building still owed considerable construction debts and asked Franklin’s group to assume their debts and, accordingly, their inactive trusts. On February 1, 1750, the new board took over the building and trusts of the old board. On August 13, 1751, the “Academy of Philadelphia”, using the great hall at 4th and Arch Streets, took in its first secondary students. A charity school also was chartered on July 13, 1753 by the intentions of the original “New Building” donors, although it lasted only a few years. On June 16, 1755, the “College of Philadelphia” was chartered, paving the way for the addition of undergraduate instruction. All three schools shared the same board of trustees and were considered to be part of the same institution. The first commencement exercises were held on May 17, 1757.

    The institution of higher learning was known as the College of Philadelphia from 1755 to 1779. In 1779, not trusting then-provost the Reverend William Smith’s “Loyalist” tendencies, the revolutionary State Legislature created a University of the State of Pennsylvania. The result was a schism, with Smith continuing to operate an attenuated version of the College of Philadelphia. In 1791, the legislature issued a new charter, merging the two institutions into a new University of Pennsylvania with twelve men from each institution on the new board of trustees.

    Penn has three claims to being the first university in the United States, according to university archives director Mark Frazier Lloyd: the 1765 founding of the first medical school in America made Penn the first institution to offer both “undergraduate” and professional education; the 1779 charter made it the first American institution of higher learning to take the name of “University”; and existing colleges were established as seminaries (although, as detailed earlier, Penn adopted a traditional seminary curriculum as well).

    After being located in downtown Philadelphia for more than a century, the campus was moved across the Schuylkill River to property purchased from the Blockley Almshouse in West Philadelphia in 1872, where it has since remained in an area now known as University City. Although Penn began operating as an academy or secondary school in 1751 and obtained its collegiate charter in 1755, it initially designated 1750 as its founding date; this is the year that appears on the first iteration of the university seal. Sometime later in its early history, Penn began to consider 1749 as its founding date and this year was referenced for over a century, including at the centennial celebration in 1849. In 1899, the board of trustees voted to adjust the founding date earlier again, this time to 1740, the date of “the creation of the earliest of the many educational trusts the University has taken upon itself”. The board of trustees voted in response to a three-year campaign by Penn’s General Alumni Society to retroactively revise the university’s founding date to appear older than Princeton University, which had been chartered in 1746.

    Research, innovations and discoveries

    Penn is classified as an “R1” doctoral university: “Highest research activity.” Its economic impact on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 2015 amounted to $14.3 billion. Penn’s research expenditures in the 2018 fiscal year were $1.442 billion, the fourth largest in the U.S. In fiscal year 2019 Penn received $582.3 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health.

    In line with its well-known interdisciplinary tradition, Penn’s research centers often span two or more disciplines. In the 2010–2011 academic year alone, five interdisciplinary research centers were created or substantially expanded; these include the Center for Health-care Financing; the Center for Global Women’s Health at the Nursing School; the $13 million Morris Arboretum’s Horticulture Center; the $15 million Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at Wharton; and the $13 million Translational Research Center at Penn Medicine. With these additions, Penn now counts 165 research centers hosting a research community of over 4,300 faculty and over 1,100 postdoctoral fellows, 5,500 academic support staff and graduate student trainees. To further assist the advancement of interdisciplinary research President Amy Gutmann established the “Penn Integrates Knowledge” title awarded to selected Penn professors “whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge”. These professors hold endowed professorships and joint appointments between Penn’s schools.

    Penn is also among the most prolific producers of doctoral students. With 487 PhDs awarded in 2009, Penn ranks third in the Ivy League, only behind Columbia University and Cornell University (Harvard University did not report data). It also has one of the highest numbers of post-doctoral appointees (933 in number for 2004–2007), ranking third in the Ivy League (behind Harvard and Yale University) and tenth nationally.

    In most disciplines Penn professors’ productivity is among the highest in the nation and first in the fields of epidemiology, business, communication studies, comparative literature, languages, information science, criminal justice and criminology, social sciences and sociology. According to the National Research Council nearly three-quarters of Penn’s 41 assessed programs were placed in ranges including the top 10 rankings in their fields, with more than half of these in ranges including the top five rankings in these fields.

    Penn’s research tradition has historically been complemented by innovations that shaped higher education. In addition to establishing the first medical school; the first university teaching hospital; the first business school; and the first student union Penn was also the cradle of other significant developments. In 1852, Penn Law was the first law school in the nation to publish a law journal still in existence (then called The American Law Register, now the Penn Law Review, one of the most cited law journals in the world). Under the deanship of William Draper Lewis, the law school was also one of the first schools to emphasize legal teaching by full-time professors instead of practitioners, a system that is still followed today. The Wharton School was home to several pioneering developments in business education. It established the first research center in a business school in 1921 and the first center for entrepreneurship center in 1973 and it regularly introduced novel curricula for which BusinessWeek wrote, “Wharton is on the crest of a wave of reinvention and change in management education”.

    Several major scientific discoveries have also taken place at Penn. The university is probably best known as the place where the first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was born in 1946 at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering.

    ENIAC UPenn

    It was here also where the world’s first spelling and grammar checkers were created, as well as the popular COBOL programming language. Penn can also boast some of the most important discoveries in the field of medicine. The dialysis machine used as an artificial replacement for lost kidney function was conceived and devised out of a pressure cooker by William Inouye while he was still a student at Penn Med; the Rubella and Hepatitis B vaccines were developed at Penn; the discovery of cancer’s link with genes; cognitive therapy; Retin-A (the cream used to treat acne), Resistin; the Philadelphia gene (linked to chronic myelogenous leukemia) and the technology behind PET Scans were all discovered by Penn Med researchers. More recent gene research has led to the discovery of the genes for fragile X syndrome, the most common form of inherited mental retardation; spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, a disorder marked by progressive muscle wasting; and Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the hands, feet and limbs.

    Conductive polymer was also developed at Penn by Alan J. Heeger, Alan MacDiarmid and Hideki Shirakawa, an invention that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. On faculty since 1965, Ralph L. Brinster developed the scientific basis for in vitro fertilization and the transgenic mouse at Penn and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2010. The theory of superconductivity was also partly developed at Penn, by then-faculty member John Robert Schrieffer (along with John Bardeen and Leon Cooper). The university has also contributed major advancements in the fields of economics and management. Among the many discoveries are conjoint analysis, widely used as a predictive tool especially in market research; Simon Kuznets’s method of measuring Gross National Product; the Penn effect (the observation that consumer price levels in richer countries are systematically higher than in poorer ones) and the “Wharton Model” developed by Nobel-laureate Lawrence Klein to measure and forecast economic activity. The idea behind Health Maintenance Organizations also belonged to Penn professor Robert Eilers, who put it into practice during then-President Nixon’s health reform in the 1970s.

    International partnerships

    Students can study abroad for a semester or a year at partner institutions such as the London School of Economics(UK), University of Barcelona [Universitat de Barcelona](ES), Paris Institute of Political Studies [Institut d’études politiques de Paris](FR), University of Queensland(AU), University College London(UK), King’s College London(UK), Hebrew University of Jerusalem(IL) and University of Warwick(UK).

     
  • richardmitnick 12:41 pm on September 30, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "What it’s like to be stationed at a particle accelerator", , , , , , Penn Today,   

    From “Penn Today” : “What it’s like to be stationed at a particle accelerator” 

    From “Penn Today”

    at

    U Penn bloc

    University of Pennsylvania

    9.29.22
    Blake Cole

    Gwen Gardner and Lauren Osojnak, Ph.D. candidates in physics, describe their work as part of the Penn ATLAS team at the Large Hadron Collider.

    ATLAS

    On July 5, 2022, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, more commonly referred to as CERN, brought all LHC systems online for its third run. This came after a three-year-long maintenance and upgrade phase, and on the tail of the 10th anniversary of one of the most significant discoveries associated with CERN: the Higgs boson, “the fundamental particle associated with the Higgs field, a field that gives mass to other fundamental particles such as electrons and quarks.”

    2
    Gwen Gardner (third from right) and Lauren Osojnak (second from right) below the detector, standing in front of one of the access points they use to climb up to our electronics. (Image: Courtesy of Gwen Gardner and Lauren Osojnak)

    The LHC, located in Geneva on the Franco-Swiss border, is the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator, a 27-kilometer ring of superconducting magnets. It speeds up and increases the energy of a beam of particles by generating electric fields that accelerate the particles, and magnetic fields that steer and focus them, which gives researchers a rare glimpse into the basic constituents of matter.

    Over 600 institutes and universities around the world use CERN’s facilities. Gardner and Osojnak describe their work as part of Penn’s team.

    “What I do right now is mostly instrumentation work. It’s hands on, dealing with electronics and writing what we call low-level code, which just means that the code that we write is meant to interact with electronics and hardware,” says Gardner. “This is more along the lines of the kind of stuff you might study in electrical engineering. Most of us here learn enough of it to get by from research experience.”

    “I work on the transition radiation tracker of ATLAS,” says Osojnak. “That involves a lot of time in the control room, which is really exciting, especially since the start of run three last week. I didn’t get to be in the actual control room for the first beams of Run Three, but I got to be in one of the other ATLAS buildings with a bunch of people watching it occur and cheering with everyone, which was really fun. The other half of my time is dedicated to working on a supersymmetry analysis.”

    “I always say that what I’m doing is kind of like looking for a needle in a haystack, but not even knowing if there is a needle at all,” explains Osojnak. “Not everything matches up exactly as we think that it should if the standard model was the end of the story. So, one way that it could make sense is if every particle had basically a mirror image particle of itself and the standard model was doubled. That’s what super symmetry is. But there are other options. It could be that instead of having this mirror image super symmetry, there could be a mirror image with a little crack in the mirror, and that might be the missing piece. But then that begs the question, ‘How specific do we go?’ If it’s a broken symmetry, maybe it’s just chaos and there is a multiverse theory and this super symmetry is just a garbage theory. The philosophical implications of it are interesting.”

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Penn campus

    Academic life at University of Pennsylvania is unparalleled, with 100 countries and every U.S. state represented in one of the Ivy League’s most diverse student bodies. Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the country, Penn enrolls 10,000 undergraduate students and welcomes an additional 10,000 students to our world-renowned graduate and professional schools.

    Penn’s award-winning educators and scholars encourage students to pursue inquiry and discovery, follow their passions, and address the world’s most challenging problems through an interdisciplinary approach.

    The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university claims a founding date of 1740 and is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered prior to the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn’s founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum.

    Penn has four undergraduate schools as well as twelve graduate and professional schools. Schools enrolling undergraduates include the College of Arts and Sciences; the School of Engineering and Applied Science; the Wharton School; and the School of Nursing. Penn’s “One University Policy” allows students to enroll in classes in any of Penn’s twelve schools. Among its highly ranked graduate and professional schools are a law school whose first professor wrote the first draft of the United States Constitution, the first school of medicine in North America (Perelman School of Medicine, 1765), and the first collegiate business school (Wharton School, 1881).

    Penn is also home to the first “student union” building and organization (Houston Hall, 1896), the first Catholic student club in North America (Newman Center, 1893), the first double-decker college football stadium (Franklin Field, 1924 when second deck was constructed), and Morris Arboretum, the official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was developed at Penn and formally dedicated in 1946. In 2019, the university had an endowment of $14.65 billion, the sixth-largest endowment of all universities in the United States, as well as a research budget of $1.02 billion. The university’s athletics program, the Quakers, fields varsity teams in 33 sports as a member of the NCAA Division I Ivy League conference.

    As of 2018, distinguished alumni and/or Trustees include three U.S. Supreme Court justices; 32 U.S. senators; 46 U.S. governors; 163 members of the U.S. House of Representatives; eight signers of the Declaration of Independence and seven signers of the U.S. Constitution (four of whom signed both representing two-thirds of the six people who signed both); 24 members of the Continental Congress; 14 foreign heads of state and two presidents of the United States, including Donald Trump. As of October 2019, 36 Nobel laureates; 80 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; 64 billionaires; 29 Rhodes Scholars; 15 Marshall Scholars and 16 Pulitzer Prize winners have been affiliated with the university.

    History

    The University of Pennsylvania considers itself the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, though this is contested by Princeton University and Columbia University. The university also considers itself as the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies.

    In 1740, a group of Philadelphians joined together to erect a great preaching hall for the traveling evangelist George Whitefield, who toured the American colonies delivering open-air sermons. The building was designed and built by Edmund Woolley and was the largest building in the city at the time, drawing thousands of people the first time it was preached in. It was initially planned to serve as a charity school as well, but a lack of funds forced plans for the chapel and school to be suspended. According to Franklin’s autobiography, it was in 1743 when he first had the idea to establish an academy, “thinking the Rev. Richard Peters a fit person to superintend such an institution”. However, Peters declined a casual inquiry from Franklin and nothing further was done for another six years. In the fall of 1749, now more eager to create a school to educate future generations, Benjamin Franklin circulated a pamphlet titled Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania, his vision for what he called a “Public Academy of Philadelphia”. Unlike the other colonial colleges that existed in 1749—Harvard University, William & Mary, Yale Unversity, and The College of New Jersey—Franklin’s new school would not focus merely on education for the clergy. He advocated an innovative concept of higher education, one which would teach both the ornamental knowledge of the arts and the practical skills necessary for making a living and doing public service. The proposed program of study could have become the nation’s first modern liberal arts curriculum, although it was never implemented because Anglican priest William Smith (1727-1803), who became the first provost, and other trustees strongly preferred the traditional curriculum.

    Franklin assembled a board of trustees from among the leading citizens of Philadelphia, the first such non-sectarian board in America. At the first meeting of the 24 members of the board of trustees on November 13, 1749, the issue of where to locate the school was a prime concern. Although a lot across Sixth Street from the old Pennsylvania State House (later renamed and famously known since 1776 as “Independence Hall”), was offered without cost by James Logan, its owner, the trustees realized that the building erected in 1740, which was still vacant, would be an even better site. The original sponsors of the dormant building still owed considerable construction debts and asked Franklin’s group to assume their debts and, accordingly, their inactive trusts. On February 1, 1750, the new board took over the building and trusts of the old board. On August 13, 1751, the “Academy of Philadelphia”, using the great hall at 4th and Arch Streets, took in its first secondary students. A charity school also was chartered on July 13, 1753 by the intentions of the original “New Building” donors, although it lasted only a few years. On June 16, 1755, the “College of Philadelphia” was chartered, paving the way for the addition of undergraduate instruction. All three schools shared the same board of trustees and were considered to be part of the same institution. The first commencement exercises were held on May 17, 1757.

    The institution of higher learning was known as the College of Philadelphia from 1755 to 1779. In 1779, not trusting then-provost the Reverend William Smith’s “Loyalist” tendencies, the revolutionary State Legislature created a University of the State of Pennsylvania. The result was a schism, with Smith continuing to operate an attenuated version of the College of Philadelphia. In 1791, the legislature issued a new charter, merging the two institutions into a new University of Pennsylvania with twelve men from each institution on the new board of trustees.

    Penn has three claims to being the first university in the United States, according to university archives director Mark Frazier Lloyd: the 1765 founding of the first medical school in America made Penn the first institution to offer both “undergraduate” and professional education; the 1779 charter made it the first American institution of higher learning to take the name of “University”; and existing colleges were established as seminaries (although, as detailed earlier, Penn adopted a traditional seminary curriculum as well).

    After being located in downtown Philadelphia for more than a century, the campus was moved across the Schuylkill River to property purchased from the Blockley Almshouse in West Philadelphia in 1872, where it has since remained in an area now known as University City. Although Penn began operating as an academy or secondary school in 1751 and obtained its collegiate charter in 1755, it initially designated 1750 as its founding date; this is the year that appears on the first iteration of the university seal. Sometime later in its early history, Penn began to consider 1749 as its founding date and this year was referenced for over a century, including at the centennial celebration in 1849. In 1899, the board of trustees voted to adjust the founding date earlier again, this time to 1740, the date of “the creation of the earliest of the many educational trusts the University has taken upon itself”. The board of trustees voted in response to a three-year campaign by Penn’s General Alumni Society to retroactively revise the university’s founding date to appear older than Princeton University, which had been chartered in 1746.

    Research, innovations and discoveries

    Penn is classified as an “R1” doctoral university: “Highest research activity.” Its economic impact on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 2015 amounted to $14.3 billion. Penn’s research expenditures in the 2018 fiscal year were $1.442 billion, the fourth largest in the U.S. In fiscal year 2019 Penn received $582.3 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health.

    In line with its well-known interdisciplinary tradition, Penn’s research centers often span two or more disciplines. In the 2010–2011 academic year alone, five interdisciplinary research centers were created or substantially expanded; these include the Center for Health-care Financing; the Center for Global Women’s Health at the Nursing School; the $13 million Morris Arboretum’s Horticulture Center; the $15 million Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at Wharton; and the $13 million Translational Research Center at Penn Medicine. With these additions, Penn now counts 165 research centers hosting a research community of over 4,300 faculty and over 1,100 postdoctoral fellows, 5,500 academic support staff and graduate student trainees. To further assist the advancement of interdisciplinary research President Amy Gutmann established the “Penn Integrates Knowledge” title awarded to selected Penn professors “whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge”. These professors hold endowed professorships and joint appointments between Penn’s schools.

    Penn is also among the most prolific producers of doctoral students. With 487 PhDs awarded in 2009, Penn ranks third in the Ivy League, only behind Columbia University and Cornell University (Harvard University did not report data). It also has one of the highest numbers of post-doctoral appointees (933 in number for 2004–2007), ranking third in the Ivy League (behind Harvard and Yale University) and tenth nationally.

    In most disciplines Penn professors’ productivity is among the highest in the nation and first in the fields of epidemiology, business, communication studies, comparative literature, languages, information science, criminal justice and criminology, social sciences and sociology. According to the National Research Council nearly three-quarters of Penn’s 41 assessed programs were placed in ranges including the top 10 rankings in their fields, with more than half of these in ranges including the top five rankings in these fields.

    Penn’s research tradition has historically been complemented by innovations that shaped higher education. In addition to establishing the first medical school; the first university teaching hospital; the first business school; and the first student union Penn was also the cradle of other significant developments. In 1852, Penn Law was the first law school in the nation to publish a law journal still in existence (then called The American Law Register, now the Penn Law Review, one of the most cited law journals in the world). Under the deanship of William Draper Lewis, the law school was also one of the first schools to emphasize legal teaching by full-time professors instead of practitioners, a system that is still followed today. The Wharton School was home to several pioneering developments in business education. It established the first research center in a business school in 1921 and the first center for entrepreneurship center in 1973 and it regularly introduced novel curricula for which BusinessWeek wrote, “Wharton is on the crest of a wave of reinvention and change in management education”.

    Several major scientific discoveries have also taken place at Penn. The university is probably best known as the place where the first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was born in 1946 at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering.

    ENIAC UPenn

    It was here also where the world’s first spelling and grammar checkers were created, as well as the popular COBOL programming language. Penn can also boast some of the most important discoveries in the field of medicine. The dialysis machine used as an artificial replacement for lost kidney function was conceived and devised out of a pressure cooker by William Inouye while he was still a student at Penn Med; the Rubella and Hepatitis B vaccines were developed at Penn; the discovery of cancer’s link with genes; cognitive therapy; Retin-A (the cream used to treat acne), Resistin; the Philadelphia gene (linked to chronic myelogenous leukemia) and the technology behind PET Scans were all discovered by Penn Med researchers. More recent gene research has led to the discovery of the genes for fragile X syndrome, the most common form of inherited mental retardation; spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, a disorder marked by progressive muscle wasting; and Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the hands, feet and limbs.

    Conductive polymer was also developed at Penn by Alan J. Heeger, Alan MacDiarmid and Hideki Shirakawa, an invention that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. On faculty since 1965, Ralph L. Brinster developed the scientific basis for in vitro fertilization and the transgenic mouse at Penn and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2010. The theory of superconductivity was also partly developed at Penn, by then-faculty member John Robert Schrieffer (along with John Bardeen and Leon Cooper). The university has also contributed major advancements in the fields of economics and management. Among the many discoveries are conjoint analysis, widely used as a predictive tool especially in market research; Simon Kuznets’s method of measuring Gross National Product; the Penn effect (the observation that consumer price levels in richer countries are systematically higher than in poorer ones) and the “Wharton Model” developed by Nobel-laureate Lawrence Klein to measure and forecast economic activity. The idea behind Health Maintenance Organizations also belonged to Penn professor Robert Eilers, who put it into practice during then-President Nixon’s health reform in the 1970s.

    International partnerships

    Students can study abroad for a semester or a year at partner institutions such as the London School of Economics(UK), University of Barcelona [Universitat de Barcelona](ES), Paris Institute of Political Studies [Institut d’études politiques de Paris](FR), University of Queensland(AU), University College London(UK), King’s College London(UK), Hebrew University of Jerusalem(IL) and University of Warwick(UK).

     
  • richardmitnick 9:07 am on August 17, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New analysis shows how sulfur clouds can form in Venus’ atmosphere", , , , Geoengineering, Penn Today,   

    From “Penn Today” : “New analysis shows how sulfur clouds can form in Venus’ atmosphere” 

    From “Penn Today”

    at

    U Penn bloc

    University of Pennsylvania

    8.16.22
    Katherine Unger Baillie

    An international research team, including atmospheric chemists from the School of Arts & Sciences, used computational chemistry methods to identify a novel pathway for how sulfur particles can arise high in the atmosphere of the second planet from the sun.

    1
    An image of Venus captured in 1974 by the Mariner 10 mission was recently reprocessed, enabling more detail to become visible. Areas of reddish clouds, about 40 miles above the planet’s surface, indicate ultraviolet absorption, the source of which is a long, unsolved scientific mystery. New work by researchers from Penn and other institutions help clarify the sulfur chemistry at play in the clouds, which may be involved in absorbing UV light. The findings have implications for chemistry on Earth. (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech.)

    High in the atmosphere of Venus, a swirl of sulfur-containing clouds blankets the planet. Dark spots in these clouds correspond with areas of high ultraviolet light absorption, but researchers have yet to confirm the chemical culprit responsible for this activity.

    In a recent study, scientists using sophisticated computational chemistry techniques have identified a new pathway for how sulfur particles can form in the Venusian atmosphere. The results clarify the planet’s source of sulfur-rich clouds, hint at the identity of the long-mysterious ultraviolet-absorbing compound, and offer a note of caution for efforts to geoengineer a solution to climate change by injecting sulfur into Earth’s atmosphere.

    “Scientists have been trying to understand the source of these ultraviolet absorbing emissions on Venus for a while,” says Joseph S. Francisco, an atmospheric chemist at the University of Pennsylvania and a corresponding author on the new work, published in Nature Communications [below]. “To date, none of these emissions correspond to anything that we know here on Earth. That’s sparked a lot of interest and excitement because that means there is some new chemistry to discover.”

    “We know that the atmosphere of Venus has abundant SO2 (sulphur dioxide) and sulfuric acid particles,” says James Lyons, senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute and another corresponding author on the paper. “We expect that ultraviolet destruction of SO2 produces sulfur particles. They are built up from atomic S (sulfur) to S2 (disulfur), then S4 and finally S8. But how is this process initiated, that is, how does S2 form?”

    Earlier efforts had hypothesized one possibility: that S2 formed from two sulfur atoms, that is, reaction of S and S. Molecules of S2 and S2 can then combine to form S4, and so on. Sulfur particles can form either by condensation of S8 or by condensation of S2, S4 and other allotropes—different physical forms in which an element can exist—which then rearrange to form condensed S8.

    Francisco and Penn postdoc Tarek Trabelsi, however, looked to identify a different pathway to form S2 that could more accurately model what was known about sulfur chemistry in Venus’ atmosphere. Laboratory experiments involving sulfur, chlorine, and oxygen can be difficult and even hazardous, making computational methods an appealing alternative. Working with colleagues from Spain, they developed state-of-the-art computational models that factored in the wave lengths of light that would cause sulfur to compounds to break apart and the rates at which they would do so. Lyons and other colleagues incorporated those calculations into atmospheric models of Venus.

    Together, their work revealed a new and faster pathway to form S2, involving a reaction between sulfur monoxide (SO) and disulfur monoxide (S2O), with interactions with chlorine compounds as an intermediate step.

    “This research illustrates another pathway to S2 and sulfur particle formation,” Lyons says. “Sulfur chemistry is dominant in Venus’ atmosphere and very likely plays a key role in the formation of the enigmatic UV (ultraviolet) absorber. More generally, this work opens the doors to using molecular techniques to disentangle the complex chemistry of Venus.”

    Francisco adds that the findings can also help in weighing what to avoid when it comes to chemistry on Earth. While some scientists and engineers have proposed adding sulfur compounds like sulfur dioxide and trioxide into the Earth’s atmosphere to reflect light and reduce the impacts of climate change, Francisco notes that many unknowns exist about how such an intervention would play out.

    “Knowing what chemistry takes place on other planets helps guide us in understanding new chemistry that might occur on Earth and what we don’t want to happen in Earth’s atmosphere,” he says.

    Science paper:
    Nature Communications

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Penn campus

    Academic life at University of Pennsylvania is unparalleled, with 100 countries and every U.S. state represented in one of the Ivy League’s most diverse student bodies. Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the country, Penn enrolls 10,000 undergraduate students and welcomes an additional 10,000 students to our world-renowned graduate and professional schools.

    Penn’s award-winning educators and scholars encourage students to pursue inquiry and discovery, follow their passions, and address the world’s most challenging problems through an interdisciplinary approach.

    The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university claims a founding date of 1740 and is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered prior to the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn’s founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum.

    Penn has four undergraduate schools as well as twelve graduate and professional schools. Schools enrolling undergraduates include the College of Arts and Sciences; the School of Engineering and Applied Science; the Wharton School; and the School of Nursing. Penn’s “One University Policy” allows students to enroll in classes in any of Penn’s twelve schools. Among its highly ranked graduate and professional schools are a law school whose first professor wrote the first draft of the United States Constitution, the first school of medicine in North America (Perelman School of Medicine, 1765), and the first collegiate business school (Wharton School, 1881).

    Penn is also home to the first “student union” building and organization (Houston Hall, 1896), the first Catholic student club in North America (Newman Center, 1893), the first double-decker college football stadium (Franklin Field, 1924 when second deck was constructed), and Morris Arboretum, the official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was developed at Penn and formally dedicated in 1946. In 2019, the university had an endowment of $14.65 billion, the sixth-largest endowment of all universities in the United States, as well as a research budget of $1.02 billion. The university’s athletics program, the Quakers, fields varsity teams in 33 sports as a member of the NCAA Division I Ivy League conference.

    As of 2018, distinguished alumni and/or Trustees include three U.S. Supreme Court justices; 32 U.S. senators; 46 U.S. governors; 163 members of the U.S. House of Representatives; eight signers of the Declaration of Independence and seven signers of the U.S. Constitution (four of whom signed both representing two-thirds of the six people who signed both); 24 members of the Continental Congress; 14 foreign heads of state and two presidents of the United States, including Donald Trump. As of October 2019, 36 Nobel laureates; 80 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; 64 billionaires; 29 Rhodes Scholars; 15 Marshall Scholars and 16 Pulitzer Prize winners have been affiliated with the university.

    History

    The University of Pennsylvania considers itself the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, though this is contested by Princeton University and Columbia University. The university also considers itself as the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies.

    In 1740, a group of Philadelphians joined together to erect a great preaching hall for the traveling evangelist George Whitefield, who toured the American colonies delivering open-air sermons. The building was designed and built by Edmund Woolley and was the largest building in the city at the time, drawing thousands of people the first time it was preached in. It was initially planned to serve as a charity school as well, but a lack of funds forced plans for the chapel and school to be suspended. According to Franklin’s autobiography, it was in 1743 when he first had the idea to establish an academy, “thinking the Rev. Richard Peters a fit person to superintend such an institution”. However, Peters declined a casual inquiry from Franklin and nothing further was done for another six years. In the fall of 1749, now more eager to create a school to educate future generations, Benjamin Franklin circulated a pamphlet titled Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania, his vision for what he called a “Public Academy of Philadelphia”. Unlike the other colonial colleges that existed in 1749—Harvard University, William & Mary, Yale Unversity, and The College of New Jersey—Franklin’s new school would not focus merely on education for the clergy. He advocated an innovative concept of higher education, one which would teach both the ornamental knowledge of the arts and the practical skills necessary for making a living and doing public service. The proposed program of study could have become the nation’s first modern liberal arts curriculum, although it was never implemented because Anglican priest William Smith (1727-1803), who became the first provost, and other trustees strongly preferred the traditional curriculum.

    Franklin assembled a board of trustees from among the leading citizens of Philadelphia, the first such non-sectarian board in America. At the first meeting of the 24 members of the board of trustees on November 13, 1749, the issue of where to locate the school was a prime concern. Although a lot across Sixth Street from the old Pennsylvania State House (later renamed and famously known since 1776 as “Independence Hall”), was offered without cost by James Logan, its owner, the trustees realized that the building erected in 1740, which was still vacant, would be an even better site. The original sponsors of the dormant building still owed considerable construction debts and asked Franklin’s group to assume their debts and, accordingly, their inactive trusts. On February 1, 1750, the new board took over the building and trusts of the old board. On August 13, 1751, the “Academy of Philadelphia”, using the great hall at 4th and Arch Streets, took in its first secondary students. A charity school also was chartered on July 13, 1753 by the intentions of the original “New Building” donors, although it lasted only a few years. On June 16, 1755, the “College of Philadelphia” was chartered, paving the way for the addition of undergraduate instruction. All three schools shared the same board of trustees and were considered to be part of the same institution. The first commencement exercises were held on May 17, 1757.

    The institution of higher learning was known as the College of Philadelphia from 1755 to 1779. In 1779, not trusting then-provost the Reverend William Smith’s “Loyalist” tendencies, the revolutionary State Legislature created a University of the State of Pennsylvania. The result was a schism, with Smith continuing to operate an attenuated version of the College of Philadelphia. In 1791, the legislature issued a new charter, merging the two institutions into a new University of Pennsylvania with twelve men from each institution on the new board of trustees.

    Penn has three claims to being the first university in the United States, according to university archives director Mark Frazier Lloyd: the 1765 founding of the first medical school in America made Penn the first institution to offer both “undergraduate” and professional education; the 1779 charter made it the first American institution of higher learning to take the name of “University”; and existing colleges were established as seminaries (although, as detailed earlier, Penn adopted a traditional seminary curriculum as well).

    After being located in downtown Philadelphia for more than a century, the campus was moved across the Schuylkill River to property purchased from the Blockley Almshouse in West Philadelphia in 1872, where it has since remained in an area now known as University City. Although Penn began operating as an academy or secondary school in 1751 and obtained its collegiate charter in 1755, it initially designated 1750 as its founding date; this is the year that appears on the first iteration of the university seal. Sometime later in its early history, Penn began to consider 1749 as its founding date and this year was referenced for over a century, including at the centennial celebration in 1849. In 1899, the board of trustees voted to adjust the founding date earlier again, this time to 1740, the date of “the creation of the earliest of the many educational trusts the University has taken upon itself”. The board of trustees voted in response to a three-year campaign by Penn’s General Alumni Society to retroactively revise the university’s founding date to appear older than Princeton University, which had been chartered in 1746.

    Research, innovations and discoveries

    Penn is classified as an “R1” doctoral university: “Highest research activity.” Its economic impact on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 2015 amounted to $14.3 billion. Penn’s research expenditures in the 2018 fiscal year were $1.442 billion, the fourth largest in the U.S. In fiscal year 2019 Penn received $582.3 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health.

    In line with its well-known interdisciplinary tradition, Penn’s research centers often span two or more disciplines. In the 2010–2011 academic year alone, five interdisciplinary research centers were created or substantially expanded; these include the Center for Health-care Financing; the Center for Global Women’s Health at the Nursing School; the $13 million Morris Arboretum’s Horticulture Center; the $15 million Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at Wharton; and the $13 million Translational Research Center at Penn Medicine. With these additions, Penn now counts 165 research centers hosting a research community of over 4,300 faculty and over 1,100 postdoctoral fellows, 5,500 academic support staff and graduate student trainees. To further assist the advancement of interdisciplinary research President Amy Gutmann established the “Penn Integrates Knowledge” title awarded to selected Penn professors “whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge”. These professors hold endowed professorships and joint appointments between Penn’s schools.

    Penn is also among the most prolific producers of doctoral students. With 487 PhDs awarded in 2009, Penn ranks third in the Ivy League, only behind Columbia University and Cornell University (Harvard University did not report data). It also has one of the highest numbers of post-doctoral appointees (933 in number for 2004–2007), ranking third in the Ivy League (behind Harvard and Yale University) and tenth nationally.

    In most disciplines Penn professors’ productivity is among the highest in the nation and first in the fields of epidemiology, business, communication studies, comparative literature, languages, information science, criminal justice and criminology, social sciences and sociology. According to the National Research Council nearly three-quarters of Penn’s 41 assessed programs were placed in ranges including the top 10 rankings in their fields, with more than half of these in ranges including the top five rankings in these fields.

    Penn’s research tradition has historically been complemented by innovations that shaped higher education. In addition to establishing the first medical school; the first university teaching hospital; the first business school; and the first student union Penn was also the cradle of other significant developments. In 1852, Penn Law was the first law school in the nation to publish a law journal still in existence (then called The American Law Register, now the Penn Law Review, one of the most cited law journals in the world). Under the deanship of William Draper Lewis, the law school was also one of the first schools to emphasize legal teaching by full-time professors instead of practitioners, a system that is still followed today. The Wharton School was home to several pioneering developments in business education. It established the first research center in a business school in 1921 and the first center for entrepreneurship center in 1973 and it regularly introduced novel curricula for which BusinessWeek wrote, “Wharton is on the crest of a wave of reinvention and change in management education”.

    Several major scientific discoveries have also taken place at Penn. The university is probably best known as the place where the first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was born in 1946 at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering.

    ENIAC UPenn

    It was here also where the world’s first spelling and grammar checkers were created, as well as the popular COBOL programming language. Penn can also boast some of the most important discoveries in the field of medicine. The dialysis machine used as an artificial replacement for lost kidney function was conceived and devised out of a pressure cooker by William Inouye while he was still a student at Penn Med; the Rubella and Hepatitis B vaccines were developed at Penn; the discovery of cancer’s link with genes; cognitive therapy; Retin-A (the cream used to treat acne), Resistin; the Philadelphia gene (linked to chronic myelogenous leukemia) and the technology behind PET Scans were all discovered by Penn Med researchers. More recent gene research has led to the discovery of the genes for fragile X syndrome, the most common form of inherited mental retardation; spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, a disorder marked by progressive muscle wasting; and Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the hands, feet and limbs.

    Conductive polymer was also developed at Penn by Alan J. Heeger, Alan MacDiarmid and Hideki Shirakawa, an invention that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. On faculty since 1965, Ralph L. Brinster developed the scientific basis for in vitro fertilization and the transgenic mouse at Penn and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2010. The theory of superconductivity was also partly developed at Penn, by then-faculty member John Robert Schrieffer (along with John Bardeen and Leon Cooper). The university has also contributed major advancements in the fields of economics and management. Among the many discoveries are conjoint analysis, widely used as a predictive tool especially in market research; Simon Kuznets’s method of measuring Gross National Product; the Penn effect (the observation that consumer price levels in richer countries are systematically higher than in poorer ones) and the “Wharton Model” developed by Nobel-laureate Lawrence Klein to measure and forecast economic activity. The idea behind Health Maintenance Organizations also belonged to Penn professor Robert Eilers, who put it into practice during then-President Nixon’s health reform in the 1970s.

    International partnerships

    Students can study abroad for a semester or a year at partner institutions such as the London School of Economics(UK), University of Barcelona [Universitat de Barcelona](ES), Paris Institute of Political Studies [Institut d’études politiques de Paris](FR), University of Queensland(AU), University College London(UK), King’s College London(UK), Hebrew University of Jerusalem(IL) and University of Warwick(UK).

     
  • richardmitnick 12:23 pm on July 8, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "The Higgs boson discovery - 10 years later" Cannot Leave Penn out of the story, , , , Elliot Lipeles - associate professor of physics in the School of Arts & Sciences, , , , Penn Today,   

    From “Penn Today”: “The Higgs boson discovery – 10 years later” Cannot Leave Penn out of the story 

    From “Penn Today”

    at

    U Penn bloc

    University of Pennsylvania

    July 7, 2022
    Marilyn Perkins
    Eric Sucar: Photographer

    1
    Elliot Lipeles is a particle physicist who helped discover the Higgs boson 10 years ago as part of a Penn partnership with the ATLAS experiment in Switzerland.

    If you asked the average Pennsylvanian why they were celebrating the 4th of July this year, they would probably tell you that it was to mark Independence Day. But if you asked the same question to Elliot Lipeles, associate professor of physics in the School of Arts & Sciences, he might have another reason: July 4th, 2022, was the 10th anniversary of the discovery of the Higgs boson.

    6

    ATLAS collaboration spokesperson Fabiola Gianotti [now the Director-General at CERN until at least 2025] presenting evidence of the Higgs boson’s discovery at CERN, July 4, 2012. Photo: CERN

    4
    At the Higgs discovery announcement, CERN Director General Rolf Heuer congratulates François Englert and Peter Higgs, who would later receive the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics for their theoretical description of the origin of mass—which was confirmed by the Higgs boson detection.
    _______________________________________________
    Higgs


    _______________________________________________

    Lipeles is a particle physicist whose work has taken him to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s largest and most powerful particle collider that spans the border between France and Switzerland. He joined an LHC project known as the ATLAS experiment in 2009, right as the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) began collecting data to confirm the existence of the Higgs boson, physics’ most elusive particle yet.

    Before that, Lipeles worked at the competing LHC experiment, CMS, just a few miles over the French border.

    Because each project partners with different institutions, he switched to the ATLAS experiment after joining Penn’s physics department. The two experiments utilized different equipment and data analysis methods, but both were on the hunt for the Higgs boson together. “It’s a friendly rivalry,” says Lipeles.

    Discovering the Higgs

    The Higgs boson, also called the Higgs particle, is key to the Standard Model of physics, which describes a framework for how fundamental forces and subatomic particles form the universe.

    While the role of the Higgs is complex, “the first thing people usually say is that it gives particles mass,” Lipeles says. Theoretical physicists proposed the existence of the Higgs boson in 1964, but it took decades for experimental research to catch up.

    Lipeles says the Higgs boson “was actually particularly difficult to find.” That’s because it is heavier than other subatomic particles, and heavy subatomic particles don’t tend to stick around for long. Instead, they decay into smaller, lighter particles, such as photons.

    3
    The 25-meter-tall and 46-meter-long ATLAS detector, which identified the Higgs boson, is attached to the Large Hadron Collider. Lipeles and colleagues are moving into new research directions, including exploring how the Higgs might interact with dark matter. (Image: Yomiuri Shimbun/AP Images)

    So physicists needed to detect traces of the Higgs without ever actually seeing it. That’s where the LHC—and physicists like Lipeles—came in.

    The LHC works by colliding subatomic particles at nearly the speed of light in hopes of creating a Higgs boson. While the Higgs won’t linger long enough for the physicists to ever detect it directly, they can predict which particles the Higgs will decay into, then look for those specific particles.

    Fellow Penn physicists Brig Williams, Evelyn Thomson, and Joseph Kroll led the development of certain electronic components in ATLAS’ detector, a device similar to a camera that takes millions of subatomic snapshots every second. But if ATLAS kept every single picture from their detector, they would be left storing a volume of data equal to eight times the Library of Congress’s collections every second.

    So, Lipeles helped develop a “trigger” system for the detectors that stored only the most important images, about one in every 100,000. The device is called a trigger because it automatically detects which images to discard and which to keep, then instantly triggers data storage of those pictures.

    The trigger system at ATLAS is what helped LHC physicists uncover the subatomic particles appearing at just the right amount of mass and energy to indicate the existence of the Higgs boson. After years of data collection, the ATLAS experiment finally passed the high bar set by physics for discovery of “five σ,” meaning that there was only a 1 in 3.5 million chance the observed data was up to chance and not indicative of the Higgs’ existence.

    To announce the discovery, CERN called a meeting in an auditorium at the LHC on July 4, 2012. “There was a line out the door to get in,” says Lipeles. When ATLAS and CMS experiment leaders announced that the data they’d gathered passed the five sigma threshold, the crowd cheered. Photographs of the milestone show a Penn flag hanging on the auditorium wall. Theorists Peter Higgs and Francois Englert won the 2013 Nobel Prize for their founding role in the experiments.

    Physics since the Higgs

    Since the existence of the Higgs was confirmed, the field of particle physics has gone through “a lot of big changes,” says Lipeles. While the Higgs helps fit some of the mathematical formulas established in the Standard Model of physics, questions remain about how the numbers add up. Those questions, says Lipeles, make some physicists think there are other particles waiting to be discovered.

    Exactly what those new particles are and what they do is one of the next problems Lipeles is tackling. One solution might be “supersymmetry,” which “predicts a whole new set of particles for every particle we already have,” he says. Each proposed particle would correspond to an existing particle but with slightly different subatomic properties. These new, supersymmetric particles would help explain some outstanding questions about the Higgs boson.

    Lipeles is also examining how the Higgs might interact with dark matter. Dark matter is a hypothetical, invisible form of matter initially proposed by astrophysicists to explain large-scale gravitational forces in galaxies. Now, particle physicists at the LHC are considering if dark matter might explain remaining mysteries of the Higgs, too.

    In order to conduct these new experiments, the ATLAS project is gearing up to record more data and more collisions than ever. All those new collisions will emit a lot of radiation that would destroy the original detectors, Lipeles says. “So we have to make a new detector that can separate out more small things, and it has to survive more radiation.”

    Lipeles describes this new generation of detectors he’s helping to build like a high-tech onion, with layers that expand out from the core of the collider. Each layer uses a different type of technology to pinpoint signatures of the subatomic particles generated by the collisions.

    “The second layer out is what Penn is working on,” he says. The device will be a strip about 5 centimeters long that takes even more high-resolution snapshots than the last “camera.” And the device needs to be sturdy, too; once the collisions start, it will become so heavily irradiated that researchers won’t be able to touch it again.

    Lipeles spends more time in Pennsylvania now teaching, while a group of new researchers represent the next generation of Penn scientists at the LHC. That group includes graduate students Gwen Gardner and Lauren Osojnak, as well as postdocs Jeff Shahinian and Nadezhda Proklova.

    When Lipeles reflects back on his own time as a physics student, he describes the excitement of learning each new theory and branch of physics. “And then you get to a point where it’s like, ‘Now what?’ We don’t know. Nobody knows why the Higgs boson is like this. Nobody knows what dark matter is.”

    Lipeles isn’t letting the unknown stop him, though. “You’ve got to go out there and look right into it. That’s the continuation of the story.”

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Penn campus

    Academic life at University of Pennsylvania is unparalleled, with 100 countries and every U.S. state represented in one of the Ivy League’s most diverse student bodies. Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the country, Penn enrolls 10,000 undergraduate students and welcomes an additional 10,000 students to our world-renowned graduate and professional schools.

    Penn’s award-winning educators and scholars encourage students to pursue inquiry and discovery, follow their passions, and address the world’s most challenging problems through an interdisciplinary approach.

    The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university claims a founding date of 1740 and is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered prior to the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn’s founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum.

    Penn has four undergraduate schools as well as twelve graduate and professional schools. Schools enrolling undergraduates include the College of Arts and Sciences; the School of Engineering and Applied Science; the Wharton School; and the School of Nursing. Penn’s “One University Policy” allows students to enroll in classes in any of Penn’s twelve schools. Among its highly ranked graduate and professional schools are a law school whose first professor wrote the first draft of the United States Constitution, the first school of medicine in North America (Perelman School of Medicine, 1765), and the first collegiate business school (Wharton School, 1881).

    Penn is also home to the first “student union” building and organization (Houston Hall, 1896), the first Catholic student club in North America (Newman Center, 1893), the first double-decker college football stadium (Franklin Field, 1924 when second deck was constructed), and Morris Arboretum, the official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was developed at Penn and formally dedicated in 1946. In 2019, the university had an endowment of $14.65 billion, the sixth-largest endowment of all universities in the United States, as well as a research budget of $1.02 billion. The university’s athletics program, the Quakers, fields varsity teams in 33 sports as a member of the NCAA Division I Ivy League conference.

    As of 2018, distinguished alumni and/or Trustees include three U.S. Supreme Court justices; 32 U.S. senators; 46 U.S. governors; 163 members of the U.S. House of Representatives; eight signers of the Declaration of Independence and seven signers of the U.S. Constitution (four of whom signed both representing two-thirds of the six people who signed both); 24 members of the Continental Congress; 14 foreign heads of state and two presidents of the United States, including Donald Trump. As of October 2019, 36 Nobel laureates; 80 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; 64 billionaires; 29 Rhodes Scholars; 15 Marshall Scholars and 16 Pulitzer Prize winners have been affiliated with the university.

    History

    The University of Pennsylvania considers itself the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, though this is contested by Princeton University and Columbia University. The university also considers itself as the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies.

    In 1740, a group of Philadelphians joined together to erect a great preaching hall for the traveling evangelist George Whitefield, who toured the American colonies delivering open-air sermons. The building was designed and built by Edmund Woolley and was the largest building in the city at the time, drawing thousands of people the first time it was preached in. It was initially planned to serve as a charity school as well, but a lack of funds forced plans for the chapel and school to be suspended. According to Franklin’s autobiography, it was in 1743 when he first had the idea to establish an academy, “thinking the Rev. Richard Peters a fit person to superintend such an institution”. However, Peters declined a casual inquiry from Franklin and nothing further was done for another six years. In the fall of 1749, now more eager to create a school to educate future generations, Benjamin Franklin circulated a pamphlet titled Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania, his vision for what he called a “Public Academy of Philadelphia”. Unlike the other colonial colleges that existed in 1749—Harvard University, William & Mary, Yale Unversity, and The College of New Jersey—Franklin’s new school would not focus merely on education for the clergy. He advocated an innovative concept of higher education, one which would teach both the ornamental knowledge of the arts and the practical skills necessary for making a living and doing public service. The proposed program of study could have become the nation’s first modern liberal arts curriculum, although it was never implemented because Anglican priest William Smith (1727-1803), who became the first provost, and other trustees strongly preferred the traditional curriculum.

    Franklin assembled a board of trustees from among the leading citizens of Philadelphia, the first such non-sectarian board in America. At the first meeting of the 24 members of the board of trustees on November 13, 1749, the issue of where to locate the school was a prime concern. Although a lot across Sixth Street from the old Pennsylvania State House (later renamed and famously known since 1776 as “Independence Hall”), was offered without cost by James Logan, its owner, the trustees realized that the building erected in 1740, which was still vacant, would be an even better site. The original sponsors of the dormant building still owed considerable construction debts and asked Franklin’s group to assume their debts and, accordingly, their inactive trusts. On February 1, 1750, the new board took over the building and trusts of the old board. On August 13, 1751, the “Academy of Philadelphia”, using the great hall at 4th and Arch Streets, took in its first secondary students. A charity school also was chartered on July 13, 1753 by the intentions of the original “New Building” donors, although it lasted only a few years. On June 16, 1755, the “College of Philadelphia” was chartered, paving the way for the addition of undergraduate instruction. All three schools shared the same board of trustees and were considered to be part of the same institution. The first commencement exercises were held on May 17, 1757.

    The institution of higher learning was known as the College of Philadelphia from 1755 to 1779. In 1779, not trusting then-provost the Reverend William Smith’s “Loyalist” tendencies, the revolutionary State Legislature created a University of the State of Pennsylvania. The result was a schism, with Smith continuing to operate an attenuated version of the College of Philadelphia. In 1791, the legislature issued a new charter, merging the two institutions into a new University of Pennsylvania with twelve men from each institution on the new board of trustees.

    Penn has three claims to being the first university in the United States, according to university archives director Mark Frazier Lloyd: the 1765 founding of the first medical school in America made Penn the first institution to offer both “undergraduate” and professional education; the 1779 charter made it the first American institution of higher learning to take the name of “University”; and existing colleges were established as seminaries (although, as detailed earlier, Penn adopted a traditional seminary curriculum as well).

    After being located in downtown Philadelphia for more than a century, the campus was moved across the Schuylkill River to property purchased from the Blockley Almshouse in West Philadelphia in 1872, where it has since remained in an area now known as University City. Although Penn began operating as an academy or secondary school in 1751 and obtained its collegiate charter in 1755, it initially designated 1750 as its founding date; this is the year that appears on the first iteration of the university seal. Sometime later in its early history, Penn began to consider 1749 as its founding date and this year was referenced for over a century, including at the centennial celebration in 1849. In 1899, the board of trustees voted to adjust the founding date earlier again, this time to 1740, the date of “the creation of the earliest of the many educational trusts the University has taken upon itself”. The board of trustees voted in response to a three-year campaign by Penn’s General Alumni Society to retroactively revise the university’s founding date to appear older than Princeton University, which had been chartered in 1746.

    Research, innovations and discoveries

    Penn is classified as an “R1” doctoral university: “Highest research activity.” Its economic impact on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 2015 amounted to $14.3 billion. Penn’s research expenditures in the 2018 fiscal year were $1.442 billion, the fourth largest in the U.S. In fiscal year 2019 Penn received $582.3 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health.

    In line with its well-known interdisciplinary tradition, Penn’s research centers often span two or more disciplines. In the 2010–2011 academic year alone, five interdisciplinary research centers were created or substantially expanded; these include the Center for Health-care Financing; the Center for Global Women’s Health at the Nursing School; the $13 million Morris Arboretum’s Horticulture Center; the $15 million Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at Wharton; and the $13 million Translational Research Center at Penn Medicine. With these additions, Penn now counts 165 research centers hosting a research community of over 4,300 faculty and over 1,100 postdoctoral fellows, 5,500 academic support staff and graduate student trainees. To further assist the advancement of interdisciplinary research President Amy Gutmann established the “Penn Integrates Knowledge” title awarded to selected Penn professors “whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge”. These professors hold endowed professorships and joint appointments between Penn’s schools.

    Penn is also among the most prolific producers of doctoral students. With 487 PhDs awarded in 2009, Penn ranks third in the Ivy League, only behind Columbia University and Cornell University (Harvard University did not report data). It also has one of the highest numbers of post-doctoral appointees (933 in number for 2004–2007), ranking third in the Ivy League (behind Harvard and Yale University) and tenth nationally.

    In most disciplines Penn professors’ productivity is among the highest in the nation and first in the fields of epidemiology, business, communication studies, comparative literature, languages, information science, criminal justice and criminology, social sciences and sociology. According to the National Research Council nearly three-quarters of Penn’s 41 assessed programs were placed in ranges including the top 10 rankings in their fields, with more than half of these in ranges including the top five rankings in these fields.

    Penn’s research tradition has historically been complemented by innovations that shaped higher education. In addition to establishing the first medical school; the first university teaching hospital; the first business school; and the first student union Penn was also the cradle of other significant developments. In 1852, Penn Law was the first law school in the nation to publish a law journal still in existence (then called The American Law Register, now the Penn Law Review, one of the most cited law journals in the world). Under the deanship of William Draper Lewis, the law school was also one of the first schools to emphasize legal teaching by full-time professors instead of practitioners, a system that is still followed today. The Wharton School was home to several pioneering developments in business education. It established the first research center in a business school in 1921 and the first center for entrepreneurship center in 1973 and it regularly introduced novel curricula for which BusinessWeek wrote, “Wharton is on the crest of a wave of reinvention and change in management education”.

    Several major scientific discoveries have also taken place at Penn. The university is probably best known as the place where the first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was born in 1946 at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering.

    ENIAC UPenn

    It was here also where the world’s first spelling and grammar checkers were created, as well as the popular COBOL programming language. Penn can also boast some of the most important discoveries in the field of medicine. The dialysis machine used as an artificial replacement for lost kidney function was conceived and devised out of a pressure cooker by William Inouye while he was still a student at Penn Med; the Rubella and Hepatitis B vaccines were developed at Penn; the discovery of cancer’s link with genes; cognitive therapy; Retin-A (the cream used to treat acne), Resistin; the Philadelphia gene (linked to chronic myelogenous leukemia) and the technology behind PET Scans were all discovered by Penn Med researchers. More recent gene research has led to the discovery of the genes for fragile X syndrome, the most common form of inherited mental retardation; spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, a disorder marked by progressive muscle wasting; and Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the hands, feet and limbs.

    Conductive polymer was also developed at Penn by Alan J. Heeger, Alan MacDiarmid and Hideki Shirakawa, an invention that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. On faculty since 1965, Ralph L. Brinster developed the scientific basis for in vitro fertilization and the transgenic mouse at Penn and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2010. The theory of superconductivity was also partly developed at Penn, by then-faculty member John Robert Schrieffer (along with John Bardeen and Leon Cooper). The university has also contributed major advancements in the fields of economics and management. Among the many discoveries are conjoint analysis, widely used as a predictive tool especially in market research; Simon Kuznets’s method of measuring Gross National Product; the Penn effect (the observation that consumer price levels in richer countries are systematically higher than in poorer ones) and the “Wharton Model” developed by Nobel-laureate Lawrence Klein to measure and forecast economic activity. The idea behind Health Maintenance Organizations also belonged to Penn professor Robert Eilers, who put it into practice during then-President Nixon’s health reform in the 1970s.

    International partnerships

    Students can study abroad for a semester or a year at partner institutions such as the London School of Economics(UK), University of Barcelona [Universitat de Barcelona](ES), Paris Institute of Political Studies [Institut d’études politiques de Paris](FR), University of Queensland(AU), University College London(UK), King’s College London(UK), Hebrew University of Jerusalem(IL) and University of Warwick(UK).

     
  • richardmitnick 11:32 am on June 23, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A newly identified stem cell regulator enables lifelong sperm production", , , , Men can continue to produce sperm throughout their adult lives., Men require a constant renewal of spermatogonial stem cells which give rise to sperm., Penn Today, The team found that DOT1L appeared to be regulating a gene family known as HoxC., This reinvigoration of stem cells depends on a newly characterized stem cell self-renewal factor called DOT1L., When the enzyme DOT1L is not functional spermatogonial stem cells become exhausted leading to a failure of sperm cell development.   

    From Penn Today: “A newly identified stem cell regulator enables lifelong sperm production” 

    From Penn Today

    at

    U Penn bloc

    University of Pennsylvania

    June 22, 2022
    Katherine Unger Baillie

    1
    When the enzyme DOT1L is not functional spermatogonial stem cells become exhausted leading to a failure of sperm cell development. This crucial role for DOT1L places it in rarefied company as one of just a handful of known stem cell self-renewal factors, a Penn Vet team found. (Image: Courtesy of Jeremy Wang)

    Unlike women, who are born with all the eggs they’ll ever have, men can continue to produce sperm throughout their adult lives. To do so, they require a constant renewal of spermatogonial stem cells which give rise to sperm.

    This reinvigoration of stem cells depends on a newly characterized stem cell self-renewal factor called DOT1L, according to research by Jeremy Wang of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and colleagues. When mice lack DOT1L, the team showed, they fail to maintain spermatogonial stem cells, and thus, lack the ability to continuously produce sperm.

    Scientists have discovered only a handful of such stem cell renewal factors, so the find, published in the journal Genes & Development, adds another entity to a rarified group.

    “This novel factor was only able to be identified by finding this unusual genetic phenotype: the fact that mice lacking DOT1L were not able to continue to produce sperm,” says Wang, the Ralph L. Brinster President’s Distinguished Professor at Penn Vet and a corresponding author on the paper. “Identifying this essential factor not only helps us understand the biology of adult germline stem cells, but could also allow scientists to one day reprogram somatic cells, like skin cells, to become germline stem cells. That is the next frontier for fertility treatment.”

    The researchers stumbled upon DOT1L’s role in stem cell self-renewal serendipitously. The gene is expressed widely; mice with a mutant version of DOT1L in all of their cells don’t survive past the embryonic stage of development. But based on the known DOT1L expression patterns, Wang and colleagues believed that it could play a role in meiosis, the cell division process that gives rise to sperm and eggs. So, they decided to see what happened when the gene was only deleted in germ cells.

    “When we did this, the animals lived and appeared healthy,” Wang says. “When we looked closer, however, we found that the mice lacking DOT1L in their germ cells could complete an initial round of sperm production, but then the stem cells became exhausted and the mice lost all germ cells.”

    This drop-off in sperm production could arise due to other problems. But various lines of evidence supported the link between DOT1L and a failure of stem cell self-renewal. In particular, the researchers found that the mice experienced a sequential loss of the various stages of sperm production, first losing spermatogonia and then spermatocytes, followed by round spermatids, and then sperm.

    In a further experiment, the researchers observed what happened when DOT1L was inactivated in germ cells not from birth, but during adulthood. As soon as Wang and colleagues triggered the DOT1L loss, they observed the same sequential loss of sperm development they had seen in the mice born without DOT1L in their germ cells.

    Previously, other scientific groups have studied DOT1L in the context of leukemia. Overexpression of the gene in the progenitors of blood cells can lead to malignancy. From that line of investigation, it was known that DOT1L acts as a histone methyltransferase, an enzyme that adds a methyl group to histones to influence gene expression.

    To see whether the same mechanism was responsible for the results Wang and his team had observed in sperm production, the researchers treated spermatogonial stem cells with a chemical that blocks the methyltransferase activity of DOT1L. When they did so, the stem cells’ ability to grow in culture was significantly reduced. The treatment also impaired the ability of stem cells to tag histones with a methyl group. And when these treated stem cells were transplanted into otherwise healthy mice, the animals’ spermatogonial stem cell activity was cut in half.

    The team found that DOT1L appeared to be regulating a gene family known as HoxC, transcription factors that play significant roles in regulating the expression of a host of other genes.

    “We think that DOT1L promotes the expression of these HoxC genes by methylating them,” says Wang. “These transcription factors probably contribute to the stem cell self-renewal process. Finding out the details of that is a future direction for our work.”

    A longer-term goal is using factors like DOT1L and others involved in germline stem cell self-renewal to help people who have fertility challenges. The concept is to create germ cells from the ground up.

    “That’s the future of this field: in vitro gametogenesis,” Wang says. “Reprogramming somatic cells to become spermatogonial stem cells is one of the steps. And then we’d have to figure out how to make those cells undergo meiosis. We’re in the early stages of envisioning how to accomplish this multi-step process, but identifying this self-renewal factor brings us one step closer.”

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Penn campus

    Academic life at University of Pennsylvania is unparalleled, with 100 countries and every U.S. state represented in one of the Ivy League’s most diverse student bodies. Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the country, Penn enrolls 10,000 undergraduate students and welcomes an additional 10,000 students to our world-renowned graduate and professional schools.

    Penn’s award-winning educators and scholars encourage students to pursue inquiry and discovery, follow their passions, and address the world’s most challenging problems through an interdisciplinary approach.

    The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university claims a founding date of 1740 and is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered prior to the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn’s founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum.

    Penn has four undergraduate schools as well as twelve graduate and professional schools. Schools enrolling undergraduates include the College of Arts and Sciences; the School of Engineering and Applied Science; the Wharton School; and the School of Nursing. Penn’s “One University Policy” allows students to enroll in classes in any of Penn’s twelve schools. Among its highly ranked graduate and professional schools are a law school whose first professor wrote the first draft of the United States Constitution, the first school of medicine in North America (Perelman School of Medicine, 1765), and the first collegiate business school (Wharton School, 1881).

    Penn is also home to the first “student union” building and organization (Houston Hall, 1896), the first Catholic student club in North America (Newman Center, 1893), the first double-decker college football stadium (Franklin Field, 1924 when second deck was constructed), and Morris Arboretum, the official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was developed at Penn and formally dedicated in 1946. In 2019, the university had an endowment of $14.65 billion, the sixth-largest endowment of all universities in the United States, as well as a research budget of $1.02 billion. The university’s athletics program, the Quakers, fields varsity teams in 33 sports as a member of the NCAA Division I Ivy League conference.

    As of 2018, distinguished alumni and/or Trustees include three U.S. Supreme Court justices; 32 U.S. senators; 46 U.S. governors; 163 members of the U.S. House of Representatives; eight signers of the Declaration of Independence and seven signers of the U.S. Constitution (four of whom signed both representing two-thirds of the six people who signed both); 24 members of the Continental Congress; 14 foreign heads of state and two presidents of the United States, including Donald Trump. As of October 2019, 36 Nobel laureates; 80 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; 64 billionaires; 29 Rhodes Scholars; 15 Marshall Scholars and 16 Pulitzer Prize winners have been affiliated with the university.

    History

    The University of Pennsylvania considers itself the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, though this is contested by Princeton University and Columbia University. The university also considers itself as the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies.

    In 1740, a group of Philadelphians joined together to erect a great preaching hall for the traveling evangelist George Whitefield, who toured the American colonies delivering open-air sermons. The building was designed and built by Edmund Woolley and was the largest building in the city at the time, drawing thousands of people the first time it was preached in. It was initially planned to serve as a charity school as well, but a lack of funds forced plans for the chapel and school to be suspended. According to Franklin’s autobiography, it was in 1743 when he first had the idea to establish an academy, “thinking the Rev. Richard Peters a fit person to superintend such an institution”. However, Peters declined a casual inquiry from Franklin and nothing further was done for another six years. In the fall of 1749, now more eager to create a school to educate future generations, Benjamin Franklin circulated a pamphlet titled Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania, his vision for what he called a “Public Academy of Philadelphia”. Unlike the other colonial colleges that existed in 1749—Harvard University, William & Mary, Yale Unversity, and The College of New Jersey—Franklin’s new school would not focus merely on education for the clergy. He advocated an innovative concept of higher education, one which would teach both the ornamental knowledge of the arts and the practical skills necessary for making a living and doing public service. The proposed program of study could have become the nation’s first modern liberal arts curriculum, although it was never implemented because Anglican priest William Smith (1727-1803), who became the first provost, and other trustees strongly preferred the traditional curriculum.

    Franklin assembled a board of trustees from among the leading citizens of Philadelphia, the first such non-sectarian board in America. At the first meeting of the 24 members of the board of trustees on November 13, 1749, the issue of where to locate the school was a prime concern. Although a lot across Sixth Street from the old Pennsylvania State House (later renamed and famously known since 1776 as “Independence Hall”), was offered without cost by James Logan, its owner, the trustees realized that the building erected in 1740, which was still vacant, would be an even better site. The original sponsors of the dormant building still owed considerable construction debts and asked Franklin’s group to assume their debts and, accordingly, their inactive trusts. On February 1, 1750, the new board took over the building and trusts of the old board. On August 13, 1751, the “Academy of Philadelphia”, using the great hall at 4th and Arch Streets, took in its first secondary students. A charity school also was chartered on July 13, 1753 by the intentions of the original “New Building” donors, although it lasted only a few years. On June 16, 1755, the “College of Philadelphia” was chartered, paving the way for the addition of undergraduate instruction. All three schools shared the same board of trustees and were considered to be part of the same institution. The first commencement exercises were held on May 17, 1757.

    The institution of higher learning was known as the College of Philadelphia from 1755 to 1779. In 1779, not trusting then-provost the Reverend William Smith’s “Loyalist” tendencies, the revolutionary State Legislature created a University of the State of Pennsylvania. The result was a schism, with Smith continuing to operate an attenuated version of the College of Philadelphia. In 1791, the legislature issued a new charter, merging the two institutions into a new University of Pennsylvania with twelve men from each institution on the new board of trustees.

    Penn has three claims to being the first university in the United States, according to university archives director Mark Frazier Lloyd: the 1765 founding of the first medical school in America made Penn the first institution to offer both “undergraduate” and professional education; the 1779 charter made it the first American institution of higher learning to take the name of “University”; and existing colleges were established as seminaries (although, as detailed earlier, Penn adopted a traditional seminary curriculum as well).

    After being located in downtown Philadelphia for more than a century, the campus was moved across the Schuylkill River to property purchased from the Blockley Almshouse in West Philadelphia in 1872, where it has since remained in an area now known as University City. Although Penn began operating as an academy or secondary school in 1751 and obtained its collegiate charter in 1755, it initially designated 1750 as its founding date; this is the year that appears on the first iteration of the university seal. Sometime later in its early history, Penn began to consider 1749 as its founding date and this year was referenced for over a century, including at the centennial celebration in 1849. In 1899, the board of trustees voted to adjust the founding date earlier again, this time to 1740, the date of “the creation of the earliest of the many educational trusts the University has taken upon itself”. The board of trustees voted in response to a three-year campaign by Penn’s General Alumni Society to retroactively revise the university’s founding date to appear older than Princeton University, which had been chartered in 1746.

    Research, innovations and discoveries

    Penn is classified as an “R1” doctoral university: “Highest research activity.” Its economic impact on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 2015 amounted to $14.3 billion. Penn’s research expenditures in the 2018 fiscal year were $1.442 billion, the fourth largest in the U.S. In fiscal year 2019 Penn received $582.3 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health.

    In line with its well-known interdisciplinary tradition, Penn’s research centers often span two or more disciplines. In the 2010–2011 academic year alone, five interdisciplinary research centers were created or substantially expanded; these include the Center for Health-care Financing; the Center for Global Women’s Health at the Nursing School; the $13 million Morris Arboretum’s Horticulture Center; the $15 million Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at Wharton; and the $13 million Translational Research Center at Penn Medicine. With these additions, Penn now counts 165 research centers hosting a research community of over 4,300 faculty and over 1,100 postdoctoral fellows, 5,500 academic support staff and graduate student trainees. To further assist the advancement of interdisciplinary research President Amy Gutmann established the “Penn Integrates Knowledge” title awarded to selected Penn professors “whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge”. These professors hold endowed professorships and joint appointments between Penn’s schools.

    Penn is also among the most prolific producers of doctoral students. With 487 PhDs awarded in 2009, Penn ranks third in the Ivy League, only behind Columbia University and Cornell University (Harvard University did not report data). It also has one of the highest numbers of post-doctoral appointees (933 in number for 2004–2007), ranking third in the Ivy League (behind Harvard and Yale University) and tenth nationally.

    In most disciplines Penn professors’ productivity is among the highest in the nation and first in the fields of epidemiology, business, communication studies, comparative literature, languages, information science, criminal justice and criminology, social sciences and sociology. According to the National Research Council nearly three-quarters of Penn’s 41 assessed programs were placed in ranges including the top 10 rankings in their fields, with more than half of these in ranges including the top five rankings in these fields.

    Penn’s research tradition has historically been complemented by innovations that shaped higher education. In addition to establishing the first medical school; the first university teaching hospital; the first business school; and the first student union Penn was also the cradle of other significant developments. In 1852, Penn Law was the first law school in the nation to publish a law journal still in existence (then called The American Law Register, now the Penn Law Review, one of the most cited law journals in the world). Under the deanship of William Draper Lewis, the law school was also one of the first schools to emphasize legal teaching by full-time professors instead of practitioners, a system that is still followed today. The Wharton School was home to several pioneering developments in business education. It established the first research center in a business school in 1921 and the first center for entrepreneurship center in 1973 and it regularly introduced novel curricula for which BusinessWeek wrote, “Wharton is on the crest of a wave of reinvention and change in management education”.

    Several major scientific discoveries have also taken place at Penn. The university is probably best known as the place where the first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was born in 1946 at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering.

    ENIAC UPenn

    It was here also where the world’s first spelling and grammar checkers were created, as well as the popular COBOL programming language. Penn can also boast some of the most important discoveries in the field of medicine. The dialysis machine used as an artificial replacement for lost kidney function was conceived and devised out of a pressure cooker by William Inouye while he was still a student at Penn Med; the Rubella and Hepatitis B vaccines were developed at Penn; the discovery of cancer’s link with genes; cognitive therapy; Retin-A (the cream used to treat acne), Resistin; the Philadelphia gene (linked to chronic myelogenous leukemia) and the technology behind PET Scans were all discovered by Penn Med researchers. More recent gene research has led to the discovery of the genes for fragile X syndrome, the most common form of inherited mental retardation; spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, a disorder marked by progressive muscle wasting; and Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the hands, feet and limbs.

    Conductive polymer was also developed at Penn by Alan J. Heeger, Alan MacDiarmid and Hideki Shirakawa, an invention that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. On faculty since 1965, Ralph L. Brinster developed the scientific basis for in vitro fertilization and the transgenic mouse at Penn and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2010. The theory of superconductivity was also partly developed at Penn, by then-faculty member John Robert Schrieffer (along with John Bardeen and Leon Cooper). The university has also contributed major advancements in the fields of economics and management. Among the many discoveries are conjoint analysis, widely used as a predictive tool especially in market research; Simon Kuznets’s method of measuring Gross National Product; the Penn effect (the observation that consumer price levels in richer countries are systematically higher than in poorer ones) and the “Wharton Model” developed by Nobel-laureate Lawrence Klein to measure and forecast economic activity. The idea behind Health Maintenance Organizations also belonged to Penn professor Robert Eilers, who put it into practice during then-President Nixon’s health reform in the 1970s.

    International partnerships

    Students can study abroad for a semester or a year at partner institutions such as the London School of Economics(UK), University of Barcelona [Universitat de Barcelona](ES), Paris Institute of Political Studies [Institut d’études politiques de Paris](FR), University of Queensland(AU), University College London(UK), King’s College London(UK), Hebrew University of Jerusalem(IL) and University of Warwick(UK).

     
  • richardmitnick 12:50 pm on May 31, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "An arms race that plays out in a single genome", "Coevolution theory", , , , DNA damage, , Penn Today   

    From Penn Today: “An arms race that plays out in a single genome” 

    From Penn Today

    at

    U Penn bloc

    University of Pennsylvania

    May 27, 2022
    Katherine Unger Baillie

    1
    Like Alice furiously running to keep up with the Red Queen, but remaining in one place, two genetic elements in the fruit fly genome are engaged in an evolutionary arms race to simply keep the biological status quo, according to new research by Penn scientists. (Image: John Tenniel in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass)

    Biological arms races are commonplace in nature. Cheetahs, for example, have evolved a sleek body form that lends itself to rapid running, enabling them to feast upon similarly speedy gazelles, the fastest of which may evade predation. On the molecular level, immune cells produce proteins to conquer pathogens, which may in turn evolve mutations to evade detection.

    Though less well known, other games of one-upmanship unfold within the genome. In a new study, biologists at the University of Pennsylvania show, for the first time, evidence of a two-sided genomic arms race involving stretches of repetitive DNA called satellites. “Opposing” the rapidly evolving satellites in the arms race are similarly fast-evolving proteins that bind those satellites.

    While satellite DNA does not encode genes, it can contribute to essential biological functions, such as formation of molecular machines that process and maintain chromosomes. When satellite repeats are improperly regulated, impairments to these crucial processes can result. Such disruptions are hallmarks of cancer and infertility.

    Using two closely related species of fruit flies, researchers probed this arms race by purposefully introducing a species mismatch, pitting, for example, one species’ satellite DNA against the other species’ satellite-binding protein. Severe impairments to fertility were a result, underscoring evolution’s delicate balance, even at the level of a single genome.

    “We typically think of our genome as a cohesive community of elements that make or regulate proteins to build a fertile and viable individual,” says Mia Levine, an assistant professor of biology in Penn’s School of Arts & Sciences and the senior author on the work, published in Current Biology. “This evokes the idea of a collaboration between our genomic elements, and that’s largely true.

    “But some of these elements, we think, actually harm us,” she says. “This disquieting idea suggests that there needs to be a mechanism to keep them in check.”

    The researchers’ findings, likely to also be relevant in humans, suggest that when satellite DNA occasionally escapes the management of satellite-binding proteins, significant costs to fitness can occur, including impacts on molecular pathways required for fertility and perhaps even those relevant in the development of cancer.

    “These findings indicate that there is antagonistic evolution between these elements that can impact these seemingly conserved and essential molecular pathways,” says Cara Brand, a postdoc in Levine’s lab and first author on the work. “It means that, over evolutionary time, constant innovation is required to maintain the status quo.”

    Evolutionary paradox

    It’s long been known that the genome is not composed solely of genes. In between genes that give rise to proteins one can find long stretches of what Levine calls “gobbledygook.”

    “If genes are words and you were to read the story of our genome, these other parts are incoherent,” she says. “For a long time, it was ignored as genomic junk.”

    Satellite DNA is part of this so-called “junk.” In Drosophila melanogaster, the fruit fly species often used as a scientific model organism, satellite repeats make up roughly half the genome. Because they evolve so rapidly without any apparent functional consequence, however, scientists used to believe satellite repeats were unlikely to be doing anything useful in the body.

    But more recent work has revised this “junk DNA” theory, revealing that the “gobbledygook,” satellite repeats included, plays a variety of roles, many related to maintaining genome integrity and structure in the nucleus.

    “So this presents a paradox,” Levine says. “If these regions of the genome that are highly repetitive actually do important jobs, or, if not managed properly, can be harmful, it suggests that we need keep them in check.”

    In 2001, a group of scientists put forward a theory, suggesting that coevolution was taking place, with the satellites rapidly evolving and satellite binding proteins evolving to keep up. In the two decades since, scientists have offered support to the theory. With genetic manipulation, these studies have introduced a satellite-binding protein from one species into the genome of a closely related species and observed what happens as a result of the mismatch.

    “Often these gene swaps cause dysfunction,” says Brand, “particularly disrupting a process that is usually mediated by regions of the genome that are enriched with repetitive DNA.”

    New tools to prove the case

    These investigations lent support to “coevolution theory”. But until researchers could experimentally manipulate both the satellite-binding protein and the satellite DNA, it would be impossible to prove that the disruption they observed arose because of an interaction between the two elements.

    In the current work, Levine and Brand found a way to do just that. Another fruit fly species, Drosophila simulans, lacks a satellite repeat that spans a whopping 11 million nucleotide base pairs found in its close relative, D. melanogaster. This satellite was known to occupy the same cellular location as a protein called Maternal Haploid (MH). The researchers also had access to a mutant strain of D. melanogaster that lack the 11 million base pair repeat.

    “It turns out the fly can live and reproduce just fine without this repeat,” Levine says. “So it gave us a unique opportunity to manipulate both sides of the arms race.”

    To first investigate the satellite-binding protein side, the researchers used the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing system to remove the original MH gene from D. melanogaster and add back the D. simulans version of the gene. Compared to control females, female flies with the D. simulans MH gene had significantly reduced fertility, producing substantially fewer eggs.

    Flies that lacked MH altogether, however, were unable to produce any offspring; the embryos were not viable.

    “This was interesting because it showed that these satellite-binding proteins are essential, even though they’re rapidly evolving,” says Brand. “Doing the gene swap showed us that we could rescue the ability to make embryos. But another function, related to the ovary and egg production, was impaired.”

    Looking closely at the ovaries, Brand and Levine discovered that the apparent cause of reduced egg formation and atrophied ovaries was DNA damage. Such damage often triggers a checkpoint protein to stop developmental pathways. When the researchers repeated the experiments in a fly with a broken checkpoint protein, egg production levels were restored to a higher level.

    Levine and Brand were then ready to test the other side of the coevolutionary arms race, to find evidence that the problems that arose with the swapped MH protein were due to an incompatibility with the 11 million base pair satellite, or if they were acting on a different genetic element. Here they relied on the D. melanogaster strain that was missing the repeat and found that the gene swap now had no effect on these flies. DNA damage levels, egg production, and ovary size were all normal.

    Looking to the closest relative of the MH protein in humans, a protein called Spartan, gave the scientists a clue as to the mechanism behind these results. In humans, Spartan is understood to digest proteins that can get stuck on DNA, posing an obstacle to various processes and packaging that DNA must undergo. “After everything we’d discovered thus far,” Levine says, “we thought, maybe this wrong species version of the protein is chewing up something it shouldn’t.”

    One of the proteins often targeted by Spartan is Topoisomerase II, or Top2, an enzyme that can help resolve tangles in tightly wound and entangled DNA. To see whether the negative effects of the MH gene mismatch owed to inappropriate degradation of Top2, they overexpressed Top2 and found fertility was restored. Reducing Top2, on the other hand, exacerbated the reduction in fertility.

    “This repair process that MH is involved in happens in yeast, in flies, in humans, across the tree of life,” says Brand. “Yet we’re seeing rapid or adaptive evolution of these proteins involved. That suggests that this seemingly conserved and essential pathway requires evolutionary innovation.” In other words, coevolution must proceed apace, just to maintain this essential pathway.

    Implications beyond flies

    In future work, Brand and Levine will be looking to see if segments of the genome beyond satellites are involved and will be looking in other organisms, including mammals, to drill down into the molecular players of these evolutionary arms races.

    “There’s no reason to believe that these arms races are playing out only in flies,” Levine says. “The same types of proteins and satellites in primates also evolve rapidly and that tells us that what we are studying is broadly relevant.”

    The focal genes involved in this study have important roles in human health. Spartan mutations have been associated with cancer and ineffective regulation of satellite DNA could shed light on infertility and miscarriage.

    “The number of miscarriages is remarkably high, and certainly satellite DNA is an unprobed source of aneuploidy and genome instability,” Levine says.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Penn campus

    Academic life at University of Pennsylvania is unparalleled, with 100 countries and every U.S. state represented in one of the Ivy League’s most diverse student bodies. Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the country, Penn enrolls 10,000 undergraduate students and welcomes an additional 10,000 students to our world-renowned graduate and professional schools.

    Penn’s award-winning educators and scholars encourage students to pursue inquiry and discovery, follow their passions, and address the world’s most challenging problems through an interdisciplinary approach.

    The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university claims a founding date of 1740 and is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered prior to the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn’s founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum.

    Penn has four undergraduate schools as well as twelve graduate and professional schools. Schools enrolling undergraduates include the College of Arts and Sciences; the School of Engineering and Applied Science; the Wharton School; and the School of Nursing. Penn’s “One University Policy” allows students to enroll in classes in any of Penn’s twelve schools. Among its highly ranked graduate and professional schools are a law school whose first professor wrote the first draft of the United States Constitution, the first school of medicine in North America (Perelman School of Medicine, 1765), and the first collegiate business school (Wharton School, 1881).

    Penn is also home to the first “student union” building and organization (Houston Hall, 1896), the first Catholic student club in North America (Newman Center, 1893), the first double-decker college football stadium (Franklin Field, 1924 when second deck was constructed), and Morris Arboretum, the official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was developed at Penn and formally dedicated in 1946. In 2019, the university had an endowment of $14.65 billion, the sixth-largest endowment of all universities in the United States, as well as a research budget of $1.02 billion. The university’s athletics program, the Quakers, fields varsity teams in 33 sports as a member of the NCAA Division I Ivy League conference.

    As of 2018, distinguished alumni and/or Trustees include three U.S. Supreme Court justices; 32 U.S. senators; 46 U.S. governors; 163 members of the U.S. House of Representatives; eight signers of the Declaration of Independence and seven signers of the U.S. Constitution (four of whom signed both representing two-thirds of the six people who signed both); 24 members of the Continental Congress; 14 foreign heads of state and two presidents of the United States, including Donald Trump. As of October 2019, 36 Nobel laureates; 80 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; 64 billionaires; 29 Rhodes Scholars; 15 Marshall Scholars and 16 Pulitzer Prize winners have been affiliated with the university.

    History

    The University of Pennsylvania considers itself the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, though this is contested by Princeton University and Columbia University. The university also considers itself as the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies.

    In 1740, a group of Philadelphians joined together to erect a great preaching hall for the traveling evangelist George Whitefield, who toured the American colonies delivering open-air sermons. The building was designed and built by Edmund Woolley and was the largest building in the city at the time, drawing thousands of people the first time it was preached in. It was initially planned to serve as a charity school as well, but a lack of funds forced plans for the chapel and school to be suspended. According to Franklin’s autobiography, it was in 1743 when he first had the idea to establish an academy, “thinking the Rev. Richard Peters a fit person to superintend such an institution”. However, Peters declined a casual inquiry from Franklin and nothing further was done for another six years. In the fall of 1749, now more eager to create a school to educate future generations, Benjamin Franklin circulated a pamphlet titled Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania, his vision for what he called a “Public Academy of Philadelphia”. Unlike the other colonial colleges that existed in 1749—Harvard University, William & Mary, Yale Unversity, and The College of New Jersey—Franklin’s new school would not focus merely on education for the clergy. He advocated an innovative concept of higher education, one which would teach both the ornamental knowledge of the arts and the practical skills necessary for making a living and doing public service. The proposed program of study could have become the nation’s first modern liberal arts curriculum, although it was never implemented because Anglican priest William Smith (1727-1803), who became the first provost, and other trustees strongly preferred the traditional curriculum.

    Franklin assembled a board of trustees from among the leading citizens of Philadelphia, the first such non-sectarian board in America. At the first meeting of the 24 members of the board of trustees on November 13, 1749, the issue of where to locate the school was a prime concern. Although a lot across Sixth Street from the old Pennsylvania State House (later renamed and famously known since 1776 as “Independence Hall”), was offered without cost by James Logan, its owner, the trustees realized that the building erected in 1740, which was still vacant, would be an even better site. The original sponsors of the dormant building still owed considerable construction debts and asked Franklin’s group to assume their debts and, accordingly, their inactive trusts. On February 1, 1750, the new board took over the building and trusts of the old board. On August 13, 1751, the “Academy of Philadelphia”, using the great hall at 4th and Arch Streets, took in its first secondary students. A charity school also was chartered on July 13, 1753 by the intentions of the original “New Building” donors, although it lasted only a few years. On June 16, 1755, the “College of Philadelphia” was chartered, paving the way for the addition of undergraduate instruction. All three schools shared the same board of trustees and were considered to be part of the same institution. The first commencement exercises were held on May 17, 1757.

    The institution of higher learning was known as the College of Philadelphia from 1755 to 1779. In 1779, not trusting then-provost the Reverend William Smith’s “Loyalist” tendencies, the revolutionary State Legislature created a University of the State of Pennsylvania. The result was a schism, with Smith continuing to operate an attenuated version of the College of Philadelphia. In 1791, the legislature issued a new charter, merging the two institutions into a new University of Pennsylvania with twelve men from each institution on the new board of trustees.

    Penn has three claims to being the first university in the United States, according to university archives director Mark Frazier Lloyd: the 1765 founding of the first medical school in America made Penn the first institution to offer both “undergraduate” and professional education; the 1779 charter made it the first American institution of higher learning to take the name of “University”; and existing colleges were established as seminaries (although, as detailed earlier, Penn adopted a traditional seminary curriculum as well).

    After being located in downtown Philadelphia for more than a century, the campus was moved across the Schuylkill River to property purchased from the Blockley Almshouse in West Philadelphia in 1872, where it has since remained in an area now known as University City. Although Penn began operating as an academy or secondary school in 1751 and obtained its collegiate charter in 1755, it initially designated 1750 as its founding date; this is the year that appears on the first iteration of the university seal. Sometime later in its early history, Penn began to consider 1749 as its founding date and this year was referenced for over a century, including at the centennial celebration in 1849. In 1899, the board of trustees voted to adjust the founding date earlier again, this time to 1740, the date of “the creation of the earliest of the many educational trusts the University has taken upon itself”. The board of trustees voted in response to a three-year campaign by Penn’s General Alumni Society to retroactively revise the university’s founding date to appear older than Princeton University, which had been chartered in 1746.

    Research, innovations and discoveries

    Penn is classified as an “R1” doctoral university: “Highest research activity.” Its economic impact on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 2015 amounted to $14.3 billion. Penn’s research expenditures in the 2018 fiscal year were $1.442 billion, the fourth largest in the U.S. In fiscal year 2019 Penn received $582.3 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health.

    In line with its well-known interdisciplinary tradition, Penn’s research centers often span two or more disciplines. In the 2010–2011 academic year alone, five interdisciplinary research centers were created or substantially expanded; these include the Center for Health-care Financing; the Center for Global Women’s Health at the Nursing School; the $13 million Morris Arboretum’s Horticulture Center; the $15 million Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at Wharton; and the $13 million Translational Research Center at Penn Medicine. With these additions, Penn now counts 165 research centers hosting a research community of over 4,300 faculty and over 1,100 postdoctoral fellows, 5,500 academic support staff and graduate student trainees. To further assist the advancement of interdisciplinary research President Amy Gutmann established the “Penn Integrates Knowledge” title awarded to selected Penn professors “whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge”. These professors hold endowed professorships and joint appointments between Penn’s schools.

    Penn is also among the most prolific producers of doctoral students. With 487 PhDs awarded in 2009, Penn ranks third in the Ivy League, only behind Columbia University and Cornell University (Harvard University did not report data). It also has one of the highest numbers of post-doctoral appointees (933 in number for 2004–2007), ranking third in the Ivy League (behind Harvard and Yale University) and tenth nationally.

    In most disciplines Penn professors’ productivity is among the highest in the nation and first in the fields of epidemiology, business, communication studies, comparative literature, languages, information science, criminal justice and criminology, social sciences and sociology. According to the National Research Council nearly three-quarters of Penn’s 41 assessed programs were placed in ranges including the top 10 rankings in their fields, with more than half of these in ranges including the top five rankings in these fields.

    Penn’s research tradition has historically been complemented by innovations that shaped higher education. In addition to establishing the first medical school; the first university teaching hospital; the first business school; and the first student union Penn was also the cradle of other significant developments. In 1852, Penn Law was the first law school in the nation to publish a law journal still in existence (then called The American Law Register, now the Penn Law Review, one of the most cited law journals in the world). Under the deanship of William Draper Lewis, the law school was also one of the first schools to emphasize legal teaching by full-time professors instead of practitioners, a system that is still followed today. The Wharton School was home to several pioneering developments in business education. It established the first research center in a business school in 1921 and the first center for entrepreneurship center in 1973 and it regularly introduced novel curricula for which BusinessWeek wrote, “Wharton is on the crest of a wave of reinvention and change in management education”.

    Several major scientific discoveries have also taken place at Penn. The university is probably best known as the place where the first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was born in 1946 at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering.

    ENIAC UPenn

    It was here also where the world’s first spelling and grammar checkers were created, as well as the popular COBOL programming language. Penn can also boast some of the most important discoveries in the field of medicine. The dialysis machine used as an artificial replacement for lost kidney function was conceived and devised out of a pressure cooker by William Inouye while he was still a student at Penn Med; the Rubella and Hepatitis B vaccines were developed at Penn; the discovery of cancer’s link with genes; cognitive therapy; Retin-A (the cream used to treat acne), Resistin; the Philadelphia gene (linked to chronic myelogenous leukemia) and the technology behind PET Scans were all discovered by Penn Med researchers. More recent gene research has led to the discovery of the genes for fragile X syndrome, the most common form of inherited mental retardation; spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, a disorder marked by progressive muscle wasting; and Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the hands, feet and limbs.

    Conductive polymer was also developed at Penn by Alan J. Heeger, Alan MacDiarmid and Hideki Shirakawa, an invention that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. On faculty since 1965, Ralph L. Brinster developed the scientific basis for in vitro fertilization and the transgenic mouse at Penn and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2010. The theory of superconductivity was also partly developed at Penn, by then-faculty member John Robert Schrieffer (along with John Bardeen and Leon Cooper). The university has also contributed major advancements in the fields of economics and management. Among the many discoveries are conjoint analysis, widely used as a predictive tool especially in market research; Simon Kuznets’s method of measuring Gross National Product; the Penn effect (the observation that consumer price levels in richer countries are systematically higher than in poorer ones) and the “Wharton Model” developed by Nobel-laureate Lawrence Klein to measure and forecast economic activity. The idea behind Health Maintenance Organizations also belonged to Penn professor Robert Eilers, who put it into practice during then-President Nixon’s health reform in the 1970s.

    International partnerships

    Students can study abroad for a semester or a year at partner institutions such as the London School of Economics(UK), University of Barcelona [Universitat de Barcelona](ES), Paris Institute of Political Studies [Institut d’études politiques de Paris](FR), University of Queensland(AU), University College London(UK), King’s College London(UK), Hebrew University of Jerusalem(IL) and University of Warwick(UK).

     
  • richardmitnick 12:32 pm on May 17, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Prioritizing environmental justice while capturing carbon from the air", , , , , , Penn Today,   

    From Penn Today and The University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science: “Prioritizing environmental justice while capturing carbon from the air” 

    From Penn Today

    and

    The University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science

    at

    U Penn bloc

    University of Pennsylvania

    May 16, 2022
    Melissa Pappas

    Reaching carbon emission goals requires efforts on all fronts of carbon management: decreasing carbon emissions, capturing carbon, and storing carbon. Traditionally, cost and resource availability are leading factors that determine how and where these efforts are made, leaving environmental and societal impacts as afterthoughts.

    Penn Engineers in the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy’s Clean Energy Conversions Laboratory are changing this by prioritizing environmental justice throughout the entire life cycle of carbon management.

    The Clean Energy Conversions Lab is currently led by Peter Psarras, research assistant professor in chemical and biomolecular engineering (CBE), while Jennifer Wilcox, Presidential Distinguished Professor in Chemical Engineering and Energy Policy in CBE, serves in the Department of Energy for the Biden Administration. The lab’s mission is to minimize the environmental and climate impacts of the world’s dependence on fossil fuels through carbon management.

    1
    Peter Psarras and his students study the fundamentals of storing captured carbon in rock waste, conducting experiments at the Pennovation Center. (Image: Penn Engineering Today)

    The group’s research focuses on three main questions: How can we limit atmospheric accumulation of carbon dioxide; what can we do with the carbon dioxide once it is captured; and how will those solutions scale to meet our needs?

    One particular technology Psarras and fellow researchers in the Clean Energy Conversions Lab examine is direct air capture (DAC) of carbon dioxide. DAC is technology which extracts carbon dioxide from the air through a series of chemical reactions, returning the “cleaned” air back into the environment. Plants do this through photosynthesis, while DAC does this through an engineered, mechanical system, which requires a fraction of the time and physical space of their biological counterparts.

    Psarras’ work in carbon management modeling has also been a key part in helping the state of Nevada reach net zero by 2050. In collaboration with The Nature Conservancy, Psarras and his team have provided multiple cases which include various degrees of capturing, reducing, and storing carbon to reach this goal.

    Psarras and his students are planning a follow-up study in Nevada where they will sample the mines as potential carbon storage areas, as well as conduct interviews with community members to understand what they want and how they will respond to future policies.

    “Our work is constantly weighing harms against each other because there is no solution that will have zero negative impact,” says Psarras. “And this is the reason we cannot have knee-jerk reactions to any solutions offered to reach these goals. Our goal as a lab is to inform through science-based dialog, and we’re beginning to understand the importance of doing that beyond a purely academic audience.”

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science is an undergraduate and graduate school of The University of Pennsylvania. The School offers programs that emphasize hands-on study of engineering fundamentals (with an offering of approximately 300 courses) while encouraging students to leverage the educational offerings of the broader University. Engineering students can also take advantage of research opportunities through interactions with Penn’s School of Medicine, School of Arts and Sciences and the Wharton School.

    Penn Engineering offers bachelors, masters and Ph.D. degree programs in contemporary fields of engineering study. The nationally ranked bioengineering department offers the School’s most popular undergraduate degree program. The Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology, offered in partnership with the Wharton School, allows students to simultaneously earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering. SEAS also offers several masters programs, which include: Executive Master’s in Technology Management, Master of Biotechnology, Master of Computer and Information Technology, Master of Computer and Information Science and a Master of Science in Engineering in Telecommunications and Networking.

    U Penn campus

    Academic life at University of Pennsylvania is unparalleled, with 100 countries and every U.S. state represented in one of the Ivy League’s most diverse student bodies. Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the country, Penn enrolls 10,000 undergraduate students and welcomes an additional 10,000 students to our world-renowned graduate and professional schools.

    Penn’s award-winning educators and scholars encourage students to pursue inquiry and discovery, follow their passions, and address the world’s most challenging problems through an interdisciplinary approach.

    The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university claims a founding date of 1740 and is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered prior to the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn’s founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum.

    Penn has four undergraduate schools as well as twelve graduate and professional schools. Schools enrolling undergraduates include the College of Arts and Sciences; the School of Engineering and Applied Science; the Wharton School; and the School of Nursing. Penn’s “One University Policy” allows students to enroll in classes in any of Penn’s twelve schools. Among its highly ranked graduate and professional schools are a law school whose first professor wrote the first draft of the United States Constitution, the first school of medicine in North America (Perelman School of Medicine, 1765), and the first collegiate business school (Wharton School, 1881).

    Penn is also home to the first “student union” building and organization (Houston Hall, 1896), the first Catholic student club in North America (Newman Center, 1893), the first double-decker college football stadium (Franklin Field, 1924 when second deck was constructed), and Morris Arboretum, the official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was developed at Penn and formally dedicated in 1946. In 2019, the university had an endowment of $14.65 billion, the sixth-largest endowment of all universities in the United States, as well as a research budget of $1.02 billion. The university’s athletics program, the Quakers, fields varsity teams in 33 sports as a member of the NCAA Division I Ivy League conference.

    As of 2018, distinguished alumni and/or Trustees include three U.S. Supreme Court justices; 32 U.S. senators; 46 U.S. governors; 163 members of the U.S. House of Representatives; eight signers of the Declaration of Independence and seven signers of the U.S. Constitution (four of whom signed both representing two-thirds of the six people who signed both); 24 members of the Continental Congress; 14 foreign heads of state and two presidents of the United States, including Donald Trump. As of October 2019, 36 Nobel laureates; 80 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; 64 billionaires; 29 Rhodes Scholars; 15 Marshall Scholars and 16 Pulitzer Prize winners have been affiliated with the university.

    History

    The University of Pennsylvania considers itself the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, though this is contested by Princeton University and Columbia University. The university also considers itself as the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies.

    In 1740, a group of Philadelphians joined together to erect a great preaching hall for the traveling evangelist George Whitefield, who toured the American colonies delivering open-air sermons. The building was designed and built by Edmund Woolley and was the largest building in the city at the time, drawing thousands of people the first time it was preached in. It was initially planned to serve as a charity school as well, but a lack of funds forced plans for the chapel and school to be suspended. According to Franklin’s autobiography, it was in 1743 when he first had the idea to establish an academy, “thinking the Rev. Richard Peters a fit person to superintend such an institution”. However, Peters declined a casual inquiry from Franklin and nothing further was done for another six years. In the fall of 1749, now more eager to create a school to educate future generations, Benjamin Franklin circulated a pamphlet titled Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania, his vision for what he called a “Public Academy of Philadelphia”. Unlike the other colonial colleges that existed in 1749—Harvard University, William & Mary, Yale Unversity, and The College of New Jersey—Franklin’s new school would not focus merely on education for the clergy. He advocated an innovative concept of higher education, one which would teach both the ornamental knowledge of the arts and the practical skills necessary for making a living and doing public service. The proposed program of study could have become the nation’s first modern liberal arts curriculum, although it was never implemented because Anglican priest William Smith (1727-1803), who became the first provost, and other trustees strongly preferred the traditional curriculum.

    Franklin assembled a board of trustees from among the leading citizens of Philadelphia, the first such non-sectarian board in America. At the first meeting of the 24 members of the board of trustees on November 13, 1749, the issue of where to locate the school was a prime concern. Although a lot across Sixth Street from the old Pennsylvania State House (later renamed and famously known since 1776 as “Independence Hall”), was offered without cost by James Logan, its owner, the trustees realized that the building erected in 1740, which was still vacant, would be an even better site. The original sponsors of the dormant building still owed considerable construction debts and asked Franklin’s group to assume their debts and, accordingly, their inactive trusts. On February 1, 1750, the new board took over the building and trusts of the old board. On August 13, 1751, the “Academy of Philadelphia”, using the great hall at 4th and Arch Streets, took in its first secondary students. A charity school also was chartered on July 13, 1753 by the intentions of the original “New Building” donors, although it lasted only a few years. On June 16, 1755, the “College of Philadelphia” was chartered, paving the way for the addition of undergraduate instruction. All three schools shared the same board of trustees and were considered to be part of the same institution. The first commencement exercises were held on May 17, 1757.

    The institution of higher learning was known as the College of Philadelphia from 1755 to 1779. In 1779, not trusting then-provost the Reverend William Smith’s “Loyalist” tendencies, the revolutionary State Legislature created a University of the State of Pennsylvania. The result was a schism, with Smith continuing to operate an attenuated version of the College of Philadelphia. In 1791, the legislature issued a new charter, merging the two institutions into a new University of Pennsylvania with twelve men from each institution on the new board of trustees.

    Penn has three claims to being the first university in the United States, according to university archives director Mark Frazier Lloyd: the 1765 founding of the first medical school in America made Penn the first institution to offer both “undergraduate” and professional education; the 1779 charter made it the first American institution of higher learning to take the name of “University”; and existing colleges were established as seminaries (although, as detailed earlier, Penn adopted a traditional seminary curriculum as well).

    After being located in downtown Philadelphia for more than a century, the campus was moved across the Schuylkill River to property purchased from the Blockley Almshouse in West Philadelphia in 1872, where it has since remained in an area now known as University City. Although Penn began operating as an academy or secondary school in 1751 and obtained its collegiate charter in 1755, it initially designated 1750 as its founding date; this is the year that appears on the first iteration of the university seal. Sometime later in its early history, Penn began to consider 1749 as its founding date and this year was referenced for over a century, including at the centennial celebration in 1849. In 1899, the board of trustees voted to adjust the founding date earlier again, this time to 1740, the date of “the creation of the earliest of the many educational trusts the University has taken upon itself”. The board of trustees voted in response to a three-year campaign by Penn’s General Alumni Society to retroactively revise the university’s founding date to appear older than Princeton University, which had been chartered in 1746.

    Research, innovations and discoveries

    Penn is classified as an “R1” doctoral university: “Highest research activity.” Its economic impact on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 2015 amounted to $14.3 billion. Penn’s research expenditures in the 2018 fiscal year were $1.442 billion, the fourth largest in the U.S. In fiscal year 2019 Penn received $582.3 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health.

    In line with its well-known interdisciplinary tradition, Penn’s research centers often span two or more disciplines. In the 2010–2011 academic year alone, five interdisciplinary research centers were created or substantially expanded; these include the Center for Health-care Financing; the Center for Global Women’s Health at the Nursing School; the $13 million Morris Arboretum’s Horticulture Center; the $15 million Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at Wharton; and the $13 million Translational Research Center at Penn Medicine. With these additions, Penn now counts 165 research centers hosting a research community of over 4,300 faculty and over 1,100 postdoctoral fellows, 5,500 academic support staff and graduate student trainees. To further assist the advancement of interdisciplinary research President Amy Gutmann established the “Penn Integrates Knowledge” title awarded to selected Penn professors “whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge”. These professors hold endowed professorships and joint appointments between Penn’s schools.

    Penn is also among the most prolific producers of doctoral students. With 487 PhDs awarded in 2009, Penn ranks third in the Ivy League, only behind Columbia University and Cornell University (Harvard University did not report data). It also has one of the highest numbers of post-doctoral appointees (933 in number for 2004–2007), ranking third in the Ivy League (behind Harvard and Yale University) and tenth nationally.

    In most disciplines Penn professors’ productivity is among the highest in the nation and first in the fields of epidemiology, business, communication studies, comparative literature, languages, information science, criminal justice and criminology, social sciences and sociology. According to the National Research Council nearly three-quarters of Penn’s 41 assessed programs were placed in ranges including the top 10 rankings in their fields, with more than half of these in ranges including the top five rankings in these fields.

    Penn’s research tradition has historically been complemented by innovations that shaped higher education. In addition to establishing the first medical school; the first university teaching hospital; the first business school; and the first student union Penn was also the cradle of other significant developments. In 1852, Penn Law was the first law school in the nation to publish a law journal still in existence (then called The American Law Register, now the Penn Law Review, one of the most cited law journals in the world). Under the deanship of William Draper Lewis, the law school was also one of the first schools to emphasize legal teaching by full-time professors instead of practitioners, a system that is still followed today. The Wharton School was home to several pioneering developments in business education. It established the first research center in a business school in 1921 and the first center for entrepreneurship center in 1973 and it regularly introduced novel curricula for which BusinessWeek wrote, “Wharton is on the crest of a wave of reinvention and change in management education”.

    Several major scientific discoveries have also taken place at Penn. The university is probably best known as the place where the first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was born in 1946 at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering.

    ENIAC UPenn

    It was here also where the world’s first spelling and grammar checkers were created, as well as the popular COBOL programming language. Penn can also boast some of the most important discoveries in the field of medicine. The dialysis machine used as an artificial replacement for lost kidney function was conceived and devised out of a pressure cooker by William Inouye while he was still a student at Penn Med; the Rubella and Hepatitis B vaccines were developed at Penn; the discovery of cancer’s link with genes; cognitive therapy; Retin-A (the cream used to treat acne), Resistin; the Philadelphia gene (linked to chronic myelogenous leukemia) and the technology behind PET Scans were all discovered by Penn Med researchers. More recent gene research has led to the discovery of the genes for fragile X syndrome, the most common form of inherited mental retardation; spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, a disorder marked by progressive muscle wasting; and Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the hands, feet and limbs.

    Conductive polymer was also developed at Penn by Alan J. Heeger, Alan MacDiarmid and Hideki Shirakawa, an invention that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. On faculty since 1965, Ralph L. Brinster developed the scientific basis for in vitro fertilization and the transgenic mouse at Penn and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2010. The theory of superconductivity was also partly developed at Penn, by then-faculty member John Robert Schrieffer (along with John Bardeen and Leon Cooper). The university has also contributed major advancements in the fields of economics and management. Among the many discoveries are conjoint analysis, widely used as a predictive tool especially in market research; Simon Kuznets’s method of measuring Gross National Product; the Penn effect (the observation that consumer price levels in richer countries are systematically higher than in poorer ones) and the “Wharton Model” developed by Nobel-laureate Lawrence Klein to measure and forecast economic activity. The idea behind Health Maintenance Organizations also belonged to Penn professor Robert Eilers, who put it into practice during then-President Nixon’s health reform in the 1970s.

    International partnerships

    Students can study abroad for a semester or a year at partner institutions such as the London School of Economics(UK), University of Barcelona [Universitat de Barcelona](ES), Paris Institute of Political Studies [Institut d’études politiques de Paris](FR), University of Queensland(AU), University College London(UK), King’s College London(UK), Hebrew University of Jerusalem(IL) and University of Warwick(UK).

     
  • richardmitnick 8:56 am on May 9, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "With plants as a model studying the ‘complexity and reproducibility’ of Developmental Biology", , , , , Exploring proteins and protein families involved in different facets of plant growth., Flat-leaf architecture, , LOB DOMAIN (LBD) genes, Penn Today   

    From Penn Today: “With plants as a model studying the ‘complexity and reproducibility’ of Developmental Biology” 

    From Penn Today

    at

    U Penn bloc

    University of Pennsylvania

    May 6, 2022
    Katherine Unger Baillie
    Eric Sucar – Photographer

    In his first year at Penn, biologist Aman Husbands is busy working on projects aimed at illuminating the molecular mechanisms that govern plant development.

    1
    By studying how plants develop, Aman Husbands, who joined the Department of Biology faculty this year, may make insights that find application well beyond the plant kingdom.

    Nearly paper-thin, often with a complex two-dimensional shape, leaves may number into the hundreds of thousands on an organism like a white oak. Yet typically, each leaf appears quite similar in form.

    How is it that a plant coordinates the production of these leaves, one after another, so carefully and so reproducibly?

    The molecular forces governing this aspect of plant development are a focus of Aman Husbands, who joined Penn’s Biology Department faculty in the School of Arts & Sciences in January. Exploring proteins and protein families involved in different facets of plant growth, Husbands has identified key regulators that appear fundamental to biology, and not just plant biology.

    His curiosity-driven research is not only illuminating the basic mechanisms responsible for why plants grow as they do but also has the potential to impact how plants stay resilient in the face of climate change. It may even shed light on aspects of development and disease in other species, humans included.

    “You could break down the lab into complexity and reproducibility,” says Husbands, the Mitchell J. Blutt and Margo Krody Blutt Presidential Assistant Professor of Biology. “How do you create these beautiful, complex shapes? Biology should go wrong all the time, and yet it doesn’t. We’re interested in the mechanisms responsible.”

    Drawn to plants

    As a kid, Husbands, who grew up in Toronto, “wanted to be a marine biologist, like everyone,” he says. Around his second year at The University of Toronto (CA), when he began taking more specialized science courses, another aspect of biology caught his attention.

    “Plants, for some reason, I loved,” he says. “It was a system that I just intuitively understood.”

    2
    Plant leaves begin to form as a small bump and then flatten into a complex, two-dimensional shape. Some of the research Husbands pursues examines how plants consistently form “these paper-thin structures over and over again,” rarely getting it wrong.

    During his undergraduate years he worked with Nancy Dengler, whose lab group studies plant anatomy. Anatomy was also the focus of the lab he joined for his graduate work at The University of California-Riverside. But after a half a year he switched to join the lab of Patricia Springer, who “was asking really interesting questions about plant development, including how plants establish boundaries between their organs,” says Husbands. Springer gave him the freedom to explore the molecular aspects of plant development, and he began to ask questions about protein function.

    His doctoral research focused on a family known as the LOB DOMAIN (LBD) genes, transcription factors that control how and when genes are turned on and off. “People assumed these were transcription factors but that had not been formally shown,” he says. Under the guidance of Harley Smith, another Riverside faculty member at the time, Husbands gained the molecular biology skillset to pursue those questions, identifying the binding site recognized by this protein family, which are specific to plants. “I’m still proud of that paper,” he says.

    Moving back to the East Coast for his postdoctoral work, he joined the lab of Marja Timmermans at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. With Timmermans, now at Eberhard Karl University of Tübingen [Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen[(DE), Husbands began delving into a transcription factor complex that still makes up “the bread and butter” of his research today, known as the HD-ZIPIIIs. “What interested me about this family is that it’s very, very deeply conserved,” he says, its origins tracing back 750 million years or more in evolutionary time. HD-ZIPIII genes, if manipulated, impact multiple aspects of plant development, Husbands says, including stem cells, the plant vein system, and leaf architecture.

    When leaf formation goes wrong

    As Husbands moved from Cold Spring Harbor to a faculty position at Ohio State University, where he ran a lab for four years, and now to Penn, a question driving his work is, How can plants reliably churn out leaves that look the way they’re supposed to look? Plant biologists’ term for this is reproducibility or robustness, and Husbands studies it in the context of flat-leaf architecture, or the tendency of plants to consistently form “these paper-thin structures over and over again,” he says. “What makes this more compelling is that leaves don’t start out flat.” When they initially develop, they are ball-shaped, and only later flatten out into what most would recognize as a leaf: a thin form with a distinctive two-dimensional shape.

    “It’s a very difficult process,” says Husbands. Plants usually get this right, but leaf growth occasionally goes awry. “You might get leaves curling up or down, which will lead to impacts on fitness,” he says.

    Typically, however, Husbands says, “leaves always know, ‘This is my top; this is my bottom. I have a boundary from which to grow.’”

    The concept of boundaries driving growth is not unique to plants but one that’s present in almost every developing organism. Thus, insights Husbands draws out in plants may have applications to other groups as well. “It’s a very classical developmental paradigm,” he says.

    Other projects of Husbands involve collaborations with computational biologists and mathematicians. In one, he and colleagues are hoping to look for patterns in gene expression data in the hopes that new gene candidates will emerge as being central to the reproducibility and robustness of flat-leaf architecture.

    Applications, partnerships, and inspiration

    While Husbands is motivated by a love of basic science and discovery, he’s also moving his work into directions that might one day find real-world application. On the plant front, he notes that “engineering robustness,” by intervening with some of the transcription factors he’s studying, could enable plants to withstand the ups and downs of climate change. “We’re a ways away from that, but, if you could find a particular system that is susceptible to climate change, you could use these properties to basically shore it up, stabilize that biology and enable the plant to be resilient in the face of climate extremes.”

    Going beyond plants, Husbands and his trainees are also investigating how the lipid binding domains they’ve studied in plants operate in proteins present across the tree of life, including a tumor suppressor protein present in humans. “We want to take knowledge from our work and others to develop strategies to affect activity of this tumor suppressor via this lipid-binding domain,” he says. “The therapeutic applications are obvious. If you develop a ligand to affect the activity of a tumor suppressor, you’re in business.”

    With a department strong in plant biology as well as many other facets of science, and additional potential collaborators a stone’s throw away on campus, Husbands jumped at the opportunity to come to the Penn. “Penn is Penn,” he says. “During the recruitment process, just reading about what everyone was doing and their science—it’s just a firehose. You come away and you’re inspired.”

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Penn campus

    Academic life at University of Pennsylvania is unparalleled, with 100 countries and every U.S. state represented in one of the Ivy League’s most diverse student bodies. Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the country, Penn enrolls 10,000 undergraduate students and welcomes an additional 10,000 students to our world-renowned graduate and professional schools.

    Penn’s award-winning educators and scholars encourage students to pursue inquiry and discovery, follow their passions, and address the world’s most challenging problems through an interdisciplinary approach.

    The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university claims a founding date of 1740 and is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered prior to the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn’s founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum.

    Penn has four undergraduate schools as well as twelve graduate and professional schools. Schools enrolling undergraduates include the College of Arts and Sciences; the School of Engineering and Applied Science; the Wharton School; and the School of Nursing. Penn’s “One University Policy” allows students to enroll in classes in any of Penn’s twelve schools. Among its highly ranked graduate and professional schools are a law school whose first professor wrote the first draft of the United States Constitution, the first school of medicine in North America (Perelman School of Medicine, 1765), and the first collegiate business school (Wharton School, 1881).

    Penn is also home to the first “student union” building and organization (Houston Hall, 1896), the first Catholic student club in North America (Newman Center, 1893), the first double-decker college football stadium (Franklin Field, 1924 when second deck was constructed), and Morris Arboretum, the official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was developed at Penn and formally dedicated in 1946. In 2019, the university had an endowment of $14.65 billion, the sixth-largest endowment of all universities in the United States, as well as a research budget of $1.02 billion. The university’s athletics program, the Quakers, fields varsity teams in 33 sports as a member of the NCAA Division I Ivy League conference.

    As of 2018, distinguished alumni and/or Trustees include three U.S. Supreme Court justices; 32 U.S. senators; 46 U.S. governors; 163 members of the U.S. House of Representatives; eight signers of the Declaration of Independence and seven signers of the U.S. Constitution (four of whom signed both representing two-thirds of the six people who signed both); 24 members of the Continental Congress; 14 foreign heads of state and two presidents of the United States, including Donald Trump. As of October 2019, 36 Nobel laureates; 80 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; 64 billionaires; 29 Rhodes Scholars; 15 Marshall Scholars and 16 Pulitzer Prize winners have been affiliated with the university.

    History

    The University of Pennsylvania considers itself the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, though this is contested by Princeton University and Columbia University. The university also considers itself as the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies.

    In 1740, a group of Philadelphians joined together to erect a great preaching hall for the traveling evangelist George Whitefield, who toured the American colonies delivering open-air sermons. The building was designed and built by Edmund Woolley and was the largest building in the city at the time, drawing thousands of people the first time it was preached in. It was initially planned to serve as a charity school as well, but a lack of funds forced plans for the chapel and school to be suspended. According to Franklin’s autobiography, it was in 1743 when he first had the idea to establish an academy, “thinking the Rev. Richard Peters a fit person to superintend such an institution”. However, Peters declined a casual inquiry from Franklin and nothing further was done for another six years. In the fall of 1749, now more eager to create a school to educate future generations, Benjamin Franklin circulated a pamphlet titled Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania, his vision for what he called a “Public Academy of Philadelphia”. Unlike the other colonial colleges that existed in 1749—Harvard University, William & Mary, Yale Unversity, and The College of New Jersey—Franklin’s new school would not focus merely on education for the clergy. He advocated an innovative concept of higher education, one which would teach both the ornamental knowledge of the arts and the practical skills necessary for making a living and doing public service. The proposed program of study could have become the nation’s first modern liberal arts curriculum, although it was never implemented because Anglican priest William Smith (1727-1803), who became the first provost, and other trustees strongly preferred the traditional curriculum.

    Franklin assembled a board of trustees from among the leading citizens of Philadelphia, the first such non-sectarian board in America. At the first meeting of the 24 members of the board of trustees on November 13, 1749, the issue of where to locate the school was a prime concern. Although a lot across Sixth Street from the old Pennsylvania State House (later renamed and famously known since 1776 as “Independence Hall”), was offered without cost by James Logan, its owner, the trustees realized that the building erected in 1740, which was still vacant, would be an even better site. The original sponsors of the dormant building still owed considerable construction debts and asked Franklin’s group to assume their debts and, accordingly, their inactive trusts. On February 1, 1750, the new board took over the building and trusts of the old board. On August 13, 1751, the “Academy of Philadelphia”, using the great hall at 4th and Arch Streets, took in its first secondary students. A charity school also was chartered on July 13, 1753 by the intentions of the original “New Building” donors, although it lasted only a few years. On June 16, 1755, the “College of Philadelphia” was chartered, paving the way for the addition of undergraduate instruction. All three schools shared the same board of trustees and were considered to be part of the same institution. The first commencement exercises were held on May 17, 1757.

    The institution of higher learning was known as the College of Philadelphia from 1755 to 1779. In 1779, not trusting then-provost the Reverend William Smith’s “Loyalist” tendencies, the revolutionary State Legislature created a University of the State of Pennsylvania. The result was a schism, with Smith continuing to operate an attenuated version of the College of Philadelphia. In 1791, the legislature issued a new charter, merging the two institutions into a new University of Pennsylvania with twelve men from each institution on the new board of trustees.

    Penn has three claims to being the first university in the United States, according to university archives director Mark Frazier Lloyd: the 1765 founding of the first medical school in America made Penn the first institution to offer both “undergraduate” and professional education; the 1779 charter made it the first American institution of higher learning to take the name of “University”; and existing colleges were established as seminaries (although, as detailed earlier, Penn adopted a traditional seminary curriculum as well).

    After being located in downtown Philadelphia for more than a century, the campus was moved across the Schuylkill River to property purchased from the Blockley Almshouse in West Philadelphia in 1872, where it has since remained in an area now known as University City. Although Penn began operating as an academy or secondary school in 1751 and obtained its collegiate charter in 1755, it initially designated 1750 as its founding date; this is the year that appears on the first iteration of the university seal. Sometime later in its early history, Penn began to consider 1749 as its founding date and this year was referenced for over a century, including at the centennial celebration in 1849. In 1899, the board of trustees voted to adjust the founding date earlier again, this time to 1740, the date of “the creation of the earliest of the many educational trusts the University has taken upon itself”. The board of trustees voted in response to a three-year campaign by Penn’s General Alumni Society to retroactively revise the university’s founding date to appear older than Princeton University, which had been chartered in 1746.

    Research, innovations and discoveries

    Penn is classified as an “R1” doctoral university: “Highest research activity.” Its economic impact on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 2015 amounted to $14.3 billion. Penn’s research expenditures in the 2018 fiscal year were $1.442 billion, the fourth largest in the U.S. In fiscal year 2019 Penn received $582.3 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health.

    In line with its well-known interdisciplinary tradition, Penn’s research centers often span two or more disciplines. In the 2010–2011 academic year alone, five interdisciplinary research centers were created or substantially expanded; these include the Center for Health-care Financing; the Center for Global Women’s Health at the Nursing School; the $13 million Morris Arboretum’s Horticulture Center; the $15 million Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at Wharton; and the $13 million Translational Research Center at Penn Medicine. With these additions, Penn now counts 165 research centers hosting a research community of over 4,300 faculty and over 1,100 postdoctoral fellows, 5,500 academic support staff and graduate student trainees. To further assist the advancement of interdisciplinary research President Amy Gutmann established the “Penn Integrates Knowledge” title awarded to selected Penn professors “whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge”. These professors hold endowed professorships and joint appointments between Penn’s schools.

    Penn is also among the most prolific producers of doctoral students. With 487 PhDs awarded in 2009, Penn ranks third in the Ivy League, only behind Columbia University and Cornell University (Harvard University did not report data). It also has one of the highest numbers of post-doctoral appointees (933 in number for 2004–2007), ranking third in the Ivy League (behind Harvard and Yale University) and tenth nationally.

    In most disciplines Penn professors’ productivity is among the highest in the nation and first in the fields of epidemiology, business, communication studies, comparative literature, languages, information science, criminal justice and criminology, social sciences and sociology. According to the National Research Council nearly three-quarters of Penn’s 41 assessed programs were placed in ranges including the top 10 rankings in their fields, with more than half of these in ranges including the top five rankings in these fields.

    Penn’s research tradition has historically been complemented by innovations that shaped higher education. In addition to establishing the first medical school; the first university teaching hospital; the first business school; and the first student union Penn was also the cradle of other significant developments. In 1852, Penn Law was the first law school in the nation to publish a law journal still in existence (then called The American Law Register, now the Penn Law Review, one of the most cited law journals in the world). Under the deanship of William Draper Lewis, the law school was also one of the first schools to emphasize legal teaching by full-time professors instead of practitioners, a system that is still followed today. The Wharton School was home to several pioneering developments in business education. It established the first research center in a business school in 1921 and the first center for entrepreneurship center in 1973 and it regularly introduced novel curricula for which BusinessWeek wrote, “Wharton is on the crest of a wave of reinvention and change in management education”.

    Several major scientific discoveries have also taken place at Penn. The university is probably best known as the place where the first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was born in 1946 at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering.

    ENIAC UPenn

    It was here also where the world’s first spelling and grammar checkers were created, as well as the popular COBOL programming language. Penn can also boast some of the most important discoveries in the field of medicine. The dialysis machine used as an artificial replacement for lost kidney function was conceived and devised out of a pressure cooker by William Inouye while he was still a student at Penn Med; the Rubella and Hepatitis B vaccines were developed at Penn; the discovery of cancer’s link with genes; cognitive therapy; Retin-A (the cream used to treat acne), Resistin; the Philadelphia gene (linked to chronic myelogenous leukemia) and the technology behind PET Scans were all discovered by Penn Med researchers. More recent gene research has led to the discovery of the genes for fragile X syndrome, the most common form of inherited mental retardation; spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, a disorder marked by progressive muscle wasting; and Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the hands, feet and limbs.

    Conductive polymer was also developed at Penn by Alan J. Heeger, Alan MacDiarmid and Hideki Shirakawa, an invention that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. On faculty since 1965, Ralph L. Brinster developed the scientific basis for in vitro fertilization and the transgenic mouse at Penn and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2010. The theory of superconductivity was also partly developed at Penn, by then-faculty member John Robert Schrieffer (along with John Bardeen and Leon Cooper). The university has also contributed major advancements in the fields of economics and management. Among the many discoveries are conjoint analysis, widely used as a predictive tool especially in market research; Simon Kuznets’s method of measuring Gross National Product; the Penn effect (the observation that consumer price levels in richer countries are systematically higher than in poorer ones) and the “Wharton Model” developed by Nobel-laureate Lawrence Klein to measure and forecast economic activity. The idea behind Health Maintenance Organizations also belonged to Penn professor Robert Eilers, who put it into practice during then-President Nixon’s health reform in the 1970s.

    International partnerships

    Students can study abroad for a semester or a year at partner institutions such as the London School of Economics(UK), University of Barcelona [Universitat de Barcelona](ES), Paris Institute of Political Studies [Institut d’études politiques de Paris](FR), University of Queensland(AU), University College London(UK), King’s College London(UK), Hebrew University of Jerusalem(IL) and University of Warwick(UK).

     
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