Individuals differ in the way they respond to infections, some struggle and suffer, while others are very good at fighting the infection. While genetic differences are important, other factors can contribute to generating highly infectious individuals.  One of these factors is the presence of a second pathogen and the fact that hosts have now to deal with both infections. The outcome is not easily predictable and can affect the dynamics of infection.  

Isabella Cattadori | Biology

The safety of our food supply relies on timely and accurate detection of microorganisms that can cause foodborne illness.  Traditional microbiological methods frequently fail to distinguish closely related beneficial bacteria used as biocontrol agents from those that can cause infection.  In such cases, use of genomics methods for accurate and precise identification, and prediction of pathogenic potential becomes invaluable.

Jasna Kovac | Food Science

Recent electron microscopy instrumentation advances have aimed to push the resolution limit, leading to remarkable instruments capable of imaging at 0.5 Å.  But, when imaging soft materials, the resolution is often limited by the amount of dose the material can handle rather than the instrumental resolution.  Despite the challenges of working with radiation sensitive samples, recent developments in electron microscopy have the potential to transform polymer electron microscopy.  For example, monochromatated sources enable spectroscopy and imaging based on the valence electronic structure, aberration correctors enable imaging of thick films, direct electron detectors minimize the required dose for imaging, and differential phase contrast imaging can map heterogeneities in electric fields within films.

On May 22th 44 students competed in the Millennium Café Pitch Competition sponsored by PPG.  The competition was fierce as students had <2 minutes to introduce their research in a manner that was understandable and inspiring to our panel of judges.  Don’t miss this opportunity to hear four of the top-5 winners from this year’s competition.

Joseph Persichetti, Alexis Baxter, Kayla Gentile, Ambika Somasundar

Geological systems such as subsurface reservoirs or aquifers often exhibit complex patterns of spatial heterogeneity in the form of channels, natural fractures, and other features. The presence of these multi-scale features strongly influences the performance of processes such as gas-injection and groundwater flow. In this talk, a unique pattern growth algorithm for modeling the complex connectivity of such subsurface systems and a strategy for calibrating the models using injection data will be presented.

Sanjay Srinivasan | Energy and Mineral Engineering

Come learn about what is happening and how you can join water related research, education, and outreach efforts at Penn State.