Tag Archives: university of pennsylvania

Study: CT Scans Could Bolster Forensic Database to ID Unidentified Remains

A study from North Carolina State University finds that data from CT scans can be incorporated into a growing forensic database to help determine the ancestry and sex of unidentified remains. The finding may also have clinical applications for craniofacial surgeons.

“As forensic anthropologists, we can map specific coordinates on a skull and use software that we developed – called 3D-ID – to compare those three-dimensional coordinates with a database of biological characteristics,” says Dr. Ann Ross, a professor of anthropology at NC State and senior author of a paper describing the work. “That comparison can tell us the ancestry and sex of unidentified remains using only the skull – which is particularly valuable when dealing with incomplete skeletal remains.” (more…)

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Mutual benefits: Stressed-out trees boost sugary rewards to ant defenders

ANN ARBOR — When water is scarce, Ecuador laurel trees ramp up their investment in a syrupy treat that sends resident ant defenders into overdrive, protecting the trees from defoliation by leaf-munching pests.

The water-stressed tropical forest trees support the production of more honeydew, a sugary excretion imbibed by the Azteca ants that nest in the laurels’ stem cavities. In return, ant colonies boost their numbers and more vigorously defend the life-sustaining foliage. (more…)

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Another Yale Nobel: Robert Shiller

Robert J. Shiller, the Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale University, has been awarded a Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. He shares the award — formally, the 2013 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel — with Eugene F. Fama and Lars Peter Hansen from the University of Chicago. According to the Nobel committee, the three were honored “for their empirical analysis of asset prices.”

Shiller, whose name became a household word with the wide use of the Case-Shiller Home Price real estate Index, came to national prominence with the publication in 2000 of “Irrational Exuberance.” The book, which quickly became a bestseller, described speculative bubbles fueled by mass misinformation and herd instinct, and accurately predicted the dot.com implosion. As early as 2003, Shiller warned of the housing market collapse, and later wrote a precept for recovery, “Subprime Solution: How the Global Financial Crisis Happened and What to Do about It.” (more…)

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Winning poster

CANR doctoral student Weir wins first place at 2013 ISES conference

Before coming to the University of Delaware, Jessica Weir had never heard of the International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) conference. 

Now, after a year spent helping Carissa Wickens, assistant professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences (ANFS), set up the organization’s ninth annual conference — hosted collaboratively by UD and the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center from July 18-20 — Weir is both fully versed in the event and plans to attend the 2014 ISES session in Denmark.  (more…)

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Brick by brick

Professor, author Robertson discusses innovation evolution at Lego

When you hear Lego, if all you think about are shiny, plastic bricks and toys, think again. From a toy concept brought to life by a carpenter to tales of failed innovation truths that mirrored a Greek tragedy, the Lego story is about innovation and evolution, David Robertson told attendees at last week’s Chaplin Tyler Executive Leadership series lecture.

Robertson, professor of practice at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, presented “Rebuilding Lego” to 80 students, faculty, staff and community members on the University of Delaware’s Newark campus. (more…)

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Bio for nano

Engineers work to create new biomaterials with energy technology applications

When automotive engineers want to create a new car, they don’t build thousands of prototypes. Instead, they create computer models and run simulations for performance, efficiency and desirability before a model is selected for fabrication.

University of Delaware materials science professors Darrin Pochan and Kristi Kiick are taking a similar approach to building new nanomaterials from biomolecules — namely peptides and proteins — that could increase the efficiency of photovoltaics, also known as solar cells, and other electronic devices. (more…)

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Broker Fees from Mutual Funds Affect Advice; Predict Worse Performance, New Study Says

TORONTO, ON – Brokers are supposed to recommend investments that are in the best interests of their clients.

But a study published in the February 2013 issue of the Journal of Finance has found that mutual funds offering higher broker fees attract the most investments, especially when the broker is not affiliated with the mutual fund company. Every additional dollar paid to a broker corresponds with another six dollars invested into the fund, and another fourteen dollars if the broker is an unaffiliated third party whose compensation depends exclusively on sales commissions. (more…)

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Climate and Drought Lessons from Ancient Egypt

Using Fossil Pollen to Augment Historical Records

Ancient pollen and charcoal preserved in deeply buried sediments in Egypt’s Nile Delta document the region’s ancient droughts and fires, including a huge drought 4,200 years ago associated with the demise of Egypt’s Old Kingdom, the era known as the pyramid-building time.

“Humans have a long history of having to deal with climate change,” said Christopher Bernhardt, a researcher with the U.S. Geological Survey. “Along with other research, this study geologically reveals that the evolution of societies is sometimes tied to climate variability at all scales – whether decadal or millennial.” (more…)

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