At the AAAS annual meeting last weekend I learned a lot, such as:
- How our preconceptions of viruses as nasty things may have thwarted our knowledge of the long list of positive interactions humans have with these microbes.
- How evolution changed us from furry creatures into lean, mean, skin-covered, sweating machines.
- And how we can now take pictures and make movies of atoms. Actual atoms.
One thing I did not learn is that I am not a great photographer. I have known that for a long time. In fact, if you couple my lack of photographic skills with my out-of-focus iPhone camera, the pictures of the atom have finer resolutions and were much clearer.
But I tried.
Here’s another thing I learned: Penn State should be proud of the work its research is doing because the rest of the academic world sure is. There were six Penn State researchers who presented 8 sessions at this year’s AAAS meeting in Boston. Here’s the list and the title of their presentations:
Viruses as Mutualists
A Plant, A Virus, A Fungus: What It Takes to Take the Heat
Using Models and Data to Learn about the Future of Climate
Ice Sheets, Sea Level and Other Surprises: Benefits of Understanding Some Beautiful Places
World Water Security Begins with an Adequate Blue Water Supply
The Evolution and Meanings of Human Skin Color
Beyond Fur: Sweating and Barrier Features of Human Skin
Towards Model-Based Networks and Control of Brain Networks
Also, Alley received an award for his outreach and education efforts from AAAS.
I don’t mean to be territorial about this because the conference featured so much research from dozens of great schools; but, with more than $12 million on the THON reveal board and a long list of the University’s researchers represented at one of the most prestigious academic conferences this weekend, it’s pretty hard to be modest about Penn State achievements.
You can read about some of the presentations here: