by Zach Sweger

HERSHEY, Pa. — Researchers from Penn State College of Medicine identified a new gene mutation that may cause a type of familial thyroid cancer. Dr. Darrin Bann, an otolaryngology resident at the College of Medicine and lead author of the study, said that this mutation is the first and only mutation associated with familial thyroid cancer to be identified in a gene that is primarily expressed in the thyroid gland.

According to the researchers, people who have a first-degree relative with thyroid cancer have a two to five-fold increase of developing the disease themselves. Identifying this mutation has helped the researchers understand why this form of cancer is more inheritable than other cancers. They published the study results in Cancer Research.

By: Sheng Ran

Nature often reveals itself in surprising ways, so scientists, who study nature, have a lot of opportunities to be surprised. Over the past year and a half, I have been working on UTe2, a simple compound made of two parts, uranium and tellurium, which I discovered is a superconductor. That is, it conducts electricity without resistance under certain conditions.

Superconductivity is exciting because it’s almost like a superpower: It can help scientists detect very weak brain activity, accelerate particles to nearly the speed of light, and potentially provide the building blocks for futuristic quantum computers that could solve complex problems our current computers can’t touch.

HERSHEY, Pa. — Researchers at Penn State College of Medicine have developed a new method to model how genes interact with each other — and it may someday contribute to the development of personalized treatments for patients.

According to the researchers, the new model is able to construct personalized networks for an individual patient that can show complex gene interactions in multiple directions and predict how those interactions may change over time.

HERSHEY, Pa. — Can a computer be used to explain why an environmental toxin might lead to neurodegenerative disease? According to Penn State College of Medicine researchers, a computer generated-simulation allowed them to see how a toxin produced by algal blooms in saltwater might cause Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

The researchers investigated an environmental toxin called β-Methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) that has been linked to significantly increased occurrence of sporadic ALS in populations with frequent dietary consumption of food sources containing high levels of BMAA — including the Chamorro population of Guam where ALS incidence is approximately 100 times greater than other populations.

By Maj. Peter J. Molineaux | 91st Cyber Brigade

PEMBROKE, N.H. — The Virginia Army National Guard’s Bowling Green-based 91st Cyber Brigade completed the process of hosting Cyber Yankee ’19 via its ShadowNet enterprise solution, a custom-built private cloud that uses VPN connectivity to provide aligned units with tailored cyber training at the individual and collective levels.

The brigade hosted the five-day exercise on the ShadowNet platform remotely at its Data Center in Fairfax, Virginia, as it was physically conducted Aug. 5-9 at the Edward Cross Training Complex in Pembroke, New Hampshire.

The nursery could help restore damaged reefs using fully formed coral colonies rather than small fragments.

When a ship grounds on coral reef, the accident can severely damage the reef and scatter countless small coral fragments onto the seafloor. But these pieces of coral aren’t yet dead—they can gain new life if placed into a coral nursery. This small installation allows the coral fragments, which average around 4-inches in length, to recover and grow until they’re large enough for conservation managers to outplant them back into reefs that need them.