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University of Pennsylvania

  1. Science May Have Just Discovered Why Haters Gonna Hate

    I'm not a jerk, I just have a "negative dispositional attitude." So shut up!

    Why are some people just inclined to hate on things? To pick the dumbest, most negative facets of a situation and focus on them exclusively, ignoring anything good that might be there in favor of just ragging on things? According to a new study published this week, we may just be born that way, having a "negative dispositional attitude" from birth.

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  2. Taloned Drone Can Snatch Prey From The Sky Like An Eagle [Video]

    On hearing yesterday's news that Carnegie Mellon University had developed a robot that turns into a tank, one of my fellow Geekosystem editors pointed out that at some point, we're just asking for a violent robot uprising. He's not wrong. I can't imagine my co-worker is going to be exactly delighted, then, by the University of Pennsylvania's newest robotic offering, a quadcopter drone equipped with a mechanical talon that allows it to snatch prey from the sky like a robotic eagle. While clearly terrifying, it's also pretty awesome, and you can get a look at in action below.

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  3. College Credit Recommended for Some Free Online Courses, Probably Not Making College Free Quite Yet

    The American Council on Education (ACE) offered a significant boost to the reputation of a handful of free online courses today, recommending that 5 massive open online courses (MOOCs) be made eligible for college credit. Of course, whether -- and when -- schools will take up that recommendation remains to be seen, but even the principle is good news for people looking for ways to make college cheaper for students -- and thus available to more of them.

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  4. Scientists Discover A Main Cause Of Male Pattern Balding

    No one likes male pattern balding, especially males who have it or who are at risk for having it in the future. Fortunately for men in the future, and to the doubtless envy of men in the past, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have made strides in discovering the main cause of male pattern baldness. Or one of the main causes, at least.

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  5. New Map Shows the Best and Worst Sleep Across these United States

    The University of Pennsylvania have taken the information gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (you know, that place from the first season of The Walking Dead) robo-calling polls and created the first "sleepiness" map of the United States. It shows, in two separate graphics, how many people reported waking up at night and how many reported feeling fatigued during the day. Not surprisingly, there is only a little difference between the two. The researchers reported that the best sleep in America can be found on the West Coast, while the worst sleep is concentrated in the south. Though looking at this map, the Dakotas seem to be doing pretty good for themselves. See the full image, after the break.

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  6. Scientists Uncover 300 Million Year-Old Forest Preserved Under Volcanic Ash

    About 298 million years ago near the modern day city of Wuda, China, a volcano erupted. Over the course of several days it rained down volcanic ash with such ferocity that branches were torn from plants and enormous trees were felled in a nearby forest. The forest plants were completely buried in a layer of thick ash, and was in turn buried over eons of new growth. Now, scientists have unearthed this lost forest, giving them a glimpse into a long forgotten time.

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  7. Microwave Hack Displays YouTube Videos on the Door While You Wait

    Everyone has watched the food spinning in the microwave at one point or another. Granted, it's different with every food, but the plot of that show tends to be a little formulaic. And that's the problem the μWave sets out to solve. The μWave, created by the University of Pennsylvania students for the 2011 PennApps hackathon is way more sophisticated than your average microwave and provides a whole bunch of trivial, but awesome features. The main one is that when you type in a time, the μWave goes out and finds a YouTube video of an appropriate length for you to watch while you wait.

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  8. Robot Builds Another Robot Out Of Sprayable Foam

    Although robots can be designed for absurdly specific tasks and carry out those tasks with ridiculous efficiency, one downside about using a robot to solve a problem is that you have to design and build that robot ahead of time. Yeah, a snake-like robot might be really good for climbing rocks, but you need to know about those rocks ahead of time, so you can design, build, and bring that robot with you. In situations like space exploration, that's kind of an issue. The Foambot, a creation of Shai Revzen and his team at University of Pennsylvania, provides a unique solution to this problem: A robot that can be built on the spot out of mechanical joints and sprayable foam. The Foambot has two basic parts, a wheeled "mothership" module that carries around the foam and has the sprayer, and a collection of joints which are used to power the Foambot proper that the mothership module sprays.

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  9. Researchers Announce Successful Clinical Trial Of Gene Therapy Treatment For Leukemia

    For the first time, researchers have successfully used gene therapy to treat a form of leukemia called chronic lymphoblastic leukemia. The clinical trial was only conducted in three patients, which is such a small sample size that it is far too soon to be declaring victory over cancer, but it is an encouraging breakthrough. The research is described in two papers, published in the New England Journal of Medicine and Science Translational Medicine. People have been talking about gene therapy for more than twenty years. Though it holds immense potential, researchers have run into problems with gene therapy as a treatment. In previous research, therapeutic genes that are inserted in a specific place tended to move around for reasons that researchers have struggled to understand. The goal of gene therapy is for a gene that is inserted into a specific place to stay in that spot to serve out its function in the cell. With the new leukemia treatment, this is exactly what the researchers were able to achieve.

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