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Discrimination creates racial battle fatigue for African-Americans

University Park, Pa. -- Just as the constant pressure soldiers face on the battlefield can follow them home in the form of debilitating stress, African Americans who face chronic exposure to racial discrimination may have an increased likelihood of ...

Key to better health care may be a walk in the...

The payoff for investing in public parks and recreation sites may be healthier, more physically fit residents and a less strained healthcare system, according to Penn State researchers. Investments in parks and recreational services have a dramati...

Chefs can create reduced-calorie restaurant foods

Restaurants could play an important role in helping to reduce the growing obesity epidemic by creating reduced-calorie meals, according to Penn State researchers. The researchers surveyed chefs, restaurant owners, and culinary executives from acr...

Melanoma uses body’s immune system to spread to lungs

The way melanoma cells use the immune system to spread and develop into lung tumors may lead to a therapy to decrease development of these tumors, according to Penn State researchers. "Melanoma is the most aggressive and metastatic form of skin ca...

The more things change, the more marriages stay the same

Despite major economic and social changes, the overall quality of marriage in the United States has not changed in the last 20 years, according to Penn State researchers. "People are as happily married now as they were 20 years ago, but they also are just as divorce prone," said Alan Booth, distinguished professor of sociology, human development and family studies and demography. "While we identified a number of specific positive and negative features in marital quality, they balance off, resulting in little major change."

New software helps teams deal with information overload

Penn State researchers have developed new software that can help decision-making teams in combat situations or homeland security handle information overload by inferring teams' information needs and delivering relevant data from computer-generated reports. The agent software called CAST (Collaborative Agents for Simulating Teamwork) highlights relevant data. This helps improve a team's decision-making process as well as enhances members' collaboration.

Testosterone Levels and Marriage: High is Not All Bad

A low-testosterone man newly married to a high-testosterone woman might seem destined to be henpecked but a Penn State study found that such a coupling actually produced a marriage where the wife provided better social support for her mate. Dr. Catherine Cohan, assistant professor of human development and family studies, says, "It's not necessarily the case that higher testosterone is all bad. Testosterone is related to assertiveness which can be good or bad depending on whether it is manifested as either aggression or being helping and outgoing."

On guard: Sentinel plants could warn of bioterror

U.S. soldiers walk down a trail in a war zone. One of them pulls out a hand-held electronic device and points it at a native plant. The readings on the device indicate the plant was exposed to nerve gas sometime in the last 48 hours, allowing the soldiers to don protective gear before they suffer a lethal dose. Although such a device does not exist, it's not as far-fetched as it may sound. As concerns grow over the threat of bioterrorism and weapons of mass destruction, university researchers are working on an early warning system -- the figurative canary in the mineshaft -- that could be as unobtrusive and ubiquitous as plants in a landscape.

Interactive Web Sites Boost Politicians, But 'Double-Edged Sword'

A more interactive Web site for a political candidate can influence a person's impression of the candidate and increase a person's level of agreement with the candidate's views, according to Penn State researchers. More interactive Web sites enhance a person's opinion of a political candidate and the candidate's positions, say the researchers. At the same time, interactivity is a "double-edged sword" because the most highly interactive sites used in the research drove users' views of the political candidate back down, showing that greater navigational demands of a Web site might induce tedium.

Portion size matters: Given too much, we eat it

Almost nobody can stop eating at just one normal serving if there's extra food on their plate, Penn State researchers have shown, and this tendency coupled with the spread of megaportions may be contributing to the American obesity epidemic. In the first systematic, controlled study of the response to portion size in adults, the researchers found that the bigger the portion, the more the participants ate. On average, they ate 30 percent more from a five-cup portion of macaroni and cheese than from one half its size ? without reporting feeling any fuller after eating. Dr. Barbara Rolls, who holds the Guthrie Chair of Nutrition in Penn State's College of Health and Human Development, led the study. She says, "Men and women, normal-weight and overweight individuals, restrained and unrestrained eaters, all responded to larger portion size by eating more."

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