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Penn State is a multi-campus public research university that educates students from Pennsylvania, the nation and the world. It improves the well-being and health of individuals and communities through integrated programs of teaching, research, and service.

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Cheerleaders and smartphones are in the Supreme Court’s hands. Stephan Savoia/AP

What do cheerleader uniforms and smartphones have in common?

The Supreme Court is considering two cases stemming from the merger of design and function that could reshape intellectual property law. Can we protect innovation without impeding fair competition?
Do we contain the most elaborate set of instructions? Genome image via www.shutterstock.com.

How many genes does it take to make a person?

The answer – fewer than are in a banana – has implications for the study of human health and raises questions about what generates complexity anyway.
Humility might have gone out of politics. But why does it matter? Charles Mostoller/Reuters

Why America needs the virtues of humility

At a time when politics is showing its most divisive side, a scholar argues that embracing humility could help us deal with hidden biases.
Hunter Woodhall of the United States leads the 4x100m race before the team was disqualified, giving the victory to the squad from Germany. Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

Why do the Paralympics get so little media attention in the United States?

An Access World News database search says everything you need to know: Type in 'Deflategate' and you'll get nearly twice as many hits as 'Paralympics.'
Natural soaps without antibiotics may be better for you than ones with triclosan. From www.shutterstock.com

Why you should dispense with antibacterial soaps

The FDA banned the use of 19 antiseptics in hand soaps, saying that the soaps' makers had not shown that the chemicals did any good. Here's why the chemicals actually might have been doing harm.
The FitzPatrick nuclear plant in Oswego, New York will receive state subsidies to continue operating through 2029. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory commission/Flickr

Nuclear power deserves a level playing field

A nuclear engineer makes the case that nuclear power plants are important resources and should receive economic rewards for providing steady supplies of carbon-free electricity.
Racewalkers turn a corner – keeping one foot on the ground – during the women’s 20-km event at the 2012 London Olympics. Maureen Barlin/flickr

Don’t run (and don’t laugh): The little-known history of racewalking

Racewalking has been part of the Olympic Games since 1904, but gets little respect in the United States. That might change if Americans knew a little more about it.
Does it make sense to target female athletes with high testosterone levels? Caster Semenya competes in the women’s 800-meter semifinal during the London Olympics. Gary Hershorn/Reuters

So what if some female Olympians have high testosterone?

Some women naturally produce high levels of testosterone. Why is this innate condition treated differently from other conditions that potentially enhance athletic performance?

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