August 2010 Archives

Nina Jablonski has been named to the Board of Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences of the National Research Council (NRC) for a three year term.  
Adjunct Professor Pat Shipman's paper on a new hypothesis for human evolution based on the tendency of our species to nurture members of other species is receiving a lot of news coverage. Another article "Working with animals for our mutual survival" was written for WHHY News and Information. The article can be found online at:

Please see previous posts on July 21 and August 2 concerning Dr. Shipman's paper.
Adjunct research associate Maggie Zraly accepted a new position as Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Miami University of Ohio for the 2010-2011 academic year. In addition, her journal article with co-authors Julia Rubin-Smith and Theresa Betancourt in Global Public Health, "Primary mental health care for survivors of collective sexual violence in Rwanda," is now online at


This paper draws attention to the obligation and opportunity to respond to the mental health impacts of collective sexual violence (CSV) among genocide-rape survivors in post-genocide Rwanda. Qualitative data gathered from CSV survivors who were members of Rwandan women's genocide survivor associations are presented to illustrate how they strive to overcome adversity while seeking access to quality mental health care and using informal community mental health services. The results reveal that a system of high quality, holistic health and mental health care is yet needed to meet Rwandan CSV survivors' complex and serious health and mental health needs. Given that a rural health system, modeled on community-based, comprehensive HIV/AIDS care and treatment, is currently being implemented in Rwanda, we recommend enhancements to this model that would contribute to meeting the mental health care needs of CSV survivors while benefiting the health and mental health system as a whole within Rwanda.

Postdoc scholar Colin Shaw recently had his paper "Putting flesh back onto the bone?" Can we predict soft tissue properties from skeletal and fossil remains? published in the August issue of the Journal of Human Evolution. The article can be accessed online at:
Postdoc scholar Colin Shaw's co-authored paper, "The Influence of Body Proportions on Femoral and Tibial Midshaft Shape in Hunter-Gatherers" was recently published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.  The paper can be accessed online in Wiley InterScience 
Neus Martínez-Abadías' paper will be published in the next online issue of Developmental Dynamics and has been selected to illustrate the cover for the January 2011 issue. The paper titled "Beyond the closed suture in Apert syndrome mouse models: evidence of primary effects of FGFR2 signaling on facial shape at birth" has been carried out in the Department of Anthropology of PSU in collaboration with researchers from the University of Missouri-School of Medicine and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. This paper shows that in Apert syndrome mouse models, the facial skeleton is the most affected of all regions of the skull at P0, even when the coronal suture is not yet fused. Coronal suture patency shows a great deal of variation at P0 and is not associated with skull dysmorphology. Craniofacial dysmorphology in the two Apert syndrome models is very similar, differing only in shape changes of the posterior palate. These results demonstrate that coronal suture closure is neither the primary not the sole locus of skull dysmorphology in Apert syndrome, but that the face is also primarily affected.

Tim Ryan receives NIH grant for in vivo CT scanner

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Assistant Professor Tim Ryan was recently awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health to fund the purchase of a new in vivo micro-computed tomography scanner. The scanner will be installed as part of the Center for Quantitative Imaging, a multi-user facility dedicated to high-resolution computed tomography imaging.  The new scanner will support current and future biomedical research projects at Penn State on topics of significant importance to public health including asthma, arthritis, craniosynostosis, epilepsy, hydrocephalus, atherosclerosis, and obesity.   The new imaging system will allow more accurate and powerful analyses to be conducted which will help improve diagnosis and treatment of these and other important health issues. 
LiveScience has just posted a piece on adjunct professor Pat Shipman's Current Anthropology article.  See blog entry from July 21, 2010.