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Newswise SciWire - Science News for Journalists
Newswise SciWire
Thursday, February 1, 2018

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Science News


UF/IFAS Rethinking Forest Protection; Hosts UN Expert as Lecturer

Shiroma Sathyapala, a forest health and protection officer with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, will give the lecture. Her topic is: “Invasive species, climate change, plantation forestry, timber consumption and trade a...

– University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences


Colorado Potato Beetle Genome Gives Insight Into Major Agricultural Pest

A team of scientists led by University of Wisconsin-Madison entomologist Sean Schoville sequenced the Colorado potato beetle's genome, probing its genes for clues to its surprising adaptability to new environments and insecticides. The new informatio...

– University of Wisconsin-Madison

Scientific Reports Jan. 31, 2018

Embargo expired on 31-Jan-2018 at 05:00 ET

From Fungi to Humans, 'Smart Valves' Assist Communication Within, Between Cells

Googling "SNARE proteins," neuroscientist Edward Chapman gets a screenful of images showing corkscrew-shaped molecules, intertwined as they seize the outer membranes of two cells. "They did not give us credit at Wikipedia, but we drew that cartoon," ...

– University of Wisconsin-Madison

Nature, Jan. 31, 2018

Embargo expired on 31-Jan-2018 at 13:00 ET

Research Finding Ways to Inject Manure, Preserve Environment

What’s a responsible farmer to do? Manure injection is an important soil management practice that reduces the chance of manure runoff. But recent studies by Carol Adair and colleagues at the University of Vermont show manure injection can increase ...

– American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), Soil Science Society of America (SSSA)

American Society of Agronomy Annual Meeting

Rutgers Engineers 3D Print Shape-Shifting Smart Gel

Rutgers engineers have invented a “4D printing” method for a smart gel that could lead to the development of “living” structures in human organs and tissues, soft robots and targeted drug delivery.

– Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Scientific Reports ; Rutgers Today

Researchers Identify Novel Drivers of Cancer Stem Cells That Lead to Colon Cancer Development and Growth

In breakthrough colon cancer research, scientists at Christiana Care Health System’s Center for Translational Cancer Research (CTCR) of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute have discovered that over-expression of HOXA4 and HOXA9 g...

– Christiana Care Health System

Journal of Cellular Physiology, Vol. 233, Issue 2

Novel Computational Biology Model Accurately Describes Dynamics of Gene Expression

Using a simple analytical framework for random events within a predictable system, computational biologists have found a new way to accurately model certain forms of gene expression, including the body's 24-hour internal clock. This new approach of a...

– Los Alamos National Laboratory

Royal Society Interface

Would You Adhere to a Mandatory Wildfire Evacuation? There Are Reasons Some Prefer to Stay

While many people heed wildfire evacuation warnings from officials, there are those who choose to stay and defend their homes, as well as a growing number of individuals who tend to “wait and see.” Both a lack of preparedness to defend one’s h...

– Society for Risk Analysis (SRA)

Risk Analysis: An International Journal

ID’ing Features of Flu Virus Genome May Help Target Surveillance for Pandemic Flu

A pandemic flu outbreak could kill millions. Now, researchers have found features of the virus's genome that influence how well it multiplies. The findings could help target pandemic flu surveillance efforts to make it easier to find the next outbrea...

– Washington University in St. Louis

Nature Communications, Jan -2018; P01-AI120943; R01-AI118938; 5T32GM007067; 2T32AI007172

Reconstructing an Ancient Lethal Weapon

University of Washington researchers reconstructed prehistoric projectiles and points from ancient sites in what is now Alaska and studied the qualities that would make for a lethal hunting weapon. By examining and testing different projectile points...

– University of Washington

Journal of Archaeological Science

Columbia Engineers Develop Flexible Lithium Battery for Wearable Electronics

Columbia Engineering researchers have developed a prototype of a high-performance flexible lithium-ion battery that demonstratesconcurrentlyboth good flexibility and high energy density. The battery is shaped like the human spine and allows rem...

– Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science

Advanced Materials Jan 31 2018

includes video

New Magnet-Based Drug Delivery System Shows Promise for Cancer Treatment

A team of researchers at the University of Georgia has developed a non-invasive method of delivering drugs directly to cancerous tissue using magnetic forces, a form of treatment that could significantly reduce the toxic side effects of chemotherapy....

– University of Georgia

Nature Catalysis

UCI Scientists Develop New Chemical Tool to Study RNA Structures Inside Cells

University of California, Irvine scientists have created a new chemical tool that can analyze RNA structures within living cells. The technique could facilitate a better grasp of how RNA structures fold and form in cells, as well as help in the desig...

– University of California, Irvine

Nature Chemical Biology, Jan-2018

Coastal Water Absorbing More Carbon Dioxide

New research by the University of Delaware and other institutions reveals that water over continental shelves is shouldering more atmospheric carbon dioxide, which may have implications for scientists studying how much carbon dioxide can be released ...

– University of Delaware

Nature Communications

Gene Enhancers Are Important Despite Apparent Redundancy

Scientists answered a long-standing question about the role of enhancers. And by better linking the genomic complement of an organism with its expressed characteristics, their work offers new insights that further the growing field of systems biology...

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Nature, Jan-2018; doi:10.1038/nature25461

Arctic Lakes Are Releasing Relatively Young Carbon, UCI-Led Study Discovers

When Arctic permafrost soil thaws, greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere, but most of the carbon currently escaping from lakes in northern Alaska is relatively young, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Califo...

– University of California, Irvine

Nature Climate Change-Jan 2018

Magnetic Trick Triples the Power of SLAC’s X-Ray Laser

Scientists at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have discovered a way to triple the amount of power generated by the world’s most powerful X-ray laser. The new technique, developed at SLAC’s Linac Coherent Light So...

– SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

M. W. Guetg et al., Physical Review Letters, 3 January 2018 (120.014801)

Scientists Join International Research Team in Discovery That Could Improve HD TV

Scientists at Queen’s University Belfast have been working as part of an international team to develop a new process, which could lead to a new generation of high-definition (HD), paving the way for brighter, lighter and more energy efficient TVs a...

– Queen's University Belfast

How Coast Guard Response Is Benefitting from S&T’s University Partnerships

Using this visual, user-centered platform, USCG decision makers could spot the stations most capable of responding to the disaster and helped prioritize the restoration of stations in need of repair.

– Homeland Security's Science & Technology Directorate

University of Washington, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Team Up to Make the Materials of Tomorrow

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of Washington have announced the creation of the Northwest Institute for Materials Physics, Chemistry and Technology — or NW IMPACT — a joint research endeavor to power discoveries and ...

– University of Washington


Northern Plains American Indians: Reasons for Alcohol- and Drug-Related Hospitalizations

American Indians who drink alcohol are often collectively characterized as having greater risks for alcohol problems, alcohol misuse, and alcohol-use disorders. Indeed, despite high abstinence rates, American Indians experience elevated rates of many...

– Research Society on Alcoholism

Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research

Embargo expired on 30-Jan-2018 at 10:00 ET

Unique Research Approach Finds FDA Approved Drug Shuts Down Ewing Sarcoma Cells in Lab

Based on a novel approach to drug discovery, researchers at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center say an agent approved to treat a type of leukemia might also help young people with a much rarer and aggressive form of cancer, Ewing sarcoma....

– Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center

Embargo expired on 30-Jan-2018 at 18:00 ET

WVU to Conduct Commercial-Scale Research of Clean Tech for Coal-Fired Power Plants

West Virginia University researchers are leading commercial-scale research and development of two new innovations at the country's most efficient coal-fired power plant. The devices could make coal combustion more efficient with fewer emissions and f...

– West Virginia University

Embargo expired on 30-Jan-2018 at 13:00 ET

Applying Machine Learning to the Universe’s Mysteries

Berkeley Lab physicists and their collaborators have demonstrated that computers are ready to tackle the universe’s greatest mysteries – they used neural networks to perform a deep dive into data simulating the subatomic particle soup that may ha...

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Nature Communications, Jan. 15, 2018

Berkeley Lab Researchers Contribute to Making Blockchains Even More Robust

In the last few years, researchers at Berkeley Lab, UC Davis and University of Stavanger in Norway have developed a new protocol, called BChain, which makes private blockchain even more robust. The researchers are also working with colleagues at Berk...

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Principles of Distributed Systems

Fluorescent Nanoparticles Track Cancer Metastasis to Multiple Organs

Researchers funded by the National Institute Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), have developed florescent nanoparticles that light up to track the progress of breast cancer metastasis. Th...

– National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

Nature; EB018378

Microcapsules Gain a New Power — Scavenging Reactive Oxygen Species

Stable, biocompatible microcapsules have gained a new power — the ability to scavenge reactive oxygen species. This may aid microcapsule survival in the body as the tiny polymer capsules carry a drug or other biomolecules, or find use in antioxidan...

– University of Alabama at Birmingham

Chemistry of Materials; DMR 1608728; DK099550; 7-12-CD-11; 1-SRA-2015-42-AN

Newborns or Survivors? The Unexpected Matter Found in Hostile Black Hole Winds

A new theory predicts that molecules are born in the winds with unique properties that enable them to adapt to and thrive in the hostile environment.

– Northwestern University

Royal Astronomical Society

Urban Foxes and Coyotes Learn to Set Aside Their Differences and Coexist

Diverging from centuries of established behavioral norms, red fox and coyote have gone against their wild instincts and learned to coexist in the urban environment of Madison and the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus, according to a recently p...

– University of Wisconsin-Madison


An Outdoor Cat Can Damage Your Sustainability Cred

If you install solar panels on your roof and avoid dousing your lawn with chemicals and pesticides, your online peers may consider you to be environmentally friendly. But this street cred can all be erased if you let your cat roam around outdoors.

– Cornell University

Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, Nov. 2017

Stellar Embryos in Nearby Dwarf Galaxy Contain Surprisingly Complex Organic Molecules

New observations with ALMA have uncovered the surprisingly clear chemical “fingerprints” of the complex organic molecules methanol, dimethyl ether, and methyl formate.

– National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Astrophysical Journal Letters, Jan. 2018

Fossil Evidence Shows Bats Colonized From Islands to Continents

Plants and animals are generally thought to colonize from continents to islands, over time leading to the evolution of separate island species. But a new study published in the Journal of Biogeography suggests a re-thinking of colonizing patterns.

– Stony Brook University

Specific Neurons Trigger Waking Due to Inhaled Carbon Dioxide

Researchers with the Iowa Neuroscience Institute at the University of Iowa have shown that a group of neurons responsible for arousal are directly triggered by carbon dioxide and cause mice to wake up without any changes to breathing.

– University of Iowa

Journal of Neuroscience, Jan 29, 2018; R01 NS095842

Which Microbes Matter Most?

A team of scientists from Northern Arizona University’s Center for Ecosystem Science and Society (Ecoss) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) recently announced a major achievement in ecosystem science. Their research, published as “...

– Northern Arizona University


Chemists Follow Molecules Down ‘Nanowells,’ Track Catalytic Reactions in Nanoconfinement

Chemists have measured the effects of nanoconfinement on catalytic reactions by developing experimental techniques capable of tracking single molecules. Understanding such reactions could help chemists design high-performance catalysts.

– Iowa State University

Nature Catalysis, Published online, January 22, 2018

Roadmap to Guide Progress Toward Replacing Animal Use in Toxicity Testing

Sixteen federal agencies partnered to develop a strategic roadmap that offers a new framework for the safety testing of drugs and chemicals, which aims to provide more human relevant toxicology data while reducing the use of animals. The roadmap was ...

– National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

Florida Ag Policy Conference to Help Growers Deal with the Ever-Changing Global Economy

Whether it’s trade agreements, labor, water supply or how to manage post-Irma, growers are trying to make the best decisions for their business, said Spiro Stefanou, chair of the UF/IFAS food and resource economics department, which organizes the c...

– University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

Third Annual Florida Agricultural Policy Conference, Feb 21

Stellar magnetism: What’s behind the most brilliant lights in the sky?

Space physicists at University of Wisconsin-Madison have just released unprecedented detail on a bizarre phenomenon that powers the northern lights, solar flares and coronal mass ejections (the biggest explosions in our solar system).

– University of Wisconsin-Madison

SLAC Scientists Investigate How Metal 3-D Printing Can Avoid Producing Flawed Parts

Scientists at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory are using X-ray light to observe and understand how the process of making metal parts using three-dimensional (3-D) printing can leave flaws in the finished product – a...

– SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

includes video


Language Is Learned in Brain Circuits That Predate Humans

It has often been claimed that humans learn language using brain components that are specifically dedicated to this purpose. Now, new evidence strongly suggests that language is in fact learned in brain systems that are also used for many other purpo...

– Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center


Embargo expired on 29-Jan-2018 at 15:00 ET

A Phenotypic High-Throughput Screen to Identify Modulators that Improve Mutant Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (CFTR) Activity

A phenotypic high-throughput screen to identify modulators that improve mutant cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) activity is described in the SLAS Discovery February 2018 front cover feature article by Giuliano and colleagues...

– SLAS (Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening)

Journal of Biomolecular Screening; Journal of Laboratory Automation

Diamonds Show Promise for Spintronic Devices

Recently, researchers have been exploring the potential for a new technology, called spintronics, that relies on detecting and controlling a particle's spin. This technology could lead to new types of more efficient and powerful devices. In a paper p...

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)

University of Minnesota Study Shows Wetlands Provide Landscape-Scale Reduction in Nitrate Pollution

A study by University of Minnesota researchers provides new insights to demonstrate that multiple wetlands or ‘wetland complexes’ within a watershed are extremely effective at reducing harmful nitrate in rivers and streams. These wetlands can be ...

– University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering

Nature Geoscience

Plotting the Path of Plant Pathogens

In a sneak attack, some pathogenic microbes manipulate plant hormones to gain access to their hosts undetected. Biologists at Washington University in St. Louis have exposed one such interloper by characterizing the unique biochemical pathway it uses...

– Washington University in St. Louis

PLOS Pathogens; IOS-1030250; IOS-1645908 ; MCB-115771; MCB-1614539

Silencing Is Golden: Scientists Image Molecules Vital for Gene Regulation

Lab scientists use cryo-electron microscopy to gain a deeper understanding of the structure of a regulatory complex. Their research could open up new possibilities for cancer therapies.

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Science; Nature Structural and Molecular Biology

NUS Researchers Develop Wireless Light Switch for Targeted Cancer Therapy

A team of scientists from the National University of Singapore has developed a way to wirelessly deliver light into deep regions of the body to activate light-sensitive drugs for photodynamic therapy (PDT). This technology could potentially enable PD...

– National University of Singapore

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 29 Jan-2018

Two UAH Graduate Students Take First Place in Prestigious Embedded Security Challenge

Thiago Alves and Rishabh Das, two UAH cybersecurity Ph.D. students, placed first in the North American Embedded Security Challenge at the 14th annual Cyber Security Awareness Week in New York City this past November.

– University of Alabama Huntsville

Proceedings of the 2nd Annual Industrial Control System Security Workshop on - ICSS ’16, 10 –14; Proceedings of the 2nd Annual Industrial Control System Security Workshop on - ICSS ’16, 10 –14...

University of Arkansas Researchers Create Digital Map, Cultural History of Carlsbad Cavern

Researchers using LiDAR digital imaging are creating a 3D map, and cultural history, of New Mexico's Carlsbad Cavern.

– University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Three Critically Endangered Red-headed Vulture Nests Discovered In Cambodia’s Chhep Wildlife Sanctuary

Three nests of the Critically Endangered Red-headed vulture were found in January in Chhep Wildlife Sanctuary by conservationists from the Ministry of Environment (MoE), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and local communities. The population of thi...

– Wildlife Conservation Society

SciWire Announcements

DOE's HPC4Manufacturing Program Seeks Industry Proposals

The Department of Energy (DOE) on Feb. 1 announced up to $3 million will be made available to U.S. manufacturers for public/private projects aimed at applying high performance computing to industry challenges for the advancement of energy innovation....

– Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Embargo expired on 01-Feb-2018 at 05:00 ET

NUS Engineering Secures S$4.9 Million in Partnerships to Develop Next-Generation Hybrid Flexible Electronics

The National University of Singapore’s Faculty of Engineering has established seven new partnerships under its Hybrid-Integrated Flexible Electronic Systems (HiFES) programme to develop next-generation hybrid flexible electronics. These partnership...

– National University of Singapore

Elke-Caroline Aschenauer Awarded Prestigious Humboldt Research Award

UPTON, NY — Elke-Caroline Aschenauer, a senior physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, has been awarded a Humboldt Research Award for her contributions to the field of experimental nuclear physics. This prestigi...

– Brookhaven National Laboratory

Physicist Michael H. Moloney Named New AIP CEO

The American Institute of Physics announced the hiring of a new CEO today. Experimental physicist Michael H. Moloney, coming from U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, will assume the role March 5, 2018. AIP is a nonprofit f...

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)

Embargo expired on 31-Jan-2018 at 12:00 ET

Mariana Wolfner Recognized with 2018 Genetics Society of America Medal

The Genetics Society of America (GSA) is pleased to announce that Professor Mariana Wolfner of the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Cornell University is the recipient of the 2018 Genetics Society of America Medal for her work on repro...

– Genetics Society of America

UAH Part of Team Awarded the Rossi Prize for High-Energy Astrophysics

The Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM) team was selected by the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society as the 2018 recipient of the Rossi Prize. The team was recognized for their role in the first joint detection of g...

– University of Alabama Huntsville

DOI:10.3847/2041-8213/aa8f41; DOI:10.3847/2041-8213/aa91c9; DOI:10.3847/2041-8213/aaa4f2

American Physical Society Honors Prof. Eugene Parker’s Lifetime of Physics Research

Prof. Emeritus Eugene Parker’s ideas were once widely questioned in the physics world. This week, he will receive one of the field’s highest honors. Parker will receive the American Physical Society’s Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Resear...

– University of Chicago

Two PPPL physicists, David Johnson and Charles Skinner, named ITER Scientist Fellows

Physicists David Johnson and Charles Skinner named ITER Scientist Fellows.

– Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Networking, Data Experts Design a Better Portal for Scientific Discovery

A team of networking experts from the Department of Energy’s Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), with the Globus team from the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory, have designed a new approach that makes data sharing faster, more rel...

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory





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