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Newswise SciWire
Thursday, September 14, 2017

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(68 New)

Science News


People of Color Exposed to More Pollution From Cars, Trucks, Power Plants During 10-Year Period

A new nationwide study finds that the U.S. made little progress from 2000 to 2010 in reducing relative disparities between people of color and whites in exposure to harmful air pollution emitted by cars, trucks and other combustion sources. While abs...

– University of Washington

Environmental Health Perspectives; NSF: SRN - 1444745; NSF: 0853467; EPA: RD83587301

Embargo expired on 14-Sep-2017 at 00:00 ET

includes video

Plant Breeding in the 21st Century

Contemporary plant breeding requires teams of scientists with expertise in genetics, phenotyping, and statistics. The “Plant Breeding in the 21st Century” presentation planned at the Managing Global Resources for a Secure Future ASA, CSSA, SSSA I...

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

American Society of Agronomy

Embargo expired on 14-Sep-2017 at 09:00 ET

New Study on Graphene-Wrapped Nanocrystals Makes Inroads Toward Next-Gen Fuel Cells

A new Berkeley Lab-led study provides insight into how an ultrathin coating can enhance the performance of graphene-wrapped nanocrystals for hydrogen storage applications.

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Nano Letters, Aug. 1, 2017

Sportspeople Can Face Retirement Identity Crisis

New research shows how top-level sportspeople can struggle to adjust to life after retirement, with their identities continuing to be defined by their former careers.

– University of Portsmouth

Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health


Alcohol Products Reach Underage Youth Through Magazine Advertising

Alcohol use among underage youth – younger than 21 years of age – remains an important public-health issue, despite a decline in the past decade. The alcohol beverage industry denies that it promotes its products to underage youth. This study in...

– Research Society on Alcoholism

Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research

Embargo expired on 13-Sep-2017 at 17:00 ET

Alcohol Increases Risk of Road-Traffic Injury in Latin America and the Caribbean

Road-traffic injuries (RTIs), which are often fatal, are regrettable consequences of modern transportation. According to the World Health Organization, low- and middle-income countries have road-traffic fatality rates that are double those of high-in...

– Research Society on Alcoholism

Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research

Embargo expired on 13-Sep-2017 at 17:00 ET

As 'Flesh-Eating' Leishmania Come Closer, a Vaccine Against Them Does, Too

Large boils, acid-like facial wounds, death by maiming of viscera. Leishmania parasites inflict suffering that is the stuff of parables. They're the second-deadliest parasites after malaria, and global warming is pushing them north. Can this new exp...

– Georgia Institute of Technology

ACS Central Science; Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, Brazil; Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta; R01 GM101421

Embargo expired on 13-Sep-2017 at 08:00 ET

Helping Chinese Farmers Tackle Erosion, Increase Profits

On the steep farming slopes of China, Bozhi Wu and his research associates are finding ways to improve economic and environmental stability: intercropping corn with setaria grass or chili peppers.

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

Agronomy Journal, June 30, 2017

Embargo expired on 13-Sep-2017 at 09:00 ET

UChicago Scientists Create Alternate Evolutionary Histories in a Test Tube

Scientists at the University of Chicago studied a massive set of genetic variants of an ancient protein, discovering a myriad of other ways that evolution could have turned out and revealing a central role for chance in evolutionary history.

– University of Chicago Medical Center


Embargo expired on 13-Sep-2017 at 13:00 ET

Berkeley Lab Scientists Map Key DNA Protein Complex at Near-Atomic Resolution

Using cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), Berkeley Lab scientists have obtained 3-D models of a human transcription factor at near-atomic resolutions. The protein complex is critical to gene expression and DNA repair, and could aid research in target...

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Nature, Sept 13, 2017

Embargo expired on 13-Sep-2017 at 13:00 ET

High Yield Biomass Conversion Strategy Ready for Commercialization

Researchers convert 80 percent of biomass into high-value products with strategy that's ready for commercialization.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Science Advances 3(5), e1603301 (2017). [DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1603301]

First Look at a Living Cell Membrane

Neutrons provide the solution to nanoscale examination of living cell membrane and confirm the existence of lipid rafts.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

PLoS Biology 5, 15 (2017). [DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2002214]

Scientists Reveal New Insights and Possible Solutions for Opioid Epidemics Using Machine Learning

Mount Sinai researchers have identified unique structural, biological and chemical insights in the way different opioid drugs activate the receptors and specific signaling pathways responsible for the drug’s beneficial and adverse effects, accordin...

– Mount Sinai Health System

Nature ScientificReports

Automated Feedback: The New Science of Grading STEM Papers

Science educators at Wake Forest University are testing how automated feedback combined with new one-on-one teaching methods can improve scientific writing from STEM undergraduates – and result in better explanation of research to the public.

– Wake Forest University

Test Strips for Cancer Detection Get Upgraded with Nanoparticle Bling

Detecting cancer could be as easy as a home pregnancy test. Platinum-coated gold nanoparticles developed by Michigan Technological University researchers could make cheap and simple test strip detection a reality.

– Michigan Technological University

Nano Letters, Aug-2017; NSF CHE-1651307

3-D Protein Structure Offers Insight into Rapid Communication by Brain Cells

New HHMI research reveals how three proteins help brain cells synchronize the release of chemical signals. A similar interaction may play a role in how cells secrete insulin and airway mucus, too.

– Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)


New Manufacturing Process For SiC Power Devices Opens Market to More Competition

Researchers are rolling out a new manufacturing process and chip design for silicon carbide (SiC) power devices, which can be used to more efficiently regulate power in electronics. The process was developed to make it easier for companies to enter t...

– North Carolina State University

International Conference on Silicon Carbide and Related Materials, Sept. 2017

UW Team Shatters Long-Range Communication Barrier for Near Zero-Power Devices

University of Washington researchers have demonstrated for the first time that devices that run on almost zero power can transmit data across distances of up to 2.8 kilometers — breaking a long-held barrier and potentially enabling a vast array of ...

– University of Washington

Ubicomp 2017

includes video

Getting to the Point (Mutations) in Re-Engineering Biofuel-Producing Bacterial Enzymes

Helping bacteria become more efficient when breaking down fibrous plant waste into biofuel could result in more affordable biofuels for our gas tanks and sustainable products such as bioplastics. One way to achieve this goal is to re-engineer the bac...

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)

Measuring a Crucial Mineral in the Mantle

New research led by the University of Delaware resolves debate over the strength of olivine, the most abundant mineral in the Earth's mantle. Measuring olivine’s strength is critical to understanding how strong tectonic plates are, which matters to...

– University of Delaware

Science Advances

Climate Change Challenges the Survival of Fish Across the World

University of Washington researchers have published the first analysis looking at how vulnerable the world's freshwater and marine fishes are to climate change. Their paper, appearing online Sept. 11 in Nature Climate Change, used physiological data ...

– University of Washington

Nature Climate Change, Sept-2017

Admiralty Sound (Seno Almirantazgo) Will Be The First Marine Protected Area in Tierra del Fuego

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet committed on September 9th to create a new marine protected area in Admiralty Sound in Tierra del Fuego. The new “Multiple Use Marine and Coastal Protected Area Seno Almirantazgo” will safeguard rich marine wil...

– Wildlife Conservation Society

CU Boulder Scientists Ready for Cassini Mission to Saturn Grand Finale

CU Boulder scientists reminisce about the end of the Cassini mission, which has been a part of their research lives for the last 40 years.

– University of Colorado Boulder

S&T and the Pentagon are Changing K-9 Bomb Detection

DHS S&T partnered with the Pentagon Force Protection Agency to assist in developing a training initiative to add person-borne improvised explosive device detection capabilities to their canine teams.

– Homeland Security's Science & Technology Directorate


TSRI Study Reveals New Clues to How a Successful HIV Vaccine Could Work

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have made a discovery that could speed efforts to develop a successful HIV vaccine.

– Scripps Research Institute

International AIDS Vaccine Initiative; National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases UM1AI100663; Ragon Institute; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery...

Embargo expired on 12-Sep-2017 at 12:05 ET

Carbon Cycling in Forest Soils Research Presented

The variety and activity of soil microbes can tell a story of the value of carbon storage in soil. The “Belowground Wood Stake Decomposition in Forest Soil” presentation planned at the Managing Global Resources for a Secure Future ASA, CSSA, SSSA...

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

American Society of Agronomy

Embargo expired on 12-Sep-2017 at 09:00 ET

Engineering Research Center Will Help Expand Use of Therapies Based on Living Cells

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded nearly $20 million to a consortium of universities to support a new engineering research center (ERC) that will work closely with industry and clinical partners to develop transformative tools and tec...

– Georgia Institute of Technology

Embargo expired on 12-Sep-2017 at 12:00 ET

includes video

Benson Hill Biosystems Launches Novel Genome Editing CRISPR 3.0 Technology

Cms1 CRISPR Nuclease Available to Partners to Drive Crop Improvement

– Benson Hill Biosystems

Embargo expired on 12-Sep-2017 at 08:05 ET

Solar Flares, Boron on Mars, Mapping the Universe, and More in the Space News Source

The latest in space and astronomy in the Space News Source

– Newswise

Consequences of Drought Stress on Biofuels

Switchgrass cultivated during a year of severe drought inhibited microbial fermentation and resulting biofuel production.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Biotechnology for Biofuels 9, 237 (2016). [DOI: 10.1186/s13068-016-0657-01]

A One-of-a-Kind Star Found to Change Over Decades

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame recently found new evidence that lends support to an existing theory of how the unusual star emits energy.

– University of Notre Dame

Astrophysical Journal Letters

Physicists Propose New Way to Stabilize Next-Generation Fusion Plasmas

Recent experiments conducted on the DIII-D National Fusion Facility suggest that up to 40 percent of high-energy particles are lost during tokamak fusion reactions because of Alfvén waves.

– Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Nuclear Fusion, May-2017

Universities Work to Make Our Populated Skies Safer Through Enhanced Aeronautical Communication

To ensure continued safety in our increasingly populated skies, a team of universities and private industry has been awarded a three-year, $4.4 million NASA grant to continue researching and enhancing aeronautical communications.

– Boise State University

Pulsar Jackpot Reveals Globular Cluster’s Inner Structure

Astronomers have spent nearly two decades meticulously tracing the motions of 36 rapidly rotating pulsars, so-called millisecond pulsars, inside Terzan 5 – a massive, ancient star cluster near the center of the Milky Way. The pulsars are gradually ...

– Green Bank Observatory

Astrophysical Journal, Aug-2017

includes video

CU Boulder Study Shows Bacteria “Shapeshift” in Space

Bacteria cells treated with a common antibiotic on the International Space Station responded by shapeshifting, likely to improve their survival chances.

– University of Colorado Boulder

Frontiers in Microbiology

Team Develops Fluorescent Sensors That May Pave Way for New Cancer Therapies

New research led by a team from Roswell Park Cancer Institute and published in the journal Nature Methods reports the development of the first tool for detecting changes in GTP levels in living cells.

– Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Nature Methods; R21CA151128; R01CA197996; R01CA120244; R01CA193981; R01CA190533; F32CA189622; R01GM118933; R01GM118933

Virginia Tech Biochemists Dip Into the Health Benefits of Olives and Olive Oil

A Virginia Tech research team discovered that the olive-derived compound oleuropein helps prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.

– Virginia Tech


Accelerating the Development of Next-Generation Cancer Therapies

The Gene Editing Institute of Christiana Care’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute signs agreement with ABS to modify cell lines to accelerate cancer therapies

– Christiana Care Health System

Smart Label Spots Spoilage Before It Happens

A bite of bad yogurt or sip of spoiled milk could be a thing of the past thanks to a new sensor developed by Clarkson University Professor Silvana Andreescu. The innovative “smart label” is a low-cost, portable, paper-based sensor that can determ...

– Clarkson University

includes video

SLU Engineering Students to Build Full-Scale Projects in New Lab

Civil engineering students at Saint Louis University soon will be able to design and test steel beams and concrete frames at full-scale, thanks to a recent National Science Foundation (NSF) grant.

– Saint Louis University Medical Center

Tulane Student Hopes Research Will Lead to Protection From Volcanos, Earthquakes

East Africa may be a long way from the Crescent City but it is top of mind for Tulane PhD student Sarah Oliva, who is studying data from volcanoes and earthquakes in that region. Her goal is a better understanding of how a 3,000-kilometer long deep v...

– Tulane University


When Ancient Fossil DNA Isn’t Available, Ancient Glycans May Help Trace Human Evolution

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and collaborators discovered a new kind of glycan (sugar chain) that survives even in a 4 million-year-old animal fossil from Kenya, under conditions where ancient DNA does not. Whi...

– University of California San Diego Health

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Embargo expired on 11-Sep-2017 at 15:00 ET

Researchers Find “Internal Clock” Within Live Human Cells, Opening Door to Future Discoveries

A team of scientists has revealed an internal clock within live human cells, a finding that creates new opportunities for understanding the building blocks of life and the onset of disease.

– New York University

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Embargo expired on 11-Sep-2017 at 15:00 ET

The Turbulent Healing Powers of Plasma

Non-equilibrium atmospheric pressure plasma can help heal wounds, destroy cancer cells and kill harmful bacteria. The jets of plasma that doctors might use, however, often become turbulent with the direction and velocity changing dramatically. Now, r...

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)

Applied Physics Letters

Embargo expired on 11-Sep-2017 at 11:00 ET

includes video

A Newly Identified Mitochondrial Metastasis Suppressor Pathway Controls Metabolic Reprogramming of Tumor Cells

A novel mitochondrial variant of the protein Syntaphilin, or SNPH, which orchestrates the choice between cancer cell proliferation and metastasis in response to oxygen and nutrient shortage in the tumor microenvironment, has been identified by resear...

– Wistar Institute

Journal of Clinical Investigation

Embargo expired on 11-Sep-2017 at 16:00 ET

Modulating T-Cell Metabolism Uncovers New Technology for Enhancing Immunotherapy

T lymphocytes found in tumors and implicated in killing tumor cells cope with the shortage of oxygen and nutrients in the tumor microenvironment by using fat as the main source of energy. Promoting a switch from glucose to fatty acid to generate ener...

– Wistar Institute

Cancer Cell

Embargo expired on 11-Sep-2017 at 12:00 ET

Revolutionary Process Could Signal New Era for Gene Synthesis

A team of scientists led by the University of Southampton has demonstrated a groundbreaking new method of gene synthesis – a vital research tool with real-world applications in everything from growing transplantable organs to developing treatments ...

– University of Southampton

Nature Chemistry, Sept-2017

Embargo expired on 11-Sep-2017 at 11:00 ET

The Evolutionary Origin of the Gut

How did the gut, the skin and musculature evolve? This question concerns scientists for more than a century. Through the investigation of the embryonic development of sea anemones, a very old animal lineage, researchers from the University of Vienna ...

– University of Vienna

Nature Ecology & Evolution DOI: 10.1038/s41559-017-0285-5

Embargo expired on 11-Sep-2017 at 11:00 ET

Outside-In Reprogramming: Antibody Study Suggests A Better Way to Make Stem Cells

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found a new approach to the “reprogramming” of ordinary adult cells into stem cells.

– Scripps Research Institute

Baxter Family Foundation ; Norris and Del Webb Foundation; DC012592; MH102698; RB3-02186

Embargo expired on 11-Sep-2017 at 11:05 ET

NUS Researchers Develop Advanced Material for Ultra-Stable, High Capacity Rechargeable Batteries

A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore has successfully designed a novel organic material of superior electrical conductivity and energy retention capability for use in battery applications. This invention paves the way for t...

– National University of Singapore

Nature Energy

Microfluidic Chip Rapidly IDs Deadly Blood Infection

Biomedical engineers have developed a microfluidic test that could enable rapid diagnosis and early intervention for sepsis, which accounts for the most deaths and medical expenses in hospitals worldwide.

– National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

Nature Communications, July-2017

New Evidence Suggests That Octupuses Aren’t Loners

Octopuses are usually solitary creatures, but a new site in the waters off the east coast of Australia is the home of up to 15 gloomy octopuses (Octopus tetricus) that have been been observed communicating — either directly as in den evictions or i...

– University of Illinois at Chicago

Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology

Making Lithium-Ion Batteries Safer, Stronger

Today’s rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are good, but they could be much better in the future.

– University of Illinois at Chicago

Nature Communications

New Toe Implant Helps Patient Regain Mobility

Before the Cartiva implant was available, individuals who experienced severe toe pain from arthritis had no options for relieving the pain that would allow them to remain active.

– Beaumont Health

WCS Commends the United Nations General Assembly for Its Leadership to Stop Illegal Wildlife Trade

The following statement was issued today by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) upon the United Nation’s General Assembly adoption of its third resolution on illegal wildlife trade.

– Wildlife Conservation Society

Sandia's Radiation Analysis Software Makes Emergency Responders’ Jobs Quicker, Easier

LIVERMORE, Calif. — When law enforcement officers and first responders arrive at an emergency involving radiation, they need a way to swiftly assess the situation to keep the public and environment safe. Having analysis tools that can quickly and ...

– Sandia National Laboratories

Small Brain, Big Data

Using a multi-lab approach, Argonne researchers are tapping the laboratory’s vast arsenal of innovative technologies to map the intricacies of brain function at the deepest levels, and describing them in greater detail than ever before through adva...

– Argonne National Laboratory

SciWire Announcements

Colorado State University Joins International Phytobiomes Alliance

The International Alliance for Phytobiomes Research announced today that Colorado State University has joined the organization as a sponsoring partner.

– International Alliance for Phytobiomes Research

Henry Ford Health System Launches Artificial Intelligence Challenge

Pushing the limits for patients, Henry Ford Health System has launched an artificial intelligence challenge to Israeli technology startups. The winner will partner with Henry Ford to develop and pilot the technology to improve patient care.

– Henry Ford Health System

The Association for Molecular Pathology Announces 2017 Award Recipients

September 5, 2017 – The Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP), the premier global, non-profit organization serving molecular diagnostics professionals, today announced the recipients of this year’s Jeffrey A. Kant Leadership and AMP Meritorio...

– Association for Molecular Pathology

Johnson & Johnson Launches Dr. Paul Janssen Project to Catalyze and Convene Champions of Science Across Generations and Geographies

Johnson & Johnson today launched the Dr. Paul Janssen Project – a multi-faceted public engagement initiative that extends the legacy of Dr. Paul Janssen – one of the most accomplished industry researchers and humanitarians of the 20th century –...

– Johnson & Johnson

CU Boulder to Create Digital Archive of 1.7 Million Botanical Specimens From Southern Rocky Mountains

University of Colorado Boulder researchers and collaborating institutions have been awarded $2.9 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to create a comprehensive digital archive of over 1.7 million plant specimens native to the southern R...

– University of Colorado Boulder

Improving U.S. Melon Crop Focus of $4.4 Million Study at Texas A&M AgriLife Research

More than $4.4 million is being funded to discover ways to improve the U.S. melon industry to enhance the sustainability and profitability of melon production, emphasizing consumer preferences and industry-driven needs

– Texas A&M AgriLife

New Engineering Research Center to Focus on Challenges of Upgrading Shale Gas

Chemical engineers at the University of Notre Dame will contribute their expertise in materials development and modeling to a new research center that will focus on new methods of converting shale gas reserves into chemicals and transportation fuel. ...

– University of Notre Dame

Discovering the Art of Waste

Stephanie Foote is the first West Virginia University faculty member to be chosen for a National Humanities Center Fellowship. Foote is in residence at the National Humanities Center in Durham, N.C. for the 2017-18 academic year while working on her ...

– West Virginia University - Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

Boise State Researchers Earn Grants to Manufacture Sensors for Nuclear Reactors, Space

National grants will be used to purchase advanced manufacturing equipment needed to build sensors suitable for extreme environments.

– Boise State University

Crapemyrtle Pest to Be Targeted by $3.3 Million Grant to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

The most popular flowering shrub in the U.S. has a new ally in a fight against a new, devastating exotic pest. A $3.3 million grant will fund the study “Systematic Strategies to Manage Crapemyrtle Bark Scale” led by the Texas A&M AgriLife Ext...

– Texas A&M AgriLife

Hewlett Packard’s Suhas Kumar Wins 2017 Klein Award

Suhas Kumar, a postdoctoral researcher at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), wants to develop next-generation information storage devices and better computers. His particular interest is a new type of electronic device, called a memristor, that could ...

– SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory





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