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Newswise SciWire - Science News for Journalists
Newswise SciWire
Thursday, September 28, 2017

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Science News

28-Sep-2017


Constructed Wetlands Influence the Everglades

Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs) biologically filter the water flowing into the Everglades' protected area, reduce phosphorus and improve the ecosystem services of the soil and plant life. The “Soil Processes and Performance in Constructed Wetland...

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

ACSMeetings

Embargo expired on 28-Sep-2017 at 09:00 ET


Mapping the Thylacine’s Mysterious Loss From Mainland

Ancient DNA extracted from fossil bones and museum specimens has shed new light on the mysterious loss of the Tasmanian tiger (thylacine) from Australia’s mainland.

– University of Adelaide

Journal of Biogeography


New Flame Retardant Enters Market

Chemists from Empa have developed and patented an environmentally friendly way to produce flame retardants for foams that can be used in mattresses and upholstery. Unlike previous flame retardants made of chemicals containing chlorine, the new materi...

– Empa Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology


Small Scale Energy Harvesters Show Large Scale Impact

Nano-scale modeling of piezoelectric energy harvester offers a new nano-scale sensor design and demonstrates important design elements for efficient implementation.

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)

AIP Advances

27-Sep-2017


Researchers Uncover Our Brain’s Filing System for Storing Experiences

A team of neuroscientists has uncovered how our brains organize, over time, our experiences: that is, according to their similarities.

– New York University

Neuron

Embargo expired on 27-Sep-2017 at 12:00 ET


Removing Nitrate for Healthier Ecosystems

In a new study, researchers have identified nitrate removal hotspots in landscapes around agricultural streams.

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

Journal of Environmental Quality, July 27, 2017

Embargo expired on 27-Sep-2017 at 09:00 ET


Case Western Reserve University Researchers Design Soft, Flexible Origami-Inspired Robot

A Case Western Reserve University researcher has turned the origami she enjoyed as a child into a patent-pending soft robot that may one day be used on an assembly line, in surgery or even outer space.

– Case Western Reserve University

IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems

Embargo expired on 27-Sep-2017 at 09:30 ET

includes video


Turbocharging Engine Design

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have moved the development process into the passing lane. For the first time, Argonne’s scientists and engineers pinpointed engine designs for a given fuel using the Mira...

– Argonne National Laboratory

SAE Int. J. Commer. Veh., Mar-2017

includes video


Brain Cells That Control Appetite Identified for First Time

Dieting could be revolutionised, thanks to the ground-breaking discovery by the University of Warwick of the key brain cells which control our appetite.

– University of Warwick

Molecular Metabolism


Atomistic Simulations Go the Distance on Metal Strength

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have dived down to the atomic scale to resolve every “jiggle and wiggle” of atomic motion that underlies metal strength.

– Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Nature, Sept. 27, 2017

26-Sep-2017


Discovery: Bernie Sanders Spider

Students and a scientist at the University of Vermont have discovered 15 new species of 'smiley-faced' spiders--and named them after, among others, Barack Obama, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Bernie Sanders.

– University of Vermont

Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society

Embargo expired on 26-Sep-2017 at 09:00 ET


Quantum Communications Bend to Our Needs

The potential for photon entanglement in quantum computing and communications has been known for decades. One issue impeding immediate application is that many photon entanglement platforms do not operate within the range used by most forms of teleco...

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)

Applied Physics Letters

Embargo expired on 26-Sep-2017 at 11:00 ET


Treating Citrus Greening with Copper: Effects on Trees, Soils

Citrus greening is a major challenge for Florida growers. The “Influence of Foliar Copper Application Rate on Copper, Potassium and Zinc Concentrations in Soil and Citrus Tissues” presentation at the Managing Global Resources for a Secure Future ...

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

Embargo expired on 26-Sep-2017 at 09:00 ET


Artificial Intelligence for Obtaining Chemical Fingerprints

Researchers at the Universities of Vienna and Göttingen have succeeded in developing a method for predicting molecular infrared spectra based on artificial intelligence. These chemical "fingerprints" could only be simulated by common prediction tech...

– University of Vienna

Chemical Science


Fisheries Sustainability Linked to Gender Roles Among Traders

A new WCS study, published in the journal Ecosystem Health and Sustainability, of fish traders in coastal Kenya shows that women largely occupied fisheries with the lowest profits and are not saving money while working in these fisheries.

– Wildlife Conservation Society

includes video


Amount of Water in Stem Cells Can Determine Its Fate as Fat or Bone

Adding or removing water from a stem cell can change the destiny of the cell to either pre-fat cells or pre-bone cells, researchers have discovered in a new study published in PNAS.

– University at Buffalo

PNAS, September 2017


Study: Wildlife Sign Surveys Up To The Task

A new study from the Wildlife Conservation Society-India Program, the Centre for Wildlife Studies, and the University of Florida-Gainesville, shows that cost-effective “sign surveys” can be used to reliably monitor animal distributions in the wil...

– Wildlife Conservation Society

Journal of Applied Ecology


New System Proposed for Logging Physician Experience in Robotic Surgeries

Loyola Medicine physicians have proposed a simple new system to improve the reporting of robotic surgeries performed by surgeons in training. The system, called RoboLog, was successfully piloted on 310 urologic robotic surgeries, according to a study...

– Loyola University Health System

Journal of Surgical Education


New Study Finds Properly Cooked Pork Chops Still Contain Threat of Listeria and Salmonella for Consumers

If you are eating leftover pork chops that have not been cooked well-done, you’re putting yourself at risk for Salmonella and Listeria exposure. While many individuals prefer to consume their pork medium, a new study published in Risk Analysis: An ...

– Society for Risk Analysis (SRA)

Risk Analysis: An International Journal; KBBE 222738 BASELINE


Using Spare Parts Might “Jump-Start” Protein Design

Weizmann Institute scientists find that including “non-ideal” components in the design may be key to functional artificial proteins

– Weizmann Institute of Science

PNAS, Sept-2017


With Mock Space Capsule, Kansas State University Researchers Partner with NASA to Study Astronaut Fitness

A Kansas State University kinesiology research team has built a lifesize Orion spacecraft model to study astronaut fitness in spaceflight and during landing.

– Kansas State University

includes video


Voice Forensics Can Help the Coast Guard Catch Hoax Callers

In 2014, when an anonymous caller cost the U.S. Coast Guard roughly $500,000 by sending first responders on unnecessary rescue missions 28 times, the agency asked the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) for ...

– Homeland Security's Science & Technology Directorate


More Than 100 Schools Sign on to Teach Health Risks of Climate Change

The Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education (GCCHE) today announced that, since its launch earlier this year, 125 health professions schools and programs around the world have joined and committed to ensure future health professionals are e...

– Columbia University Medical Center


A Record Number of Americans Viewed the 2017 Solar Eclipse

Eighty-eight percent of American adults viewed the August total solar eclipse directly or electronically. This audience of 215 million adults is nearly twice the size of the viewership of recent Super Bowl football games.

– University of Michigan


Research Led by PPPL Provides Reassurance That Heat Flux Will Be Manageable in ITER

Article describes simulated prediction of heat flux that ITER divertor plates will be able to tolerate.

– Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Nuclear Fusion


Hurricane Aftermath: New Way to Assess Safety of Aging Timber Railroad Bridges

There are about 100,000 railroad bridges in the U.S. and approximately 30,000 of them are constructed from timber. More than half of these timber bridges were built before 1920. North American railroad bridge owners are now mandated to closely assess...

– Florida Atlantic University


Researchers Aim to Improve Gut Health of Livestock Animals

Researchers at the University of Delaware are looking at ways to improve gut health of livestock animals. Many of the projects are funded by industry and look at mechanisms for antibiotic alternatives such as yeast cell wall extracts, feed enzymes an...

– University of Delaware


Computer Scientist Uses NSF Grant to Find Biological Patterns

A professor in New Mexico State University’s Department of Computer Science recently received a National Science Foundation grant to develop automated methods to discover molecular patterns from human and mouse genomics data.

– New Mexico State University (NMSU)

25-Sep-2017


Heart-on-a-Chip: Influence of Static and Perfusion on Cardiac Cells

A new report shows how microsystems can be used to understand processes in heart tissue in detail and to test newly developed compounds applied in the treatment of cardiac diseases.

– SLAS (Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening)

SLAS Technology

Embargo expired on 25-Sep-2017 at 20:00 ET


UC San Diego Researchers Explain the Mechanism of Asexual Reproduction in Freshwater Flatworms

Scientists have nailed the biomechanics of a centuries-long puzzle on how freshwater flatworms reproduce. Asexual flatworms called planarians tear themselves into two pieces that go on to form two new worms. Researchers are now able to predict where ...

– University of California San Diego

PNAS, Sep-2017

Embargo expired on 25-Sep-2017 at 15:00 ET


Which Came First: Big Brains or Demanding Environments?

Researchers in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis are challenging the notion that environment drives the evolution of brain size. A new study was released Sept. 25 in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.

– Washington University in St. Louis

Nature Ecology and Evolution, Sept-2017

Embargo expired on 25-Sep-2017 at 11:00 ET


Nanoparticle Supersoap Creates ‘Bijel’ With Potential as Sculptable Fluid

A new type of “bijel” created by Berkeley Lab scientists could one day lead to applications in soft robotics, liquid circuitry, and energy conversion.

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Nature Nanotechnology, Sept. 25, 2017

Embargo expired on 25-Sep-2017 at 11:00 ET


Escaping Wildfires

The U-led study is the first attempt to map escape routes for wildland fire fighters from an aerial perspective. The researchers used LiDAR technology to analyze the terrain slope, ground surface roughness and vegetation density of a fire-prone regio...

– University of Utah

International Journal of Wildland Fire

Embargo expired on 25-Sep-2017 at 20:00 ET


With Extra Sugar, Leaves Get Fat Too

Eat too much without exercising and you'll probably put on a few pounds. As it turns out, plant leaves do something similar. In a new study at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, scientists show that retaining sugars in pl...

– Brookhaven National Laboratory

journal Plant Physiology


Georgia State Makes Massive NASA Solar Dataset Available To Researchers

Georgia State University researchers have compiled a large solar dataset from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), making several hundred thousand solar events found on high-resolution solar images available to the public.

– Georgia State University

Scientific Data


Goodbye, Login. Hello, Heart Scan.

Forget fingerprint computer identification or retinal scanning. A University at Buffalo-led team has developed a computer security system using the dimensions of your heart as your identifier. The system uses low-level Doppler radar to measure your ...

– University at Buffalo

23rd Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Communication


Long-Awaited Landscape

The first large-scale study of ancient human DNA from sub-Saharan Africa opens a long-awaited window into the identity of prehistoric populations in the region and how they moved around and replaced one another over the past 8,000 years.

– Harvard Medical School


Scientists Monitor Silicon Valley’s Underground Water Reserves — From Space

Satellite data shows underground water reserves in California’s Silicon Valley rebounded quickly after the recent severe drought. The research points to the success of aggressive conservation measures and lays the groundwork for low-cost monitoring...

– University at Buffalo

Journal of Geophysical Research


Discovering What Makes Organelles Connect Could Help Understand Neurodegenerative Diseases

A study to be published in the September 29 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry reports the use of an emerging method to identify proteins that allows two organelles, the mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum, to attach to each other.

– American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB)

Journal of Biological Chemistry


Iron Seeding of the Pacific Ocean May Have Played a Role in Global Climate Change

A Texas A&M University research team has examined a 100,000-year-old ocean core and found that there have been at least eight occurrences of iron penetrating the Pacific Ocean, each likely associated with abrupt global climate change over thousands o...

– Texas A&M University

Nature Geoscience, Sept-2017; NSF oce-0851056


Creative Use of Noise Brings Bio-Inspired Electronic Improvement

Researchers at Osaka University in Japan are working to exploit stochastic resonance to enhance signal transmission for a new generation of devices, using single-walled carbon nanotubes. They created a summing network SR device that detects subthresh...

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)

Applied Physics Letters


IceCube Helps Demystify Strange Radio Bursts From Deep Space

A University of Wisconsin–Madison physicist and his colleagues are turning IceCube, the world’s most sensitive neutrino telescope, to the task of helping demystify powerful pulses of radio energy generated up to billions of light-years from Earth...

– University of Wisconsin-Madison

Astrophysical Journal


Researchers Develop a Way to Better Predict Corrosion from Crude Oil

Using X-ray techniques, scientists are developing an analysis tool that can more accurately predict how sulfur compounds in a batch of crude oil might corrode equipment– an important safety issue for the oil industry.

– SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Cotelesage, et al., Journal of Physical Chemistry A. 10 August 2016 (10.1021/acs.jpca.6b05874); Pickering, et al., Journal of Physical Chemistry A. 29 August 2016 (10.1021/acs.jpca.6b06790)...


Grant Ushers Delaware to Forefront of Gene Editing Education

The world’s most revolutionary gene editing technology is coming to college classrooms in Delaware, thanks to a $1 million National Science Foundation grant awarded to the Delaware Technical Community College and the Gene Editing Institute of Chris...

– Christiana Care Health System


New Citrus Planting Method Stops Bugs, Yields Additional Benefits

A planting design that outwitted a weevil in Texas citrus groves has yielded numerous other benefits for growers and brought better quality oranges and grapefruits to consumers, experts say.

– Texas A&M AgriLife


Florida Sea Grant Helps Keys Lobstermen Get Back on Feet After Irma

Sea Grant is helping lobstermen by quickly locating the traps lost during Hurricane Irma -- a move that will help an industry worth $150 million in the Keys.

– University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences


Snails Bred in Lab Help Species Crawl Back from Brink of Extinction

Work to restore the endangered Chittenango ovate amber snail, found only in one location inside a Central New York state park, continued this month with the release of tagged adult snails raised in a laboratory at the College of Environmental Science...

– SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

includes video


Cartography of the Cosmos

There are hundreds of billions of stars in our own Milky Way galaxy, interspersed with all manner of matter, from the dark to the sublime. This is the universe that Argonne researcher Salman Habib is trying to reconstruct, structure by structure, com...

– Argonne National Laboratory

SciWire Policy and Public Affairs


Answer Three Questions and Save Half the World's Biodiversity

A growing international movement called “Half Earth” calls for preserving 50 percent of the world’s biodiversity. In today’s Nature News and Views, conservationists pose three questions that need to be answered to make this bold vision a rea...

– Wildlife Conservation Society

Nature News and Views

SciWire Announcements


UNH Earns Highest National Rating for Sustainability

The University of New Hampshire is one of only three higher education institutions in the world to have earned a STARS Platinum rating--the highest possible--in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement o...

– University of New Hampshire


Wounded Warrior Project Partners with Cohen Veterans Bioscience to Treat PTSD

Today, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) and Cohen Veterans Bioscience (CVB) announced a shared initiative to better diagnose and treat PTSD and TBI. The collaboration, known as Research Alliance for PTSD/TBI Innovation and Discovery Diagnostics (RAPID...

– Cohen Veterans Bioscience


NIH Awards $9.6M Grant to Columbia for a Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Collaborative Research Center

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a five-year $9.6 million grant to the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health to create the Center for Solutions for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/ C...

– Columbia University Medical Center

AI138370


Institute of Food Technologists & Food Technology Summit & Expo Mexico Announce 2017 IFT FoodTech Summit Innovation Award Winners

IFT in partnership with Encumex today named GanedenBC30™ as the winner of the inaugural IFT FoodTech Summit Innovation Award, a distinction developed by IFT and Encumex to celebrate commercial innovation in the science of food. Sensient SupraRed™...

– Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)


Finding 2D Materials to Make Batteries Cheaper, Better

The University of Illinois at Chicago has received a $1.44 million National Science Foundation grant to discover new 2D materials that can be used to manufacture better and cheaper batteries.

– University of Illinois at Chicago


Novel Vaccine for Ebola and other Hemorrhagic Fever Viruses

A collaboration among research institutions, private industry, and the US Government will develop a tetravalent vaccine to protect against four viruses that can be fatal

– Thomas Jefferson University


APS Establishes Hurricane Relief Fund to Support Researchers Following Devastating Hurricane Season

The American Physiological Society (APS) has allocated $100,000 for a Hurricane Relief Fund to assist young APS member-researchers in their rebuilding efforts following Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Applications are now being accepted for grants...

– American Physiological Society (APS)


Majjigapu Named Finalist for Collegiate Inventors Competition

Praveen Majjigapu, a doctoral student in civil engineering at West Virginia University, is a finalist in the Collegiate Inventors Competition. He will present his invention — NextGen Structural Rehab System — on November 2.

– West Virginia University


SBP Scientist Receives $10.8 Million Grant to Advance Potential Drug for Substance Abuse

New class of drug may help treat cocaine and nicotine addiction

– Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute

Embargo expired on 26-Sep-2017 at 08:00 ET

includes video


Cornell’s Emr to Deliver Porter Lecture at 2017 ASCB|EMBO Meeting

Scott D. Emr of Cornell University will present the 2017 Keith Porter Lecture at the 2017 ASCB|EMBO Meeting this December in Philadelphia.

– American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB)


Berkeley Lab Aims to Strengthen the Cybersecurity of the Grid

As part of the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) commitment to building cyber-resilient energy delivery systems, a new project led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will develop tools to detect and counter cyber attacks on the grid via solar ...

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

View release online


WVU professors to present at 2017 Shale Insight Conference

West Virginia University professors Paul Ziemkiewicz, Shikha Sharma and Tim Carr will present research on technology in the shale industry at the Shale Insight Conference on Wednesday, Sept. 27 in Pittsburgh, Pa.

– West Virginia University - Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

Shale Insight


NSF Grant Supports Biochemistry Research and Mentoring Outreach

The National Science Foundation recently awarded a $680,000 grant to Wake Forest University Associate Professor of Chemistry Patricia Dos Santos. In addition to funding research that helps scientists better understand life on earth, the grant also en...

– Wake Forest University


Kresge Hall Is Northwestern’s First LEED Platinum Building

Thanks to extensive renovations, Kresge Hall has been certified as the University's first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum building. Platinum is the the highest sustainable building certification awarded by the U.S. Green...

– Northwestern University


2018 DOE JGI Community Science Program Allocations Announced

Many of the DOE Joint Genome Institute’s selected 2018 Community Science Program proposals aim to utilize multiple genomic and analytical capabilities, along with scientific expertise, to users focused on the underlying mechanisms involved in bioen...

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


A Quantum Computer to Tackle Fundamental Science Problems

Two Berkeley Lab teams will receive DOE funding to develop near-term quantum computing platforms and tools to be used for scientific discovery in the chemical sciences. One team will develop novel algorithms, compiling techniques and scheduling tools...

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


ASCB Names Pioneers in Cellular Protein Chemistry as 2017 E.B. Wilson Medalists

F. Ulrich Hartl of Germany’s Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry and Arthur Horwich of the Yale School of Medicine/HHMI receive American Society for Cell Biology's prestigious 2017 E.B. Wilson Medal.

– American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB)


Kasper Kjaer Wins First LCLS Young Investigator Award

Kasper Kjaer is the winner of the inaugural LCLS Young Investigator Award given by the Users Executive Committee of the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS). The prize recognizes scientists in the early stages of their career for exceptional research p...

– SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory


UNH Receives NIH Grant to Advance Its Biomedical Research to the Bedside

The University of New Hampshire has been awarded a five-year, $10 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant to accelerate the translation of its basic biomedical and bioengineering research int...

– University of New Hampshire


Dr. Adam Cohen to Be President – Associated Universities, Inc.

AUI has selected Dr. Adam Cohen as the new President of AUI, effective 1 November 2017.

– Associated Universities, Inc.


Columbia Engineers Win NSF grant to Study NYC Storm Surge Infrastructure Resilience

.With so many hurricanes ravaging the Caribbean and the southern U.S., it has become clear that addressing threats to infrastructure is critical to keeping our communities safe, functional, and healthy. Storm surge has emerged as one of the most dest...

– Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science


UW to Host $15.6M NSF-Funded Center for Innovation, Education in Materials Science

The University of Washington is home to a new national center of excellence for research, education and training in materials science. The Molecular Engineering Materials Center is funded by a $15.6 million, six-year grant from the National Science F...

– University of Washington


Grant Supports Academically-Talented Engineering Students From Low-Income Backgrounds

.The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Engineering has received a grant to provide scholarships, mentoring and internship opportunities to academically-talented, low-income engineering undergraduates.

– University of Illinois at Chicago

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