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Newswise SciWire - Science News for Journalists
Newswise SciWire
Thursday, October 5, 2017

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Science News

05-Oct-2017


Caution Ahead: The Growing Challenge for Drivers’ Attention

Many of the infotainment features in most 2017 vehicles are so distracting they should not be enabled while a vehicle is in motion, according to a new study by University of Utah researchers. The study, led by psychology professor David L. Strayer...

– University of Utah

Embargo expired on 05-Oct-2017 at 00:05 ET

includes video


Impact of Extreme Winter Weather on Hardwood Forests

Ice storms can have devastating results for trees in forests, too. New research studied the effects of lab-created ice storms on forest ecosystems. The “Why Ice Storms Aren’t Cool” presentation at the Managing Global Resources for a Secure Futu...

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

Embargo expired on 05-Oct-2017 at 00:00 ET


Study Shows Topical Analgesics Reduce Chronic Pain, Lessens Need For Opioids

Clarity Science, a division of Safe Harbor Compliance and Clinical Services LLC, report results of the Institutional Review Board (IRB)- approved Optimizing Patient Experience and Response to Topical Analgesics (OPERA) Study which evaluated patients ...

– Clarity Science

Journal of Pain Research

04-Oct-2017


Beer Brands Popular Among Youth Contravene Industry’s Voluntary Advertising Code

Although alcohol is a legal substance for adults age 21 or older, it is the leading illicit substance used by underage American youth. Prior research has shown that youth exposed to alcohol advertisements have a greater risk of drinking. Alcohol-indu...

– Research Society on Alcoholism

Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research

Embargo expired on 04-Oct-2017 at 17:00 ET


Soil Amendments for Healthier Spinach

Soils keep plants healthy by providing plants with water, helpful minerals, and microbes, among other benefits. But what if the soil also contains toxic elements, such as cadmium? The solution goes back to the soil. Researchers are investigating whic...

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

Journal of Environmental Quality

Embargo expired on 04-Oct-2017 at 09:00 ET


Researchers Demonstrate Engineering Approach to Combine Drugs, Control Parasitic Worms

An international research team that includes engineers from Iowa State University has demonstrated that an engineering technology that’s been used in cell studies can also be used for drug testing on parasitic roundworms used as a model whole organ...

– Iowa State University

Science Advances, Oct. 4, 2017

Embargo expired on 04-Oct-2017 at 14:00 ET

includes video


Black Tea May Help with Weight Loss, Too

UCLA researchers have demonstrated for the first time that black tea may promote weight loss and other health benefits by changing bacteria in the gut.

– University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences

European Journal of Nutrition, Oct-2017


Benchmarking Computational Methods for Metagenomes

In Nature Methods, a team including DOE JGI researchers described the results of the Critical Assessment of Metagenome Interpretation (CAMI) Challenge, the first-ever, community-organized benchmarking assessment of computational tools for metagenomes...

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Nature Methods


Assessing Regional Earthquake Risk and Hazards in the Age of Exascale

Researchers from Berkeley Lab, Lawrence Livermore Lab and UC Davis are building the first-ever end-to-end simulation code to precisely capture the geology and physics of regional earthquakes, and how the shaking impacts buildings

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Computers in Science and Engineering


Tungsten Offers Nano-Interconnects a Path of Least Resistance

As microchips become smaller and faster, the shrinking size of their copper interconnects leads to increased electrical resistivity at the nanoscale. Finding a solution to this technical bottleneck is a problem for the semiconductor industry; one pos...

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)

Journal of Applied Physics


Burmese Python’s Hungry Escapades May Have Consequences for Human Health

As the large, invasive Burmese python eats its way through south Florida’s mammals, the mosquitoes in the area have fewer types of animals to bite. Now, more mosquitoes are drawing blood from a rat that carries a virus dangerous to humans.

– University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

Biology Letters


In Iceland Stream, Possible Glimpse Of Warming Future

When a normally cold stream in Iceland was warmed, the make-up of life inside changed as larger organisms thrived while smaller ones struggled. The findings carry implications for life in a warming climate.

– University of Alabama

Ecology; Global Change Biology


Study Shows Genetically Modified Soybean Oil Causes Less Obesity and Insulin Resistance but Negatively Impacts Liver Function

UC Riverside mouse study compares Plenish to conventional soybean, coconut, and olive oils

– University of California, Riverside

Nature Scientific Reports


SLAC Invention Could Lead to Novel Terahertz Light Sources That Help Us See the World with Different Eyes

Ever since the discovery of X-rays in 1895, their ability to reveal things hidden to the human eye has created endless opportunities. But X-rays by far aren’t the only option to see the world with different eyes. Researchers hope to make better use...

– SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

F. Toufexis et al., Applied Physics Letters, 30 June 2017 (10.1063/1.4990970)

includes video


Researchers Create Molecule That Could ‘Kick and Kill’ HIV

Scientists have developed an agent to “wake up” HIV lying dormant in cells, which causes it to begin replicating so that either the immune system or the virus itself would kill the cell harboring HIV. They call the technique “kick and kill.” ...

– University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences

PLOS Pathogens


Researchers Receive Funding to Advance Accuracy of Hurricane Storm Surge Forecasts

During the four-year study, University of Notre Dame researchers will work to develop improved storm surge models that incorporate fine-scale data to increase the accuracy of forecasts, while also maintaining reduced computer time and reasonable comp...

– University of Notre Dame


Adding Stress Boosts Performance, Stability for Fuel Cells

Scientists design outstanding catalysts by controlling the composition and shape of these tiny plate-like structures on the nanoscale.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Science 354, 1610 (2016). [DOI: 10.1126/science.aah6133]


Water in One Dimension

Confined within tiny carbon nanotubes, extremely cold water molecules line up in a highly ordered chain.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Physical Review Letters 118, 027402 (2017). [DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.027402]


Speeding Materials Discovery Puts Solar Fuels on the Fast Track to Commercial Viability

In just two years, a process that was developed by Molecular Foundry staff and users has nearly doubled the number of materials with the potential for using sunlight to produce fuel.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

PNAS 114(12), 3040-3043(2017). [DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1619940114]


Texas Tech Researcher Getting to Heart of Cybersecurity Issue

Changzhi Li’s “cardiac password” project will examine using the wave of the heart motion as an added method of continuous authentication.

Expert Available

– Texas Tech University

03-Oct-2017


Cell Signals That Trigger Wound Healing Are Surprisingly Complex

Vanderbilt scientists have taken an important step toward understanding the way in which injured cells trigger wound healing, an insight essential for improving treatments of all types of wounds.

– Vanderbilt University

Biophysical Journal (03Oct2017)

Embargo expired on 03-Oct-2017 at 12:00 ET

includes video


Sustainable Soils for Sustainable Cities

Eighty percent of the world’s population live in cities. Helping those soils stay healthy helps keep the water clean and provides green spaces for people to get exercise, among other benefits. The “Sustainable Soils in Urban Environments” sympo...

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

Embargo expired on 03-Oct-2017 at 00:00 ET


Astronomers Reveal Evidence of Dynamical Dark Energy

An international research team, including astronomers from the University of Portsmouth, has revealed evidence of dynamical dark energy.

– University of Portsmouth

Nature Astronomy, DOI: 10.1038/s41550-017-0216


Ancient Petrified Salamander Reveals Its Last Meal

A new study on an exceptionally preserved salamander from the Eocene of France reveals that its soft organs are conserved under its skin and bones. Organs preserved in three dimensions include the lung, nerves, gut, and within it, the last meal of th...

– PeerJ

PeerJ


Researchers Identify Free-Flowing Aerosol Particles Using Holograms, Lasers

Holographic images of free-flowing air particles may help climate change and biological weapons watchdogs better monitor the atmosphere, according to a recent Kansas State University study. Principle investigator Matthew Berg, associate professor of ...

– Kansas State University

Scientific Reports


Breaking the Rules: Heavy Chemical Elements Alter Theory of Quantum Mechanics

Florida State University researchers found that the theory of quantum mechanics does not adequately explain how the heaviest and rarest elements found at the end of the table function. Instead, another well-known scientific theory — Albert Einstein...

– Florida State University

Journal of the American Chemical Society


Large Volcanic Eruptions in Tropics Can Trigger El Niño Events

Explosive volcanic eruptions in the tropics can lead to El Niño events, those notorious warming periods in the Pacific Ocean with dramatic global impacts on the climate, according to a new study.

– Rutgers University

Nature Communications ; Rutgers Today


Morbidity and Mortality of Leprosy in the Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages, did contracting leprosy necessarily increase a person's chances of dying? Yes, says a new paper. But it's complicated.

– Santa Fe Institute

American Journal of Physical Anthropology


Prairie Strips Yield Big Environmental Benefits in Agricultural Fields, According to 10 Years of Recently Published Data

The Iowa State University Prairie STRIPS project has found the strategic use of native prairie plants among agricultural fields yields a wide range of environmental benefits, including erosion and runoff reduction and increased wildlife habitat. The ...

– Iowa State University

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences


New Portable Blood Analyzer Could Improve Anemia Detection Worldwide

To reduce the burden of anemia, health officials need a better picture of the disease's global impact, an understanding made viable by a portable and affordable way to analyze blood. Researchers at the University of Washington developed a device smal...

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)

AIP Advances


The Road Less Traveled: How to Switch Assembly Pathways

Big impacts on crystal formation result from small changes and reveal design principles for new materials for solar cells, more.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Nature Materials 16, 767 (2017). [DOI: 10.1038/NMAT4891]


Blurring the Line between Animate and Inanimate: “Active” Matter Drives Self-Propelled Fluid

For the first time, self-organized, soft machines powered by molecular motors propelled fluid for hours across meters.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Science 355, eaal1979(2017). [DOI: 10.1126/science.aal1979]


Drawing at the One-Nanometer Length Scale

Scientists set record resolution for patterning materials at sizes as small as a single nanometer using microscope-based lithography.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Nano Letters 17, 4562-4567 (2017). [DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b00514]


Ammonia Emissions Unlikely to Be Causing Extreme China Haze

As China struggles to find ways to remedy the noxious haze that lingers over Beijing and other cities in the winter, researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology have cast serious doubt on one proposed cause: high levels of ammonia in the air.

– Georgia Institute of Technology

Scientific Reports; AGS-1360730


Surrounded by Potential: New Science in Converting Biomass

To take full advantage of biomass, lignin needs to be processed into usable components along with the plant cellulose. Ames Laboratory scientists are working to develop a method to deconstruct lignin in a way that is economically feasible and into s...

– Ames Laboratory

Journal of Catalysis DOI: 10.1039/C6TA08703E


Regional Hurricane Success Stories

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance works across the region addressing issues of human, economic, and ecological resilience. Here, we share success stories from our partners. In no way do we want to diminish the long recovery ahead following Hurricanes Ha...

– Gulf of Mexico Alliance


Producing Simple Kits for Safe Water in Rajasthan

University of Adelaide researchers are planning to produce simple, low-cost, self-assembly water purification kits to provide fresh drinking water in the Indian state of Rajasthan, South Australia’s sister state.

– University of Adelaide


Mold Contamination in Sea Salts Could Potentially Spoil Food

Research from Cornell University mycologist Kathie Hodge and doctoral candidate Megan Biango-Daniels reveals varying levels of mold contamination in commercial sea salts. Among those molds were important food spoilage molds like Aspergillus and Penic...

– Cornell University


UChicago Physicist Lauds Nobel Winners Who Helped Detect Gravitational Waves

The University of Chicago’s Daniel Holz this morning saluted the three newest Nobel laureates in physics, with whom he worked as a member of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory. The Nobel Foundation honored Kip Thorne, Rainer We...

– University of Chicago


Stairway to Science

The ACT-SO program launches high school student on path to Argonne’s student research program, a provisional patent and the pursuit of degree at Washington University in St. Louis.

– Argonne National Laboratory


Global Temperature Report: September 2017

Global climate trend since Nov. 16, 1978: +0.13 C per decade

– University of Alabama Huntsville

02-Oct-2017


Researchers Get First Look at Electrons Escaping Atoms

In the journal Nature Physics, researchers report taking a first step toward controlling electrons’ behavior inside matter—and thus the first step down a long and complicated road that could eventually lead to the ability to create new states of ...

– Ohio State University

Nature Physics

Embargo expired on 02-Oct-2017 at 11:00 ET


A Lack of Weekend Drinking Intentions Leads to Excess

Friday and Saturday nights seem to be the universal nights for partying. They are the peak times for heavy drinking by young adults, often beyond what is considered heavy episodic drinking (HED) – five or more drinks per occasion for men, four or m...

– Research Society on Alcoholism

Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research

Embargo expired on 02-Oct-2017 at 17:00 ET


Stress Diminishes Our Capacity to Sense New Dangers, Psychology Research Finds

Being under stress diminishes our abilities to predict new dangers that we face, a team of psychology researchers finds. Its work runs counter to the conventional view that stress enhances our ability to detect and adjust to these changing sources of...

– New York University

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Embargo expired on 02-Oct-2017 at 15:00 ET


Astronomers Discover Traces of Methyl Chloride Around Infant Stars and Nearby Comet

Astronomers using ALMA have detected the faint molecular fingerprint of methyl chloride around an infant star system. Traces of this organic compound were also discovered in the thin atmosphere of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P/C-G) by the Rose...

– National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Nature Astronomy, Oct-2017

Embargo expired on 02-Oct-2017 at 11:00 ET


New Insight on Nuclear Organization of DNA and its Impact on Patterns of Mutations in Cancer

Research by Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey investigators and others shows that the architecture of a cell’s nucleus influences the type and frequency of mutations in cancer genomes beyond the effects already captured by DNA packaging and or...

– Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, Oct-2017

Embargo expired on 02-Oct-2017 at 11:00 ET


Study Highlights Conservation Needs of Fish Species Recently Discovered in Southwest Virginia

Currently, the Clinch dace is in the highest tier of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ Tiers of Imperilment for all wildlife species found in the state. According to Mike Pinder, an aquatic biologist with the agency, that means ...

– Virginia Tech

Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management


Healthy Bacteria in Yogurt May Reduce Lupus Symptoms in Mice

Researchers at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech have released findings that explain how a type of healthy bacteria in yogurt and other dairy products might reduce disease symptoms in certain patients with lupus.

– Virginia Tech

Microbiome


Beavers Shape Northern Minnesota Ecosystem

Beavers have probably been more influential than humans in altering the ecosystem of the Kabetogama Peninsula which is home to Voyageurs National Park near International Falls, Minnesota.

– South Dakota State University

Beavers: Boreal Ecosystem Engineers


Painless Microneedles Extract Fluid for Wearable Sensors for Soldiers, Athletes

Microneedles are the first way to extract large volumes of pure interstitial fluid. This fluid can be used to track the physical conditions of athletes, soldiers, even diabetics but could also aid in diagnosing other diseases, including cancer.

– Sandia National Laboratories

SciWire Policy and Public Affairs


American Chemical Society’s President Comments on Award of 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

On behalf of the American Chemical Society (ACS), President Allison A. Campbell, Ph.D., congratulates today’s winners of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry: Jacques Dubochet, Ph.D., University of Lausanne (Switzerland); Joachim Frank, Ph.D., Columbia Uni...

– American Chemical Society (ACS)

SciWire Announcements


$2.5 Million Gift Announced for Science and Mathematics Programs at Salisbury University

The Richard A. Henson Foundation, Inc. has reaffirmed its commitment to Salisbury University, announcing a $2.5 million gift for SU’s Henson School of Science and Technology. This donation marks the 30th anniversary of the school’s initial endowm...

– Salisbury University


GBSI BioPolicy Summit 2017 Explores Newest Lab Automation, Digital Tools and Technologies Promising Improved Preclinical Research Reproducibility - October 16, in San Francisco

Global Biological Standards Institute’s 3rd annual BioPolicy Summit: “Improving Reproducibility of Research Through Digital Tools, Technologies and Laboratory Automation,” will bring a diverse and interdisciplinary group of participants togethe...

– Global Biological Standards Institute (GBSI)


American Pain Society Selects Future Leaders in Pain Research Grant Recipients

Furthering its mission to support and advance pain science, the American Pain Society (APS), www.americanpainsociety.org, today announced recipients of its annual Future Leaders in Pain Research grants program. Three APS awards of $25,000 are funded...

– American Pain Society


Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation and Pfizer's Centers for Therapeutic Innovation Co-Fund New Alzheimer's Project

Cross-Sector Collaboration Aimed at Speeding the Development of Potential Therapies That May Protect Brain Cells

– Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation


Joslin Diabetes Center Receives $8.4 Million for NIH-Sponsored Diabetes Research Center

Joslin’s research involves a wide variety of biologic disciplines ranging from the most basic model systems to studies of pathophysiology in animal models and humans to the evaluation of new therapies in patients. The primary aim of the Joslin DRC ...

– Joslin Diabetes Center


Physicists Win Grant for Potential Mission to Study Earth's and Sun's Magnetic Fields

A team led by University of Iowa physicist Craig Kletzing has won $1.25 million from NASA to conceptualize a potential mission that would study the mysterious, powerful interactions between the magnetic fields of the sun and Earth.

– University of Iowa


WVU Math Senior Awarded First Milliman Opportunity Scholarship

The desire to combine math and business in her future career led senior and McNair Scholar Maleesha Ebanks to receive the first Milliman Opportunity Scholarship, a scholarship for minority students who are underrepresented in the field of actuarial s...

– West Virginia University - Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


University Researchers Awarded Grant to Create, Test New Giardia Drugs

Researchers from Boise State and University of Idaho recently were awarded a three year, $418,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop and test new anti-parasitic drugs to fight Giardia infections.

– Boise State University


Southern Research-Bionetix Collaboration Seeks Novel Cancer Drug That Targets a Genetic Switch

Southern Research and Bionetix Inc., a South Korea-based biotech firm, have signed a research and license agreement to develop a new anti-cancer drug that affects a key genetic switch associated with suppression and regulation of the growth of certai...

– Southern Research


Navy awards UW-Madison $6.1 million for computer security research

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has been awarded a $6.1 million grant from the Office of Naval Research, a division of the United States Department of the Navy. The project is related to software security, manageability and performance. The new r...

– University of Wisconsin-Madison

Office of Naval Research grant


Rosbash Awarded 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

The Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute announced today that Michael Rosbash, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator at Brandeis University, Jeffrey C. Hall of Brandeis University and Michael W. Young of the Rockefeller Universi...

– Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)


Career Awards Advance Research for Jefferson Lab Researchers

Two researchers affiliated with the U.S. Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility have received 2017 Early Career Research Program awards from the DOE’s Office of Science.

– Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility


Sunderrajan to Lead Science and Technology Partnerships and Outreach Directorate

Suresh Sunderrajan has been named the associate laboratory director (ALD) for the Science and Technology Partnerships and Outreach (STPO) Directorate at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory.

– Argonne National Laboratory


UCLA Receives $5 Million Grant for Sharing Research on AIDS and Substance Abuse

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has awarded $5 million to researchers at UCLA to develop a resource and data center for millions of pieces of research, lab samples, statistics and other data aimed at boosting research into the effects of substan...

– University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences

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