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Newswise SciWire - Science News for Journalists
Newswise SciWire
Monday, October 16, 2017

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(37 New)

Science News


Are There Really Glow-in-the-Dark Soil Organisms?

Soil organisms are diverse, with characteristics that can astound. The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) October 15 Soils Matter blog post explains which soil critters glow—and why.

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

Embargo expired on 16-Oct-2017 at 09:00 ET

Cocktail Tests on Toxic Waste Called For

Surprisingly low concentrations of toxic chemicals – from fungicides to antidepressants – can change the way some aquatic creatures swim and feed, according to new research. In addition, depending on the cocktail of toxins they can produce unexpe...

– University of Portsmouth

Environmental Pollution

Bite on This: Kansas State University Researcher Finds Alligators Eat Sharks

MANHATTAN, KANSAS — Jaws, beware! Alligators may be coming for you. While the sharks may not actually be as big as the fictional Jaws, James Nifong, postdoctoral researcher with the Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Kansas State...

– Kansas State University

Southeastern Naturalist


Spit for Science: When “N’s” Are More than Human Guinea Pigs

Sometimes scientists do not see the value of sharing their knowledge and expertise with non-scientists and members of the public may believe that researchers enjoy a rarefied existence. This critical review addresses the important, yet limited gap th...

– Research Society on Alcoholism

Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research

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

Model Predicts How E. coli Bacteria Adapt Under Stress

Researchers at UC San Diego have developed a genome-scale model that can accurately predict how E. coli bacteria respond to temperature changes and genetic mutations. The work sheds light on how cells adapt under environmental stress and has applicat...

– University of California San Diego

PNAS, Oct-2017; GM102098; GM057089; NNF10CC1016517

New Method to Detect Spin Current in Quantum Materials Unlocks Potential for Alternative Electronics

A new method that precisely measures the mysterious behavior and magnetic properties of electrons flowing across the surface of quantum materials could open a path to next-generation electronics. A team of scientists has developed an innovative micro...

– Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Physical Review Letters

New Study Demonstrates Importance of Studying Sleep and Eating in Tandem

A new study from scientists on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) offers important insights into possible links between sleep and hunger.

– Scripps Research Institute

Sleep, Oct. 2017; Nature Protocols, Oct. 2017; R01AG045036; R21DK092735

University of Arkansas Researchers Extend BKT Physics to Study of Ferroelectrics

Using first-principles-based simulations, researchers found that an overlooked BKT phase sustained by quasicontinuous symmetry emerges between the ferroelectric and paraelectric phases of ferroelectic ultrathin film,

– University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Physical Review Letters, Sept-2017

PPPL Takes Detailed Look at 2-D Structure of Turbulence in Tokamaks

Article describes study of cross-correlation of turbulence in tokamaks.

– Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Physics of Plasmas

Putting New Tools in the Hands of Leading Canadian Scientists

More than $554 million for new labs and equipment to help Canadian researchers discover, innovate and train the next generation of scientists for the jobs of tomorrow.

– University of Manitoba

NUS Researchers Develop 4-in-1 Smart Utilities Plant Custom-Made for Tropical Climate

A research team from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at National University of Singapore Faculty of Engineering has developed a 4-in-1 smart utilities plant that produces electricity, water, air-conditioning and heat in a more environmentall...

– National University of Singapore

Demystifying Nuclear Energy

As part of Argonne’s summer internship program, four college students focused on nuclear energy projects for the laboratory, ranging from the nuts and bolts of a reactor to education and non-proliferation.

– Argonne National Laboratory

Northern CA Wildfires Generate 1.5 Million Views of UC San Diego’s ‘Firemap’ Resource

A web-based tool recently developed by UC San Diego researchers under an NSF grant to perform data-driven predictive modeling and real-time tracking of fires has already been viewed about one million times and generated more than 115,000 unique visit...

Expert Available

– University of California San Diego

NSF 1331615


Global Change Center researchers to forecast water quality with NSF support

The team—which includes ecologists, social scientists, geologists and engineers— was awarded a $1 million National Science Foundation Smart and Connected Communities grant to develop a system that can create a real-time water forecast—similar t...

– Virginia Tech

Embargo expired on 12-Oct-2017 at 10:00 ET

includes video

Johns Hopkins Scientists Help Show Links Between Genes, Body Tissues

A research team is assessing how a person’s genetic profile affects his body. The results could help show how individual genetic differences contribute to disease and guide treatments for heritable disorders such as Alzheimer’s, high cholesterol ...

– Johns Hopkins University

Nature, Oct-12-2017; Nature, Oct-12-2017; MH109905; HG008150; HG007436; HG009080; MH101814

International Team Reconstructs Nanoscale Virus Features from Correlations of Scattered X-rays

Berkeley Lab researchers contributed key algorithms which helped scientists achieve a goal first proposed more than 40 years ago – using angular correlations of X-ray snapshots from non-crystalline molecules to determine the 3D structure of importa...

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Physical Review Letters

includes video

Warming Seas Could Lead to 70 Percent Increase in Hurricane-Related Financial Loss

Financial losses could increase by more than 70 percent by 2100 if oceans warm at the worst-case-scenario rate predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, according to a new study. The study used hurricane modeling and information in ...

– University of Vermont

Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure

Whole Genome Sequencing Identifies New Genetic Signature for Autism

An analysis of the complete genomes of 2,064 people reveals that multiple genetic variations could contribute to autism. The work suggests that scanning whole genomes may one day be useful for clinical diagnostics.

– Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)


Shape-Shifting Octopus Inspires 3-D Morphing Material

A Cornell University engineering and physics team is using the octopus as inspiration for a method to morph flat surfaces into three-dimensional ones on demand. They have devised a method for precisely transforming stretchable 2-D objects into 3-D sh...

– Cornell University

includes video

New Protein Study Broadens Knowledge of Molecular Basis for Disease

Scientists at the University of Notre Dame are one step closer to unraveling the mystery of how intrinsically disordered proteins work, according to new research published in Science.

– University of Notre Dame


Advance Achieved in Dry Preservation of Mammalian Sperm Cells

In a paper forthcoming in the November issue of the journal Theriogenology, a team of researchers from UNC Charlotte and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), announced the first successful drying and rehydration of domestic cat sper...

– University of North Carolina at Charlotte


Sandia Researchers Use Direct Numerical Simulations to Enhance Combustion Efficiency and Reduce Pollution in Diesel Engines

A “cool flame” may sound contradictory, but it’s an important element of diesel combustion — one that, once properly understood, could enable better engine designs with higher efficiency and fewer emissions.

– Sandia National Laboratories

roceedings of the Combustion Institute

Is It Gonna Blow? Measuring Volcanic Emissions From Space

Carbon dioxide measured by a NASA satellite pinpoints sources of the gas from human and volcanic activities, which may help monitor greenhouse gases responsible for climate change.

– Michigan Technological University

Science, Oct-2017; NASA JPL

Autism & Innovation Center Established to Help People with ASD Find Meaningful Work

Creating a model pipeline that will assist adults on the autism spectrum find meaningful and gainful employment while enhancing local business innovation. That is the purpose of Vanderbilt University’s Center for Autism & Innovation (VCAI). The new...

– Vanderbilt University

Research Corporation for Science Advancement SEED award; National Science Foundation convergence award

includes video

Converting Carbon Dioxide to Carbon Monoxide Using Water, Electricity

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis have determined how electrocatalysts can convert carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide using water and electricity. The discovery can lead to the deve...

– University of Illinois at Chicago


Astronomers Say Star Dust Helps Explain Mysterious Dimming Star

Iowa State's Massimo Marengo is part of a team of astronomers working to understand the mysterious dimming of Tabby's Star. The astronomers report that space dust orbiting the star -- not alien megastructures -- is the likely cause of the star's long...

– Iowa State University

The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 847, Number 2

Purple Power: Synthetic ‘Purple Membranes’ Transform Sunlight to Hydrogen Fuel

Argonne researchers have found a new way to produce solar fuels by developing “synthetic purple membranes.” These membranes involve an assembly of lipid nanodiscs, man-made proteins, and semiconducting nanoparticles that, when taken together, can...

– Argonne National Laboratory

ACS Nano, Jul-2017

First Atomic Structure From UTSW’s Cryo-EM Facility

UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers today published a 3-D atomic structure of the ion channel found in mammals that is implicated in a rare, inherited neurodegenerative disease in humans.

– UT Southwestern Medical Center


Study Shows Proteins May Prevent Dysfunction and Disease by Relaxing

A team of University of Chicago and Notre Dame researchers used simulations and X-rays to conclude that disordered proteins remain unfolded and expanded as they float loose in the cytoplasm of a cell. The answer affects how we envision the movement o...

– University of Chicago


Laser Cavities Take on New Shapes and Functionalities

Bending laser light around sharp turns and corners—without scattering—is now possible thanks to a new laser cavity developed by electrical engineers at UC San Diego. This is the first laser cavity that can fully confine and propagate light in any...

– University of California San Diego

Science, Oct-2017; N00014-17-1-2671; ECCS-1554021; EE0007341; ECCS-1405234; ECCS-1507146; CCF-1640227; N00014-13-1-0678; W911NF-16-1-0245; ECCS-1542148...

includes video

New Technology Illuminates Microbial Dark Matter

Demonstrating the microfluidic-based, mini-metagenomics approach on samples from hot springs shows how scientists can delve into microbes that can’t be cultivated in a laboratory.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

eLife 2017, e26580 (2017). [DOI: 10.7554/eLife.26580]

Discovering the Genetic Timekeepers in Bioenergy Crops

A new class of plant-specific genes required for flowering control in temperate grasses is found.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

PNAS 114, 6623-6628(2017) [DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1700536114]

Strangpresse Exclusively Licenses ORNL Extruder Tech for High-Volume Additive Manufacturing

Ohio-based Strangpresse has exclusively licensed additive manufacturing-related extruder technology from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory that can quickly print hundreds of pounds of polymer material.

– Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Climate Change Champion and Pacific Island Leader launches Centre for Applied Conservation Science in Adelaide

(13 October 2017 — Adelaide) Former President of the Republic of Kiribati and Conservation International (CI) Distinguished Fellow Anote Tong will officially launch the Centre for Applied Conservation Science at the University of Adelaide today.

– University of Adelaide

SciWire Announcements

ECS Takes Down the Paywall for International Open Access Week

The Electrochemical Society (ECS) is celebrating International Open Access Week by giving the world a preview of what complete open access to peer-reviewed scientific research will look like. ECS is taking down the paywall October 23-29 to the entire...

– The Electrochemical Society

Stand Up To Cancer awards $5.5 million to VARI for cancer clinical trials to enhance immunotherapy

Van Andel Research Institute–Stand Up To Cancer Epigenetics Dream Team scientists have been awarded two grants totaling nearly $5.5 million to pursue clinical trials of epigenetic drugs to enhance tumor response to immunotherapy.

– Van Andel Research Institute

SciWire Marketplace

Understanding Wildfire Spread

Check out how UNC Charlotte is studying wildfire spread in this video featuring researchers from the Lee College of Engineering.

– University of North Carolina at Charlotte

includes video





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