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Newswise SciWire - Science News for Journalists
Newswise SciWire
Thursday, October 26, 2017

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Science News


Models Clarify Physics at Photocathode Surfaces

Advances in materials science have improved the composition of materials used in photocathode production that can operate at visible wavelengths and produce a beam with reduced transverse electron momentum spread. Despite these advances, the surface ...

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)

Journal of Applied Physics

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

Piezoelectrics Stretch Their Potential with a Method for Flexible Sticking

Thin-film piezoelectrics, with dimensions on the scale of micrometers or smaller, offer potential for new applications where smaller dimensions or a lower voltage operation are required. Researchers have demonstrated a new technique for making piezoe...

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)

Journal of Applied Physics

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

How to Turn Damaged Heart Tissue Back into Healthy Heart Muscle: New Details Emerge

UNC researchers use their new research platform to discover new cell subpopulations and crucial cellular players in the process of turning damaged heart tissue back into healthy heart muscle. The research platform could be used to study other biologi...

– University of North Carolina Health Care System


Embargo expired on 25-Oct-2017 at 13:00 ET

Flu Forecasting Tool Uses Evolution to Make Earlier Predictions

A new flu forecasting tool built by scientists at the University of Chicago aims to make better predictions by combining data about how the virus spreads with an estimate of how much the current virus evolved compared to recent years.

– University of Chicago Medical Center

Science Translational Medicine

Embargo expired on 25-Oct-2017 at 14:00 ET

New Enzyme Rewrites the Genome

A new type of DNA editing enzyme, developed in HHMI Investigator David Liu’s lab, lets scientists directly and permanently change single base pairs of DNA from A•T to G•C. The process could one day enable precise DNA surgery to correct mutation...

– Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

Gaudelli et al./ Nature 2017

Embargo expired on 25-Oct-2017 at 13:00 ET

Investing in Conservation Pays Off, Study Finds

Governments and donors have spent billions of dollars since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit attempting to slow the pace of species extinctions around the world. Now, a new paper in Nature provides the first clear evidence that those efforts are working. ...

– University of Georgia


Embargo expired on 25-Oct-2017 at 13:00 ET

Nanoribbons Enable “On–Off” Switch for Graphene

Built from the bottom up, nanoribbons can be semiconducting, enabling broad electronic applications.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Nature Communications 8, 14815 (2017). [DOI: 10.1038/ncomms14815]

New Study: ‘Double Decker’ Antibody Technology Fights Cancer

Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have created a new class of antibody-drug conjugates for cancer therapy.

– Scripps Research Institute

Nature Communications

Jumping Nanoparticles

Transitions occurring in nanoscale systems, such as a chemical reaction or the folding of a protein, are strongly affected by friction and thermal noise. Almost 80 years ago, the Dutch physicist Hendrik Kramers predicted that such transitions occur m...

– University of Vienna

Nature Nanotechnology

Some Infant Rice Cereals Contain Elevated Levels of Methylmercury


– American Chemical Society (ACS)

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Triclosan Accumulates in Toothbrushes, Potentially Prolonging Users’ Exposure

In September, a ban on triclosan in over-the-counter antiseptic soaps, gels and wipes went into effect in the U.S. But the antibacterial ingredient is still allowed in toothpastes for its reported ability to reduce gum inflammation, plaque and caviti...

– American Chemical Society (ACS)

Environmental Science & Technology

Cells’ Mechanical Memory Could Hold Clues to Cancer Metastasis

In the body, cells move around to form organs during development; to heal wounds; and when they metastasize from cancerous tumors. A mechanical engineer at Washington University in St. Louis found that cells remember the properties they had in their ...

– Washington University in St. Louis


National Conversation on Homeland Security Technology: Commercial Flood Insurance Roundtable

The DHS S&T's National Conversation on Homeland Security Technology is focused on gathering stakeholder insights to identify flood risk and insurance information, along with tools to build more resilient communities.

– Homeland Security's Science & Technology Directorate

Aitape Skull Likely Belongs to World’s Oldest Tsunami Victim

Mark Golitko, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Notre Dame, worked with colleagues from the Field Museum in Chicago and institutes in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea to study the Aitape skull and the area it was fou...

– University of Notre Dame


October 2017 ToxSci Online: Impact of Gene-Editing Tools on Safety Assessment

The October 2017 issue of Toxicological Sciences (Vol. 159, Issue 2) includes a wide range of articles on topics representing the latest in toxicological research and advances.

– Society of Toxicology

Toxicological Sciences, October 2017

Partnership Lays Groundwork for Self-Driving Vehicles

Advanced technology used to make traveling safer and more efficient is the focus of a new project led by The University of Alabama and the Alabama Department of Transportation.

– University of Alabama

Can Open and Honest Scientists Win Public Trust?

Michigan State University researchers wondered whether it would be better for scientists to acknowledge some of their personal or social values up front when reporting on their studies in order to gain trust.

– Michigan State University


A Placebo Sport Supplement Improves Performance When Athletes Intend to Use it

Latest Research from ACSM

– American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: September 2017 - Volume 49 - Issue 9 - p 1877–1883

Hacking the Bacterial Social Network

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) scientists have determined the molecular structures of a highly specialized set of proteins that are used by a strain of <em>E. coli</em> bacteria to communicate and defend their turf.

– Argonne National Laboratory

Nucleic Acids Research

New Fractal-Like Concentrating Solar Power Receivers Are Better at Absorbing Sunlight

Sandia National Laboratories engineers have developed new fractal-like, concentrating solar power receivers for small- to medium-scale use that are up to 20 percent more effective at absorbing sunlight than current technology. The receivers were d...

– Sandia National Laboratories

Iowa State Engineers Help Black Sea Countries Fight Cybersecurity Threats

Iowa State University cybersecurity researchers recently presented two days of demonstrations and case studies to help four Black Sea countries fight off cyberattacks. One of the countries -- Ukraine -- was hit by a 2015 cyberattack that cut power to...

– Iowa State University

Where Law and Literature Collide

In the 15th episode of Northwestern Pritzker School of Law's Planet Lex podcast series, host Dean Daniel Rodriguez talks to bestselling author and lawyer Scott Turow about legal fiction, his career as a writer and lawyer and the nature of legal educ...

– Northwestern University


A Lower Blood Alcohol Concentration Limit of .05 Could Save 1,790 Lives Per Year in the United States

In every U.S. state, it is illegal for adults to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or greater. In 2013, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that states lower the BAC limit for driving f...

– Research Society on Alcoholism

Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research

Embargo expired on 24-Oct-2017 at 10:00 ET

Exposure to Glyphosate, Chemical Found in Weed Killers, Increased Over 23 Years

Analyzing samples from a prospective study, University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers found that human exposure to glyphosate, a chemical widely found in weed killers, has increased approximately 500 percent since the introduc...

– University of California San Diego Health


Embargo expired on 24-Oct-2017 at 11:00 ET

Antibiotics From a ‘Molecular Pencil Sharpener’

Rutgers University–New Brunswick and other institutions have discovered a “molecular pencil sharpener” that chews away its outer coating to release a powerful antibiotic. Their discovery opens the door to finding new antibacterial agents and dr...

– Rutgers University

Structure, Sept-2017 ; Rutgers Today, Oct-2017

Research Team Led by NUS Scientists Breaks New Ground in Memory Technology

An international research team led by scientists from the National University of Singapore pioneered the development of a novel thin, organic film that supports a million more times read-write cycles and consumes 1,000 times less power than commercia...

– National University of Singapore

Nature Materials

The Sound of Silence

Sound waves could be the future of biomedical research, diagnosing and treatment, says Peng Li, a chemistry professor at West Virginia University. Li is a data analyst for an ongoing research study using an acoustic device to separate extracellula...

– West Virginia University - Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Tumor Growth Blocked by Potato Virus-Chemo Combo

Researchers combined the immune response created by injection of potato virus nanoparticles with doxorubicin to halt melanoma progression in a mouse model. It is the first demonstration of an anti-tumor response using potato virus nanoparticle vaccin...

– National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

Nano letters, July-2017; EB007509, CA148052, GM007250, TR000441

Tree Mortality and Droughts: A Global Perspective

Stress-induced embolisms that interrupt water transport are a universal component of tree mortality.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Nature Ecology and Evolution 1, 1285-1291 (2017).[DOI: 10.1038/s41559-017-0248-x]

Study Shows Brain Structures Make Some People Resilient to Alzheimer’s Disease

The size, shape and number of dendritic spines in the brain may play a major role in whether someone gets Alzheimer’s disease, according to new research from UAB. Findings showed healthy dendritic spines conveyed a protective effect against Alzheim...

– University of Alabama at Birmingham

annals of neurology, Oct. 2017

Reversing Retinal Degenerative Diseases: We’re One Step Closer

Research to Prevent Blindness-supported researchers in New York (at Columbia University and University of Rochester) made a critical discovery about the gene mutation that causes many retinal degenerative diseases, opening the door for a new line of ...

– Research to Prevent Blindness

eLife, Oct-2017

Raton Basin Earthquakes Linked to Oil and Gas Fluid Injections 

A rash of earthquakes in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico recorded between 2008 and 2010 was likely due to fluids pumped deep underground during oil and gas wastewater disposal, says a new University of Colorado Boulder study.

– University of Colorado Boulder

Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth

Researchers Introduce New Method For Monitoring Indian Summer Monsoon

Researchers from Florida State University have created a tool for objectively defining the onset and demise of the Indian Summer Monsoon — a colossal weather system that affects billions of people annually.

– Florida State University

Climate Dynamics

Watching Catalysts Evolve in 3-D

Scientists reveal structural, chemical changes as nickel-cobalt particles donate electrons, vital for making better batteries, fuel cells.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Nature Communications 7, 13335 (2016). [DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13335]

Queen’s University Belfast Researcher Creates Communications System That Can Battle a Natural Disaster

A researcher at Queen’s University Belfast has been shortlisted for the 2017 Newton Prize after he created a robust wireless communications system which can battle through an earthquake, tsunami or hurricane.

– Queen's University Belfast

Bending the Laws of Thermodynamics for Enhanced Material Design

Wide metastable composition ranges are possible in alloys of semiconductors with different crystal structures.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Science Advances 3, e1700270 (2017). [DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1700270]

Neutrons Reveal Suppression of Magnetic Order in Pursuit of a Quantum Spin Liquid

Paige Kelley, a postdoctoral researcher with a joint appointment at the University of Tennessee and the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is using neutrons to study specific crystal properties that could lead to the realization ...

– Oak Ridge National Laboratory

The Fate of Forage Fish on East Coast Lies With November Decision

A letter signed by 117 scientists makes the case for the importance of managing menhaden, the leading forage fish on the Northeast Atlantic Coast, with an ecosystem based approach. On November 13, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s M...

– Stony Brook University

Sandia’s International Peer Mentorship Program Improves Biorisk Management

Sandia National Laboratories' international peer mentoring program pairs experienced biosafety professionals from developed countries with their counterparts in the developing world.

– Sandia National Laboratories

UChicago Astrophysicists to Catch Particles From Deep Space on NASA Balloon Mission

A team led by Prof. Angela Olinto was awarded NASA funding to fly an ultra-long duration balloon mission with an innovative ultra-sensitive telescope to pick up cosmic rays and neutrinos coming from deep space.

– University of Chicago


Wriggling Microtubules Help Understand Coupling of “Active” Defects and Curvature

Imagine a tiny donut-shaped droplet, covered with wriggling worms. The worms are packed so tightly together that they locally line up, forming a nematic liquid crystal similar to those found in flat panel displays. In the journal Nature Physics, scie...

– Georgia Institute of Technology

Nature Physics; 1609841

Embargo expired on 23-Oct-2017 at 11:00 ET

includes video

Formation of Magma Oceans on Exoplanets

Induction heating can completely change the energy budget of an exoplanet and even melt its interior. In a study published by Nature Astronomy an international team led by the Space Research Institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences with particip...

– University of Vienna

Nature Astronomy

Embargo expired on 23-Oct-2017 at 11:00 ET

Heavy Quarks, Neutron Stars Collision, Saturn's Rings, and More in the Space News Source

The latest in space and astronomy in the Space News Source

– Newswise

Experiment Provides Deeper Look into the Nature of Neutrinos

The first glimpse of data from the full array of a deeply chilled particle detector operating beneath a mountain in Italy sets the most precise limits yet on where scientists might find a theorized process to help explain why there is more matter tha...

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Oct. 23, 2017

UF Study: Consumers See ‘Organic’ and ‘Non-GM’ Food Labels as Synonymous

UF/IFAS food and resource economics assistant professor Brandon McFadden and Purdue University agricultural economics professor Jayson Lusk conducted their research to find the best ways to communicate whether a food has GM ingredients. This research...

– University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

Applied Economics: Perspectives and Policy

Transparent Solar Technology Represents ‘Wave of the Future’

See-through solar materials that can be applied to windows represent a massive source of untapped energy and could harvest as much power as bigger, bulkier rooftop solar units, scientists report today in Nature Energy.

– Michigan State University

Nature Energy

Ames Laboratory, UConn Discover Superconductor with Bounce

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory has discovered extreme “bounce,” or super-elastic shape-memory properties in a material that could be applied for use as an actuator in the harshest of conditions, such as outer space, and might b...

– Ames Laboratory

Nature Communications Materials

Climate Change Could Decrease Sun's Ability to Disinfect Lakes, Coastal Waters

One of the largely unanticipated impacts of a changing climate may be a decline in sunlight's ability to disinfect lakes, rivers, and coastal waters, possibly leading to an increase in waterborne pathogens and the diseases they can cause in humans an...

– National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

Scientific Reports

Cryo-EM Reveals Ignition Mechanism for DNA Replication

An international team of scientists, led by structural biologists at Van Andel Research Institute, has shed new light on a critical step in DNA replication, offering fresh insights into a fundamental process of life and driver of many different disea...

– Van Andel Research Institute

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Older Neandertal Survived with a Little Help From His Friends

An older Neandertal from about 50,000 years ago, who had suffered multiple injuries and other degenerations, became deaf and must have relied on the help of others to avoid prey and survive well into his 40s, indicates a new analysis published Oct. 2...

– Washington University in St. Louis

PLos One

Bloated Browser Functionality Presents Unnecessary Security, Privacy Risks

New research by computer scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago have identified numerous browser functionalities rarely used or needed by websites, but which pose substantial security and privacy risks to web surfers. Blocking website ac...

– University of Illinois at Chicago

Association for Computing Machinery Conference on Computer and Communications Security

Fred Kavli Keynote Lecture: What a Tiny Worm Taught Cori Bargmann about the Brain

The scientific leader of Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to kick off 2017 ASCB|EMBO Meeting in Philadelphia.

– American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB)

Hybrid Material Glows Like Jellyfish

Scientists combine biology, nanotechnology into composites that light up upon chemical stimulation.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

ACS Nano 10, 1969 (2016). [DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.5b05966]

Critically Endangered Sumatran Tigers On Path To Recovery in ‘In Danger’ UNESCO World Heritage Site

A new scientific publication from WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) and the Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park Authority looks at the effectiveness of the park’s protection zone and finds that the density of Sumatran tigers has increased despite...

– Wildlife Conservation Society

Scientists Use Satellites, Population Data to Build Malaria Early Warning System

Scientists are working to predict malaria outbreaks months in advance, giving public health officials a chance to protect people from a disease that poses a risk to nearly half the world’s population and kills hundreds of thousands a year.

– Johns Hopkins University

includes video

On the Watch for Antibiotic-Resistant Mycoplasma Pneumoniae

UAB will lead a infectious disease sentinel surveillance network, funded by the CDC, for Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections at eight medical centers across the United States.

– University of Alabama at Birmingham

When Stars Collide: CSUF Researchers Contribute to Space Discovery

CSU Fullerton researchers are key players in the groundbreaking observation of the first-ever gravitational wave signals emitted from the collision of two neutron stars.

– California State University (CSU) Chancellor's Office

SciWire Announcements

Tanner to be awarded ASCB’s Bruce Alberts Award for Excellence in Science Education

The San Francisco State University biology professor will be recognized for her work in evidence-based teaching and biology education research.

– American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB)

2017 ASCB|EMBO Meeting, Dec 4

New ResearchKit App Looks at How Genetic Risk Influences Heart Health Decisions

The MyGeneRank app allows individuals with genetic data from 23andMe to obtain an estimated genetic risk score for coronary artery disease.

– Scripps Research Institute

SLAC’s Risa Wechsler Named American Physical Society Fellow

Attempting to model and measure the distribution of 300 million galaxies is not a job for the faint of heart. That’s exactly the challenge that has been undertaken by Risa Wechsler, associate professor of physics and astrophysics at SLAC and Sta...

– SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Innovative Alzheimer's Disease Combination Therapy Trial Supported By New Joint Funding Initiative

The Alzheimer's Association and Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) are collaborating to jointly fund a new combination therapy clinical trial for Alzheimer's disease to be conducted by Amylyx Pharmaceuticals. The $1.85 million grant is the ...

– Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation

Novel Antibody Scoring System Enters Alpha Testing

Global Biological Standards Institute (GBSI) announced today that alpha testing has begun on a novel scorecard system to evaluate and rank research antibody performance. This first-of-its-kind antibody scorecard is a quantitative performance measurin...

– Global Biological Standards Institute (GBSI)

Nature Communications

Four Argonne Researchers Appointed Fellows of Scientific Societies

A select group of scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory has been honored as fellows of the American Physical Society and the Electrochemical Society. Physicists Kawtar Hafidi and Michael Carpenter have been...

– Argonne National Laboratory

NYU Physicist Paul Chaikin Wins American Physical Society’s Oliver E. Buckley Prize

NYU physicist Paul Chaikin has been awarded the 2018 Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Prize of the American Physical Society for his work in founding a new branch of physics.  

– New York University

SLAC Accelerator Physicist Alexander Chao Wins American Physical Society’s Wilson Prize

Alexander Chao, a professor emeritus of particle physics and astrophysics at Stanford University and the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, has been recognized with the 2018 Robert R. Wilson Prize for Achievement in the Ph...

– SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory





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