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Newswise SciWire - Science News for Journalists
Newswise SciWire
Monday, December 11, 2017

Public Edition |

(40 New)

Science News


Reductions in Individual Plant Growth Sometimes Boost Community Resilience

In sports, sometimes a player has to take one for the team. The same appears to be true in the plant world, where reduced individual growth can benefit the broader community.

– University of Michigan

Nature Communications

Embargo expired on 11-Dec-2017 at 05:00 ET

‘Black Box’ Recorder Puts Surgeons’ Robotic Surgery Skills Under the Microscope

A new study from Keck Medicine of USC finds that data from a novel recorder can be used to objectively measure surgeons’ proficiency in robotic-assisted prostate cancer surgery.

– Keck Medicine of USC

The Journal of Urology

Scientists Urge Endangered Listing for Cheetahs

In a study published today in the open-access journal PeerJ, researchers present evidence that low cheetah population estimates in southern Africa support a call to list the cheetah as “Endangered” on the International Union for Conservation of N...

– PeerJ


Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease: Shifting the Focus to Prevention

This past decade, Alzheimer’s science has undergone a paradigm shift toward the disease’s early, silent phase. For trials, this means change at every level: new participants, new screening tools, new outcome measurements. What’s the progress?

– Alzforum


Study Explores Use of Checkpoint Inhibitors After Relapse From Donor Stem Cell Transplant for Hematologic Cancers

Immunotherapy agents known as checkpoint inhibitors have shown considerable promise in patients with hematologic cancers who relapse after a transplant with donor stem cells. Preliminary results from the first clinical trial in these patients of one ...

– Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

ASH #275

Embargo expired on 09-Dec-2017 at 17:00 ET


How a Seahorse-Shaped Brain Structure May Help Us Recognize Others

Study in mice reveals a brain circuit that regulates social memory formation and recognition. Results shed light on brain’s ability to reconcile conflicting social stimuli, and shed light on anomalies in social behavior seen in neurodevelopmental, ...

– Harvard Medical School

Nature Communications

Embargo expired on 08-Dec-2017 at 05:00 ET

Volumetric 3D Printing Promises Nearly Instant Builds

By using laser-generated, hologram-like 3D images flashed into photosensitive resin, researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, along with collaborators at UC Berkeley, the University of Rochester, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (...

– Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Science Advances, Dec. 8, 2017

Embargo expired on 08-Dec-2017 at 14:00 ET

includes video

Energy, Economy, and the Earth: The Benefits of Creating Feedback Loops

Scientists reduce uncertainties in future climate prediction by directly coupling an energy-economy model to an Earth system model.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Nature Climate Change 7, 496-500 (2017). [DOI: 10.1038/nclimate3310]

Underappreciated Microbes Now Get Credit for Holding Down Two Jobs in Soil

Soil microbes work as both decomposers and synthesizers of carbon compounds in soil, offering new answers with impacts to crops and eco-health.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Nature Microbiology 2, 17105 (2017). [DOI: 10.1038/nmicrobiol.2017.105]

NUS Scientist Develops “Toolboxes” for Quantum Cybersecurity

A quantum information scientist from the National University of Singapore has developed efficient “toolboxes” comprising theoretical tools and protocols for quantifying the security of high-speed quantum communication.

– National University of Singapore

Science Advances

New Online Database Brings the Genome Into Focus Using Molecular Structure

An online database built by Iowa State University scientists provides a new tool with which researchers can study human biology. The database is freely accessible to anyone on the web, where it allows scientists to study the functions and structure o...

– Iowa State University

Scientific Reports

Final Call for Abstracts - Due January 2, 2016

The Science of Consciousness ('TSC') is an interdisciplinary conference emphasizing broad and rigorous approaches to all aspects of the study and understanding of conscious awareness. Topical areas include neuroscience, philosophy, psychology, langua...

– Center for Consciousness Studies, University of Arizona, Department of Anesthesiology

Finding More Calibration Sites to Improve Accuracy of Satellite Images

Identifying more sites worldwide to determine the accuracy of satellite sensors will allow engineers to select sites ideally suited to specific spectral bands of reflected light.

– South Dakota State University

DHS S&T’s Rapid DNA Tech Completes DNA Testing in Minutes Instead of Months

In late November 2017, the Massachusetts Office of Chief Medical Examiner (MAOCME) issued their first official identification of a deceased person based on the accredited use of Rapid DNA in their lab.

– Homeland Security's Science & Technology Directorate

Solar Instruments, Experiments Headed for International Space Station

A solar instrument package designed and built by the University of Colorado Boulder to help monitor the planet’s climate is now set for launch Dec. 12 aboard a SpaceX rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

– University of Colorado Boulder


JHU Finds Why We Can’t Always Stop What We’ve Started

When we try to stop a body movement at the last second, perhaps to keep ourselves from stepping on what we just realized was ice, we can’t always do it — and neuroscientists have figured out why.

– Johns Hopkins University

Neuron, Dec-2017; DA013165; DA040990; NS086104

Embargo expired on 07-Dec-2017 at 12:05 ET

New Research Shows Hydropower Dams Can Be Managed Without an All-or-Nothing Choice Between Energy and Food

Nearly 100 hydropower dams are planned for construction along tributaries off the Mekong River’s 2,700-mile stretch. In Science Magazine, researchers present a mathematical formula to balance power generation needs with needs of fisheries downstrea...

– Arizona State University (ASU)

Science Magazine

Embargo expired on 07-Dec-2017 at 14:00 ET

Brittle Starfish Shows How to Make Tough Ceramics

A coral reef-dwelling starfish that creates highly resistant lenses from chalk has given an international team of researchers a biostrategy that could lead to new ways for toughening brittle ceramics in applications including optical lenses, automoti...

– American Technion Society

Science, December 8, 2017

Embargo expired on 07-Dec-2017 at 14:00 ET

The Structure of Cool

A team of researchers from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and Duke University has made the first determination of the atomic structure of Transient Receptor Potential Melastatin 8 (TRPM8), a molecular sensor in nerve ends that detects cold tem...

– Scripps Research Institute

Science, Nov. 2017; R35NS097241; DP2EB020402

Embargo expired on 07-Dec-2017 at 14:00 ET

Scientists Create Stretchable Battery Made Entirely Out of Fabric

A research team led by faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York has developed an entirely textile-based, bacteria-powered bio-battery that could one day be integrated into wearable electronics.

– Binghamton University, State University of New York

Advanced Energy Materials, Nov-2017

includes video

The Molecular Structure of a Forest Aroma Deconstructed

The fresh, unmistakable scent of a pine forest comes from a medley of chemicals produced by its trees. Researchers have now accurately determined the chemical structure of one of these compounds in its gas phase, a molecule called alpha-pinene. The n...

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)

The Journal of Chemical Physics

UT Dallas Researchers Develop Techniques to Analyze Massive Apollo Mission Audio Archive

Nearly 20,000 hours of audio from NASA's lunar missions remained in archives until UT Dallas researchers launched a project to analyze all communication between astronauts, mission control and back-room support staff and make it accessible to the pu...

– University of Texas at Dallas

IEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing

El Nino and Liquid Water Clouds Contribute to Antarctic Melt in 2015-2016

Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) observations provide clues on atmospheric contributions to an Antarctic melt event.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Nature Communications 8, 15799 (2017). [DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15799]

Building Confidence in Hydrologic Models

Scientists evaluate seven hydrologic models to understand how each model agrees and differs.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Water Resources Research 53, 867-890 (2017). [DOI: 10.1002/2016WR019191]

Making Fuel Out of Thick Air

In a new study, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, Tufts University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory teamed up to explore the potential of rhodium-based catalysts for this conversion under milder cond...

– Argonne National Laboratory

Nature, Nov-2017

How Grasslands Regulate Their Productivity in Response to Droughts

Scientists show that grasslands are more sensitive to changes in the amount of moisture in the air than to changes in precipitation.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Nature Geoscience 10(4), 284-288 (2017). [DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2903]

Smartphone Case Offers Blood Glucose Monitoring on the Go

Engineers at the UC San Diego Center for Wearable Sensors have developed a smartphone case and app that could make it easier for patients to record and track their blood glucose readings, whether they’re at home or on the go.

– University of California San Diego

Biosensors and Bioelectronics, Oct-2017; R21EB019698

Researchers Say Nutritional Labeling for Sodium Doesn’t Work

The need to reduce sodium consumption is clear, but new research from the University of Georgia has determined that one popular approach—nutrition labeling—doesn’t work.

– University of Georgia

American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Designer Yeast Consumes Plant Matter and Spits Out Fatty Alcohols for Detergents and Biofuels

Highest concentration and yield of valuable chemicals reported in industrial yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Metabolic Engineering 42, 115-125 (2017). [DOI: 10.1016/j.ymben.2017.06.004]

New Mapping Technique Can Help Fight Extreme Poverty

A new mapping technique, described in the Nov. 14 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, shows how researchers are developing computational tools that combine cellphone records with data from satellites and geographic informa...

– University at Buffalo

Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences

SOT Releases Issue Statement on Low-Level Arsenic Exposure

The Society of Toxicology (SOT) has approved a new Issue Statement on the issues and complexities associated with understanding the health risk from low-level arsenic exposure.

– Society of Toxicology

How to Map the Phases of the Hottest Substance in the Universe

In quark-gluon plasma, which existed just after the Big Bang, quarks and gluons move freely, not part of the protons and neutrons that make up ordinary matter. Scientists supported by the DOE's Office of Science are working to understand where and ho...

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Final Check as Instruments Set Sail to Track Aerosols Over Southern Ocean

Imagine spending several weeks aboard a ship traversing the stormiest ocean on Earth, climbing each day to the highest deck to check on scientific instruments mounted inside a windowless, 20-foot shipping container. As you steady yourself against the...

– Brookhaven National Laboratory

Welcome Back, GRETINA

GRETINA, a state-of-the-art gamma ray spectrometer, is back at Argonne and will be contributing to our knowledge of nuclear physics, the structure of subatomic nuclei and other ingredients of the universe.

– Argonne National Laboratory

Cornell Researchers Boost Barley, Brewing Industry in New York

Researchers in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University are leading a multi-year project aimed at bringing malting barley back to New York and helping farmers take advantage of the economic opportunities offered by the crop....

– Cornell University

Developing Advanced Graphene Materials for Industry

Research and development around new applications and industries based on the advanced material graphene – hailed as the “miracle material of the 21st century” – is the focus of a new Graphene Research Hub being launched at the University of A...

– University of Adelaide

SciWire Announcements

US Dept. Of Energy Grant to Advance Combined Heat and Power Systems in the Midwest

The University of Illinois at Chicago has received a five-year, $4.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to help industrial, commercial, institutional and utility entities evaluate and install highly efficient combined heat and power (CH...

– University of Illinois at Chicago

Three Rare Black-Necked Storks Hatch in Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Ministry of Environment (MoE) announced today that after five weeks of active nest protection by community members, three Black-necked stork chicks have hatched in Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary (KPWS) in...

– Wildlife Conservation Society

URI Graduate School of Oceanography Scientists to Present Research at National Meeting, Dec. 11-15

Oceanographers from the University of Rhode Island will once again present their research and posters during an international Earth science meeting this month.

– University of Rhode Island

50th annual gathering of the American Geophysical Union

Astronomer Scores ‘Oscar of Science’ for Mapping of Early Cosmos

Rachel Bean, professor of astronomy and senior associate dean of undergraduate education for the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell University, is among a team of 27 scientists who won a share of the $3 million 2018 Breakthrough Prize in fundame...

– Cornell University





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