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Newswise SciWire - Science News for Journalists
Newswise SciWire
Monday, December 18, 2017

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(40 New)

Science News


‘Simple, But Powerful’ Model Reveals Mechanisms Behind Neuron Development

Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have now uncovered new insights into the regulatory network behind neuron growth.

– Scripps Research Institute

Development, Dec. 2017; R01 NS072129; IOS-1121095

Embargo expired on 18-Dec-2017 at 07:00 ET

Fish to Benefit if Large Dams Adopt New Operating Approach

Recognizing that many large dams are here to stay, a University of Washington team is investigating an emerging solution to help achieve freshwater conservation goals by re-envisioning the ways in which water is released by dams.

– University of Washington

Nature Communications, Dec-2017

Embargo expired on 18-Dec-2017 at 05:00 ET

How Do You Spot a Russian Bot? Answer Goes Beyond Kremlin Watching, New Research Finds

A team of researchers has isolated the characteristics of bots on Twitter through an examination of bot activity related to Russian political discussions.

– New York University

Big Data

‘Brain-on-a-Chip” to Test Effects of Biological & Chemical Agents, Develop Countermeasures

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists and engineers have developed a “brain-on-a-chip” device that could be used to test and predict the effects of biological and chemical agents, disease, or pharmaceutical drugs on the brain over tim...

– Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

PLOS One, Nov-2017

Theorists Propose Conditions Needed to Search for New Form of Matter

UPTON, NY— As scientists have explored the structure and properties of matter at ever deeper levels they’ve discovered many exotic new materials, including superconductors that carry electric current with no resistance, liquid crystals that align...

– Brookhaven National Laboratory

Physical Review Letters

Is There Structure in Glass Disorder?

For one of the strongest known materials, calculations clarify a long-standing debate about how atoms pack together.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

PNAS 114, 8458-8463 (2017). [DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1705723114]

UF/IFAS, Tropicana Test Promising New Citrus Varieties for Greening Tolerance

“From what I’ve seen, we’ve got some reasonably tolerant scion/rootstock combinations that growers should be taking a look at as short-term solutions to living with greening until true HLB-resistant trees are developed,” said Michael Rogers, ...

– University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences


Columbia Engineers Develop Floating Solar Fuels Rig for Seawater Electrolysis

Chemical Engineering Prof Daniel Esposito has developed a novel photovoltaic-powered electrolysis device that can operate as a stand-alone platform that floats on open water. His floating PV-electrolyzer can be thought of as a “solar fuels rig” t...

– Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science

International Journal of Hydrogen Energy Dec 15 2017

Embargo expired on 15-Dec-2017 at 07:00 ET

includes video

More Electronic Materials Opened Up with New Metal-Organic Framework

More materials for electronic applications could be identified, thanks to the discovery of a new metal-organic framework (MOF) that displays electrical semiconduction with a record high photoresponsivity, by a global research collaboration involving ...

– University of Warwick

Nature Communications

BIDMC Researchers Use Artificial Intelligence to Identify Bacteria Quickly and Accurately

Microscopes enhanced with artificial intelligence (AI) could help clinical microbiologists diagnose potentially deadly blood infections and improve patients’ odds of survival, according to microbiologists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BI...

– Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Journal of Clinical Microbiology; UL1 TR001102; F32 AI124590

Statistical Modeling Helps Fisheries Managers Remove Invasive Species

Statisticians and natural resource management researchers worked together to determine the best time and location to capture and remove carps from lake systems.

– South Dakota State University

Ecology Modeling, 2016

Getting Under Graphite’s Skin:

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory have discovered a new process to sheathe metal under a single layer of graphite which may lead to new and better-controlled properties for these types of materials.

– Ames Laboratory


Bending a New Tool for Low Power Computing

Theory predicts that bending a film will control spin direction and create a spin current for next-generation electronics.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Nature Communications 8, 15850 (2017). [DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15850]

Are Wetlands Really the “Earth’s Kidneys”?

Healthy wetlands are hard-working water filters! The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) December 15 Soils Matter blog post explains the role of wetlands—and how we can keep them functioning.

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


Coalition Seeks to Increase Transparency on Life Science Career Prospects

Nine U.S. research universities and a major cancer institute are announcing plans to give would-be life scientists clear, standardized data on graduate school admissions, education and training opportunities, and career prospects.

– Johns Hopkins University

Science, Dec15-2017

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

Researchers Track Muscle Stem Cell Dynamics in Response to Injury and Aging

A new study led by SBP describes the biology behind why muscle stem cells respond differently to aging or injury. The findings, published in Cell Stem Cell, have important implications for the normal wear and tear of aging.

– Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute

Cell Stem Cell; R01 AR064873; F31 AR065923-03

Embargo expired on 14-Dec-2017 at 12:00 ET

includes video

Creating a World of Make-Believe to Better Understand the Real Universe

Scientists are creating simulated universes – complete with dark matter mock-ups, computer-generated galaxies, quasi quasars, and pseudo supernovae – to better understand real-world observations.

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, June 12, 2017

Embargo expired on 14-Dec-2017 at 11:00 ET

includes video

Allergens Widespread in Largest Study of U.S. Homes

Allergens are widespread, but highly variable in U.S. homes, according to the nation’s largest indoor allergen study to date. Researchers from the National Institutes of Health report that over 90 percent of homes had three or more detectable aller...

– National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology; Z01ES025041; UM2AI117870; P30ES005605

Corn Genetics Provides Insight Into the Crop’s Historical Spread Across the Americas

Evolutionary bottlenecks brought on by domestication have caused the genome of corn to retain harmful mutations over the course of millennia, according to a new study from an Iowa State University scientist. The study takes a journey through the past...

– Iowa State University

Genome Biology

Clearing the Air

A greater understanding of the dynamics of chemical reactions is leading to better models of atmospheric chemistry. Through this work, scientists are gaining insight into a key chemical able to break down some major air pollutants.

– Argonne National Laboratory

PNAS, Nov-2017

Scrap the Stethoscope – Engineers Create New Way to Measure Vital Signs with Radio Waves

Cornell University engineers have demonstrated a method for gathering blood pressure, heart rate and breath rate using a cheap and covert system of radio-frequency signals and microchip “tags,” similar to the anti-theft tags department stores pla...

– Cornell University

Nature Electronics

includes video

UNH Researchers Find Effects of Climate Change Could Accelerate By Mid-Century

Environmental models are showing that the effects of climate change could be much stronger by the middle of the 21st century. If carbon dioxide emissions continue at the current rate, scenarios point to a significant decrease in snow days, and an inc...

– University of New Hampshire

Ecology and Society

Drug Discovery Could Accelerate Hugely with Machine Learning

Drug discovery could be significantly accelerated thanks to a new high precision machine-learning model, developed by an international collaboration of researchers, including the University of Warwick.

– University of Warwick

Science Advances

Stressed-Out Worms Hit the Snooze Button

When you catch a nasty cold, curling up in bed to sleep may be the only activity you can manage. Sleeping in response to stress isn’t a uniquely human behavior: many other animals have the same reaction, and it’s not clear why. While the circadia...

– Genetics Society of America


Northeast Farmers Weigh Warming Climate, Drenched Fields

Farmers in the Northeast are adapting to longer growing seasons and warming climate conditions, but they may face spring-planting whiplash as they confront fields increasingly saturated with rain, according to a research paper published in the journa...

– Cornell University

Climate Change, Nov-2017

National MagLab's Latest Magnet Snags World Record, Marks New Era of Scientific Discovery

The Florida State University-headquartered National High Magnetic Field Laboratory has shattered another world record with the testing of a 32-tesla magnet — 33 percent stronger than what had previously been the world’s strongest superconducting ...

– Florida State University

US/Canada Demonstrates Communications Interoperability Among First Responders

In mid-November, the DHS S&T and Canada's DRDC CSS tested and demonstrated that seamless communication is possible between first responders from both sides of the border during a major emergency.

– Homeland Security's Science & Technology Directorate

Scientists Identify Mechanism of Impaired Dendritic Cell Function that Weakens Immune and Therapeutic Response to Cancer

Wistar scientists revealed the mechanism implicated in the defective function of tumor-associated dendritic cells (DCs), a specialized type of immune cells that expose the antigens on their surface to activate the T cells

– Wistar Institute

Nature Communications

A Better Way to Weigh Millions of Solitary Stars

Astronomers have come up with a new and improved method for measuring the masses of millions of solitary stars, especially those with planetary systems.

– Vanderbilt University

Astronomical Journal (in press)

New Catalyst Meets Challenge of Cleaning Exhaust From Modern Engines

News Release RICHLAND, Wash. — As cars become more fuel-efficient, less heat is wasted in the exhaust, which makes it harder to clean up the pollutants are emitted. But researchers have recently created a catalyst capable of reducing pollutants at ...

– Pacific Northwest National Laboratory


Chemical “Pressure” Tuning Magnetic Properties

Unexpectedly, a little chemical substitution stabilizes unusual magnetic phase of vortexes called skyrmions.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Physical Review B 95, 024407 (2017). [DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.95.024407]

New Quantum Liquid Crystal—In the Driver’s Seat

Lasers reveal a new state of matter—the first 3-D quantum liquid crystal.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Science 356, 295-299 (2017). [DOI: 10.1126/science.aad1188]

Molecular Mousetraps Capture More Nuclear Waste

Cage-like molecules with internal chemical hooks remove three times more hazardous radioactive iodine compounds than current methods.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Nature Communications 8, 485 (2017). [DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-00526-3]

Artificial Intelligence Helps Accelerate Progress Toward Efficient Fusion Reactions

Article describes development of deep learning neural network to predict disruptions of fusion plasma.

– Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Engineers Program Tiny Robots to Move, Think Like Insects

While engineers have had success building tiny, insect-like robots, programming them to behave autonomously like real insects continues to present technical challenges. A group of Cornell University engineers has been experimenting with a new type of...

– Cornell University

SciWire Announcements

Geneseo Startup Verdimine Signs License Agreement with Research Foundation for SUNY

Geneseo-based startup company Verdimine has signed an exclusive license agreement with the Research Foundation for The State University of New York to employ a proprietary green chemistry process that improves safety and efficiency in manufacturing s...

– State University of New York at Geneseo

Tulane University Names $1 Million Winner of Nitrogen Reduction Challenge

Tulane University awarded the $1 million grand prize for the Tulane Nitrogen Reduction Challenge to Adapt-N, a team from Cornell University that developed a cloud-based computer modeling system to predict optimum nitrogen application rates for crops ...

– Tulane University

includes video

Danforth Center Receives Significant Support From Boeing for Science Education and Outreach

Boeing is providing the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center with a $85,000 grant in support of Green Means Grow, a centerpiece of the Danforth Center’s STEM education and outreach program.

– Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

LLNL Releases Newly Declassified Nuclear Test Videos

Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) released 62 newly declassified videos today of atmospheric nuclear tests films that have never before been seen by the public.

– Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

includes video

Vanderbilt Researchers Win an R&D100 Award for Multiwell Microformulator

A team of Vanderbilt University scientists and engineers led by Professor John P. Wikswo has won an R&D 100 Award for their MultiWell MicroFormulator.

– Vanderbilt University





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