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Newswise SciWire - Science News for Journalists
Newswise SciWire
Thursday, January 4, 2018

Public Edition |

(51 New)

Science News


Invertebrate Biopolymer Found to Be Associated with Electric Sense in Sharks and Skates

New research shows that the electrosensory organs of cartilaginous fish contain chitin, an invertebrate biopolymer. The results of this study will be presented at the annual conference of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in San Fra...

– Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

SICB 2018 Annual Meeting

Embargo expired on 04-Jan-2018 at 00:00 ET

The Secret World of Dinosaur Tracks

Scans of fossilized dinosaur prints show how some dinosaur feet moved not just on top of but through the earth. The results of this study will be presented at the annual conference of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in San Francis...

– Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)

SICB 2018 Annual Meeting

Embargo expired on 04-Jan-2018 at 00:00 ET

includes video

Emotions: Not for the Powerful

A new international study undertaken at the University of Haifa and in the United States and the Netherlands found that people with high social status are perceived as insincere when they apologize for a transgression. “This perception applies to t...

– University of Haifa

Journal of Experimental Psychology

Florida Forest Industry Generates Nearly $13B in Annual Sales, 36,000 Jobs

“The forest industry is one of the largest agricultural commodity groups in Florida in terms of total economic contributions, similar in size to environmental horticulture,” said Christa Court, a UF/IFAS assistant scientist in food and resource e...

– University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences


Scientists Discover How Parasite Hacks Into Its Victims to Seize Control of Host’s Genes in Plant-to-Plant Warfare

Understanding dodder’s covert communications weaponry system, which operates much like a computer virus, could provide researchers with a method to engineer parasite-resistant plants.

– Virginia Tech

Nature, January-2018

Embargo expired on 03-Jan-2018 at 13:00 ET

Alfalfa Loss? Annual Ryegrass Is a Win

In the U.S., alfalfa is grown mainly in western and northern states. The cold winters and other factors can lead to losses for farmers and forage shortages. Researchers have identified annual forage crops that can be cultivated in fields with winter-...

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

Agronomy Journal, October 12, 2017

Arctic Clouds Highly Sensitive to Air Pollution

A study from University of Utah atmospheric scientist Tim Garrett and colleagues finds that the air in the Arctic is extraordinarily sensitive to air pollution, and that particulate matter may spur Arctic cloud formation. These clouds, Garrett writes...

– University of Utah

Geophysical Research Letters; 1303965; NE/K500835/1

Research Reveals ‘Shocking’ Weakness of Lab Courses

With the new emphasis on hands-on, active learning throughout higher education, lab courses would seem to have an advantage – what could be more active than doing experiments? But surprising new research reveals traditional labs fall far short of t...

– Cornell University

Physics Today

An Unusual Form of Antibiotic Resistance in Pandemic Cholera

Researchers at the University of Georgia have now shown that the enzyme that makes the El Tor family of V. cholerae resistant to those antibiotics has a different mechanism of action from any comparable proteins observed in bacteria so far. Understan...

– American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB)

Journal of Biological Chemistry, December 2017

Genetic Changes Help Mosquitoes Survive Pesticide Attacks

UCR study shows how intensive pesticide use is driving mosquito evolution at the genetic level

– University of California, Riverside

Trends in Parasitology

New Research Sheds Light on Kinesin Motility

Similar to roadways across the country, every cell in our body has a network of paths, and a professor at Texas A&M University has zoomed in to the molecular level to research the proteins that travel along this transportation system.

– Texas A&M University

eLife, November 2017; R01GM087677; R01GM116961

includes video

Physicists Build Muscle for Shape-Changing, Cell-Sized Robots

A Cornell University team has made a robot exoskeleton that can rapidly change its shape upon sensing chemical or thermal changes in its environment. And, they claim, these microscale machines – equipped with electronic, photonic and chemical paylo...

– Cornell University


includes video

Researchers Offer New Evidence on 4-Year-Old Children’s Knowledge About Ecology

New research reveals ecological knowledge in 4-year-old children from urban Native American, rural Native American and urban non-Native American communities.

– Northwestern University

Journal of Cognition and Development

Global Temperature Report: December 2017

2017 was third warmest year in satellite record

– University of Alabama Huntsville

Survey Shows Conservationists Conflicted on How to Best Coexist with Large Carnivores

A new article co-authored by Boise State Assistant Professor Neil Carter found that conservationists have wide-ranging viewpoints on how to best preserve and coexist with large carnivores, such as brown bears, gray wolves and tigers. These animals ar...

– Boise State University

Biological Conservation

Engineers Make Wearable Sensors for Plants, Enabling Measurements of Water Use in Crops

Iowa State's Liang Dong is leading development of graphene-based, sensors-on-tape that can be attached to plants and can provide data to researchers and farmers about water use in crops. The technology could have many other applications.

– Iowa State University

Advanced Materials Technologies

Did Ancient Irrigation Technology Travel Silk Road?

 Using satellite imaging and drone reconnaissance, archaeologists from Washington University in St. Louis have discovered an ancient irrigation system that allowed a farming community in arid northwestern China to raise livestock and cultivate crops...

– Washington University in St. Louis

Archaeological Research in Asia

includes video

Macrophage Nanosponges Could Keep Sepsis in Check

Researchers at UC San Diego have developed macrophage "nanosponges"—nanoparticles cloaked in the cell membranes of macrophages—that can safely remove sepsis-causing molecules from the bloodstream. In lab tests, these macrophage nanosponges improv...

– University of California San Diego

PNAS, Oct-2017; DMR-1505699; HDTRA1-14-1-0064; 1R01HL125352

Story Tips From the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, January 2018

Study identifies microbes to diagnose endometriosis without surgery; brain-inspired device can quickly classify data; neutrons “see” how water flows through fractured rock; new method could help with demand for electric vehicle charging stations;...

– Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Reproductive Immunology

includes video

CFN Scientist Spotlight: Gregory Doerk Guides the Self-Assembly of Materials to Make Diverse Nanoscale Patterns

Some materials have the unique ability to self-assemble into organized molecular patterns and structures. Materials scientist Gregory Doerk of the Electronic Nanomaterials Group at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN)—a U.S. Department of ...

– Brookhaven National Laboratory

Pioneering Smart Grid Technology Solves Decades Old Problematic Power Grid Phenomenon

Sandia National Laboratories and Montana Tech University have demonstrated an R&D 100 award-winning control system that smooths out inter-area oscillations using new smart grid technology in the western power grid. The new system allows utilities to ...

– Sandia National Laboratories

UF/IFAS Researchers Working to Help Restore Lake Apopka

Laura Reynolds and Carrie Adams will measure their success by plant survival and by how plant establishment changes the environment, whether that’s measured by improved water quality, sediment stabilization or fish use.

– University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

Reaching the Department of Energy’s ‘Top 40’

The U.S. Department of Energy honors Argonne researchers in top 40 research-paper countdown.

– Argonne National Laboratory


The Prevalence of Alcohol Use Disorders in Puerto Rico is High

Puerto Ricans make up the second largest Hispanic group in the United States, comprising 9.5% of the population (Mexicans are the largest group). Puerto Ricans living on the U.S. continent have some of the highest rates of drinking, binge drinking, a...

– Research Society on Alcoholism

Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research

Embargo expired on 02-Jan-2018 at 10:00 ET

Silver Nanoparticles Take Spectroscopy to New Dimension

As medicine and pharmacology investigate nanoscale processes, it has become increasingly important to identify and characterize different molecules. Raman spectroscopy, which leverages the scattering of laser light to identify molecules, has a limite...

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)

Journal of Applied Physics

Embargo expired on 02-Jan-2018 at 11:00 ET

Locating the Precise Reaction Path: Methane Dissociation on Platinum

So far, the search for catalysts even better than transition metals has been largely based on trial and error, and on the assumption that catalyzed reactions take place on step edges and other atomic defect sites of the metal crystals. An internation...

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)

The Journal of Chemical Physics

Embargo expired on 02-Jan-2018 at 11:00 ET

An Organ-on-A-Chip Device That Models Heart Disease

Recently, researchers have been studying diseases with a new approach: small, organ-on-a-chip devices that mimic the functions of human organs, serving as potentially cheaper and more effective tools. Now researchers have built a device that's especi...

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)

APL Bioengineering

Embargo expired on 02-Jan-2018 at 11:00 ET

Surge in Alcohol-Related Emergency-Department Visits Needs a Different Approach

While moderate drinking – up to one drink per day for women, two for men – can be part of a healthy lifestyle, excessive and chronic drinking can contribute to injury and disease. Each year, U.S. patients utilize emergency department (ED) service...

– Research Society on Alcoholism

Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research

Embargo expired on 02-Jan-2018 at 10:00 ET

Review Lays out Recommendations, Calls for Research to Improve Post-Hospitalization Sepsis Outcomes

Half of sepsis survivors never fully recover; Dr. Derek Angus lays out an approach to change that.

– Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

Journal of the American Medical Association; K08 GM115859, R01 GM097471 K08 GM115859, R01 GM097471

Embargo expired on 02-Jan-2018 at 11:00 ET

The Harmful Effects of Processed Carbs Supported by a New Study Published in AACC’s Journal Clinical Chemistry

Innovative research published in the Obesity issue of AACC’s journal, Clinical Chemistry, demonstrates that people are at greater risk for obesity if they produce higher than normal levels of insulin after eating processed carbohydrates. These find...

– American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC)

Clinical Chemistry, Jan-2018

Drug Tests That Could Halt Runaway Increase in Opioid Overdoses Highlighted in January Issue of AACC’s The Journal of Applied Laboratory Medicine

A special issue of AACC’s The Journal of Applied Laboratory Medicine, “Laboratory Support of Pain Management,” features groundbreaking new drug tests that could reverse the staggering climb of prescription drug overdoses in the U.S.

– American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC)

The Journal of Applied Laboratory Medicine, Jan-2018

New Drug Testing Approach a Game-Changer for Benzodiazepine Abuse

A first-of-its-kind study published in the Pain Management issue of AACC’s The Journal of Applied Laboratory Medicine shows that a new drug testing approach dramatically improves detection of illicit benzodiazepine use. This could help to curb abus...

– American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC)

The Journal of Applied Laboratory Medicine, Jan-2018

Researchers Discover Higher Environmental Impact From Cookstove Emissions

Millions of Asian families use cookstoves and often fuel them with cheap biofuels to prepare food. But the smoke emitted from these cookstoves has a definite, detrimental environmental impact, particularly in India. New research from Washington Unive...

– Washington University in St. Louis

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

Randomness a Key in Spread of Disease, Other ‘Evil’

Working with a simple mathematical model in which chance plays a key role, researchers Steve Strogatz and Bertrand Ottino-Loofler calculated how long it would take a bacterial infection or cancer cell to take over a network of healthy cells. The dist...

– Cornell University


A Fossil Fuel Technology That Doesn’t Pollute

Engineers at The Ohio State University are developing technologies that have the potential to economically convert fossil fuels and biomass into useful products including electricity without emitting carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

– Ohio State University

Energy & Environmental Science

Study Reveals How the Midshipman Fish Sustains Its Hour-Long Mating Call

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have discovered how the Pacific midshipman fish can hum continuously for up to an hour in order to attract potential mates. The study, which is featured on the cover of the January 2018 issue of the Journ...

– The Rockefeller University Press

Journal of General Physiology, January 2018; IOS-1145981

Spider's Web Inspires Removable Implant to Control Type 1 Diabetes

For the more than 1 million Americans who live with type 1 diabetes, daily insulin injections are literally a matter of life and death. And while there is no cure, a Cornell University-led research team has developed a device that could revolutionize...

– Cornell University

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

New Desalination Method Offers Low Energy Alternative to Purify Salty Water

Providing safer drinking water to those in need may be a little easier. According to Penn State researchers, a new desalination technique is able to remove salt from water using less energy than previous methods.

– Penn State College of Engineering

Environmental Science & Technology Letters

Research That Is Unraveling the Puzzle of Obesity Showcased in January Issue of AACC’s Journal Clinical Chemistry

Laboratory medicine experts are using genomics, metabolomics, and other cutting-edge clinical testing methods to advance the understanding of obesity. A special issue of AACC’s journal Clinical Chemistry, “Obesity: Innovative Approaches to Overco...

– American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC)

Clinical Chemistry, Jan-2018

Tweaking Quantum Dots Powers-Up Double-Pane Solar Windows

Using two types of “designer” quantum dots, researchers are creating double-pane solar windows that generate electricity with greater efficiency and create shading and insulation for good measure. It’s all made possible by a new window architec...

– Los Alamos National Laboratory

Studying Crowd Behavior at MINERvA

Detector measures the energy a neutrino imparts to protons and neutrons to help explain the nature of matter and the universe.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Physical Review Letters 119, 082001 (2017). [DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.082001]

NASA Selects Johns Hopkins APL-Led Mission to Titan for Further Development

NASA has selected an APL proposal to send an innovative, instrumented rotorcraft to Saturn's largest moon for further development.

– Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

includes video

SciWire Announcements

Scientific Societies Create Sustainability, Food Security Blog

The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) and Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) have created a new, informational blog about sustainability and food security for the general public. Sustainable, Secure Food can be found at https://sustainable-secur...

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

New Wichita State Homeland Security Degree Approved by Regents

Wichita State is unveiling a new online degree for students interested in Homeland Security.

– Wichita State University

Call for Entries: Awards for Science Writing

The American Institute of Physics (AIP) is accepting submissions for the 2018 AIP Science Communication Awards. The deadline for entries is March 30, 2018.

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)

Scientific Database arXiv Reaches Billionth Download Milestone

The scientific pre-print database has surpassed 1 billion downloads. The online repository started 26 years ago as an electronic bulletin board on one computer, and has grown into an essential resource for physicists and mathematicians ar...

– Cornell University

Society for Risk Analysis Inducts Five Individuals to the Pantheon of Risk Analysis

The Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) announced its 2017 inductees to the Pantheon of Risk Analysis at its Annual Meeting, Dec. 10-14, in Arlington, Virginia, USA. The Pantheon recognizes luminaries and visionaries in risk analysis and illustrates how ...

– Society for Risk Analysis (SRA)

UVM Study Ranked Among 2017's Most Popular

A University of Vermont research study, which discovered Instagram photos hold clues to aid in the early detection of depression, was one of the 20 most popular pieces of academic research in all of 2017, according to a new ranking.

– University of Vermont

EPJ Data Science

Michael Christman, PhD, Genomics Pioneer and President and CEO of Coriell Institute, Passes Away

The Coriell Institute for Medical Research is deeply saddened to announce the sudden passing of its President and CEO, Michael Christman, PhD.

– Coriell Institute for Medical Research

DHS S&T Awards $350K to Herndon, Va. Company to Create Platform to Spur Cybersecurity Controls Information-Sharing

DHS S&T has awarded 418 Intelligence Corporation of Herndon, Virginia $350,000 to develop a forecasting platform that will help critical infrastructure owners and system operators share and keep abreast of the latest developments in cybersecurity pro...

– Homeland Security's Science & Technology Directorate

Tulane Awarded $3.67 Million Grant for Quantum Computing

Tulane University professor Michael Mislove will help develop cutting-edge technology related to quantum computing.

– Tulane University





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