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Newswise SciWire - Science News for Journalists
Newswise SciWire
Thursday, January 11, 2018

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(71 New)

Science News


New Turkey-Sized Dinosaur From Australia Preserved in an Ancient Log-Jam

The partial skeleton of a new species of turkey-sized herbivorous dinosaur has been discovered in 113 million year old rocks in southeastern Australia. The fossilized tail and foot bones give new insight into the diversity of the small, bipedal herbi...

– PeerJ


Embargo expired on 11-Jan-2018 at 07:00 ET

Genetic ‘Switches’, Mapped for First Time, Drive Human Brain Development

UCLA researchers have developed the first map of gene regulation in human neurogenesis, the process by which neural stem cells turn into brain cells and the cerebral cortex expands in size. The scientists identified factors that govern the growth of ...

– University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences


Extremely Bright and Fast Light Emission

A type of quantum dot that has been intensively studied in recent years can reproduce light in every colour and is very bright. An international research team including scientists from Empa has now discovered why this is the case. The quantum dots co...

– Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology

Nature 553, 189–193 (11 January 2018); Empa media release

Clothes Make the Woman: Less Empathy Towards Women Showing More Skin

Sexualized representations, especially the emphasis of secondary sexual characteristics, can change the way we perceive an individual. An international team of researchers led by Giorgia Silani from the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Vien...

– University of Vienna


Bitcoin Risks: What You Should Know About the Volatile Digital Currency

If you own Bitcoin or want to invest in the mercurial digital currency, which soared to more than $19,000 before plunging in value, watch out, a Rutgers University–New Brunswick professor says. Security and privacy issues, not to mention the possib...

– Rutgers University-New Brunswick

2016 Study of Bitcoin Users and Nonusers; Rutgers Today Q&A

What’s the Noise Eating Quantum Bits?

The magnetic noise caused by adsorbed oxygen molecules is “eating at” the phase stability of quantum bits, mitigating the noise is vital for future quantum computers.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Physical Review Applied 6, 041001 (2016). [DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevApplied.6.041001]; Physical Review Letters 115, 077002 (2015); Erratum Physical Review Letters 115, 249901 (2015). [DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.07...


Research Outlines the Interconnected Benefits of Urban Agriculture

a team of researchers led by Arizona State University and Google has assessed the value of urban agriculture and quantified its benefits at global scale. They report their findings in “A Global Geospatial Ecosystems Services Estimate of Urban Agric...

– Arizona State University (ASU)

Earth's Future

Embargo expired on 10-Jan-2018 at 13:00 ET

Fast Radio Bursts ‘Twists and Shouts’ Help Scientists Determine Source of Cosmic Blasts

An international group of astronomers has found that the Cornell University-discovered fast radio burst FRB 121102 – a brief, gigantic pulse of radio waves from 3 billion light years away – passes through a veil of magnetized plasma. This causes ...

– Cornell University


Embargo expired on 10-Jan-2018 at 13:00 ET

TSRI Scientists Discover Workings of First Promising Marburg Virus Treatment

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have discovered the workings of the first promising treatment for Marburg virus, a pathogen with the same pandemic potential as Ebola virus.

– Scripps Research Institute

Cell Host & Microbe, Jan. 2018; R01AI089498; U19AI109762; U19AI109762; HDTRA1-13-1-0034; 1U19AI109711; R21AI121799

Embargo expired on 10-Jan-2018 at 12:00 ET

Ingredients for Life Revealed in Meteorites That Fell to Earth

A detailed study of blue salt crystals found in two meteorites that crashed to Earth – which included X-ray experiments at Berkeley Lab – found that they contain both liquid water and a mix of complex organic compounds including hydrocarbons and ...

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Science Advances, Jan. 10, 2018

Embargo expired on 10-Jan-2018 at 14:00 ET

Dark Energy Survey Publicly Releases First Three Years of Data

Scientists on the Dark Energy Survey (DES), including astronomers from the University of Portsmouth, have today released their first three years of data. This first major release of data from the survey includes information on more than 400 milli...

– University of Portsmouth

American Astronomical Society meeting in Washington, D.C.

Embargo expired on 10-Jan-2018 at 14:00 ET

Epileptic Seizures and Depression May Share a Common Genetic Cause, Study Suggests

From the time of Hippocrates, physicians have suspected a link between epilepsy and depression. Now, for the first time, scientists at Rutgers University–New Brunswick and Columbia University have found evidence that seizures and mood disorders suc...

– Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Epilepsia; Rutgers Today

Swarm of Hydrogen Clouds Flying Away from Center of Our Galaxy

Astronomers using the GBT have discovered what appears to be a grand exodus of more than 100 hydrogen clouds streaming away from the center of the Milky Way and heading into intergalactic space.

– Green Bank Observatory

AAS Winter Meeting, Jan-2018

Robotic Weeders: To a Farm Near You?

The future of weeding is here, and it comes in the form of a robot. Specialty crops such as lettuce, broccoli, tomatoes, and onions may be the first to benefit.

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

Rewritable Wires Could Mean No More Obsolete Circuitry

An electric field switches the conductivity on and off in atomic-scale channels, which could allow for upgrades at will.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Nature Materials 16, 622 (2017). [DOI: 10.1038/NMAT4878]

Filtering Water Better than Nature

Water passes through human-made straws faster than the “gold standard” protein, allowing us to filter seawater.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Science 357, 792-796 (2017). [DOI: 10.1126/science.aan2438]

Astronomers Peer Into the Lair of a Mysterious Source of Cosmic Radio Bursts

Using two of the world’s largest radio telescopes, an international team of astronomers has gained new insights into the extreme home of a mysterious source of cosmic radio bursts. The discovery suggests that the source of the radio emission lies n...

– Green Bank Observatory

Nature, January 2018

Further Reducing Injections of Oilfield Wastewater Underground Can Prevent Larger Earthquakes

The new study shows that locations that experienced earthquakes are tied in proximity and timeliness to mass waste water injection sites. Further, the study indicates that tracking annual data on the injection well locations can help predict how corr...

– Virginia Tech

Geology, Jan-2018

NYC Health Department IDs 10 Outbreaks of Foodborne Illness Using Yelp Reviews Since 2012

The NYC Health Department announced that since 2012, 10 outbreaks of foodborne illness were identified through a computer system jointly created with Columbia University’s Department of Computer Science. Launched in 2012, the computer system tracks...

– Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science

Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association Jan 10 2017

Black Hole Breakthrough: New Insight Into Mysterious Jets

Advanced simulations created with one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers show the jets’ streams gradually change direction in the sky, or precess, as a result of space-time being dragged into the rotation of the black hole.

– Northwestern University

Royal Astronomical Society,

New Oxide and Semiconductor Combination Builds New Device Potential

Researchers at Yale University have now grown a 2DEG system on gallium arsenide, a semiconductor that's efficient in absorbing and emitting light. This development is promising for new electronic devices that interact with light, such as new kinds of...

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)

Applied Physics

Immunotherapy Highly Effective in Treatment of Rare Skin Cancer, Study Finds

In a UCLA-led study, more than two-thirds of people with a rare type of melanoma responded positively to treatment with anti-PD-1 immunotherapies.

– University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences


Worldwide Importance of Honey Bees for Natural Habitats Captured in New Report

A new study integrating data from around the globe has shown that honey bees are the world’s most important single species of pollinator in natural ecosystems and a key contributor to natural ecosystem functions. The report weaves together informat...

– University of California San Diego

Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Jan-2018

Dark Energy Survey Publicly Releases First Three Years of Data

At a special session held during the American Astronomical Society meeting in Washington, D.C., scientists on the Dark Energy Survey (DES) announced today the public release of their first three years of data. This first major release of data from th...

– Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab)

American Astronomical Society meeting

ORNL Researchers Use Titan to Accelerate Design, Training of Deep Learning Networks

For deep learning to be effective, existing neural networks to be modified, or novel networks designed and then "trained" so that they know precisely what to look for and can produce valid results. This is a time-consuming and difficult task, but one...

– Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Researchers Partner with Start-Up on Natural Gas to Hydrogen and Carbon Fiber Technology

Researchers from West Virginia University will partner with colleagues from Southern California Gas Company and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on technology that converts natural gas to hydrogen and value-added forms of carbon.

– West Virginia University

Neutrons Inspect Salt-Inclusion Materials to Improve Long-Term Waste Storage

A team of researchers from the University of South Carolina is using neutrons at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to develop more durable and efficient materials called waste forms for safely storing hazardous substances.

– Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Federally Funded Speech Pathology Program Lifts College Students and Impoverished Children

A grant from the U.S. Department of Education trains graduate students to teach language and literacy skills to students who need the most help.

– Florida State University


Scouting the Eagles: Proof That Protecting Nests Aids Reproduction

Reproduction among bald eagles in a remote national park in Minnesota was aided when their nests were protected from human disturbance, according to a study published today (Jan. 9, 2018) in the Journal of Applied Ecology.

– University of Wisconsin-Madison

Journal of Applied Ecology

Embargo expired on 09-Jan-2018 at 19:00 ET

Lake Michigan Waterfowl Botulism Deaths Linked to Warm Waters, Algae


– University of Wisconsin-Madison

Journal of Applied Ecology

Embargo expired on 09-Jan-2018 at 00:05 ET

Climate Change Drives Collapse in Marine Food Webs

A new study has found that levels of commercial fish stocks could be harmed as rising sea temperatures affect their source of food.

– University of Adelaide

PLOS Biology

Embargo expired on 09-Jan-2018 at 14:00 ET

Planets Around Other Stars Are Like Peas in a Pod

A study of 909 planets and 355 stars carried out at the W.M. Keck Observatory reveals that, unlike our solar system, other planetary systems are distinguished by strict regularity.

– Universite de Montreal

The Astronomical Journal, Jan 2018.; The Trottier Family Foundation, ; Hubble Fellowship grant; National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship; NASA; NASA...

Embargo expired on 09-Jan-2018 at 14:00 ET

Deep Sea Creatures Provide a Guiding Light in the Quest to Develop Cancer-Fighting Therapies

Scientists at the Keck School of Medicine of USC use enzymes responsible for marine animal bioluminescence to help researchers test whether cancer immunotherapies work.

– Keck Medicine of USC

Scientific Reports

Embargo expired on 09-Jan-2018 at 05:00 ET

Study Finds Source of Toxic Green Algal Blooms and the Results Stink

Florida’s St. Lucie Estuary received national attention in 2016 as toxic green algal blooms wreaked havoc on this vital ecosystem. A new study contradicts the widespread misconception that periodic discharges from Lake Okeechobee were responsible. ...

– Florida Atlantic University

Harmful Algae

includes video

A Water-Based, Rechargeable Battery

Water could form the basis for future, particularly inexpensive rechargeable batteries. Empa researchers have succeeded in doubling the electrochemical stability of water with a special saline solution. This takes us one step closer to using the tec...

– Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology

ACS Energy Lett (2017), 2, 2005-2006, DOI: 10.1021/acsenergylett.7b00623 ; Empa media release

includes video

Cancer Targeted with Reusable ‘Stinging Nettle’ Treatment

Cancer cells can be destroyed more effectively and selectively with a unique new reusable treatment, activated with a substance found in stinging nettles and ants - thanks to new research by the University of Warwick.

– University of Warwick

Nature Chemistry

Mass Extinctions Remove Species but Not Ecological Variety

Though mass extinctions wiped out staggeringly high numbers of species, they barely touched the overall "functional" diversity--how each species makes a living, be it filtering phytoplankton or eating small crustaceans, burrowing or clamping onto roc...

– University of Chicago

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Going Organic

Using Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source, researchers analyzed how organic solar cells’ crystal structures develop as they are produced under different conditions. With the APS, researchers learned how certain additives affect the microstructures o...

– Argonne National Laboratory

Advanced Materials, Oct-2017

An Exotic State of Matter Discovered in 2-D Material

Electrons are forced to the edge of the road on a thin sheet of tungsten ditelluride.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Nature Physics 13, 677-682 (2017). [DOI: 10.1038/nphys4091]

Discovering Secrets of Superfluids

Observed atomic dynamics helps explain bizarre flow without friction that has been puzzling scientists for decades.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Nature Communications 8, 15294 (2017). [DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15294]

Industrial Noise Pollution Causes Chronic Stress, Reproductive Problems in Birds

A new study by CU Boulder researchers found that blue birds nesting near noisy oil and gas operations have hormonal changes similar to people with PTSD, smaller nestlings and fewer eggs that hatch

– University of Colorado Boulder

PNAS; CNH 1414171

Machine Learning Provides a Bridge to the Texture of the Quantum World

Machine learning and neural networks are the foundation of artificial intelligence and image recognition, but now they offer a bridge to see and recognize exotic insulating phases in quantum materials.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Physical Review Letters 118, 216401 (2017). [DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.216401]

A Rare Quantum State Realized in a New Material

A revolutionary material harbors magnetism and massless electrons that travel near the speed of light—for future ultrasensitive, high-efficiency electronics and sensors.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Nature Materials 16, 905 (2017). [DOI: 10.1038/nmat4953]

New Discovery Could Improve Brain-Like Memory and Computing

A new discovery, led by researchers at the University of Minnesota, demonstrates the existence of a new kind of magnetoresistance involving topological insulators that could result in improvements in future computing and computer storage.

– University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering

Nature Communications

Parasites and Hosts May Respond Differently to a Warmer World

Organisms infected by parasites may respond differently to changes in temperature than their uninfected counterparts, according to new research from the University of Georgia.

– University of Georgia

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

S&T Helps Create the Standards Next USCG Cutter Polar Ice Breaker

S&T’s Office of Standards understood the need to gather in-depth data to determine how to construct the next-generation icebreaker. To do that, they needed to see, first hand, how changes to the current construct reacted to ice.

– Homeland Security's Science & Technology Directorate

New Tipping Point Prediction Model Offers Insights to Diminishing Bee Colonies

A new method to predict tipping points – the moment at which sudden change occurs in complex networked systems – may offer insights that prevent colony collapse disorder (CCD), a phenomenon in which the majority of worker bees in a colony disapp...

– Arizona State University (ASU)

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Buckeye Pi: The Most Powerful Student-Built Supercomputer Made From Raspberry Pis

“We’re geeks, and we’re motivated.” That’s how Amin Amooie, a doctoral student in earth sciences at The Ohio State University, explained his team’s efforts to build the supercomputer they’ve dubbed “Buckeye Pi.”

– Ohio State University

Global BioLife, a Biomedical Subsidiary of Singapore eDevelopment Limited, Completes Cancer Research for New Universal Therapeutic Drug Platform

Global BioLife Inc. ("Global BioLife"), a subsidiary of Singapore Exchange-listed Singapore eDevelopment Limited ("SeD"), announced today the completion of the initial cancer research portion for the study of its new universal therapeutic drug platfo...

– Global BioLife

Q&A: Alan Heirich and Elliott Slaughter Take On SLAC’s Big Data Challenges

As the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory builds the next generation of powerful instruments for groundbreaking research in X-ray science, astronomy and other fields, its Computer Science Division is preparing for the onsla...

– SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Modeling Vegetation More Accurately Using Satellite Imagery

A new modeling approach that combines MODIS and Landsat imagery and analyzes multiple images through the year promises to more accurately track changes in vegetation and land use.

– South Dakota State University

With French Grant to ‘Make Our Planet Great Again,’ This Scientist to Study Earth’s Outer Skin

Among the initial 18 scientists selected for French President Emmanuel Macron's "Make Our Planet Great Again" program is Louis Derry, professor of earth and atmospheric sciences in Cornell University’s College of Engineering and faculty fellow wit...

– Cornell University

Toxicological Sciences Celebrates 20 Years

January 2018 issue of SOT journal honors the publication's 20-year history and features the newest, groundbreaking research in toxicology.

– Society of Toxicology

Toxicological Sciences, Jan 2018, Volume 161, Issue 1

Missouri S&T Doctoral Student Enlists Drones to Detect Unexploded Landmines Through Changes in Plant Health

From U.S. Navy laboratories to battlefields in Afghanistan, researchers are lining up to explore the use of unmanned aerial vehicles to detect unexploded landmines. At Missouri University of Science and Technology, civil engineering doctoral student ...

– Missouri University of Science and Technology


‘Hide or Get Eaten,’ Urine Chemicals Tell Mud Crabs

Mud crabs hide for their lives if blue crabs, which prey upon them, pee anywhere near them. Pinpointing urine compounds for the first time that warn the mud crabs of predatory peril initiates a new level of understanding of how chemicals invisibly re...

– Georgia Institute of Technology

PNAS; OCE-1234449

Embargo expired on 08-Jan-2018 at 15:00 ET

includes video

New Catalyst for Making Fuels From Shale Gas

Methane in shale gas can be turned into hydrocarbon fuels using an innovative platinum and copper alloy catalyst, according to new research led by UCL (University College London) and Tufts University.

– Tufts University

Nature Chemistry; Nature Chemistry

Embargo expired on 08-Jan-2018 at 11:00 ET

What Species Is Most Fit for Life? All Have an Equal Chance, Scientists Say

There are more than 8 million species of living things on Earth, but none of them — from 100-foot blue whales to microscopic bacteria — has an advantage over the others in the universal struggle for existence. In a paper published Jan. 8 in the p...

– SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Nature Ecology & Evolution

NSU Researcher Part of Team Using DNA to Protect the Rhinoceros From Extinction

New Genetics Database helping Protect Rhinoceros from Poaching; Results Leading to Increased Prosecution

– Nova Southeastern University

Current Biology

Surprising Result Shocks Scientists Studying Spin

Scientists analyzing results of spinning protons striking different sized atomic nuclei at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) found an odd directional preference in the production of neutrons that switches sides as the size of the nuclei incr...

– Brookhaven National Laboratory

Physical Review Letters

includes video

Ten Stories in 2017 You May Have Missed, Plus a Bonus

Article lists 10 PPPL stories, plus a bonus, that readers may have missed in 2017.

– Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

UW Reality Lab Launches with $6M From Tech Companies to Advance Augmented and Virtual Reality Research

The UW Reality Lab is launching with $6 million from Facebook, Google, and Huawei to accelerate innovation in augmented and virtual reality and educate the next generation of researchers and practitioners.

– University of Washington

Message Sent: Justice Served Swiftly to Markhor Poachers in Pakistan

Gilgit, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan (January 8, 2018) The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) applauds the Government of Gilgit-Balitistan (GB) for the expeditious arrest and sentencing of markhor poachers in Astore District of the GB. Further, the pe...

– Wildlife Conservation Society

Researchers Develop World's Smallest Wearable Device

A Northwestern University professor, working in conjunction with the global beauty company L’Oréal, has developed the smallest wearable device in the world. The wafer-thin, feather-light sensor can fit on a fingernail and precisely measures a pers...

– Northwestern University

SciWire Announcements

Researchers to Develop Novel Real-time Undersea Wireless Communications and Surveillance Technology

Researchers will design, deploy and evaluate a first-of-its-kind software-defined testbed for real-time undersea wireless communications (data, voice, and video streaming) and surveillance.

– Florida Atlantic University

Facebook Live Tech Talk: Lost Person Locator: Tools for Search and Rescue

Join S&T’s Dr. Angela Ervin and dbs Productions’ Bob Koester on Jan. 25 at 2 p.m. EST for a Facebook Live Tech Talk on the Lost Person Locator suite of SAR resources.

– Homeland Security's Science & Technology Directorate

Applications Open to Participate in First IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge

Applications to participate in the Institute of Food Technologist’s (IFT) inaugural IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge competition opened today and will remain open through February 8, 2018. The IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge is a competition des...

– Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)

Department of Defense Funds Autism Research at Montefiore to Examine Effect of Cannabis Compound on Irritability and Repetitive Behaviors

The Department of Defense (DOD) has awarded $1.3 million to fund autism research at Montefiore

– Montefiore Health System

Vicky Kalogera wins 2018 Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics

Northwestern University astrophysicist Vicky Kalogera has been awarded the 2018 Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics for her groundbreaking work studying compact objects -- including black holes, neutron stars and white dwarfs -- in astrophysical s...

– Northwestern University

CCI-LED Team Receives NSF Award to Improve Retention and Engagement for Students

The team of teaching innovators in the Department of Computer Science, lead by Dr. Kalpathi Subramanian, Associate Professor, received a $541,616 award

– University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Penn State Aerospace Engineers Developing Drone for NASA Concept Mission to Saturn's Largest Moon, Titan

Researchers from the Penn State Department of Aerospace Engineering are part of a team led by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) whose proposal for a revolutionary rotorcraft to investigate Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, has been sel...

– Penn State College of Engineering

New EPA Grant to Predict, Combat Harmful Algal Blooms in Iowa Lakes

A new grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will allow ISU scientists to develop new tools to predict and combat harmful algal blooms, a growing threat to human and animal health in Iowa’s lakes. Cyanobacteria, which have the ability ...

– Iowa State University





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