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Newswise SciWire - Science News for Journalists
Newswise SciWire
Thursday, January 25, 2018

Public Edition |

(56 New)

Science News


Recycling and Reusing Worn Cathodes to Make New Lithium Ion Batteries

Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego have developed an energy-efficient recycling process that restores used cathodes from spent lithium ion batteries and makes them work just as good as new. The process involves harvesting the deg...

– University of California San Diego

Green Chemistry, Jan-2018

The Eye Is Not Immune to Immunity

Contrary to long-established dogma, the eye can host an active immune response that could both heal injury and contribute to loss of vision.

– Thomas Jefferson University

Scientific Reports


Previously Unknown Ocean Virus Family May Also Populate the Human Gut

A newly discovered family of viruses appears to play a major role in killing marine bacteria and maintaining the ocean’s ecology. Preliminary evidence suggests that related bacterial viruses also occur in the human gut. The study, by researchers at...

– Albert Einstein College of Medicine


Embargo expired on 24-Jan-2018 at 13:00 ET

includes video

Scientific Breakthrough Could Lead to Better Antipsychotic Drugs

Published in Nature, research from the UNC School of Medicine and UCSF revealed the first-ever crystal structure of the dopamine 2 receptor bound to an antipsychotic drug – a much-needed discovery in the quest to create effective drugs with fewer s...

– University of North Carolina Health Care System


Embargo expired on 24-Jan-2018 at 13:00 ET

A New 'Atmospheric Disequilibrium' Could Help Detect Life on Other Planets

A University of Washington study has found a simple approach to look for life that might be more promising than just looking for oxygen.

– University of Washington

Science Advances

Embargo expired on 24-Jan-2018 at 14:00 ET

Scientists Develop New Technology Standard That Could Shape the Future of Electronics Design

Scientists at the University of Southampton have discovered a way of enhancing the capabilities of an emerging nanotechnology that could open the door to a new generation of electronics.

– University of Southampton

Scientific Reports, December 2017

Embargo expired on 24-Jan-2018 at 19:00 ET

The Largest Genome Ever: Decoding the Axolotl 

Scientists in Vienna, Dresden and Heidelberg have decoded the entire genetic information of the Mexican salamander axolotl, the largest genome ever to be sequenced. This will be a powerful tool to study the molecular basis of regeneration. The journa...

– IMP - Research Institute of Molecular Pathology


Embargo expired on 24-Jan-2018 at 13:00 ET

Announcing the 2018 SLAS Technology Ten: Translating Life Sciences Innovation

“The 2018 SLAS Technology Ten represent some of the most innovative scientific achievements that were featured in SLAS Technology in the past 12 months,” says Editor-in-Chief Edward Kai-Hua Chow, PhD (National University of Singapore).

– SLAS (Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening)

Tracking Wastewater’s Path to Wells, Groundwater

We often “flush it and forget it” when it comes to waste from toilets and sinks. However, it’s important to be able to track this wastewater to ensure it doesn’t end up in unwanted places. Tracing where this water ends up is hard to measure: ...

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

Journal of Environmental Quality, October 26 2017

New Tool Visualizes Employment Trends in Biomedical Science

Scientists looking for jobs after completing their training may soon have a new tool that helps them evaluate various career paths. The new tool uses a method that was developed by scientists at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences...

– National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

Nature Biotechnology; ZIAES103066

New Discovery Could Improve Organic Solar Cell Performance

Scientists who are members of a new energy materials-related science center based at Berkeley Lab have solved a mystery that could lead to gains in efficiency for organic solar cells.

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Physical Review Letters, Dec. 26, 2017

Infants Recognize Foreign Languages as a Form of Communication

Infants recognize that speech in a language not their own is used for communication, finds a new psychology study. The results offer new insights into how language is processed at a young age.

– New York University


Adding Graphene Girders to Silicon Electrodes Could Double the Life of Lithium Batteries

New research led by WMG, at the University of Warwick has found an effective approach to replacing graphite in the anodes of lithium-ion batteries using silicon, by reinforcing the anode’s structure with graphene girders. This could more than doubl...

– University of Warwick

Nature Scientific

Advances in Lasers Get to the Long and Short of It

Chiral nematic liquid crystals are an emerging class of lasing devices that are poised to shape how lasers are used in the future. New work on how to select band-edge modes in these devices, which determine the lasing energy, may shine light on how l...

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)

Applied Physics Letters

Rise in Severity of Hottest Days Outpaces Global Average Temperature Increase

While our planet’s average annual temperature has increased at a steady pace in recent decades, there has been an alarming jump in the severity of the hottest days of the year during that same period, with the most lethal effects in the world’s l...

– University of California, Irvine

Earth's Future, Jan-2018

Researchers Use Wild Rice to Predict Health of Lakes and Streams

By studying wild rice in lakes and streams, a team of researchers led by the University of Minnesota has discovered that sulfate in waterways is converted into toxic levels of sulfide and increases other harmful elements.

– University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering

Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences

Tracing the Evolution of E. Coli

A team from the University of Delaware and University of California, San Diego recently uncovered new insights about how E. coli bacteria mutate in response to a life-threatening challenge.

– University of Delaware


New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance Launches Social Media Campaign

Did you know that New Jersey can expect higher temperatures, heavier rains, rising sea levels and more frequent and severe coastal flooding this century? The New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance – facilitated by Rutgers University–New Brunswick...

– Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Rutgers Today

Scientists Help UF/IFAS Predict Where to Grow Food Worldwide

As an example of their work at the conference, researchers incorporated new models for crops like the cereal tef and cassava, which are typically grown in developing countries, said Jim Jones, a UF/IFAS professor of agricultural and biological engine...

– University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

Engineers Create New Architecture for Vaporizable Electronics

Engineers from Cornell University and Honeywell Aerospace have demonstrated a new method for remotely vaporizing electronics into thin air, giving devices the ability to vanish - along with their valuable data - if they were to get into the wrong han...

– Cornell University

Testing Expands for Promising Nonmedication ADHD Treatment

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $2 million grant to Florida State University to test two nonmedication treatments for children with ADHD.

– Florida State University

#MemoriesInDNA Project Wants to Store Your Photos in DNA for the Benefit of Science – and Future Generations

Researchers from the Molecular Information Systems Lab at the University of Washington and Microsoft are looking to collect 10,000 original images from around the world to preserve them indefinitely in synthetic DNA manufactured by Twist Bioscience. ...

– University of Washington


Researchers Pose Revolutionary Theory on Horse Evolution

Scientists have long wondered how the horse evolved from an ancestor with five toes to the animal we know today. While it is largely believed that horses simply evolved with fewer digits, researchers at New York Institute of Technology College of Ost...

– New York Institute of Technology

Royal Society Open Science

Embargo expired on 23-Jan-2018 at 19:05 ET

The Big Picture of Great Lakes Mercury Pollution

A transdisciplinary team examined regulatory impacts on Great Lakes mercury, focusing on an Upper Peninsula tribal community with high fish consumption.

– Michigan Technological University

Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts; NSF ICER-1313755

All the Buzz – Bigger Honeybee Colonies Have Quieter Combs

When honeybee colonies get larger, common sense suggests it would be noisier with more bees buzzing around. But a study recently published in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology reports that bigger honeybee colonies actually have quieter combs than s...

– Cornell University

Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Nov-2017

Researcher Examines Aerosols And Their Impact On Clouds, Weather

Different kinds of aerosols released into the atmosphere can affect cloud formations and influence weather patterns, according to a team of researchers that includes a Texas A&M University atmospheric scientist.

– Texas A&M University

Advances of Atmospheric Sciences, Feb-2018; AGS-1700796

Engineers Develop Flexible, Water-Repellent Graphene Circuits for Washable Electronics

Jonathan Claussen and the nanoengineers in his research group continue to find new ways to use graphene printing technology. They're now treating printed graphene with lasers to create electronic circuits that repel water. That could lead to washable...

– Iowa State University

Nanoscale, Dec. 28, 2017

It All Starts With a ‘Spark’: Berkeley Lab Delivers Injector That Will Drive X-ray Laser Upgrade

A team at Berkeley Lab has designed, built, and delivered a unique version of a device, called an injector gun, that can produce a steady stream of these electron bunches. The gun will be used to produce brilliant X-ray laser pulses at a rapid-fire r...

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

University of Arkansas Research May Lead to New Source of Green Energy

A University of Arkansas invention has the potential to change the way we produce and consume energy. A technology commercialization company has licensed the patent for this technology and is working with physics professor Paul Thibado on to develop ...

– University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

includes video

Blast, Impact Simulations Could Lead to Better Understanding of Injuries and Body Armor

Sandia National Laboratories is developing specialized computer modeling and simulation methods to better understand how blasts on a battlefield could lead to traumatic brain injury and injuries to vital organs, like the heart and lungs.

– Sandia National Laboratories

Flu May Be Spread Just by Breathing

A new study, led in part by San José State researcher Sheryl Ehrman, indicates the virus may be passed on a lot more easily than once thought.

– California State University (CSU) Chancellor's Office

Tulane Team Testing Hybrid Solar Energy Converter

A Tulane University researcher is leading a U.S. Department of Energy project to develop a hybrid solar energy converter that generates electricity and steam with high efficiency and low cost.

– Tulane University


Climate Engineering, Once Started, Would Have Severe Impacts if Stopped

Facing a climate crisis, we may someday spray sulfur dioxide into the upper atmosphere to form a cloud that cools the Earth, but suddenly stopping the spraying would have a severe global impact on animals and plants, according to the first study on t...

– Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Nature Ecology & Evolution; Rutgers Today

Embargo expired on 22-Jan-2018 at 11:00 ET

Lab-Made Hormone May Reveal Secret Lives of Plants

A new synthetic hormone promises to tease apart the many different roles of the plant hormone auxin and could lead to a new way to ripen fruit.

– Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

Nature Chemical Biology, January-2018

Embargo expired on 22-Jan-2018 at 11:00 ET

Climate Change and Snowmelt - Turn Up the Heat, but What About Humidity?

changes in humidity may determine how the contribution of snowpack to streams, lakes and groundwater changes as the climate warms. Surprisingly, cloudy, gray and humid winter days can actually cause the snowpack to warm faster, increasing the likelih...

– University of Utah

PNAS; NEV05293; EAR-0724960; OIA-1208732; EAR-1331408; DE-SC0006968

Embargo expired on 22-Jan-2018 at 15:00 ET

Scientists Discover Material Ideal for Smart Photovoltaic Windows

Researchers at Berkeley Lab discovered that a form of perovskite, one of the hottest materials in solar research due to its high conversion efficiency, works surprisingly well as a stable and photoactive semiconductor material that can be reversibly ...

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Nature Materials; 10.1038/s41563-017-0006-0; Release online

Embargo expired on 22-Jan-2018 at 11:00 ET

Cryo-EM Reveals Critical Protein-Modifying Complex and Potential Drug Target

Scientists have revealed the atomic-level structure of a molecular complex responsible for modifying proteins, possibly paving the way for the development of new medications for cancer and a host of other diseases.

– Van Andel Research Institute

Embargo expired on 22-Jan-2018 at 11:00 ET

includes video

Biofuels Feedstock Study Supports Billion-Ton Estimate

Can farmers produce at least 1 billion tons of biomass per year that can be used as biofuels feedstock? The answer is yes.

– South Dakota State University

GCB Bioenergy, Jan-2018, herbaceous crops; GCB Bioenergy, Jan-2018, woody energy crops; GCB Bioenergy, Jan-2018, environmental mapping

Rutgers Scientists Discover 'Legos of Life'

Rutgers scientists have found the “Legos of life” – four core chemical structures that can be stacked together to build the myriad proteins inside every organism – after smashing and dissecting nearly 10,000 proteins to understand their compo...

– Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

How Climate Change Weakens Coral ‘Immune Systems’

Researchers at The Ohio State University and their colleagues have demonstrated how rising temperatures and acidification combine to destabilize different populations of coral microbes—that is, unbalance the natural coral “microbiome."

– Ohio State University


Researchers Reveal How Microbes Cope in Phosphorus-Deficient Tropical Soil

A team led by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has uncovered how certain soil microbes cope in a phosphorus-poor environment to survive in a tropical ecosystem. Their novel approach could be applied in other ecosystems to st...

– Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Nature Ecology & Evolution

TSRI Researchers Identify Gene Responsible for Mesenchymal Stem Cells’ Stem-Ness’

Scientists often struggle to predict how these cells will act in different environments in the body.

– Scripps Research Institute

Cell Death and Differentiation, Jan. 2018; R24 OD18254

Marine Vegetation Can Mitigate Ocean Acidification, UCI Study Finds

Marine plants and seaweeds in shallow coastal ecosystems can play a key role in alleviating the effects of ocean acidification, and their robust population in shoreline environments could help preserve declining shellfish life, according to a study b...

– University of California, Irvine

Scientific Reports, Jan-2018

Small Hydroelectric Dams Increase Globally with Little Research, Regulations

University of Washington researchers have published the first major assessment of small hydropower dams around the world — including their potential for growth — and highlight the incredibly variability in how dams of varying sizes are categorize...

– University of Washington

Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Jan-2018

Astronomers Produce First Detailed Images of Surface of Giant Star

An international team of astronomers has produced the first detailed images of the surface of a giant star outside our solar system, revealing a nearly circular, dust-free atmosphere with complex areas of moving material, known as convection cells or...

– Georgia State University


New Algorithm Identifies Ten Times More Naturally Occurring Antibiotics than All Previous Studies

In a paper published in Nature Microbiology on Jan. 22, a team of American and Russian computer scientists described a new algorithm that identified an order of magnitude, or roughly 10 times more, naturally occurring antibiotics than all previous st...

– University of California San Diego

Nature Microbiology

Johns Hopkins Scientist Proposes New Limit on the Definition of a Planet

An astronomer has calculated that the biggest a planet can be is about 10 times the mass of Jupiter.

– Johns Hopkins University

Astrophysical Journal, Jan-2018

Meet “Alesi,” a 13-Million-Year-Old Ancestor, at Rutgers Geology Museum This Weekend

About 13 million years ago, a distant ancestor of modern apes and humans suffered an untimely death on the arid landscape of northern Kenya. Last year, a Rutgers scientist helped bring its tiny skull to light, filling in a huge gap in the evolutionar...

– Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Rutgers Today

Water Sensor Developed by UWM Researcher and Entrepreneur Is Finalist in NASA Competition

A water sensor developed by an entrepreneur and the manager UWM's Water Technology Accelerator is a finalist in a NASA competition that seeks to spur creation of new technology. The sensors could have application in space as well as on Earth.

– University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

SciWire Announcements

NUS and DSO Set Up Satellite Research Centre to Promote Space Technology Education, Research and Commercialisation

The Faculty of Engineering at the National University of Singapore and the DSO National Laboratories jointly launched the Satellite Technology and Research Centre to develop cutting-edge capabilities in distributed satellite systems, with a focus on ...

– National University of Singapore

Low-Cost Carbon Fiber Project Advances to Pilot Phase

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected Southern Research for an award of up to $5.9 million to advance production of high-performance, low-cost carbon fibers from biomass.

– Southern Research

Schatz Microgrid Project Wins International Energy Award

A groundbreaking renewable energy project led by Humboldt State University’s Schatz Energy Research Center and developed for a federally-recognized tribe won the 2018 Project of the Year Award for Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Integration.

– Humboldt State University

Theoretical Physicist Elena Belova Named to Editorial Board of Physics of Plasmas

Theoretical physicist Elena Belova named to editorial board of Physics of Plasmas

– Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Arizona State University to Manufacture Neuronal Cells Needed to Develop Treatments for Neurodegenerative Diseases

Lab-grown human neurons will help researchers develop and test treatments for devastating diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

– Arizona State University (ASU)

SciWire Higher Education Events

CSUMB to host White Sharks of California Research Panel January 30

SEASIDE, Ca., January 24, 2018 -- California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) will host a panel of industry-leading shark researchers to discuss their approaches to studying California’s iconic marine predator Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at CSU...

– California State University, Monterey Bay

Saint Louis Climate Summit Announces Keynote Speaker

Former Sierra Club executive Carl Pope, author of the New York Times bestseller, Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses and Citizens Can Save the Planet, will be the keynote speaker at the April SLU bicentennial event.

– Saint Louis University





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