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Newswise SciWire - Science News for Journalists
Newswise SciWire
Thursday, February 22, 2018

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Science News

22-Feb-2018


Remembering Really Fast

Colossal magnetoresistance at terahertz frequencies in thin composites boosts novel memory devices operated at extremely high speed.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Nano Letters 17, 2506 (2017). [DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b00231]


UF Study Shows Why Termite Bait Works and How Scientists Can Improve It

About 25 years ago, University of Florida scientist Nan-Yao Su set out to develop a bait to kill termites. He came up with Sentricon™ and found it worked better than any other termite-killing method to date. Now, scientists know more about why the ...

– University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

Scientific Reports


Defects and Surface Reactions Boost Batteries

Defect-enhanced transport and complex phase growth are changing design rules for lithium-ion batteries.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Nature Communication 8, 114 (2017). [DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-01315-8]


What Are the General Uses of Pesticides?

Agricultural fields can be attacked by insects, disease, and weeds. How can growers defend crops? The February 22 Sustainable, Secure Food blog explains how the safe use of pesticides can maintain crop yields, feed the world, and keep our food supply...

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


Threatened Shorebird Species Faces Increased Peril

Scientists from Rutgers University–New Brunswick and elsewhere documented fewer than 10,000 red knot shorebirds in Chile in January, down from more than 13,000 a year earlier.

– Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Rutgers Today

21-Feb-2018


Using Microscale Thermophoresis to Characterize Hits from High-Throughput Screening: A European Lead Factory Perspective

A perspective article in the March 2018 issue of SLAS Discovery from the biology group at the European Screening Centre Newhouse details how the European Lead Factory (ELF), a large publicly accessible drug discovery platform, uses microscale thermop...

– SLAS (Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening)

SLAS Discovery

Embargo expired on 21-Feb-2018 at 08:00 ET


In a First, Tiny Diamond Anvils Trigger Chemical Reactions by Squeezing

Menlo Park, Calif. —Scientists have turned the smallest possible bits of diamond and other super-hard specks into “molecular anvils” that squeeze and twist molecules until chemical bonds break and atoms exchange electrons. These are the first s...

– SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Nature

Embargo expired on 21-Feb-2018 at 13:00 ET


‘Local Environment’ Plays Key Role in Breast Cancer Progression

Many of the drugs and therapies available today for treating breast cancer target the cancer cells but tend to neglect the surrounding “local environment,” which includes surrounding tissues. But cancer cells and their local environment are conne...

– Biophysical Society

62nd Biophysical Society Annual Meeting

Embargo expired on 21-Feb-2018 at 08:00 ET


Ancient DNA Tells Tales of Humans’ Migrant History

Fueled by advances in analyzing DNA from the bones of ancient humans, scientists have dramatically expanded the number of samples studied – revealing vast and surprising migrations and genetic mixing of populations in our prehistoric past.

– Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

Nature, Feb-2018

Embargo expired on 21-Feb-2018 at 13:00 ET


Ancient-DNA Researchers Surpass the 1,000-Genome Milestone, Sharpening Resolution of European Prehistory

In the last eight years, the field of ancient DNA research has expanded from just one ancient human genome to more than 1,300. The latest 625 of those genomes debut Feb. 21 in two papers published simultaneously in Nature, including the largest study...

– Harvard Medical School

Nature

Embargo expired on 21-Feb-2018 at 13:00 ET


Climate Warming Causes Local Extinction of Rocky Mountain Wildflower Species

New University of Colorado Boulder-led research has established a causal link between climate warming and the localized extinction of a common Rocky Mountain flowering plant, a result that could serve as a herald of future population declines.

– University of Colorado Boulder

Science Advances

Embargo expired on 21-Feb-2018 at 14:00 ET


Working Night and Day

Day-night changes in light and temperature power a low-cost material assembly that mimics biological self-copying.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Nature Materials 16, 993 (2017). [DOI: 10.1038/NMAT4986]


Reed Canarygrass: Environmental Foe, Cattle Food?

A non-native grass species has been wreaking havoc in wetlands all over the U.S., impacting migratory birds' fueling stops. In response, researchers test the usefulness of reed canarygrass as a feed source for cows, with hopes of controlling the inva...

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

Agronomy Journal, November 9, 2017


Berkeley Lab “Minimalist Machine Learning” Algorithms Analyze Images From Very Little Data

Berkeley Lab mathematicians have developed a new approach to machine learning aimed at experimental imaging data. Rather than relying on the tens or hundreds of thousands of images used by typical machine learning methods, this new approach “learns...

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences


Tuning Quantum Light Sources

First known material capable of emitting single photons at room temperature and telecom wavelengths.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Nature Photonics 11, 577 (2017). [DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2017.119]


‘Chameleon’ Ocean Bacteria Can Shift Their Colours

Cyanobacteria - which propel the ocean engine and help sustain marine life – can shift their colour like chameleons to match different coloured light across the world’s seas, according to research by an international collaboration including the U...

– University of Warwick

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences


Deep Neural Networks Identifies Tumours with Unmatched Performance

A team of artificial intelligence researchers developed a new deep-learning method to identify tumours in medical images.

– Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM)


Cross-Bred Flies Reveal New Clues About How Proteins Are Regulated

A team from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has revealed that by crossing two species of flies, they can use what they learn from the proteome of the hybrid offspring to find new clues about how proteins interact with each other

– Scripps Research Institute

Science Advances, Feb. 2018; 5R01HL079442-08; P01AG031097; P41GM103533; HHSN268201000035C


Scientists Use Tiny Diamond Anvils to Put Squeeze on Materials

Scientists have turned tiny bits of diamond and super-hard specks into “molecular anvils” that squeeze and twist molecules until chemical bonds break and atoms exchange electrons. They believe the method­ offers a new way to perform chemistry re...

– University of Chicago


Climate Warming Causes Local Extinction of Rocky Mountain Wildflower Species

New University of Colorado Boulder-led research has established a causal link between climate warming and the localized extinction of a common Rocky Mountain flowering plant, a result that could serve as a herald of future population declines.

– University of Colorado Boulder

Science Advances


A Nanowire Array to Screen Drugs for Neurodegenerative Diseases

Engineers develop wires that penetrate neurons and measure their activity

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Nano Letters 17, 2189 (2017). [DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.6b04752]


Innovative Training Improves Aviation Security

ScreenADAPT®, a collaborative research and development technology is an X-ray image analysis training system that tracks the eye movement of trainees as they inspect simulated bags to enhance visual search skills. It has been transitioned to Portlan...

– Homeland Security's Science & Technology Directorate


Hunting for Neutrinos: When the Ordinary Is Unexpected

Neutrinos are the most abundant particles in the universe and could reveal insight into physics beyond the Standard Model. However, they’re incredibly difficult to detect. While most neutrino detectors are very large, two experiments supported by t...

– Department of Energy, Office of Science


Testing Lithium Battery Limitations May Improve Safety and Lifetimes

Researchers are using neutrons to study a battery material that could offer a safer alternative to the flammable liquid component found in most types of lithium-ion batteries.

– Oak Ridge National Laboratory


Olympics Scholar Studies Doping, Co-Directs International Network for Doping Research

John Gleaves, who conducts research on doping in sports, comments on the Russian Federation's ban from the 2018 Winter Games and the involvement of government officials in doping.

Expert Available

– California State University, Fullerton

20-Feb-2018


Fancy A Jellyfish Chip?

Mathias P. Clausen, a Danish researcher, became intrigued by jellyfish when he bit into the marine delicacy and experienced an unexpected crunch; he decided he wanted to “understand the transformation from soft gel to this crunchy thing.” Clausen...

– Biophysical Society

62nd Biophysical Society Annual Meeting

Embargo expired on 20-Feb-2018 at 08:00 ET


‘Lipid Asymmetry’ Plays Key Role in Activating Immune Cells

A cell’s membrane is composed of a bilayer of lipids, and the inside-facing layer is made of different lipids than the outside-facing layer. Because different lipids create membranes with different physical properties, researchers wondered whether ...

– Biophysical Society

62nd Biophysical Society Annual Meeting

Embargo expired on 20-Feb-2018 at 08:00 ET


Why Polymer Solar Cells Deserve Their Place in the Sun

Organic polymer solar cells show potential to provide solar power to remote microwatt sensors, wearable technology and the Wi-Fi-connected appliances constituting the “internet of things.” While PSCs cannot match the durability or efficiency of i...

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)

Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy

Embargo expired on 20-Feb-2018 at 11:00 ET


Brain Size of Human Ancestors Evolved Gradually Over 3 Million Years

Modern humans have brains that are more than three times larger than our closest living relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos. Scientists don't agree on when and how this dramatic increase took place, but new analysis of 94 hominin fossils shows that av...

– University of Chicago Medical Center

Proceedings of the Royal Society B

Embargo expired on 20-Feb-2018 at 19:05 ET


Portable Biosensor Warns of Heart Attack and Stroke

A team of researchers has developed a low-cost, portable medical sensor package that has the potential to alert users of medical issues ranging from severe heart conditions to cancer, according to a study published in the ECS Journal of Solid State S...

– The Electrochemical Society

ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology


Unwavering Juggler with Three Extra Electrons

Simulations discovered the first molecule with three extra electrons and extraordinary stability.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Angewandte Chemie International Edition 56, 13421 (2017). [DOI: 10.1002/anie.201706764]


Forcing the Hand of Elusive Electrons

Current generated when light hits a material reveals electrons behaving like an elusive particle.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Physical Review B – Rapid Communications 95, 041104(R) (2017). [DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.95.041104]; Nature Physics 13, 842 (2017). [DOI: 10.1038/NPHYS4146]


Squeezing Into the Best Shape

Gel uses nanoparticles for on-demand control of droplet shapes, of interest for energy storage and catalysis.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Nano Letters 17, 3119 (2017). [DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b00556]; Nature Nanotechnology 12, 1060 (2017). [DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2017.182]


As Climate Changes, So Could the Genes of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

Researchers from the University of Notre Dame warn climate change can not only influence the geographic distribution of a species in response to changing conditions — it could also affect the evolutionary trajectories of interbreeding species.

– University of Notre Dame

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences


Using a Laser to Wirelessly Charge a Smartphone Safely Across a Room

Engineers at the University of Washington have for the first time developed a method to safely charge a smartphone wirelessly using a laser.

– University of Washington

Proceedings of the Association for Computing Machinery on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable & Ubiquitous Technologies, Dec-2017


Gut Reactions to Improve Probiotics

Researchers at Stanford University are studying how bacteria living in the gut respond to common changes within their habitat, working with mice. They change the gut environment within the mice, and then measure which bacterial species survive the ch...

– Biophysical Society

62nd Biophysical Society Annual Meeting

includes video


Researchers Invent Tiny, Light-Powered Wires to Modulate Brain's Electrical Signals

A new University of Chicago study shows how tiny, light-powered wires could be fashioned out of silicon to manipulate electrical signaling between neurons. Published Feb. 19 in Nature Nanotechnology, the study offers a new avenue to shed light on—a...

– University of Chicago

Nature Nanotechnology


“Brain on a Chip” Reveals How the Brain Folds

Weizmann Institute scientists bring together physics and biology to create a new model of brain development.

– Weizmann Institute of Science

Nature Physics, Feb-2018


Single Atoms in Nano-Cages

Tiny cages can trap and release inert argon gas atoms, allowing their further study and providing a new way to capture rare gases.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Nature Communications 8, 16118 (2017). [DOI: 10.1038/ncomms16118]


MEMS Chips Get Metalenses

Lens technologies have advanced across all scales, from digital cameras and high bandwidth in fiber optics to the LIGO lab instruments. Now, a new lens technology that could be produced using standard computer-chip technology is emerging and could re...

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)

APL Photonics


Beluga Whales Dive Deeper, Longer to Find Food in Arctic

Beluga whales that spend summers feeding in the Arctic are diving deeper and longer to find food than in earlier years, when sea ice covered more of the ocean for longer periods, according to a new analysis led by University of Washington researchers...

– University of Washington

Diversity and Distributions, Feb-2018


Fur Real - Scientists Improve Computer Rendering of Animal Fur

The next computer-generated animals in King Kong or The Lion King could look a lot more realistic thanks to a breakthrough by computer scientists at the University of California. The researchers from UC San Diego and UC Berkeley developed a method th...

– University of California San Diego


NASA's James Webb Space Telescope to Reveal Secrets of the Red Planet

Mars rovers and orbiters have found signs that Mars once hosted liquid water on its surface. Much of that water escaped over time. How much water was lost, and how does the water that’s left move from ice to atmosphere to soil? During its first yea...

– Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)

includes video


National Strawberry Day Brings Attention to UF/IFAS Varieties

Vance Whitaker toils day and night to develop the tastiest, best-looking, aromatic strawberries a consumer would want. Yummy enough for a nutritious snack or to help flavor a cake or pie just in time for National Strawberry Day on Feb. 27.

– University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences


Tracking Traffic in the Divided World of a Nerve Cell

Axonal and dendritic proteins embedded in the membrane at either end – called transmembrane proteins – are built in the same cellular factory and travel on the same cellular highway. But for the cell to function property, they must be delivered t...

– Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

19-Feb-2018


Duplicate Genes Help Animals Resolve Sexual Conflict

Duplicate copies of a gene shared by male and female fruit flies have evolved to resolve competing demands between the sexes. New genetic analysis by researchers at the University of Chicago describes how these copies have evolved separate male- and ...

– University of Chicago Medical Center

Nature Ecology and Evolution

Embargo expired on 19-Feb-2018 at 11:00 ET


Real-Time Captcha Technique Improves Biometric Authentication

A new login authentication approach could improve the security of current biometric techniques that rely on video or images of users’ faces. Known as Real-Time Captcha, the technique uses a unique “challenge” that’s easy for humans — but di...

– Georgia Institute of Technology

Network and Distributed Systems Security (NDSS) Symposium 2018; N0001409-1-1042; DARPA-15-15-TCFP-006.

Embargo expired on 19-Feb-2018 at 14:00 ET


Supercomputers Aid Discovery of New, Inexpensive Material to Make LEDs with Excellent Color Quality

Computers have helped researchers develop a new phosphor that can make LEDs cheaper and render colors more accurately. An international team led by engineers at UC San Diego first predicted the new phosphor using supercomputers and data mining algori...

– University of California San Diego

Joule, Feb-2018; 1411192; ACI-1053575; NRF-2017R1A2B3011967

Embargo expired on 19-Feb-2018 at 12:00 ET

includes video


New Algorithm Can Pinpoint Mutations Favored by Natural Selection in Large Sections of the Human Genome

A team of scientists has developed an algorithm that can accurately pinpoint, in large regions of the human genome, mutations favored by natural selection. The finding provides deeper insight into how evolution works, and ultimately could lead to bet...

– University of California San Diego

Nature Methods

Embargo expired on 19-Feb-2018 at 11:00 ET


Astronomers Reveal Secrets of Most Distant Supernova Ever Detected

An international team of astronomers led by the University of Southampton has confirmed the discovery of the most distant supernova ever detected – a huge cosmic explosion that took place 10.5 billion years ago, or three-quarters the age of the Uni...

– University of Southampton

Science, February 2018; The Astrophysical Journal

Embargo expired on 19-Feb-2018 at 19:00 ET


New Microfluidic Devices Help Athletes and Enhance Physical Rehab

Northwestern teams with Gatorade, Seattle Mariners, the U.S. Air Force and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab; Wearable system measures sweat and sweat biomarkers; Soft, flexible device measures bodies’ response to exercise

– Northwestern University

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting


Researchers Achieve 'Olympic Ring' Molecule Breakthrough Just in Time for Winter Games

More than 7,000 miles away from the snowcapped peaks of PyeongChang, scientists from FSU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry unlocked a novel strategy for synthesizing a highly versatile molecule called olympicene — a compound of carbon an...

– Florida State University

Angewandte Chemie


Seeing the Future of New Energy Materials

Ames Laboratory has recently received new funding to study energy materials by developing and applying new techniques in solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.

– Ames Laboratory


Virtual Reality Simulation Allows Iowans to Glimpse New Mississippi River Bridge

ISU personnel have designed a virtual reality simulation of the I-74 Mississippi River Bridge, currently under construction between Davenport and Moline. The simulation allows users to find out what it will be like to drive across the completed bridg...

– Iowa State University


Neutrons Reveal the Wild Weyl World of Semimetals

The observation of an abnormal state of matter in a 2-D magnetic material is the latest development in the race to harness novel electronic properties for more robust and efficient next-generation devices. Neutron scattering at Oak Ridge National Lab...

– Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Nature Materials


Latest Research on Lead Exposure, Alternative Test Methods, Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals, Nanoparticles, Perfluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFAS), and More Featured at SOT 57th Annual Meeting and ToxExpo

With more than 6,500 individuals from around the world in attendance, the Society of Toxicology (SOT) 57th Annual Meeting and ToxExpo will feature leading experts from across the broad range of disciplines and specialties that inform and advance toxi...

– Society of Toxicology

SciWire Announcements


MD Anderson Receives $22 Million in CPRIT Funding for Research, Prevention and Recruitment

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center was awarded $22.3 million from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), accounting for 30 percent of the $73.5 million in awards CPRIT announced today. The awards included $16.3 ...

– University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center


URI Study Aims to Find Carcinogen Damage Before Cancer Develops

The five-year, $2.1 million study will examine mutational spectra of environmental toxins.

– University of Rhode Island


CENIC Recognizes Technology Projects to Combat California Wildfires

Two University of California San Diego projects, along with a complementary University of Nevada, Reno project, have been selected as recipients of the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) 2018 Innovations in Networking...

– University of California San Diego


ORNL Wins Four FLC Technology Transfer Awards

Four technologies developed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have earned 2018 Excellence in Technology Transfer Awards from the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC).

– Oak Ridge National Laboratory


UF/IFAS Administrator Selected as Prestigious Leshner Fellow by AAAS

Now that the American Association for the Advancement of Science has selected Roger Kjelgren as a Leshner Fellow, he hopes to increase participation in urban food and water security.

– University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences


The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society Announces 2018 Student Scholarship Recipients

The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS) has announced the recipients of its 2018 student academic scholarships. Recipients are distinguished for their academic achievement; relevance of coursework or experience to the award; activities and wor...

– TMS (The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society)

SciWire Higher Education Events


A True Fish Story: Biologist Kingsley on Evolutionary Patterns We Share with Creatures of the Sea, Feb. 23 at NYU

New York University will host David Kingsley, an evolutionary biologist at Stanford University, for “Fishing for the Secrets of Vertebrate Evolution,” its annual Darwin Lecture, on Friday, Feb. 23.

– New York University

SciWire Marketplace


Benson Hill Biosystems Receives Patent for Novel CRISPR Technology

Benson Hill Biosystems, a crop improvement company, has been granted a patent for its portfolio of genome editing nucleases. Benson Hill empowers companies across the agri-food value chain with a fully enabling genome editing system to tap natural g...

– Benson Hill Biosystems

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