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Newswise SciWire - Science News for Journalists
Newswise SciWire
Thursday, March 8, 2018

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(58 New)

Science News


Atomic Movies Explain Why Perovskite Solar Cells Are More Efficient

Tracking atoms is crucial to improving the efficiency of next-generation perovskite solar cells.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Science Advances 3, e1602388 (2017). [DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1602388]

Buckyball Marries Graphene

Electronic and structure richness arise from the merger of semiconducting molecules of carbon buckyballs and 2-D graphene.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

ACS Nano 11, 4686 (2017). [DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.7b00551]

Why Are Weeds So Competitive with My Plants?

Home and large-scale growers share a common struggle: weeds! The March 7th Sustainable, Secure Food blog post explains what makes weeds survive—and how to tackle them.

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


Epigenomic Tool Breakthrough Has Implications for Identifying Disease Processes

A major advancement has been made on how epigenomics are studied that permits mapping a genome-scale profile of epigenetic changes using less than a couple hundred of cells, a factor of 100-300 reduction in the sample amount compared to existing alte...

– Virginia Tech


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

Catalysts: High Performance Lies on the Edge

Iron may be more valuable than platinum. Sometimes.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Science 357 (6350), 479 (2017). [DOI: 10.1126/science.aan2255]

Crop Rotation, Grazing Rebuilds Soil

Letting the soil rest can be difficult economically for farmers. Researchers experimented with crop rotation and grazing to discover the least possible amount of time it would take to allow the soil to heal.

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

Soil Science Society of America Journal, August 31, 2017

Researchers Uncover Most Complex Mineral on Earth

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame found that the complexity of a uranium-based mineral, dubbed ewingite, is nearly twice as high as the previous most complex mineral.

– University of Notre Dame


Experimental Behavior of GFRP-Reinforced Concrete Columns under Lateral Cyclic Load

The present study addresses the feasibility of reinforced concrete columns totally reinforced with glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) bars achieving the drift requirements specified in various codes.

– American Concrete Institute (ACI)

ACI Structural Journal March 2018

New Insights Could Pave The Way For Self-Powered Low Energy Devices

Researchers have discovered more details about the way certain materials hold a static charge even after two surfaces separate, information that could help improve devices that leverage such energy as a power source.

– Georgia Institute of Technology

Advanced Materials

Smart Glass Made Better, and Cheaper

New "smart glass" technology developed at the University of Delaware could make curtains and blinds obsolete. This isn't the first "smart glass," but it's one-tenth the price of other versions and more transparent in its transparent state and more re...

– University of Delaware

Mapping Battery Materials with Atomic Precision

An international team led by researchers at Berkeley Lab used advanced techniques in electron microscopy to show how the ratio of materials that make up a lithium-ion battery electrode affects its structure at the atomic level, and how the surface is...

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Energy & Environmental Science, Jan. 10, 2018

High-Resolution Brain Imaging Provides Clues About Memory Loss in Older Adults

As we get older, it’s not uncommon to experience “senior moments,” in which we forget where we parked our car or call our children by the wrong names. And we may wonder: Are these memory lapses a normal part of aging, or do they signal the earl...

– University of California, Irvine

Neuron, Mar-2018

Linking Virus Sensing with Gene Expression, a Plant Immune System Course-Corrects

Researchers at Durham University in the UK have identified a crucial link in the process of how plants regulate their antiviral responses. The research is published in the March 2 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

– American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB)

Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2 March 2018

With Laser Light, Scientists Create First X-Ray Holographic Images of Viruses

In a recent study, researchers developed a new holographic method called in-flight holography. With this method, they were able to demonstrate the first X-ray holograms of nano-sized viruses that were not attached to any surface.

– SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Gorkhover et al., Nature Photonics, 5 March 2018 (10.1038/s41566-018-0110-y)

includes video

Seeking Truth in Science: Meta-Analysis as a Key

Figuring out what is true in science when researchers are bombarded with information from many different studies is a challenge. A new paper, published in Nature, reveals that the power of meta-analysis in research synthesis over the past 40 years ha...

– Stony Brook University

Engineers Developing Tools to Understand, Scale Up Autothermal Production of Bio-Oil

Iowa State engineers have developed a process called autothermal pyrolysis that breaks down biomass for fuel and fertilizer. A recently announced grant from the Department of Energy will support studies of the process, including development of models...

– Iowa State University

Department of Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office

First Look at Jupiter’s Poles Show Strange Geometric Arrays of Storms

With NASA’s Juno spacecraft, scientists have gotten a good look at the top and bottom of the planet for the first time. What they found astounded them: bizarre geometric arrangements of storms, each arrayed around one cyclone over the north and sou...

– University of Chicago


JHU Performs First Laboratory Simulation of Exoplanet Atmospheric Chemistry

Scientists have conducted the first lab experiments on haze formation in simulated exoplanet atmospheres, an important step for understanding upcoming observations of planets outside the solar system with the James Webb Space Telescope.

– Johns Hopkins University

Nature Astronomy, Mar-2018 ; NNX16AB45G

How Do Products to Control Parasites in Livestock Impact Dung Beetles?

The same products that get rid of internal parasites in livestock may adversely impact the dung beetles that help break down dung. That could be bad news for the dung beetles and livestock production.

– South Dakota State University

Combination of Old and New Yields Novel Power Grid Cybersecurity Tool

An innovative R&D project led by Berkeley Lab researchers that combines cybersecurity, machine learning algorithms and commercially available power system sensor technology to better protect the electric power grid has sparked interest from U.S. util...

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Mosquito Brain Atlas Aims to Reveal Neural Circuitry of Behavior

HHMI researchers have built, the first map of the female mosquito brain. The new resource may ultimately uncover the circuitry behind biting and other behaviors.

– Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

includes video

Warm Introductions to Science and Engineering

Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day (IGED) is an opportunity for over 100 girls to learn about STEM careers by participating in hands-on activities, listening to presentations and sitting down with scientists for mentoring sessions.

– Argonne National Laboratory

Celebrate International Women’s Day with a Live Webcast From Perimeter Institute

On March 8, Perimeter Institute will host a live webcast featuring talks by women in a wide range of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers.

Expert Available

– Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics


A Simple Trick for Modeling Calcium

Calcium ions enable cells to communicate with one another, allowing neurons to interact, muscles to contract, and the heart's muscle cells to synchronize and beat. To better understand these processes, researchers often use computer simulations, but ...

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)

The Journal of Chemical Physics

Embargo expired on 06-Mar-2018 at 11:00 ET

Engineering a New Spin for Disease Diagnostics

Researchers at the National University of Singapore have created a new platform with the potential to extract tiny circulating biomarkers of disease from patient blood. This simple, fast and convenient technique could help realize liquid biopsy diagn...

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)


Embargo expired on 06-Mar-2018 at 11:00 ET

Preventing Exhaustion in Immune Cells Boosts Immunotherapy in Mice

Immunotherapy does not work for a majority of cancer patients. Preventing or reversing metabolic exhaustion in cancer-killing T-cells could boost its effectiveness.

– Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

Journal of Experimental Medicine; SKF-015-036, SU2C-AACR-IRG-04-16, DP2AI136598, T32CA082084, F99CA222711 and P30CA047904.

Embargo expired on 06-Mar-2018 at 09:00 ET

Controlling Ceramides Could Help Treat Heart Disease

SBP researchers have discovered that accumulation of ceramides—a type of lipid (fat)— plays a crucial role in lipotoxic cardiomyopathy (LCM)—a heart condition that often occurs in patients with diabetes and obesity. The study, published today ...

– Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute

R01 HL054732; R01 HL132241 ; R21 HL80811

Embargo expired on 06-Mar-2018 at 12:00 ET

Staying Clean Keeps Seafish Smart

"Vet" service provided by smaller fish is key to keeping coral reefs healthy, a Canadian study finds

– Universite de Montreal

Royal Society journal Proceedings B, 07 March 2018.

Embargo expired on 06-Mar-2018 at 19:00 ET

Study Shows That Environmental Exposures Such as Air Pollution Are More Determinant of Respiratory Health Than Inherited Genetics

Researchers have found strong evidence that environmental exposures, including air pollution, affect gene expressions associated with respiratory diseases much more than genetic ancestry. The study, published today in Nature Communications, analyzed ...

– Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

Nature Communications

Embargo expired on 06-Mar-2018 at 11:05 ET

Hubble Finds Huge System of Dusty Material Enveloping the Young Star HR 4796A

Astronomers have used Hubble to uncover a vast, complex dust structure, about 150 billion miles across, enveloping the young star HR 4796A. A bright, narrow, inner ring of dust is already known to encircle the star and may have been corralled by the ...

– Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)

The Astronomical Journal, Feb-2018

Glaciers in Mongolia's Gobi Desert actually shrank during the last ice age

High in Mongolia's Gobi Desert, the climate is so dry and cold that glaciers shrank during the last ice age. Dating of rock deposits shows how glaciers in this less-studied region can behave very differently as the climate shifts.

– University of Washington

Quaternary Science Reviews, Feb-2018

Teaching Computers to Guide Science: New Machine Learning Method Sees the Forests and the Trees

While it may be the era of supercomputers and “big data,” without smart methods to mine all that data, it’s only so much digital detritus. Now researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and ...

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Scientists Crack 70-Year-Old Mystery of How Magnetic Waves Heat the Sun

Scientists at Queen’s University Belfast have led an international team to the ground-breaking discovery that magnetic waves crashing through the Sun may be key to heating its atmosphere and propelling the solar wind.

– Queen's University Belfast

Nature Physics

UGA Researchers Develop New Method to Improve Crops

A team of University of Georgia researchers has developed a new way to breed plants with better traits. By introducing a human protein into the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana, researchers found that they could selectively activate silenced ...

– University of Georgia

Nature Communications

UF Study: To Help Prevent Harmful Algal Blooms, Limit Nitrogen and Phosphorus

For years, scientists have argued about whether managing both nitrogen and phosphorus – versus managing strictly phosphorus or just nitrogen – would control harmful algal blooms.

– University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

Environmental Science and Technology

What if We Could Predict When an Athlete Was Going to Be Injured?

Published in the journal Risk Analysis, the study, “Mitigating sports injury risks using Internet of Things and analytic approaches,” outlines how injury risk screening procedures can be administered using wireless devices, such as smartphones, c...

– Society for Risk Analysis (SRA)

Journal of Risk Analysis

Fundamental Step Found in the Cellular Response to Stress Caused by Pathological and Pharmacological Insults

A new study conducted by researchers at The Wistar Institute revealed how a key protein residing in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) helps cells respond to stress. This process is especially important for B cells to respond to severe stress conditions ...

– Wistar Institute

Journal of Cell Biology

Lithium-Related Discovery Could Extend Battery Life and Improve Safety

New research from Arizona State University shows that using a 3-dimensional layer of Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) can mitigate dendrite formation and stands to both dramatically extend battery life and diminish safety risks.

– Arizona State University (ASU)

Nature Energy

Big Steps Toward Control of Production of Tiny Building Blocks

Article describes use of new diagnostics to advance understanding of the plasma nanosynthesis of widely used nanoparticles.

– Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Plasma Sources Science and Technology

Graphene Promise for More Efficient Fertilisers

Fertilisers with lower environmental impacts and reduced costs for farmers are being developed by University of Adelaide researchers in the world-first use of the new advanced material graphene as a fertiliser carrier.

– University of Adelaide

Applied Materials and Interfaces

Rutgers Leads Rail Safety Research and Education in New Jersey and New York

Rutgers’ Xiang Liu heads the only academic rail engineering and safety program in the entire region – one of less than a dozen nationwide – at Rutgers University-New Brunswick’s School of Engineering.

– Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Rutgers Today

Going the Distance

Eight West Virginia University students traveled to the Galapagos Islands January 5-14 to compete at Model UN’s annual international conference.

– West Virginia University - Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

$60 Million Partnership Puts Cornell-NASA Eye in the Sky to Measure Desert Dust

Because deserts are located in remote regions with inhospitable conditions, they are notoriously difficult to study, especially when assessing their effect on climate change. A new $60 million collaboration between NASA and Cornell University, with c...

– Cornell University

For Blind Gamers, Equal Access to Racing Video Games

Computer Scientist Brian A. Smith has developed the RADa racing auditory displayto enable visually impaired gamers play the same types of racing games that sighted players play with the same speed, control, and excitement as sighted players. De...

– Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science

ACM CHI 2018’s Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems April 21–26

includes video

DHS S&T and HSI Collaborate on Technologies to Save Children from Abuse and Exploitation

S&T and HSI C3 are designing, developing, testing, and integrating new face recognition algorithms that will allow agents to sift through massive amounts of digital data much faster and efficiently than current manual processes.

– Homeland Security's Science & Technology Directorate

Explore the “Weirdest” Stars in the Universe During Live Webcast

Join astronomer Emily Levesque for a live webcast March 7 that will explore some of the most puzzling and bizarre objects being studied by astronomers today.

Expert Available

– Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

What You Don’t Know About Valley Fever Could Hurt You

CSU Bakersfield microbiology professor Antje Lauer says the state is tracking toward an epidemic of the infectious lung disease.

Expert Available

– California State University (CSU) Chancellor's Office


U CO2 Sensor Network Shows Effects of Metro Growth

In a study published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team led by atmospheric scientists Logan Mitchell and John Lin report that suburban sprawl increases CO2 emissions more than similar population growth in a developed urb...

– University of Utah


Embargo expired on 05-Mar-2018 at 15:00 ET

Reviewers of NIH Grants Cannot Distinguish the Good From the Great, Study Shows

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) invested more than $27 billion in biomedical research through competitive grants during its 2017 fiscal year. Those grants were awarded based on scores assigned by, and conversation between, expert peer reviewe...

– University of Wisconsin-Madison

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Embargo expired on 05-Mar-2018 at 15:00 ET

Chemical Sleuthing Unravels Possible Path to the Formation of Life’s Building Blocks in Space

Scientists have used experiments at Berkeley Lab to retrace the chemical steps leading to the creation of complex hydrocarbons in space. They showed pathways to forming 2-D carbon-based nanostructures in a mix of heated gases.

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Nature Astronomy, March 5, 2018

Researchers Uncover Culprit in Parkinson's Brain Cell Die-Off

‘This study identifies the missing link between Lewy bodies and the type of damage that’s been observed in neurons affected by Parkinson’s."

– Scripps Research Institute

Proceedings of the National Academy of Science; R01NS085223

Advanced Spatial Planning Models Could Promise New Era of Sustainable Ocean Development

Researchers have developed a spatial planning strategy that accounts for and quantifies industry, environmental and societal interests in a given area to produce optimized, sustainable ocean usage plans.

– Florida State University

Nature Communications

Arms Races and Cooperation Among Amoebae in the Wild

Social amoebae evolve to fight with others but also to die for their kin.

– Washington University in St. Louis

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; National Science Foundation DEB1146375 ; National Science Foundation IOS-1656756

SDSC Simulations Reveal How a Heart Drug Molecular Switch Is Turned On and Off

A study published in the March 5 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) describes how the supercomputers at the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UC San Diego were used to simulate the merger of a G-protein “m...

– University of California San Diego

PNAS, March 5, 2018; MCB1020765; GM31749

Neutrons Provide New Polish for Petroleum Processing and More

University of Notre Dame researchers are using neutrons at ORNL to study how specialized molecules might improve petroleum production processes, as well as their potential uses in advanced photovoltaic technologies. Specifically, they want to know wh...

– Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Global Temperature Report: February 2018

Global climate trend since Nov. 16, 1978: +0.13 C per decade

– University of Alabama Huntsville

SciWire Announcements

ACSM to Convene International, Multidisciplinary Experts on Exercise and Cancer

Roundtable will update exercise recommendations for cancer survivors, add prevention guidance

– American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

SDSC’s Health CI Division Now Meets NIST CUI Compliance Requirements

The Health Cyberinfrastructure Division of the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California San Diego has expanded its cloud offerings to include a Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI)-compliant environment that is now a...

– University of California San Diego





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