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Newswise SciWire - Science News for Journalists
Newswise SciWire
Thursday, April 25, 2019

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(68 New)

Science News


Is Kelp the New Kale for Long Island?

In recent years, seaweeds have been notorious for washing up and fouling beaches on Long Island. Now, a collaborative team of scientists and marine farmers have demonstrated that the seaweed, sugar kelp, can be cultivated in the shallow estuaries of ...

– Stony Brook University

Astronomers find quasars are not nailed to the sky

Until recently, quasars were thought to have essentially fixed positions in the sky. While near-Earth objects move along complex trajectories, quasars are so remote that they were believed to offer stable and reliable reference points for use in navi...

– Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT)

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Feb-2019


The Neurobiology of Noshing: Why is it so easy to overeat calorie-rich tasty foods?

Ever wonder why you really don’t want to stop eating delicious food even though you know you’ve eaten enough? UNC School of Medicine researchers may have found the reason – a specific cellular network motivated mice to keep eating tasty food ev...

– University of North Carolina School of Medicine


Embargo expired on 24-Apr-2019 at 11:00 ET

Tomato, Tomat-oh! Understanding evolution to reduce pesticide use

Michigan State University researchers believe pesticide use could be reduced by taking cues from wild plants. The team recently identified an evolutionary function in wild tomato plants that could be used by modern plant breeders to create pest-resis...

– Michigan State University

Science Advances, April 24, 2019

Embargo expired on 24-Apr-2019 at 14:00 ET

Smelling With Your Tongue

Scientists from the Monell Center report that functional olfactory receptors are present in human taste cells. The findings suggest that interactions between the senses of smell and taste, the primary components of food flavor, may begin on the tongu...

– Monell Chemical Senses Center

Chemical Senses

Embargo expired on 24-Apr-2019 at 00:05 ET

Researchers Create the First Maps of Two Melatonin Receptors Essential for Sleep

An international team of researchers used an X-ray laser at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to create the first detailed maps of two melatonin receptors that tell our bodies when to go to sleep or wake up and guide o...

– SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Nature, 24 April 2019 (doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1141-3); Johansson et al., Nature, 24 April 2019 (doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1144-0)

Embargo expired on 24-Apr-2019 at 13:00 ET

New research sheds light on genomic features that make plants good candidates for domestication

New research details how the process of domestication affected the genomes of corn and soybeans. The study looked at sections of crop genomes and compared them to the genomes of ancestor species. The results shed new light on what makes a species a g...

– Iowa State University

Genome Biology

Embargo expired on 24-Apr-2019 at 20:00 ET

Getting Fertilizer in the Right Place at the Right Rate

In-soil placement of phosphorus can decrease phosphorus loss in snowmelt runoff

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

Journal of Environmental Quality; Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada A-Base Project 1555.

Driving Chemical Reactions by Remote Control

Theorists show how a new quantum device could control a chemical reaction remotely, changing our understanding of how reactions can work.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Chem (2019). [DOI: 10.1016/j.chempr.2019.02.009]

Global Warming Hits Sea Creatures Hardest

Global warming has caused twice as many ocean-dwelling species as land-dwelling species to disappear from their habitats, a unique Rutgers-led study found. The greater vulnerability of sea creatures may significantly impact human communities that rel...

– Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Nature; Rutgers Today

NMSU, NMDOH Study Finds Insecticide-Resistant Mosquitoes Across State

New Mexico State University researchers collaborating with the New Mexico Department of Health recently published a paper that shows there is widespread resistance to insecticides in one type of mosquito found in southern New Mexico

– New Mexico State University (NMSU)

PLos One

Major Deep Carbon Sink Linked to Microbes Found Near Volcano Chains

Up to about 19 percent more carbon dioxide than previously believed is removed naturally and stored underground between coastal trenches and inland chains of volcanoes, keeping the greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere, according to a study in ...

– Rutgers University-New Brunswick


Rapid destruction of Earth-like atmospheres by young stars

The discoveries of thousands of planets orbiting stars outside our solar system has made questions about the potential for life to form on these planets fundamentally important in modern science. Fundamentally important for the habitability of a plan...

– University of Vienna

Astronomy & Astrophysics: Letters

Takes a licking and keeps on storing

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis made an energy storage device that can withstand a hammer striking it more than 40 times. The shatterproof supercapacitor is also nonflammable, unlike lithium-ion batteries. The new work is the cover ...

– Washington University in St. Louis

Sustainable Energy & Fuels

A Breakthrough in the Study of Laser/Plasma Interactions

A new 3D particle-in-cell simulation tool developed by researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and CEA Saclay is enabling cutting-edge simulations of laser/plasma coupling mechanisms. More detailed understanding of these mechanisms is ...

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Physical Review X

Can we solve the riddle of the coral reef halos?

Coral reefs worldwide are threatened by a variety of human impacts. Fishing is among the most pressing threats to reefs

– University of Hawaii at Manoa

Frontiers; Proceedings of the Royal Society B

Zoologists discover two new bird species in Indonesia

Zoologists from Trinity College Dublin, working with partners from Halu Oleo University (UHO) and Operation Wallacea

– Trinity College Dublin

Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society

Rapid destruction of Earth-like atmospheres by young stars

The discoveries of thousands of planets orbiting stars outside our solar system has made questions about the potential for life to form

– University of Vienna

Astronomy & Astrophysics Letters

Researchers Use Shake-Table Testing To Improve Disaster Recovery

Texas A&M researchers use shake-table testing to understand how urban wood-based structures sustain damage from earthquakes, and how to repair them more efficiently.

– Texas A&M University

includes video

Brain scans on movie watchers reveal how we judge people

Unconscious bias has become a hot topic recently, with high profile incidents reported around the world. Researchers at Aalto University are exploring the causes of these biases

– Aalto University

Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience

Snapshot: S&T’s Rapid DNA Technology Identified Victims of California Wildfire

Funded in part by DHS S&T, Rapid DNA technology, positively identified 85 percent of the victims in the aftermath of the Camp Fire wildfire.

– Homeland Security's Science And Technology Directorate

UC San Diego’s HPWREN Workshop Attracts First Responders, Scientists, Educators

Users and supporters of UC San Diego’s High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network (HPWREN) gathered earlier this month for an update on current projects and plans for the internet-connected cyberinfrastructure of cameras and sensors t...

– University of California San Diego


A global database of women scientists is diversifying the face of science

Underrepresentation of women scientists in the public sphere perpetuates the stereotype of the white male scientist and fails both to reflect the true diversity of people practicing science today


PLOS Biology

Embargo expired on 23-Apr-2019 at 14:00 ET

Atomic Beams Shoot Straighter via Cascading Silicon Peashooters

Atomic beams conjure fantasies of gigantic Space Force canons. But there are real tiny atomic beams that shoot out of newly engineered collimators, a kind of tiny silicon peashooter, that could land in handheld devices. The beams streaming out of the...

– Georgia Institute of Technology

Nature Communications; U.S. patent app. # 62/672,709; N00014-17-1-2249

Embargo expired on 23-Apr-2019 at 05:00 ET

New Dispersion Method to Effectively Kill Biofilm Bacteria Could Improve Wound Care

Researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York have developed a method to treat bacterial infections which could result in better wound care.

– Binghamton University, State University of New York

Nature Scientific Reports, March-2019

Capturing Energy Flow in a Plasma by Measuring Scattered Light

First measurements of heat flux in plasmas experientially sheds light on models relying on classical thermal transport.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Physics of Plasmas 26, 032104 (2019). [DOI: 10.1063/1.5086753]; Physical Review Letters 121, 125001 (2018). [DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.125001]

Study: Why Unique Finches Keep Their Heads of Many Colors

There appears to be an underlying selection mechanism at work among Gouldian Finches—a mechanism that allows this species to produce and maintain individuals with red heads, black heads, and yellow heads. Research by scientists from the the Univers...

– Cornell University

Nature Communications

Simple sea anemones not so simple after all

Researchers, including a team from The Ohio State University, have published new findings showing that the DNA of the tube anemone does what few other species’ mitochondrial genomes have been shown to do. It defies the classic doughnut shape it “...

– Ohio State University

Scientific Reports

UNH Scientists Find Auroral "Speed Bumps" Are More Complicated

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire Space Science Center find that “speed bumps” in space, which can slow down satellites orbiting closer to Earth, are more complex than originally thought.

– University of New Hampshire

Geophysical Research Letters, March 26, 2019

includes video

What can we learn from promiscuous bugs and crocodile studs?

You may think human sex is bizarre enough. But elsewhere in the animal kingdom, features like competition between sperm and semen that influences behavior conspire to make it even weirder. A special issue of the journal Molecular & Cellular Proteomic...

– American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB)

Molecular & Cellular Proteomics

Grapefruit Grown Under Protective Screens Maximizes Fruit Yield

Researchers have worked for four years, growing grapefruit under protective screens on a 1-acre experimental plot of trees at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, and they’re seeing encouraging results.

– University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

Sand tiger sharks return to shipwrecks off N.C. coast

Photos taken months, and in some cases years, apart by scuba divers show female sand tiger sharks returning to the same shipwrecks off the North Carolina coas

– Duke University


Climate change has worsened global economic inequality

A new Stanford University study shows global warming has increased economic inequality since the 1960s.

– Stanford School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

New way to ‘see’ objects accelerates the future of self-driving cars

Researchers have discovered a simple, cost-effective, and accurate new method for equipping self-driving cars with the tools needed to perceive 3D objects in their path.

– Cornell University

Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, June 2019

Watching Molecules Split in Real Time

Using a new X-ray technique, a team of researchers was able to watch in real time as a molecule split apart into two new molecules. The method could be used to look at chemical reactions that other techniques can’t catch, for instance in catalysis,...

– SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Angewandte Chemie, 13 March 2019 (10.1002/anie.201902228)

Capturing the behavior of single-atom catalysts on the move

Scientists are excited by the prospect of stripping catalysts down to single atoms. Attached by the millions to a supporting surface, they could offer the ultimate in speed and specificity. Now researchers have taken an important step toward under...

– SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

DeRita et al., Nature Materials, 22 April 2019 (10.1038/s41563-019-0349-9)

Batter up: Statistics student improving baseball team’s analytics

A West Virginia University industrial mathematics and statistics student is helping WVU baseball coaches improve their understanding of the strike zone.

– West Virginia University - Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

Nature-Inspired Local Folk Art Makes Earth Day Every Day at the Jacques Cousteau Reserve

The Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve, which is managed by Rutgers University, celebrated Earth Day with new folk art designed and fabricated by local blacksmiths. Representing three habitats found in the reserve – forest, marsh ...

– Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Innovation: Key to Any Green Policy

The recent introduction of the Green New Deal by Democratic U.S. congressional leaders on the left has renewed hope among some that Congress might get us back on track. The reality is that the climate change clock is still ticking, and it’s more li...

– University of Virginia Darden School of Business

Outside the Box Thinking for Unusual Nuclear Wastes

A diverse, collaborative group at the CHWM Energy Frontier Research Center provides answers about what it takes to store a highly radioactive subset of defense-related nuclear waste.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

SLAC celebrates 10 years of innovative science at the Linac Coherent Light Source

The Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the first light at the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) April 10. More than 300 participants – a mix of SLAC staff and scientists from partner...

– SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Bacteria And Pathogens: Determining Friend From Foe In Soil And Water

Texas A&M University researchers are developing a way to quickly detect which bacterial pathogens are present in a soil or water sample to determine the good from the bad.

– Texas A&M University


New Technique Produces Longer-lasting Lithium Batteries

Columbia Engineering researchers have developed a new method for safely prolonging battery life by inserting a nano-coating of boron nitride (BN) to stabilize solid electrolytes in lithium metal batteries. The team focused on solid, ceramic electroly...

– Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science

Joule April 22 2019

Embargo expired on 22-Apr-2019 at 11:00 ET

Spin Flipper Upends Protons

The spin direction of protons was reversed, for the first time, using a nine-magnet device, potentially helping tease out details about protons that affect medical imaging and more.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Physical Review Letters 120, 264804 (2018). [DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.264804]

Scientists create first billion-atom biomolecular simulation

Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory have created the largest simulation to date of an entire gene of DNA, a feat that required one billion atoms to model and will help researchers to better understand and develop cures for diseases like can...

– Los Alamos National Laboratory

Journal of Computational Chemistry

Semiconductor Scientists Discover Effect That Was Thought Impossible

Superinjection, the effect used in lasers and LEDs creation can work in "pure" semiconductors, which was previously considered impossible. This opens up new prospects for designing highly efficient blue, violet, ultraviolet, and white LEDs, as well a...

– Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT)

Semiconductor Science and Technology

Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning Accelerate Efforts to Develop Clean, Virtually Limitless Fusion Energy

The Fusion Recurrent Neural Network reliably forecasts disruptive and destructive events in tokamaks.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Nature (2019). [DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-1116-4]

This deep learning powered tool creates better personalized workout recommendations from fitness tracking data

Computer scientists at the University of California San Diego have developed FitRec, a recommendation tool powered by deep learning, that is able to better estimate runners’ heart rates during a workout and predict and recommend routes. The team wi...

– University of California San Diego

DNA is managed like climbers' rope to help keep tangles at bay

A process that cells use to unravel knotted strands of DNA - resembling a method used to control climbing ropes - has been uncovered by scientists.

– University of Edinburgh

Proceedings of the National Academy of Science

How does wildlife fare after fires?

Fire ecologists and wildlife specialists at La Trobe University have made key discoveries in how wildlife restores itself after bushfires

– La Trobe University

Wildlife Research

Mixing grass varieties may reduce insect infestations in lawns

A simple change in the choice of grass varieties for many lawns in the United States could be a key tool for fending off fall armyworm infestations

– Entomological Society of America (ESA)

Environmental Entomology

Better labor practices could improve archaeological output

Archaeological excavation has, historically, operated in a very hierarchical structure, according to archaeologist Allison Mickel

– Lehigh University

Archaeologies: Journal of the World Archaeological Congress

To respond or tolerate? LJI researchers selectively block immune activation program orchestrated by the nuclear factor NFAT

The immune system occasionally makes mistakes that require correction. For example, in autoimmunity, T-cells lose "immune tolerance" of self and can destroy one's very own tissues. Conversely, in cancer, the immune system can rapidly exhaust itself i...

– La Jolla Institute for Immunology

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS); AI109842; AI040127; S10OD016262; S10RR027366

Brains of Blind People Adapt to Sharpen Sense of Hearing, Study Shows

Research from the University of Washington uses functional MRI to identify two differences in the brains of blind individuals -- differences that might be responsible for their abilities to make better use of auditory information.

– University of Washington

Journal of Neuroscience; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

The Kids Are Alright

A new study reveals the surprising way that family quarrels in seeds drive rapid evolution. Researchers in Arts & Sciences discovered that conflict over the amount of resources an offspring receives from its parent seems to play a special role in the...

– Washington University in St. Louis

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; National Science Foundation IOS-1656756; National Science Foundation IOS-1753743; National Science Foundation DGE-1143954; John Templeton Foundation Grant 43667...

Vulture Species Coexist; Don't Compete for Resources

The turkey vulture and the black vulture are able to coexist because their traits reduce the need for them to compete for nutritional resources.

– University of Georgia


A day in the life of a midnight beam master

When is a day not a day? When you work in the central nervous system of the world’s longest linear accelerator, open 24-7.

– SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Engineers Study Failed Levees, Research Potential Solutions

Cassandra Rutherford, an Iowa State geotechnical engineer, has inspected failed levees along Midwestern rivers. And now she's working with other engineers to develop technologies that could improve levee performance.

Expert Available

– Iowa State University

includes video

SciWire Announcements

Five new innovators join Chain Reaction Innovations in third cohort

Five new innovators will be joining Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI), the entrepreneurship program at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Argonne National Laboratory, as part of the elite program’s third cohort. Announced on Monday, April 2...

– Argonne National Laboratory

Penn State Aerospace Engineering Head Appointed to FAA Aircraft Certification Review Committee

Amy R. Pritchett, professor and head of aerospace engineering at Penn State, was recently named one of six experts by U.S Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to serve on a U.S. Department of Transportation Special Committee that will review how the ...

– Penn State College of Engineering

Rensselaer Team Developing Tool to Battle Space Debris

A team of researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is building a semi-autonomous trash collector for space, which they have fittingly named OSCaR.

– Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Major Scientific Meeting on Sound Next Month in Louisville

The Acoustical Society of America will hold its 177th meeting May 13-17 at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. This major scientific conference brings together interdisciplinary groups of researchers from many far-flung fields, including ph...

– Acoustical Society of America (ASA)

177th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America

USAID awards an additional $2.14 million to WFU rainforest research center

Wake Forest University’s Center for Amazonian Scientific Innovation (CINCIA) has received $2.14 million in additional funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), supporting the expansion of the research center’s study of m...

– Wake Forest University

Rutgers Professor Pamela McElwee Named a 2019 Andrew Carnegie Fellow

Pamela McElwee, an associate professor in the Department of Human Ecology at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS), is working on an environmental history of the Vietnam War examining how nature shaped military strategy as a 2019...

– Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Rutgers Today

SMCM Chemistry and Biochemistry Students Present Research at National Conferences

Nine St. Mary’s College of Maryland chemistry and biochemistry students presented their original research at two national conferences in Orlando

– St. Mary's College of Maryland

Texas Biomed VP Named Executive Director of the Vaccine Development Center of San Antonio

Professor Joanne Turner, Ph.D., the Vice President for Research at Texas Biomedical Research Institute, will serve as the new Executive Director of the Vaccine Development Center of San Antonio.

– Texas Biomedical Research Institute

Geriatric Marmosets Moving to the Southwest National Primate Research Center

Texas Biomedical Research Institute and UT Health San Antonio have signed an animal care and joint research agreement to move dozens of important research animals from the Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies to the Southwest...

– Texas Biomedical Research Institute

Two New Mexico small businesses win national Department of Energy awards

Two New Mexico companies that work with Los Alamos National Laboratory received small business awards from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) at the 18th annual DOE Small Business Forum and Expo in Pittsburgh on April 16.

– Los Alamos National Laboratory





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