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Newswise SciWire - Science News for Journalists
Newswise SciWire
Thursday, May 9, 2019

Public Edition |

(55 New)

Science News


Good genes: Researchers break down DNA of world’s largest mammals to discover how whales defy the cancer odds

In examining the DNA of a variety of whales, Northern Arizona University researcher Marc Tollis and an international team of scientists found these giant mammals have genetically adapted to protect against cancer. They want to know how this could pre...

– Northern Arizona University

Molecular Biology and Evolution


Connecting journalists with quality fact check sources, Newswise adds Google Fact Check

This month, Newswise launches Google Fact Check as a new submission option for their network of communicators at more than 400 institutions worldwide. Submissions to this feed will be configured specifically for indexing as a fact check article in Go...

– Newswise

Embargo expired on 08-May-2019 at 09:00 ET

Urban trees “live fast, die young” compared to those in rural forests

Urban trees grow more quickly but die faster than rural trees, resulting in a net loss of street-tree carbon storage over time, according to a study published May 8 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Ian Smith


Embargo expired on 08-May-2019 at 14:00 ET

A New Model for Crack Control in Reinforced Concrete (RC) Tank Walls (Part I and Part II)

New research is focusing on a model for calculating crack width in the case of cracks caused by progressive cooling of the wall (for example, at the stage of concrete hardening or during ambient temperature changes), the concrete shrinkage, and the s...

– American Concrete Institute (ACI)

ACI Structural Journal

Embargo expired on 08-May-2019 at 09:00 ET

Effect of Sustained Service Loading on Post-Fire Flexural Response of Reinforced Concrete (RC) T-Beams

This research highlights the effect of sustained service load at elevated temperatures on the residual flexural response of reinforced concrete (RC) T-beams after being exposed to 1292°F (700°C) or 1652°F (900°C) for 3 hours, and then air cooled....

– American Concrete Institute (ACI)

American Concrete Institute Structural Journal, May, 2019

Embargo expired on 08-May-2019 at 09:00 ET

Statistical study finds it unlikely South African fossil species is ancestral to humans

Research by UChicago paleontologists finds that it is unlikely that a two-million-year-old, apelike fossil from South Africa is a direct ancestor of Homo, the genus to which modern-day humans belong.

– University of Chicago Medical Center

Science Advances, May 2019

Embargo expired on 08-May-2019 at 14:00 ET

Giant Lasers Crystallize Water With Shockwaves, Revealing the Atomic Structure of Superionic Ice

Scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory used giant lasers to flash-freeze water into its exotic superionic phase and record X-ray diffraction patterns to identify its atomic structure for the very first time – all in just a few billi...

– Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory


Embargo expired on 08-May-2019 at 13:00 ET

As Climate Changes, Small Increases in Rainfall May Cause Widespread Road Outages

As more rain falls on a warming planet, a new computer model shows that it may not take a downpour to cause widespread disruption of road networks. The model combined data on road networks with the hills and valleys of topography to reveal “tipping...

– Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Nature Communications

Embargo expired on 08-May-2019 at 05:00 ET

A New Filter to Better Map the Dark Universe

To address messy measurements of the cosmic web that connects matter in the universe, researchers at Berkeley Lab developed a way to improve the accuracy and clarity of these measurements based on the stretching of the universe’s oldest light.

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Physical Review Letters, May 8, 2019

The Secrets of Secretion: Isolating Eucalyptus Genes for Oils, Biofuel

Close genetic analysis of 480 blue mallee eucalyptus plants provides clues to modify cultivars for greater yield, whether for essential oils or jet fuel.

– Michigan Technological University

New Phytologist

Clean fuel cells could be cheap enough to replace gas engines in vehicles

Advancements in zero-emission fuel cells could make the technology cheap enough to replace traditional gasoline engines in vehicles

– University of Waterloo

Applied Energy

Occurrence of back-to-back heat waves likely to accelerate with climate change

As the planet continues to warm, multi-day heat waves are projected to increase in frequency, length and intensity.

– Princeton University

Earth's Future

Medicinal mushroom newly reported from Thailand helps reveal optimum growth conditions

A species of globally recognised medicinal mushroom was recorded for the first time in Thailand. Commonly referred to as lingzhi, the fungus (Ganoderma tropicum)

– Pensoft Publishers


Measuring flying comfort: researchers investigate airplane seat accommodation

Whether for business or personal travel, now, more than ever, thousands of Americans spend their days in the air. While most airplane passengers are hoping for maximum comfort during their flights, airline companies look to maximize their profits —...

– Penn State College of Engineering


VisiBlends, a New Approach to Disrupt Visual Messaging

To help non-professionals create visual blends for their news and PSAs, Columbia Engineering researchers have developed VisiBlends, a flexible, user-friendly platform that transforms the creative brainstorming activity into a search function, and ena...

– Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science

2019 ACM CHI conference May 8 2019

includes video

CRISPR Screening and Acetaldehyde Tolerance; Systems Toxicology for Predicting Renal Toxicity; and More Featured in May 2019 Toxicological Sciences

Editor’s Highlights include papers on CRISPR screening, predicting renal toxicity, PAHs and endocrine effects on testicular gap junctions, and vincristine-induced atresia in ovarian follicles

– Society of Toxicology

Toxicological Sciences, Volume 169 Issue 1, May 2019

Texas Tech Researchers Collaborating to Study Tornadoes, Improve Forecasts

Christopher Weiss, a professor of atmospheric science in the Department of Geosciences through the College of Arts & Sciences at Texas Tech University and an affiliate of the university’s National Wind Institute (NWI), is leading a group from Texas...

– Texas Tech University

MERF Tips the Scale Toward Efficient Materials Testing

Scaling new materials is notoriously difficult, but unquestionably vital to improving performance and reducing costs. Energy industries, in particular, depend on the process to produce new materials at sufficient quantities to test and validate their...

– Argonne National Laboratory

includes video

New Collaboration to Accelerate Clean Energy Research at Stony Brook

Stony Brook University and the Center for Sustainable Energy® (CSE) have signed a memorandum of understanding to support and accelerate the development of clean and sustainable energy research being conducted in the Research & Development Park at St...

– Stony Brook University

Snapshot: New Video Highlights One of S&T’s Most Successful Technologies for Law Enforcement

The Electronic Recovery and Access to Data (ERAD) Prepaid Card Reader is currently being used by state and local law enforcement in 48 states, by federal law enforcement agencies, and by international law enforcement agencies.

– Homeland Security's Science And Technology Directorate


Blackout or pass-out? What twins tell us about sensitivity to alcohol

A new study involving more than three thousand adult twins from Australia has investigated the contributions of genetic and environmental factors to blacking and passing out after drinking. Twins are an important resource for health research, includi...

– Research Society on Alcoholism

Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research

Embargo expired on 07-May-2019 at 10:00 ET

Global Health Benefits of Climate Action Offset Costs

New research in Nature Communications reports that immediate, dramatic cuts in carbon emissions – aggressive enough to meet the Paris Climate Agreement – are economically sound if human health benefits are factored in.

– University of Vermont

Nature Communications ,10.1038/s41467-019-09499-x

Embargo expired on 07-May-2019 at 05:00 ET

Paper wasps capable of behavior that resembles logical reasoning

A new University of Michigan study provides the first evidence of transitive inference, the ability to use known relationships to infer unknown relationships, in a nonvertebrate animal: the lowly paper wasp.

– University of Michigan

Embargo expired on 07-May-2019 at 19:05 ET

Early Spring: Predicting Budburst with Genetics

Tree and shrub genetics can be used to produce more accurate predictions of when leaves will burst bud in the spring, according to a Canada-US study.

– Universite de Montreal

Methods in Ecology and Evolution, May 7 2019; William F. Milton Funds at Harvard University

Embargo expired on 07-May-2019 at 01:00 ET

Adaptive Cruise Control Vehicles Create Phantom Traffic Jams in Road Test

Work and his collaborators tested seven different cars from two manufacturers on a remote, rural roadway in Arizona. They simulated various driving conditions with a pace car changing its speed, followed by a vehicle using adaptive cruise control. Th...

– Vanderbilt University

arXiv; CNS-1446715; CNS-1446690; CNS-1446435; CNS-1446702; OISE-1743772; 693JJ31845050

includes video

Research Into Brain’s Reaction to Motion Earns Significant Attention

Understanding how the brain reacts to acceleration is essential to designing more effective protective equipment and strategies for preventing traumatic brain injury, or TBI.

– Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Journal of Biomechanical Engineering

Focus on Nuclear Waste Chemistry Could Help Hanford Cleanup Challenges

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Washington State University teamed up to investigate the complex dynamics of low-water liquids that challenge nuclear waste processin...

– Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Journal of Physical Chemistry B

Comet-Enabled Simulations Showcase Black Holes and Their Magnetic Bubbles

University of California and Princeton scientists have been collaborating on a computational astrophysics project to learn more about the recent discovery of a black hole, which sits in the middle of a galaxy called Messier 87 (M87), approximately 55...

– University of California San Diego

TG-AST170012; AST 13-33612; AST 17-15054; The Astrophysical Journal, Apr-2019

Research Team Finds New Ways to Generate Stem Cells More Efficiently

A new study published in Cell Reports by a team of researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and School of Medicine and Public Health could improve the efficiency of creating induced pluripont stem cel...

– University of Wisconsin-Madison

Cell Reports

Polyploidy – or How Do We Get Seedless Fruit?

Having an odd number of chromosomes can produce sterile – and seedless fruit

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

Comfortably to Simulated Mars

In cooperation with Empa, the Austrian Space Forum (ÖFW) is developing the "Serenity" space suit - a prototype for a Mars suit. The two partners have now signed a cooperation agreement to work even more closely together on the development of the pro...

– Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology


Brookhaven Lab and the Belle II Experiment

The Belle II experiment at Japan’s SuperKEKB particle accelerator started its first physics run in late March. But a key part of the experiment is taking place half a world away, using computing resources and expertise at Brookhaven National Labora...

– Brookhaven National Laboratory

includes video

Rutgers Senior Heads First Student-Led Rocket Launch

Timothy Nuber, an aerospace engineering senior at Rutgers–New Brunswick's School of Engineering, is gearing up to watch a rocket he helped construct with Operation Space launch at the end of this month. Nuber founded and serves as president of the ...

– Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Neutrons Investigate Tomatoes for Insights Into Interplant Chatter

Researchers from Xavier University used neutrons at ORNL’s High Flux Isotope Reactor to observe how plants communicate via underground networks of fungal hyphae. Insights gained could lead to improved agricultural applications that enable farmers t...

– Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Antibiotics in Wastewater: UB Chemist Investigates a Disturbing Trend

Diana Aga's research examines how sewage treatment systems help — or don’t help — to eliminate antimicrobial drugs and their remnants, called residues, from wastewater before it’s discharged into rivers and lakes.

Expert Available

– University at Buffalo


A Small Dinosaur from New Mexico is a Big Piece in the Puzzle of Tyrannosaur Evolution

Tyrannosauroid dinosaurs have a long evolutionary history and include iconic giants like Tyrannosaurus rex. Now an international research team including Alan H. Turner, PhD, from Stony Brook University, have uncovered the skeleton of a small tyrannos...

– Stony Brook University

Nature Ecology & Evolution

Embargo expired on 06-May-2019 at 11:00 ET

Plastic Gets a Do-Over: Breakthrough Discovery Recycles Plastic From the Inside Out

A team of researchers at Berkeley Lab has designed a recyclable plastic that, like a Lego playset, can be disassembled into its constituent parts at the molecular level, and then reassembled into a different shape, texture, and color again and again ...

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Nature Chemistry

IPBES: Nature's dangerous decline 'unprecedented,' species extinction rates 'accelerating'

Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history -- and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating

– The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)

7th Session of the IPBES Plenary

Dataset bridges human vision and machine learning

Neuroscientists and computer vision scientists say a new dataset of unprecedented size comprising brain scans of four volunteers who each viewed 5,000 images

– Carnegie Institution for Science

Scientific Data

Banana disease boosted by climate change

Climate change has raised the risk of a fungal disease that ravages banana crops, new research shows.

– University of Exeter

Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society B

Hunting jeopardizes forest carbon storage, yet is overlooked in climate mitigation efforts

The loss of animals, often due to unregulated or illegal hunting, has consequences for the carbon storage capacity of forests

– Lund University


Ash dieback is predicted to cost £15 billion in Britain

The predicted costs arise from clearing up dead and dying trees and in lost benefits provided by trees

– University of Oxford

Current Biology

Experimental Device Generates Electricity From the Coldness of the Universe

A drawback of solar panels is that they require sunlight to generate electricity. Some have observed that for a device on Earth facing space, the chilling outflow of energy from the device can be harvested using the same kind of optoelectronic physic...

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)

Applied Physics Letters

Radical Desalination Approach May Disrupt the Water Industry

Columbia Engineering researchers report that they have developed a radically different desalination approach—“temperature swing solvent extraction (TSSE)”—for hypersaline brines. Their study demonstrates that TSSE can desalinate very high-sal...

– Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science

Environmental Science & Technology Letter April 30 2019

includes video

Global climate trend since Dec. 1 1978: +0.13 C per decade

Global Temperature Report: April 2019

– University of Alabama Huntsville

When a Tree Falls in St. Louis, Will the Power Go Out?

Saint Louis University researchers paired satellite imaging data with machine learning techniques to map local tree species and health.

– Saint Louis University Medical Center


Program's student diversity strengthens its impact and reach

Members of the Green Briq venture, a Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) program venture, work with locals in Kisumu, Kenya, to create fuel briquettes from dried hyacinth, an invasive plant species found in the waters of East ...

– Penn State College of Engineering

SciWire Announcements

Endocrine Society Congratulates 2019 Early Investigators Award Winners

The Endocrine Society has selected five recipients for its Early Investigators Awards.

– Endocrine Society

ORNL, Lincoln Electric to Advance Large-Scale Metal Additive Manufacturing Technology

The new agreement builds upon ORNL and Lincoln Electric’s previous developments by extending additive technology to new materials, leveraging data analytics and enabling rapid manufacture of metal components in excess of 100 pounds per hour.

– Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Argonne’s Chain Reaction Innovations appoints first advisory council

World-class energy leaders will offer their expertise to Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI), the entrepreneurship program at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, as part of a new Advisory Council announced today. CRI has named...

– Argonne National Laboratory

Engineering Researchers Receive NSF Grant to Study Power Generation Using Human Sweat

The National Science Foundation has awarded a grant to faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York for research to generate power from human sweat.

– Binghamton University, State University of New York


SNPRC Announces New Assistant Director for Research Support

As the new Assistant Director for Research Support at the Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC), Christopher Chen, Ph.D., is in charge of improving operations at one of only seven National Primate Research Centers in the country.

– Texas Biomedical Research Institute

Hearing researcher Robert Fettiplace named a Passano Fellow; 2nd major scientific award

The University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Robert Fettiplace has been named a 2019 Passano Fellow for his research into the mechanics of hearing, his second prestigious international scientific prize in a year. Fettiplace, a professor of neuroscience ...

– University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Society for Risk Analysis Launches African Chapter

The Society for Risk Analysis International (SRA) recently announced the launch of a new regional chapter - SRA Africa. This new regional organization brings together risk practitioners from Africa, as well as those interested in addressing the healt...

– Society for Risk Analysis (SRA)

NOAA announces new $94 million ocean exploration institute led by University of Rhode Island

KINGSTON, R.I., – May 6, 2019 – The University of Rhode Island will lead a new $94 million consortium to support ocean exploration, responsible resource management, improved scientific understanding of the deep sea and strengthen the nation’s B...

– University of Rhode Island





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