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Newswise SciWire - Science News for Journalists
Newswise SciWire
Monday, May 20, 2019

Public Edition |

(46 New)

Science News



The Oregon State University College of Engineering has long held a deep connection with Hewlett Packard (HP), one of the most innovative technology companies in the world, that has benefited both institutions on multiple levels.

– Oregon State University, College of Engineering

includes video


Can a Hands-on Model Help Forest Stakeholders Fight Tree Disease?

Sudden oak death, a disease that's killed millions of trees, turned up in Oregon, posing a threat to the timber industry. Scientists are using a 3D model called Tangible Landscape to help stakeholders work together to find ways to stop the disease's ...

– North Carolina State University

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences; R5-2016-05; 2015-67013-23818

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

Saturated buffers remove nitrates from tile drainage water

Saturated buffers can provide a cost-effective means of removing nitrates from tile drainage water before it flows into adjacent creeks and streams. However, the site must meet specific guidelines.

– South Dakota State University


Restaurant Acoustics that Schmeckt

Acoustics consultant Klaus Genuit says that new ISO guidelines for defining, measuring and evaluating soundscapes are a big step forward in guiding the creation of audibly fine restaurants. "A soup might be delicious or not, but you can't answer this...

– Acoustical Society of America (ASA)

177th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America

Embargo expired on 17-May-2019 at 08:00 ET

Ultra-Clean Fabrication Platform Produces Nearly Ideal 2D Transistors

Columbia Engineering researchers report that they have demonstrated a nearly ideal transistor made from a 2D material stack—with only a two-atom-thick semiconducting layer—by developing a completely clean and damage-free fabrication process. Thei...

– Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science

Nature Electronics May 17 1029

Embargo expired on 17-May-2019 at 12:00 ET

includes video

Stigma towards sexual minorities increases alcohol craving

Exposure to stigma elicits negative mood and alcohol craving among sexual minority young adults who are heavy drinkers, according to findings from a novel study at American University, Washington, DC, and Brown University, Rhode Island.

– Research Society on Alcoholism

Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research

Embargo expired on 17-May-2019 at 10:00 ET

Wearable cooling and heating patch could serve as personal thermostat and save energy

A new wearable patch could provide personalized cooling and heating at home, work, or on the go. The soft, stretchy patch cools or warms a user’s skin to a comfortable temperature and keeps it there as the ambient temperature changes. It is powered...

– University of California San Diego

Science Advance, May-2019; DE-AR0000535

Embargo expired on 17-May-2019 at 14:00 ET

Changes in Subsistence Hunting Threaten Local Food Security

Scientists with the Universidad San Francisco de Quito and WCS Ecuador Program publishing in the journal BioTropica say that subsistence hunting in Neotropical rain forests – the mainstay of local people as a source of protein and a direct connecti...

– Wildlife Conservation Society


Study Could Improve Understanding of how Rare Species Benefit Human Beings

A recent report from the UN suggests we're in the middle of an acute global biodiversity crisis. A new study on rare species' benefits to human beings could help inform policy initiatives seeking to respond to that crisis.

– Florida State University

Trends in Ecology and Evolution

Scientists propose rethinking 'endangered species' definition to save slow-breeding giants

Conservation decisions based on population counts may fail to protect large, slow-breeding animals from irrevocable decline, according to new research coinciding with Endangered Species Day.

– Frontiers

Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution

Owning a dog is influenced by our genetic make-up

A team of Swedish and British scientists have studied the heritability of dog ownership using information from 35,035 twin pairs from the Swedish Twin Registry.

– Uppsala University

Scientific Reports

Sedimentary, dear Johnson: Is NASA looking at the wrong rocks for clues to Martian life?

In 2020, NASA and European-Russian missions will look for evidence of past life on Mars.

– Frontiers

Frontiers in Earth Science

Machine learning speeds modeling of experiments aimed at capturing fusion energy on Earth to rapidly predict behavior of plasma that fuels fusion reactions

Release describes application of machine learning form of artificial intelligence to predict the behavior of fusion plasma.

– Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Researchers Unravel Mechanisms that Control Cell Size

A multidisciplinary team has provided new insight into underlying mechanisms controlling the precise size of cells. The researchers found that “the adder,” a function that guides cells to grow by a fixed size from birth to division, is controlled...

– University of California San Diego

Current Biology, May-2019

includes video

Finding the ‘Goldilocks’ Level of Enthusiasm for Business Pitches

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers found how long an entrepreneur displays the highest level of excitement during a pitch plays a major role in predicting success in receiving funding.

– Georgia Institute of Technology

Academy of Management Journal

Cancer Research Highlights from Upcoming ACSM 66th Annual Meeting in Orlando

Last year, an estimated 18 million cancer cases existed worldwide. This year, an estimated 1.76 new cancer cases will be diagnosed and 606,000 cancer deaths will occur in the United States. The number of cancer survivors worldwide is also growing, wi...

– American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

ACSM 66th Annual Meeting

NSF grant unites cross-campus researchers to study and optimize flying robots

Researchers in the Penn State Department of Mechanical Engineering recently received a $389,919 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to investigate, explore and innovate new flying mechanisms for micro air vehicles (MAVs) to better mimic ...

– Penn State College of Engineering


Pet Talk: The Importance of Flea & Tick Control

Tick season is here and flea season is soon to follow. These pests don’t just annoy our cats and dogs, but they also serve as vectors that spread a large number of diseases between animals.

– Texas A&M University


Antibiotics, Taken Strategically, Could Actually Help Defeat Antibiotic Resistance

Those same antibiotics driving antibiotic resistance could also help defeat it if used with the right strategy. Making it work would require companion health strategies like staying home from work when carrying resistant bacteria.

– Georgia Institute of Technology

PLOS Biology; OADS BAA 2016-N-17812; U54GM088558; 396001; RGP0011/2014

Embargo expired on 16-May-2019 at 14:00 ET

Mutation makes bulldogs and Norwich terriers more susceptible to breathing problems

The discovery of a new mutation associated with breathing difficulties in popular dog breeds suggests that shortened skulls causing flat faces is not the only factor that contributes to the condition


PLOS Genetics

Embargo expired on 16-May-2019 at 14:00 ET

Breakthrough Technique for Studying Gene Expression Takes Root in Plants

An open-source RNA analysis platform has been successfully used on plant cells for the first time – an advance that could herald a new era of fundamental research and bolster efforts to engineer more efficient food and biofuel crop plants. The t...

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Cell Reports

Galaxy Blazes with New Stars Born from Close Encounter

This Hubble Space Telescope image of the irregular galaxy NGC 4485 shows all signs of the galaxy having been involved in a hit-and-run accident with its larger galactic neighbor.

– Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)

A tale of two skeeters

It’s rare that scientists see the good in the presence of an invasive species. But Washington University in St. Louis researchers discovered that a native mosquito in Missouri has fewer parasites when it shares its waters with an interloper.Scratch...

– Washington University in St. Louis

Journal of Animal Ecology

Algal blooms in Lake Erie’s central basin could produce neurotoxins

Harmful algal blooms pose a unique toxic threat in Lake Erie’s central basin, new research has found. Not only do blooms routinely occur in this area, they can also produce types of cyanobacterial toxins that aren’t typically detected through rou...

– Ohio State University

Journal of Great Lakes Research

Bio-inspired material targets oceans’ uranium stores for sustainable nuclear energy

Scientists have demonstrated a new bio-inspired material for an eco-friendly and cost-effective approach to recovering uranium from seawater. The low-cost polymer adsorbent could help push past bottlenecks in the cost and efficiency of extracting ura...

– Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Nature Communications

Small, Hardy Planets Most Likely to Survive Death of Their Stars

Small, hardy planets packed with dense elements have the best chance of avoiding being crushed and swallowed up when their host star dies, new research from the University of Warwick has found.

– University of Warwick

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

To win online debates, social networks worth a thousand words

According to Cornell researchers, social interactions are more important than language in predicting who is going to succeed at online debating. However, the most accurate model for predicting successful debaters combines information about social int...

– Cornell University

Web Conference, May 2019

Study aims to improve capturing wind power for energy production

Notre Dame scientists have released the first of several reports outlining major results that could help wind industry officials manage wind power facilities more efficiently and increase renewable energy production.

– University of Notre Dame

Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society

Malnourished fruit flies preserve genital size to ensure reproductive success

In most animals, body size shrinks when food becomes scarce, but some parts are protected from shrinkage. In humans without enough food, the body becomes small, but the size of the head stays the same, hinting at biological mechanisms that act to pre...

– University of Illinois at Chicago

Biology Letters

Archaeological discovery upends a piece of Barbados history

Which came first, the pigs or the pioneers? In Barbados, that has been a historical mystery ever since the first English colonists arrived on the island in 1627 to encounter what they thought was a herd of wild European pigs.

– Simon Fraser University


CosmoGAN: Training a Neural Network to Study Dark Matter

A Berkeley Lab-led research group is using a deep learning method known as generative adversarial networks to enhance the use of gravitational lensing in the study of dark matter.

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Computational Astrophysics and Cosmology

Organic animal farms benefit birds nesting in agricultural environments

The abundance of bird species living in agricultural environments has decreased both in Finland and elsewhere in Europe.

– University of Helsinki


Particulate matter from aircraft engines affects airways

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), seven million people worldwide die as a consequence of air pollution every year.

– University of Bern

Nature Communications Biology

Scientists develop technology to capture tumor cells

Instead of searching for a needle in a haystack, what if you were able to sweep the entire haystack to one side, leaving only the needle behind? That’s the strategy researchers in the University of Georgia College of Engineering followed in develop...

– University of Georgia

Meet the Tenrecs

WCS 3-Sentence Science: Researchers reviewed the conservation priorities for the 31 species of tenrec – a poorly understood family of small mammals superficially resembling hedgehogs, found only on the island of Madagascar.

– Wildlife Conservation Society


Mapping Human Dependence on Marine Ecosystems

WCS 3-Sentence Science: Researchers created a new conceptual model to map the degree of human dependence on marine ecosystems based on the magnitude of the benefit, susceptibility of people to a loss of that benefit, and the availability of alternati...

– Wildlife Conservation Society

Conservation letters

Extreme Heat – and Maybe a Virus – Wiped Out Cambodian Bats

WCS 3-Sentence Science: A mass mortality event involving two bat species, the wrinkle-lipped free-tailed bat (Chaerephon plicatus) and Theobold’s bat (Taphozous theobaldi) occurred during a heat wave in April 2016 in Cambodia.

– Wildlife Conservation Society

European Journal of Wildlife Research

Thinking Locally

WCS 3-Sentence Science: Policies and interventions designed based on indicators of human well-being can potentially do unintentional harm if there is a mismatch between local and global worldviews.

– Wildlife Conservation Society

Conservation Science and Practice

Ocean Skeletons Reveal Historical Climate Impacts

WCS 3-Sentence Science: A limiting factor in projecting where coral reefs will survive under 21st century climate change is a lack of quantitative data on the thermal thresholds of different reef communities.

– Wildlife Conservation Society

Coral Reefs

Using “Systems Thinking” for Conservation Change

WCS 3-Sentence Science: “Systems thinking,” which considers the elements, interconnections, and function or goal of things, offers approaches that could help conservation be more adaptive, transparent, and evidence-based.

– Wildlife Conservation Society

Conservation Science and Practice

Children describe technology that gives them a sense of ambiguity as 'creepy'

University of Washington researchers have defined for the first time what children mean when they say technology is “creepy.”

– University of Washington

2019 ACM CHI conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Record-shattering underwater sound

A team of researchers has produced a record-shattering underwater sound with an intensity that eclipses that of a rocket launch. The intensity was equivalent to directing the electrical power of an entire city onto a single square meter, resulting in...

– SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Gabriel Blaj et al., Physical Review Fluids, 10 April 2019 (10.1103/PhysRevFluids.4.043401)

Big Help from Small Microbes: Electron Transfers to Produce Fuels and Fertilizer

The team at the BETCy Energy Frontier Research Center is learning how electron transfer processes drive energy-intensive reactions that produce ammonia and other chemicals. Knowing how electrons move could lead to processes that let industrial reacti...

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

Argonne releases updated computer model to help bioenergy developers conserve water

Argonne researchers continue to help bioenergy developers manage water resources through the recently released update of an online computer model, Water Analysis Tool for Energy Resources (WATER). Providing an in-depth analysis of water consumption u...

– Argonne National Laboratory

SciWire Announcements

WVU receives $8.2 million software gift from LMKR for energy geology coursework and research

LMKR, an international petroleum technology company, has partnered with West Virginia University to expand student and faculty access to industry-leading software.

– West Virginia University - Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

Gates Foundation funds UIC solar-powered water treatment project in Kenya

The University of Illinois at Chicago has received a $100,000 grant from Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant will enable the expansion and testing of a clean drinking water system in two info...

– University of Illinois at Chicago





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