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Newswise SciWire
Monday, December 23, 2019

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Science News

23-Dec-2019


Researchers discover how Zika virus remodels its host cell to boost viral production

Researchers in China have discovered how a Zika virus protein reshapes its host cell to aid viral replication. The study, which will be published December 23 in the Journal of Cell Biology, reveals that the viral protein NS1 converts an interior cell...

– The Rockefeller University Press

Journal of Cell Biology, February 2020; 81622028; 31470813; 81925003; 31770190; 2016-I2M-3-020; 2016ZX310192; 2016RC310037; 2016RC310031

Embargo expired on 23-Dec-2019 at 09:00 ET


NUS researchers uncover how fish get their shape

A team of researchers from the Mechanobiology Institute at the National University of Singapore investigated the science behind the formation of the ‘V’ patterns – also known as chevron patterns – in the swimming muscles of fish. The study fo...

– National University of Singapore

PNAS, Dec 17, 2019 116 (51) 25430-25439; first published Nov 26, 2019


Science Snapshots From Berkeley Lab

This edition of Science Snapshots highlights the discovery of an investigational cancer drug that targets tumors caused by mutations in the KRAS gene, the development of a new library of artificial proteins that could accelerate the design of new mat...

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Nature, Oct-30-2019; Chemical Science; Nature Communications


A New Twist on Controlling Magnetic Properties

Computer storage devices often use magnetic materials printed on very thin films. In this study, researchers rotated cobalt-iron alloy thin films relative to an applied magnetic field. Unexpectedly, depending on the rotation angle, a sizeable change...

– Department of Energy, Office of Science


Unraveling how Tungsten Armor Erodes in Tokamak Walls

Scientists developed a new model to describe how large, periodic bursts of plasma known as edge localized modes (ELMs) erode parts of tokamak walls. Tokamaks are devices used to study the process of fusion.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science


Accelerating the Development of Nuclear Fusion

Researchers from TAE Technologies used the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility to support their fusion research. The company is working to develop the world’s first fusion device that can generate electricity and is commercially viable.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science


Top Posts of 2019

From nanoparticles to algae ecology, the Office of Science supported a variety of research in 2019.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science

20-Dec-2019


Genetic variation gives mussels a chance to adapt to climate change

Existing genetic variation in natural populations of Mediterranean mussels allows them to adapt to declining pH levels in seawater caused by carbon emissions. A new study by biologists from the University of Chicago shows that mussels raised in a low...

– University of Chicago Medical Center

Nature Communications

Embargo expired on 20-Dec-2019 at 05:00 ET


Wetlands will keep up with sea level rise to offset climate change

Coastal wetlands provide stunning views and are hosts to a vast biodiversity. But they provide another service to the warming Earth: they capture carbon from the atmosphere and sequester it in their sediment at high rates. In the United States alone,...

– Marine Biological Laboratory

Nature Communications


Organic crop practices affect long-term soil health

Prior organic farming practices and plantings can have lasting outcomes for future soil health, weeds and crop yields, according to new Cornell University research.

– Cornell University

Agricultural Systems, Jan-2020


Study suggests obesity associated with greater greenhouse gas emissions

A new analysis suggests that the increasing average body size of people on Earth, in addition to the growing world population may further challenge attempts to reduce man-made carbon dioxide emissions, according to a paper published online in Obesity...

– Obesity Society

Obesity


A step closer to understanding evolution -- mitochondrial division conserved across species

Cellular origin is well explained by the "endosymbiotic theory," which famously states that higher organisms called "eukaryotes" have evolved from more primitive single-celled organisms called "prokaryotes."

– Tokyo University of Science

Communications Biology


This 'lemon' could help machine learning create better drugs

One of the challenges in using machine learning for drug development is to create a process for the computer to extract needed information from a pool of data points. Drug scientists must pull biological data and train the software to understand how ...

– Purdue University

Bioinformatics


Good role models can help dairy farmers reduce antibiotic use

Researchers from Cornell University and the University of Wageningen used a social psychology approach to understand how dairy farmers’ views impact how and when they use antibiotics to treat their cows.

– Cornell University

PLOS One, Sept.-2019


Sleep & Endurance Performance, Female Racers, Reducing Falls, Youth Fitness & More from the Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports & Science®

If you're looking for health and fitness story ideas, view these research highlights from Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews and Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise®, ACSM’s flagship journal.

– American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)


Getting a Closer Look Inside Biomolecules

Isotope “labeling” techniques replace specific atoms in a compound with an isotope that can be detected by its neutron count.

– Department of Energy, Office of Science


Tiny Crystals Work Better When They Double Up With Designer Frameworks

Where two unusual materials meet, scientists have seen promising behaviors for energy storage, medicine, and more. An international team of users and Foundry staff wrote a set of design rules that they then used to direct the self-assembly of the cry...

– Department of Energy, Office of Science


New Algorithms Shed Light on Molecules’ Structure and Motion in Cells

...

– Department of Energy, Office of Science


New Software Targets ICU Delirium

One of the nation’s largest health information technology companies, Epic Systems Corp., based in Verona, Wisconsin, has released a system update that stands to advance prevention of ICU delirium and improve patient outcomes.

– Vanderbilt University Medical Center


Argonne’s Mira supercomputer set to retire after years of enabling groundbreaking science

Mira, the 10-petaflop IBM Blue Gene/Q supercomputer first booted up at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory in 2012, will be decommissioned at the end of this year. Its work has spanned seven-plus years and delivered 39...

– Argonne National Laboratory

includes video

19-Dec-2019


Modern Trees Emerged Earlier Than Previously Believed, New Research Reveals

A research team led by faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York has uncovered evidence that the transition toward forests as we know them today began earlier than typically believed.

– Binghamton University, State University of New York

Current Biology, Dec-2019

Embargo expired on 19-Dec-2019 at 11:00 ET

includes video


Mimicking enzymes, chemists produce large, useful carbon rings

Drawing inspiration from nature, University of Wisconsin–Madison chemists have discovered an efficient way to wrangle long, snaking molecules to form large rings — rings that form the backbone of many pharmaceuticals but are difficult to produce ...

– University of Wisconsin-Madison

Science Dec. 19, 2019

Embargo expired on 19-Dec-2019 at 14:00 ET


'Cotton Candy' Planet Mysteries Unravel in New Hubble Observations

Astronomers using Hubble have studied a unique class of young, migratory exoplanets that have the density of cotton candy. Nothing like them exists in our solar system. They orbit the star Kepler 51, located 2,600 light-years away. Hubble spectroscop...

– Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)


Yes, Even Wild Tigers Struggle with Work/Life Balance

A new study by a team of Russian and American scientists revealed the first-ever detailed analysis of a tigress from the birth of her cubs through their first four months.

– Wildlife Conservation Society

Mammal Research


Tweaks Behind the Rebirth of Nearly Discarded Organic Solar Technologies

A minuscule, counterintuitive chemical tweak is advancing an organic solar technology that was believed unviable.

– Georgia Institute of Technology

Matter; N00014-17-1-2208


AI’s Future Potential Hinges on Consensus: NAM Report

The new report is designed to be a comprehensive reference for organizational leaders, health care professionals, data analysts, model developers and those who are working to integrate machine learning into health care, said Vanderbilt University Med...

– Vanderbilt University Medical Center

National Academy of Medicine


New Aqueous Lithium-Ion Battery Improves Safety Without Sacrificing Performance

As the lithium-ion batteries that power most phones, laptops, and electric vehicles become increasingly fast-charging and high-performing, they also grow increasingly expensive and flammable. In research published recently in Energy Storage Materia...

– Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Energy Storage Materials


Playing the angles with dramatic effect

Researchers report the most complete model to date concerning the transition from metal to insulator in correlated oxides. These oxides have fascinated scientists because of their many attractive electronic and magnetic properties.

– Argonne National Laboratory

Nature


How microbes reflect the health of coral reefs

Microorganisms play important roles in the health and protection of coral reefs, yet exploring these connections can be difficult due to the lack of unspoiled reef systems throughout the global ocean. A collaborative study led by scientists at the Wo...

– Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Environmental Microbiology


Greenland ice loss is at ‘worse-case scenario’ levels, study finds

Irvine, Calif., Dec. 19, 2019 – Greenland is losing ice mass seven times faster than in the 1990s, a pace that matches the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s high-end warming scenario – in which 400 million people would be exposed to c...

– University of California, Irvine

Nature, Dec. 2019


How genetics and social games drive evolution of mating systems in mammals

Traditional explanations for why some animals are monogamous and others are promiscuous or polygamous have focused on ecological factors. A new theory focuses instead on social interactions driven by genetically determined behaviors.

– University of California, Santa Cruz

American Naturalist, Dec-2019


New archaeological discoveries reveal birch bark tar was used in medieval England

Scientists from the University of Bristol and the British Museum, in collaboration with Oxford Archaeology East and Canterbury Archaeological Trust, have, for the first time, identified the use of birch bark tar in medieval England - the use of which...

– University of Bristol

Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports


Advancing information processing with exceptional points and surfaces

Researchers have for the first time detected an exceptional surface based on measurements of exceptional points. These points are modes that exhibit phenomenon with possible practical applications in information processing.

– Argonne National Laboratory

Phys. Rev. Lett., Dec-2019


Improving Efficiency, Effectiveness of Security X-Ray Technology

The smuggling of contraband is a major threat in airport security and risks have increased in modern times with the uptick in parcel delivery, but security inspection methods have not seen any significant improvements. In AIP Advances, researchers pr...

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)

AIP Advances


Honey, I shrunk Michelangelo's David

There he is, standing upon his pedestal: David by Michelangelo. A world-?famous statue that nearly every child can recognise. But this David is just 1 millimeter tall, pedestal included

– ETH Zürich

Micromachines


Fireballs: mail from space

When should we send expeditions to look for meteorites that have impacted Earth?

– University of Helsinki

Astrophysical Journal


Amazon forest regrowth much slower than previously thought

The regrowth of Amazonian forests following deforestation can happen much slower than previously thought, a new study shows.

– Lancaster University

Ecology


Submarine cables to offshore wind farms transformed into a seismic network

An international team of geoscientists led by Caltech has used fiber optic communications cables stationed at the bottom of the North Sea as a giant seismic network, tracking both earthquakes and ocean waves.

– California Institute of Technology

Nature Communications


Integrating Social and Ecological Science For Effective Coral Reef Conservation

While many conservation plans focus on only environmental indicators for success, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)’s coral reef program is trying a relatively new approach: focusing on both social and ecological processes and outcomes to ens...

– Wildlife Conservation Society

Biological Conservation


People in Peru Are Being Exposed to Potentially Dangerous Levels of Mercury

People living in the southern Peruvian Amazon are being exposed to potentially dangerous levels of mercury due to a combination of their diet and artisanal and small-scale gold mining occurring in their communities.

– University at Albany, State University of New York

Environmental Research


Sea anemones with jet lag?

Ocean scientists investigate the internal body clocks of sea anemones to determine if fluctuating temperatures play a role in their daily rhythms.

– Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution


Undersecretary for Science Paul Dabbar Recently Visited the South Pole Telescope in Antarctica

The South Pole Telescope is one of the tools scientists are using to understand the earliest history of our universe. To check out the Department of Energy’s (DOE) investment in this project, DOE Undersecretary for Science Paul Dabbar visited the f...

– Department of Energy, Office of Science


With ADIOS, Summit processes celestial data at scale of massive future telescope

Researchers cannot collect enough observational data to practice analyzing the huge quantities expected from the Square Kilometre Array, which will be the world’s largest radio telescope. Instead, an international team recently used Summit to simul...

– Oak Ridge National Laboratory

includes video


The Demon in the Machine is named Physics Book of the Year in UK

Paul Davies’ newest book, The Demon in the Machine, takes aim at one of the great outstanding scientific enigmas –what is life, how and why does it emerge and what distinguishes the living from the non-living? The book, which was published this p...

– Arizona State University (ASU)

Demon in the Machine

SciWire Announcement


Summit Charts a Course to Uncover the Origins of Genetic Diseases

Gene mutations can interfere with how the body expresses genes and cause disease. To better understand this connection, researchers recently developed a model of the transcription preinitiation complex (PIC).

– Department of Energy, Office of Science


LLNL physicist elected to lead Division of Plasma Physics of American Physical Society

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) physicist Denise Hinkel was elected vice chair of the American Physical Society (APS) Division of Plasma Physics (DPP) during the annual meeting Oct. 21.

– Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

American Physical Society (APS) Division of Plasma Physics (DPP) annual meeting Oct. 21.


Alex Nagy, a “creative and energetic” engineer, is named a Distinguished Engineering Fellow

Feature profiles PPPL Distinguished Engineering Fellow recipient Alex Nagy

– Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory


Electron Pulser for Ultrafast Electron Microscopy Wins 2019 R&D 100 Award

Brookhaven and its collaborators developed a laser-free device for probing fast atomic-scale processes in energy and bio materials.

– Brookhaven National Laboratory


The Quantum Information Edge Launches to Accelerate Quantum Computing R&D for Breakthrough Science

A nationwide alliance of national labs, universities, and industry launched today to advance the frontiers of quantum computing systems designed to solve urgent scientific challenges and maintain U.S. leadership in next-generation information technol...

– Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


Paul Ginsparg Named Winner of the 2020 AIP Karl Compton Medal

The American Institute of Physics is pleased to announce Paul Ginsparg, a professor at Cornell University and founder of arXiv, as the winner of AIP’s 2020 Karl Taylor Compton Medal for Leadership in Physics. Named after prominent physicist Karl Ta...

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)


Society for Risk Analysis Inducts William Ruckelshaus to the Pantheon of Risk Analysis

The Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) inducted William Ruckelshaus to the Pantheon of Risk Analysis. The Pantheon, established in 2008, recognizes luminaries and visionaries in risk analysis and serves to illustrate how the field contributes to the adv...

– Society for Risk Analysis (SRA)


Harvard Medical School Names Executive Director of Therapeutics Translation

Pharmaceutical R&D executive, accomplished scientist to lead School’s efforts to propel basic science discoveries into treatments

– Harvard Medical School


The Wistar Institute Received Nearly $2.5M in Philanthropic Support

In the past six months, scientists at The Wistar Institute received funding from private foundations totaling $2,418,000 that will fuel new discoveries in cancer, immunology and infectious diseases.

– Wistar Institute


NIH Grant Could Lead to Better Understanding of How Air Pollutants Aggravate Asthma in Children

A multidisciplinary team of University of Utah Health scientists has received a five-year, $3 million grant from the National Institutes of variations in pollutant-sensing genes in the lungs could influence air pollution’s effects on children who h...

– University of Utah Health

SciWire Higher Education Events


Wake up with cutting-edge science on Saturday mornings at PPPL’s Science on Saturday lecture series

PPPL begins its weekly series of lectures in the Ronald E. Hatcher Science on Saturday Lecture series in January. The 10-week series on a variety of cutting-edge science topics kicks off on Jan. 11 with a talk on "Visual Perception and the Art of the...

– Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

SciWire Research Alert


Coral Conservation Gets a Boost from Silicon Valley

– Wildlife Conservation Society

 "Emerging technologies and coral reef conservation: Opportunities, challenges, and moving forward"

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