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Monday, January 20, 2020

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Science News


Spock versus the volcano

Kolumbo volcano—which sits 500 meters below the surface within the fault-heavy Hellenic Volcanic Arc just off Santorini—is the Aegean Sea’s most active and potentially dangerous volcano.

– Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution


Green in tooth and claw

Hard plant foods may have made up a larger part of early human ancestors’ diet than currently presumed, according to a new experimental study of modern tooth enamel from Washington University in St. Louis. The results have implications for reconstr...

– Washington University in St. Louis

Scientific Reports

UC San Diego-led Study Finds Close Evolutionary Proximity Between Microbial Domains in the ‘Tree of Life’

A comprehensive analysis of 10,575 genomes as part of a multi-national study led by researchers at UC San Diego has revealed close evolutionary proximity between the microbial domains at the base of the tree of life, the branching pattern of evolutio...

– University of California San Diego

Nature Communications, Dec 2019

Domestic Mallards Gone Wild

A recent study published in the journal Molecular Ecology presents significant findings related to the genetic makeup of two North American iconic ducks: mallards and American black ducks.

– University of Texas at El Paso

Ecology and Evolution

Jumping genes threaten egg cell quality

A woman's supply of eggs is finite, so it is crucial that the quality of their genetic material is ensured.

– Carnegie Institution for Science

Nature Communications

The mysterious, legendary giant squid's genome is revealed

How did the monstrous giant squid - reaching school-bus size, with eyes as big as dinner plates and tentacles that can snatch prey 10 yards away -- get so scarily big?

– Marine Biological Laboratory


Spider-Man-Style Robotic Graspers Defy Gravity

Traditional methods of vacuum suction and previous vacuum suction devices cannot maintain suction on rough surfaces due to vacuum leakage, which leads to suction failure. Researchers Xin Li and Kaige Shi developed a zero-pressure difference method to...

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)

Physics of Fluids

Climate may play a bigger role than deforestation in rainforest biodiversity

"Save the rainforests" is a snappy slogan, but it doesn't tell the full story of how complicated it is to do just that.

– Field Museum


The core of massive dying galaxies already formed 1.5 billion years after the Big Bang

Astrophysics, Galaxies: The most distant dying galaxy discovered so far, more massive than our Milky Way -- with more than a trillion stars -- has revealed that the 'cores' of these systems had formed already 1.5 billion years after the Big Bang, abo...

– University of Copenhagen

Astrophysical Journal Letters

Human-caused biodiversity decline started millions of years ago

The human-caused biodiversity decline started much earlier than researchers used to believe. According to a new study published in the scientific journal Ecology Letters the process was not started by our own species but by some of our ancestors.

– University of Gothenburg

Ecology Letters

New dog, old tricks? Stray dogs can understand human cues

If you have a dog, hopefully you're lucky enough to know that they are highly attuned to their owners and can readily understand a wide range of commands and gestures. But are these abilities innate or are they exclusively learned through training?

– Frontiers

Frontiers in Psychology

What Is An Endangered Species?

What makes for an endangered species classification isn’t always obvious.

– Michigan Technological University

Environmental Research Letters

DHS S&T Leads Smart City Tech Integration Pilot for St. Louis

DHS S&T conducted its final integration of smart city technologies this week in St. Louis, Missouri in collaboration with the city, the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), and the T-REX Innovation Center (T-REX).

– Homeland Security's Science And Technology Directorate

Securing Radiological Sources on the Go

Radioactive materials are a critical tool in a number of industrial applications particularly oil and gas drilling and welding. While these sources are safe and well-regulated for their intended use; if lost or stolen the materials could be used by ...

– Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

New ORNL software improves neutron spectroscopy data resolution

Neutron spectroscopy is an important tool for studying magnetic and thermoelectric properties in materials. But often the resolution, or the ability of the instrument to see fine details, is too coarse to clearly observe features identifying novel ph...

– Oak Ridge National Laboratory


Mosquitoes Engineered to Repel Dengue Virus

An international team of scientists has synthetically engineered mosquitoes that halt the transmission of the dengue virus. The development marks the first engineered approach in mosquitoes that targets the four known types of dengue, improving upon...

– University of California San Diego

PLOS Pathogens, Jan-2020

Embargo expired on 16-Jan-2020 at 14:00 ET

includes video

Mobile protected areas needed to protect biodiversity in the high seas

In this week's issue of Science, marine scientists make the case for the United Nations to include mobile marine protected areas in the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, or UNCLOS, now being updated since its last signing in 1982.

– University of Washington

Science, Jan. 17, 2020

Embargo expired on 16-Jan-2020 at 14:00 ET

New Method Detects Toxin Exposure from Harmful Algal Blooms in Human Urine

A newly developed method can detect even low-dose human exposure to microcystins and nodularin in human urine. During harmful algal blooms (HABs), species of cyanobacteria release toxic peptides, including microcystins and nodularin into waterways, ...

– Florida Atlantic University


FSU Research: Male and female firefighters have different problems with protective suits

When female firefighters put on the protective suits they need for their work, they’re often using gear that has been designed for a male body.Because of that mismatch, the suits don’t fit as well as they should, and their mobility is impaired. F...

– Florida State University

Applied Ergonomics

A Wearable Gas Sensor for Health and Environmental Monitoring

A highly sensitive wearable gas sensor for environmental and human health monitoring may soon become commercially available, according to researchers at Penn State and Northeastern University.

– Penn State Materials Research Institute

Journal of Materials Chemistry A Jan-2020

Diverse cropping systems don’t increase carbon storage compared to corn-soybean rotations

Diversified crop rotations protect water quality and have other environmental benefits, but recent experiments show that farms can’t rely on such rotations to improve carbon storage in the soil. The findings contradict widely held expectations that...

– Iowa State University

Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment Volume 291, 1 April 2020, 106810

What’s MER? It’s a Way to Measure Quantum Materials, and It’s Telling US New and Interesting Things

Experimental physicists have combined several measurements of quantum materials into one in their ongoing quest to learn more about manipulating and controlling the behavior of them for possible applications. They even coined a term for it-- Magneto-...

– Ames Laboratory

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Fossil Is the Oldest-Known Scorpion

Scientists studying fossils collected 35 years ago have identified them as the oldest-known scorpion species, a prehistoric animal from about 437 million years ago. The researchers found that the animal likely had the capacity to breathe in both anci...

– Ohio State University

Scientific Reports

Nanomaterial "Twist" Could Boost Next-Gen Electronics

Research by Nebraska engineers Peter and Eli Sutter points to a way to overcome the challenges of building multi-layered nanostructures

– University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Nature Communications, Dec. 4, 2019

Study Weighs Deep-Sea Mining’s Impact on Microbes

The essential roles that microbes play in deep-sea ecosystems are at risk from the potential environmental impacts of mining.

– Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Limnology and Oceanography

Organized cybercrime – not your average mafia

Research from Michigan State University is one of the first to identify common attributes of cybercrime networks, revealing how these groups function and work together to cause an estimated $445-600 billion of harm globally per year.

– Michigan State University

International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology

AgriLife Research Develops Tropical Hibiscus Hybrids Ready for Market

Winter-hardy hibiscus cultivars are what initially attracted Dariusz Malinowski, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Research plant physiologist and breeder, to the world of flowers, but now he’s ready to splash a little tropical color into the market.

– Texas A&M AgriLife

Frontiers of Science

New Penguin Colony Discovered in Argentina

Just in time for Penguin Awareness Day on January 20th, WCS researchers announced the discovery of a new colony of Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) on a remote island in Argentina.

– Wildlife Conservation Society

includes video

MITRE Unveils Laboratory Focused on Autonomous Technology

In MITRE's Mobile Autonomous Systems Experimentation (MASE) Laboratory, team are researching ways to accelerate advanced autonomous technology and provide objective perspective and recommendations for broad impact in multiple domains, including drone...


MITRE Uses Earth Shadow to Determine Satellite Range

Until now, determining the orbit of satellites has required many measurements or multiple telescopes. A team of MITRE scientists took their equipment to Chile to view an eclipse—and proved an easier way.


SciWire Announcement

Call for Entries: Awards for Science Writing

The American Institute of Physics is accepting submissions for the 2020 AIP Science Communication Awards. The awards were established in 1968 to recognize the best examples of science writing in the previous year. Entries should be intended for a gen...

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)

Hackensack Meridian Health Center for Discovery and Innovation to Host Genomic Medicine Symposium

The Symposium on February 19 will feature a variety of clinical disorders in which prevention, screening, and treatment can be informed through genomic and epigenomic data.

– Hackensack Meridian Health

Hackensack Meridian Health Center for Discovery and Innovation (CDI), Feb 19

DHS S&T Awards $750K to Maryland Company for Cybersecurity of Emergency Communicators

DHS S&T awarded $750,000 to SecuLore Solutions, an Odenton, Md.-based cybersecurity company, to improve and increase the resiliency of the nation’s emergency communications infrastructure, including Next Generation 911 (NG911) technologies.

– Homeland Security's Science And Technology Directorate

$25 Million Project Will Advance DNA-Based Archival Data Storage

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity’s (IARPA) Molecular Information Storage (MIST) program has awarded a multi-phase contract worth up to $25 million to develop scalable DNA-based molecular storage techniques. The goal of the proje...

– Georgia Institute of Technology

ARVO Foundation Announces New Genentech Career Development Award for Underrepresented Minorities

The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) today announced the launch of a new career development program aimed to provide early-career underrepresented minority (URM) scientists the opportunity to explore novel and innovative id...

– Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)

SciWire Higher Education Events

Top Diet and Nutrition Issues to be Highlighted during Jan. 29 Media-only Event

The work of scientists from the Nebraska Food for Health Center, the Nebraska Center for Prevention of Obesity Diseases and the Food Allergen Research and Resource Center, along with a behavioral economist who studies food choice decisions, will be h...

– University of Nebraska-Lincoln





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