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Newswise SciWire
Thursday, January 23, 2020

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Science News


'Sex Tech' Study Finds Technology Facilitates Sexual and Emotional Interactions

Advances in technology have allowed us to interact with others across the globe, and a new study of adults who engage with "sex tech"—innovative technologies used to enhance sexuality—announced by the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University reveal...

– Indiana University

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore Lab Foundation, ClimateWorks to unveil report on California’s road to carbon neutrality

LLNL will host a briefing to unveil the new report “Getting to Neutral: Options for Negative Carbon Emissions in California,” which identifies a robust suite of technologies to help California clear the last hurdle and become carbon neutral by 20...

– Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

What do nutrients do for plants?

What do nutrients do for plants?

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

Sustainable, Secure Food


Late Neolithic Italy Was Home to Complex Networks of Metal Exchange

Analysis reveals where prehistoric Italian communities got their copper, from Tuscany and beyond



Embargo expired on 22-Jan-2020 at 14:00 ET

Urine Reuse as Fertilizer Is Not Likely to Transfer Antibiotic Resistance

Going “green” with urine carries some potential risks. Now, research published in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T) shows this risk is likely to be minimal.

– American Chemical Society (ACS)

Environmental Science & Technology

Embargo expired on 22-Jan-2020 at 08:00 ET

A heart-healthy protein from bran of cereal crop

Researchers have identified a protein in foxtail millet that can help stave off atherosclerosis in mice genetically prone to the disease. They report their results in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

– American Chemical Society (ACS)

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Embargo expired on 22-Jan-2020 at 08:00 ET

Helping roadside soils bounce back after construction

Research shows tillage and vegetation can help alleviate compaction

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

2019 ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meeting

Most Rehabilitating Sea Turtles with Infectious Tumors Don’t Survive

Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is the most significant infectious disease affecting sea turtle populations worldwide. FB leads to tumors on the turtles’ eyes, flippers and internal organs and is widespread in warmer climates like Florida. A large-scale s...

– Florida Atlantic University

Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

Johns Hopkins Researchers: Climate Change Threatens to Unlock New Microbes and Increase Heat-Related Illness and Death

The Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI) recently published “Viewpoint” articles by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine professors who warn that global climate change is likely to unlock dangerous new microbes, as well as threaten huma...

– Johns Hopkins Medicine

The Journal of Clinical Investigation

Mapping the Path of Climate Change

Predicting a major transition, such as climate change, is extremely difficult, but the probabilistic framework developed by the authors is the first step in identifying the path between a shift in two environmental states.

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)


The color of your clothing can impact wildlife

Your choice of clothing could affect the behavioral habits of wildlife around you, according to a study conducted by a team of researchers, including faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

– Binghamton University, State University of New York

Biotropica, Dec-2019

includes video

Genetic marking discovery improves fruit quality, bolsters climate defenses

Transferring genetic markers in plant breeding is a challenge, but a team of grapevine breeders and scientists at Cornell University have come up with a powerful new method that improves fruit quality and acts as a key defense against pests and a cha...

– Cornell University

Nature Communications, Jan-2020

Air pollution in New York City linked to wildfires hundreds of miles away

A new study shows that air pollutants from the smoke of fires from as far as Canada and the southeastern U.S. traveled hundreds of miles and several days to reach Connecticut and New York City, where it caused significant increases in pollution conce...

– European Geosciences Union (EGU)

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

Caterpillar loss in tropical forest linked to extreme rain, temperature events

Using a 22-year dataset of plant-caterpillar-parasitoid interactions collected within a patch of protected Costa Rican lowland Caribbean forest, scientists report declines in caterpillar and parasitoid diversity and density that are paralleled by los...

– University of Nevada, Reno

Scientific Reports

Walking sharks discovered in the tropics

Four new species of tropical sharks that use their fins to walk are causing a stir in waters off northern Australia and New Guinea.

– University of Queensland

Marine & Freshwater Research Journal

includes video

Nature Study: First Ancient DNA from West Africa Illuminates the Deep Human Past

The research team sequenced DNA from four children buried 8,000 and 3,000 years ago at Shum Laka in Cameroon, a site excavated by a Belgian and Cameroonian team 30 years ago. The findings, “Ancient West African foragers in the context of African po...

– Saint Louis University


New model helps pave the way to bringing clean fusion energy down to Earth

State-of-the-art simulation confirms a key source of heat and energy loss in spherical fusion facilities.

– Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion

Surprise discovery shakes up our understanding of gene expression

A group of University of Chicago scientists has uncovered a previously unknown way that our genes are made into reality. Rather than directions going one-way from DNA to RNA to proteins, the latest study shows that RNA itself modulates how DNA is tra...

– University of Chicago

Science, Jan. 20, 2020

FSU Research: Despite less ozone pollution, not all plants benefit

Policies and new technologies have reduced emissions of precursor gases that lead to ozone air pollution, but despite those improvements, the amount of ozone that plants are taking in has not followed the same trend, according to Florida State Univer...

– Florida State University

Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene

What's in Puget Sound? New technique casts a wide net for concerning chemicals

Using a new “non-targeted” approach, University of Washington and UW Tacoma researchers screened samples from multiple regions of Puget Sound to look for potentially harmful compounds that might be present.

– University of Washington

Environmental Science & Technology

Chemistry finding could make solar energy more efficient

Scientists for the first time have developed a single molecule that can absorb sunlight efficiently and also act as a catalyst to transform solar energy into hydrogen, a clean alternative to fuel for things like gas-powered vehicles. This new mole...

– Ohio State University

Nature Chemistry

Global river deltas increasingly shaped by humans, study says

The study by current and former researchers at Tulane University looked at nearly every delta in the world.

– Tulane University


Meet Liguo Wang, Scientific Operations Director of LBMS

This spring, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory will open its new cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) center, the Laboratory for BioMolecular Structure (LBMS). A state-of-the-art research center for life sciences im...

– Brookhaven National Laboratory

UND Aerospace and Petroleum Engineering teaming up to study whether aviation safety concepts can be applied to offshore drilling

“Better safe than sorry” is an overused credo in life. But in the world of aviation and oil-and-gas exploration, as much as anywhere, it can be the fine line between life and death. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine re...

– University of North Dakota

UAH Space Hardware Club’s liquid fuel rocket readies for inaugural engine test

The new year brings new tests for an ambitious liquid propellant rocket being engineered by the Space Hardware Club (SHC) at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).

– University of Alabama Huntsville

Maintaining momentum: WVU researchers promote maple syrup production through education

A team of West Virginia University experts wants to educate landowners, foresters and loggers on the nuances of southern sugarbush management.

– West Virginia University

New algorithms improve prosthetics for upper limb amputees

Dr. Maryam Zahabi is leading a team of researchers in an effort to improve prosthetics for upper limb amputees. Her team is looking at the mental demand placed on individuals using prosthetics and how new prosthetic interfaces can help reduce this de...

– Texas A&M University

Report reveals ‘unseen’ human benefits from ocean twilight zone

A new report from researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) reveals for the first time the unseen—and somewhat surprising—benefits that people receive from the ocean’s twilight zone. Also known as the “mesopelagic,” this is...

– Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

includes video


New Investments and Research Indicate Multi-Trillion Dollar Market for Climate Restoration Through Carbon-Capture

Climate restoration is the global movement to remove the trillion tons of excess CO2 from the atmosphere to restore our air to preindustrial levels of carbon dioxide and to preserve the Arctic ice. Given the climate emergency, climate restoration is...

– Thunderbird School of Global Management


Embargo expired on 21-Jan-2020 at 10:55 ET

Low Power Metal Detector Senses Magnetic Fingerprints

Recent studies have shown metallic objects have their own magnetic fingerprints based on size, shape and physical composition. In AIP Advances, from AIP Publishing, scientists look to leverage these observations to potentially create a smaller and ch...

– American Institute of Physics (AIP)

AIP Advances

Embargo expired on 21-Jan-2020 at 11:00 ET

Used Nissan LEAF batteries given “second life” thanks to WMG, University of Warwick

The ability to reuse high numbers of Electric Vehicle Lithium Ion batteries for domestic and industrial use is becoming a reality for Nissan thanks to a new grading system developed by researchers at WMG, University of Warwick.

– University of Warwick

UK Energy Storage Lab Project

Transformative 'Green' Accelerator Achieves World's First 8-pass Full Energy Recovery

Scientists from Cornell University and Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) have successfully demonstrated the world's first capture and reuse of energy in a multi-turn particle accelerator, where electrons are accelerated and decelerated in multiple...

– Brookhaven National Laboratory

UCI, other researchers find collaborative flood modeling process effective

Irvine, Calif., Jan. 21, 2020 – Community collaboration and high-resolution maps are key to effective flood risk management, according to civil engineers and social scientists at the University of California, Irvine and other institutions. In a stu...

– University of California, Irvine

Earth's Future, Jan-2020

Ozone-depleting substances caused half of late 20th-century Arctic warming, says study

A scientific paper published in 1985 was the first to report a burgeoning hole in Earth's stratospheric ozone over Antarctica. Scientists determined the cause to be ozone-depleting substances - long-lived artificial halogen compounds.

– Earth Institute at Columbia University

Nature Climate Change

Insecticides are becoming more toxic to honey bees

During the past 20 years, insecticides applied to U.S. agricultural landscapes have become significantly more toxic -- over 120-fold in some midwestern states -- to honey bees when ingested, according to a team of researchers, who identified rising n...

– Newswise Review

Scientific Reports

New method breaks the reciprocity of light propagation

Xingjie Ni, assistant professor of electrical engineering, has developed a novel method to break the reciprocity of light propagation, which will enable advancements in several scientific fields.

– Penn State College of Engineering

Light: Science & Applications

Mosquitoes are drawn to flowers as much as people — and now scientists know why

Scientists have identified the chemical cues in flowers that stimulate mosquitoes’ sense of smell and draw them in. Their findings show how cues from flowers can stimulate the mosquito brain as much as a warm-blooded host — information that could...

– University of Washington

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Arctic sea ice can't 'bounce back'

Arctic sea ice cannot "quickly bounce back" if climate change causes it to melt, new research suggests.

– University of Exeter

Scientific Reports

Mars' water was mineral-rich and salty

Presently, Earth is the only known location where life exists in the Universe. This year the Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to three astronomers who proved, almost 20 years ago, that planets are common around stars beyond the solar system.

– Tokyo Institute of Technology

Nature Communications

Rising global temperatures turn northern permafrost region into significant carbon source

A new study that incorporates datasets gathered from more than 100 sites by institutions including the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, suggests that decomposition of organic matter in permafrost soil is substantially ...

– Argonne National Laboratory

Nature Climate Change, Oct-2019

Press registration now open for 2020 Experimental Biology meeting

Complimentary press passes and virtual newsroom access are now available for the Experimental Biology (EB) 2020 meeting, to be held April 4–7 in San Diego.

– Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB)

Experimental Biology (EB) 2020 meeting, April 4–7, San Diego

University of Kentucky Project Seeks to Create More Environmentally Friendly, Stronger Cement

The UK Center for Applied Energy Research has received a two-year, $1.3 million grant to develop extremely durable belite-based cement — an alternative to ordinary Portland cement — that is low-energy consuming and low-carbon dioxide releasing....

– University of Kentucky

Launch of Think Global Health

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) introduces Think Global Health, a multi-contributor website that examines how changes in health are reshaping economies, societies, and the everyday lives of people around the world.

– Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)

Think Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations, January 21, 2020.

Liam Collins: Mapping the unseen

As a scientist at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Liam Collins advances atomic force microscopy techniques to enable researchers to study materials and their properties on a nanometer length scale.

– Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Seeking a New Pest Solution, UF Scientists Study Fruit Fly’s Gut Bacteria

A team of University of Florida scientists, in partnership with a team of Israeli researchers, is now looking into whether the gut bacteria of two invasive fruit fly species could hold the key to preventing future outbreaks.

– University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences



Native Americans Did Not Make Large-Scale Changes to Environment Prior to European Contact

Contrary to long-held beliefs, humans did not make major changes to the landscape prior to European colonization, according to new research conducted in New England featuring faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York. These new i...

– Binghamton University, State University of New York

Nature Sustainability, Jan-2019

Embargo expired on 20-Jan-2020 at 11:00 ET

While Promoting Diseases Like Cancer, These Enzymes Also Cannibalize Each Other

In diseases like cancer, atherosclerosis, and sickle cell anemia, cathepsins promote their propagation. Drug trials to inhibit these enzymes have failed due to baffling side effects. Now a new study examines cathepsins in systems to remove some of th...

– Georgia Institute of Technology

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; CBET-576 0939511; 1DP2OD007433-01

Embargo expired on 20-Jan-2020 at 15:00 ET

First detailed electronic study of new nickelate superconductor finds 3D metallic state

It represents an entirely new type of ground state for transition metal oxides, and opens new directions for experiments and theoretical studies of how superconductivity arises and how it can be optimized in this system and possibly in other compoun...

– SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Nature Materials

New Drug Prevents Liver Damage, Obesity and Glucose Intolerance in Mice on High-Fat Diet

Mice given a new drug targeting a key gene involved in lipid and glucose metabolism could tolerate a high-fat diet regimen (composed of 60% fat from lard) without developing significant liver damage, becoming obese, or disrupting their body’s gluco...

– Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center

RO1 CA1923698 and R21 DE028670; Cell Death and Differentiation

eDNA techniques to transform subterranean environmental assessment

A new project is set to transform understanding of the impact of mining on Australian subterranean species.

– University of Adelaide

SciWire Announcement

Mechanical engineering professor receives grant to explore soft smart materials

Zoubeida Ounaies, professor and associate head for administration in the Penn State Department of Mechanical Engineering, has been awarded a $1.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to conduct fundamental research into a new clas...

– Penn State College of Engineering

Major NSF-sponsored grant will help researchers discover ways to improve urban sustainability

A new $2.5 million grant will help an interdisciplinary team of researchers analyze innovative approaches to improving urban sustainability. The team will study various approaches to bolstering local food production in Des Moines and the surrounding ...

– Iowa State University

Experts Join Rensselaer-IBM Artificial Intelligence Research Collaboration

Four experts in diverse aspects of artificial intelligence have joined Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as part of the Artificial Intelligence Research Collaboration (AIRC), a recently formed joint initiative of Rensselaer and IBM Research.

– Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

CAREER award to help researcher understand, optimize walking for stroke patients

To design better assistive exoskeletons, a wearable device that helps those with disabilities walk, researchers need to further understand the complexities of walking. The National Science Foundation recently awarded Anne Martin, assistant professor ...

– Penn State College of Engineering

NSF grant funds research to study nature-based solutions for river restoration

Xiaofeng Liu, associate professor of civil engineering, received a $297,791 NSF grant to study how water and sediment move around nature-based solutions for river restoration.

– Penn State College of Engineering

ASU-led NASA Psyche mission offers free online course on team building from leadership experts

The new Psyche Mission Innovation Toolkit online course is designed to help learners understand the unique challenges of a diverse team and provides tools to help address these challenges and take actions to be more successful in working with others....

– Thunderbird School of Global Management

ASU’s Continuing and Professional Education platform

DHS S&T Awards Minority Serving Institutions $373K to Advance Summer Research Team Projects

DHS S&T announced that eight faculty members from MSI across the United States were recently selected to receive funding awards totaling $373,000 to continue their 2019 SRT Program for Minority Serving Institutions research projects at several DHS S&...

– Homeland Security's Science And Technology Directorate

DHS S&T Selects Georgia Tech Group to Improve Info Sharing & Safeguarding for Public Safety Comms

DHS S&T awarded a $704,000 research-and-development (R&D) contract to Atlanta-based Georgia Tech Applied Research Center (GTARC) to address a crucial gap in the trustmark framework for the public safety community’s information sharing and safeguard...

– Homeland Security's Science And Technology Directorate

SciWire Research Alert

First Ancient DNA from West and Central Africa Illuminates Deep Human Past

An international team led by Harvard Medical School scientists has produced the first genome-wide ancient human DNA sequences from west and central Africa.

– Harvard Medical School

Embargo expired on 22-Jan-2020 at 13:00 ET





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