Curated News: PNAS

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10-Jul-2020 10:40 AM EDT
No evidence that predator control will save mountain caribou, study says
University of Alberta

Addressing potential threats from predators has not slowed the dramatic decline of mountain caribou in British Columbia and Alberta, according to a new study by scientists from the University of Alberta and two other western Canadian universities.

Released: 13-Jul-2020 11:15 AM EDT
UTHealth joins study of blood pressure medication’s effect on improving COVID-19 outcomes
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

An interventional therapy aimed at improving survival chances and reducing the need for critical care treatment due to COVID-19 is being investigated by physicians at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). The clinical trial is underway at Memorial Hermann and Harris Health System’s Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital.

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Released: 10-Jul-2020 12:05 PM EDT
Revealing winners & losers in projected future climates
Flinders University

New research reveals how winners & losers from climate change can be identified based on their ability to adapt to rising future temperatures.

Newswise:Video Embedded understanding-the-circadian-clocks-of-individual-cells
VIDEO
Released: 2-Jul-2020 9:00 AM EDT
Understanding The Circadian Clocks of Individual Cells
UT Southwestern Medical Center

DALLAS – July 2, 2020 – Two new studies led by UT Southwestern scientists outline how individual cells maintain their internal clocks, driven both through heritable and random means. These findings, published online May 1 in PNAS and May 27 in eLife, help explain how organisms’ circadian clocks maintain flexibility and could offer insights into aging and cancer.

Newswise: Which Came First? An Experiment in Recreating Primordial Proteins Solves a Long-standing Riddle
Released: 30-Jun-2020 2:40 PM EDT
Which Came First? An Experiment in Recreating Primordial Proteins Solves a Long-standing Riddle
Weizmann Institute of Science

How did the earliest proteins arise, given that the amino acids needed to make them are themselves produced by other proteins – enzymes? The Weizmann Institute's Prof. Dan Tawfik and colleagues recreated primordial proteins to find the answer.

Newswise: Beneath the surface of our galaxy’s water worlds
Released: 24-Jun-2020 3:05 PM EDT
Beneath the surface of our galaxy’s water worlds
Argonne National Laboratory

Scientists have simulated conditions on water-rich exoplanets to learn more about their geological composition, and found a new transition state between rock and water.

Newswise: SLAC and Stanford scientists home in on pairs of atoms that boost a catalyst’s activity
Released: 22-Jun-2020 2:05 PM EDT
SLAC and Stanford scientists home in on pairs of atoms that boost a catalyst’s activity
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

A study identified which pairs of atoms in a catalyst nanoparticle are most active in a reaction that breaks down a harmful exhaust gas in catalytic converters. The results are a step toward engineering cheaper, more efficient catalysts.

Newswise: Study yields clues to how drug may boost aged mitochondria
Released: 17-Jun-2020 4:55 PM EDT
Study yields clues to how drug may boost aged mitochondria
University of Washington School of Medicine

SS-31, an experimental drug that has been shown to improve the function of diseased and aged mitochondria, binds to 12 key proteins involved in energy production, researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine have found.

Newswise:Video Embedded the-smallest-motor-in-the-world
VIDEO
Released: 16-Jun-2020 11:20 AM EDT
The smallest motor in the world
Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology

A research team from Empa and EPFL has developed a molecular motor which consists of only 16 atoms and rotates reliably in one direction. It could allow energy harvesting at the atomic level. The special feature of the motor is that it moves exactly at the boundary between classical motion and quantum tunneling - and has revealed puzzling phenomena to researchers in the quantum realm.

10-Jun-2020 2:30 PM EDT
Delta Opioid Receptor Identified as Promising Therapeutic Target for Inflammatory Pain Relief
New York University

Delta opioid receptors have a built-in mechanism for pain relief and can be precisely targeted with drug-delivering nanoparticles—making them a promising target for treating chronic inflammatory pain with fewer side effects, according to a new study from an international team of researchers. The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), was conducted using cells from humans and mice with inflammatory bowel disease, which can cause chronic pain.

10-Jun-2020 3:00 PM EDT
No Single Solution Helps All Students Complete MOOCs
Cornell University

In one of the largest educational field experiments ever conducted, a team co-led by a Cornell researcher found that promising interventions to help students complete online courses were not effective on a massive scale – suggesting that targeted solutions are needed to help students in different circumstances or locations.

Newswise: Blocking Brain Signals Detected in the Kidney Could Help Unlock Future Treatments for Kidney Failure, Heart Disease, and Stroke
11-Jun-2020 8:05 AM EDT
Blocking Brain Signals Detected in the Kidney Could Help Unlock Future Treatments for Kidney Failure, Heart Disease, and Stroke
University of Bristol

Scientists have discovered an important cell signalling pathway in the kidney which if stopped, could hold the key to treating chronic kidney disease as well as other deadly conditions, including heart attack and stroke.

Released: 11-Jun-2020 2:50 PM EDT
Discovering How the Brain Works Through Computation
Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science

Researchers from Columbia Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Graz University of Technology propose a new computational system to expand the understanding of the brain at an intermediate level, between neurons and cognitive phenomena such as language. They have developed a brain architecture based on neuronal assemblies, and they demonstrate its use in the syntactic processing in the production of language; their model is consistent with recent experimental results.

Newswise: Researchers Identify New Genetic Defect Linked to ALS
Released: 10-Jun-2020 3:00 PM EDT
Researchers Identify New Genetic Defect Linked to ALS
University of Maryland Medical Center

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) have identified how certain gene mutations cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The finding could offer potential new approaches for treating this devastating condition.

Released: 9-Jun-2020 10:05 AM EDT
Armor on Butterfly Wings Protects Against Heavy Rain
Cornell University

An analysis of high-speed raindrops hitting biological surfaces such as feathers, plant leaves and insect wings reveals how these highly water-repelling veneers reduce the water’s impact.

Released: 9-Jun-2020 8:00 AM EDT
NUS and Stanford Researchers Uncover a New Mindset That Predicts Success
National University of Singapore

To succeed in modern life, people need to accomplish challenging tasks effectively. Many successful entrepreneurs, businesspeople, students, athletes and more, tend to be more strategic – and hence, more effective – than others at meeting such challenges. A new study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that one important psychological factor behind their success may be a “strategic mindset”.

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8-Jun-2020 9:00 AM EDT
Appetite Can Be Increased by Cells in the Brain
University of Warwick

Tanycytes are glial cells, which communicate with neurons in the brain to inform it of what we have eaten. Researchers from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick have found when tanycytes are selectively stimulated appetite was increased.

Newswise: Showtime for Photosynthesis
Released: 4-Jun-2020 11:00 AM EDT
Showtime for Photosynthesis
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Using a unique combination of nanoscale imaging and chemical analysis, an international team of researchers has revealed a key step in the molecular mechanism behind the water splitting reaction of photosynthesis, a finding that could help inform the design of renewable energy technology.

Released: 3-Jun-2020 11:05 AM EDT
‘Terminator’ protein halts cancer-causing cellular processes
Cornell University

New research from the lab of Hening Lin, professor of chemistry and chemical biology in the College of Arts and Sciences, finds that a protein called TiPARP acts as a terminator for several cancer-causing transcription factors, including HIF-1, which is implicated in many cancers, including breast cancer. The research demonstrates that TiPARP, therefore, is a tumor suppressor.

Released: 29-May-2020 10:15 AM EDT
Next Frontier in Bacterial Engineering
Harvard Medical School

A new technique overcomes a serious hurdle in the field of bacterial design and engineering Researchers develop method to identify proteins that enable highly efficient bacterial design Approach has potential to boost efforts in bacterial design to tackle infectious diseases, bacterial drug resistance, environmental cleanup and more

Newswise:Video Embedded new-view-on-how-tissues-flow-in-the-embryo
VIDEO
Released: 29-May-2020 6:15 AM EDT
New View on How Tissues Flow in the Embryo
Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science

Watching and measuring what happens in tissues inside the human embryo is currently not possible, and it’s difficult to do in mammalian models. Because humans and the fruit fly Drosophila share so many biological similarities, Columbia Engineering and Syracuse University researchers tackled this problem by focusing on fruit flies. The team reports today that they can predict when the tissue will begin to rapidly flow just by looking at cell shapes in the tissue.

Released: 28-May-2020 4:10 PM EDT
Researchers track how bacteria purge toxic metals
Cornell University

Cornell researchers combined genetic engineering, single-molecule tracking and protein quantitation to get a closer look at this mechanism and understand how it functions. The knowledge could lead to the development of more effective antibacterial treatments.

Released: 26-May-2020 12:30 PM EDT
Troublemaking ‘lesion’ singled out in UV-caused skin cancer
University of Washington School of Medicine

Upon exposure to human skin, ultraviolet light from the sun almost instantly generates two types of "lesions" that damage DNA. Scientists at UW Medicine in Seattle determined which of these lesions is responsible for activating a process that may increase cancerous mutations in cells.

Newswise: Rejuvenated fibroblasts can recover the ability to contract
Released: 26-May-2020 9:00 AM EDT
Rejuvenated fibroblasts can recover the ability to contract
National University of Singapore

A recent study from the Mechanobiology Institute at the National University of Singapore has shown that rejuvenated fibroblasts can recover their ability to self-contract. This encouraging discovery holds great potential for applications in regenerative medicine and stem cell engineering.

Newswise: Scientists see through glass frogs’ translucent camouflage
21-May-2020 10:25 AM EDT
Scientists see through glass frogs’ translucent camouflage
McMaster University

Glass frogs are well known for their see-through skin but, until now, the reason for this curious feature has received no experimental attention.

Newswise: Untangling a key step in photosynthetic oxygen production
Released: 20-May-2020 3:30 PM EDT
Untangling a key step in photosynthetic oxygen production
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Researchers zeroed in on a key step in photosynthesis in which a water molecule moves in to bridge manganese and calcium atoms in the catalytic complex that splits water to produce breathable oxygen. What they learned brings them one step closer to obtaining a complete picture of this natural process, which could inform the next generation of artificial photosynthetic systems that produce clean and renewable energy from sunlight and water. Their results were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences today.

Newswise: Electrons Break Rotational Symmetry in Exotic Low-Temp Superconductor
Released: 19-May-2020 12:20 PM EDT
Electrons Break Rotational Symmetry in Exotic Low-Temp Superconductor
Brookhaven National Laboratory

This odd behavior may promote the material's ability upon cooling to perfectly conduct electricity in a way unexplained by standard theories.

Newswise: Clinical Trial Offers Clues About Why Some Metastatic Prostate Cancers Don’t Respond to Anti-Androgen Therapy
Released: 18-May-2020 4:35 PM EDT
Clinical Trial Offers Clues About Why Some Metastatic Prostate Cancers Don’t Respond to Anti-Androgen Therapy
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

A multi-institutional clinical trial is shedding new light on the one third of metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancers that don't respond to enzalutamide and similar drugs.

Newswise: To decipher Earth’s evolutionary tale, researchers probe materials at deep-Earth conditions
Released: 18-May-2020 1:35 PM EDT
To decipher Earth’s evolutionary tale, researchers probe materials at deep-Earth conditions
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Scientists have developed a way to study liquid silicates at the extreme conditions found in the core-mantle boundary. This could lead to a better understanding of the Earth’s early molten days, which could even extend to other rocky planets.

Released: 18-May-2020 12:25 PM EDT
Gestures heard as well as seen
University of Connecticut

Gesturing with the hands while speaking is a common human behavior, but no one knows why we do it. Now, a group of UConn researchers reports in the May 11 issue of PNAS that gesturing adds emphasis to speech--but not in the way researchers had thought.

Newswise: When the BumR gives you diarrhea
Released: 11-May-2020 7:05 PM EDT
When the BumR gives you diarrhea
UT Southwestern Medical Center

A study from UT Southwestern researchers sheds new light on how the bug that's the No. 1 cause of bacterial diarrhea finds its way through the human gut.

Newswise: Bloody hell! The more your immune system works, the worse the diarrhea
Released: 11-May-2020 7:05 PM EDT
Bloody hell! The more your immune system works, the worse the diarrhea
UT Southwestern Medical Center

A type of E. coli bacteria that causes bloody diarrhea uses an amino acid produced by the body in response to infection to intensify its symptoms, according to a new study from UT Southwestern scientists.

Newswise:  How to Boost Plant Biomass: NYU Biologists Uncover Molecular Link Between Nutrient Availability and Plant Growth Rates
6-May-2020 3:35 PM EDT
How to Boost Plant Biomass: NYU Biologists Uncover Molecular Link Between Nutrient Availability and Plant Growth Rates
New York University

In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), plant genomic scientists at New York University’s Center for Genomics & Systems Biology discovered the missing piece in the molecular link between a plant’s perception of the nitrogen dose in its environment and the dose-responsive changes in its biomass.

Released: 11-May-2020 2:30 PM EDT
Researchers connect matrix fiber structure and cell behavior
Cornell University

A Cornell-led collaboration investigated how differences in these collagen fibers are responsible for influencing the behavior of myofibroblasts – findings that could have implications for preventing and treating fibrotic diseases such as cancer.

Released: 22-Apr-2020 11:30 AM EDT
Tiny sensors fit 30,000 to a penny, transmit data from living tissue
Cornell University

Cornell University researchers who build nanoscale electronics have developed microsensors so tiny, they can fit 30,000 on one side of a penny. They are equipped with an integrated circuit, solar cells and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that enable them to harness light for power and communication. And because they are mass fabricated, with up to 1 million sitting on an 8-inch wafer, each device costs a fraction of that same penny.

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Released: 15-Apr-2020 2:20 PM EDT
Two is Better Than One
Brookhaven National Laboratory

UPTON, NY – A collaboration of scientists from the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II), Yale University, and Arizona State University has designed and tested a new two-dimensional (2-D) catalyst that can be used to improve water purification using hydrogen peroxide.

Newswise: New Research Helps Explain Why the Solar Wind Is Hotter Than Expected
Released: 14-Apr-2020 4:05 PM EDT
New Research Helps Explain Why the Solar Wind Is Hotter Than Expected
University of Wisconsin-Madison

When the sun expels plasma, the solar wind cools as it expands through space — but not as much as the laws of physics would predict. UW–Madison physicists now know the reason.

Newswise: Precipitation Will Be Essential for Plants to Counteract Global Warming
10-Apr-2020 12:05 PM EDT
Precipitation Will Be Essential for Plants to Counteract Global Warming
Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science

A new Columbia Engineering study shows that increased water stress—higher frequency of drought due to higher temperatures, is going to constrain the phenological cycle: in effect, by shutting down photosynthesis, it will generate a lower carbon uptake at the end of the season, thus contributing to increased global warming.

Released: 6-Apr-2020 3:40 PM EDT
Compound in Fruit Peels Halts Damage and Spurs Neuronal Repair in Multiple Sclerosis
Thomas Jefferson University

Ursolic acid, abundant in fruit peels and some herbs, both prevents and repairs neurons in animal models of multiple sclerosis.

Newswise: Hybrid microscope creates digital biopsies
Released: 3-Apr-2020 1:35 PM EDT
Hybrid microscope creates digital biopsies
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

Bioengineers have combined standard microscopy, infrared light, and artificial intelligence to assemble digital biopsies that identify important molecular characteristics of cancer biopsy samples.

Released: 24-Mar-2020 8:30 AM EDT
Planning for future water security in China
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

The findings of a new study underscore the value and potential of technological adoptions to help design targets and incentives for water scarcity mitigation measures.

Released: 24-Mar-2020 8:10 AM EDT
How can migration, workforce participation, and education balance the cost of aging in Europe?
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

New IIASA research shows that higher levels of education and increasing workforce participation in both migrant and local populations are needed to compensate for the negative economic impacts of aging populations in EU countries.

Newswise:Video Embedded how-much-does-black-carbon-contribute-to-climate-warming
VIDEO
Released: 28-Feb-2020 9:50 AM EST
How much does black carbon contribute to climate warming?
Michigan Technological University

Black carbon particles — more commonly known as soot — absorb heat in the atmosphere. For years, scientists have known that these particles are having an effect on Earth’s warming climate, but measuring their exact effect has proved elusive.

Newswise: Scientists Discover New Clue Behind Age-Related Diseases and Food Spoilage
Released: 26-Feb-2020 11:00 AM EST
Scientists Discover New Clue Behind Age-Related Diseases and Food Spoilage
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Berkeley Lab scientists have made a surprising discovery that could help explain our risk for developing chronic diseases or cancers as we get older, and how our food decomposes over time.

Released: 17-Feb-2020 9:00 AM EST
B cells may travel to remote areas of the brain to improve stroke recovery
University of Kentucky

New University of Kentucky research shows that the immune system may target other remote areas of the brain to improve recovery after a stroke.

Newswise: Hot climates to see more variability in tree leafing as temperatures rise
Released: 11-Feb-2020 12:25 PM EST
Hot climates to see more variability in tree leafing as temperatures rise
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

The researchers examined satellite imagery, air temperature data and phenology (plant life cycle) models for 85 large cities and their surrounding rural areas from 2001 through 2014 to better understand changes in tree leaf emergence, also called budburst, on a broad scale across the United States. The study can help scientists improve their modeling of the potential impacts of future warming.

Newswise: Heat trapped in urban areas tricks trees into thinking spring has arrived earlier
Released: 10-Feb-2020 4:05 PM EST
Heat trapped in urban areas tricks trees into thinking spring has arrived earlier
Iowa State University

Satellite data of 85 U.S. cities shows plants begin turning green earlier in the spring in urban areas than in surrounding rural areas. It’s a symptom of the way cities trap heat, a phenomenon known as the “heat-island effect,” according to a recently published study.

Released: 5-Feb-2020 8:05 AM EST
Protein Could Offer Therapeutic Target for Breast Cancer Metastasis
University of Kentucky

A new study by University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researchers suggests that targeting a protein known as heat shock protein 47 could be key for suppressing breast cancer metastasis.


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