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Science News and Current Events for March 03, 2017


Doctoral student's research looks at cause of neurodegenerative disease
A Kansas State University student hopes her research on a currently untreatable and progressive neurodegenerative disease will one day lead to treatment options.
Hubble showcases a remarkable galactic hybrid
UGC 12591 sits somewhere between a lenticular and a spiral.
Negative coverage of the EU in UK newspapers nearly doubled over the last 40 years
A study co-authored by researchers at Queen Mary University of London has revealed that negative coverage of the European Union in UK newspapers increased from 24 percent to 45 percent between 1974 and 2013.
How to solve a problem like antibiotic resistance
There has been much recent talk about how to target the rising tide of antibiotic resistance across the world, one of the biggest threats to global health today.
Biomedical Engineering hosts national conference on STEM education for underserved students
The University of Akron hosts a national conference aimed at ensuring underserved students have access to opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
NASA examines deadly spring-like weather with GPM satellite
Rainfall from spring-like downpours in the US from Feb. 25 to March 1 were analyzed at NASA using data from the Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM satellite.
Study reveals the atmospheric footprint of global warming hiatus
LIu and Zhou investigated the atmospheric anomalous features during the global warming hiatus period (1998-2013).
Microbiome diversity is influenced by chance encounters
An MIT study suggests chance is an overlooked factor in the wide variation of microbe gut populations between individuals.
New finds from China suggest human evolution probably of regional continuity
In their recent study, paleontologists from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) and their collaborators reported two early Late Pleistocene (~105,000- to 125,000-year-old) crania from Lingjing, Xuchang, China.
Continuous-flow, electrically triggered, single cell-level electroporation
A flow-based electroporation microdevice that automatically detects, electroporates, and monitors individual cells for changes in permeability and delivery enabling a high throughput, controlled electroporation platform.
More funding for long-term studies necessary for best science, environmental policy
Environmental scientists and policymakers value long-term research to an extent that far outstrips the amount of funding awarded for it, according to a study published today.
How to improve your freshman retention rate
Incoming college students who already feel a connection to their institution are more likely to fit in and want to remain at the school, especially if they are ethnic minorities, indicates a new study by Michigan State University researchers.
HIGH-TOOL supports transport planning in Europe
Research of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology supports the European Commission in transport planning: With help of the HIGH-TOOL model, long-term impacts of transport policy measures on economy, society, and environment can be assessed.
Oxford University Press to publish Journal of Crustacean Biology
Oxford University Press (OUP) has signed an agreement with The Crustacean Society to publish Journal of Crustacean Biology (JCB), from Jan.
Physicians analyze food trends and publish dietary prescription for optimal heart health
Nutrition researcher Neal Barnard, M.D., F.A.C.C., president and founder of the nonprofit Physicians Committee, and 11 other authors, including Andrew Freeman, M.D., Pamela Morris, M.D., Caldwell Esselstyn, M.D., Dean Ornish, M.D., and Kim Williams, M.D., reviewed the latest research behind popular food trends for 'Trending Cardiovascular Nutrition Controversies,' which appears in the March 7, 2017 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Boosting the lifetime and effectiveness of biomedical devices
A research team led by the University of Delaware's David Martin has discovered a new approach to boosting the lifetime and effectiveness of electronic biomedical devices.
University of Minnesota to host conferences on informed consent in research
On Wednesday and Thursday, March 8-9, the University of Minnesota will host experts from across the nation to lay the groundwork for improving informed consent in research with human participants.
Widespread conflicts of interest among patient-advocacy organizations uncovered in study
Over the past few decades, hundreds of patient-advocacy organizations have emerged in the United States, promoting disease research and influencing FDA and health insurer policies.
How low can you go? New project to bring satellites nearer to Earth
The University of Manchester is leading a multi-million pound project to develop satellites which will orbit much closer to the Earth -- making them smaller, cheaper, helping to dodge space debris and improving the quality of images they can send back.
Jeevak Parpia wins low-temperature physics prize
Jeevak Parpia, professor of physics and Cornell graduate, has been selected as one of three winners of the 2017 Fritz London Memorial Prize, administered by Duke University.
A Trump twist? Environment over economy in Michigan
Most Michigan residents would prefer policymakers prioritize the environment over economic growth, finds a new survey by Michigan State University researchers.
Epigenetic enzyme found to be lacking in some patients with Crohn's disease
A Massachusetts General Hospital research team has found how a variant in an important epigenetic enzyme -- previously associated by population-based genetic studies with Crohn's disease and other immune disorders -- interferes with the action of the innate immune system, potentially upsetting the healthy balance between the microbial population of the gastrointestinal tract and the immune response.
Revealing Aspergillus diversity for industrial applications
In a Feb. 14, 2017 study published in Genome Biology, an international team report sequencing the genomes of 10 novel Aspergillus species, which were compared with the eight other sequenced Aspergillus species.
Twice weekly yoga classes plus home practice effective in reducing symptoms of depression
People who suffer from depression should participate in yoga and deep (coherent) breathing classes at least twice weekly plus practice at home to receive a significant reduction in their symptoms.
Group blazes path to efficient, eco-friendly deep-ultraviolet LED
A Cornell-led group has demonstrated the ability to produce deep-ultraviolet emission using an LED light source, potentially solving several problems related to quantum efficiency of current devices.
Board approves revisions to CIFAR's portfolio of research programs
CIFAR's Board of Directors approved changes to the Institute's research portfolio, including a renewal and new direction for one program, two program extensions and the closure of two programs.
Latest genomic technology uncovers secrets of immune system's response to malaria
Scientists have revealed for the first time how immature mouse immune cells, called T cells, choose which type of skills they will develop to fight malaria infection.
Precise technique tracks dopamine in the brain
MIT researchers have devised a way to measure dopamine in the brain much more precisely than previously possible, which should allow scientists to gain insight into dopamine's roles in learning, memory, and emotion.
Study sheds new light on how species extinction affects complex ecosystems
Research by the University of Southampton has found that methods used to predict the effect of species extinction on ecosystems could be producing inaccurate results.
Beating kidney disease together
Chronic kidney disease is a frequently encountered disorder: more than 10% of the population suffer from such problems.
Becoming tobacco-free is feasible, boosts safety in a mental health hospital
A new study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) showed positive changes in attitudes and a reduction in patient agitation after implementing a fully tobacco-free environment at Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital.
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite sees formation of Tropical Storm Enawo
Tropical Storm Enawo formed in the Southern Indian Ocean, just northeast of the island nation of Madagascar as NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed overhead and captured an image of the storm.
Algorithm identified Trump as 'not-married'
Scientists from Russia and Singapore created an algorithm that predicts user marital status with 86% precision using data from three social networks instead of one.
Organ-on-a-chip model offers insights into premature aging and vascular disease
Using a new progeria-on-a-chip model, investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital have developed a way to recapitulate blood vessel dynamics to better understand vascular disease and aging.
Biosimilar of costly inflammatory bowel disease therapy found safe and effective
Treatment of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis has been greatly improved by the introduction of biologic therapies such as infliximab (which targets tumour necrosis factor alpha), but at considerable cost.
Importance of rare microbial species is much greater than you think
The rare bacterial species in a microbial community -- species that each make up rarely more than one tenth of one percent of the entire population -- play a very important role in ecosystem health and stability.
Indoor tanning, sun safety articles published by JAMA Dermatology
Two original investigations on indoor tanning and sun safety by authors from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, are being published online to coincide with their presentation at the American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting.
Researchers remotely control sequence in which 2-D sheets fold into 3-D structures
Inspired by origami, researchers have found a way to remotely control the order in which a two-dimensional (2-D) sheet folds itself into a three-dimensional (3-D) structure.
Making metabolically active brown fat from white fat-derived stem cells
Researchers have demonstrated the potential to engineer brown adipose tissue, which has therapeutic promise to treat metabolic diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, from white adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs).
Coffee-ring effect leads to crystallization control in semiconductors
KAUST researchers developed a method to control the orientation and properties of crystal regions within polycrystalline semiconductors.
Athletes' symptom anxiety linked to risk of injury
The anxiety experienced by elite athletes over illness symptoms is linked to the risk of being injured during competition and should be taken seriously, according to a study carried out at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics 2015 and led by researchers at Linköping University, Sweden.
Louisiana Tech University set to host inaugural North Louisiana Health Analytics Conference
Healthcare professionals, educators and executives from around the region will join state officials and economic development leaders for the inaugural North Louisiana Health Analytics Conference, March 10 at the Willis-Knighton Innovation Center in Bossier City, Louisiana.
Graphene sheets capture cells efficiently
MIT researchers have developed a new method for capturing cells on a treated graphene oxide surface, which could lead to very low-cost diagnostic systems for a variety of diseases.
Study: Volkswagen's excess emissions will lead to 1,200 premature deaths in Europe
Volkswagen's excess emissions are predicted to cause 1,200 premature deaths in Europe.
Novel 3-D manufacturing leads to highly complex, bio-like materials
Washington State University researchers have developed a unique, 3-D manufacturing method that for the first time rapidly creates and precisely controls a material's architecture from the nanoscale to centimeters -- with results that closely mimic the intricate architecture of natural materials like wood and bone.
Ten million lives saved by 1962 breakthrough, study says
Nearly 200 million cases of polio, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, adenovirus, rabies and hepatitis A -- and approximately 450,000 deaths from these diseases -- were prevented in the US alone between 1963 and 2015 by vaccination, researchers estimate.
Assessing the impact of stress in age-related macular degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss among older adults in the United States, is often associated with psychological stress.
Genome editing: Pressing the delete button on DNA
Until recently, genomics was a «read-only» science. But scientists led by Rory Johnson at the University of Bern and the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona, have now developed a tool for quick and easy deletion of DNA in living cells.
$2.8M in federal grants to JAX scientists to target triple-negative breast cancers
Two grants from the US Department of Defense totaling $2.8 million will support Jackson Laboratory (JAX) research in one of the most deadly forms of breast cancer, known as triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC).
Sandia scientist named fellow for diverse contributions to aeronautics, space research
Gary Polansky, the chief scientist for hypersonic technology development and applications at Sandia National Laboratories, has been named a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).
Champalimaud Research Symposium 2017 -- Physiology: From Development to Disease
The 2017 Champalimaud Research Symposium, with the theme 'Physiology: from development to disease' will be held in Lisbon, Portugal from the 9th to the 11th of Oct.
Reprogrammed blood vessels promote cancer spread
Tumor cells use the bloodstream to spread in the body.
Tool helps evaluate likely outcomes for elderly patients with traumatic brain injury
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death for people age 45 and younger in the United States, but, as people live longer, this type of injury is becoming more prevalent in those 75 and older.
Can math help explain our bodies -- and our diseases?
The incredible complexity of how biological systems interact to create tissue from the information contained in genes boggles the mind -- and drives the work of biomedical scientists around the world.
Researchers investigate evolution of bipedalism in ancient dinosaur ancestors
Paleontologists at the University of Alberta have developed a new theory to explain why the ancient ancestors of dinosaurs stopped moving about on all fours and rose up on just their two hind legs.
3-D printing with plants
Researchers at MIT have invented a 3-D printing process for cellulose, the world's most abundant polymer.
Frozen chemistry controls bacterial infections
Chemists and molecular biologists have made an unexpected discovery in infection biology.
Nutrient Sensor Challenge winners announced at ASLO conference
The winners of the Nutrient Sensor Challenge were announced at a special awards session at the Association for the Sciences of Limnology & Oceanography Aquatic Sciences (ASLO) meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii, on March 2.
Exercise-induced hormone irisin linked to new mechanisms for bone metabolism
Two weeks of voluntary wheel running induced higher expression of irisin -- a fat-burning hormone released during exercise -- in bone tissue in mice.
'Smart' genetic library -- making disease diagnosis much easier
Researchers have developed a smart genetic reference library for locating and weeding out disease-causing mutations in populations.
Professor Shiho Kawashima wins NSF Career Award
Professor Shiho Kawashima, assistant professor of civil engineering and engineering mechanics, has won a National Science Foundation CAREER Award to support her work developing concrete systems for use in 3-D printing, a technology that could revolutionize the construction and repair of infrastructure.
Painkillers without dangerous side effects
Researchers from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin have discovered a new way of developing painkillers.
Should we commit to eradicate malaria worldwide?
Should we commit to eradicate malaria worldwide, asks a debate article published by The BMJ today?
Revolutionary process to create ether from esters using metal catalysts
Waseda University researchers have developed a new process using palladium or nickel as a catalyst for removing carbon monoxide from esters to produce ethers.
OLYMPUS experiment sheds light on structure of protons
Seven-year study indicates two photons, not one, are exchanged in electron-proton interactions.
New research shows crude oil chemicals move and change more quickly than EPA standards
The EPA lists about 65 chemicals as 'toxic pollutants' under the Clean Water Act, 16 of which are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs.
Solar storms trigger surprising phenomena close to Earth
New research from DTU shows that eruptions on the Sun's surface not only send bursts of particles into Earth's atmosphere, but -- contrary to previous belief -- also remove electrons across large areas.
Functional brain training alleviates chemotherapy-induced peripheral nerve damage in cancer survivor
A type of functional brain training known as neurofeedback shows promise in reducing symptoms of chemotherapy-induced nerve damage, or neuropathy, in cancer survivors, according to a study by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
New insights on how pathogens escape the immune system
The bacterium Salmonella enterica causes gastroenteritis in humans and is one of the leading causes of food-borne infectious diseases.
Biological system with light switch: New findings from Graz, Austria
For the first time ever, researchers at Graz University of Technology and the Medical University of Graz in Austria have managed to functionally characterize the three-dimensional interaction between red-light receptors and enzymatic effectors.
Drug used to treat weak bones associated with micro-cracks
A type of drug used to treat weak bones is associated with an increased risk of 'micro-cracks' in bone, according to new research.

Best Science Podcasts 2017

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2017. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Oliver Sipple
One morning, Oliver Sipple went out for a walk. A couple hours later, to his own surprise, he saved the life of the President of the United States. But in the days that followed, Sipple's split-second act of heroism turned into a rationale for making his personal life into political opportunity. What happens next makes us wonder what a moment, or a movement, or a whole society can demand of one person. And how much is too much?  Through newly unearthed archival tape, we hear Sipple himself grapple with some of the most vexing topics of his day and ours - privacy, identity, the freedom of the press - not to mention the bonds of family and friendship.  Reported by Latif Nasser and Tracie Hunte. Produced by Matt Kielty, Annie McEwen, Latif Nasser and Tracie Hunte. Special thanks to Jerry Pritikin, Michael Yamashita, Stan Smith, Duffy Jennings; Ann Dolan, Megan Filly and Ginale Harris at the Superior Court of San Francisco; Leah Gracik, Karyn Hunt, Jesse Hamlin, The San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive, Mike Amico, Jennifer Vanasco and Joey Plaster. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Future Consequences
From data collection to gene editing to AI, what we once considered science fiction is now becoming reality. This hour, TED speakers explore the future consequences of our present actions. Guests include designer Anab Jain, futurist Juan Enriquez, biologist Paul Knoepfler, and neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris.