Sugar molecule contributes to reconstruction of prehistoric fire
(Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research) Little is currently known about how early humans first used fire. That will now change thanks to a new proxy, a measurable substance that can be used to demonstrate forest fires in a distant past. The proxy is the organic substance levoglucosan, a sugar molecule produced during the combustion of vegetation and present in ocean and lake sediments. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 24, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

British Council UK-Russia researcher links genomics research workshop
(Kazan Federal University) UK-Russia Genome Workshop 2019 is scheduled for 16th - 18th September, 2019. Kazan Federal University and University of Nottingham won a grant from the British Council and will disburse funding to participants, including competitive spots for 24 individuals, 12 from each of the two countries, to visit the workshop. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 24, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

How corn's ancient ancestor swipes left on crossbreeding
(Carnegie Institution for Science) Determining how one species becomes distinct from another has been a subject of fascination dating back to Charles Darwin. New research led by Carnegie's Matthew Evans and published in Nature Communications elucidates the mechanism that keeps maize distinct from its ancient ancestor grass, teosinte. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 24, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

More than a protein factory
(Stowers Institute for Medical Research) Researchers from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research have discovered a new function of ribosomes in human cells that may show the protein-making particle's role in destroying healthy mRNAs, the messages that decode DNA into protein. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 24, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Dead roots double shoreline loss in gulf
(Duke University) A new Duke University-led study finds that the loss of marsh-edge salt grasses and mangroves due to disturbances such as heavy oiling from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill doubles the rate of shoreline erosion in hard-hit marshes. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 24, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Soil communities threatened by destruction, instability of Amazon forests
(Colorado State University) A meta-analysis of nearly 300 studies of soil biodiversity in Amazonian forests found that the abundance, biomass, richness and diversity of soil fauna and microbes were reduced following deforestation. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 24, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

To save biodiversity and feed the future, first cure 'plant blindness'
(International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)) From the urban jungle -- even the leafier parts of suburbia -- we often have a tough time naming the last plant we saw. Even if we just ate part of it. This is a symptom of 'plant blindness,' a term coined two decades ago by researchers who showed that people are perilously disconnected from the plant kingdom. This has progressed to the point where we hardly recognize the plants that feed us every day. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 24, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Crabs' camouflage tricks revealed
(University of Exeter) Crabs from a single species rely on different camouflage techniques depending on what habitat they live in, new research shows. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 24, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

New research shows that mites and ticks are close relatives
(University of Bristol) Scientists from the University of Bristol and the Natural History Museum in London have reconstructed the evolutionary history of the chelicerates, the mega-diverse group of 110,000 arthropods that includes spiders, scorpions, mites and ticks. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 24, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Scientists discover signalling circuit boards inside body's cells
(University of Edinburgh) Cells in the body are wired like computer chips to direct signals that instruct how they function, research from the University of Edinburgh suggests. Unlike a fixed circuit board, however, cells can rapidly rewire their communication networks to change their behavior. The discovery of this cell-wide web turns our understanding of how instructions spread around a cell on its head. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 24, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Science Snapshots -- May 2019
(DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) Researchers at Berkeley Lab's Molecular Foundry have predicted fascinating new properties of lithium; a powerful combination of experiment and theory has revealed atomic-level details about how silver helps transform carbon dioxide gas into a reusable form; new study reports the first comprehensive, highly coordinated effort to examine the global diversity and biogeography of activated sludge microbiome. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 24, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Discovery of hippocampal mossy cell involvement to maximize antidepressant effects
(DGIST (Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology)) Professor Yong-Seok Oh's team at the DGIST Department of Brain-Cognitive Science clarified the expression of antidepressant efficacy by modulating hippocampal mossy cells. Expects to provide a basis to understand the mechanism of existing anti-depressants and contribute greatly to the development of next generation depression treatment. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 24, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

PSA, a prostate cancer marker, activates vascular and lymphangiogenic growth factors
(University of Helsinki) A new study indicates that PSA, a prostate cancer marker, is one of the catalysts that activate vascular endothelial and lymphangiogenic growth factors which contribute to the spread of cancer. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 24, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Short-term use of opioids increases subjective pleasure
(University of Helsinki) As indicated by a recently published study, short-term opioid use shifts a range of emotional responses to the positive direction. This may be one of the reasons behind the onset of opioid use disorder. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 24, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

New algorithm uses disease history to predict intensive care patients' chances of survival
(University of Copenhagen The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences) Researchers from the University of Copenhagen and Rigshospitalet have used data on more than 230,000 intensive care patients to develop a new algorithm. Among other things, it uses disease history from the past 23 years to predict patients' chances of survival in intensive care units. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 24, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Coming to your household soon: 3D food printers, nano foods and bug burgers
(University of Massachusetts at Amherst) David Julian McClements, Distinguished Professor of Food Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and among the world's most highly cited researchers, has written a new book that explores the brave new world of science and food. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

ALS research reveals new treatment approach
(Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute) New research on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (AML) has revealed that a protein called membralin plays a key role in the disease process. The study, published in Journal of Clinical Investigation, suggests that membralin-boosting gene therapy is a potential therapeutic direction to treat this often deadly disease. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

MSU researchers use 3-D printing to push knowledge of microbial communities
(Montana State University) Backed by a $679,000 grant from the research wing of the US Army, a Montana State project led will 3-D printing to explore fundamental questions about biofilms. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Measuring methane from coal and gas in Pennsylvania informative
(Penn State) While methane pollution caused by natural gas production in Pennsylvania is underestimated by the US Environmental Protection Agency, natural gas still has half the carbon footprint of underground coal mining, according to an international team of researchers. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Gas vs. electric? Fuel choice affects efforts to achieve low-energy and low-impact homes
(National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)) If you want to make your home as energy-efficient and green as possible, should you use gas or electric for your heating and cooling needs? (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Egyptian fruit bats trade food for sex
(American Friends of Tel Aviv University) A new Tel Aviv University study finds that female Egyptian fruit bats form bonds with particular male bats to exchange mating for nourishment. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Better gene knockout in aneuploid cell lines
(Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News) CRISPR/Cas9 technology enables convenient and effective genome editing in diploid cell lines based on the isolation and expansion of edited single-cell clones. However, this approach is ineffective for aneuploid cell lines, and a group has now reported an improved method for genome editing based on multiple rounds of modification. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Ecologists find bush dog, native of South America, in remote central Costa Rica
(University of Massachusetts at Amherst) Wildlife ecologists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who are studying different conservation practices in the forests of Costa Rica recently made a startling discovery on a wildlife camera trap -- wild bush dogs documented farther north than ever before and at the highest elevation. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Engineered bacteria could be missing link in energy storage
(Cornell University) One of the big issues with sustainable energy systems is how to store electricity that's generated from wind, solar and waves. At present, no existing technology provides large-scale storage and energy retrieval for sustainable energy at a low financial and environmental cost. Engineered electroactive microbes could be part of the solution. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Climate change may make the arctic tundra a drier landscape
(Dartmouth College) With climate change, the Arctic tundra is likely to become drier. Lakes may shrink in size and smaller lakes may even disappear according to a new Dartmouth study. In western Greenland, Kangerlussuaq experienced a 28% decrease in the number of smaller lakes (those less than 10,000 square meters) and a 20% decrease in total area from 1969 to 2017. Many of the lakes that had disappeared in 1969 have since become vegetated. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Removing carbon dioxide from an air stream
(University of Delaware) A University of Delaware research team has been awarded $1,979,998 in funding to build a fuel cell system fabricated with inexpensive catalysts and structural materials, which is consequently cheaper and more practical than existing fuel cell systems. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Carnegie Mellon researchers create soft, flexible materials with enhanced properties
(Carnegie Mellon University) A team of polymer chemists and engineers from Carnegie Mellon University have developed a new methodology that can be used to create a class of stretchable polymer composites with enhanced electrical and thermal properties. These materials are promising candidates for use in soft robotics, self-healing electronics and medical devices. The results are published in the May 20, 2019 issue of Nature Nanotechnology. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Columbia to host the 2019 New York Scientific Data Summit
(Data Science Institute at Columbia) Columbia University is co-organizing and hosting the 2019 New York Scientific Data Summit, a two-and-a-half day symposium to explore data-driven discovery and innovation in science and industry. The summit, scheduled for June 12-14, 2019 in Columbia's Davis Auditorium. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Energy storage in the Midwest and beyond: A timely analysis
(Cambridge University Press) As the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released an update to last year's order on energy storage, MRS Energy& Sustainability today publishes a timely collection of papers that unpack the issue of energy storage in the Midwest and beyond. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Table scraps can be used to reduce reliance on fossil fuels
(University of Waterloo) Wasted food can be affordably turned into a clean substitute for fossil fuels.New technology developed by researchers at the University of Waterloo engineers natural fermentation to produce a biodegradable chemical that can be refined as a source of energy. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Swedish researchers encourage less flying, with new tool to highlight climate impact
(Chalmers University of Technology) As the climate issue heats up, consumers are becoming more conscious of their impact on the environment. 'Flygskam,' or 'flight shame' is a word that has received extensive media coverage recently, reflecting the increasing awareness of flying's environmental consequences. Now, researchers from Sweden's Chalmers University of Technology present a tool that allows consumers to evaluate the outcome of their different travel options. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Big energy savings for tiny machines
(Simon Fraser University) In a ground-breaking study, a team led by Simon Fraser University physics professor David Sivak demonstrates for the first time a strategy for manipulating the trillions of tiny molecular nanomachines inside us that work to keep us alive, to maximize efficiency and conserve energy. The breakthrough could impact numerous fields, including creating more efficient computer chips and solar cells for energy generation. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 22, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Robots activated by water may be the next frontier
(Columbia University) Columbia University scientists have developed material that can drive mechanical systems, with movements controlled by a pattern set into the design. Potential applications include opening windows in humidity, and allowing fabric to evaporate sweat (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 22, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Plankton as a climate driver instead of the sun?
(Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR)) Fluctuations in the orbital parameters of the Earth are considered to be the trigger for long-term climatic fluctuations such as ice ages. This includes the variation of the inclination angle of the Earth's axis with a cycle of about 40,000 years. Kiel-based marine scientists lead by GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel have shown by using a new model that biogeochemical interactions between ocean and atmosphere could also be responsible for climate fluctuations on this time scale. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 22, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Cell division requires a balanced level of non-coding RNA for chromosome stability
(The University of Hong Kong) Assistant Professor Dr Karen Wing Yee Yuen and Postdoctoral Fellow Dr Yick Hin Ling from the School of Biological Sciences, University of Hong Kong (HKU), discovered that centromeric DNA is used as a template to produce a non-protein coding, centromeric RNA (ribonucleic acid), that is essential for chromosome stability. If there is too much or too little centromeric RNA (cenRNA), the centromere will be defective and chromosomes will be lost. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 22, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Charging into the future -- novel rock salt for use in rechargeable magnesium batteries
(Tokyo University of Science) By synthesizing novel material for electrode that facilitates reversing of the chemistry of ions, a group of researchers led by Professor Idemoto from Tokyo University of Science combat the wasteful aspects of energy sources by laying an important foundation for the production of next-generation rechargeable magnesium secondary batteries. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 22, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Mapping the global distribution of phytoplankton
(ETH Zurich) Researchers at ETH have charted the distribution of phytoplankton in the world's oceans for the first time and investigated the environmental factors that explain this distribution. They concluded that plankton diversity is only partially congruent with previous theories of biodiversity for the seas between the equator and the poles. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 22, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Global temperature change attributable to external factors, confirms new study
(University of Oxford) Researchers at the University of Oxford have confirmed that human activity and other external factors are responsible for the rise in global temperature. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 22, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Experimental noninvasive tool monitors effectiveness of stem cell transplantation
(University of Maryland Medical Center) Other than clinical observations, the stem cell field lacks a repeatable, time-sensitive, noninvasive tool to assess the effectiveness of transplanted cells in the targeted organ. Researchers analyzed biomarkers secreted from transplanted human stem cells in the recipient blood of a rodent model of heart attack. Analysis of the blood test showed responding cells had changed their gene expression, behavior and secretions, suggesting this liquid biopsy could provide a window into stem cell activity and effectiveness. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 22, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Detecting bacteria in space
(University of Montreal) A new genomic approach provides a glimpse into the diverse bacterial ecosystem on the International Space Station. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 22, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Defects in heart valve cilia during fetal development cause mitral valve prolapse
(Medical University of South Carolina) Genetic mutations in heart valve cells of the developing fetus lead to mitral valve prolapse, report a global collaborative of researchers, including Medical University of South Carolina investigators, in today's Science Translational Medicine. These mutations or genetic variations cause defects in antenna-like cellular structures called primary cilia. This finding of a developmental cause for the disease highlights the importance of early intervention and may lead to the rethinking of treatment guidelines. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 22, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

How to program materials
(Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA)) Can the properties of composite materials be predicted? Empa scientists have mastered this feat and thus can help achieve research objectives faster. This leads, for instance, to better recycling techniques and electrically conductive synthetic materials for the solar industry. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 21, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Blood proteins help predict risk of developing heart failure
(Baylor College of Medicine) Two blood proteins help predict more accurately the risk for heart attack, stroke and heart failure hospitalization. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 21, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Solving a scientific mystery and finding a solution for industry
(University of Houston) In solving a scientific mystery, researchers from the University of Houston and the nation's national laboratories also discovered a new avenue for clearing toxins from water, including wastewater produced by hydraulic fracturing. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 21, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Berkeley lab project to pinpoint methane 'super emitters'
(DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) Methane, a potent greenhouse gas that traps about 30 times more heat than carbon dioxide, is commonly released from rice fields, dairies, landfills, and oil and gas facilities -- all of which are plentiful in California. Now Berkeley Lab has been awarded $6 million by the state to find 'super emitters' of methane in an effort to quantify and potentially mitigate methane emissions. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 21, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

First report of powdery mildew on phasey bean in Florida could spell trouble for papaya
(American Phytopathological Society) In the fall of 2017, leaves of phasey bean plants in Homestead, Florida, displayed powdery fungal growth, which appeared in the form of white spots on both sides of the leaves. Scientists conducted analysis by sequencing genes of genomic DNA and identified the fungus as Erysiphe fallax, which causes a disease known as powdery mildew. To their knowledge, this is the first report of powdery mildew on phasey bean in the United States. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 21, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Studies find no yield benefit to higher plant populations
(American Phytopathological Society) Curtis Adams and his colleagues at Texas A&M AgriLife Research reviewed plant population studies published in 2000 or later. They found that yield is optimized at about 15,000 plants per acre (1.1 seed per foot in 40-inch rows), and contrary to popular belief, there is no yield benefit to high populations. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 21, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Russian scientists synthesized protein to enrich stock-raising feed
(Far Eastern Federal University) Scientists of Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) and Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (FEB RAS) have developed an effective technology for the synthesis of protein from amaranth grains and mushroom mycelium to enrich a stock-raising feed. To do this, they used genetic engineering methods, inserted into the fungus strain an element of amaranth DNA containing a storage protein. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 21, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Extreme draining of reservoir aids young salmon and eliminates invasive fish
(Oregon State University) A new study finds that the low-cost, extreme draining of a reservoir in Oregon aided downstream migration of juvenile chinook salmon -- and led to the gradual disappearance of two species of predatory invasive fish in the artificial lake. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 21, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

What makes a place a home?
(Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences) Diver-led visual surveys at 11 mesophotic reef sites around Bermuda found that high densities of lionfish were associated with both higher abundances of prey fish and higher prey fish biomass. However, the influence of seawater temperature was found to have the strongest effect on lionfish distribution, with higher lionfish densities recorded at sites with lower bottom temperatures. These results suggest that cold-water upwelling may result in higher abundances of prey fish and lionfish. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - May 21, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news