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Biology
Key: Meeting Journal Funder
Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
NeuroImage
How kids' brain structures grow as memory develops
Our ability to store memories improves during childhood, associated with structural changes in the hippocampus and its connections with prefrontal and parietal cortices. New research from UC Davis is exploring how these brain regions develop at this crucial time. Eventually, that could give insights into disorders that typically emerge in the transition into and during adolescence and affect memory, such as schizophrenia and depression.
National Institutes of Health

Contact: Andy Fell
ahfell@ucdavis.edu
530-752-4533
University of California - Davis

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Gate for bacterial toxins found
Prof. Dr. Dr. Klaus Aktories and Dr. Panagiotis Papatheodorou from the University of Freiburg have discovered the receptor responsible for smuggling the toxin of the bacterium Clostridium perfringens into the cell. The TpeL toxin is formed by C. perfringens, a pathogen that causes gas gangrene and food poisoning. It is very similar to the toxins of many other hospital germs of the genus Clostridium. Aktories is member of the BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies.

Contact: Dr. Klaus Aktories
klaus.aktories@pharmakol.uni-freiburg.de
49-761-203-5301
University of Freiburg

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Journal of Environmental Quality
Significant baseline levels of arsenic found in Ohio soils are due to natural processes
Geologic and soil processes are to blame for significant baseline levels of arsenic in soil throughout Ohio, according to a new study. The findings pose a challenge for regulators, who must determine what levels should trigger action when natural arsenic levels everywhere are above suggested screening standards.
Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological Survey, US Geological Survey

Contact: Tom Rickey
tom.rickey@pnnl.gov
509-375-3732
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Neuron
Eavesdropping on brain cell chatter
Everything we do -- all of our movements, thoughts and feelings -- are the result of neurons talking with one another, and recent studies have suggested that some of the conversations might not be all that private. Brain cells known as astrocytes may be listening in on, or even participating in, some of those discussions. But a new mouse study suggests that astrocytes might only be tuning in part of the time -- specifically, when the neurons get really excited about something.
NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Contact: Barbara McMakin
nindspressteam@ninds.nih.gov
301-496-5751
NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Cell
Vanderbilt researchers discover how intestinal cells build nutrient-absorbing surface
The 'brush border' -- a densely packed array of finger-like projections called microvilli -- covers the surfaces of the cells that line our intestines. Vanderbilt University researchers have now discovered how intestinal cells build this specialized structure, which is critical for absorbing nutrients and defending against pathogens. The findings, published April 10 in Cell, reveal a role for adhesion molecules in brush border assembly and increase our understanding of intestinal pathologies associated with inherited and infectious diseases.
National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association, Vanderbilt Innovation and Discovery in Engineering And Science award

Contact: Leigh MacMillan
leigh.macmillan@vanderbilt.edu
615-322-4747
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Geology
Dartmouth-led study shows air temperature influenced African glacial movements
Changes in air temperature, not precipitation, drove the expansion and contraction of glaciers in Africa's Rwenzori Mountains at the height of the last ice age, according to a Dartmouth-led study funded by the National Geographic Society and the National Science Foundation.
National Geographic Society, National Science Foundation

Contact: John Cramer
John.Cramer@Dartmouth.edu
603-646-9130
Dartmouth College

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Physical Review Letters
Theoretical biophysics: Adventurous bacteria
To reproduce or to conquer the world? Surprisingly, bacteria also face this problem. Theoretical biophysicists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich have now shown how these organisms should decide how best to preserve their species.

Contact: Luise Dirscherl
dirscherl@lmu.de
0049-892-180-2706
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Nature Communications
Recycling industrial waste water
A research group composed of Dr. Martin Prechtl, Leo Heim and their colleagues at the University of Cologne's Department of Chemistry has discovered a new method of generating hydrogen using water and formaldehyde.
North-Rhine Westphalia's Ministry for Innovation, Science and Research

Contact: Dr. Martin Prechtl
martin.prechtl@uni-koeln.de
49-221-470-1981
University of Cologne

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Geology
Scratching the surface: Microbial etchings in impact glass and the search for life on Mars
Haley M. Sapers and colleagues provide what may be the first report of biological activity preserved in impact glass. Recent research has suggested that impact events create novel within-rock microbial habitats. In their paper, 'Enigmatic tubular features in impact glass,' Sapers and colleagues analyze tubular features in hydrothermally altered impact glass from the Ries Impact Structure, Germany, that are remarkably similar to the bioalteration textures observed in volcanic glasses.

Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Clinical Infectious Diseases
HIV+ women respond well to HPV vaccine
A three-nation clinical trial found that a vaccine can safely help the vast majority of HIV-positive women produce antibodies against the cancer-causing human papillomavirus, even if their immune system is weak and even if they've had some prior HPV exposure.
National Institutes of Health

Contact: David Orenstein
david_orenstein@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Biomacromolecules
A greener source of polyester -- cork trees
On the scale of earth-friendly materials, you'd be hard pressed to find two that are farther apart than polyester (not at all) and cork (very). In an unexpected twist, however, scientists are figuring out how to extract a natural, waterproof, antibacterial version of the first material from the latter. Their new technique, which could have applications in medical devices, appears in the ACS journal Biomacromolecules.

Contact: Michael Bernstein
m_bernstein@acs.org
202-872-6042
American Chemical Society

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Aquatic Toxicology
Fish exposed to antidepressants exhibit altered behavioral changes
Fish exposed to the antidepressant Fluoxetine, an active ingredient in prescription drugs such as Prozac, exhibited a range of altered mating behaviours, repetitive behaviour and aggression towards female fish, according to new research published on in the latest special issue of Aquatic Toxicology: Antidepressants in the Aquatic Environment.

Contact: Kitty van Hensbergen
c.hensbergen@elsevier.com
31-204-852-291
Elsevier

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Freshwater Invasives: Networking for Strategy (FINS) Conference
Management of Biological Invasions
EU must take urgent action on invasive species
The EU must take urgent action to halt the spread of invasive species that are threatening native plants and animals across Europe, according to a scientist from Queen's University Belfast. The threats posed by these species cost an estimated €12 billion each year across Europe. Professor Jaimie Dick, from the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen's is calling on the EU to commit long-term investment in a European-wide strategy to manage the problem.

Contact: Anne-Marie Clarke
comms.officer@qub.ac.uk
44-028-909-75320
Queen's University Belfast

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Nature
Why your nose can be a pathfinder
Waves in your brain make smells stick to your memories and inner maps.
Kavli Foundation

Contact: Kei Igarashi
kei.igarashi@ntnu.no
47-977-63776
Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Physical Review Letters
At the origin of cell division
Movement and the ability to divide are two fundamental traits of living cells. The origin of these abilities could rely on very simple physical mechanisms, which have been simulated by scientists of the International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste in a study just published in Physical Review Letters. Luca Giomi and Antonio DeSimone have reproduced motility in their models, by acting on a single parameter until they caused the 'cells' to divide spontaneously without the action of external forces.

Contact: Federica Sgorbissa
pressroom@sissa.it
39-040-378-7644
International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA)

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Neuron
Synapses -- stability in transformation
Synapses remain stable if their components grow in coordination with each other.

Contact: Dr. Stefanie Merker
49-898-578-3514
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Fertility and Sterility
Multiple births don't have to be an inevitable result of fertility treatments
While fertility treatments have helped many people become parents, they commonly result in multiple births, increasing the risk of prematurity, and leading to lifelong complications. But this doesn't have to be the case, according to Yale School of Medicine researchers and their colleagues, who recommend sweeping changes to policy and clinical practice in a study published in the April issue of Fertility & Sterility.
March of Dimes

Contact: Karen N. Peart
karen.peart@yale.edu
203-432-1326
Yale University

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
International Journal of Modern Physics C
Researchers propose network-based evaluation tool to assess relief operations feasibility
A Singapore-based team of scientists from the Institute of High Performance Computing, A*STAR and The Logistics Institute-Asia Pacific has presented a model that looks into the logistics of disaster relief using open data and tools and measures developed in the field of network science.
Singapore Agency for Science, Technology and Research Complex Systems Programme, Agency for Science, Technology and Research Science and Engineering Research Center grant

Contact: Jason Lim Chongjin
cjlim@wspc.com.sg
65-646-65775 x247
World Scientific

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Nature Communications
Global scientific team 'visualizes' a new crystallization process
By combining a synchrotron's bright X-ray beam with high speed X-ray cameras, scientists from Stanford University in California and KAUST in Saudi Arabia shot a 'movie' showing how organic molecules form into crystals. This is a first. Their new techniques will improve our understanding of crystal packing and should help lead to better electronic devices as well as pharmaceuticals -- indeed any product whose properties depend on precisely controlling crystallization, as this paper describes.

Contact: Tom Abate
tabate@stanford.edu
650-736-2245
Stanford School of Engineering

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
BioScience
Shade grown coffee shrinking as a proportion of global coffee production
According to a new study, over the past couple of decades, global coffee production has been shifting towards a more intensive, less environmentally friendly style. That's pretty surprising if you live in the US and you've gone to the grocery store or Starbucks, where sales of environmentally and socially conscious coffees have risen sharply and now account for half of all US coffee sales by economic value.

Contact: Marc Airhart
mairhart@austin.utexas.edu
512-232-1066
University of Texas at Austin

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Menopause
Low vitamin D may not be a culprit in menopause symptoms
A new study from the Women's Health Initiative shows no significant connection between vitamin D levels and menopause symptoms. The study was published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society.
NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Contact: Jennifer Bahun
jbahun@fallscommunications.com
216-472-6678
The North American Menopause Society (NAMS)

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Nature
Hide and seek: Revealing camouflaged bacteria
A research team at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel has discovered an protein family that plays a central role in the fight against the bacterial pathogen Salmonella within the cells. The so called interferon-induced GTPases reveal and eliminate the bacterium's camouflage in the cell, enabling the cell to recognize the pathogen and to render it innocuous. The findings are published in the current issue of the science magazine Nature.

Contact: Olivia Poisson
olivia.poisson@unibas.ch
University of Basel

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Nature
Scientists re-define what's healthy in newest analysis for Human Microbiome Project
As scientists catalog the trillions of bacteria found in the human body, a new look by the University of Michigan shows wide variation in the types of bacteria found in healthy people.
National Institutes of Health

Contact: Shantell M. Kirkendoll
smkirk@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Nature
Ancient shark fossil reveals new insights into jaw evolution
The skull of a newly discovered 325-million-year-old shark-like species suggests that early cartilaginous and bony fishes have more to tell us about the early evolution of jawed vertebrates -- including humans -- than do modern sharks, as was previously thought. The new study, led by scientists at the American Museum of Natural History, shows that living sharks are actually quite advanced in evolutionary terms, despite having retained their basic 'sharkiness' over millions of years.
Herbert & Evelyn Axelrod Research Chair in Paleoichthyology at the American Museum of Natural History

Contact: Kendra Snyder
ksnyder@amnh.org
212-496-3419
American Museum of Natural History

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
Science Translational Medicine
Researchers develop a new drug to combat the measles
A novel antiviral drug may protect people infected with the measles from getting sick and prevent them from spreading the virus to others, an international team of researchers says.
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Contact: LaTina Emerson
lemerson1@gsu.edu
404-413-1353
Georgia State University