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Chemistry/Physics/Materials Sciences
Key: Meeting Journal Funder
Public Release: 21-Apr-2014
Nature Chemistry
The anti-inflammatory factory
Russian scientists, in collaboration with their colleagues from Pittsburgh University, find how lipid mediators are produced. The relevant paper was publish in Nature Chemistry. Lipid mediators are molecules playing an important role in inflammation process. A study devoted to some of them has earned a Nobel prize in 1982.

Contact: Ilya Usov
science-release@rector.msu.ru
Lomonosov Moscow State University

Public Release: 21-Apr-2014
Langmuir
New material coating technology mimics nature's lotus effect
A unique and low cost method to coat materials is the subject of a pending international patent. Ranga Pitchumani of Virginia Tech's Mechanical Engineering Department and Atieh Haghdoost, a recent doctoral graduate from Pitchumani's Advanced Materials and Technologies Laboratory developed the process.

Contact: Lynn Nystrom
tansy@vt.edu
540-231-4371
Virginia Tech

Public Release: 21-Apr-2014
Stem Cell Reports
A protein required for integrity of induced pluripotent stem cells
A study published today in the journal Stem Cell Reports, from the Cell Publishing Group, reveals that the SIRT1 protein is needed to lengthen and maintain telomeres during cell reprogramming. SIRT1 also guarantees the integrity of the genome of stem cells that come out of the cell reprogramming process; these cells are known as induced pluripotent stem cells.

Contact: Nuria Noriega
comunicacion@cnio.es
Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas (CNIO)

Public Release: 21-Apr-2014
Pediatrics
UCSF study finds codeine often prescribed to children, despite available alternatives
Despite its potentially harmful effects in children, codeine continues to be prescribed in US emergency rooms, according to new research from UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco.
NIH/National Institute for Child Health and Human Development

Contact: Juliana Bunim
juliana.bunim@ucsf.edu
415-502-6397
University of California - San Francisco

Public Release: 20-Apr-2014
Nature Climate Change
Study casts doubt on climate benefit of biofuels from corn residue
Biofuels made from corn stover -- stalks, leaves and cobs that remain after harvest -- appear to emit more carbon dioxide over their life cycle than federal standards allow, according to research led by Adam Liska, assistant professor of biological engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
US Department of Energy

Contact: Adam Liska
aliska2@unl.edu
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Public Release: 20-Apr-2014
Nature Materials
Bulletproof nuclei? Stem cells exhibit unusual absorption property
Stem cells -- the body's master cells -- demonstrate a bizarre property never before seen at a cellular level, according to a study published today from scientists at the University of Cambridge. The property -- known as auxeticity -- is one which may have application as wide-ranging as soundproofing, super-absorbent sponges and bulletproof vests.
Royal Society, Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Councilellcome Trust, and others

Contact: Craig Brierley
craig.brierley@admin.cam.ac.uk
44-012-237-66205
University of Cambridge

Public Release: 20-Apr-2014
Nature Cell Biology
Cancer stem cells linked to drug resistance
Most drugs used to treat lung, breast and pancreatic cancers also promote drug-resistance and ultimately spur tumor growth. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered a molecule, or biomarker, called CD61 on the surface of drug-resistant tumors that appears responsible for inducing tumor metastasis by enhancing the stem cell-like properties of cancer cells.
National Institutes of Health, NIH/National Cancer Institute

Contact: Yadira Galindo
ygalindo@ucsd.edu
619-543-6163
University of California - San Diego

Public Release: 20-Apr-2014
American Academy of Neurology's 66th Annual Meeting
Low tolerance for pain? The reason may be in your genes
Researchers may have identified key genes linked to why some people have a higher tolerance for pain than others, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 66th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, April 26-May 3, 2014.

Contact: Rachel Seroka
rseroka@aan.com
612-928-6129
American Academy of Neurology

Public Release: 20-Apr-2014
Nature Chemical Biology
'Chaperone' compounds offer new approach to Alzheimer's treatment
A team of researchers from Columbia University Medical Center, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Brandeis University has devised a wholly new approach to the treatment of Alzheimer's disease involving the so-called retromer protein complex. Retromer plays a vital role in neurons, steering amyloid precursor protein (APP) away from a region of the cell where APP is cleaved, creating the potentially toxic byproduct amyloid-beta, which is thought to contribute to the development of Alzheimer's.
National Institiutes of Health, Alzheimer's Association, NIH/National Cancer Institute, Medkoo Biosciences, and others

Contact: Ann Rae Jonas, Doug Levy
cumcnews@columbia.edu
212-305-3900
Columbia University Medical Center

Public Release: 18-Apr-2014
Nature Communications
NNI researchers discover novel function of protein linked to Alzheimer's disease
A research team led by the National Neuroscience Institute in Singapore has uncovered a novel function of the Amyloid Precursor Protein, one of the main pathogenic culprits of Alzheimer's disease. This discovery may help researchers understand how the protein goes awry in the brains of Alzheimer's disease patients, and potentially paves the way for the development of innovative therapeutics to improve the brain function of dementia patients.

Contact: Lydia Ng
lydia.ng.w.r@singhealth.com.sg
659-271-6175
SingHealth

Public Release: 18-Apr-2014
Nature Nanotechnology
MRI, on a molecular scale
A team of scientists, led by professor of physics and of applied physics Amir Yacoby, have developed a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system that can produce nano-scale images, and may one day allow researchers to peer into the atomic structure of individual molecules.

Contact: Peter Reuell
preuell@fas.harvard.edu
617-496-8070
Harvard University

Public Release: 18-Apr-2014
Nature
Flipping the switch
Harvard researchers have succeeded in creating quantum switches that can be turned on and off using a single photon, an achievement that could pave the way for the creation of highly secure quantum networks.

Contact: Peter Reuell
preuell@fas.harvard.edu
617-496-8070
Harvard University

Public Release: 18-Apr-2014
Sun emits a mid-level solar flare
The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 9:03 a.m. EDT on April 18, 2014, and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however -- when intense enough -- they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.
NASA

Contact: Susan Hendrix
Susan.m.hendrix@nasa.gov
301-286-7745
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Public Release: 18-Apr-2014
Nature Nanotechnology
'Exotic' material is like a switch when super thin
Researchers from Cornell University and Brookhaven National Laboratory have shown how to switch a particular transition metal oxide, a lanthanum nickelate, from a metal to an insulator by making the material less than a nanometer thick.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy, Office of Naval Research

Contact: Syl Kacapyr
vpk6@cornell.edu
607-255-7701
Cornell University

Public Release: 18-Apr-2014
Advanced Materials
Gecko-like adhesives now useful for real world surfaces
Crosby and polymer science researcher Dan King, with other UMass Amherst researchers including biology professor Duncan Irschick, report in the current issue of Advanced Materials how they have expanded their design theory to allow Geckskin to adhere powerfully to a wider variety of surfaces found in most homes such as drywall, and wood.

Contact: Janet Lathrop
jlathrop@admin.umass.edu
413-545-0444
University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Public Release: 18-Apr-2014
Angewandte Chemie
Innovative strategy to facilitate organ repair
A significant breakthrough could revolutionize surgical practice and regenerative medicine. A team led by Ludwik Leibler from the Laboratoire Matiere Molle et Chimie (CNRS/ESPCI Paris Tech) and Didier Letourneur from the Laboratoire Recherche Vasculaire Translationnelle (INSERM/Universites Paris Diderot and Paris 13), has just demonstrated that the principle of adhesion by aqueous solutions of nanoparticles can be used in vivo to repair soft-tissue organs and tissues.

Contact: Didier Letourneur
didier.letourneur@inserm.fr
33-014-025-8600
INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale)

Public Release: 18-Apr-2014
Applied Physics Letters
Impurity size affects performance of emerging superconductive material
Research from North Carolina State University finds that impurities can hurt performance -- or possibly provide benefits -- in a key superconductive material that is expected to find use in a host of applications, including future particle colliders. The size of the impurities determines whether they help or hinder the material's performance.

Contact: Matt Shipman
matt_shipman@ncsu.edu
919-515-6386
North Carolina State University

Public Release: 18-Apr-2014
PLOS ONE
Counterfeit contraceptives found in South America
A survey of emergency contraceptive pills in Peru found that 28 percent of the batches studied were either of substandard quality or falsified. Many pills released the active ingredient too slowly. Others had the wrong active ingredient. One batch had no active ingredient at all.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Contact: Brett Israel
brett.israel@comm.gatech.edu
404-385-1933
Georgia Institute of Technology

Public Release: 17-Apr-2014
Advanced Materials
Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur
A new chemical process can transform waste sulfur into lightweight plastic lenses that have a high refractive index and are transparent to mid-range infrared light. The lenses may have applications in thermal imaging devices. Other potential applications for the new plastic include sulfur-lithium batteries.
American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Foundation, National Science Foundation, National Research Foundation of Korea, Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, State of Arizona TRIF Funding, US Air Force Office of Scientific Research

Contact: Mari N. Jensen
mnjensen@email.arizona.edu
520-626-9635
University of Arizona

Public Release: 17-Apr-2014
Astrophysical Journal Letters
Bright points in sun's atmosphere mark patterns deep in its interior
Like a balloon bobbing along in the air while tied to a child's hand, a tracer has been found in the sun's atmosphere to help track the flow of material coursing underneath the sun's surface.
NASA

Contact: Susan Hendrix
Susan.m.hendrix@nasa.gov
301-286-7745
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Public Release: 17-Apr-2014
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Vitamin B3 might have been made in space, delivered to Earth by meteorites
Ancient Earth might have had an extraterrestrial supply of vitamin B3 delivered by carbon-rich meteorites, according to a new analysis by NASA-funded researchers. The result supports a theory that the origin of life may have been assisted by a supply of key molecules created in space and brought to Earth by comet and meteor impacts.
NASA

Contact: Bill Steigerwald
william.a.steigerwald@nasa.gov
301-286-5017
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Public Release: 17-Apr-2014
BioResearch Open Access
Novel marker discovered for stem cells derived from human umbilical cord blood
The development of stem cell therapies to cure a variety of diseases depends on the ability to characterize stem cell populations based on cell surface markers.

Contact: Vicki Cohn
vcohn@liebertpub.com
914-740-2100 x2156
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

Public Release: 17-Apr-2014
Environmental Health Perspectives
Fish consumption advisories fail to cover all types of contaminants
A new UTSC study suggests that fish consumption advisories for expecting mothers are ineffective in reducing infant exposure to contaminants like persistent organic pollutants.
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Contact: Don Campbell
dcampbell@utsc.utoronto.ca
416-208-2938
University of Toronto

Public Release: 17-Apr-2014
Science
First potentially habitable Earth-sized planet confirmed by Gemini and Keck observatories
The first Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting within the habitable zone of another star has been confirmed by observations with both the W. M. Keck Observatory and the Gemini Observatory. The initial discovery, made by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, is one of a handful of smaller planets found by Kepler and verified using large ground-based telescopes. It also confirms that Earth-sized planets do exist in the habitable zone of other stars.

Contact: Peter Michaud
pmichaud@gemini.edu
808-974-2510
Gemini Observatory

Public Release: 17-Apr-2014
Science
Jump-starting natural resilience reverses stress susceptibility
Scientists have traced vulnerability to depression-like behaviors in mice to out-of-balance electrical activity inside neurons and experimentally reversed it. Once electrical balance was restored, previously susceptible animals were no longer prone to becoming withdrawn, anxious, and listless following socially stressful experiences. But there's a twist. The secret to such resilience was not to suppress the runaway activity, but to push it up even further, eventually triggering a compensatory self-stabilizing response.
NIH/National Institute of Mental Health

Contact: Jules Asher
NIMHpress@nih.gov
301-443-4536
NIH/National Institute of Mental Health