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Key: Meeting Journal Funder
Public Release: 26-Nov-2014
Nature Communications
TGen-Luxembourg scientific team conducts unprecedented analysis of microbial ecosystem
An international team of scientists from the Translational Genomics Research Institute and The Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine have completed a first-of-its-kind microbial analysis of a biological waste water treatment plant that has broad implications for protecting the environment, energy recovery and human health. The study, published Nov. 26 in the scientific journal Nature Communications, describes in unprecedented detail the complex relationships within a model ecosystem.

Contact: Steve Yozwiak
syozwiak@tgen.org
602-343-8704
The Translational Genomics Research Institute

Public Release: 26-Nov-2014
Nature
NASA's Van Allen Probes spot an impenetrable barrier in space
Two donuts of seething radiation that surround Earth, called the Van Allen radiation belts, have been found to contain a nearly impenetrable barrier that prevents the fastest, most energetic electrons from reaching Earth.
NASA

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

Public Release: 26-Nov-2014
The Electricity Journal
Matched 'hybrid' systems may hold key to wider use of renewable energy
The use of renewable energy in the United States could take a significant leap forward with improved storage technologies or more efforts to 'match' different forms of alternative energy systems that provide an overall more steady flow of electricity, researchers say in a new report.

Contact: Joshua Merritt
merrittj@oregonstate.edu
Oregon State University

Public Release: 26-Nov-2014
Tropical depression 21W forms, Philippines under warnings
The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite provided rainfall data as Tropical Depression 21W was making landfall in the southern Philippines on Nov. 26.
NASA

Contact: Rob Gutro
robert.j.gutro@nasa.gov
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Public Release: 26-Nov-2014
ZooKeys
The influence of the Isthmus of Panama in the evolution of freshwater shrimps in America
The molecular evolution of freshwater shrimps in America was studied based in the relationship between Pacific and Atlantic sister species that are separated by the Isthmus of Panama. Despite the high morphological similarities between each pair of species, it was concluded that all species are valid taxonomic entities, proving the efficiency of the Isthmus for the genetic isolation of the species. The study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

Contact: Fernando L. Mantelatto
flmantel@usp.br
55-163-602-3656
Pensoft Publishers

Public Release: 26-Nov-2014
Advances in Space Research
Process converts human waste into rocket fuel
Buck Rogers surely couldn't have seen this one coming, but at NASA's request, University of Florida researchers have figured out how to turn human waste -- yes, that kind -- into rocket fuel.

Contact: Pratap Pullammanappallil
pcpratap@ufl.edu
352-392-1864 x203
University of Florida

Public Release: 26-Nov-2014
ZooKeys
Amazonian shrimps: An underwater world still unknown
A study reveals how little we know about the Amazonian diversity. Aiming to resolve a scientific debate about the validity of two species of freshwater shrimp described in the first half of the last century, researchers have found that not only this species is valid, but also discovered the existence of a third unknown species. The researchers concluded that these species evolved about 10 million years ago. The study was published in the journal ZooKeys.

Contact: Dr. Fernando Mantelatto
flmantel@usp.br
Pensoft Publishers

Public Release: 26-Nov-2014
Frontiers in Marine Science
Toolkit for ocean health
One of the global leaders in ocean science, Professor Carlos Duarte has shared his insights on the future of the world's oceans in a paper published in the international open-access journal Frontiers in Marine Science.

Contact: David Stacey
david.stacey@uwa.edu.au
61-864-883-229
Frontiers

Public Release: 26-Nov-2014
5th International GOCE User Workshop
Geophysical Research Letters
First harvest of research based on the final GOCE gravity model
Just four months after the final data package from ESA's GOCE satellite mission was delivered, researchers are laying out a rich harvest of scientific results at the 5th International GOCE User Workshop in Paris. The GOCE Gravity Consortium, coordinated by the Technische Universität München, produced all of the mission's data products. On this basis, studies in geophysics, geology, ocean circulation, climate change, and civil engineering are sharpening the picture of our dynamic planet.
European Space Agency

Contact: Patrick Regan
patrick.regan@tum.de
49-162-427-9876
Technische Universitaet Muenchen

Public Release: 26-Nov-2014
National Science Review
Diverting a river from ecological disaster in northwestern China could provide new sustainable model
Population expansions and high-speed economic development along major rivers have triggered ecological disasters across the world. In northwestern China, a massive water diversion project helped rescue the Heihe River and reverse environmental damage. Integrated management of the river ecosystem and the economy, and measures aimed at protecting the entire river basin, outlined in a new study by Chinese scientists, could provide a model for saving rivers in other parts of China and worldwide.
National Natural Science Foundation of China.

Contact: Guodong Cheng
gdcheng@lzb.ac.cn
Science China Press

Public Release: 26-Nov-2014
Interface
Prehistoric conflict hastened human brain's capacity for collaboration, study says
Warfare not only hastened human technological progress and vast social and political changes, but may have greatly contributed to the evolutionary emergence of humans' high intelligence and ability to work together toward common goals, according to a new study from the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis.
National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis

Contact: Catherine Crawley
ccrawley@nimbios.org
865-974-9350
National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS)

Public Release: 26-Nov-2014
Nature
Shaping the future of energy storage with conductive clay
Materials scientists from Drexel University's College of Engineering invented the clay, which is both highly conductive and can easily be molded into a variety of shapes and sizes. It represents a turn away from the rather complicated and costly processing -- currently used to make materials for lithium-ion batteries and supercapacitors -- and toward one that looks a bit like rolling out cookie dough with results that are even sweeter from an energy storage standpoint.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy

Contact: Britt Faulstick
bef29@drexel.edu
215-895-2617
Drexel University

Public Release: 26-Nov-2014
Nature
The unbelievable underworld and its impact on us all
A new study has pulled together research into the most diverse place on earth to demonstrate how the organisms below-ground could hold the key to understanding how the worlds ecosystems function and how they are responding to climate change.

Contact: Jamie Brown
jamie.brown@manchester.ac.uk
01-612-758-383
University of Manchester

Public Release: 26-Nov-2014
Nature
Modeling the past to understand the future of a stronger El Nino
El Nino is not a contemporary phenomenon; it's long been the Earth's dominant source of year-to-year climate fluctuation. But as the climate warms and the feedbacks that drive the cycle change, researchers want to know how El Nino will respond. A team of researchers led by the University of Wisconsin's Zhengyu Liu published the latest findings in this quest Nov. 27, 2014 in Nature.

Contact: Zhengyu Liu
zliu3@wisc.edu
608-262-0777
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Public Release: 26-Nov-2014
Nature
Stanford engineers invent high-tech mirror to beam heat away from buildings into space
Stanford engineers have invented a material designed to help cool buildings. The material reflects incoming sunlight, and it sends heat from inside the structure directly into space as infrared radiation.

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

Public Release: 26-Nov-2014
PLOS ONE
Arctic conditions may become critical for polar bears by end of 21st century
Shifts in the timing and duration of ice cover, especially the possible lengthening of ice-free periods, may impact polar bears under projected warming before the end of the 21st century.

Contact: Kayla Graham
onepress@plos.org
PLOS

Public Release: 26-Nov-2014
PLOS ONE
DNA may survive suborbital spaceflight, re-entry
Plasmid DNA attached to the outer surface of a sounding rocket may be able to withstand rocket launch, a period of residence in suborbital space, re-entry, and landing conditions into the Earth's atmosphere, all the while staying intact and active in its function as carrier of genetic information.

Contact: Kayla Graham
onepress@plos.org
PLOS

Public Release: 25-Nov-2014
Satellite views early Thanksgiving travel trouble areas in US
As the US Thanksgiving holiday approaches this Thursday, Nov. 27, NOAA's GOES-East and GOES-West satellites are keeping a weather eye out for storms that may affect early travelers. In an image from Nov. 25, the satellites show an active weather pattern is in place for travelers across the central and eastern US.
NASA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Contact: Rob Gutro
Robert.j.gutro@nasa.gov
301-286-4044
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Public Release: 25-Nov-2014
PLOS Biology
Centipede's genome reveals how life evolved on our planet
Centipedes have been genetically sequenced for the first time by an international team of over 100 scientists. Study co-author professor Ariel Chipman at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem says the humble arthropod's DNA gives scientists new insight into how life developed on our planet. The creature independently evolved solutions to the problem of living on land by losing some genes and expanding other gene families not present in insects.

Contact: Dov Smith
dovs@savion.huji.ac.il
972-258-82844
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Public Release: 25-Nov-2014
Ecological Indicators
Mining can damage fish habitats far downstream, study shows
Anglers across the nation wondering why luck at their favorite fishing spot seems to have dried up may have a surprising culprit: a mine miles away, even in a different state. Scientists at Michigan State University have taken a first broad look at the impacts of mines across the country and found that mining can damage fish habitats miles downstream, and even in streams not directly connected to the mines.
US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Geological Survey

Contact: Sue Nichols
nichols@msu.edu
517-432-0206
Michigan State University

Public Release: 25-Nov-2014
eLife
Body size requires hormones under control
In a study now published in the scientific journal eLife, a research group from Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, led by Christen Mirth, shed new light on how animals regulate body size. The researchers showed that the timing of synthesis of a steroid hormone called ecdysone is sensitive to nutrition in the fruit fly and described the key proteins involved in this regulatory mechanism. This study explains what causes hormones to become environmentally-sensitive.
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

Contact: Ana Mena
anamena@igc.gulbenkian.pt
351-214-407-959
Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia

Public Release: 25-Nov-2014
Energy & Environmental Science
Researchers find way to turn sawdust into gasoline
Researchers at KU Leuven's Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis have successfully converted sawdust into building blocks for gasoline. Using a new chemical process, they were able to convert the cellulose in sawdust into hydrocarbon chains. These hydrocarbons can be used as an additive in gasoline, or as a component in plastics. The researchers reported their findings in the journal Energy & Environmental Science.

Contact: Bert Lagrain
bert.lagrain@biw.kuleuven.be
32-163-21627
KU Leuven

Public Release: 25-Nov-2014
Proceedings of the Royal Society A
Better forecasts for sea ice under climate change
New research will help pinpoint the impact of waves on sea ice, which is vulnerable to climate change, particularly in the Arctic where it is rapidly retreating.

Contact: Luke Bennetts
luke.bennetts@adelaide.edu.au
61-466-457-406
University of Adelaide

Public Release: 25-Nov-2014
Nature Communications
Blu-ray disc can be used to improve solar cell performance
Who knew about Blu-ray discs? One of the best ways to store high-definition movies and television shows because of their high-density data storage, Blu-ray discs also improve the performance of solar cells, according to a new Northwestern University study. Researchers have discovered that the pattern of information written on a Blu-ray disc -- and it doesn't matter if it's Jackie Chan's 'Supercop' or the cartoon 'Family Guy' -- works very well for improving light absorption across the solar spectrum.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Megan Fellman
fellman@northwestern.edu
847-491-3115
Northwestern University

Public Release: 25-Nov-2014
PLOS ONE
Scientists could save thousands of pounds with student's DIY microscope
Expensive tests for measuring everything from sperm motility to cancer diagnosis have just been made hundreds of thousands of pounds cheaper by a Ph.D. student from Brunel University London who hacked his own microscope.

Contact: Keith Coles
keith.coles@brunel.ac.uk
Brunel University