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Key: Meeting Journal Funder
Public Release: 31-Jul-2014
ChemBioChem
Engineering a protein to prevent brain damage from toxic agents
New research may help prevent brain damage for those exposed to pesticides and chemical weapons. The work centers on proteins called phosphotriesterases, which are able to degrade chemicals known as organophosphates -- found in everything from industrial pesticides to sarin gas. They permanently bond to neurotransmitters in the brain, interfering with their ability to function and causing irreversible damage. The researchers re-engineered the protein to make it sufficiently stable to be used therapeutically.
US Army Research Office, National Science Foundation

Contact: Kathleen Hamilton
kathleen.hamilton@nyu.edu
718-260-3792
New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering

Public Release: 31-Jul-2014
PLOS ONE
New international tree nut council study looks at nuts, diabetes and metabolic syndrome
Tree nuts have a positive impact on glycemic control in diabetes and on metabolic syndrome criteria.

Contact: Maureen Ternus
maureen.ternus@gmail.com
530-297-5895
Motion PR

Public Release: 31-Jul-2014
Scientific Reports
Boat noise impacts development and survival of sea hares
The development and survival of an important group of marine invertebrates known as sea hares is under threat from increasing boat noise in the world's oceans, according to a new study by researchers from the UK and France.

Contact: Hannah Johnson
hannah.johnson@bristol.ac.uk
44-117-928-8896
University of Bristol

Public Release: 30-Jul-2014
Cell Reports
Biologists describe mechanism promoting multiple DNA mutations
The finding that cancer development often involves multiple mutations arising in clusters and in regions where chromosomal rearrangement takes place may one day lead to new cancer therapies.
National Institutes of Health

Contact: Gary Galluzzo
gary-galluzzo@uiowa.edu
319-384-0009
University of Iowa

Public Release: 30-Jul-2014
Ecology Letters
Classic Lewis Carroll character inspires new ecological model
Inspired by the Red Queen in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass, collaborators from the University of Illinois and National University of Singapore improved a 35-year-old ecology model to better understand how species evolve over decades to millions of years.
Templeton World Charity Foundation

Contact: Nicholas Vasi
nvasi@illinois.edu
Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Public Release: 30-Jul-2014
Proceedings of the Royal Society B
When cooperation counts
A new study conducted by Harvard scientists shows that in Peromyscus maniculatus, a species of deer mouse known to be highly promiscuous, sperm clump together to swim in a more linear fashion, increasing their chances of fertilization.

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

Public Release: 30-Jul-2014
Diversity and Distributions
Conservation scientists asking wrong questions on climate change impacts on wildlife
Scientists studying the potential effects of climate change on the world's animal and plant species are focusing on the wrong factors, according to a new paper by a research team from the Wildlife Conservation Society, University of Queensland, and other organizations. The authors claim that most of the conservation science is missing the point when it comes to climate change.

Contact: John Delaney
jdelaney@wcs.org
718-220-3275
Wildlife Conservation Society

Public Release: 30-Jul-2014
Nature
Scientists reproduce evolutionary changes by manipulating embryonic development of mice
By modifying the embryonic development of mice, scientists from the University of Helsinki and the UAB have achieved to reproduce in the laboratory the changes in teeth shape which, in mammals, has needed millions of years of evolution to take place. The research appears today in Nature.

Contact: Isaac Salazar-Ciudad
Isaac.salazar@uab.cat
34-935-812-730
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona

Public Release: 30-Jul-2014
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Dissolvable fabric loaded with medicine might offer faster protection against HIV
University of Washington bioengineers have discovered a potentially faster way to deliver a topical drug that protects women from contracting HIV. Their method spins the drug into silk-like fibers that quickly dissolve when in contact with moisture, releasing higher doses of the drug than possible with other topical materials.
National Institutes of Health

Contact: Michelle Ma
mcma@uw.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington

Public Release: 30-Jul-2014
Nature Communications
Study: Marine pest provides advances in maritime anti-fouling and biomedicine
A team of biologists, led by Clemson University associate professor Andrew S. Mount, performed cutting-edge research on a marine pest that will pave the way for novel anti-fouling paint for ships and boats and also improve bio-adhesives for medical and industrial applications. The team's findings, published in Nature Communications, examined the last larval stage of barnacles that attaches to a wide variety of surfaces using highly versatile, natural, possibly polymeric material that acts as an underwater heavy-duty adhesive.
Office of Naval Research

Contact: Andrew S. Mount
mount@clemson.edu
864-656-3597
Clemson University

Public Release: 30-Jul-2014
Animal Behaviour
Supportive moms and sisters boost female baboon's rank
A study of dominance in female baboons suggests that the route to a higher rank is to maintain close ties with mom, and to have lots of supportive sisters.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Chicago Zoological Society

Contact: Robin Ann Smith
ras10@duke.edu
919-681-8057
Duke University

Public Release: 30-Jul-2014
Current Biology
Chinese mosquitos on the Baltic Sea
Strange finds indeed have been reported by researchers from China, Europe and the USA in the journal 'Current Biology': 50 million years ago, there were insects living in East Asia that very much resembled those in Northern Europe. This is what amber, which was found in East China showed, in whose analysis the University of Bonn is currently participating. The fossil resin clumps give evidence of arthropods from more than 80 different families.

Contact: Dr. Bo Wang
savantwang@gmail.com
86-139-519-82860
University of Bonn

Public Release: 30-Jul-2014
Journal of the American Chemical Society
Sugar mimics guide stem cells toward neural fate
Many growth factors that influence the fate of embryonic stem cells must bind to sugars attached to specific receptors on the surface of the cell to work. Because the sugars are difficult to manipulate, biochemists created synthetic stand ins that helped to identify substructures recognized by a growth factor involved in neural development.
NIH/National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, US Department of Energy

Contact: Susan Brown
sdbrown@ucsd.edu
858-246-0161
University of California - San Diego

Public Release: 30-Jul-2014
Scientific Reports
Big data confirms climate extremes are here to stay
In a new paper, Northeastern researchers show how they've used advanced computational data science tools to demonstrate that despite global warming, we may still experience severe cold snaps due to increasing variability in temperature extremes.

Contact: Emily Bhatti
e.bhatti@neu.edu
617-373-3287
Northeastern University

Public Release: 30-Jul-2014
New England Journal of Medicine
Drug-resistant malaria has spread to critical border regions of Southeast Asia
Drug-resistant malaria parasites have spread to critical border regions of Southeast Asia, seriously threatening global malaria control and elimination programs, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
UK Department for International Development, Worldwide Antimalarial Resistance Network, NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Intramural Research Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Contact: Clare Ryan
c.ryan@wellcome.ac.uk
44-020-761-17262
Wellcome Trust

Public Release: 30-Jul-2014
ZooKeys
Decades-old amber collection offers new views of a lost world
Scientists are searching through a massive collection of 20-million-year-old amber found in the Dominican Republic more than 50 years ago, and the effort is yielding fresh insights into ancient tropical insects and the world they inhabited. (Includes a video about the work narrated by David Attenborough.)
National Science Foundation

Contact: Diana Yates
diya@illinois.edu
217-333-5802
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Public Release: 30-Jul-2014
Peru's carbon quantified: Economic and conservation boon
Today scientists unveiled the first high-resolution map of the carbon stocks stored on land throughout the entire country of Peru. The new and improved methodology used to make the map marks a sea change for future market-based carbon economies. The new carbon map also reveals Peru's extremely high ecological diversity and it provides the critical input to studies of deforestation and forest degradation for conservation, land use, and enforcement purposes.

Contact: Greg Asner
gpa@carnegiescience.edu
650-380-2828
Carnegie Institution

Public Release: 30-Jul-2014
Genome Biology
How black truffles deal with the jumpers in their genome
The black truffle uses reversible epigenetic processes to regulate its genes, and adapt to changes in its surroundings. The 'methylome' -- a picture of the genome regulation taking place in the truffle, is published in the open-access journal Genome Biology and illustrates how the truffle deals with its complex genome's repeating elements and 'jumping genes.' The authors say this may shed light on how traits like aroma and color are controlled.

Contact: Anna Perman
Anna.Perman@biomedcentral.com
44-203-192-2429
BioMed Central

Public Release: 30-Jul-2014
PLOS ONE
Kids with autism and sensory processing disorders show differences in brain wiring
Researchers at UC San Francisco have found that children with sensory processing disorders have decreased structural brain connections in specific sensory regions different than those in autism, further establishing SPD as a clinically important neurodevelopmental disorder.
Wallace Research Foundation, Gates Family Foundation, Holcombe Kawaja Family Foundation

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

Public Release: 30-Jul-2014
PLOS ONE
Pesticide DDT linked to slow metabolism, obesity and diabetes
UC Davis study is the first to show that developmental exposure to DDT increases the risk of females later developing metabolic syndrome -- a cluster of conditions that include increased body fat, blood glucose, and cholesterol.
NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Contact: Michele La Merrill
mlamerrill@ucdavis.edu
707-800-2920
University of California - Davis

Public Release: 30-Jul-2014
PLOS ONE
Vocal variety in African penguins
Adult African penguins communicate using four different vocalizations and juveniles and chicks use two begging calls to request food.

Contact: Kayla Graham
onepress@plos.org
PLOS

Public Release: 30-Jul-2014
PLOS ONE
Deep-sea octopus has longest-known egg-brooding period
A deep-sea octopus protected and tended her eggs until they hatched 4.5 years later.

Contact: Kayla Graham
onepress@plos.org
PLOS

Public Release: 30-Jul-2014
PLOS ONE
Tree nuts appear to help blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes
Eating tree nuts appears to help lower and stabilize blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes compared to those on a control diet, a new study has found.
International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research and Education Foundation, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Contact: Leslie Shepherd
shepherdl@smh.ca
416-864-6094
St. Michael's Hospital

Public Release: 30-Jul-2014
Trends in Microbiology
Scientists call for new strategy in pursuit of HIV-free generation
In light of the recent news that HIV has been detected in the Mississippi baby previously thought to have been cured of the disease, researchers are assessing how to help those born to HIV-infected mothers. These infants around the world are in need of new immune-based protective strategies, including vaccines delivered to mothers and babies and the means to boost potentially protective maternal antibodies, say researchers writing in Trends in Microbiology on July 30.

Contact: Mary Beth O'Leary
moleary@cell.com
617-397-2802
Cell Press

Public Release: 30-Jul-2014
PLOS ONE
Deep-sea octopus broods eggs for over 4 years -- longer than any known animal
Researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute have observed a deep-sea octopus brooding its eggs for four and one half years -- longer than any other known animal. This amazing feat represents an evolutionary balancing act between the benefits to the young octopuses of having plenty of time to develop within their eggs, and their mother's ability to survive for years with little or no food.
David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Contact: Meilina Dalit
mdalit@mbari.org
831-775-1716
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute