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Key: Meeting Journal Funder
Public Release: 19-Dec-2014
Freshwater Biology
Alaska fish adjust to climate change by following the food
Not all species may suffer from climate change. A new analysis shows that Dolly Varden, a species of char common in southeast Alaska, adjust their migrations so they can keep feasting on a key food source -- salmon eggs -- even as shifts in climate altered the timing of salmon spawning.

Contact: Michael Milstein
NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region

Public Release: 19-Dec-2014
Nano Letters
Atom-thick CCD could capture images
A synthetic two-dimensional material known as CIS could be the basis for ultimately thin imaging devices and optical sensors.
Army Research Office Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative, Function Accelerated nanoMaterial Engineering Division of the Semiconductor Technology Advanced Research Network

Contact: Mike Williams
Rice University

Public Release: 19-Dec-2014
Early exposure to antidepressants affects adult anxiety and serotonin transmission
Now, a UCLA team has studied early developmental exposure to two different antidepressants, Prozac and Lexapro, in a mouse model that mimics human third trimester medication exposure. They found that, although these serotonin-selective reuptake inhibiting antidepressants were thought to work the same way, they did not produce the same long-term changes in anxiety behavior in the adult mice.
NIH/National Institute of Mental Health, Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, Shirley and Stefan Hatos Foundation, UCLA Weil Endowment Fund

Contact: Kim Irwin
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences

Public Release: 19-Dec-2014
Journal of Biological Chemistry
New technique reveals immune cell motion
Neutrophils, cells recruited by the immune system to fight infection, need to move through a great variety of tissues. New research shows how neutrophils move through confined spaces in the body. A new system can mimic tissues of different densities and stiffness, enabling improved development and testing of drugs.
National Institutes of Health

Contact: Kevin Stacey
Brown University

Public Release: 19-Dec-2014
Applied Optics
Yellowstone's thermal springs -- their colors unveiled
Researchers at Montana State University and Brandenburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany have created a simple mathematical model based on optical measurements that explains the stunning colors of Yellowstone National Park's hot springs and can visually recreate how they appeared years ago, before decades of tourists contaminated the pools with make-a-wish coins and other detritus. The model, and stunning pictures of the springs, appear today in the journal Applied Optics.

Contact: Jason Socrates Bardi
The Optical Society

Public Release: 19-Dec-2014
British Medical Journal
Televised medical talk shows: Health education or entertainment?
Millions of viewers around the world watch the televised medical talk programs 'The Dr. Oz Show' and 'The Doctors' for medical advice, but how valuable are the recommendations they receive? In a first of its kind study, researchers from the University of Alberta have examined the recommendations given on those two shows to see if there is believable evidence to back up the claims presented. The results were revealing.

Contact: Ross Neitz
University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry

Public Release: 19-Dec-2014
Cancer Cell
A polymorphism and the bacteria inside of us help dictate inflammation, antitumor activity
A common polymorphism can lead to a chain of events that dictates how a tumor will progress in certain types of cancer, including a form of breast cancer as well as ovarian cancer, according to new research from The Wistar Institute that was published online by the journal Cancer Cell. The research reveals a more explicit role about the symbiotic relationship humans have with the various bacteria that inhabit our body and their role during tumor progression.
Breast Cancer Alliance, Ovarian Cancer Research Fund

Contact: Ben Leach
The Wistar Institute

Public Release: 19-Dec-2014
Hermit creepy crawlies: Two new taxa of wood-feeding cockroach from China
Scientists from the Southwest University, Chongqing, China, have found a new species and a new subspecies of cockroach. What makes these creepy crawlies distinctive from the cockroaches most of us know is that they don't infest houses, on the contrary they prefer to live a hermit life hidden away drilling logs, far away from human eyes. The study was published in the open-access journal ZooKeys.

Contact: Yanli Che
Pensoft Publishers

Public Release: 19-Dec-2014
Nature Climate Change
New challenges for ocean acidification research
To continue its striking development, ocean acidification research needs to bridge between its diverging branches towards an integrated assessment. This is the conclusion drawn by Professor Ulf Riebesell from the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel and Dr. Jean-Pierre Gattuso from the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Universite Pierre et Marie Curie. In a commentary in the journal Nature Climate Change, the two internationally renowned experts reflect on the lessons learned from ocean acidification research and highlight future challenges.

Contact: Maike Nicolai
Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR)

Public Release: 19-Dec-2014
Environmental Science & Technology
Microplastics in the ocean: Biologists study effects on marine animals
Ingestion of microplastic particles does not mechanically affect marine isopods. This was the result of a study by biologists at the North Sea Office of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research that was published recently in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. The study marks the launch of a series of investigations aimed at forming a risk matrix on the sensitivity of different marine species to microplastic pollution.

Contact: Dr. Folke Mehrtens
Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research

Public Release: 19-Dec-2014
Current Biology
Epithelial tube contraction
Researchers at the Mechanobiology Institute, National University of Singapore have identified a novel mechanosensitive regulation of epithelial tube contraction. These findings are published on Dec. 19, 2014, in Current Biology.

Contact: Amal Naquiah
National University of Singapore

Public Release: 19-Dec-2014
Annals of Botany
A vegetarian carnivorous plant
Carnivorous plants catch and digest tiny animals in order and derive benefits for their nutrition. Interestingly the trend towards vegetarianism seems to overcome carnivorous plants as well. The aquatic carnivorous bladderwort, which can be found in many lakes and ponds worldwide, does not only gain profit from eating little animals but also by consuming algae and pollen grains.

Contact: Alun Salt
Oxford University Press

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
A*STAR scientists discover gene critical for proper brain development
Scientists at A*STAR's Institute of Medical Biology and Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology have identified a genetic pathway that accounts for the extraordinary size of the human brain. The team led by Dr. Bruno Reversade from A*STAR in Singapore, together with collaborators from Harvard Medical School, have identified a gene, KATNB1, as an essential component in a genetic pathway responsible for central nervous system development in humans and other animals.

Contact: Vithya Selvam
Biomedical Sciences Institutes (BMSI)

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
Environmental Modelling & Software
Oil palm -- a modeled crop
Australian scientists have developed a model for oil palm cultivation, aimed at helping growers of the crop maximize the yields of their plantations, while minimizing detrimental environmental impacts.
Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research

Contact: Linden Woodward
James Cook University

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
American Journal of Public Health
Parents' BMI decreases with child involved in school-based, community obesity intervention
Parents of children involved in an elementary school-based community intervention to prevent obesity appear to share in its health benefits. A new analysis shows an association between being exposed to the intervention as a parent and a modest decrease in body mass index (BMI) compared to parents in two similar control communities.

Contact: Andrea Grossman
Tufts University, Health Sciences Campus

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
2014 AGU Fall Meeting
AGU talk: Scaling climate change communication for behavior change
Stanford University researchers have developed two curricula for Girl Scouts to use energy more efficiently: one on energy use at home, and the other in transportation and food. Both courses were effective for girls in the short term, and the home energy course was effective for girls in the long term and for parents in the short term. This AGU talk will describe deployment of the curricula to Girl Scout troop leaders via a massive open online course.

Contact: Mark Golden
Stanford University

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
PLOS Genetics
A clear, molecular view of how human color vision evolved
Many genetic mutations in visual pigments, spread over millions of years, were required for humans to evolve from a primitive mammal with a dim, shadowy view of the world into a greater ape able to see all the colors in a rainbow. Now, after more than two decades of painstaking research, scientists have finished a detailed and complete picture of the evolution of human color vision.

Contact: Megan McRainey
Emory Health Sciences

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
2014 AGU Fall Meeting
Earth's Future
NOAA establishes 'tipping points' for sea level rise related flooding
By 2050, a majority of US coastal areas are likely to be threatened by 30 or more days of flooding each year due to dramatically accelerating impacts from sea level rise, according to a new NOAA study, published today in the American Geophysical Union's online peer-reviewed journal Earth's Future.

Contact: Keeley Belva
NOAA Headquarters

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
Molecular Ecology
Study on world's biggest animal finds more than 1 population in the southeastern Pacific
Scientists from Wildlife Conservation Society, the Universidad Austral de Chile, the Blue Whale Center, the American Museum of Natural History, NOAA, and other organizations are examining molecular clues to answer a big question: how many types of blue whales exist in the waters of the southeastern Pacific?

Contact: John Delaney
Wildlife Conservation Society

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
New, tighter timeline confirms ancient volcanism aligned with dinosaurs' extinction
A definitive geological timeline from Princeton University researchers shows that a series of massive volcanic explosions 66 million years ago played a role in the extinction event that claimed Earth's non-avian dinosaurs, and challenges the dominant theory that a meteorite impact was the sole cause of the extinction.

Contact: Morgan Kelly
Princeton University

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
2014 AGU Fall Meeting
NASA/USGS satellite sees green-up along Colorado River's Delta after experimental flow
A pulse of water released down the lower reaches of the Colorado River last spring resulted in more than a 40 percent increase in green vegetation where the water flowed, as seen by the Landsat 8 satellite.
NASA, US Geological Survey

Contact: Kate Ramsayer
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
American Naturalist
Conservation and immunology of wild seabirds: Vaccinating 2 birds with 1 shot
A group of researchers from the University of Barcelona, the CNRS in Montpellier and Princeton University report in The American Naturalist that the vaccination of females of a long-lived seabird species, the Cory's shearwater, results in levels of antibodies that allow their transmission to their offspring for several years and could provide several weeks of protection after hatching to these offspring.

Contact: Patricia Morse
University of Chicago Press Journals

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
Current Biology
Of bugs and brains
The fundamental structures underlying learning and memory in the brains of Invertebrates as different as a fruit fly and an earthworm are remarkably similar, according to UA neuroscientists.
Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, University of Arizona Center for Insect Science

Contact: Daniel Stolte
University of Arizona

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
Nature Communications
Team develops 'cool' new method for probing how molecules fold
Collaborating scientists from the Scripps Research Institute and the University of California San Diego have developed a powerful new system for studying how proteins and other biological molecules form and lose their natural folded structures. Using the new system, researchers can force a sample of molecules to unfold and refold by boosting and then dropping the temperature, so quickly that even some of the fastest molecular folding events can be tracked.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Madeline McCurry-Schmidt
Scripps Research Institute

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
PLOS Computational Biology
Computer network rivals primate brain in object recognition
Primates visually recognize and determine the category of an object even at a brief glance, and to date, this behavior has been unmatched by artificial systems. A study publishing this week in PLOS Computational Biology has found that the latest artificial 'deep neural network' performs as well as the primate brain at object recognition.

Contact: Charles Cadieu