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Key: Meeting Journal Funder
Public Release: 26-Nov-2014
Carnegie Mellon researchers identify brain regions that encode words, grammar, story
Carnegie Mellon University scientists have produced the first integrated computational model of reading, identifying which parts of the brain are responsible for such sub-processes as parsing sentences, determining the meaning of words and understanding relationships between characters. They based their results on brain scan of people reading a Harry Potter book.
National Science Foundation, NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Contact: Byron Spice
Carnegie Mellon University

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
University of Adelaide

Public Release: 24-Nov-2014
Mutant protein takes babies' breath away
Researchers had never shown exactly how cells in the brain stem detect carbon dioxide and regulate breathing in humans. After taking a mutation from a two-month-old baby and expressing it in human astrocytes, they did exactly that -- and the research may lead to an early warning system to save premature infants with breathing trouble.
National Institutes of Health

Contact: Kim Krieger
University of Connecticut

Public Release: 24-Nov-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Penn team's game theory analysis shows how evolution favors cooperation's collapse
With a new analysis of the Prisoner's Dilemma played in a large, evolving population, University of Pennsylvania scientists found that adding more flexibility to the game can allow selfish strategies to be more successful. The work paints a dimmer but likely more realistic view of how cooperation and selfishness balance one another in nature.
Burroughs Wellcome Fund, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, US Department of the Interior, US Army Research Office, Foundational Questions in Evolutionary Biology Fund

Contact: Katherine Unger Baillie
University of Pennsylvania

Public Release: 21-Nov-2014
Journal of Royal Society Interface
How the hummingbird achieves its aerobatic feats
Although hummingbirds are much larger and stir up the air more violently as they move, the way that they fly is more closely related to flying insects than it is to other birds.
National Science Foundation

Contact: David Salisbury
Vanderbilt University

Public Release: 20-Nov-2014
Marketing Science
Firms pressure sales people to invest in costly internal negotiations: INFORMS study
In many firms sales people spend as much time negotiating internally for lower prices as they do interacting with customers. A new study appearing in the November issue of Marketing Science, a publication of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, INFORMS, finds that firms should allow their sales people to 'waste' energy on internal negotiations. In fact, it says, firms should make the process wasteful on purpose.

Contact: Barry List
Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences

Public Release: 20-Nov-2014
SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics
When vaccines are imperfect
The control of certain childhood diseases is difficult, despite high vaccination coverage in many countries. One of the possible reasons for this is 'imperfect vaccines,' that is, vaccines that fail either due to 'leakiness,' lack of effectiveness on certain individuals in a population, or shorter duration of potency. In a paper publishing today in the SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics, Felicia Magpantay et al. use a mathematical model to determine the consequences of vaccine failure and resulting disease dynamics.
Research and Policy in Infectious Disease Dynamics program, US Department of Homeland Security, National Institutes of Health

Contact: Karthika Swamy Cohen
Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics

Public Release: 20-Nov-2014
Clinical Infectious Diseases
A new tool for identifying onset of local influenza outbreaks
Hospital epidemiologists and others responsible for public health decisions do not declare the start of flu season lightly. All the extra precautions cost time and money, so they do not want to declare flu season too early. For hospitals, there is a strong incentive to define a really clear period as flu season.
US Department of Veterans Affairs, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Contact: Janet Lathrop
University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Public Release: 20-Nov-2014
PLOS Computational Biology
Epidemic spreading and neurodegenerative progression
Researchers from the Montreal Neurological Institute have used a model inspired by patterns of epidemic disease spreading to map how misfolded proteins propagate within the brain.

Contact: Yasser Iturria-Medina

Public Release: 19-Nov-2014
'Green Revolution' changes breathing of the biosphere
The intense farming practices of the 'Green Revolution' are powerful enough to alter Earth's atmosphere at an ever-increasing rate, boosting the seasonal amplitude in atmospheric carbon dioxide to about 15 percent over the past five decades. That's the key finding of a new atmospheric model, which estimates that on average, the amplitude of the seasonal oscillation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is increasing at a rate of 0.3 percent every year.
National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA

Contact: Abby Robinson
University of Maryland

Public Release: 18-Nov-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Risk analysis for a complex world
Developing adaptable systems for finance and international relations could help reduce the risk of major systemic collapses such as the 2008 financial crisis, according to a new analysis.

Contact: Katherine Leitzell
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

Public Release: 18-Nov-2014
Biophysical Journal
Computer model sets new precedent in drug discovery
Merging expertise from computer science and synthetic drug design, the new model reveals that the drug efficacy of fusion-protein therapies depends on the geometric characteristics of a drug's molecular components. Use of the model could potentially replace the need to physically make and test new biologic drug designs, cutting down timelines and costs associated with drug development.

Contact: Kat J. McAlpine
Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

Public Release: 18-Nov-2014
Structural Dynamics
New model clarifies photoexcited thin-film lattice dynamics
No comprehensive study has yet been carried out to characterize the photoexcited lattice dynamics of an opaque thin film on a semi-infinite transparent substrate. As a result, ultrafast X-ray diffraction data for such samples can be challenging to interpret. Now a new study in the journal Structural Dynamics, from AIP Publishing, builds a model to help interpret such data.

Contact: Jason Socrates Bardi
American Institute of Physics

Public Release: 18-Nov-2014
American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2014
People who gained weight after quitting smoking still had lower death risk
People who gained weight after quitting smoking still had lower death risk.

Contact: Karen Astle
American Heart Association

Public Release: 17-Nov-2014
American Public Health Association's Annual Meeting & Exposition
Datasets used by policymakers, scientists for public health analyses inconsistent
Commercially available datasets containing a wealth of information about food and alcohol establishments differ significantly, raising concerns about their reliability as sources of information that could be used to set public policy or conduct scientific research, according to a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health investigation. The analysis, funded by the Aetna Foundation, will be presented Monday at the American Public Health Association's annual meeting in New Orleans.
Aetna Foundation

Contact: Allison Hydzik
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Public Release: 17-Nov-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Credit score can also describe health status
A credit score also says something about a person's health status, according to a new analysis from a long-term study of the physical and mental health of more than 1,000 New Zealanders. An international team of researchers has found a strong relationship between low credit scores and poor cardiovascular health. They conclude that personal attributes leading to poor credit scores can also contribute to poor health.
New Zealand Health Research Council, NIH/National Institute on Aging, UK Medical Research Council, Jacobs Foundation, Yad Hanadiv Rothschild Foundation

Contact: Karl Leif Bates
Duke University

Public Release: 14-Nov-2014
Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems
Recommendation theory
A model for evaluating product-recommendation algorithms suggests that trial and error get it right. Next month, at the Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, researchers will present a paper that applies their model to the recommendation engines that are familiar from websites like Amazon and Netflix -- with surprising results.

Contact: Abby Abazorius
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Public Release: 14-Nov-2014
Study predicts likely Ebola cases entering UK and US through airport screening
Researchers at the University of Liverpool have found that screening for Ebola at airports could be an effective method for preventing the spread of the disease into the UK and US, but due to the long incubation period of the virus, screening won't detect all cases.

Contact: Samantha Martin
University of Liverpool

Public Release: 13-Nov-2014
PLOS Computational Biology
Solving the puzzle of cooperation in group environments
Research has shown that when two individuals meet repeatedly they are more likely to cooperate with one another. Flávio Pinheiro and colleagues from the universities of Minho and Lisbon show that the most successful strategy for cooperation occurs only after an experience of group unanimous behavior.

Contact: Jorge M. Pacheco

Public Release: 13-Nov-2014
PLOS Computational Biology
Forecasting diseases using Wikipedia
Analyzing page views of Wikipedia articles could make it possible to monitor and forecast diseases around the globe, according to research publishing this week in PLOS Computational Biology.

Contact: Dr. Sara Del Valle

Public Release: 12-Nov-2014
Cancer Discovery
Gene sequencing projects link two mutations to Ewing sarcoma subtype with poor prognosis
An international collaboration has identified frequent mutations in two genes that often occur together in Ewing sarcoma and that define a subtype of the cancer associated with reduced survival. The research, conducted by the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital-Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project and the Institut Curie-Inserm through the International Cancer Genome Consortium, appears in the current issue of the scientific journal Cancer Discovery.
Pediatric Cancer Genome Project, Kay Jewelers, NIH/National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, French National Cancer Institute, Inserm, National Research Agency for Science Projects, Canceropole Ile-de-France, French League Against Cancer

Contact: Carrie Strehlau
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Public Release: 12-Nov-2014
Intelligent Transportation Systems Conference
Moving cameras talk to each other to identify, track pedestrians
University of Washington electrical engineers have developed a way to automatically track people across moving and still cameras by using an algorithm that trains the networked cameras to learn one another's differences.

Contact: Michelle Ma
University of Washington

Public Release: 12-Nov-2014
Journal of Royal Society Interface
Stock market models help NYU researchers predict animal behavior
Modeling used to forecast fluctuations in the stock market has been discovered to predict aspects of animal behavior. The movement of zebrafish when mapped is very similar to the stochastic jump process, a mathematical model used by financial engineers. The model could improve the effectiveness of experiments, minimize the number of fish used, and allow researchers to make better use of their data following experiments.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Kathleen Hamilton
New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering

Public Release: 12-Nov-2014
Nature Chemistry
Understanding natural compounds
Antibiotic-resistant germs, dangerous viruses, cancer: unsolved medical problems require new and better drugs. Nature can provide the inspiration for new active agents. A computer-based method developed by a team of researchers from ETH Zurich is helping to do just that.

Contact: Gisbert Schneider
ETH Zurich

Public Release: 11-Nov-2014
Forum for Health Economics and Policy
Study: Baby boomers will drive explosion in Alzheimer's-related costs in coming decades
The financial burden of Alzheimer's disease on the United States will increase from $307 billion annually to $1.5 trillion by 2050, according to models.
National Institutes of Health

Contact: Robert Perkins
University of Southern California