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Cerebral palsy - it can be in your genes

February 12, 2015 | by Univ. of Adelaide | Comments

An international research group led by a team at the University of Adelaide has made what they believe could be the biggest discovery into cerebral palsy in 20 years.                

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Twin copies of gene pair up in embryonic stem cells at critical moment in differentiation

March 6, 2015 8:45 am | by Peter Tarr, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory | Comments

Imagine a pair of twins that everyone believed to be estranged, who turn out to be closer than anyone knew. A genetic version of this heartwarming tale might be taking place in our cells. We and other mammals have two copies of each gene, one from each parent. Each copy, or "allele," was thought to remain physically apart from the other in the cell nucleus, but a new study finds that alleles can and do pair up in mammalian cells.

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Researchers explore longer lifecycle for batteries

March 6, 2015 8:34 am | by Jenny Green, Arizona State Univ. | Comments

Lithium-ion batteries are common in consumer electronics. Beyond consumer electronics, lithium-ion batteries have also grown in popularity for military, electric vehicle and aerospace applications. Now, researchers at Arizona State Univ. are exploring new energy storage technology that could give the battery an even longer lifecycle.

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When temperature goes quantum

March 6, 2015 8:23 am | by Daniel Stolte, Univ. of Arizona Communications | Comments

Imagine setting a frying pan on the stove and cranking up the heat, only to discover that in a few spots the butter isn't melting because part of the pan remains at room temperature. What seems like an impossible scenario in the kitchen is exactly what happens in the strange world of quantum physics, researchers at the Univ. of Arizona have discovered.

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Mathematicians model fluids at the mesoscale

March 6, 2015 8:13 am | by Julie Chao, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Comments

When it comes to boiling water, is there anything left for today’s scientists to study? The surprising answer is, yes, quite a bit. How the bubbles form at a surface, how they rise up and join together, what are the surface properties, what happens if the temperature increases slowly versus quickly. While these components might be understood experimentally, the mathematical models for the process of boiling are incomplete.

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Research suggests brain’s melatonin may trigger sleep

March 6, 2015 8:01 am | by Jessica Stoller-Conrad, Caltech | Comments

If you walk into your local drug store and ask for a supplement to help you sleep, you might be directed to a bottle labeled "melatonin." The hormone supplement's use as a sleep aid is supported by anecdotal evidence and even some reputable research studies. However, our bodies also make melatonin naturally, and until a recent Caltech study using zebrafish, no one knew how melatonin contributed to our natural sleep.

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Simulations provide new insight into emerging nanoelectronic device

March 6, 2015 7:50 am | by Emil Venere, Purdue Univ. | Comments

Researchers have used an advanced model to simulate in unprecedented detail the workings of "resistance-switching cells" that might replace conventional memory for electronics applications, with the potential to bring faster and higher capacity computer memory while consuming less energy. These electromechanical "metallization cells" rapidly switch from high resistance to low resistance.

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Detector sniffs out origins of methane

March 6, 2015 7:40 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | Comments

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, second only to carbon dioxide in its capacity to trap heat in Earth’s atmosphere for a long time. The gas can originate from lakes and swamps, natural-gas pipelines, deep-sea vents and livestock. Understanding the sources of methane, and how the gas is formed, could give scientists a better understanding of its role in warming the planet.

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Scientists outline research wish list for nuclear energy

March 5, 2015 9:08 pm | by Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press | Comments

Engineers and researchers from national laboratories and universities around the country said Thursday that the U.S. needs to develop a proving ground where the latest innovations in nuclear energy can be put to the test instead of losing designs to China and other countries.

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Breakthrough in nonlinear optics research

March 5, 2015 9:29 am | by Verity Leatherdale, Univ. of Sydney | Comments

A method to selectively enhance or inhibit optical nonlinearities in a chip-scale device has been developed by scientists, led by the Univ. of Sydney. The breakthrough is a fundamental advance for research in photonic chips and optical communications.

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Magnetic material attracts attention for cancer therapy

March 5, 2015 9:23 am | by Monash Univ. | Comments

An extraordinary self-regulating heating effect that can be achieved in a particular type of magnetic material may open the doors to a new strategy for hyperthermia cancer treatment. Temperatures that can be tolerated by healthy body cells have long been known to destroy cancerous cells. An approach that uses magnetic particles introduced into tissue and heated remotely has found some success in treating cancer. 

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El Nino finally here

March 5, 2015 9:09 am | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer, Associated Press | Comments

A long anticipated El Nino has finally arrived. But for drought-struck California, it's too little, too late, meteorologists say. The National Weather Service on Thursday proclaimed the phenomenon is now in place. It's a warming of a certain patch of the central Pacific that changes weather patterns worldwide, associated with flooding in some places, droughts elsewhere, a generally warmer globe and fewer Atlantic hurricanes.

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New way to control information by mixing light and sound

March 5, 2015 8:59 am | by Jim Shelton, Yale Univ. | Comments

For once, slower is better in a new piece of technology. A Yale Univ. lab has developed a new, radio frequency processing device that allows information to be controlled more effectively, opening the door to a new generation of signal processing on microchips. One of the keys to the technology involves slowing information down.

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Plants use water wisely—mostly

March 5, 2015 8:49 am | by Karen McNulty Walsh, Brookhaven National Laboratory | Comments

Plants trade water for carbon: Every liter of water that they extract from the soil allows them to take up a few more grams of carbon from the atmosphere to use in growth. A new global study, led by Australian researchers and published in Nature Climate Change, shows that plants trade their water wisely, with different plant species having different trading strategies depending on how much it costs them to obtain their water.

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Reducing emissions with more effective carbon capture method

March 5, 2015 8:39 am | by American Chemical Society | Comments

Trapping carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and various industries could play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the future. But current materials that can collect carbon dioxide have low capacities or require very high temperatures to work. Scientists are making progress toward a more efficient alternative, described in Chemistry of Materials, that could help make carbon capture less energy intensive.

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Sub-micrometer carbon spheres reduce engine friction as oil additive

March 5, 2015 8:31 am | by Emil Venere, Purdue Univ. | Comments

Tiny, perfectly smooth carbon spheres added to motor oil have been shown to reduce friction and wear typically seen in engines by as much as 25%, suggesting a similar enhancement in fuel economy. The researchers also have shown how to potentially mass-produce the spheres, making them hundreds of times faster than previously possible using ultrasound to speed chemical reactions in manufacturing.

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