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Preview: EurekAlert! - Chemistry, Physics and Materials Sciences

EurekAlert! - Chemistry, Physics and Materials Sciences

The premier online source for science news since 1996. A service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Last Build Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2017 02:18:01 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2017 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); All rights reserved.

New broad-spectrum antiviral protein can inhibit HIV, other pathogens in some primates

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Colorado at Boulder) University of Colorado Boulder researchers have discovered that a protein-coding gene called Schlafen11 (SLFN11) may induce a broad-spectrum cellular response against infection by viruses including HIV-1.

Blocking neuron signaling pathway could lead to new treatments for peripheral neuropathy

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of California - San Diego) Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the University of Manitoba and St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre in Canada, have identified a molecular signaling pathway that, when blocked, promotes sensory neuron growth and prevents or reverses peripheral neuropathy in cell and rodent models of type 1 and 2 diabetes, chemotherapy-induced neuropathy and HIV.

World's first total-body PET scanner takes a big step forward

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of California - Davis) The UC Davis-based EXPLORER consortium, which aims to build a revolutionary total-body PET (positron emission tomography) scanner, has announced the selection of two industry partners to help build the prototype device. They are United Imaging Healthcare America, a North American subsidiary of Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare, and SensL Technologies of Cork, Ireland.

Researchers zero-in on cholesterol's role in cells

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Illinois at Chicago) For the first time, by using a path-breaking optical imaging technique to pinpoint cholesterol's location and movement within the cell membrane, chemists at the University of Illinois at Chicago have made the surprising finding that cholesterol is a signaling molecule that transmits messages across the cell membrane.

The devil is in the details

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Medical University of South Carolina) Medical University of South Carolina investigators report preclinical research showing that the tumor-promoting properties of neuropilin-2 reside predominantly on isoform NRP2b, while NRP2a has the opposite effects in non-small cell lung cancer, in the Jan. 17, 2017 issue of Science Signaling. In mouse models, NRP2a inhibited tumor cell proliferation, while NRP2b promoted metastasis and progression. This new understanding may lead to improved therapies that specifically target NRP2b, while sparing the tumor-inhibiting functions of NRP2a.

National initiative to increase number of faculty from under-represented minorities

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Texas at Arlington) The University of Texas at Arlington hosted this weekend the launch of a multi-year collaborative project among 10 leading educational institutions that aims to increase the number of university faculty from under-represented minority groups.

Key signaling protein associated with addiction controls the actions of oxycodone on pain

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine) RGS9-2, a key signaling protein in the brain known to play a critical role in the development of addiction-related behaviors, acts as a positive modulator of oxycodone reward in both pain-free and chronic pain states.

NREL pioneers better way to make renewable hydrogen

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(DOE/National Renewable Energy Laboratory) Scientists at the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) developed a method which boosts the longevity of high-efficiency photocathodes in photoelectrochemical water-splitting devices.

Non-ambient conditions in the investigation and manufacturing of drug forms

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Bentham Science Publishers) To achieve control over the drug forms and the processes used for their robust manufacturing, one needs to take into account both the thermodynamic and kinetic aspects of their transformations. The review contains over 400 references and provides a comprehensive guide through the vast ocean of publications in this field.

ReSeqTB Data Platform now available to public

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(The Critical Path Institute (C-Path)) The Rapid Drug Susceptibility Testing Consortium, an arm of the Critcal Path to TB Drug Regimens initiative, announces the public launch of the Relational Sequencing TB Data Platform (ReSeqTB): a user-friendly interface to identify and categorize M.tb mutations associated with drug resistance. Current drug susceptibility tests can take several months. ReSeqTB can change this paradigm by enabling clinicians and researchers to simultaneously identify mutations to all drugs.

Largest Populus SNP dataset holds promise for biofuels, materials, metabolites

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory) Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have released the largest-ever single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) dataset of genetic variations in poplar trees, information useful to plant scientists as well as researchers in the fields of biofuels, materials science, and secondary plant metabolism.

A tale of two pulsars' tails: Plumes offer geometry lessons to astronomers

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Penn State) Like cosmic lighthouses sweeping the universe with bursts of energy, pulsars have fascinated and baffled astronomers since they were first discovered 50 years ago. In two studies, international teams of astronomers suggest that recent images from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory of two pulsars -- Geminga and B0355+54 -- may help shine a light on the distinctive emission signatures of pulsars, as well as their often perplexing geometry.

Discovery could lead to jet engines that run hotter -- and cleaner

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Ohio State University) Researchers here have made a discovery in materials science that sounds like something from the old Saturday morning cartoon Super Friends: they've found a way to deactivate 'nano twins' to improve the high-temperature properties of superalloys that are used in jet engines.

GeoVax to collaborate with Georgia State on development of hepatitis B therapeutic vaccine

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Georgia State University) The Georgia State University Research Foundation has entered into a research collaboration agreement with GeoVax Labs, Inc., a Georgia-based biotechnology company developing human vaccines, to advance development of a therapeutic vaccine for treatment of chronic hepatitis B infections.

How solvents affect the skin

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Lund University) Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have developed a method that makes it possible to see how individual molecules from solvents in skin creams, medicated ointments and cleaning products affect and interact with the skin's own molecules.

Microbiologists make big leap in developing 'green' electronics

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Massachusetts at Amherst) Microbiologists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst report that they have discovered a new type of natural wire produced by bacteria that could greatly accelerate the researchers' goal of developing sustainable 'green' conducting materials for the electronics industry.

MIT and Eni extend energy collaboration

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(MIT Energy Initiative) Following a stream of research successes in breakthrough technologies in the energy space, MIT President L. Rafael Reif and Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi have renewed their collaboration for another four years. The 20 million dollar agreement includes an extension of Eni's founding membership in the MIT Energy Initiative and research support for three of MITEI's Low-Carbon Energy Centers to advance key technologies for addressing climate change, in the areas of solar; energy storage; and carbon capture, utilization, and storage.

First cell culture of live adult human neurons shows potential of brain cell types

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine) Studying brain disorders in people and developing drugs to treat them has been slowed by the inability to investigate single living cells from adult patients. In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers were able to grow adult human neurons donated from patients who had undergone surgery. From these cell cultures, they identified more than five brain cell types and the potential proteins each cell could make.

King Faisal Prize for Würzburg physicist

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Würzburg) Another award for Laurens Molenkamp: The physicist won the King Faisal International Prize (KFIP) 2017 in the 'Science' category. The scientist earned the recognition for his work in the field of spintronics.

Nanotechnology: Lighting up ultrathin films

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) Based on a study of the optical properties of novel ultrathin semiconductors, researchers of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich have developed a method for rapid and efficient characterization of these materials.

The power of attraction

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST)) Hybrid organic-inorganic materials can self-assemble into tiny doughnut-like structures.

Metabolic pathway regulating key stage of embryo development revealed

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Tokyo Medical and Dental University) Tokyo Medical and Dental University researchers showed that the mevalonate pathway is essential for embryonic development by promoting primitive streak formation, a key landmark for establishing embryo symmetry and gastrulation. The pathway induces farnesylation of lamin-B, which is implicated in inducing expression of primitive streak genes. The findings expand understanding of how embryos transition from a featureless ball of cells into a hollow, three-layered gastrula.

Biophysics plays key role in immune system signaling and response

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Georgia Institute of Technology) How big you are may be as important as what you look like, at least to immune system cells watching for dangerous bacteria and viruses.

Malaria drug successfully treats 26-year-old brain cancer patient

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus) University of Colorado Cancer Center study published in eLife shows anti-authophagy drug chloroquine may be unique way to resensitize some cancer patients to treatment.

Better diagnosis of fungal infections key to reducing antibiotic resistance

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Rutgers University) Poor diagnosis worldwide of fungal disease causes doctors to overprescribe antibiotics, increasing harmful resistance to antimicrobial drugs, according to a paper published today in Emerging Infectious Diseases.