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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: Thu, 22 Jun 2017 06:18:01 EDT

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Paracetamol during pregnancy can inhibit masculinity

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Copenhagen The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences) Paracetamol during pregnancy can inhibit masculinityParacetamol during pregnancy can inhibit the development of 'male behavior' in mice. New research from the University of Copenhagen shows that it can reduce sex drive and aggressive behavior.



New femto-camera with quadrillion fractions of a second resolution

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(ITMO University) Researchers from ITMO University have built a setup for recording holograms of tiny objects like living cells with a femtosecond speed. The new method allows one to reconstruct phase topography of a studied sample according to deformations that emerge in a laser pulse when it passes through the specimen. In comparison to electron microscopes, the device can visualize transparent biological structures without introducing contrast agents. The paper was published in Applied Physics Letters.



Rice U. chemists create 3-D printed graphene foam

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Rice University) Nanotechnologists from Rice University and China's Tianjin University have used 3-D laser printing to create centimeter-sized objects of graphene foam, a 3-D version of atomically thin graphene. The research could yield industrially useful quantities of bulk graphene.



Hubble captures massive dead disk galaxy that challenges theories of galaxy evolution

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) By combining the power of a 'natural lens' in space with the capability of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers made a surprising discovery -- the first example of a compact yet massive, fast-spinning, disk-shaped galaxy that stopped making stars only a few billion years after the big bang.



UTSA Center for Community and Business Research releases Eagle Ford Shale study

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Texas at San Antonio) Commissioned by the South Texas Energy and Economic Roundtable (STEER), The University of Texas at San Antonio's (UTSA) Center for Community and Business Research (CCBR) completed the latest Eagle Ford Shale (EFS) study in June. The study titled, "Economic Impact of the Eagle Ford Shale, Business Opportunities and the New Normal" provides new trend data and updated economic impact analysis across 2014, 2015 and, 2016.



This week from AGU: Remarkable 2016 storms caused massive Antarctic sea ice loss

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(American Geophysical Union) Weekly AGU news from Geospace, The Landslide Blog, Eos.org and research spotlights.



CWRU researchers find a chemical solution to shrink digital data storage

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Case Western Reserve University) Chemists at Case Western Reserve University found that commonly used polymer films containing two dyes can optically store data in a quaternary (four-symbol) code, potentially requiring about half as much space as binary code storage.



Scientists solve mystery of unexplained 'bright nights'

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(American Geophysical Union) Dating back to the first century, scientists, philosophers and reporters have noted the occasional occurrence of 'bright nights,' when an unexplained glow in the night sky lets observers see distant mountains, read a newspaper or check their watch. A new study accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, uses satellite data to present a possible explanation for these puzzling historical phenomena.



UTMB researchers shed new light on a key player in brain development

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston) Researchers at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have shed light on how the developing brain ensures that connections between brain cells reach their intended destination but that they are also maintained during life-span.



US textile industry returning to life

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(American Chemical Society) After years of losing market share to overseas manufacturers, American textile and fiber makers say their industry is turning around. A story in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, explores how advancing technology in the field is allowing the US textile industry to gain new ground.



Researchers find new mechanism for genome regulation

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) The mechanisms that separate mixtures of oil and water may also help the organization of a part of our DNA called heterochromatin, according to a new Berkeley Lab study. Researchers found that liquid-liquid phase separation helps heterochromatin organize large parts of the genome into specific regions of the nucleus. The work addresses a long-standing question about how DNA functions are organized in space and time, including how genes are silenced or expressed.



Simple method measures how long bacteria can wait out antibiotics

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) A simple test that measures how long it takes to kill bacteria could help doctors treat strains that are on their way to becoming resistant to antibiotics. If implemented in hospitals' microbiology labs, the test could help guide treatment decisions, and could ultimately reduce the ever-growing risk of bacterial resistance.



Drip by drip

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Konstanz) How do crystals grow? The answer given in current textbooks is: Layer by layer atoms or molecules settle on an existing crystal surface. The research team Physical Chemistry at the University of Konstanz has now observed a preliminary stage of this crystal growth in glutamic acid that contradicts this classical principal of growth. Not individual atoms settle on an existing crystal surface, but nano-drips that already contain building blocks for growth.



New sensors could enable more affordable detection of pollution and diseases

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(American Chemical Society) When it comes to testing for cancer, environmental pollution and food contaminants, traditional sensors can help. The challenges are that they often are bulky, expensive, non-intuitive and complicated. Now, one team reports in ACS Sensors that portable pressure-based detectors coupled with smartphone software could provide a simpler, more affordable alternative while still maintaining sensitivity.



New 3-D display takes the eye fatigue out of virtual reality

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(The Optical Society) A new type of 3-D display could solve the long-standing problem eye fatigue when using VR and AR equipment by greatly improving the viewing comfort of these wearable devices.



Identified brain circuitry bridges neural and behavioral roles in PTSD

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine) Specific cerebral circuitry bridges chemical changes deep in the brain and the more outward behavioral expressions associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which could lead to more objective biomarkers for the disorder, according to a comprehensive review of rapidly changing data published June 22 in the New England Journal of Medicine.



Clear view on stem cell development

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Technical University of Munich (TUM)) Today, tracking the development of individual cells and spotting the associated factors under the microscope is nothing unusual. However, impairments like shadows or changes in the background complicate the interpretation of data. Now, researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Helmholtz Zentrum München have developed a software that corrects images to make hitherto hidden development steps visible.



A rhodium-based catalyst for making organosilicon using less precious metal

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Tokyo Institute of Technology) Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology have reported a new catalyst composed of silica, a rhodium complex and tertiary amines(term1) that significantly boosts hydrosilylation reactions.



Spanish researchers review the state-of-the-art text mining technologies for chemistry

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas (CNIO)) In a recent Chemical Reviews article, the Biological Text Mining Unit at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) together with with researchers at the Center for Applied Medical Research (CIMA), of the University of Navarra, in Pamplona, and the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre (BSC-CNS) have published the first exhaustive revision of the state-of-the-art methodologies underlying chemical search engines, named entity recognition and text mining systems.



Extremely colorful, incredibly bright and highly multiplexed

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard) A team from Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, the LMU Munich, and the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Germany, has engineered highly versatile metafluorophores by integrating commonly used small fluorescent probes into self-folding DNA structures where their colors and brightness can be digitally programmed. This nanotechnological approach offers a palette of 124 virtual colors for microscopic imaging.



New catalyst paves way for carbon neutral fuel

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Adelaide) Australian scientists have paved the way for carbon neutral fuel with the development of a new efficient catalyst that converts carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air into synthetic natural gas in a 'clean' process using solar energy.



Enzyme catalyzed decomposition of 4-hydroxycyclophosphamide

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Bentham Science Publishers) Oxazaphosphorine cytostatics (Cyclophosphamide, Ifosfamide) are often used and very effective anticancer agents; but so far little is known about the molecular basis for the antitumor effect.



Deceleration of runaway electrons paves the way for fusion power

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Chalmers University of Technology) Fusion power has the potential to provide clean and safe energy that is free from carbon dioxide emissions. However, imitating the solar energy process is a difficult task to achieve. Two young plasma physicists at Chalmers University of Technology have now taken us one step closer to a functional fusion reactor. Their model could lead to better methods for decelerating the runaway electrons, which could destroy a future reactor without warning.



Urban agriculture only provides small environmental benefits in northeastern US

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(American Chemical Society) 'Buy local' sounds like a great environmental slogan, epitomized for city dwellers by urban agriculture. But when it comes to growing fruits and vegetables in vacant lots and on rooftops in cities, is the practice really better for the planet than conventional farming? A new analysis of urban agriculture in the northeastern US, reported in ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology, has found that the regional 'green' benefits consumers expect could be meager at best.



Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(American Chemical Society) Versatile, light-weight materials that are both strong and resilient are crucial for the development of flexible electronics, such as bendable tablets and wearable sensors. Aerogels are good candidates for such applications, but until now, it's been difficult to make them with both properties. Now, researchers report in ACS Nano that mimicking the structure of the 'powdery alligator-flag' plant has enabled them to make a graphene-based aerogel that meets these needs.