Friday, April 28, 2017

Science X Newsletter Friday, Apr 28

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for April 28, 2017:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Study demonstrates how humans navigate through doorways and not into walls

Quantum experiments probe underlying physics of rogue ocean waves

PowerPoint and LED projector enable new technique for self-folding origami

First global simulation yields new insights into ring system

British inventor takes flight in 'Iron Man' suit

Single gene encourages growth of intestinal stem cells, supporting 'niche' cells—and cancer

Mineral resource exhaustion is just a myth: study

Cassava is genetically decaying, putting staple crop at risk

Earth Observing–1 satellite is retired, leaving a legacy of spectacular imagery

Testosterone makes men less likely to question their impulses

Brown bears found to leave scent signals by twisting feet into the ground

Efficient catalyst developed for producing pronucleotides

New study reveals how embryonic cells make spinal cord, muscle and bone

Success in the 3-D bioprinting of cartilage

Mapping the edge of reality

Astronomy & Space news

First global simulation yields new insights into ring system

A team of researchers in Japan modeled the two rings around Chariklo, the smallest body in the Solar System known to have rings (Figure 1). This is the first time an entire ring system has been simulated using realistic sizes for the ring particles while also taking into account collisions and gravitational interactions between the particles. The team's simulation revealed information about the size and density of the particles in the rings. By considering both the detailed structure and the global picture for the first time, the team found that Chariklo's inner ring should be unstable without help. It is possible the ring particles are much smaller than predicted or that an undiscovered shepherd satellite around Chariklo is stabilizing the ring.

Earth Observing–1 satellite is retired, leaving a legacy of spectacular imagery

After more than 16 years of operation, NASA's Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) spacecraft was decommissioned on March 30. The EO-1 satellite was a component of NASA's New Millennium Program to validate new technologies that could reduce costs and improve capabilities for future space missions. Aboard EO-1 was the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) instrument developed by MIT Lincoln Laboratory as an alternative to the land-imaging sensor that was used by the Landsat Earth-observing program.

Astronomers find black hole in Sagittarius constellation

An international team of astronomers led The University of Manchester have found evidence of a new 'missing-link' black hole in the Milky Way galaxy, hidden in the Sagittarius constellation.

Hubble's bright shining lizard star

In space, being outshone is an occupational hazard. This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image captures a galaxy named NGC 7250. Despite being remarkable in its own right—it has bright bursts of star formation and recorded supernova explosions—it blends into the background somewhat thanks to the gloriously bright star hogging the limelight next to it.

Is dark matter 'fuzzy'?

Astronomers have used data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to study the properties of dark matter, the mysterious, invisible substance that makes up a majority of matter in the universe. The study, which involves 13 galaxy clusters, explores the possibility that dark matter may be more "fuzzy" than "cold," perhaps even adding to the complexity surrounding this cosmic conundrum.

Tiny sat, big ambitions

Traditionally, it has been very difficult to perform live, in-flight testing of newly developed software for satellites. No one wants to take any risk with an existing, valuable satellite, so it there are only limited opportunities to test new procedures, techniques or systems in orbit.

Oxford reflects fondly on Cassini as the end draws near

A spacecraft that scientists from the University of Oxford played a key role in building, has come closer to the planet of Saturn than ever before.

A step toward Mars

A highly successful test of a prototype power generator at the University of Dayton Research Institute bodes well for NASA's plans to expand its exploration of Mars with the next rover mission.

Looking to the moon to better measure climate change on Earth

When American astronaut Alfred Worden, who was the command module pilot for the Apollo 15 lunar mission in 1971, was asked what he was feeling at that time, he replied: "Now I know why I'm here. Not for a closer look at the moon, but to look back at our home, the Earth."

Medical guidelines for astronauts to be launched in the US

With Cassini making final preparations to penetrate Saturn's rings, and renewed interest in colonising the Moon and sending people to Mars, space flight and exploration are experiencing a level of interest not seen since the Apollo missions to the Moon in the late 60's and 70's, and the space shuttle programme of the 80's.

Technology news

British inventor takes flight in 'Iron Man' suit

British inventor Richard Browning lifted off from the shore of Vancouver Harbor on Thursday in a personal flight suit that inspired references to comic superhero 'Iron Man.'

Patent talk: Wireless charging using Wi-Fi routers

(Tech Xplore)—We all like hearing about suggestions on how we could cut the time-outs and cords and forget about the docks to keep our phones running. What about having in hand a method where you can charge an iPhone wirelessly with an Wi-Fi router? Where electricity to your iOS device could be sent using a Wi-Fi router?

Uber self-driving car exec steps aside during Google lawsuit

The executive running Uber's self-driving car division is stepping aside while the company defends itself against charges that he provided the project with technology stolen from a Google spinoff.

Online videos of killings pose tricky problem for Facebook

Posting a smartphone video online has never been so easy—even if the video shows a murder. After two recent cases that shocked the world, this has become a tricky but urgent problem for Facebook to tackle.

A robot that picks apples? Replacing humans worries some

Harvesting Washington state's vast fruit orchards each year requires thousands of farmworkers, and many of them work illegally in the United States.

Sony returns to black on healthy chip, game, battery sales

Sony Corp. reported Friday a January-March profit of 27.7 billion yen ($250 million) on the back of healthy sales of image sensors, PlayStation 4 game software and batteries for mobile devices, marking a recovery from its red ink a year ago.

Study reveals what air travelers will tolerate for non-discriminatory security screening

Mounting anti-terrorism security procedures and the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) screening processes have launched numerous debates about the protection of civil liberties and equal treatment of passengers. A new study published in Risk Analysis has successfully quantified how much potential air passengers value equal protection when measured against sacrifices in safety, cost, wait time, and convenience.

Engineer develops new reflector for radar measurements

Cornelius Senn, a measurement engineer in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering (D-BAUG), and his post-doctoral colleague Silvan Leinss have developed a new reflector for radar measurements. The underlying mechanism, however, has many possible applications and could revolutionise furniture construction, for example.

Evidence mounts for a search further north for missing flight MH370

It is now more than three years since Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared, and there is growing evidence that the search authorities have been looking for the aircraft in the wrong place.

Opinion: We must plan the driverless city to avoid being hostage to the technology revolution

Trials of autonomous cars and buses have begun on the streets of Australian cities. Communications companies are moving to deploy the lasers, cameras and centimetre-perfect GPS that will enable a vehicle to navigate the streets of your town or city without a driver.

Apple cuts off payments, Qualcomm slashes expectations

Qualcomm slashed its profit expectations Friday by as much as a third after saying that Apple is refusing to pay royalties on technology used in the iPhone.

Uber demotes exec at center of self-driving tech lawsuit

Uber has demoted an executive heading its self-driving car operations who has been at the center of a lawsuit filed by Alphabet's Waymo accusing the ride-sharing giant of theft.

German airlines to scrap 'two-person' cockpit rule

German airlines will no longer require two people to be in the cockpit at all times, an industry group said Friday, abandoning a rule introduced after a deadly crash in 2015.

Modern metabolic science yields better way to calculate indoor CO2

The air we breathe out can help us improve the quality of the air we breathe in.

Australian police reveal they broke new metadata laws

Australian police revealed on Friday that an officer broke the country's contentious new metadata laws by illegally accessing a journalist's phone records to identify an anonymous source.

Augmented reality increases maintenance reliability at a space station

An international project led by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed a new augmented reality (AR) tool for the ESA. In the future, it is envisaged that astronauts will be able to use this tool to perform maintenance tasks and real-time equipment monitoring in the demanding conditions of space. The first practical tests carried out at ESA's European Astronaut Centre produced excellent results.

AI-based smartphone application can predict user's health risks

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed artificial intelligence (AI)-based data analysis methods used in a smartphone application of Odum Ltd. The application can estimate its users' health risks and, if necessary, guide them towards a healthier lifestyle.

Medicine & Health news

Study demonstrates how humans navigate through doorways and not into walls

(Medical Xpress)—You walk into a wedding reception at a hotel. To your left, you see the entrance to the ballroom. To the right, there's an enormous painting of an evergreen forest. Behind you is the exit to the hotel lobby. But without stopping to think, you walk through the door straight ahead, into the event's open bar.

Single gene encourages growth of intestinal stem cells, supporting 'niche' cells—and cancer

A gene previously identified as critical for tumor growth in many human cancers also maintains intestinal stem cells and encourages the growth of cells that support them, according to results of a study led by Johns Hopkins researchers. The finding, reported in the Apr. 28 issue of Nature Communications, adds to evidence for the intimate link between stem cells and cancer, and advances prospects for regenerative medicine and cancer treatments.

Testosterone makes men less likely to question their impulses

Hotheaded, impulsive men who shoot first and ask questions later are a staple of Westerns and 1970s cop films, but new research shows there might be truth to the trope.

New study reveals how embryonic cells make spinal cord, muscle and bone

A study from scientists at the Francis Crick Institute, the Max-Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin and the University of Edinburgh sheds new light on the cells that form spinal cord, muscle and bone tissue in mammalian embryos.

Success in the 3-D bioprinting of cartilage

A team of researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy has managed to generate cartilage tissue by printing stem cells using a 3-D-bioprinter. The fact that the stem cells survived being printed in this manner is a success in itself. In addition, the research team was able to influence the cells to multiply and differentiate to form chondrocytes (cartilage cells) in the printed structure.

Unraveling the mystery of DNA attacks in cells' powerhouse could pave way for new cancer treatments

New research has unravelled the mystery of how mitochondria—the energy generators within cells—can withstand attacks on their DNA from rogue molecules.

Bangladeshi girl with three legs 'walks, runs' after Australia surgery

A toddler born with three legs—because body parts of a twin had grown inside her—was returning home to Bangladesh Friday after complex and rare surgery in Australia enabled her to walk and run, her doctor said.

Why brain stimulation isn't what it's cracked up to be

Interest in electrical brain stimulation has skyrocketed in recent years, both in the popular media and scientific literature.

Researchers find key mechanism to control antibody production

A research team from iMM Lisboa led by Luís Graça has found a cellular mechanism that underlies the development of autoimmune diseases.

Researchers use deep learning to create an algorithm to detect a common diabetic eye disease

Researchers from the Byers Eye Institute at Stanford University have found a way to use artificial intelligence to fight a complication of diabetes that affects the eyes. This advance has the potential to reduce the worldwide rate of vision loss due to diabetes.

Study finds primary school children get less active with age

There is an age-related decline in children's physical activity levels as they progress through primary school, according to a British Heart Foundation-funded study.

Childhood sleep apnoea is common but hard to diagnose

The cessation of breathing during sleep caused by enlarged tonsils is common in preschool-age children and can cause serious complications, but the methods normally used to diagnose the condition are subjective and unreliable. The finding is reported in a thesis from Karolinska Institutet by Anna Borgström, who has also evaluated different surgical treatments.

Mapping the uncharted territory of social cues

A smile is a simple form of social interaction. Yet, there are absolutely no two the same, says Erin Heerey.

Appetite control mechanism explains why food looks even better when dieting

A newly discovered molecule increases appetite during fasting—and decreases it during gorging. The neuron-exciting protein, named NPGL – apparently aims to maintain body mass at a constant, come feast or famine. An evolutionary masterstroke, but not great news for those looking to trim down—or beef up for the summer.

Depression brings other disorders

Levels of residual morbidity in mood disorder patients followed up long-term under community conditions of treatment are remarkably high. Both unipolar major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder patients tend to be ill 40-50% of follow-up time; in bipolar patients, three-quarters of that residual morbidity was depressive. Based on the proportion of time ill, depression is the dominant morbidity of type I bipolar disorder, the major clinical feature of type II bipolar disorder, and the essence of major depressive disorder. Mania and hypomania contribute less to time ill in bipolar disorder as depressive episodes generally are longer-lasting.

Pharmacophobia—what is it and how can be overcome

There is little current interest in research into patients' attitudes toward medications. In the 1960s, psychiatric researchers including Uhlenhuth, Rickels and Covi focused on this area, but this research topic needs to be revived in the 21st century. The Health Belief Model may hold potential for doing this.

When the smoke clears... tobacco control in post-conflict settings

In new research published today by King's College London - Institute of Cancer Policy and the Conflict & Health Research Group in the journal ecancermedicalscience, the difficulties of prioritising preventable disease and long term health issues in post conflict zones are explored.

How parents can help autistic children make sense of their world

Glenn, a high-functioning seventeen-year-old with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), comes home from school and tells his mother at dinner, "Allen was mean today." His mother debates what to do. Should she ask for more details or let the subject drop? She knows that Glenn is not much of a storyteller.

The high cost of surviving acute respiratory distress syndrome

According to a new multicenter study, nearly half of previously employed adult survivors of acute respiratory distress syndrome were jobless one year after hospital discharge, and are estimated to have lost an average of $27,000 in earnings.

Expert unravels disease that took the hearing of world-famous painter

Francisco Goya is the most important Spanish artist of the late 18th and early 19th century. He was famed for his sensitive portraits, and many historians argue that he was the first truly modern painter.

Liberia tests mystery illness after 11 unexplained deaths (Update)

Liberia said Friday that samples from people struck down by a mystery illness are being tested abroad after 11 unexplained deaths, though Ebola has been ruled out.

The swollen colon—cause of chronic inflammation discovered

Researchers at the University Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and the German Research Center for Environmental Health, Helmholtz Zentrum München have discovered that too much of the oncogene Bcl-3 leads to chronic intestinal diseases. They describe in Nature Communications exactly how it throws the immune system off-balance.

Antibiotics counteract the beneficial effect of whole grain

According to recommendations from the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, adult Danes should consume at least 75 g whole meal a day. However, it is not only the contents of vitamins, minerals and fibers that make whole grain products such as rye bread and oatmeal healthy.

Study analyzes health care quality, IT, reimbursements

Management of health care quality and costs has become a prominent topic of debate and research in the last decade in the United States. A new study from The University of Texas at Dallas examines the relationship between health care service quality, health information technology usage and Medicare reimbursements for congestive heart failure cases.

Artificial pancreas benefits young children, trial shows

A pilot study among young children with Type 1 diabetes found that a University of Virginia-developed artificial pancreas helped study participants better control their condition.

First endoscopic stricturotomy with needle knife study for intestinal strictures in IBD

Cleveland Clinic doctors have published the first study illustrating the safety and efficacy of endoscopic needle knife therapy for intestinal strictures in patients with inflammatory bowel disorder (IBD).

Researchers develop online support for people with bipolar disorder

An online relapse prevention tool for Bipolar Disorder offers a "cheap accessible option" for people seeking support following treatment, say researchers.

US facing shortage of yellow fever vaccine for travelers

Americans who need a yellow fever shot for travel may soon have a harder getting it.

Florida officials: No Zika found in mosquito samples so far

Florida agriculture officials say no mosquitoes in the state have tested positive for the Zika virus so far this year.

Helpful tool allows physicians to more accurately predict parathyroid cancer recurrence

A newly-created prognostic tool reliably predicts the recurrence of parathyroid cancer, enabling physicians to identify patients at the highest risk. Consequently, the tool also helps to determine the optimum postoperative strategy, including aggressive surveillance and additional treatments, according to study results published online as an "article in press" on the Journal of the American College of Surgeons website ahead of print publication.

Zika virus persists in the central nervous system and lymph nodes of rhesus monkeys

Zika virus can persist in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), lymph nodes and colorectal tissue of infected rhesus monkeys for weeks after the virus has been cleared from blood, urine and mucosal secretions, according to a study published online in Cell. The research was led by Dan H. Barouch, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School and was funded in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Counting the cuts in mohs surgery: A way to improve care and reduce costs

In an analysis of Medicare billing data submitted by more than 2,300 United States physicians, researchers have calculated the average number of surgical slices, or cuts, made during Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS), a procedure that progressively removes thin layers of cancerous skin tissue in a way that minimizes damage to healthy skin and the risks of leaving cancerous tissue behind.

WHO urges polio vaccine dose cut amid global shortage

Faced with a shortage of polio vaccine, the World Health Organization urged countries Friday to resort to smaller, fractional doses to ward off outbreaks of the crippling disease.

Seniors often have trouble managing money, medicines

(HealthDay)—Have you ever wondered when it might be time to step in and help your aging parents manage their finances? Or, their ever-growing list of prescription medications?

Taking the stairs a better pick-me-up than coffee

(HealthDay)—You'll feel more energized if you do some easy stair walking rather than drinking caffeine, a new study recommends.

Most seniors use cellphones while behind the wheel

(HealthDay)—When you think of cellphones and driving, you probably picture a chatty teen behind the wheel. But new research suggests that seniors are often guilty of this dangerous practice, too.

Guys, take the health check up a notch

(HealthDay)—Though preventive wellness visits are the cornerstone of good health, a third of American men don't even have a primary care doctor.

Kids' sun safety means 'slip, slap, slop'

(HealthDay)—Children spend a lot of time outside in the summer, so parents need to stay on top of their sun protection, a skin cancer expert advises.

Brineura approved for rare genetic illness affecting kids

(HealthDay)—Brineura (cerliponase alfa) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat a specific form of Batten Disease, a rare set of genetic disorders that typically begin in childhood between ages 2 and 4, the agency said in a news release.

Rydapt approved for adults with acute myeloid leukemia

(HealthDay)—Rydapt (midostaurin) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in combination with chemotherapy, to treat adults with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who have a specific genetic mutation dubbed FLT3.

Combo Rx for fibromyalgia tied to higher adherence

(HealthDay)—Medication adherence is better for combination prescription initiators with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), although expenditures for total health care are higher with combination prescriptions, according to a study published online April 18 in Pain Practice.

Rx errors up with generic propranolol for hemangioma

(HealthDay)—Physicians prescribing propranolol in a single concentration of 4.28 mg/mL for infantile hemangioma (IH) report fewer prescribing errors than those prescribing generic propranolol, according to a research letter published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Plasma catecholamines predict post-op A-fib after cardiac Sx

(HealthDay)—Assessment of plasma catecholamines on the morning of surgery can predict the likelihood of postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) for patients undergoing elective cardiac surgery, according to a study published online April 26 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

States with medical marijuana laws see drop in prescriptions

(HealthDay)—Medical marijuana laws are associated with a decline in the number of prescriptions filled for Medicaid enrollees, according to a study published in the April issue of Health Affairs.

Older women show limited understanding of osteoporosis

(HealthDay)—Many older women have low awareness about osteoporosis and its contribution to fracture risk and a lack of understanding about the benefits of osteoporosis pharmacotherapy, according to a study published April 19 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Diners may have to wait longer for restaurant calorie counts

Consumers hoping to find out how many calories are in that burger and fries may have to wait—again.

Symptoms of cystitis probably caused by bacterial infection, even when tests are negative

The majority of women suffering with pain when urinating, or needing to urinate often or urgently probably do have a bacterial infection, even when nothing is detected by standard urine testing.

England's Cancer Drugs Fund 'failed to deliver meaningful value to patients and society'

Analysis of the drugs that were approved for use by the NHS Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) in England has shown that the fund was not good value for patients and society and may have resulted in patients suffering unnecessarily from toxic side effects of the drugs.

'13 Reasons' sparks criticism of teen suicide depiction

It's a scene as painful to watch as it is graphic: A 17-year-old girl climbs into a full bathtub with a razor. We see her slice into her skin, we see the blood pour out, hear her cry and struggle to breathe. Then she is still.

Harvard and UT researchers propose systems connection in acupuncture and 21st century medicine

Harvard University's renown fascia researcher Helene Langevin, MD, and co-author Rosa Schnyer, PhD, LAc propose that elements of classical acupuncture "are related to important 21st century advances in physiology and medicine, including systems biology, cross-system integration, matrix biology and mechanotherapeutics." Their commentary appeared in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

Why is herpes simplex virus disease risk so much greater for newborns?

Interferon is a crucial component of the human immune system's response to infection by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), but how important a role it plays in determining the severity of disease and explaining why newborns are so much more susceptible to HSV-1 infection than adults remains unclear. A comprehensive review of the contribution of type I interferon (IFN) to controlling HSV-1 infection is presented in an article published in DNA and Cell Biology.

Two papers challenge exclusion of acupuncture in government guidelines

Even as news in the United States recently highlighted the growing inclusion of acupuncture and other complementary and integrative medicine therapies in guidelines for multiple pain conditions, the exclusion of acupuncture in two British governmental guidelines is challenged in a paper and a commentary that are presently available free on The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (JACM) website until May 29, 2017.

UK jury convicts doctor of performing unnecessary surgeries

A prominent breast surgeon whose victims accused him of playing God with their lives faces a life sentence after a jury convicted him Friday of carrying out unnecessary operations that maimed some of his victims for life.

Biology news

Cassava is genetically decaying, putting staple crop at risk

For breeders of cassava, a staple food for hundreds of millions in the tropics, producing improved varieties has been getting harder over time. A team at Cornell used genomic analysis of cassava varieties and wild relatives to make a diagnosis: Mutations have corroded the genome, producing many dysfunctional versions of genes and putting at risk a crop crucial to the survival of one-tenth of the world's population.

Brown bears found to leave scent signals by twisting feet into the ground

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers from Poland, Spain and Austria has discovered that brown bears living in Poland have glands in their paws that produce chemicals that the bears use to communicate with other bears. In their paper published in Scientific Reports, the team describes their study of multiple bears in the wild and what they observed.

Unlikely pair of plants named after stars of movie 'Twins'

Biologists from The Australian National University (ANU) have named an unlikely pair of plants after Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito, the stars of the 1988 movie Twins.

Robots, tasers join battle against invasive species

A robot zaps and vacuums up venomous lionfish in Bermuda. A helicopter pelts Guam's trees with poison-baited dead mice to fight the voracious brown tree snake. A special boat with giant winglike nets stuns and catches Asian carp in the U.S. Midwest.

The science of laughter – and why it also has a dark side

When you hear someone laugh behind you, you probably picture them on the phone or with a friend – smiling and experiencing a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. Chances are just the sound of the laughter could make you smile or even laugh along. But imagine that the person laughing is just walking around alone in the street, or sitting behind you at a funeral. Suddenly, it doesn't seem so inviting.

How plants form their sugar transport routes

In experiments on transport tissues in plants, researchers from Heidelberg University were able to identify factors of crucial importance for the formation of the plant tissue known as phloem. According to Prof. Dr Thomas Greb of the Centre for Organismal Studies (COS), these factors differ from all previously known factors that trigger the specification of cells. The findings of the Heidelberg researchers substantially expand our understanding of the metabolic processes in plants. Their results were published in the journal Current Biology.

New population of endangered cats found in Borneo

A new population of an endangered and elusive cat species has been found in Borneo.

Bacterial symbionts transition between plant pathogenicity and insect defensive mutualism

An international team of researchers have discovered a remarkable microbe with a Jekyll and Hyde character. The bacterium Burkholderia gladioli lives in specific organs of a plant-feeding beetle and defends the insect's eggs from detrimental fungi by producing antibiotics. However, when transferred to a plant, the bacterium can spread throughout the tissues and negatively affect the plant.

Fast, low energy, and continuous biofuel extraction from microalgae

As an alternative to liquid fossil fuels, biodiesel extracted from microalgae is an increasingly important part of the bioenergy field. While it releases a similar amount of CO2 as petroleum when burned, the CO2 released from biodiesel is that which has recently been removed from the atmosphere via photosynthesis meaning that it does not contribute to an increase of the greenhouse gas. Furthermore, research has shown that microalgae produces a much higher percentage of their biomass to usable oil in a significantly smaller land mass than terrestrial crops. Currently, one of the largest obstacles in replacing diesel with biodiesel is the cost of production. Fossil fuels are still cheaper than biofuels so improvements in production efficiency are highly sought-after.

New study revises the development and evolutionary origin of the vertebrate brain

A study recently published in PLOS Biology provides information that substantially changes the prevailing idea about the brain formation process in vertebrates and sheds some light on how it might have evolved.

Plague bacteria take refuge in amoebae

Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes bubonic plague, can survive within the ubiquitous soil protozoan, the amoeba, by producing proteins that protect against the latter microbe's digestion. The research is published April 28th in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

SeaWorld San Diego gets a furry surprise: a baby sea lion

SeaWorld San Diego is caring for a sea lion that was unexpectedly born to a sick mother.


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