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Scientists discover combined sensory map for heat, humidity in fly brain

July 20, 2017 Northwestern University

Northwestern University neuroscientists now can visualize how fruit flies sense and process humidity and temperature. The findings could one day help researchers better understand how the human brain simultaneously processes humidity and temperature and might influence how humans control for mosquitoes in cities and prevent mosquito-borne diseases. Read more about: Scientists discover combined sensory map for heat, humidity in fly brain

Contact: Megan Fellman, 847-491-3115, fellman@northwestern.edu

Husker physicist points way to controlling elasticity with magnetism

July 19, 2017 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Husker physicist Christian Binek has found that the elasticity of a material can be predicted from its magnetic properties – and that magnetism, in turn, might be tailored or applied to control elasticity. Read more about: Husker physicist points way to controlling elasticity with magnetism

Contact: Christian Binek, 402-472-5231, cbinek@unl.edu

Reversing fetal alcohol damage after birth

July 18, 2017 Northwestern University

Two commonly used drugs erased the learning and memory deficits caused by fetal alcohol exposure in rat pups when the drugs were given after birth, thus potentially identifying a treatment for the disorder, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study. The scientists also newly identified a key molecular mechanism by which alcohol neurologically and developmentally harms the developing fetus. Read more about: Reversing fetal alcohol damage after birth

Contact: Marla Paul, 312-503-8928, marla-paul@northwestern.edu

Tiny particles increase in air with ethanol-to-gasoline switch

July 17, 2017 Northwestern University

The concentration of ultrafine particles less than 50 nanometers in diameter rose by one-third in the air of São Paulo, Brazil, when higher ethanol prices induced drivers to switch from ethanol to gasoline, according to a new study by a Northwestern University chemist, a National University of Singapore economist and two University of São Paulo physicists. Environmental protection agencies across the world currently do not measure or regulate particles of this size, which studies have shown to be harmful to human health. Read more about: Tiny particles increase in air with ethanol-to-gasoline switch

Contact: Kristin Samuelson, 847-491-4888, kristin.samuelson@northwestern.edu

Rooftop concentrating photovoltaics win big over silicon in outdoor testing

July 17, 2017 Pennsylvania State University

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A concentrating photovoltaic system with embedded microtracking can produce over 50 percent more energy per day than standard silicon solar cells in a head-to-head competition, according to a team of engineers who field tested a prototype unit over two sunny days last fall. Read more about: Rooftop concentrating photovoltaics win big over silicon in outdoor testing

Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer, 814-865-9481, aem1@psu.edu

Ancient plankton-like microfossils span two continents

July 13, 2017 Pennsylvania State University

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Large, robust, lens-shaped microfossils from the approximately 3.4 billion-year-old Kromberg Formation of the Kaapvaal craton in eastern South Africa are not only among the oldest elaborate microorganisms known, but are also related to other intricate microfossils of the same age found in the Pilbara Craton of Australia, according to an international team of scientists. Read more about: Ancient plankton-like microfossils span two continents

Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer, 814-865-9481, aem1@psu.edu

Earlier blood testing for iron deficiency and anemia recommended for young women

July 13, 2017 Pennsylvania State University

HERSHEY, Pa. -- Physicians should consider blood testing of female adolescents for iron deficiency within a few years of starting menses, according to two studies by Penn State College of Medicine researchers. Read more about: Earlier blood testing for iron deficiency and anemia recommended for young women

Contact: Matthew Solovey, 717-531-8604, msolovey@hmc.psu.edu

Predicting heart events after liver transplant

July 13, 2017 Northwestern University

• The first app and score to determine the one-year risk of a liver transplant patient dying or being hospitalized for a heart attack or other cardiovascular complication has been developed by Northwestern Medicine scientists. The new risk score app may guide preventive treatment and help determine who gets a donor organ. Liver transplant surgery is among highest-risk cardiac surgery. The old method of risk scoring was no more accurate than flipping a coin. Read more about: Predicting heart events after liver transplant

Contact: Marla Paul, 312-503-8928, marla-paul@northwestern.edu

Battle of the sexes in science hurts girls -- and boys, too

July 12, 2017 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

New findings from Nebraska's Patricia Wonch Hill suggest that the cliched notion among middle schoolers that boys are naturally better at science than girls is a negative for both genders. Read more about: Battle of the sexes in science hurts girls -- and boys, too

Contact: Patricia Wonch Hill, 402-472-3687, phill3@unl.edu

Women and men may have different bipolar disorder biomarkers

July 11, 2017 Pennsylvania State University

HERSHEY, Pa. -- Men and women react differently to compounds associated with immune system response to bipolar disorder, according to an international team of medical researchers. The findings suggest that bipolar disorder could one day be diagnosed by measuring biological changes in the body, and that treatments could be tailored differently for men and women. Read more about: Women and men may have different bipolar disorder biomarkers

Contact: Matthew Solovey, 717-531-8604, msolovey@hmc.psu.edu

Does strength depend on more than muscle? Husker study suggests so

July 10, 2017 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

A recent study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has given new meaning to the concept of brain power by suggesting that physical strength might stem as much from exercising the nervous system as the muscles it controls. Read more about: Does strength depend on more than muscle? Husker study suggests so

Contact: Joel Cramer, 402-472-7533, jcramer@unl.edu

Why a single nuke's impact shouldn't only be measured in megatons

July 7, 2017 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

As the notion of nuclear hostilities leaps from its old, Cold War perch into modern debate, new calculations by University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers show that even a limited nuclear strike could have disastrous global consequences. Read more about: Why a single nuke's impact shouldn't only be measured in megatons

Contact: Adam Liska, 402-472-8744, aliska2@unl.edu

Study: Violence in news toughens opinions on crime, punishment

July 6, 2017 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

When violence is consumed through news on a regular basis, it drums up support for continuing the status quo in the criminal justice system, a new Nebraska study finds. Read more about: Study: Violence in news toughens opinions on crime, punishment

Contact: Lisa Kort-Butler, 402-472-6005, lkortbutler2@unl.edu

2D layered devices can self-assemble with precision

July 5, 2017 Pennsylvania State University

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Squid-inspired proteins can act as programmable assemblers of 2D materials, like graphene oxide, to form hybrid materials with minute spacing between layers suitable for high-efficiency devices including flexible electronics, energy storage systems and mechanical actuators, according to an interdisciplinary team of Penn State researchers. Read more about: 2D layered devices can self-assemble with precision

Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer, 814-865-9481, aem1@psu.edu

Economists find gender gap follows red-blue border lines

July 3, 2017 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

A new study by University of Nebraska-Lincoln economists shows women in blue states are more likely to break the glass ceiling to move into high-salary, high-education jobs in male-dominated fields. Read more about: Economists find gender gap follows red-blue border lines

Contact: Ann Mari May, 402-472-3369, amay1@unl.edu

What's in a name? Monikers alter empathy in the brain

June 29, 2017 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

New research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln suggests that names have the power to mold empathy. Read more about: What's in a name? Monikers alter empathy in the brain

Contact: John E. Kiat, 402-472-8514, johnemmanuelkiat@gmail.com

Acupuncture may not be effective in treating infertility

June 27, 2017 Pennsylvania State University

HERSHEY, Pa. — Acupuncture, alone or with the medication clomiphene, does not appear to be effective in treating infertility in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), according to an international team of researchers. The finding casts doubts on previous smaller trials that have suggested that acupuncture may improve reproductive function in women affected by infertility. Read more about: Acupuncture may not be effective in treating infertility

Contact: Scott Gilbert, 717-531-1887, sgilbert1@hmc.psu.edu

Study explores how to support caregivers affected by Zika virus

June 26, 2017 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Natalie Williams is joining Brazilian researchers to explore how to support caregivers whose children have been affected by congenital Zika virus syndrome, a neurological condition associated with cognitive and physical disabilities. Read more about: Study explores how to support caregivers affected by Zika virus

Contact: Natalie Williams, 402-472-7704, nwilliams17@unl.edu

Taking pictures of sentimental goods may help people declutter, donate more

June 26, 2017 Pennsylvania State University

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The cure for a cluttered home might be just a snapshot away. According to researchers, people are more likely to increase donations to second-hand nonprofit businesses if they take a picture of the item first. Read more about: Taking pictures of sentimental goods may help people declutter, donate more

Contact: Matt Swayne, 814-865-9481, mls29@psu.edu

1 billion suns: World's brightest laser sparks new behavior in light

June 26, 2017 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

By focusing laser light to a brightness one billion times greater than the surface of the sun – the brightest light ever produced on Earth – Husker physicists have observed changes in a vision-enabling interaction between light and matter. Read more about: 1 billion suns: World's brightest laser sparks new behavior in light

Contact: Donald Umstadter, 402-472-8115, donald.umstadter@unl.edu

During terminal illness, hope can have a dark side

June 22, 2017 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

New research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln illustrates how hope can take on different forms and sometimes even be harmful. Read more about: During terminal illness, hope can have a dark side

Contact: Jody Koenig Kellas, 402-472-2070, jkellas2@unl.edu

Negative tweets can trash TV programs for other viewers

June 22, 2017 Pennsylvania State University

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Negative social media comments about a television show tend to lower enjoyment for other viewers, while positive comments may not significantly boost their enjoyment, according to researchers. Read more about: Negative tweets can trash TV programs for other viewers

Contact: Matt Swayne, 814-865-9481, mls29@psu.edu

Researcher examines enhancing preschool science instruction

June 20, 2017 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Soo-Young Hong, associate professor of child, youth and family studies, is exploring how a professional development program could help preschool teachers integrate science into their classroom activities. Read more about: Researcher examines enhancing preschool science instruction

Contact: Soo-Young Hong, 402-472-3877, shong5@unl.edu

Sugar-coated nanomaterial excels at promoting bone growth

June 19, 2017 Northwestern University

There hasn’t been a gold standard for how orthopaedic spine surgeons promote new bone growth in patients, but now Northwestern University scientists have designed a bioactive nanomaterial that is so good at stimulating bone regeneration it could become the method surgeons prefer. The researchers studied in vivo the effect of the nanomaterial on the activity of the growth factor BMP-2. They found that 100 times less of the protein was needed for a successful spinal fusion in an animal model. Read more about: Sugar-coated nanomaterial excels at promoting bone growth

Contact: Megan Fellman, 847-491-3115, fellman@northwestern.edu

Japanese slow earthquakes could shed light on tsunami generation

June 15, 2017 Pennsylvania State University

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Understanding slow-slip earthquakes in subduction zone areas may help researchers understand large earthquakes and the creation of tsunamis, according to an international team of researchers that used data from instruments placed on the seafloor and in boreholes east of the Japanese coast. Read more about: Japanese slow earthquakes could shed light on tsunami generation

Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer, 814-865-9481, aem1@psu.edu

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