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Health benefits of moderate drinking may be overstated, study finds

May 24, 2017 Pennsylvania State University

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The benefits of light alcohol consumption, as well as the risks associated with not drinking at all, might not be as great as previously thought, according to Penn State researchers who examined the drinking habits of middle-aged adults. Read more about: Health benefits of moderate drinking may be overstated, study finds

Contact: Mel Miller, 814-863-2717, mem502@psu.edu

Flight delay? Lost luggage? Don't blame airline mergers, Indiana University research shows

May 23, 2017 Indiana University

It's often said that airline mergers lead to more headaches for travelers, including more flight delays, late arrivals and missed connections. But an analysis of 15 years of U.S. Department of Transportation statistics found that airline consolidation has had little negative impact on on-time performance. Read more about: Flight delay? Lost luggage? Don't blame airline mergers, Indiana University research shows

Contact: George Vlahakis, 812-855-0846, vlahakis@iu.edu

Husker engineers craft microscopic heater-thermometer

May 23, 2017 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Engineers at Nebraska have designed a paper-thin heating device that can approach 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Read more about: Husker engineers craft microscopic heater-thermometer

Contact: Ming Han, 402-472-9618, mhan@unl.edu

Lizards may be overwhelmed by fire ants and social stress combined

May 23, 2017 Pennsylvania State University

UNIVESITY PARK, Pa. — Lizards living in fire-ant-invaded areas are stressed. However, a team of biologists found that the lizards did not exhibit this stress as expected after extended fire ant exposure in socially stressful environments, leading to questions about stress overload. Read more about: Lizards may be overwhelmed by fire ants and social stress combined

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

Corn seed treatment insecticides pose risks to honey bees, yield benefits elusive

May 22, 2017 Purdue University

Nearly every foraging honey bee in the state of Indiana will encounter neonicotinoids during corn planting season, and the common seed treatments produced no improvement in crop yield, according to a Purdue study. Read more about: Corn seed treatment insecticides pose risks to honey bees, yield benefits elusive

Contact: Shari Finnell, 765-494-2722, sfinnell@purdue.edu

Insects resist genetic methods to control disease spread, Indiana University study finds

May 19, 2017 Indiana University

A study from Indiana University published in the journal Science Advances finds that insects possess a naturally occurring resistance to the use of gene-editing technology to prevent diseases such as malaria. Read more about: Insects resist genetic methods to control disease spread, Indiana University study finds

Contact: Kevin D. Fryling, 812-856-2988, kfryling@iu.edu

Data sharing can offer help in science's reproducibility crisis

May 17, 2017 Pennsylvania State University

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Criticism that researchers in the psychological and brain sciences are failing to reproduce studies — a key step in the scientific method — may have more to do with the complexity of managing data, rather than an attempt to hide methods and results, according to researchers. However, without greater focus on reproducibility, scientists will likely continue to face questions about the reliability of their research. Read more about: Data sharing can offer help in science's reproducibility crisis

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

Microbial fuel cell converts methane to electricity

May 17, 2017 Pennsylvania State University

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Transporting methane from gas wellheads to market provides multiple opportunities for this greenhouse gas to leak into the atmosphere. Now, an international team of researchers has taken the first step in converting methane directly to electricity using bacteria, in a way that could be done near the drilling sites. Read more about: Microbial fuel cell converts methane to electricity

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

Can yogurt each day keep the doctor away?

May 16, 2017 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Nebraska food scientist Robert Hutkins and international researchers reported encouraging findings after reviewing recent research involving fermented foods. Read more about: Can yogurt each day keep the doctor away?

Contact: Robert Hutkins, 402-472-2820, hutkins@unl.edu

Weekly steroids strengthen and repair muscles

May 16, 2017 Northwestern University

In a surprising finding, weekly doses of glucocorticoid steroids, such as prednisone, help speed recovery in muscle injuries, reports a new study. The weekly steroids also repaired muscles damaged by muscular dystrophy. When given daily over long periods, prednisone can cause muscle wasting. But the once weekly doses of the steroid increased proteins that stimulate muscle repair. The studies were conducted in mice, with broad implications for humans. Read more about: Weekly steroids strengthen and repair muscles

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

American chestnut rescue will succeed, but slower than expected

May 16, 2017 Pennsylvania State University

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The nearly century-old effort to employ selective breeding to rescue the American chestnut, which has been rendered functionally extinct by an introduced disease — Chestnut blight, eventually will succeed, but it will take longer than many people expect. Read more about: American chestnut rescue will succeed, but slower than expected

Contact: Jeff Mulhollem, 814-863-2719, jjm29@psu.edu

Leaving segregated neighborhoods reduces blood pressure for blacks

May 15, 2017 Northwestern University

When African-Americans moved to less segregated neighborhoods their systolic blood pressure readings dropped between one to five points, reports a new national study. This is the first study to look at the longitudinal effects of living in less segregated areas on blood pressure and to compare the effect within the same individuals. The drop in blood pressure, likely related to less violence and stress, means fewer heart attacks and strokes. Read more about: Leaving segregated neighborhoods reduces blood pressure for blacks

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

I think I know: How institutions can build (or rebuild) trust

May 11, 2017 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

New research from the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center suggests that a key to building faith in institutions could be to make citizens feel they have better knowledge about those institutions – regardless if they actually do. Read more about: I think I know: How institutions can build (or rebuild) trust

Contact: Lisa Pytlik Zillig, 402-472-5678, lpytlikzillig2@unl.edu

First spherical nucleic acid drug injected into humans targets brain cancer

May 11, 2017 Northwestern University

The first drug using spherical nucleic acids to be systemically given to humans has been developed by Northwestern University scientists and approved by the Food and Drug Administration as an investigational new drug for an early-stage clinical trial in the deadly brain cancer glioblastoma multiforme. The drug, which targets and down regulates genes that lead to disease, represents a revolutionary new class of drugs and has potential for other brain diseases. Read more about: First spherical nucleic acid drug injected into humans targets brain cancer

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

Liquid-crystal and bacterial living materials organize and move in their own way

May 11, 2017 Pennsylvania State University

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Smart glass, transitional lenses and mood rings are not the only things made of liquid crystals; mucus, slug slime and cell membranes also contain them. Now, a team of researchers is trying to better understand how liquid crystals, combined with bacteria, form living materials and how the two interact to organize and move. Read more about: Liquid-crystal and bacterial living materials organize and move in their own way

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

Research solves centuries-old riddle of Prince Rupert’s drops

May 10, 2017 Purdue University

Small glass structures resembling tadpoles that can withstand the blows of a hammer and yet burst into powdery dust by simply snipping their threadlike tails have been a source of fascination and mystery since they were discovered in the 17th century. Now an international research team has pinpointed the source of the bizarre shatter-resistant behavior behind Prince Rupert’s drops. Read more about: Research solves centuries-old riddle of Prince Rupert’s drops

Contact: Emil Venere, 765-494-4709, venere@purdue.edu

http://news.psu.edu/story/467590/2017/05/09/two-james-webb-instruments-are-best-suited-exoplanet-atmospheres

May 9, 2017 Pennsylvania State University

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The best way to study the atmospheres of distant worlds with the James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to launch in late 2018 will combine two of its infrared instruments, according to a team of astronomers. Read more about: http://news.psu.edu/story/467590/2017/05/09/two-james-webb-instruments-are-best-suited-exoplanet-atmospheres

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

Blast off: Insights could combat rice-infecting fungus

May 9, 2017 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

New research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has revealed how the fungus behind a destructive rice disease evades the plant’s first immune response and silences the molecular sirens that mobilize reinforcements. Read more about: Blast off: Insights could combat rice-infecting fungus

Contact: Richard Wilson, 402-472-2156, rwilson10@unl.edu

Brain-imaging system uses ‘multi-pupil’ prism arrays

May 8, 2017 Purdue University

A specialized type of adaptive-optics technology might be used to better understand how the brain works. The system is capable of revealing changing details of biological processes in cells over a larger field of view than otherwise possible, allowing “high throughput” essential for the study of brain activity. Read more about: Brain-imaging system uses ‘multi-pupil’ prism arrays

Contact: Emil Venere, 765-494-4709, venere@purdue.edu

Study researches ‘gorilla arm’ fatigue in mid-air computer usage

May 8, 2017 Purdue University

Researchers at Purdue’s C Design Lab are studying arm and muscle fatigue connected to advancements in the use of hand gestures for mid-air computer interaction. Computer interaction improvements have included the expanding use of natural motions and gestures to control floating graphical user interfaces. As a result, fatigue from prolonged use of the motions and gestures has become an issue. Read more about: Study researches ‘gorilla arm’ fatigue in mid-air computer usage

Contact: Brian Huchel, 765-494-2084, bhuchel@purdue.edu

Men and women show equal ability at recognizing faces

May 8, 2017 Pennsylvania State University

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Despite conventional wisdom that suggests women are better than men at facial recognition, Penn State psychologists found no difference between men and women in their ability to recognize faces and categorize facial expressions. Read more about: Men and women show equal ability at recognizing faces

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

Speech and language deficits in children with autism may not cause tantrums

May 3, 2017 Pennsylvania State University

HERSHEY, Pa. — Speech or language impairments may not be the cause of more frequent tantrums in children with autism, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. The findings could help parents of children with autism seek out the best treatment for behavior problems. Read more about: Speech and language deficits in children with autism may not cause tantrums

Contact: Matthew Solovey, 717-531-8606, msolovey@hmc.psu.edu

A fast, non-destructive test for two-dimensional materials

May 2, 2017 Pennsylvania State University

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Thinning a material down to a single-atom thickness can dramatically change that material's physical properties. For example, graphene, the best-known 2D material, has unparalleled strength and electrical conductivity, unlike its bulk form, graphite. Researchers have begun to study hundreds of other 2D materials for the purposes of electronics, sensing, early cancer diagnosis, water desalination and a host of other applications. Now, a team of Penn State researchers in the Department of Physics and the Center for Two-Dimensional and Layered Materials (2DLM) has developed a fast, nondestructive optical method for analyzing defects in 2D materials. Read more about: A fast, non-destructive test for two-dimensional materials

Contact: Walt Mills, 814-865-0285, wem12@psu.edu

Study: Food ingredient blends more sensitive to climate change

May 1, 2017 Purdue University

A recent Purdue study, featured on the cover of the May edition of the Journal of Food Science, deciphers why food ingredient blends are more sensitive to changes in climate than single ingredients. Read more about: Study: Food ingredient blends more sensitive to climate change

Contact: Cheri Frederick, 765-494-2406, cfrederick@purdue.edu

Plant cell walls' stretch-but-don't-break growth more complex than once thought

May 1, 2017 Pennsylvania State University

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Plant cell wall growth is typically described as a simple process, but researchers using a microscope that can resolve images on the nanoscale level have observed something more complex. Read more about: Plant cell walls' stretch-but-don't-break growth more complex than once thought

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

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