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New statistical method links vast records, shows negative effect of Texas voter ID law

EurekAlert! - Dom, 12/10/2017 - 23:00
As state voter identification (ID) laws across the country are being contested amid questions about the integrity of the voting process, researchers have developed a new statistical method that not only matches multiple records with precision, but can also identify the scope of discrimination when applied to voter ID laws.

Eclipse 2017: Science from the moon's shadow

EurekAlert! - Dom, 12/10/2017 - 23:00
While people across North America took in the Aug. 21 eclipse, hundreds of citizen, student, and professional scientists were collecting scientific data, and their efforts are beginning to return results.

Managing concerning behaviors when opioids are taken for chronic pain

EurekAlert! - Dom, 12/10/2017 - 23:00
Patients receiving long-term opioid therapy for chronic pain sometimes demonstrate challenging and concerning behaviors, such as using more opioid medication than prescribed or concomitant alcohol or drug use. A new study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, establishes expert consensus about treatment approaches that should be implemented when these behaviors arise.

Presurgical imaging may predict whether epilepsy surgery will work

EurekAlert! - Dom, 12/10/2017 - 23:00
A statistical approach to combining presurgical PET scans and functional MRI of the brain may help predict which patients with drug-resistant epilepsy are most likely to benefit from surgery. The method was developed by researchers at Rice University, Baylor College of Medicine, the University of California at Irvine and UCLA.

Typhoid fever toxin has a sweet tooth

EurekAlert! - Dom, 12/10/2017 - 23:00
Although the insidious bacterium Salmonella typhi has been around for centuries, very little is actually known about its molecular mechanisms. A new study from researchers at the College of Veterinary Medicine addresses this knowledge gap and may lead to novel, targeted treatments.

Discovery sets new world standard in nano generators

EurekAlert! - Dom, 12/10/2017 - 23:00
A team of University of Alberta engineers has developed a new way to produce electrical power that can charge handheld devices or sensors that monitor anything from pipelines to medical implants.The discovery sets a new world standard in triboelectric nanogenerators by producing a high-density DC current--a vast improvement over low-quality AC currents produced by other research teams. The devices can transform mechanical energy such as wind or vibrations into electricity.

Tumors heat up

EurekAlert! - Dom, 12/10/2017 - 23:00
Nanorods made of bismuth sulfide kill tumor cells with heat when they are irradiated with near-infrared light (NIR). Chinese scientists are now making these weapons more powerful by remodeling the defect state of the nanorod crystal lattice by adding gold nanodots. As reported in the journal Angewandte Chemie, this could be a good basis for more effective photothermal treatment of tumors.

UCI scientists unveil new satellite-based global drought severity index

EurekAlert! - Dom, 12/10/2017 - 23:00
Just in time for the holidays, researchers at the University of California, Irvine and other institutions are rolling out a new satellite-based drought severity index for climate watchers worldwide.

Quantum effects explain changes in nanometric circuit electron flows

EurekAlert! - Dom, 12/10/2017 - 23:00
Study may contribute to the feasibility of transistors with electrical currents consisting of the passage of one single electron at a time, with applications for future computers.

Scientists discover possible master switch for programming cancer immunotherapy

EurekAlert! - Dom, 12/10/2017 - 23:00
Researchers from The Scripps Research Institute and the University of California, San Diego report the discovery that a protein called 'Runx3' programs killer T cells to establish residence in tumors and infection sites.

After the fire, charcoal goes against the grain, with the flow

EurekAlert! - Dom, 12/10/2017 - 23:00
A two-year study of Rice University property damaged by a 2011 forest fire found that charcoal behaved very differently from other forms of soil carbon as the land rebounded from the fire. The study could help researchers and land managers make better use of charcoal soil amendments called biochar.

A diamond as the steppingstone to new materials, using plasma physics technology

EurekAlert! - Dom, 12/10/2017 - 23:00
University of Alabama at Birmingham physicists have taken the first step in a five-year effort to create novel compounds that surpass diamonds in heat resistance and nearly rival them in hardness. In a paper in the journal Materials, Yogesh Vohra and colleagues in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences investigated how the addition of boron, while making a diamond film via plasma vapor deposition, changed properties of the diamond material.

How Zika virus induces congenital microcephaly

EurekAlert! - Dom, 12/10/2017 - 23:00
Epidemiological studies show that in utero fetal infection with the Zika virus (ZIKV) may lead to microcephaly, an irreversible congenital malformation of the brain characterized by an incomplete development of the cerebral cortex. However, the mechanism of Zika virus-associated microcephaly remains unclear. An international team of researchers within the European consortium ZIKAlliance (coordinated by Inserm in France) has identified a specific mechanism leading to this microcephaly. Their findings are published this week in Nature Neuroscience.

Graphene spin transport takes a step forward towards applications

EurekAlert! - Dom, 12/10/2017 - 23:00
Researchers from the Graphene Flagship have predicted and demonstrated a giant spin anisotropy in graphene, paving the way for new spintronic logic devices. This landmark collaborative effort shows the Flagship's role in rapid progress, from theoretical concept to experimental confirmation.

Patients' individual genomes may affect efficacy, safety of gene editing

EurekAlert! - Dom, 12/10/2017 - 23:00
Gene editing has begun to be tested in clinical trials, using CRISPR-Cas9 and other technologies to directly edit DNA inside people's cells, and multiple trials are recruiting or in planning. A new study raises a note of caution, finding person-to-person genetic differences that may undercut the efficacy of gene editing or, more rarely, cause potentially dangerous 'off target' effects. It suggests that gene editing may need to be adapted to each patient's genome.

Protein Daple coordinates single-cell and organ-wide directionality in the inner ear

EurekAlert! - Dom, 12/10/2017 - 23:00
Sensory hair cells in the inner ear combine into hair bundles to convert sound waves into electrical signals. Both single-cell and organ-wide directionality are critical for hearing, but these two levels of organization are controlled by largely distinct molecular mechanisms during inner ear development. Researchers at The Jackson Laboratory and The Rockefeller University have identified a protein, Daple, that interacts with both systems and is a promising candidate to coordinate single cell and organ-wide directionality.

Major cause of dementia discovered

EurekAlert! - Dom, 12/10/2017 - 23:00
An international team of scientists have confirmed the discovery of a major cause of dementia, with important implications for possible treatment and diagnosis.

Turning pathogens against each other to prevent drug resistance

EurekAlert! - Dom, 12/10/2017 - 23:00
Limiting a much-needed resource could pit pathogens against one another and prevent the emergence of drug resistance. New research demonstrates that harnessing competition among pathogens inside a patient could extend the life of existing drugs where resistance is already present and prevent resistance to new drugs from emerging. A paper describing this ecological approach to drug resistance appears the week of Dec. 11 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Scientists discover new way to help nerve regeneration in spinal cord injury

EurekAlert! - Dom, 12/10/2017 - 23:00
A new way of triggering nerve regeneration to help repair spinal cord injury and in the longer-term potentially paralysis has successfully been demonstrated by University of Bristol scientists. The work is published in PLOS ONE today.

Battery research could triple range of electric vehicles

EurekAlert! - Dom, 12/10/2017 - 23:00
New research at the University of Waterloo could lead to the development of batteries that triple the range of electric vehicles.

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