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Lab Daily

Forensic Genomics Solves Sea Snail Death Mystery

April 17, 2014 12:00 pm | by UC Davis | News | Comments

In August 2011, thousands of dead red abalone washed up on the beaches of Sonoma County in Northern California. At the time, the cause was unknown. Now, scientists, using a new approach called forensic genomics, have learned that a harmful algal bloom was to blame: the causative agent Yessotoxin.

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Submarine Search is Successful, Yet Yields No Results

April 17, 2014 12:00 pm | by Associated Press, Margie Mason | News | Comments

Investigators have been analyzing data collected by a robotic submarine that completed its first successful scan of the seabed Thursday in the hunt for the missing Malaysian plane. The tests have ruled out that a nearby oil slick came from the aircraft.

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Bionic Ankle Mimics Biology

April 17, 2014 12:00 pm | by MIT, Rob Matheson | News | Comments

An associate professor of media arts and sciences gets about 100 emails daily from people across the world interested in his bionic limbs. He designs— and wears— bionic leg prostheses that he says, “emulate nature,” by mimicking the functions and power of biological knees, ankles and calves.

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Diabetic Heart Attacks, Strokes on the Decline

April 17, 2014 12:00 pm | by Associated Press, Mike Stobbe | News | Comments

In the midst of the diabetes epidemic, a glimmer of good news: heart attacks, strokes and other complications from the disease are plummeting.

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Reservoir to Flush Millions of Gallons Because of Urine

April 17, 2014 12:00 pm | by Associated Press, Steven DuBois | News | Comments

Portland officials say they are flushing away millions of gallons of treated water, for the second time in less than three years, because someone urinated into a city reservoir.

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Ants Inspire Help for Human Evacuees

April 17, 2014 7:00 am | by Inderscience Publishers | News | Comments

An escape route mapping system, based on the behavior of ant colonies, could give evacuees a better chance of reaching safe harbor after a natural disaster or terrorist attack. The system builds a map showing the shortest routes to shelters, and provides regular updates of current situations such as fires, blocked roads or other damage via smartphones.

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Trials of the Cherokee Evident in Skulls

April 17, 2014 7:00 am | by North Carolina State Univ. | News | Comments

Researchers have found that environmental stressors– from the Trail of Tears to the Civil War– led to significant changes in the shape of skulls in the eastern and western bands of the Cherokee people. The findings highlight the role of environmental factors in shaping our physical characteristics.

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Obesity Amplifies Bone, Muscle Loss

April 17, 2014 7:00 am | by Florida State Univ. | News | Comments

Researchers have identified a new syndrome called "osteosarcopenic obesity" that links the deterioration of bone density and muscle mass with obesity.

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Scans May Help Predict Recovery from Vegetative State

April 17, 2014 7:00 am | by The Conversation, Jamie Sleigh, Catherine Warnaby | News | Comments

Positron emission tomography, which looks at energy uptake in different parts of the brain, could be particularly good at determining more accurately which people in a minimally conscious state or suffering from unresponsive wakefulness syndrome might regain consciousness.

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Meteorites Reveal Clues to Mars' Early Atmosphere

April 17, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Maryland | News | Comments

Geologists who analyzed 40 meteorites that fell to Earth from Mars have unlocked secrets of the Martian atmosphere hidden in the chemical signatures of these ancient rocks. Their study shows that the atmospheres of Mars and Earth diverged in important ways very early in the 4.6-billion-year evolution of our solar system.

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Method Shows Excitons in Motion

April 17, 2014 7:00 am | by MIT, David Chandler | News | Comments

A new technique has revealed the motion of energy-carrying quasiparticles, called excitons, in solid material for the first time.

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Floating Nuclear Plants Could Eliminate Disasters

April 17, 2014 7:00 am | by MIT, David Chandler | Videos | Comments

A new design for nuclear plants built on floating platforms, modeled after those used for offshore oil drilling, could help avoid disasters in the future. Such floating plants would be designed to be automatically cooled by the surrounding seawater in a worst-case scenario, which would indefinitely prevent any melting of fuel rods, or escape of radioactive material.

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Scientist of the Week: Thiago Verano-Braga

April 17, 2014 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | News | Comments

Verano-Braga and a team from the Univ. of Southern Denmark discovered that nanosilver can penetrate our cells and cause damage.

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Research Yields Better, Greener Polyester from Cork

April 17, 2014 7:00 am | by ACS | News | Comments

On the scale of earth-friendly materials, you’d be hard pressed to find two that are farther apart than polyester and cork. In an unexpected twist, however, scientists are figuring out how to extract a natural, waterproof, antibacterial version of the former from the latter.

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Barcode Makes Counterfeiting Harder

April 17, 2014 7:00 am | by ACS | News | Comments

Counterfeiters, beware: scientists are reporting the development of a new type of inexpensive barcode that, when added to documents or currency, could foil attempts at making forgeries.

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