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Research Explains Beetle’s Defense Mechanism

May 4, 2015 7:00 am | by MIT, David Chandler | Videos | Comments

When disturbed or attacked, bombardier beetles produce an internal chemical explosion in their abdomen and then expel a jet of boiling, irritating liquid toward their attackers. Researchers had been baffled by the half-inch beetles’ ability to produce this noxious spray while avoiding any physical damage. Now, that conundrum has been solved.

Guidelines Improve Food Safety at Well-intentioned Gardens

May 1, 2015 3:00 pm | by North Carolina State Univ. | News | Comments

School and community gardens have become increasingly popular in recent years, but the people...

Cutting One Sugary Drink a Day Lowers Diabetes Risk

May 1, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Cambridge | News | Comments

Drinking water or unsweetened tea or coffee in place of one sugary drink per day can reduce the...

Female Brains Up Reward Response at Sight of Crying Babies

May 1, 2015 7:00 am | by Indiana Univ. Bloomington | News | Comments

Researchers studying postpartum depression have found that the hormone oxytocin increased...

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Female Brains Up Reward Response at Sight of Crying Babies

May 1, 2015 7:00 am | by Indiana Univ. Bloomington | News | Comments

Researchers studying postpartum depression have found that the hormone oxytocin increased activation in a reward-sensitive area of the brain when women viewed images of crying infants, but not when they viewed images of smiling ones. The researchers say oxytocin might spark the motivation to help an upset baby.

Hungarian Toxic Waste Spill May Cause Catastrophe

April 30, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Pablo Gorondi | News | Comments

Greenpeace says leaking, rusted barrels full of toxic materials stored in the open at a defunct chemical company in Hungary could cause an environmental catastrophe. The government says it will take months before the chemicals are removed and the area can be cleaned up.

Nanoengineering May Be Key to Reducing Foodborne Bacteria

April 30, 2015 3:00 pm | by Wayne State Univ. | News | Comments

Nearly half of foodborne illnesses in the U.S. from 1998 through 2008 have been attributed to contaminated fresh produce. The current strategy remains industrial washing of the product in chlorinated water. However, because of sanitizer ineffectiveness there is an urgent need to identify alternative antimicrobials, particularly those of natural origin.


Pig Skin Key to Treating Human Neurological Diseases

April 30, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Georgia | News | Comments

A pig's skin cells may hold the key to new treatments and cures for devastating human neurological diseases. Researchers have discovered a process of turning pig induced pluripotent stem cells into induced neural stem cells.

Q&A: Thomas Albrecht-Schmitt and the Transitional Element

April 30, 2015 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | News | Comments

Laboratory Equipment’s scientist of the week is Thomas Albrecht-Schmitt from Florida State University. He and a team learned that californium, a little know element, is a transitional element, meaning it links one part of the Periodic Table of Elements to the next.

Turning All Donated Blood into a Universal Type

April 30, 2015 7:00 am | by ACS | News | Comments

Every day, thousands of people need donated blood. But only blood without A- or B-type antigens, such as type O, can be given to all of those in need, and it’s usually in short supply. Now, scientists are reporting an efficient way to transform A and B blood into a neutral type that can be given to any patient.

Urine Provides Clues to How Obesity Causes Disease

April 30, 2015 7:00 am | by Imperial College London | News | Comments

Scientists have identified chemical markers in urine associated with body mass, providing insights into how obesity causes disease. A new study shows that obesity has a “metabolic signature” detectable in urine samples, pointing to processes that could be targeted to mitigate its effects on health.

Artificial Photosynthesis Key to Fuels, Plastics, Medicine

April 29, 2015 3:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

The global industrial sector accounts for more than half of the total energy used every year. Now, scientists are inventing a new artificial photosynthetic system that could one day reduce industry’s dependence on fossil fuel-derived energy by powering part of the sector with solar energy and bacteria.


Brewers to Produce Beer from Sewage

April 29, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Steven Dubois | News | Comments

Some companies boast of making beer with spring water from majestic mountains. They won't be competing in the upcoming Pure Water Brew Challenge, in which an Oregon wastewater treatment operator has asked home brewers to make great-tasting beer from hops, barley, yeast and the key, not-so-secret ingredient: treated sewer water.

Crowdfunding to Pay for Study of Internet-famous Cat

April 29, 2015 3:00 pm | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | News | Comments

Lil Bub is a cat who has gotten big on Tumblr, reddit, Facebook and YouTube. People think she is adorable as she has a “multitude of genetic anomalies” that add up to a face many find appealing. Now, scientists are using a crowdfunding site, explicitly intended to fund research, to raise money to sequence Lil Bub’s genome to learn about her specific DNA mutations.

Less Pollution May Be Linked to Heavier Babies

April 29, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Women in the Chinese capital in the final stage of pregnancy during the 2008 Beijing Olympics— when officials strictly controlled air pollution— gave birth to heavier babies than in years when the city was smoggier. The babies were, on average, 23 grams heavier than those born either a year earlier or a year later.

Recognizing Expressions Makes Robots More Human

April 29, 2015 3:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

Most people are naturally adept at reading facial expressions to tell what others are feeling. Now, scientists have developed ultra-sensitive, wearable sensors that can do the same thing. Their technology could help robot developers make their machines more human.

Today in Lab History: Thomas Hancock Patents Rubber for Clothing

April 29, 2015 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | News | Comments

On April 29, 1820, Thomas Hancock patented India-rubber springs for various types of clothing such as gloves, suspenders and slip-on boots. Until then, rubber had had limited uses because of its poor properties, being hard and liable to crack in the cold and sticky in heat.


Chemistry Behind Superheroes

April 29, 2015 7:00 am | by ACS | Videos | Comments

Science fans, assemble! On May 1, the world's top superhero team is back to save the day in "Avengers: Age of Ultron." Here’s the chemistry behind these iconic heroes' gear and superpowers.

In the Beginning, Water May Have Been Abundant

April 29, 2015 7:00 am | by Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics | News | Comments

How soon after the Big Bang could water have existed? Not right away, because water molecules contain oxygen and oxygen had to be formed in the first stars. But, new theoretical work finds that, despite the complications, water vapor could have been just as abundant in pockets of space a billion years after the Big Bang as it is today.

Forty Years On, Agent Orange’s Harm Remains

April 28, 2015 3:25 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | News | Comments

The final shots in the Vietnam War were fired 40 years ago this week. But for some, the war never ended. Thousands of veterans have been haunted physically by the use of the defoliant Agent Orange. From cancers to neurological diseases, to diabetes and congenital birth defects in children, Agent Orange has been tied to a litany of diseases for those who served in Southeast Asia– and even those who never set foot in the country.

Chemo-brain is Real

April 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of British Columbia | News | Comments

Research shows that chemotherapy can lead to excessive mind wandering and an inability to concentrate. Dubbed “chemo-brain,” the negative cognitive effects of the cancer treatment have long been suspected, but the study is the first to explain why patients have difficulty paying attention.

Gov't Responds to Splotchy Teeth, Lowers Fluoride in Water

April 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Mike Stobbe | News | Comments

The government is lowering the recommended amount of fluoride added to drinking water for the first time in more than 50 years. Some people are getting too much fluoride because it is also now put in toothpaste, mouthwash and other products, health officials said today while announcing the change.

Laughs from Lab: April 27, 2015

April 27, 2015 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | News | Comments

The editors of Laboratory Equipment want you to start your week with a smile on your face. With years of science experience, we've heard every science joke there is. So, here’s a science joke you might like. Q: What happened when the chemist told a joke?

Scientists Make Algae-based, Sustainable Surfboard

April 27, 2015 7:00 am | by UC San Diego | Videos | Comments

UC San Diego’s efforts to produce innovative and sustainable solutions to the world’s environmental problems have resulted in a partnership with the region’s surfing industry to create the world’s first algae-based, sustainable surfboard.

Pepsi to Drop Aspartame

April 24, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Candice Choi | News | Comments

PepsiCo says it's dropping aspartame from Diet Pepsi in response to customer feedback and replacing it with sucralose, another artificial sweetener commonly known as Splenda. The decision to swap sweeteners comes as Americans keep turning away from popular diet sodas.

Hospitals Don’t Do Enough to Fight Deadly Infection

April 24, 2015 11:39 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | News | Comments

About half of U.S. hospitals aren’t taking key steps to reduce an infection that kills tens of thousands of Americans each year, according to a new study. Roughly half of 400 hospitals surveyed did not adopt strict limits on the overuse of antibiotics and other drugs that can strengthen the Clostridium difficile bacterium.

X-rays Key to Better Blood Pressure Drugs

April 24, 2015 7:00 am | by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory | News | Comments

An experiment has revealed, in atomic detail, how a hypertension drug binds to a cellular receptor that plays a key role in regulating blood pressure. The results could help scientists design new drugs that better control blood pressure while limiting side effects.

Chemists Isolate Silicon Oxides

April 24, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Georgia | News | Comments

In an effort that reaches back to the 19th century laboratories of Europe, a discovery by chemistry researchers establishes new research possibilities for silicon chemistry and the semiconductor industry. The study gives details on the first time chemists have been able to trap molecular species of silicon oxides.

New Genomes Bring Mammoths One Step Closer to Resurrection

April 24, 2015 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Malcolm Ritter | News | Comments

Scientists are getting their best look yet at the DNA code for the woolly mammoth, thanks to work that could be a step toward bringing back the extinct beast. Researchers deciphered the complete DNA code, or genomes, of two mammoths. The new genomes are far more refined than a previous one announced in 2008.

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