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Research Finds Key to Cheaper Biofuels, Improved Crops

October 31, 2014 7:00 am | by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | News | Comments

By manipulating a plant’s metabolic pathways, two scientists have figured out a way to genetically rewire plants to allow for an exceptionally high level of control over the spatial pattern of gene expression, while at the same time boosting expression to very high levels. Now, they have launched a startup company to apply this technology for developing low-cost biofuels that could be cost-competitive with gasoline and corn ethanol.

Water-fueled Microrockets Neutralize Threats

October 31, 2014 7:00 am | by ACS | News | Comments

With fears growing over chemical and biological weapons falling into the wrong hands, scientists...

Engineering Boosts Biogas Production in Microbes

October 31, 2014 7:00 am | by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | News | Comments

In the on-going effort to develop advanced biofuels as a clean, green and sustainable source of...

Scientists Look at Chemistry of Death

October 31, 2014 7:00 am | by ACS | Videos | Comments

What happens when you die? It's a spooky question, but it doesn't have to be. Even...

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Air Around Oil, Gas Sites May Be Dangerous

October 30, 2014 2:00 pm | by BioMed Central | News | Comments

New research suggests air pollutants released by unconventional oil and gas production are well over recommended levels in the U.S. The study is the first to be based on community sampling by people who live near production sites and could be used to supplement official air-quality monitoring programs.

Do You Know the Truth About Your Shrimp?

October 30, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Cain Burdeau | News | Comments

An advocacy group says it found about 30 percent of 143 shrimp products bought from 111 vendors were not what the label said. Cheap imported farm-raised shrimp is being sold as prized wild-caught Gulf shrimp, common shrimp sold as premium shrimp and shrimp of all kinds sold with no indication whatsoever about their origin.

Early BPA Exposure Linked to Later Food Intolerance

October 30, 2014 2:00 pm | by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology | News | Comments

Scientists have shown that there is a link between perinatal exposure to BPA at low doses and the risk of developing food intolerance in later life. This research, involving rats, suggests that early life exposure at a dose significantly below the current human safety limit set by the FDA affects developing immune systems, predisposing offspring to food intolerance in adulthood.

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Clean Smells Can Be Bad for Air

October 30, 2014 7:00 am | by Drexel Univ. | News | Comments

Some of the same chemical reactions that occur in the atmosphere as a result of smog and ozone are actually taking place in your house while you are cleaning. A researcher is taking a closer look at these reactions, hoping to help to determine what byproducts these sweet-smelling compounds are adding to the air while we are using them to remove germs and odors.

Most Ammonium in Ocean Didn't Come from Humans

October 30, 2014 7:00 am | by Brown Univ. | News | Comments

To understand the extent to which human activities are polluting Earth’s atmosphere and oceans, it’s important to distinguish human-made pollutants from compounds that occur naturally. New research, based on two years of rainwater samples taken in Bermuda, suggests that ammonium deposited over the open ocean comes almost entirely from natural marine sources.

Molecule Protects Plants from the Harsh Sun

October 30, 2014 7:00 am | by ACS | News | Comments

Plants rely on sunlight to make their food, but they also need protection from its harmful rays, just like humans do. Now, scientists have discovered a group of molecules in plants that shields them from sun damage.

Scientists Rank Thousands of Chemicals by Exposure Level

October 29, 2014 2:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

An overwhelming number of chemicals from household and industrial products are in the environment– and hundreds are in our bodies. But for most of them, scientists have yet to determine whether they cause health problems. Now, they've taken the first step toward doing that by estimating which substances people are exposed to the most.

Scientists Make Human Stomach Tissue with Stem Cells

October 29, 2014 2:00 pm | by Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center | News | Comments

Scientists used pluripotent stem cells to generate functional, three-dimensional human stomach tissue in a laboratory– creating an unprecedented tool for researching the development and diseases of an organ central to several public health crises, ranging from cancer to diabetes.

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Contamination Likely Caused Puzzling Study Results

October 29, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Michigan | News | Comments

Laboratory contaminants likely explain the results of a recent study claiming that complete genes can pass from foods we eat into our blood, according to a molecular biologist who reexamined data from the controversial research paper. The findings highlight an underappreciated problem— contamination of laboratory samples— with one of the most popular and powerful new tools of the discipline: high-throughput sequencing.

Lab-made Enzyme May Explain Origins of Life

October 29, 2014 2:00 pm | by The Scripps Research Institute | News | Comments

Mimicking natural evolution in a test tube, scientists have devised an enzyme with a unique property that might have been crucial to the origin of life on Earth. Aside from illuminating one possible path for life's beginnings, the achievement is likely to yield a powerful tool for evolving new and useful molecules.

Shiitake Extract May Treat HPV

October 29, 2014 7:00 am | by The Univ. of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School | News | Comments

An extract from shiitake mushrooms appears to be effective for the eradication of human papillomavirus (HPV), according to a pilot clinical trial. Ten HPV-positive women were treated orally with the extract, AHCC, once daily for up to six months. Five achieved a negative HPV test result– three with confirmed eradication after stopping AHCC.

Test Needs One Drop of Blood to Check Vitamin B12

October 28, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of British Columbia | News | Comments

Researchers have developed a novel method to test for vitamin B12 deficiency that is sensitive enough to work on anyone, including newborn babies and large swaths of the general population.

Researchers Learn How Cells Sense, Respond to Chemicals

October 28, 2014 7:00 am | by Johns Hopkins Medicine | Videos | Comments

Amoebas aren’t the only cells that crawl: movement is crucial to development, wound healing and immune response in animals, not to mention cancer metastasis. In two new studies, researchers have answered long-standing questions about how complex cells sense the chemical trails that show them where to go— and the role of cells’ internal “skeleton” in responding to those cues.

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Scientists Find New Uses for Diamonds

October 27, 2014 2:00 pm | by Cardiff Univ. | News | Comments

Nanodiamonds are providing scientists with new possibilities for accurate measurements of processes inside living cells with potential to improve drug delivery and cancer therapeutics.

Engineered Cells Reveal Neurochemical Activity

October 27, 2014 7:00 am | by UC San Diego | News | Comments

Scientists have created cells with fluorescent dyes that change color in response to specific neurochemicals. By implanting these cells into living mammalian brains, they have shown how neurochemical signaling changes as a food reward drives learning.

Researchers Learn How Nature Makes Powerful Antibiotic

October 27, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Illinois | News | Comments

Researchers have made a breakthrough in understanding how a powerful antibiotic agent is made in nature. Their discovery solves a decades-old mystery and opens up new avenues of research into thousands of similar molecules, many of which are likely to be medically useful.

Amino Acids Key to Gold Extraction Method

October 24, 2014 2:00 pm | by ScienceNetwork WA | News | Comments

Scientists have developed a gold and copper extraction process using an amino acid–hydrogen peroxide system that could provide an environmentally friendly and cheaper alternative to conventional methods.

Liquid Helium Yields Charged Molecules

October 24, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Leicester | News | Comments

Researchers have developed a completely new way of forming charged molecules that offers tremendous potential for new areas of chemical research. They discovered helium atoms can acquire an excess negative charge that enables them to become aggressive new chemical reagents.

Study Reveals Secrets of Carbonic Acid

October 24, 2014 7:00 am | by Berkely Lab | News | Comments

Carbonic acid, the hydrated form of carbon dioxide, is critical to both the health of the atmosphere and the human body. However, because it exists for only a fraction of a second before changing into a mix of hydrogen and bicarbonate ions, carbonic acid has remained an enigma. Now, a study has yielded valuable information about carbonic acid with important implications for both geological and biological concerns.

The Chemistry of Candy

October 24, 2014 7:00 am | by ACS | Videos | Comments

Ever wonder why your favorite sweets taste, well, sweet? Whether they’re made with sugar or artificial sweeteners, it all comes down to chemistry, and a very special shape known as the "sweetness triangle."

Synthetic Biology on Normal Paper Yields Biosensors

October 24, 2014 7:00 am | by Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering | News | Comments

New achievements in synthetic biology will allow complex cellular recognition reactions to proceed outside of living cells. There could one day be inexpensive, shippable and accurate test kits that use saliva or a drop of blood to identify specific disease or infection— a feat that could be accomplished anywhere in the world, within minutes and without laboratory support, just by using a pocket–sized paper diagnostic tool.

Researchers: Comet is Smelly

October 24, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Rotten eggs, horse urine, formaldehyde, bitter almonds, alcohol, vinegar and a hint of sweet ether. That heady bouquet, according to researchers, is the “perfume” of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Researchers Break Barrier to Engineer First Protein Microfiber

October 23, 2014 2:00 pm | by New York Univ. Polytechnic School of Engineering | News | Comments

Researchers have broken new ground in the development of proteins that form specialized fibers used in medicine and nanotechnology. For as long as scientists have been able to create new proteins that are capable of self-assembling into fibers, their work has taken place on the nanoscale. Now, this achievement has been realized on the microscale.

Patch May Replace Syringe in Medical Diagnostics

October 23, 2014 7:00 am | by ACS | News | Comments

Drawing blood and testing it is standard practice for many medical diagnostics. As a less painful alternative, scientists are developing skin patches that could, one day, replace the syringe.

Software Finds Tiny Leaks in Natural Gas Pipelines

October 22, 2014 2:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

Major leaks from oil and gas pipelines have led to home evacuations, explosions, millions of dollars in lawsuit payouts and valuable natural resources escaping into the air, ground and water. Now, scientists say they have developed a new software-based method that finds leaks even when they’re small, which could help prevent serious incidents— and save money for customers and industry.

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