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The Lead

Obama Administration Wants New Smog Standard

November 26, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Dina Cappiello | News | Comments

A stricter smog standard proposed by the Obama administration joins a string of historic— and controversial— moves by the administration to improve air quality. The Environmental Protection Agency is announcing a preferred range of 65 to 70 parts per billion to reduce the amount of smog-forming pollution allowed in the air.

Reason to be Thankful: Turkeys May Save Your Life

November 26, 2014 1:00 pm | by Brigham Young Univ. | News | Comments

While the turkey you eat on Thursday will bring your stomach happiness and could probably kick-...

System Delivers DNA to Fight Diseases

November 26, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. at Buffalo | News | Comments

A new hybrid vehicle is under development. Its performance isn’t measured by the distance it...

Research Yields Gasoline from Sawdust

November 26, 2014 7:00 am | by KU Leuven | News | Comments

Researchers have successfully converted sawdust into building blocks for gasoline. Using a new...

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Centipedes Shed Light on Life on Earth

November 26, 2014 7:00 am | by Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem | News | Comments

Centipedes, those many-legged creatures that startle us in our homes and gardens, have been genetically sequenced for the first time. In a new study, an international team of over 100 scientists has revealed how this humble arthropod’s DNA gave them new insight into how life developed on our planet.

Material of Single-atom Layers Snaps Together Like LEGO

November 26, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Kansas | News | Comments

Physicists have fabricated an innovative substance from two different atomic sheets that interlock much like LEGO toy bricks. The researchers said the new material— made of a layer of graphene and a layer of tungsten disulfide— could be used in solar cells and flexible electronics.

System Delivers DNA to Fight Diseases

November 26, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. at Buffalo | News | Comments

A new hybrid vehicle is under development. Its performance isn’t measured by the distance it travels, but rather the delivery of its cargo: vaccines that contain genetically engineered DNA to fight HIV, cancer, influenza and other maladies.

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Brain Region May Be More Vulnerable to Disease

November 26, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Oxford | News | Comments

Researchers have found a network of brain regions that appears to be more vulnerable to unhealthy aging– such as Alzheimer's disease– and also seems susceptible to disorders that emerge in young people, such as schizophrenia.

Vegetable Oil May Fight Gastric Disease Bacteria

November 26, 2014 7:00 am | by UC San Diego | News | Comments

The bacterium Helicobacter pylori is strongly associated with gastric ulcers and cancer. To combat the infection, researchers developed LipoLLA, a therapeutic nanoparticle that contains linolenic acid, a component in vegetable oils. In mice, LipoLLA was safe and more effective against H. pylori infection than standard antibiotic treatments.

Supreme Court Considers Mercury Limits

November 25, 2014 2:12 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The Supreme Court is stepping into a new case about Obama administration environmental rules, agreeing to review a ruling that upholds emission standards for mercury and other hazardous air pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants.

Toxin Discovery Key to New Drugs

November 25, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Adelaide | News | Comments

Research that provides a new understanding of how bacterial toxins target human cells is set to have major implications for the development of novel drugs and treatment strategies.

Vultures have Extreme Gut for Gross Diet

November 25, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Copenhagen | News | Comments

How is it that vultures can live on a diet of carrion that would at least lead to severe food poisoning, and more likely, kill most other animals? Although their diet of meat that is both rotting and liberally contaminated with feces would likely kill most other animals, they are apparently immune to the cocktail of deadly microbes within their dinner.

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Researchers Create Pain in a Dish

November 25, 2014 7:00 am | by Harvard Stem Cell Institute | News | Comments

After more than six years of intensive effort, and repeated failures that made the quest at times seem futile, researchers have successfully converted mouse and human skin cells into pain-sensing neurons that respond to a number of stimuli that cause acute and inflammatory pain.

Theory Explains How Glass Transforms into Solid

November 25, 2014 7:00 am | by NYU | News | Comments

In their theoretical work, spurred by laboratory observations of colloidal glasses, researchers have proposed to use 19th century concepts developed by Maxwell, the founder of electromagnetism, to study the stability of mechanical structures, like colloidal glasses.

Nanoparticles Infiltrate, Kill Cancer from Within

November 25, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Cincinnati | News | Comments

In contrast to conventional cancer therapy, a team has developed several novel designs for iron oxide based nanoparticles that detect, diagnose and destroy cancer cells using photo-thermal therapy, or PTT. PTT uses the nanoparticles to focus light-induced heat energy only within the tumor, harming no adjacent normal cells.

Scientists Model Dynamic Instability of Cell's Skeleton

November 25, 2014 7:00 am | by Rice Univ. | News | Comments

New computer models that show how microtubules age are the first to match experimental results and help explain the dynamic processes behind an essential component of every living cell. The results could help scientists fine-tune medications that manipulate microtubules to treat cancer and other diseases.

What Happens When You Eat Too Much Turkey?

November 25, 2014 7:00 am | Videos | Comments

The season of giving is often also the season of over-indulging at the dinner table. As Thanksgiving approaches, chemists take a look down at our stomachs to find out what happens when you overeat.

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Bomb-sniffing Dogs Shouldn't Be Trained on Pseudo-explosives

November 24, 2014 2:00 pm | by Springer | News | Comments

When it comes to teaching dogs how to sniff out explosives, there’s nothing quite like the real thing to make sure they’re trained right. That’s the message from researchers, after finding that dogs that are trained with so-called pseudo-explosives could not reliably sniff out real explosives— and vice versa.

Extremophiles May Be Key to Antibacterial Drugs

November 24, 2014 7:00 am | by Vanderbilt Univ. | News | Comments

One of the most mysterious forms of life may turn out to be a rich and untapped source of antibacterial drugs. The mysterious life form is Archaea, a family of single-celled organisms that thrive in environments like boiling hydrothermal pools and smoking deep sea vents that are too extreme for most other species to survive.

Nanosilver Can Upset the Gut

November 20, 2014 7:00 am | by Queen’s Univ. | News | Comments

New research has shown nanosilver, which is often added to water purification units, can upset your gut. The discovery is important as people are being exposed to more and more nanoparticles every day.

Paper May Enable More Accessible Healthcare

November 20, 2014 7:00 am | by ACS | News | Comments

Flexible electronic sensors based on paper— an inexpensive material— have the potential to cut the price of a wide range of medical tools, from helpful robots to diagnostic tests. Scientists have now developed a fast, low-cost way of making these sensors by directly printing conductive ink on paper.

Cleaner Heating Can Prevent Winter Health Problems

November 19, 2014 2:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

With temperatures dipping, homeowners are firing up their heaters. But systems that require heating oil release fine particles outside that could have harmful health effects. Regulations to curb these emissions in New York City could save hundreds of lives, a new study has found.

Blueberries Don't Help You See in the Dark

November 19, 2014 2:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

Blueberries are super stars among health food advocates, who tout the fruit for not only promoting heart health, better memory and digestion, but also for improving night vision. Scientists have taken a closer look at this latter claim and have found reason to doubt that the popular berry helps most healthy people see better in the dark.

Technique Could Eliminate Animal Testing

November 19, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Cambridge | News | Comments

Scientists report a new method for establishing whether chemical compounds are safe for human use without in vivo testing, based on so-called "molecular initiating events" at the boundary between chemistry and biology.

Light May Skew Lab Tests on Nanoparticles' Health Effects

November 19, 2014 2:00 pm | by NIST | News | Comments

Truth shines a light into dark places. But sometimes to find that truth in the first place, it’s better to stay in the dark. That’s what recent findings show about methods for testing the safety of nanoparticles. It turns out that previous tests indicating that some nanoparticles can damage our DNA may have been skewed by inadvertent light exposure in the lab.

Nanoparticles Create Two Sensors in One

November 19, 2014 7:00 am | by MIT, Anne Trafton | News | Comments

Chemists have developed new nanoparticles that can simultaneously perform magnetic resonance imaging and fluorescent imaging in living animals. Such particles could help scientists to track specific molecules produced in the body, monitor a tumor’s environment or determine whether drugs have successfully reached their targets.

Chemists Develop Nanoreactor for Discovering Reactions

November 18, 2014 2:00 pm | by Stanford Univ. | News | Comments

A new computer model can identify unknown chemical mechanisms that could improve energy production and storage, or the development of new medicines.

Tests Find Water Clean After Energy Boom

November 18, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Matthew Brown | News | Comments

Random testing of shallow groundwater in the Northern Plains oil patch found no evidence of contamination from an energy boom that's already seen more than 8,500 wells drilled, federal scientists have said.

Artificial Muscle Can 'Remember' Movements

November 14, 2014 3:02 pm | by Univ. of Cambridge | News | Comments

Researchers from the Univ. of Cambridge have developed artificial muscles that can learn and recall specific movements, the first time that motion control and memory have been combined in a synthetic material. The "muscles," made from smooth plastic, could eventually be used in a wide range of applications where mimicking the movement of natural muscle would be an advantage.

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