Top Stories

New MSU Research Addresses Gap Between Research and Practice in Sustainable Agriculture
January 18, 2017 10:43 AM - Michigan State University

Michigan State University-led research has found a big difference in the yields produced by alternative agricultural practices in commercial fields compared with the same practices in the small experimental plots ordinarily used to test them.

New insights in genetic defect allow prevention of fatal illnesses in children
January 18, 2017 10:37 AM - VIB

A team of scientists led by prof. Adrian Liston (VIB–KU Leuven) and prof. Isabelle Meyts (UZ Leuven – KU Leuven) were able to characterize a new genetic immunodeficiency resulting from a mutation in a gene named STAT2. This mutation causes patients to be extremely vulnerable to normally mild childhood illnesses such as rotavirus and enterovirus. Prof. Liston’s comprehensive analysis of the genetic defect allows clinicians to provide children with the proper therapies before illnesses prove fatal. The findings of the research have been published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Extreme Space Weather-Induced Electricity Blackouts Could Cost U.S. More Than $40 Billion Daily
January 18, 2017 10:12 AM - American Geophysical Union

New study finds more than half the loss occurs outside the blackout zone.

The daily U.S. economic cost from solar storm-induced electricity blackouts could be in the tens of billions of dollars, with more than half the loss from indirect costs outside the blackout zone, according to a new study.

Biosimilars Create Opportunities for Sustainable Cancer Care
January 18, 2017 09:46 AM - European Society For Medical Oncology - ESMO

Lugano, Switzerland – Biosimilars create opportunities for sustainable cancer care, says the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in a position paper published in ESMO Open. The document outlines approval standards for biosimilars, how to safely introduce them into the clinic, and the potential benefits for patients and healthcare systems.

How Far Can Technology Go To Stave Off Climate Change?
January 18, 2017 09:26 AM - Yale University

The U.S. now has two coal-burning power plants that avoid dumping carbon dioxide into the air. Petra Nova in Texas and Kemper in Mississippi use technology to stop CO2 in the smokestack and before combustion, respectively. Unfortunately, that makes two out of more than 400 coal-fired power plants in the U.S., the rest of which collectively pour 1.4 billion metric tons of the colorless, odorless greenhouse gas into the atmosphere each year. Even Kemper and Petra Nova do not capture all of the CO2 from the coal they burn, and the captured CO2 is used to scour more oil out of the ground, which is then burned, adding yet more CO2 to the atmosphere. The carbon conundrum grows more complex — and dangerous — with each passing year. 

Changing atmospheric conditions may contribute to stronger ocean wave activity on the Antarctic Peninsula
January 18, 2017 09:15 AM - Colorado State University

Over the past few years, a large fracture has grown across a large floating ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula. The world is watching the ice shelf, now poised to break off an iceberg the size of Delaware into the ocean.

It’s not a new phenomenon; this “thumb” of Antarctica, which juts out into the stormy Southern Ocean, has lost more than 28,000 square kilometers of floating ice — almost as large as Massachusetts — over the past half-century. This has included the complete disintegration of four ice shelves, the floating extensions of glaciers.

Periods of Greater Atlantic Hurricane Activity Linked to Weaker U.S. Landfalls
January 18, 2017 08:46 AM - NOAA

During periods of greater Atlantic hurricane activity, a protective barrier of vertical wind shear and cooler ocean temperatures forms along the U.S. East Coast, weakening storms as they approach land, according to a new study by NCEI scientist, Jim Kossin. In his paper, “Hurricane Intensification along United States Coast Suppressed during Active Hurricane Periods (link is external),” published in Nature, Kossin identifies this “buffer zone” and describes its relationship with both active and inactive periods of Atlantic hurricane activity.

Climate change to shift global pattern of mild weather
January 18, 2017 07:01 AM - NOAA via EurekAlert!

As scientists work to predict how climate change may affect hurricanes, droughts, floods, blizzards and other severe weather, there's one area that's been overlooked: mild weather. But no more.

NOAA and Princeton University scientists have produced the first global analysis of how climate change may affect the frequency and location of mild weather - days that are perfect for an outdoor wedding, baseball, fishing, boating, hiking or a picnic. Scientists defined "mild" weather as temperatures between 64 and 86 degrees F, with less than a half inch of rain and dew points below 68 degrees F, indicative of low humidity.

TGen identifies compound that could improve drug development against brain cancer
January 17, 2017 04:47 PM - The Translational Genomics Research Institute

A study led by scientists at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) has identified "a potent inhibitory compound" in the elusive hunt for an improved treatment against glioblastoma, the most common and deadly type of adult brain cancer.

Aurintricarboxylic Acid (ATA) is a chemical compound that in laboratory tests was shown to block the chemical cascade that otherwise allows glioblastoma cells to invade normal brain tissue and resist both chemo and radiation therapy, according to a TGen-led report published today in the scientific journal Oncotarget.

 

Race for a Better Fuel Begins with NREL Researchers
January 17, 2017 04:32 PM - National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Watching cars zoom around and around an oval track isn't Jesse Hensley's idea of a good time. Making them run on biofuel would be.

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