Top Stories

Heavily used pesticide linked to breathing problems in farmworkers' children
August 16, 2017 04:49 PM - University of California – Berkeley

Elemental sulfur, the most heavily used pesticide in California, may harm the respiratory health of children living near farms that use the pesticide, according to new research led by UC Berkeley.

In a study of children in the Salinas Valley’s agricultural community, researchers found significant associations between elemental sulfur use and poorer respiratory health. The study linked reduced lung function, more asthma-related symptoms and higher asthma medication use in children living about a half-mile or less from recent elemental sulfur applications compared to unexposed children.

Changing Tides: Lake Michigan Could Best Support Lake Trout and Steelhead
August 16, 2017 04:37 PM - US Geological Survey

Invasive mussels and less nutrients from tributaries have altered the Lake Michigan ecosystem making it more conducive to the stocking of lake trout and steelhead than Chinook salmon, according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey and Michigan State University study.

Reduced stocking of Chinook salmon, however, would still support a substantial population of this highly desirable recreational salmon species, which is a large contributor to the Great Lakes multi-billion-dollar recreational fishery.

“Findings from our study can help managers determine the most viable ways to enhance valuable recreational fisheries in Lake Michigan, especially when the open waters of the lake are declining in productivity,” said Yu-Chun Kao, an MSU post-doctoral scientist and the lead author of the report.

Print No Evil: Three-Layer Technique Helps Secure Additive Manufacturing
August 16, 2017 01:56 PM - Georgia Institute of Technology

Additive manufacturing, also known as 3-D printing, is replacing conventional fabrication processes in critical areas ranging from aerospace components to medical implants. But because the process relies on software to control the 3-D printer, additive manufacturing could become a target for malicious attacks – as well as for unscrupulous operators who may cut corners.

Smart electrical grids more vulnerable to cyber attacks
August 16, 2017 01:39 PM - Elsevier

Electricity distribution systems in the USA are gradually being modernized and transposed to smart grids, which make use of two-way communication and computer processing. This is making them increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks. In a recent paper in Elsevier’s International Journal of Critical Infrastructure Protection, Dr. Sujeet Shenoi and his colleagues from the Tandy School of Computer Science, University of Tulsa, US, have analyzed these security issues. Their report provides crucial keys to ensuring the security of our power supply.

"Sophisticated cyberattacks on advanced metering infrastructures are a clear and present danger," Dr. Shenoi pointed out. Such attacks affect both customers and distribution companies and can take various forms, such as stealing customer data (allowing a burglar to determine if a residence is unoccupied, for instance), taking power from particular customers (resulting in increased power bills), disrupting the grid and denying customers power on a localized or widespread basis.

Hypothermia After Stroke Reduces Dynamin Levels and Neuronal Cell Death
August 16, 2017 01:14 PM - Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

A new study has shown that following brain ischemia caused by cerebral blockage in mice both immediate and delayed reduction in body temperature helped limit cell death and levels of a protein called dynamin. These results, which suggest that dynamin may have a role in—and be a potential drug target for—stroke-related neuronal cell death, are reported in Therapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Journal website until September 16, 2017.

Habitat destruction and poaching is threatening the Sungazer
August 16, 2017 01:05 PM - University of the Witwatersrand

The Sungazer (Smaug giganteus), a dragon-like lizard species endemic to the Highveld regions of South Africa, is facing an assault on two fronts as farming and industrialisation encroaches on its natural habitat – which already consist of only a several hundred square kilometres globally – while the illegal global pet trade is adding pressure on pushing the species into extinction.

New Report Outlines Research Agenda to Better Understand the Relationship Among Microbiomes, Indoor Environments, and Human Health
August 16, 2017 01:02 PM - National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Even with a growing body of research on microorganisms and humans in indoor environments, many of their interconnections remain unknown, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report proposes a research agenda to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the formation, dynamics, and functions of indoor microbiomes that can guide improvements to current and future buildings as well as enhance human health and well-being.

New Tool Aims to Make Surgery Safer by Helping Doctors See Nerves
August 16, 2017 12:54 PM - The Optical Society

During operations, it can be difficult for surgeons to avoid severing crucial nerves because they look so much like other tissue. A new noninvasive approach that uses polarized light to make nerves stand out from other tissue could help surgeons avoid accidentally injuring nerves or assist them in identifying nerves in need of repair.

Antifreeze to improve aeroplanes, ice cream and organ transplants
August 16, 2017 12:51 PM - University of Warwick

The design of airplane wings and storing organs for transplant could both become safer and more effective, thanks to a synthetic antifreeze which prevents the growth of ice crystals, developed by researchers at the University of Warwick.

Turning pollen into a low-cost fertilizer
August 16, 2017 12:48 PM - American Chemical Society

As the world population continues to balloon, agricultural experts puzzle over how farms will produce enough food to keep up with demand. One tactic involves boosting crop yields. Toward that end, scientists have developed a method to make a low-cost, biocompatible fertilizer with carbon dots derived from rapeseed pollen. The study, appearing in ACS Omega, found that applying the carbon dots to hydroponically cultivated lettuce promoted its growth by 50 percent.

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