Top Stories

New brain mapping tool produces higher resolution data during brain surgery

Researchers have developed a new device to map the brain during surgery and distinguish between healthy and diseased tissues. The device provides higher resolution neural readings than existing tools used in the clinic and could enable doctors to perform safer, more precise brain surgeries.

The device is an improved version of a clinical tool called an electrode grid, which is a plastic or silicone-based grid of electrodes that is placed directly on the surface of the brain during surgery to monitor the activity of large groups of neurons. Neurosurgeons use electrode grids to identify which areas of the brain are diseased in order to avoid damaging or removing healthy, functional tissue during operations. Despite their wide use, electrode grids have remained bulky and have not experienced any major advances over the last 20 years.

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A new view of tropical forest emissions

Emissions of isoprene, a compound from plant matter that wields great influence in the atmosphere, are up to three times higher in the Amazon rainforest than scientists have thought, according to new findings published this week in Nature Communications.

The findings come from a team of scientists from the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of California, Irvine. Corresponding authors are Dasa Gu of both UCI and PNNL along with Alex Guenther of UCI.

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Tiny Shells Indicate Big Changes to Global Carbon Cycle

Experiments with tiny, shelled organisms in the ocean suggest big changes to the global carbon cycle are underway, according to a study from the University of California, Davis. 

For the study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, scientists raised foraminifera — single-celled organisms about the size of a grain of sand — at the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratoryunder future, high CO2 conditions.

These tiny organisms, commonly called “forams,” are ubiquitous in marine environments and play a key role in food webs and the ocean carbon cycle.

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UW engineers borrow from electronics to build largest circuits to date in living eukaryotic cells

Living cells must constantly process information to keep track of the changing world around them and arrive at an appropriate response.

Through billions of years of trial and error, evolution has arrived at a mode of information processing at the cellular level. In the microchips that run our computers, information processing capabilities reduce data to unambiguous zeros and ones. In cells, it’s not that simple. DNA, proteins, lipids and sugars are arranged in complex and compartmentalized structures.

But scientists — who want to harness the potential of cells as living computers that can respond to disease, efficiently produce biofuels or develop plant-based chemicals — don’t want to wait for evolution to craft their desired cellular system.

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Sediment from Himalayas may have made 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake more severe

Sediment that eroded from the Himalayas and Tibetan plateau over millions of years was transported thousands of kilometers by rivers and in the Indian Ocean – and became sufficiently thick over time to generate temperatures warm enough to strengthen the sediment and increase the severity of the catastrophic 2004 Sumatra earthquake.

The magnitude 9.2 earthquake on Dec. 26, 2004, generated a massive tsunami that devastated coastal regions of the Indian Ocean. The earthquake and tsunami together killed more than 250,000 people making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in history.

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Why Don't Green Buildings Live Up to Hype on Energy Efficiency?

Not long ago in the southwest of England, a local community set out to replace a 1960s-vintage school with a new building using triple-pane windows and super-insulated walls to achieve the highest possible energy efficiency. The new school proudly opened on the same site as the old one, with the same number of students, and the same head person—and was soon burning more energy in a month than the old building had in a year.

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Effective restoration of aquatic ecosystems

Despite having increased human wellbeing in the past, intense modifications by multiple and interacting pressures have degraded ecosystems and the sustainability of their goods and services. For ecosystem restoration to deliver on multiple environmental and societal targets, the process of restoration must be redesigned to create a unified and scale-dependent approach that integrates natural and social sciences as well as the broader restoration community.

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9 Ways to Lower Your Skin Cancer Risk

Everything under the sun you need to know about protecting your skin.

With summer right ahead, you may be planning to relax poolside or at the beach. But enjoying summer's longer and sunnier days outdoors means your skin is vulnerable to sunburn. Unless you take the right precautions, sun exposure (even if you don't get scorched) can damage your skin, causing wrinkles, age spots and even skin cancer.

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L'Oreal Takes Eco-Certification Mainstream

On Tuesday, L’Oreal achieved silver certification from the nonprofit Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute for its Biolage R.A.W. (Real – Authentic – Wholesome) haircare line, the company announced at the Sustainable Brands conference in Detroit.

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Solar-Powered EV Charging Arrives in the San Joaquin Valley

Some coastal residents might describe Fowler, California, as the middle of nowhere. But it’s smack in the center of the San Joaquin Valley, a region critical for growing food for the rest of the state and much of the U.S. Like much of the Valley, this town of 5,500 people, located a 15-minute drive south of Fresno, struggles with terrible air quality. But a growing movement may soon change that.

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