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NEWS RELEASES - via EurekAlert!

Study shows trees with altered lignin are better for biofuels

( DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory) By engineering a novel enzyme involved in lignin synthesis, scientists at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory and collaborators have altered the lignin in plant cell walls in a way that increases access to biofuel building blocks without inhibiting plant growth.

How the spleen filters blood

( Massachusetts Institute of Technology) MIT engineers have devised a computer model of how slits in the spleen filter blood. The model shows that these slits determine the size, shape, and flexibility of red blood cells.

NIH scientists decode how anthrax toxin proteins might help treat cancerous tumors

( NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) Scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, all parts of NIH, describe how combining engineered anthrax toxin proteins and existing chemotherapy drugs could potentially yield a therapy to reduce or eliminate cancerous tumors. The findings, based on testing in mice, will appear in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Computer model demonstrates how human spleen filters blood

( Carnegie Mellon University) Researchers, led by Carnegie Mellon University and MIT scientists, have created a new computer model that shows how tiny slits in the spleen prevent old, diseased or misshapen red blood cells from re-entering the bloodstream. Their model provides a new tool for studying the spleen's role in controlling diseases that affect the shape of red blood cells, such as malaria and sickle cell anemia, and can be used to develop new diagnostics and therapeutics.

Laser uranium enrichment technology may create new proliferation risks

( Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs) A new laser-based uranium enrichment technology may provide a hard-to-detect pathway to nuclear weapons production, according to a forthcoming paper in the journal Science & Global Security by Ryan Snyder, a physicist with Princeton University's Program on Science and Global Security.

NASA's IMERG measures deadly West Virginia flooding rainfall

( NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) Since June 23, 2016 over two dozen people have been reported killed and hundreds of homes have been destroyed by flooding in West Virginia. Using satellite data, NASA calculated the heavy rainfall that occurred over the state.

New software improves ability to catalog bacterial pathogens

( Washington State University) Washington State University researchers have developed a new software tool that will improve scientists' ability to identify and understand bacterial strains and accelerate vaccine development.

Scientists explain unusual and effective features in perovskite

( Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology) An international team of scientists have described how charge-carrying particles move in perovskite. The journal Science suggests that perovskites could be used in the solar batteries of future. The results that have been published in Physics Review B will help scientists to search for a required perovskite structure by taking into account its fundamental features, rather than at random.

Mobile, phone-based microscopes work well in the field with minimal training

( University Health Network) Handheld, mobile phone-based microscopes can be used in developing countries after minimal training of community laboratory technicians to diagnose intestinal parasites quickly and accurately.

Research!America unveils election blog and map of candidates' views on medical progress

( Research!America) Research!America today unveiled the Campaign for Cures 2016 election blog and an online interactive map of the United States featuring hundreds of quotes on medical progress from candidates across the political spectrum running for national office. Managed by former USA Today senior editor and health reporter Janice Lloyd, the blog features election news, survey data, commentary and analysis of Presidential and Congressional races in key states on topics relevant to medical progress.

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