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NEWS RELEASES - via EurekAlert!

New genetic engineering technique could help design, study biological systems

( Washington University School of Medicine) A new technique will help biologists tinker with genes, whether the goal is to turn cells into tiny factories churning out medicines, modify crops to grow with limited water or study the effects of a gene on human health. The technique allows scientists to precisely regulate how much protein is produced from a particular gene. The process is simple yet innovative and, so far, works in everything from bacteria to plants to human cells.

New, old science combine to make faster medical test

( University of Central Florida) Magnetic nanoparticles are coated with an antibody, then aligned in formation within a magnetic field and tallied under laser optics. The result could lead to speedy diagnoses for infectious diseases.

System links data scattered across files, for easy querying

( Massachusetts Institute of Technology) System finds and links related data scattered across digital files, for easy querying and filtering.

Seeking structure with metagenome sequences

( DOE/Joint Genome Institute) In the Jan. 20, 2017 issue of Science, a team led by University of Washington's David Baker in collaboration with DOE Joint Genome Institute researchers reports that structural models have been generated for 12 percent of the protein families that had previously had no structural information available. The Baker lab's protein structure prediction server Rosetta analyzed the metagenomic sequences publicly available on the Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG) system run by the DOE JGI.

'FishTaco' sorts out who is doing what in your microbiome

( University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine) How much do different bacterial species contribute to disease-associated imbalances in the human microbiome? A new computational method, dubbed FishTaco, is helping find out. The method looks at which microbes are present and what they are doing. Understanding imbalances in say, the human gut microbiome, might eventually suggest new ways to manage obesity, type 2 diabetes, or autoimmune diseases.

Treated carbon pulls radioactive elements from water

( Rice University) Scientists at Rice University and Kazan Federal University in Russia have developed inexpensive, oxidized carbon particles that extract radioactive metals from water. They said their materials may help purify contaminated waters stored after the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident.

Your 'anonmyized' web browsing history may not be anonymous

( Princeton University, Engineering School) Researchers wrote computer programs that found patterns among anonymized data about web traffic and used those patterns to identify individual users. The researchers note web users with active social media are vulnerable to the attack. 'Given a history with 30 links originating from Twitter, we can deduce the corresponding Twitter profile more than 50 percent of the time.'

NASA Goddard scientist wins 2017 GLBT Scientist Award

( NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) Matthew McGill of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., has been selected as the recipient of the 2017 National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals Scientist of the Year Award.

Creating atomic scale nanoribbons

( Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology) A recent study conducted by researchers at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois and the Department of Chemistry at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has demonstrated the first important step toward integrating atomically precise graphene nanoribbons (APGNRs) onto nonmetallic substrates. The paper, 'Solution-Synthesized Chevron Graphene Nanoribbons Exfoliated onto H:Si(100),' was published in Nano Letters.

Study: Technological progress alone won't stem resource use

( Massachusetts Institute of Technology) While some scientists believe that the world can achieve significant dematerialization through improvements in technology, a new MIT-led study finds that technological advances alone will not bring about dematerialization and, ultimately, a sustainable world. The researchers found that no matter how much more efficient and compact a product is made, consumers will only demand more of that product and in the long run increase the total amount of materials used in making that product.

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