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This week from AGU: Mars' ice, Earth's mantle & 5 new research papers

( GeoSpace Terraced craters: Windows into Mars' icy past Just beneath Mars' dirt surface, or regolith, researchers found an enormous slab of water ice, measuring 40 meters (130 feet) thick, and covering an area equivalent to that of California and Texas combined, according to a new study published today in Geophysical Research Letters. What lies deep in the mantle below? For decades, scientists have probed Earth's remote mantle by analyzing how seismic waves of distant earthquakes pass through it. But we are still challenged by the technique's limitations.

New research papers Ross Ice Shelf Vibrations, Geophysical Research Letters

A 21st Century Northward Tropical Precipitation Shift Caused by Future Anthropogenic Aerosol Reductions, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

Lightning channel length and flash energy determined from moments of the flash area distribution, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

Fluxes and fate of dissolved methane released at the seafloor at the landward limit of the gas hydrate stability zone offshore western Svalbard, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans

WRF simulated sensitivity to land surface schemes in short and medium ranges for a high-temperature event in east China: A comparative study, Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems


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Researchers reveal how a common mutation causes neurodegenerative disease

WORCESTER, MA -- Researchers have determined how the most common gene mutation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) disrupts normal cell function, providing insight likely to advance efforts to develop targeted therapies for these brain diseases. Scientists from the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital led the research, which appeared in the science journal Nature. Investigators reported evidence that mutation of C9ORF72 interferes with the movement of RNAs and proteins into and ...

New survey on Americans' views on papal encyclical on climate change

A new national survey conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and researchers at Yale University found that fewer than 1 in 3 Americans, and 40 percent of Catholics, are aware of Pope Francis's efforts to publicize global warming as a priority issue for the Catholic Church. While there is relatively low awareness of the papal encyclical, a majority of Americans say it is appropriate for the pope to take a public position on the issue of global warming. This is true even though very few Americans consider global warming as an issue of religion, ...

ORNL chemical sampling interface features simplicity, speed

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Aug. 26, 2015 - In mere seconds, a system developed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory can identify and characterize a solid or liquid sample, providing a valuable tool with applications in material science, forensics, pharmaceuticals, biology and chemistry. The device and technique, created by Gary Van Berkel and Vilmos Kertesz of ORNL's Chemical Sciences Division, is described in the journal Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry. The appeal of this open port sampling interface, researchers note, is its elegance, speed and ...

Paralysis: Primates recover better than rodents

Monkeys and humans exhibit greater motor recovery than rats after similar spinal cord injury, according to a study conducted in Grégoire Courtine's lab at EPFL. The study results have been published in Science Translational Medicine. Spontaneous improvement occurs during the first six months after a spinal cord injury, allowing a hemiplegic patient to recover partial motor control. The researchers are using this observation to improve clinical trials and patient therapies. The neuronal mechanisms underlying this extensive recovery in primates are nearly absent in ...

New 'mutation-tracking' blood test could predict breast cancer relapse months in advance

Scientists have developed a blood test for breast cancer able to identify which patients will suffer a relapse after treatment, months before tumours are visible on hospital scans. The test can uncover small numbers of residual cancer cells that have resisted therapy by detecting cancer DNA in the bloodstream. Researchers at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust were able to track key mutations that cancer accumulates as it develops and spreads, without the need for invasive biopsy procedures. They hope that by deciphering ...

DNA sequencing used to identify thousands of fish eggs

Using DNA sequencing, researchers have accurately painted a clear picture of fish spawning activities in a marine protected area (MPA) and have created a baseline for continuing studies on the effects of climate variability on fish populations. A group of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego researchers led by Ron Burton and Alice Harada collected 260 samples off the Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier over a two-year period and used DNA barcoding to accurately identify over 13,000 fish eggs. This study was also a collaborative effort between the Scripps ...

Self-control saps memory, study says

DURHAM, N.C. -- You're driving on a busy road and you intend to switch lanes when you suddenly realize that there's a car in your blind spot. You have to put a stop to your lane change -- and quickly. A new study by Duke University researchers suggests that this type of scenario makes a person less likely to remember what halted the action -- for example, the make and model of the car in the blind spot. People and non-human primates excel at "response inhibition." Our sophisticated brains allow us to cancel an action even when it's something engrained, like driving ...

Family farm managers earn less, but gain 'emotional' wealth

ITHACA, N.Y. - After hours harvesting forage, managing livestock and milking cows, new Cornell University agricultural economic research shows family members who work on the family dairy farm make $22,000 less annually than comparable hired managers, but are handsomely compensated with "socioemotional" wealth. "While $22,000 seems like a large penalty, there are nonfinancial rewards they experience working for the family business," said Loren Tauer, professor at Cornell's Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, who with lead author Jonathan Dressler ...

Colorful potatoes may pack powerful cancer prevention punch

Compounds found in purple potatoes may help kill colon cancer stem cells and limit the spread of the cancer, according to a team of researchers. Baked purple-fleshed potatoes suppressed the growth of colon cancer tumors in petri dishes and in mice by targeting the cancer's stem cells. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. and responsible for more than 50,000 deaths annually, according to the American Cancer Society. Attacking stem cells is an effective way to counter cancer, according to Jairam K.P. Vanamala, associate professor ...

Stiffer breast tissue in obese women promotes tumors

Stiffer breast tissue in obese women promotes tumors
ITHACA, N.Y. - Women who are obese have a higher risk and a worse prognosis for breast cancer, but the reasons why remain unclear. A Cornell study published this month in Science Translational Medicine explains how obesity changes the consistency of breast tissue in ways that are similar to tumors, thereby promoting disease. The study of mice and women shows obesity leads to a stiffening of a meshwork of material that surrounds fat cells in the breast, called the extracellular matrix, and these biomechanical changes create the right conditions for tumor growth. The findings ...


How your brain decides blame and punishment -- and how it can be changed

Uniquely human brain region enables punishment decisions

Pinpointing punishment

Chapman University publishes research on attractiveness and mating

E-cigarettes: Special issue from Nicotine & Tobacco Research

Placental problems in early pregnancy associated with 5-fold increased risk of OB & fetal disorders

UT study: Invasive brood parasites a threat to native bird species

Criminals acquire guns through social connections

Restoring ocean health

Report: Cancer remains leading cause of death in US Hispanics

Twin study suggests genetic factors contribute to insomnia in adults

To be fragrant or not: Why do some male hairstreak butterflies lack scent organs?

International team discovers natural defense against HIV

Bolivian biodiversity observatory takes its first steps

Choice of college major influences lifetime earnings more than simply getting a degree

Dominant strain of drug-resistant MRSA decreases in hospitals, but persists in community

Synthetic biology needs robust safety mechanisms before real world application

US defense agencies increase investment in federal synthetic biology research

Robots help to map England's only deep-water Marine Conservation Zone

Mayo researchers identify protein -- may predict who will respond to PD-1 immunotherapy for melanoma

How much water do US fracking operations really use?

New approach to mammograms could improve reliability

The influence of citizen science grows despite some resistance

Unlocking secrets of how fossils form

What happens on the molecular level when smog gets into the lungs?

Using ultrasound to clean medical instruments

Platinum and iron oxide working together get the job done

Tiny silica particles could be used to repair damaged teeth, research shows

A quantum lab for everyone

No way? Charity's logo may influence perception of food in package

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