Device turns falling snow into electricity | Low-intensity focused ultrasound changes how monkeys make decisions | Meteor may have been near-Earth interstellar object
April 17, 2019
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Device turns falling snow into electricity
Device turns falling snow into electricity
A thin, flexible device that can transform falling snow into electricity and double as a portable weather station has been described in Nano Energy. The snow-based triboelectric nanogenerator creates electricity when the positively charged snow comes into contact with negatively charged silicone.
University of California, Los Angeles (4/15) 
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Science in the News
Low-intensity focused ultrasound changes how monkeys make decisions
Low-intensity ultrasound waves directed at certain areas of the brain change decision-making processes and behavior and have the potential to improve the lives of people with mental health conditions or cognitive impairment, according to a study in monkeys that was published in Nature Neuroscience. The researchers determined that counterfactual thinking occurs in the anterior cingulate cortex of the brain, and monkeys' decision-making changed after low-intensity ultrasound was used to disrupt activity in that area.
New Atlas (4/16) 
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Meteor may have been near-Earth interstellar object
A meteor that burned up as it hit Earth's atmosphere over Papua New Guinea in 2014 may have been only the second interstellar object ever observed in Earth's solar system, according to findings submitted for publication in Astrophysical Journal Letters. Researchers were examining a catalog of incoming meteors when they noticed this object had traveled at a much higher velocity than the rest, hinting that it might have interstellar origins.
National Geographic online (4/16) 
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Neolithic Britons migrated from Anatolia around 4,000 B.C.
Neolithic people arriving in what is now the UK in 4,000 B.C. migrated from Anatolia, or modern-day Turkey, by way of Iberia, according to a DNA study published in Nature Ecology & Evolution. The group was one of two that spread out over Europe around 6,000 B.C. and introduced farming.
BBC (4/16) 
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Researchers make case for TRUS in prostate cancer diagnosis
Transrectal ultrasound remains a valuable alternative to multiparametric MRI for spotting prostate cancer and directing biopsies, Dr. Ethan Halpern from Thomas Jefferson University reported at the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine meeting. TRUS "appears to give equal performance in diagnosing clinically significant disease, especially in the prostate's peripheral zone," and establishing a scoring system would be beneficial, Halpern said.
AuntMinnie (free registration) (4/10) 
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Focused ultrasound shows promise in easing nerve pain
Clinical trials led by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine are testing the effects of focused ultrasound on neuropathic pain, as well as neurological conditions such as essential tremor and Parkinson's disease. The modality appears to reduce pain in the short term, and researchers are monitoring trial participants to determine whether FUS offers long-term relief.
The Baltimore Sun (4/15) 
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Funding Watch
Psychiatric disorder study awarded $1.9M grant from NIH
The NIH has awarded a $1.9 million grant to a pair of researchers at Marquette University studying psychiatric disorders. They will examine how patients with psychiatric disorders respond to negative experiences and use the information to develop new behavioral and medical treatments.
WTMJ-TV (Milwaukee) (4/16) 
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Canada puts $24M toward various Arctic research projects
An array of Arctic research projects will share about $24 million in funding from the Canadian government. The funds are going to research consortium ArcticNet, which will look at how the changing climate affects marine and terrestrial life.
The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan)/The Canadian Press (4/16) 
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Sigma Xi News
Seeking Candidates for Sigma Xi's Elections
Sigma Xi welcomes your involvement in the nomination process for candidates who will run for leadership positions in Sigma Xi's 2019 online elections, which begin November 18. Please take a few minutes to think about members who you know that can provide the leadership and vision to help Sigma Xi fulfill its mission of enhancing the research enterprise, fostering integrity in science and engineering, and promoting the public's understanding of science. Members may also self-nominate. Nomination packages are due by May 1.
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March-April Issue of American Scientist Is Available
March-April Issue of American Scientist Is Available
The new issue of American Scientist features articles on the renewed hope for coastal marshes in Louisiana, stretchy mechanics of knitting physics, how industrialization led to crooked teeth, why we might need less trust in robots, overlooked failures, quantum computing, and much more! Sigma Xi members should look for their digital or print editions (additional content is exclusively available on the American Scientist website). Nonmembers can find the magazine on newsstands or order a copy for $5.95 plus shipping fees by calling 1-800-282-0444 and selecting option 4.
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