January 8, 2021
SIGMAXI SmartBrief
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A state of matter called liquid glass has been observed behaving in a way physicists say they've never seen before, according to findings published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Liquid glass, something between colloid and a solid, is created by a pair of interacting liquid-to-solid transitions.
Full Story: ScienceAlert (Australia) (1/7) 
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Science in the News
Mars' poles shift about every 200 days thanks to a rotational phenomenon called the Chandler wobble, previously only found with Earth, according to findings published in Geophysical Research Letters. Researchers used data from the Mars Odyssey and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to detect the wobble.
Full Story: Eos (1/4) 
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Identical twins aren't genetically the same at birth
(Josie Gealer/Getty Images)
They are formed from the same genetic material in the same egg, but identical twins are not genetically identical by the time they are born, a study in Nature Genetics suggests. The amount of shared genetics depends on when the egg splits, after which each twin develops their own set of mutations during gestation, researchers say.
Full Story: The Scientist online (1/7) 
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A study in Scientific Reports suggests dogs became a human's best friend thousands of years ago because humans shared extra protein with wolves during cold weather. Humans simply couldn't ingest all the meat they had, so they shared it, laying the groundwork for the human-canine bond.
Full Story: Gizmodo (1/7) 
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Today's crocodiles are pretty much the same as those that lived about 200 million years ago because they evolve very slowly, corresponding occasionally with environmental changes, according to findings appearing in Communications Biology. Researchers say this could be the reason there are so few species of crocodiles compared to the thousands of different species of other animals.
Full Story: Earth (1/7) 
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A subunit of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein crossed the blood-brain barrier in mice and was taken up not only in brain cells but also in the lungs, spleen, kidneys and liver, researchers reported in Nature Neuroscience. The findings suggest the spike protein causes the brain to release cytokines that cause inflammation and neurotoxicity and that it is cleared by the liver, said lead author William Banks, associate chief of staff at the Puget Sound Veterans Affairs Healthcare System.
Full Story: Medscape (free registration) (12/31) 
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A study in Acta Paediatrica found that newborn babies delivered by cesarean section who were provided skin-to-skin contact with their fathers exhibited some advantages in terms of establishing stable physiological parameters and initial wakefulness, compared with infants in groups randomized to a cot or to their father's arms. The findings were based on data involving 95 newborns.
Full Story: Medical Dialogues (1/6) 
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Funding Watch
A collaboration between Researchers with Texas A&M University, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and others has received a $4.3 million grant from the USDA to study the genetics of potatoes. The focus of the research is to develop new varieties with more favorable qualities.
Full Story: WAGM-TV (Presque Isle, Maine) (1/7) 
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Sigma Xi News
The Committee on Awards invites nominations for the following Sigma Xi Prizes and Awards that recognize achievements in science or engineering research and communication: Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement, John P. McGovern Science and Society Award, Walston Chubb Award for Innovation, Young Investigator Award, Evan Ferguson Award for Service to the Society, and Honorary Membership. Nomination packets should be emailed by January 31, 2021.
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Students are invited to submit an abstract for the 2021 Student Research Showcase by 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on March 26. The Student Research Showcase is Sigma Xi's online science communication competition. The eighth annual online competition will challenge high school through graduate school students to create a website containing a slideshow, video, and abstract about their research.
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