Science in the news
Welcome to the "science in the news" page, where you can find links to some of the amazing science breakthroughs that are happening every day!
- The environmental cost of contact lensesMany people rely on contact lenses to improve their vision. But these sight-correcting devices don't last forever and they are eventually disposed of in various ways. Now, scientists are reporting that throwing these lenses down the drain at the end of their use could be contributing to microplastic pollution in waterways. The researchers will present their results today at the 256th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.
- A paper battery powered by bacteriaIn remote areas of the world, everyday items like electrical outlets and batteries are luxuries. Health care workers in these areas often lack electricity to power diagnostic devices, and commercial batteries may be too expensive. Today, researchers report a new type of battery -- made of paper and fueled by bacteria -- that could overcome these challenges. The researchers will present their results at the 256th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.
- Weaponizing oxygen to kill infections and diseaseThe life-threatening bacteria MRSA can cripple a medical facility since it is resistant to treatment. But scientists report that they are now making advances in a new technique that avoids antibiotics, instead using light to activate oxygen, which wipes out bacteria. The method also could be used to treat other microbial infections, and possibly even cancer. The researchers will present their results today at the 256th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.
- Experiences at first sexual encounter impact risk of HIV and violence for women in KenyaAdolescent girls and young women in Mombasa, Kenya are more likely to experience higher risks of HIV and gender-based violence when they are involved with sex work venues or have sexual experiences at a young age, suggests a study co-led by St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Manitoba in Canada.
- Making aquafeed more sustainable: Scientists develop feeds using a marine microalga co-productDartmouth scientists have created a more sustainable feed for aquaculture by using a marine microalga co-product as a feed ingredient. The study is the first of its kind to evaluate replacing fishmeal with a co-product in feed designed specifically for Nile tilapia. The results are published in the open access journal, PLOS ONE.
Intel Young Scientists Awards 2014
Nathan Han, 15, of Boston, Massachusetts, won the Gordon E. Moore Award for developing a machine learning software tool to study mutations of a gene linked to breast and ovarian cancer. Using data from publicly available databases, Han examined detailed characteristics of mutations of the BRCA1 tumor suppressor gene, vital in protecting cells from developing cancer, in order to “teach” his software to differentiate between mutations that cause disease and those that do not. His tool exhibits an 81 percent accuracy rate and could be used to more accurately identify cancer threats from BRCA1 gene mutations. Applications for Han’s research extend from identifying specific mutations that cause cancer and other diseases, to advancements in the fields of genomics, bioinformatics and big data. The Gordon E. Moore Award, named in honor of the Intel co-founder and retired chairman/CEO, includes USD 75,000 in scholarship funds.
Runners-up honors went to two individuals: Lennart Kleinwort, 15, of Wurzburg, Germany, developed a new mathematical tool for smartphones and tablets that brings capabilities to hand-held devices, previously available only with more sophisticated and expensive computing tools; and Shannon Lee, 17, of Singapore, developed a novel electrocatalyst that may significantly improve batteries of the future.