Drones confirm importance of Costa Rican waters for sea turtles

A new drone-enabled population survey -- the first ever on sea turtles -- shows that larger-than-anticipated numbers of turtles aggregate in waters off Costa Rica's Ostional National Wildlife Refuge. Scientists estimate turtle densities may reach up to 2,086 animals per square kilometer. The study underscores the importance of the Ostional habitat; it also confirms that drones are a reliable tool for surveying sea turtle abundance.

Click here to visit Original posting

New process could slash energy demands of fertilizer, nitrogen-based chemicals

Nitrogen-based synthetic fertilizer forms the backbone of the world food supply, but its manufacture requires a tremendous amount of energy. Now, computer modeling points to a method that could drastically cut the energy needed by using sunlight in the manufacturing process.

Click here to visit Original posting

Hubble weighs in on mass of 3 million billion suns

In 2014, astronomers found an enormous galaxy cluster contains the mass of a staggering three million billion suns -- so it's little wonder that it has earned the nickname of "El Gordo" ("the Fat One" in Spanish)! Known officially as ACT-CLJ0102-4915, it is the largest, hottest, and brightest X-ray galaxy cluster ever discovered in the distant Universe.

Click here to visit Original posting

Can training improve memory, thinking abilities in older adults with cognitive impairment?

A new, first-of-its-kind study was designed to assess whether cognitive training, a medication-free treatment, could improve MCI. Studies show that activities that stimulate your brain, such as cognitive training, can protect against a decline in your mental abilities. Even older adults who have MCI can still learn and use new mental skills.

Click here to visit Original posting

T-cells engineered to outsmart tumors induce clinical responses in relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma

A research team has validated a way to outfox tumors. They engineered T-cells, essential players in the body's own immune system, to strip tumors of their self-preservation skill and were able to hold Hodgkin lymphoma at bay in patients with relapsed disease for more than four years.

Click here to visit Original posting

Are amoebae safe harbors for plague?

Amoebae, single-celled organisms common in soil, water and grade-school science classrooms, may play a key role in the survival and spread of deadly plague bacteria. New research shows that plague bacteria, Yersinia pestis, not only survive, but thrive and replicate once ingested by an amoeba. The discovery could help scientists understand why plague outbreaks can smolder, stay dormant for years, and re-emerge with a vengeance.

Click here to visit Original posting

In sweet corn, workhorses win

When deciding which sweet corn hybrids to plant, vegetable processors need to consider whether they want their contract growers using a workhorse or a racehorse. Is it better to choose a hybrid with exceptional yields under ideal growing conditions (i.e., the racehorse) or one that performs consistently well across ideal and less-than-ideal conditions (i.e., the workhorse)? New research suggests the workhorse is the winner in processing sweet corn.

Click here to visit Original posting

Memory loss from West Nile virus may be preventable

More than 10,000 people in the United States are living with memory loss and other persistent neurological problems that occur after West Nile virus infects the brain. Now, a new study in mice suggests that such ongoing neurological deficits may be due to unresolved inflammation that hinders the brain's ability to repair damaged neurons and grow new ones. When the inflammation was reduced by treatment with an arthritis drug, the animals' ability to learn and remember remained sharp after West Nile disease.

Click here to visit Original posting