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Chemical News is your source of fresh chemistry data and insights. Chemical news are aggregated from multiple chemistry sources and presented here for convenient consumption.
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  • College rankings go under the microscope
    While parents, students and admissions officials annually comb through college and university rankings, education researchers have largely ignored the controversial yet influential listings. That's about to change, according to an expert in educational measurement.
  • A call to US educators: Learn from Canada
    In contrast to the contentious debates over education reform in the US, the Canadian province Ontario has taken a cooperative route to improving schools that often rank among the top performers on international assessments, according to a Boston College expert on educational change.
  • The Influence of College Experiences on Career Outcomes
    Meaningful college experiences, including internships and studying abroad, may not matter as much as your major and what school you attend when it comes to job satisfaction and earnings, according to new research.
  • Study reveals cause of poorer outcomes for African-American patients with breast cancer
    Poorer outcomes for African-American women with estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer, compared with European-American patients, appears to be due, in part, to a strong survival mechanism within the cancer cells, according to a study.
  • Kids with ADHD must squirm to learn, study says
    Excessive movement common among children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is actually vital to how they remember information and work out complex cognitive tasks, a new study shows. The findings show the longtime prevailing methods for helping children with ADHD may be misguided.
  • Researchers make key malarial drug-resistence finding
    A molecular mechanism responsible for making malaria parasites resistant to artemisinins, the leading class of antimalarial drugs, has been discovered by researchers. Artemisinins are powerful drugs that have the most rapid action of all current drugs against the parasite species that causes the most dangerous form of malaria. Artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) are now standard treatment worldwide for P. falciparum malaria. Unfortunately, resistance to artemisinin has been detected in five countries across Southeast Asia.
  • Understanding thermo-mechanical properties of a new class of materials
    Scientists describe how an accurate statistical description of heterogeneous particulate materials, which is used within statistical micromechanics theories, governs the overall thermo-mechanical properties.
  • New research shows how to tackle obesity
    One size does not fit all when it comes to tackling obesity, according to a new study. Researchers looking at how to tackle England's country's obesity issue and found that currently individuals are often treated the same regardless of how healthy they are, where they live or their behavioral characteristics.
  • Devices or divisive: Mobile technology in the classroom
    Little is known about what teachers think about how mobile technology in the classroom will affect the development of students' non-cognitive skills, such as empathy, self-control, problem solving, and teamwork.
  • 'Real-time' feedback, 'pay for performance' improve physician practice, hospital safety
    Hospitals may reach higher safety and quality levels with programs that give physicians real-time feedback about evidence-based care and financial incentives for providing it, research shows.
  • Seafood samples had no elevated contaminant levels from oil spill, study shows
    Following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in 2010, many people were concerned that seafood was contaminated by either the oil or dispersants used to keep the oil from washing ashore. A new study found that all seafood tested so far has shown “remarkably low contaminant levels,” based on FDA standards.
  • Telling the time of day by color
    New research has revealed that the color of light has a major impact on how the brain clock measures time of day and on how the animals' physiology and behavior adjust accordingly. The study, for the first time, provides a neuronal mechanism for how our internal clock can measure changes in light color that accompany dawn and dusk.
  • How to maximize the superconducting critical temperature in a molecular superconductor
    An international research team has investigated the electronic properties of the family of unconventional superconductors based on fullerenes which have the highest known superconducting critical temperature among molecular superconductors.
  • Protecting students from homophobic bullying
    Students who are bullied because of sexual orientation have willing defenders among their classmates -- motivated by leadership, courage, their beliefs in justice, altruism and having lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender friends, according to a new study.
  • Artificial blood vessel lets researchers better assess clot removal devices
    An in vitro, live-cell artificial vessel has been created that can be used to study both the application and effects of devices used to extract life-threatening blood clots in the brain. The artificial vessel could have significant implications for future development of endovascular technologies, including reducing the need for animal models to test new devices or approaches.
  • Impacts of Gulf oil spill on marine organisms on Gulf coast
    Researchers have determined the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on marine organisms such as oysters, conch, shrimp, corals as well as marine plankton (microalgae or phytoplankton, rotifers or zooplankton), which provide the basis of coastal and oceanic food webs.
  • Bacterial flora of remote tribespeople carries antibiotic resistance genes
    Scientists have found antibiotic resistance genes in the bacterial flora of a South American tribe that never before had been exposed to antibiotic drugs. The findings suggest that bacteria in the human body have had the ability to resist antibiotics since long before such drugs were ever used to treat disease.
  • New lab technique reveals structure and function of proteins critical in DNA repair
    By combining two highly innovative experimental techniques, scientists have for the first time simultaneously observed the structure and the correlated function of specific proteins critical in the repair of DNA, providing definitive answers to some highly debated questions, and opening up new avenues of inquiry and exciting new possibilities for biological engineering.
  • Fruit fly studies shed light on adaptability of nerve cells
    Neurons in the eye change on the molecular level when they are exposed to prolonged light, new research demonstrates. The researchers could identify that a feedback signalling mechanism is responsible for these changes. The innate neuronal property might be utilized to protect neurons from degeneration or cell death in the future.
  • Mouth, as well as gut, could hold key to liver disease flare-ups
    In a recent study, researchers predicted which cirrhosis patients would suffer inflammations and require hospitalization by analyzing their saliva, revealing a new target for research into a disease that accounts for more than 30,000 deaths in the United States each year.
  • New genetic mutation could signal start of malaria drug resistance in Africa
    Early indicators of the malaria parasite in Africa developing resistance to the most effective drug available have been confirmed, according to new research. Investigators found Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites with a mutation to the gene Ap2mu were less sensitive to the antimalarial drug artemisinin.
  • Text messages a good way to support mothers with postpartum depression
    New research explores the feasibility of helping low-income mothers through postpartum depression using text messages. The objective of the study was to evaluate the feasibility of sending supportive text messages to low-income mothers of racial and ethnic minority backgrounds with postpartum depression and gauge the perception of receiving such message for depression.
  • Study links brain anatomy, academic achievement, and family income
    Many years of research have shown that for students from lower-income families, standardized test scores and other measures of academic success tend to lag behind those of wealthier students. A new study offers another dimension to this so-called "achievement gap": After imaging the brains of high- and low-income students, they found that the higher-income students had thicker brain cortex in areas associated with visual perception and knowledge accumulation. Furthermore, these differences also correlated with one measure of academic achievement -- performance on standardized tests.
  • Two drugs reduce teacher-rated anxiety, in addition to ADHD, aggression
    The addition of risperidone to parent training and a stimulant also improves teachers’ assessments of anxiety and social avoidance, new research shows. Improvement in teacher-rated anxiety and social withdrawal also contributed to improvements in parent-rated disruptive behavior. Children who showed reduced anxiety also showed less disruptive behavior.
  • Beyond the lithium ion: Significant step toward a better performing battery
    Researchers have taken a significant step toward the development of a battery that could outperform the lithium-ion technology used in electric cars such as the Chevy Volt. They have shown they can replace the lithium ions, each of which carries a single positive charge, with magnesium ions, which have a plus-two charge, in battery-like chemical reactions, using an electrode with a structure like those in many of today's devices.
  • Invasive parasitic fly on Galapagos Islands probably came from mainland Ecuador
    An invasive parasitic fly that harms Darwin's finches and other land birds on the Galapagos Islands, has been found for the the first time in mainland Ecuador, supporting the hypothesis that it was introduced from there.
  • DNA blood test detects lung cancer mutations
    Cancer DNA circulating in the bloodstream of lung cancer patients can provide doctors with vital mutation information that can help optimize treatment when tumor tissue is not available, an international group of researchers has reported.
  • One in four advanced lung cancer patients tested for EGFR mutations started on first-line treatment before test results available
    Lack of test results may impact treatment effectiveness and survival, survey in Europe, Asia and US reveals.
  • Diabetes perceptions vary according to risk factors, researchers find
    Differing perceptions among adult populations at-risk for diabetes have been uncovered by researchers, which may offer new approaches to diabetes education and prevention. Illness perceptions, the organized cognitive representations and beliefs that people hold about a condition, are recognized as important determinants of self-care behaviors and outcomes in patients. The way that people mentally represent their conditions has a concrete effect on the way that they manage these conditions and therefore on their prognoses.
  • Greenland continuing to darken
    Darkening of the Greenland Ice Sheet is projected to continue as a consequence of continued climate warming, according to experts.
  • Smoking and mother's genetics combine to increase likelihood of twins
    African American mothers who smoke and have a genetic profile that includes a single nucleotide polymorphism, SNP, of the TP53 gene have an increased likelihood of having twins, concluded a team of researchers.
  • New studies about endovascular therapy for stroke represent paradigm shift
    An expert who writes an accompanying editorial for five studies about endovascular stroke therapy published simultaneously in the New England Journal of Medicine says these randomized clinical trials represent a breakthrough in showing the benefits of endovascular therapy for acute ischemic strokes.
  • Droperidol is safe for agitated ER patients, despite black box warning, experts say
    Droperidol is safe and effective for calming violent and aggressive emergency patients, and the negative effects that garnered a black box warning from the Food and Drug Administration are actually quite rare. A new study supports the safe use of the once ubiquitous, now scarce, sedating agent in emergency rooms.
  • Forming school networks to educate 'the new mainstream'
    While responding to shifting student demographics, new support networks form among teachers and between schools, according to a new study of a group of schools moving from monolingual to bilingual instruction to serve increasingly diverse student populations.
  • To fight nasty digestive bugs, scientists set out to build a better gut – using stem cells
    If you’ve ever been hit with an ‘intestinal bug’, you’ve felt the effects of infectious microbes on your digestive system. But scientists don’t fully understand what’s going on in gut infections like that – or in far more serious ones. Now, a team of scientists will tackle that issue in a new way.
  • How radiative fluxes are affected by cloud and particle characteristics
    Climate models calculate a changing mix of clouds and emissions that interact with solar energy. To narrow the broad range of possible answers from a climate model, researchers analyzed the effect of several proven numerical stand-ins for atmospheric processes on the energy flux at the top of the atmosphere. They found that the flux is the main driver of surface temperature change.
  • How to develop healthy eating habits in a child: Start early and eat your vegetables
    A healthy diet promotes success in life -- better concentration and alertness, better physical health that translates into good mental and emotional health.
  • Effectiveness of new stroke treatment confirmed
    A research paper confirms earlier findings that a procedure called endovascular therapy for ischemic stroke is the best treatment option for many patients by reducing the incidents of disability. This is the fourth research paper published this year that confirms the efficacy of the treatment.
  • Young women objectify themselves more browsing Facebook, magazines than media types
    Though it is widely believed that the media objectifies women, women further diminish themselves by constantly comparing their bodies to others. Regardless of how much time young women devote to viewing television, music videos and using the internet, they will compare their appearances more frequently to photos in magazines and on Facebook, finds a new article.
  • Smokers underestimate risks of a few cigarettes
    Many people still dangerously underestimate the health risks associated with smoking even a few cigarettes a day, despite decades of public health campaigning, researchers report. "People who smoke very much tend to underestimate their risks," an investigator said, "and it makes me think that 'denial' is still prevalent. As an oncologist and tobacco control advocate, it amazes me and strikes me as so unfortunate that such lack of knowledge is so prevalent."
  • Evidence grows that melanoma drugs benefit some lung cancer patients
    A subset of lung cancer patients can derive important clinical benefits from drugs that are more commonly used to treat melanoma, the authors of a new academic clinical trial in Europe have reported.
  • Self-affirmations may calm jitters, boost performance
    Individuals in positions of low power perform worse under pressure, relative to those in positions of high power. However, new research shows that self-affirmations can effectively reduce the power differences.
  • Experts warn Ebola epidemic could return with a vengeance unless lessons about medical trials are learned
    Health experts have warned that a greater flexibility must be brought to medical trials to combat diseases like Ebola to avoid facing another nightmare outbreak. The rapidity and spread of the Ebola outbreak and the urgency of a response led to many challenges not least of which was to advise those managing people on the ground of the best way to treat the illness and which treatments might be effective.
  • Cancer and chemobrain: Cancer diagnosis affects cognitive function
    Breast cancer patients often display mild cognitive defects even before the initiation of chemotherapy. A new study now attributes the syndrome to post-traumatic stress induced by diagnosis of the disease.
  • Stomach ulcers in cattle: Bacteria play only a minor role
    Scientists investigated whether stomach ulcers in cattle are related to the presence of certain bacteria. For their study, they analyzed bacteria present in healthy and ulcerated cattle stomachs and found very few differences in microbial diversity. Bacteria therefore appear to play a minor role in the development of ulcers. The microbial diversity present in the stomachs of cattle has now for the first time been published.
  • Cognitive problems are common after cardiac arrest
    Half of all patients who survive a cardiac arrest experience problems with cognitive functions such as memory and attention, a major international study shows. Surprisingly, however, a control group comprising heart attack patients had largely the same level of problems. This suggests that it is not only the cardiac arrest and the consequent lack of oxygen to the brain that is the cause of the patients’ difficulties.
  • Applied physics helps decipher causes of sudden death
    Sudden cardiac death accounts for approximately 10% of natural deaths, most of which are due to ventricular fibrillation. Each year it causes 300,000 deaths in the United States. Researchers have demonstrated for the first time that the transition to calcium alternans, an arrhythmia associated with increased risk of sudden death, has common features with the magnetic ordering of metals. This new finding improves our understanding of the physical causes of sudden death and will advance the design of drugs to prevent it.
  • Nothing beats a good night's sleep for helping people absorb new information, new research reveals
    Researchers have found that successful long-term learning happens after classroom teaching, after the learners have slept on the new material.  
  • A blueprint for clearing the skies of space debris
    Scientists have put forward a blueprint for a purely space-based system to solve the growing problem of space debris. The proposal will be used to detect objects, and a recently developed high-efficiency laser system will be used to track space debris and remove it from orbit.
  • Evolution puts checks on virgin births
    It seems unnatural that a species could survive without having sex. Yet over the ages, evolution has endowed females of certain species of amphibians, reptiles and fish with the ability to clone themselves, and perpetuate offspring without males. Researchers have found that in species where females have evolved the ability to reproduce without males relatively recently, fertilization is still ensuring the survival of the maximum number of healthy offspring and thus males are still needed.
  • Engineers purify sea and wastewater in 2.5 minutes
    A group of engineers have created technology to recover and purify, either seawater or wastewater from households, hotels, hospitals, commercial and industrial facilities, regardless of the content of pollutants and microorganisms in, incredibly, just 2.5 minutes, experts say.
  • Engineer improves rechargeable batteries with nano 'sandwich'
    The key to better cell phones and other rechargeable electronics may be in tiny "sandwiches" made of nanosheets, according to mechanical engineering research.
  • Cardiorespiratory fitness reduces disease risk among smokers
    Cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with reduced metabolic syndrome risk among smokers, according to researchers. Smoking is estimated to cause 443,000 deaths each year in the United States, primarily from cancer, cardiovascular diseases and respiratory disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Game-changer for stroke treatment: Better function after stroke if clots removed
    Patients with severe strokes had far better outcomes when they were treated using not only a drug to dissolve the blood clot causing the stroke, but also with a procedure to grab, dislodge and remove the clot, according to an international study.
  • Should they stay or should they go? Study finds no harm from hospital policies that let families observe CPR
    When a hospital patient’s heart stops, the drama starts, as doctors and nurses work furiously at resuscitation. Some hospitals allow family members to watch, while the majority do not. Now, a study has shown for the first time on a national scale that patients do just as well after a cardiac arrest either way.
  • Bioenergy: Genetics of wood formation
    To begin to understand poplar growth, a possible bioenergy crop, scientists built a robust high-throughput pipeline for studying the hierarchy of genetic regulation of wood formation using tissue-specific single cells called protoplasts.
  • Comparing climate models to real world shows differences in precipitation intensity
    Precipitation is difficult to represent in global climate models. Although most single-column models can reproduce the observed average precipitation reasonably well, there are significant differences in their details. Scientists evaluated several single-column models, providing insights on how to improve models’ representation of convection, which is integral to storm cloud formation.
  • New genomics tool could help predict tumor aggressiveness, treatment outcomes
    A new method for measuring genetic variability within a tumor might one day help doctors identify patients with aggressive cancers that are more likely to resist therapy, according to a study. Researchers used a new scoring method they developed called MATH (mutant-allele tumor heterogeneity) to measure the genetic variability among cancer cells within tumors from 305 patients with head and neck cancer. High MATH scores corresponded to tumors with many differences among the gene mutations present in different cancer cells.
  • Facebook users' wishful thinking: Cyberbullying, depression won't happen to me
    Facebook users with so-called optimistic bias think they're less likely than other users to experience cyberbullying, depression and other negative social and psychological effects from using the site, a study finds. The study suggests that optimistic bias, or an intrinsic tendency to imagine future events in a favorable light that enhances positive self-regard -- in other words, wishful thinking -- leaves those Facebook users vulnerable to the negative realities of social media.
  • Ophthalmologists uncover autoimmune process that causes rejection of secondary corneal transplants
    Ophthalmologists have identified an important cause of why secondary corneal transplants are rejected at triple the rate of first-time corneal transplants. The cornea -- the most frequently transplanted solid tissue -- has a first-time transplantation success rate of about 90 percent. But second corneal transplants undergo a rejection rate three times that of first transplants.
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