Earth

Stanford, CA—Steroids bulk up plants just as they do human athletes, but the playbook of molecular signals that tell the genes to boost growth and development in plant cells is far more complicated than in human and animal cells. A new study by plant biologists at the Carnegie Institution used an emerging molecular approach called proteomics to identify key links in the steroid signaling chain. Understanding how these plant hormones activate genes could lead not only to enhanced harvests but also to new insights into how steroids regulate growth in both plant and animal cells.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is reshaping its research enterprise to broaden HIV vaccine discovery activities. Many of the initiatives have evolved from ideas and opinions recently expressed by scientists either at NIAID's HIV Vaccine Summit on March 25 or in response to two Requests for Information that NIAID issued in April.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Researchers have invented a new material that will make cars even more efficient, by converting heat wasted through engine exhaust into electricity. In the current issue of the journal Science, they describe a material with twice the efficiency of anything currently on the market.

The same technology could work in power generators and heat pumps, said project leader Joseph Heremans, Ohio Eminent Scholar in Nanotechnology at Ohio State University.

UCLA space scientists and colleagues have identified the mechanism that triggers substorms in space; wreaks havoc on satellites, power grids and communications systems; and leads to the explosive release of energy that causes the spectacular brightening of the aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights.

In a new twist on the Confucian ideal of filial piety, a study finds that the assistance of daughters-in-law – but not their own children – helps mitigate depression among older people in China. This is particularly true in rural areas, where elders may rely more heavily on family to be support providers.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Over the last decade, energy drinks -- such as Red Bull, Monster and Rockstar -- have become nearly ubiquitous on college campuses. The global market for these types of drinks currently exceeds $3 billion a year and new products are introduced annually.

Although few researchers have examined energy drink consumption, a researcher at the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) has been investigating links between energy drinks and public health concerns like substance abuse and risky behaviors.

Well inside the Arctic Circle, scientists have found black smoker vents farther north than anyone has ever seen before. The cluster of five vents – one towering nearly four stories in height – are venting water as hot as 570 F.

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) -- If Bruce Lipshutz has his way, you may soon be buying bottles of water brimming with the life-sustaining coenzyme CoQ10 at your local Costco.

With the first wave of clean-up efforts behind them, residents of communities affected by this year's Midwest floods may find hope in a University of Illinois study on the economic impact of the 1993 flood that devastated much of the same region.

An infection due to a virus called cytomegalovirus (CMV), which most commonly affects people with compromised immune systems, can also affect hospital intensive-care patients who have no immune-system problems, University of Washington researchers have found. CMV infection is also associated with longer hospital and intensive-care unit (ICU) stays independent of other causes, according to the study, published July 23 in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.