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Novel Plastic Could Spur New Green Energy Applications, ‘Artificial Muscles’

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A plastic used in filters and tubing has an unusual trait: It can produce electricity when pulled or pressed. This ability has been used in small ways, but now researchers are coaxing fibers of it to make even more electricity for a wider range of applications from green energy to “artificial muscles.” They will report progress on a novel form of this plastic at the 249th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

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Mount Sinai Researchers Discover Genetic Origins of Myelodysplastic Syndrome Using Stem Cells

Findings Shed Light on the Development of Blood Cancers

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EMBARGOED

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 29-Mar-2015 12:05 PM EDT

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Algae From Clogged Waterways Could Serve as Biofuels and Fertilizer

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Water-borne algal blooms from farm fertilizer runoff can destroy aquatic life and clog rivers and lakes, but scientists will report today that they are working on a way to clean up these environmental scourges and turn them into useful products. The algae could serve as a feedstock for biofuels, and the feedstock leftovers could be recycled back into farm soil nutrients.

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Squid-Inspired ‘Invisibility Stickers’ Could Help Soldiers Evade Detection in the Dark (Video)

Squid are the ultimate camouflage artists, blending almost flawlessly with their backgrounds so that unsuspecting prey can’t detect them. Using a protein that’s key to this process, scientists have designed “invisibility stickers” that could one day help soldiers disguise themselves, even when sought by enemies with tough-to-fool infrared cameras.

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Scientists Pinpoint Molecule That Controls Stem Cell Plasticity by Boosting Gene Expression

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Stem cells can have a strong sense of identity. Taken out of their home in the hair follicle, for example, and grown in culture, these cells remain true to themselves. After waiting in limbo, these cultured cells become capable of regenerating follicles and other skin structures once transplanted back into skin. It’s not clear just how these stem cells — and others elsewhere in the body — retain their ability to produce new tissue and heal wounds, even under extraordinary conditions.

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Changes in a Blood-Based Molecular Pathway Identified in Alzheimer’s Disease

New research identifies a bridge between the mechanisms that spur the destruction of neurons in Alzheimer’s disease - accumulation of the amyloid-β peptide (the main component of plaques found in Alzheimer’s patient brains) and chronic inflammation..

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New Research Finds Consumers Willing to Spend More for Biotech Potato Products

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New research from an Iowa State University economist found consumers were willing to spend more for biotech potato products with reduced levels of a chemical compound linked to cancer.

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An Injectable UW Polymer Could Keep Soldiers, Trauma Patients From Bleeding to Death

University of Washington researchers have developed a new injectable polymer that strengthens blood clots, called PolySTAT. Administered in a simple shot, the polymer finds unseen injuries and has the potential to keep trauma patients from bleeding to death before reaching medical care.

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More Research Needed to Clarify Impact of Cellulose Nanocrystals on Health

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Biocompatible and biodegradable, cellulose materials are being studied for use in high-performance composites and optical films, and to deliver medicine in pills. But before a material can be commercialized, its impact on human health must be determined.