Science in the News – Week of May 10

Lake Erie Algae Bloom (2014) - Earth Observatory/NASA
Lake Erie Algae Bloom (2014) – Earth Observatory/NASA

Science in the news, headlines from across Michigan. Stay engaged and see what’s happening in science today that will make a difference tomorrow.

Safe Drinking Water:

With harmful algal blooms an increasing problem, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a new set of health advisory rules to help communities protect residents from drinking water toxins. It’s a move officials hope benefit communities, such as those in Michigan and Ohio, that were forced to go without water for two days last summer due to algae in Lake Erie. (Detroit News)

Bioprinting (Medicine):

Researchers at Michigan Technological University hope to use this newly acquired 3D bioprinter to make synthesized nerve tissue. The key is developing the right “bioink” or printable tissue. The nanotechnology-inspired material could help regenerate damaged nerves for patients with spinal cord injuries. (Michigan Tech News)

Research Vessels:

A new, state-of-the-art Great Lakes research vessel is calling Cheboygan home since it arrived last fall. The 77.5-foot Arcticus is operated by the Great Lakes Science Center, an arm of the U.S. Geological Survey, USGS. It replaces the 75-foot Grayling at its home port in Cheboygan and will be used to explore Great Lakes ecosystems and conduct trawling studies and surveys on fish populations. (Cheboygan Daily News)

High School STEM:

Jenison Public Schools will implement a new STEM class for elementary students starting next school year. The 50-minute once-a-week class will engage students by combining science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through real-world applications. He said foundational literacy and technological skills will be embedded in the problem-based experiences. (MLive)

Healthy Teeth:

Arginine, a common amino acid found naturally in foods, breaks down dental plaque, which could help millions of people avoid cavities and gum disease, researchers at the University of Michigan and Newcastle University have discovered. Alexander Rickard, assistant professor of epidemiology at the U-M School of Public Health, and colleagues, discovered that in the lab L-arginine — found in red meat, poultry, fish and dairy products, and is already used in dental products for tooth sensitivity–stopped the formation of dental plaque. (EurekAlert!)

Fitness:

A recent project led by Michigan State University researchers has shown that a multicomponent approach could be a valuable method in improving the health and nutrition of schoolchildren. (MSU Today)

Fuzzy Thinking (Depression):

People with depression or bipolar disorder often feel their thinking ability has gotten “fuzzy”, or less sharp than before their symptoms began. Now, researchers have shown in a very large study that effect is indeed real – and rooted in brain activity differences that show up on advanced brain scans.(UM Health Systems)

Story excerpts are sourced from their links and edited for clarity.

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