Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (July 1996)

Science news and science current events archive July, 1996.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from July 1996

Photosystem I -- An Intermediate Step -- May Not Be Necessary For Plants
According to a new study reported today (July 19), scientists may have to rethink some aspects of how photosynthesis works.

Tides Recorded The Moon's Retreat From Earth, Shorter Earth Days
Layers of sediment deposited by tides show that 900 million years ago, a day on Earth was 18 hours long. The moon has been moving away from Earth at a constant rate, according to the same evidence. University of Arizona planetary scientists and collaborating geologists publish their analysis today (July 5) in Science

KSU's Marsden Briefs Congress On Research
MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Citing the progress made in food safety research in recent years, Dr. James Marsden of Kansas State University recently suggested to Congress ways to streamline the evaluation of new technologies.

Study Links Stress To Mothers' Oral Health
A recent pilot study supports the old wive's tale that women lose a tooth for every pregnancy. The old saying is based on the erroneous belief that the fetus draws calcium from the mother's teeth, causing cavities. Researchers believe the explanation is not pregnancy, but the stress of child care

Aerospace Experiments Improve Safety In Jet Aircraft Design
University of Cincinnati aerospace engineers, in collaboration with researchers at the NASA Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, have have found a way to improve the safety and reliability of jet aircraft designs. Preliminary results were reported this month at the AIAA Joint Propulsion Meeting in Florida

Hopkins Researchers Develop Under-The-Skin Implant For Pain Treatment
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center have developed the first under-the-skin narcotic drug implant for the treatment of pain in cancer patients. The researchers believe that the polymer implant could offer an alternative to external drug delivery systems used to treat serious pain and may be a potential technique for the management of drug addiction

Yale Analysis Of Seasonal Temperature Trends For Past Century Contradict Computer Models Of Greenhouse Warming
In one of the most intensive analyses ever made of seasonal temperature trends in the northern hemisphere drawing upon more than a century of data, Yale Univeristy scientists found striking differences between the average onset of seasons and those predicted by two of the most sophisticated computer models on which many scientists have based their forecasts of global warming.

Ash Tree Yields Potent Weapons In The War On Gypsy Moths
A ubiquitous tree that graces many city and suburban streets has given scientists an arsenal of new chemicals with which to fight the gypsy moth, one of the world's most feared defoliators.

In Earthbound Labs, Researchers Unravel The Low-Gravity Physics Of Outer Space
Johns Hopkins engineers have hit upon novel ways to mimic weightlessness on Earth, enabling them to study how materials will behave in space without sending their experiments up in the space shuttle

Orange Juice Helps Boost Blood Levels of AIDS Drug
University at Buffalo researchers have found that a glass of orange juice boosts the level of stomach acid and, in turn, the level of the AIDS drug delavirdine in the blood of those receiving the medication. The results were presented today (July 8) at the International AIDS Conference in Vancouver

Cornell Researchers Precisely Date Wood From Ancient Tomb In Turkey
A team of researchers at Cornell University has identified the exact year that logs were cut at an archaeological site in Turkey, a finding that has major implications for understanding the history of the Greeks, Egyptians and other ancient civilizations.

Researcher Discovers How To Kill Cockroaches Using The Insects' Own Metabolism
Heather Wren or Virginia Tech has discovered a nutritional metabolism disrupter that stops reproduction of cockroaches. The resulting bait, made of natural products, is non-toxic to humans. Wren presented her research at the International Conference on Insect Pests in the Urban Environment, 1996, in Edinburgh, Scotland July 9

Cancer-Pain Remedy Wins Orphan-Drug Status
The FDA has granted orphan drug status to methylnaltrexone, a medication invented at the University of Chicago that blocks the troubling side effects of morphine without decreasing pain relief. Orphan status benefits those who develop drugs to treat rare diseases. Clinical trials will begin at two sites later this year

Humble Pocket Gophers Shed Light On The Genetic Fortitude Of Cheetahs
Conservation biologists have shown that gophers will accept skin grafts from each other. The work vindicates a controversial experiment on cheetahs from 1985. The researchers conclude that cheetahs and other genetically impoverished species may have little variability among their immune systems and may be more vulnerable to outbreaks of disease.

Routine Screenings For Mild Thyroid Disorder Recommended
Like routine screenings for high blood pressure and breast cancer, screening for an underactive thyroid gland is cost- effective and should be part of periodic examinations for people over age 35, especially women, a Johns Hopkins-led study suggests. Thefindings contradict current recommendations by most physician groups that such thyroid screenings are unnecessary in the general population

Water Recycling Project Tested in Turkey Plant
A team effort by University of Arkansas researchers and two companies has resulted in application of a more efficient way to use the massive amounts of water required to process turkeys.

Duke Team Validates Placental Blood As Viable Source For Bone Marrow Transplantation
Doctors at Duke University Medical Center and the New York Blood Center have reported the first scientific validation that placental blood from unrelated, newborn donors can be used in place of adult bone marrow for pediatric bone marrow transplants.

Harvard Researchers Identify Key Controller In Body's Immune Response
Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School discover protein that serves as

Researchers Use Hydrated Lime To Reduce Toxic Selenium Emissions
Researchers are using hydrated lime to reduce the amount of selenium emitted by fossil-fuel combusters and incinerators. Selenium,a volatile and toxic byproduct produced by coal- fired power plants, is essential for humans and other animals. Large quantities of selenium can cause infertility and damage to the liver, kidneys and lungs

Gene Marker Aids Livestock Production
Forget washboard abdomens and sleeker thighs. When it comes to livestock, the latest rage is bigger butts. For more than a decade, animal scientists have been intrigued by an inherited trait in sheep that results in larger buttocks--and leaner, less expensive meat. Now, the discovery of a genetic marker for the trait should bring meatier hindquarters in sheep and other livestock a step closer to reality.

New Study Confirms Bering Land Bridge Flooded Later Than Previously Believed
A new study confirms the Bering Land Bridge that carried ancient wanderers from Asia into North America was not inundated by rising seas until about 11,000 years ago, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder researcher

Young Children Source Of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
Healthy young children in developing countries are becoming reservoirs of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, most likely due to the overuse and misuse of common antibiotics available over the counter in these countries, say researchers in a study published in the July 1996 issue of the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy

Protein Particles Similar To Those Suspected In "Mad Cow" Disease Found In Yeast Cells
In a finding that supports a new mechanism of inheritance and the leading theory as to the mysterious causative agent of

Tougher Fireworks Laws, Fewer Kids Hurt
Kids living in cities with lenient fireworks laws are seven times more likely to get injured by fireworks than are kids in stricter communities, a new study of emergency room admissions over 22 years has shown. The researchers are calling for a total ban on personal fireworks use

Researchers Explore Nature's Energy Conversion Process
Chemists are working on the development of synthesized metalloproteins that mimic nature's energy conversion processes. The proteins being developed by Rutgers-Newark researcher Ramy Faird could lead to efficient molecular-based solar-energy systems andpossibly molecular-based computers. Such systems would be uniquely small and possessing the possibility of limitless control of their function through simple chemical modifications.

Are The Burgers Done? KSU's Hunt Knows
MANHATTAN, Kan. -- If hamburger patties turn brown after being cooked, then that's supposed to be a good sign they're done and ready to eat -- or are they? Premature browning can mislead people into believing their burgers are done when in fact they are not fully cooked, which is necessary to insure that any harmful bacteria are killed

Federal Guidelines Needed to Ensure Safety in Animal
The potential benefits of animal-to-human transplants of organs, tissues, and cells outweigh the risks involved, but human clinical trials should move forward only after carefully coordinated federal guidelines and other safeguards have been put in place, a committee of the Institute of Medicine concluded in a new report

Rigid Style Of Expressing Anger Harmful To Health, Study Finds
People who openly express their anger have something in common with those who hide it -- both groups may be risking their cardiac health. Middle-aged males with rigid styles of expressing anger had more total cholesterol and

Suicidal Tendencies
Is the body made up of miniature samurais? The July/August issue of New York Academy of Sciences' magazine,The Sciences, details research by Lonodon biologist, Martin C. Raff that the body's cells are programmed to kill themselves if they fall out of sequence. If he's right, it could hold good news in treating cancer and Parkinson's diseases

New Procedure Speeds Detection of Livestock Parasite
A new test from U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers trims time and expense diagnosing whether aborting cattle are infested with Neospora caninum. This parasite, blamed for up to half of cattle abortions, was discovered in 1988 and has been identified in livestock in the U.S. and several other countries.

Atmospheric Model Backs Galileo Jupiter Data
Johns Hopkins researchers have created a model of Jupiter's distinctive atmospheric bands. Their findings support indications from the Galileo probe that the fast-moving bands are not the product of warming by the sun, but are produced by an interior heat source.

New Use For Fly Ash
A licensing agreement recently executed between Michigan Technological University and Mineral Resource Technologies (MRT) of Atlanta, GA could make fly ash the latest natural resource of the industrial age, as well as garner the University millions of dollars in royalties over the next several years.

Core Spins Faster Than Earth, Scientists Find
Scientists at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory have found that the Earth's inner core is rotating faster than the planet itself, they reported today (Wednesday). Motion of the inner core has never before been detected or measured. The fundamental discovery indicates that the inner core is spinning independently from the rest of the solid Earth. The research is reported in the July 18 issue of the journal Nature

New Drug Tested at UIC Effectively Treats Narcolepsy
University of Illinois at Chicago researchers and those at 20 other sites have found that a new drug helps narcolepsy patients stay awake without being a stimulant. UIC's Center for Narcolepsy Research participated in a trial of Modafinil, the first new drug treatment to be developed for narcolepsy in 30 years.

University Of Washington Researchers Make Major Advances In New MRI Technique That Produces Clear Images Of Nerves And Nerve Injuries
University of Washington researchers report in the August issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery that they have created clear images of nrve compressions and injuries using modified MRI scanners. They believe the break through will alter the way pain andnerve-related disorders are diagnosed and treated in the future

House Incumbents Use Large Campaign Funds To Deter Challengers
U.S. House members prevent high-quality challengers from opposing them in elections by raising large campaign war chests. Every $100,000 an incumbent collects decreases by 16 percent the chance that a high-quality challenger will enter the race. This is the first academic study showing that an incumbentâs fundraising can discourage challengers

Nausea Is Not The Same For Everyone
Does nausea feel the same to everyone? New research at Penn State University suggests that it probably does not. Nausea can be caused by a host of conditions and situations -- pregnancy, motion sickness, chemotherapy, migraines, to name a few. Teh data show that the experience varies widely from one individual to the next

UMass Study Points To Possible Heat Problems at Olympics
When University of Massachusetts exercise scientist Patty Freedson conducted a study of Olympians at pre-game trials in Atlanta last April, she was interested in seeing how the heat and humidity would affect the players at the summer games

New Grapes From Cornell Debut
Two new grape varieties, one for eating and one for wine, developed at Cornell, are introduced.

Underuse Of Hospice Care Hurts Patients, Wastes Money
Hospice care is woefully underused in this country, resulting in needless suffering and wasted money. Most patients who enroll in hospice programs, especially those with cancer, arrive too late in the course of their illness to make the most of this type of care, report researchers in the July 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Nutrition Study Reshapes Strategies For Athletes
A sports nutrition program developed by a University of Arizona nutrition specialist has changed the training regimens of a number of America's elite women athletes, including seven of the top eight members of the U.S. women's heptathlon team

Southern Pine Beetle Reaching Outbreak Levels In North Florida
Southern Pine Beetle populations have exploded to outbreak levels along the Suwannee River in Hamilton and Madison counties, where the tree-killing beetle has invaded several pine plantations. Entomologist John L. Foltz of the University of Florida'sInstitute of Food and Agricultural Sciences said forest owners throughout North Florida need to check their stands and begin control measures if they spot the voracious beetle.

Subtle Brain Circuit Abnormalities Confirmed in ADHD
Subtle structural abnormalities in the brain circuit that inhibits thoughts have been confirmed in the first comprehensive brain imaging study of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans of 57 boys with ADHD, aged 5-18, also revealed that their brains were abnormally symmetrical.

Environment Plays Important Role In Reproduction- Study Of Wild Baboons Provides Insight For Human Infertility Treatment
A study of reproduction in wild baboons offers a new way of thinking about infertility treatment for American women. University of Washington researcher Dr. Samuel Wasser reports that seasonal conditions and social stresses affect baboon reproduction, suggesting that future diagnosis and treatment of infertility in women should emphasize reducing life stresses

Special News Report On Prions In 12 July 1996 Science
A special news report in the 12 July 1996 of Science takes a detailed look at the evidence for and against prions, a little known but highly controversial protein that the recent

Overweight Patients At Greater Risk Of Infection After Surgery
Overweight surgery patients are six to nine times more likely to develop post-operative infections than other patients. Among patients who had elective surgery over a three-month period, 2.8 percent of the overweight and 4 percent of the severely overweight patients developed post-operative infections while in the hospital

International Research Team Clones New Skin Cancer Gene
Researchers, led by Allen Bale, M.D., director of the Cancer Genetics Program at the Yale Cancer Center, have isolated the gene for basal cell carcinoma of the skinn, the most common human cancer. The discovery paves the way for novel approaches to preventing and treating basal cell carcinoma

Researcher Uses Computer Model Of Soccer Fan Crowd Behaviour To Model Trading Patterns Of Stockbrokers
The trading patterns of stockbrokers have a lot in common with the behaviour of crowds of soccer fans according to University of Warwick researcher Keith Still. Keith has developed mathematical tools using a part of ãChaos Theoryä that provides extremely accurate models of how crowds behave.He is now using it to predict stockbroker behaviour

Link Between El Nino And Rainfall In Israel Discovered
An Israeli team of researchers, led by the Weizmann Institute's Dr. Dan Yakir, has discovered a striking correlation between El Nino and rainfall in central Isreal over the past 20 years. Their results, which may prove valuable in predicting rainfall, are reported in the current issue of Global Change Biology

Researchers Find Gene For Hair, Tooth And Sweat Gland Development
A Nature Genetics paper describes the isolation of the first gene to be associated with human baldness. When faulty, the gene causes a disorder called anhidrotic ectodermal dysplasia (ED). Children and adults with ED have little hair and missing teeth. They also cannot perspire. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to