Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 11, 1998
Age Of Bacterial Meningitis Patients And Subtypes Of Disease Have Changed Substantially Within Past Decade
Emory University researchers led an eight-county metro- Atlanta survey of cases of meningitis caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis between 1989 and 1996 revealing a marked shift in both the age-specific incidence and in the specific subgroups of the disease.

Study Finds Aspirin Does Not Prevent High-Risk Cases Of Preeclampsia
Contrary to prevailing medical opinion, low dose aspirin therapy during pregnancy does not prevent preeclampsia in women who are at high risk for this widespread, dangerous disease of pregnancy, according to the largest, most comprehensive study of its kind.

Major Physics Meeting In Columbus
Astrophysics, nuclear theory, science education--these and other topics will be covered at the Joint April Meeting of The American Physical Society (APS) and the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT)--to be held April 17- 21, 1998 at the Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio.

Will Global Change Increase Fire Activity In The Mediterranean Basin?
Will global change alter the frequency and severity of wildfires in mediterranean ecosystems?

Will The Loss Of Biodiversity Alter Ecosystem Functioning?
Biological diversity is declining in many ecosystems. Beyond the ethical issues this raises and the potential economic loss this represents, some scientists are arguing that there could be negative consequences for the functioning of ecosystems and the associated goods and services they provide.

The Cutting Edge Of Global Change In Europe: Policy
Agricultural overproduction as a result of intensifed management led the European Union to make a sweeping overhaul of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in 1992 to encourage long-term abandonment of arable land or conversion to less intensively used pasturelands.

Rare Mutation Find May Offer Clues To Treating Osteoporosis
Unsightly, defective teeth -- but extraordinarily strong bones -- result from an unusual genetic mutation identified, located and cloned for the first time by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry and Wake Forest University.

A Silicon Hemingway:Artificial Author Brutus.1 Generates Betrayal By Bits
A synthetic author the likes of Proust, Joyce, or Kafka may not be in the future, but Brutus.1--an artificial agent capable of story generation--just wrote its first story about betrayal.

Reclaimed Waste Water Can Augment Municipal Drinking-Water Supplies But Concerns Must Be Addressed
Reclaimed waste water can be used to supplement drinking- water sources, but only as a last resort and after a thorough health and safety evaluation, concludes a new report from the National Research Council.

Can Plants Influence The Climate?
Plants have a strong influence on our climate, because they control the fluxes of energy, water, and carbon dioxide between the earth's surface and the atmosphere.

In Anti-Smoking Ads, Subtlety Misses Mark, But Emphasis On Tobacco IndustryManipulations Gets A Rise
Bluntness, not subtlety, appears to be the key to reaching both children and adults through anti-smoking ads, according to a review of broadcast and billboard messages funded by state tobacco taxes published in the March 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory receives funding for textile research collaboration
The U.S. Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) will receive $700,000 in fiscal year 1998 under a recently established Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) between the Laboratory and the Princeton Textile Research Institute.

Carbon In Boreal Forests: Temporary Or Permanent?
The eyes of scientists and politicians have recently turned toward Canadian boreal forests as a possible cure for the excessive carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The Science Of Brain Disease
In celebration of Brain Awareness Week (March 16-22), the NIH will convene a symposium on

Virulent Fungus Devastating Potato Crops
The fungus responsible for the Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s is back, and could be more threatening than ever.

A New Wave In Education -- Bringing The Ocean To The Classroom
Students may be able to dive into their schoolwork in a whole new way with an educators' guide NOAA is providing to teachers.

Hospitals Discourage Consumer Questioning Of Bills, Study Suggests
Certain hospitals regularly use tactics, some friendly and some threatening, to discourage patients from inquiring about their bills, according to an article about anticipatory impression management in this month's edition of a journal published by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS).

The Earth As A Habitable System: Robust Or Fragile?
The Earth is facing global threats to a point never experienced before.
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