Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 04, 1998
Centrifugally Launched Ball Bearings Could Propel Spacecraft
Small ball bearings, slung from orbiting centrifuges, could one day be used to boost satellites into higher orbits, launch spacecraft to distant planets, or slow satellites and returning space probes for safe re-entry into the atmosphere, say researchers at the University of Illinois.

Forecasting The El Niño-Driven Ebb And Flow Of A Rogue Mosquito
A computer model being honed by scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison may help predict mosquito population booms, and when and where in the world mosquitos might show up in response to large-scale climate events like El Niño.

Studies Rebut Concept That Body Stores Vitamin A-Making Substances
Efforts to battle vitamin A deficiency, especially in developing countries, have been thrown a curve: Carotenoids that promote vitamin A production -- and are often consumed in mass quantities when available -- are not sufficiently stored and converted to vitamin A, according to new research.

New Office For Technology Development Hopes To Attract New Companies To Dallas
As part of an effort to bring biotechnology companies to Dallas and to take more biomedical discoveries from the research lab to patient care, UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas has inaugurated the Office for Technology Development.

Duke Studies Show U.S. Central Plains Vulnerable To Global Warming
By analyzing how the northern U.S. Central Plains changed between grassland and forest due to past climate changes, Duke University ecologists have offered further evidence that the region will likely undergo drastic ecological changes due to 21st-century global warming.

University Of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center Researchers Identify Protein That May Cause Nerve Cell Death In Alzheimer's Disease
A team of University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center researchers has discovered that Par-4, a protein, may lead to nerve cell death in Alzheimer's disease and related brain disorders.

Regardless Of Race Or Gender, People Think Alike About Work, Study Shows
Every year, millions of Americans take vocational tests, almost all of them based on the Holland theory of personality types and vocational interests.

Subtle Changes In Brain Receptor Gene May Have Significant Consequences For Addiction
Scientists have identified five slightly different versions of the mu opioid receptor gene that alter the activity of a molecule called beta-endorphin.

Human Ancestors Went Out Of Africa And Then Came Back: NYU/SUNY-Albany Research Team Proposes Controversial New Model for Evolution of Humans
SUNY-Albany biologist Caro-Beth Stewart and NYU anthropologist Todd R. Disotell have proposed a controversial new model for the evolution of apes and humans, which together are called the hominoids.

Scientists Seeking Third Village Where Europeans Met Illini Indians
The 325th anniversary of the first European contact with the Illini, a once large and powerful confederacy of Native American tribes that lived in the Upper Mississippi River Valley, is being celebrated in this summer's severe heat with shovels and buckets.

Bug Expert's Latest Books Feature Simple Language, Vivid Photos
Retirement isn't about fishing for Gilbert Waldbauer. Such relaxation bugs him.

University Of Michigan Vaccine Triggers Immune System
Using a vaccine made from specialized white blood cells called dendritic cells spiked with cancer proteins, University of Michigan scientists have found a way to activate the immune system to attack malignant tumors and prevent the development of new tumors in mice.

Soil Variation Important In Natural Plant Communities
Virginia Tech faculty members Paul Mou of forestry and Robert H.

Transplanted Skeletal Muscle Mimics Heart Muscle; Helps Failing Heart Pump, Duke Researchers Say
Immature muscle cells transplanted from the leg of an animal to its heart apparently can

Massive Ocean Current May Provide Clues To Global Warming
Scientists aboard the world's largest scientific drill ship, the JOIDES Resolution, will soon study a cold-water current that today is 100 times the size of the mighty Amazon River.

New Satellite Tags Track Movements Of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna
A new satellite tagging technology has proven that it can help resolve the mysteries of tuna migration at a time when management strategies for these remarkable and commercially valuable fish are in dispute and their breeding population is in sharp decline.

Percutaneous Transluminal Myocardial Revascularization Clinical Trials Offer New Option For Angina Pain Sufferers
Cardiac patients who suffer from incapacitating angina despite the maximum doses of medication but are too frail for coronary bypass surgery or angioplasty may find relief through a new laser procedure called Percutaneous Transluminal Myocardial Revascularization (PTMR), now in phase II clinical trials at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Antisense Therapy Prevents Burkitt's Lymphoma In Mice
Researchers at Jefferson Medical College have used DNA therapy and the host immune system to stave off the development of cancer in mice.

Open-Air Experiment Shows High CO2 Boosts Tree Growth
The first year's results from a Duke University research facility that exposes open-air forests to high carbon dioxide levels suggest that Southeastern forest trees could grow up to 12 percent faster in the higher CO2 atmosphere expected by 2050 from fossil fuel combustion and other human activities.

New Program To Help Scientists Reach Out
The Ecological Society of America announced on Aug. 4 a new program to help scientists improve the flow of accurate, credible scientific information to policy makers and the public.

Blindness Linked To The Cytoskeleton?
A research group at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin identified the gene defect underlying a specific form of hereditary blindness, known as retinitis pigmentosa (nature genetics, Vol.

ORNL-SEMATECH Computing Tool Helps U.S. Semiconductor Industry Identify Manufacturing Problems
The U.S. semiconductor industry is raising its productivity and lowering its costs in producing electronic components for computers using a computing software tool developed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Ultrasound Imaging Advance Improves Prostate Cancer Treatment
Assessing whether prostate cancer patients are eligible for radioactive seed implantation therapy, a preferred new treatment, can now be made in minutes rather than days, and at a fraction of the usual cost, using a new ultrasound imaging technology developed by researchers at the University of Washington and Seattle Prostate Institute. 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