Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 17, 1998
Science Magazine Announces Breakthrough Of The Year: Berkeley Lab's Supernova Cosmology Project A Winner
By observing distant, ancient exploding stars, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and elsewhere have determined that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate -- an observation that implies the existence of a mysterious, self-repelling property of space.

At Night, Birds May Review The Songs They Learn During The Day
Zebra finches in a University of Chicago lab are providing strong evidence that sleep plays an important role in learning.

Science And Law Team Up On Legal Reform Proposal
A Purdue University physicist and a political science professor have proposed a new way to reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits that are choking the court system.

Clemson Fire Ant Research Uses Biological Approach
In the ongoing war to control fire ants, a new, biological approach is being tested at Clemson University.

Unlocking Secrets To The Interaction Of Light And Matter
Scientists at the University of Michigan College of engineering observed and recorded the relativistic motion of free electrons in the electromagnetic fields of light.

Shining Light On Sound
A Laser Ultrasonic Camera developed by researchers at the INEEL transforms sound waves into an image.

Virginia Tech Research Looks At The 'Human Dimensions' Of The Forest
A forest is more than trees, animals, and plants. There are social attributes, too, according to Bruce Hull, a forestry professor at Virginia Tech who recently conducted a study of the relationships between the forest of Mount Rogers, Va. and its surrounding communities.

Spraying Water Containing Airborne Bacteria Found At Some Indoor Swimming PoolsCan Cause "Lifeguard Lung" Following Long-Term Exposure
Lifeguards at indoor swimming pools with water spouts and sprays, waterfalls and water slides may contract a lung disease after breathing bacteria suspended in water droplets small enough to be inhaled into the lungs.

NSF-Funded Research Heads Science Magazine's Top Ten Advances Of 1998
National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported research led to the two most important scientific advances in 1998, according to a new Science magazine summary of the ten discoveries it considered the most important of the year.

Bones of Crocodile-like Beasts Tell Tale of Global Warming
Immediately after volcanoes around the world spewed carbon dioxide into the atmosphere 90 million years ago, the Arctic was as warm as present-day Florida, according to fossil evidence discovered by a University of Rochester team.

Patients' Superstitions In Japan Are Costing The Health Service
The superstition of some patients in Japan about 'lucky' and 'unlucky' days influence when they leave hospital and may be contributing to higher medical care costs, suggest researchers in this week's BMJ.

UCSF Team Identifies Two Key Molecules In Asthma; Important Finding For New Therapies That Treat Disease At Cell Level
Researchers at the University of California San Francisco have identified two molecules that cause cells to cause asthma---a finding that paves the way for developing more effective drugs for treatment.

Water Travels Chaotically Through The Ground
For the first time, hydrogeologists are using chaos theory to model how water flows from the earth's surface to the aquifer.

Chocolate And Sweets - Eaten In Moderation - Can Make You Live Longer!
Indulging in sweets a few times a month can help you to live longer, suggest researchers in this week's BMJ.

Wildlife Conservation Society Receives $700,000 Grant From Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) yesterday received a three-year, $700,000 grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to control suburban sprawl in three key habitat areas surrounding New York City.

From Germany To The Wild West: Geologists Hunt For Evidence Of Ancient Crinoid
It's not lifestyles of the rich and famous that UC geologist David Meyer is concerned with, but Meyer's efforts to understand the lifestyles of the ten-armed fossil crinoid, Uintacrinus, did send him globe-trotting this year.

Engineering Study For The CDC Shows How To Fight Low Childhood Immunization,Save Millions In Health Costs
A pilot study for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) could help vaccine purchasers make some tough decisions and save millions of dollars in health care costs, according to the lead article to be published in a health care journal in January.

Oil Spill Cleanup Product Made From Sugar Byproduct
A biodegradable product that can clean up spilled oil in hard-to-get-to places now is on the horizon, thanks to the work of a researcher at the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center.

First Demonstration Of Laser Action In A Powder
Scientists at Northwestern University have demonstrated lasing in a simple powdered material, suggesting that semiconductor lasers -- which are brighter and more efficient than light emitting diodes -- could be made cheaply enough to replace some of the estimated 30 billion LEDs made each year for use in luminescent displays.

UW Astronomers Have A Hand In 'Science' Breakthrough Of The Year
Two University of Washington astronomy professors and two UW graduate students were among dozens of scientists on two teams who this year showed that the expansion of the universe is actually accelerating, a discovery lauded by the journal

Eight Alabama Researchers Receive NASA Biotechnology Grants
NASA has selected 48 researchers -- eight of whom are from Huntsville and Birmingham -- to receive grants totaling approximately $33 million to conduct biotechnology research that may lead to new medical technologies.

Virginia Tech Fisheries Professor Works To Conserve Mussels
Mussels have been filtering rivers for millennia. They are also a food for fish and wildlife, an indicator for water quality, and a raw material for the pearl industry.

Elementary Students Mapping Virginia Wildlife
When Christiansburg (Virginia) Elementary School (CES) wanted to start a wildlife mapping and tracking educational program for its students, it turned to Virginia Tech Wildlife Society student members. 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