Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 23, 1999
Ratchet effect solves one problem in superconductors
A serious obstacle impeding the application of superconductor devices -- lines of trapped magnetic flux -- can be overcome by employing a common mechanism, the so-called ratchet effect.

PFI is being implemented with virtually no public debate
In the last of four Education and Debate articles published in the BMJ, this week Declan Gaffney et al from University College London, and the Universities of Northumbria and Manchester, pull together their arguments against the continuation of the government's private finance initiative within the UK's National Health Service.

Two scientists make case against ice on the moon
In a letter to Science and a seminar on the Stanford campus, two scientists make a case against the presence of water ice at the Moon's poles and argue that crashing the Lunar Prospector will not provide the definitive evidence of its existence that mission scientists claim.

Wake Forest first to apply innovative brain cancer treatment
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center recently became the first medical center to use an innovative treatment system for brain cancer known as the GliaSiteā„¢ Radiation Therapy System (RTS).

Religious attendance linked to lower mortality in elderly
A study of nearly 4,000 elderly North Carolinians has found that those who attended religious services every week were 46 percent less likely to die over a six-year period than people who attended less often or not at all, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

Gene therapy trial using cold virus to begin at UK
University of Kentucky researchers are beginning a clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of the p53 gene that has been inserted into an adenovirus in combination with standard surgery and chemotherapy to treat ovarian cancer that has spread to the abdominal cavity.

Colorado State experiment aboard space shuttle Columbia will show how plants detect gravity; May help grow them on long-term missions
A Colorado State University experiment on the space shuttle Columbia should help explain what tells a plant's root to grow down and a shoot to grow upward.

Plakin proteins brace nerve axons and allow for the transport of neurotransmitter vesicles
Researchers at the University of Chicago have discovered that plakin proteins--the nuts and bolts of the cell's cytoskeleton--can bind to all three of the major components of the cytoskeleton, giving it strength and flexibility.

Seniors need group housing, not homes
A Cornell University study finds that less than 1 percent of the older population lives in a group housing setting.

Bacterial vaginosis seems to affect miscarriage in early pregnancy
Bacterial vaginosis, a form of inflammation of the vagina caused by bacteria, increases the risk of miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy, say researchers from Leeds General Infirmary.

Digital plant doctor diagnoses plant problems
University of Florida specialists are using a new system that uses digital cameras and the World Wide Web to send photographs of insects and diseased plants from the field to the lab for rapid diagnosis and identification.

Synchronise clocks to find the real millennium baby!
In a tongue-in-cheek letter in this week's BMJ two paediatricians from London warn that in order to validate the birth of the so-called

Why launch Chandra at night?
Blame Newton and Kepler: Chandra's beautiful early morning launch will place it into an orbit unlike that of NASA's other Great Observatories.

Genetically engineered organisms: Hazardous or beneficial
The phrase Genetically Engineered Organisms (GEOs) elicits responses of both fear and wonder from the public.

Conference on the chemistry of light will draw international audience to Duke
A major conference at Duke University Aug. 1-6 is expected to attract about 250 scientists from more than 26 nations who specialize in interactions between light and a wide array of chemical processes in nature and the laboratory.

Future imaging satellites have everyday applications
Researchers are creating software that will make satellite imaging systems so user-friendly that they might soon be accessible to everyone from farmers to real estate developers.

"Young Women in Science" program begins at UK
The Young Women in Science program, run by the University of Kentucky Center on Drug and Alcohol Research and designed to encourage rural teenage women to pursue scientific careers, began recently.

A new view of visual system development
In the brain, neurons that respond to similar visual stimuli are grouped in columns.

USGS invites stakeholder comments about strategic plan
U.S. Geological Survey Director Charles G. Groat today issued an invitation to stakeholders across the nation to comment on a revision of the agency's Strategic Plan.
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