Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 15, 1999
ORNL technology could make solar energy more viable
Solar energy could get a mega-boost, effectively gaining a three-fold improvement over conventional technology, with a system being developed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

'Ulysses' measures the deflection of galactic dust particles by solar radiation
An international team of scientists from NASA, the University of Florida at Gainesville, and the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany, observed the deflection of galactic dust grains by solar radiation (Science 17 December 1999).

Sexual fantasies increase pain tolerance
Bringing to mind a favorite sexual fantasy may be a good way to lessen pain, according to a recent study of college students by researchers at Johns Hopkins and the University of Wisconsin.

Five top minority science students win scholarships
Academic scholarships of up to $2,500 each have been awarded to local minority chemistry students through the American Chemical Society/AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals Scholars Program, sponsored by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals and the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society.

For a fish, there's no place like home, say major studies, offering key information for fisheries management
Pathbreaking fisheries research from two different oceans yielded the same results, published as this week's cover story in Nature: chemical tests show that coral reef fish often spend their life cycle close to home, rather than drifting in the open ocean, thus providing important information for global fisheries management.

Low-income black women need information about menopause
A Johns Hopkins study of more than 200 low-income African American women suggests that their low use rate of potentially heart and life-saving hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after menopause is closely linked to their health care providers' failure to bring up the subject.

Scientists figure out how cells' tiniest motors work
Biologists have figured out how the world's smallest machines work - the molecular motors that separate chromosomes when cells divide, distribute embryonic material and haul precious cargo in every organism from protozoa to people.

Life in the inferno: researchers identify factors that determine where microorganisms can survive in the hellish world deep underground
High temperatures ensure nothing can survive more than a few kilometers down into the hellish world below the earth's surface.

Three top minority science students win scholarships
Academic scholarships of up to $2,500 each have been awarded to local minority chemistry students through the American Chemical Society/Bayer Scholars Program, sponsored by Bayer and the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society.

Learning how cell's tiny motor powers its mobility
HHMI researchers have for the first time shown how the world's smallest moving machines generate the motion needed to transport their chemical cargo throughout cells.

ACS solicits nominations for science writing award
The American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, announces that it is currently accepting applications for the 2001 James T.

Smell, taste may influence lifespan of the roundworm C. elegans
The microscopic roundworm is at it again, offering dramatic insights into the factors that regulate aging, at least in C. elegans.

UI researcher fails to detect small comets
University of Iowa astronomy professor Robert Mutel announced today that an eight-month search using an Arizona-based telescope has failed to detect evidence supporting a 13-year- old theory that small comets composed of snow are continually bombarding the Earth.

Rotational motion detected in gates controlling nerve impulses
Scientists who performed the first direct measurement of voltage-induced distance changes in ion channels -- critical components of the nervous system -- have reached a surprising conclusion.

A little help from below: naturally occurring microbes ready to lend a hand trapping radioactivity underground
Microbes living underground at the Department of Energy's Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory breakdown the compound urea, which means they may be able to help trap a radioactive contaminant found in the groundwater beneath the lab, researchers from INEEL, Idaho State University, and the University of Toronto reported today at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

Cystic fibrosis splicing experiments offer hope for improved treatments
Although not yet ready to try their new technique in patients, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill scientists have successfully repaired a genetic problem that accounts for a form of cystic fibrosis commonly seen in patients of European Jewish descent.

Jentoft named to new NIH advisory group on regulatory burdens
Joyce Jentoft of Case Western Reserve University is one of 10 experts appointed to a group that will help the National Institutes of Health identify and resolve excessive burdens that federal regulations may place on researchers nationwide.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory
ENERGY - Solar energy could get a megaboost, effectively gaining a three-fold improvement over conventional technology...

U-M Medical School receives $4 million for new bioinformatics program
The University of Michigan Medical School will receive $4 million during the next four years from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to support the U-M's new program in bioinformatics.

Evidence mounts for Arctic Oscillation's impact on northern climate
A growing body of evidence indicates that a climate phenomenon called the Arctic Oscillation has wide-ranging effects in the Northern Hemisphere and operates differently from other known climate cycles, according to University of Washington scientists.

NASA team wins national space award
A NASA team has won a national space award for its work to lighten the weight of the space shuttle's external fuel tank.

Vagus Nerve Stimulator successful for depression
A nationwide clinical trial has shown Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS), an electrical stimulation therapy currently used to combat epilepsy, to be a promising new method for treating patients with severe treatment-resistant depression.

UCSF School of Medicine receives $3.8 Million grant for biomedical research
The UCSF School of Medicine received a grant of $3.8 million this week from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to support biomedical research.
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