Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 28, 2000
Turning biomass waste into auto fuel
Cornell researchers are using enzymes to break down solid biomass waste into a renewable energy form.

Method removes gas additive MTBE from tainted water
A Purdue University chemist has developed an experimental method that could be used to remove the gasoline additive MTBE from polluted ground water.

Chytrid fungus associated with boreal toad deaths in Rocky Mountains
Recent deaths of endangered boreal toads in Rocky Mountain National Park have been linked to a chytrid fungus and are the second such diagnosis in Colorado, according to the USGS.

New USGS research shows how land use affects amphibians
New USGS research shows that, despite some risks, rural areas and farms may be friendlier to frogs and toads than urban areas.

Fears over ICSI largely groundless say fertility experts
New research on over 1,000 babies born by the controversial fertility treatment known as ICSI finds that fears it could lead to malformations are largely groundless.

Scant evidence for addiction to exercise among women
There is little evidence for exercise addiction among women, unless they suffer from an eating disorder such as bulimia or anorexia, reveals research in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Genetic mutations associated with epilepsy
University of Michigan scientists have found mutations in a sodium channel gene that regulates electrical activity in nerve cells, which may be the cause of one or more types of inherited epilepsy.

UI studies: Frequent marijuana use may affect brain function but not structure
Recent University of Iowa Health Care studies indicate that some people who frequently use marijuana have substantially lower blood flow to certain parts of their brains; however, smoking the illicit drug does not affect brain size or structure.

UNC-CH study finds N.C. outpatient heart rehabilitation programs mostly under-used
Too few people with heart problems -- especially women and minorities -- use outpatient cardiac rehabilitation programs across the state, according to a new University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study.

DFG presents the results of the reviewer elections
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) has announced the results of its reviewer elections: 88,000 entitled scientists have elected 650 reviewers in 189 special fields.

UC Berkeley psychologist finds evdence that male hormones in the womb affect sexual orientation
Higher levels of male hormones in the womb can create a greater than normal tendency for males and females to develop a homosexual orientation, according to research by Marc Breedlove.

Understanding how the first cells emerged
Californian researchers have shown how early cells pumped ions across a membrane to help power cells.

Short boys more likely to be kept back a year at school
Short boys are more likely to repeat a year at school, indicates research in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

FDA approves effective new test for underlying cause of ulcers
A new test to diagnose active H. pylori infection, the leading cause of peptic ulcer disease, recently received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration.

Masters of the universe
It's beginning to look as if all galaxies, including our own Milky Way, have a

California workforce initiative created at UCSF to address changes in health care workforce
In response to the drastic changes that have inundated California's health care workers in the last several years, two California foundations-the California HealthCare Foundation and The California Endowment-have donated $7 million to UC San Francisco's Center for Health Professions to create the California Workforce Initiative (CWI)

Making bottled green tea taste fresh-brewed
Cornell food scientists find the chemicals to make bottled or canned green tea that tastes like fresh brewed.

Low blood levels of HIV reduce risk of heterosexual transmission
In this week's New England Journal of Medicine, an international team reports results of the largest survey ever to examine the link between the concentration of virus in a person's blood -- known as viral load -- and other risk factors for HIV heterosexual transmission.

Sports massage of little physical benefit
Massage, widely used by athletes to speed up muscle recovery after sporting performance, confers little physical advantage, although it may be of some psychological benefit, says research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Reports of "weird life" almost stranger than fiction
Michael Daly occasionally gets letters from schoolchildren who find

X-ray studies shed light on frog deformities
The most extensive study of bone changes found in malformed frogs shows that both time- and location-specific environmental events may influence the development of these malformations.

Link between common virus and heart failure discovered
Researchers have discovered the gene that allows one of most common and highly-contagious viral infections to trigger deadly heart disease.

A surgeon without a heart but with a steady hand
The best surgeon may be a robot with a steadier hand than a human's.

Modified rice could end food shortages
A new strain of genetically modified rice, which boosts yields by a massive 35 per cent, could end lean times for the world's growing population.

Consortium in place to advance coach safety
The Cranfield Impact Centre have been asked to join a new European consortium set up to research and improve legislation surrounding coach and bus safety.

Neanderthal infant yields DNA evidence
Modern forensic DNA techniques normally used to determine the identity of modern humans have been applied to a Neanderthal infant.

Underwater sensor sniffs out chemistry at deep-sea vent sites
Researchers from the University of Delaware and Analytical Instrument Systems Inc. have developed an electrochemical analyzer, a kind of underwater

Van to patrol Baltimore streets offering free HIV urine testing
Johns Hopkins and Sisters Together and Reaching Inc. (STAR) have teamed up to offer Baltimoreans free HIV urine testing from a mobile van. 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