Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 12, 2000
British men favour beer and fast food diet
A beer and fast food diet is the one eaten by most men in Britain.

Untreated depression and hopelessness contribute to a patient's desire to die
Understanding why a terminally-ill patient wishes to die has become a focus for improving end of life care as well as a crucial part of the physician-assisted suicide debate.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome may be linked to the presence of excessive bacteria in the small intestine
Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center may have identified the cause of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a gastrointestinal condition that afflicts about 20 percent of the adult population and is diagnosed in twice as many women as men.

Monsanto congratulates scientists behind the Arabidopsis genome sequence
Monsanto Company congratulates the scientists behind today's publication in the journal Nature of the genome sequence of Arabidopsis Thaliana.

Women hospitalized for treatment of heart disease may be perfectly primed to quit smoking
Smoking cessation programs for hospitalized women with heart disease may have lasting effects, according to a UCSF researcher.

Global warming greater minus El NiƱos, volcanoes
Removing the masking effects of volcanic eruptions and El Nino events from the global mean temperature record reveals a more gradual and yet stronger global warming trend over the last century, according to a new analysis by Tom Wigley, a climate expert at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

Neptune's ears
The Office of Naval Research has proposed a project - current working title ESME, or Effects of Sound on the Marine Environment - which will bring together data from a number of organizations and develop the mathematical models needed to estimate environmental effects from different types of sonar use.

Engineer predicts dismal consequences for nation's infrastructure
Much of America's highway systems were built from the 1930s through the 1960s and were designed for a 50 year service life.

Anonymous donor pledges $130 million to Rensselaer
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson announced Dec. 13 that the Institute has obtained a gift of $130 million from an anonymous donor to construct two major new facilities: a biotechnology research building and an electronic media and performing arts center.

Expanded Global Change Experts Directory available
The NASA Earth Observing System Global Change Media Directory 2001 provides journalists with a ready source of international expertise on global climate change science and policy.

How much does the Universe weigh?
How much does the Universe weigh? Astronomers have been asking the question for decades, and the good news is that we finally know the answer.

Tissue proteolysis and male infertility
PCI-/- mice are indistinguishable from their wild-type littermates in most respects, but males are infertile, due to profound defects in sperm development.

UCSF study reveals common patient group at high risk for stroke
People who experience transient ischemic attack, a fleeting condition that amounts to an aborted stroke, are often at high risk for experiencing a full-fledged stroke or other serious adverse effects within the first 90 days following their diagnosis of TIA, according to a large-scale epidemiology study led by UCSF neurologists.

See-through letters
A simple spray can make unopened letters transparent, and leave no trace behind.

Researchers sequence first plant genome
Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are part of a team that has generated the first complete DNA sequence of a plant.

Nanonurses
Nanodevices made from biomolecules and tiny nickel propellers could usher in a new generation of ultrasmall, robotic, medical devices that administer drugs and other treatments from inside the body.

$50 million gift to launch centers for advanced photonics and communications systems at Stanford and Duke
High-tech entrepreneur Michael J. Fitzpatrick and his wife, Patty, will donate $25 million each to Duke and Stanford universities to establish new centers for advanced photonics, a technology that melds light with electronics.

Efficient T-cell trafficking without b7 integrins
The b7 integrins a4b7 and aEb7 have been implicated in trafficking of lymphocytes to the epithelial lining of the intestine and in the retention of lymphocytes at this site.

Clearing the brain of amyloid peptides
Although the synthesis and pathological role of amyloid peptides are matters of great interest and controversy, the opposing process of amyloid clearance from the brain has received far less attention.

I love you, but you're making me sick
Toronto- According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, when your intimate relationships become strained there may be long-term effects on your heart health.

Geologist suggests water may reside as ice deep in planets' interior
A Northwestern geologist reports that water may be transported into the interior of planets as a high-pressure form of ice, rather than being transported while trapped within hydrous minerals or escaping as a fluid.

Research from December Journals of the American Society for Microbiology
--Electrical stimulation after inoculation increases the effects of a DNA vaccine over 10-fold.

Mayo Clinic study finds definitive evidence relating to the role of estrogen in elderly males
A Mayo Clinic study, published in the December edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, provides new evidence that estrogen is dominant in the regulation of bone resorption in elderly men.

Rubber bullets miss more than they hit
Non-lethal guns have to be accurate otherwise they risk killing people rather than leaving them merely incapacitated.

Scientists report first complete genome sequence of a plant
An international effort to sequence the entire genome of the plant species Arabidopsis thaliana is now complete.

NSF-supported research at American Geophysical Union (AGU) conference
Several key sessions involving National Science Foundation (NSF) - supported research highlight the American Geophysical Union (AGU) conference in San Francisco, December 15-19, 2000.

Elephant seals - looking good
Placing small sensing devices on the seals' coats, marine biologists and oceanographers are gathering information not only on the mammals themselves, but also on sea temperatures and pressure from depths not normally reached by research ships and satellite sensing.

Extended drug therapy and pneumatic compression key to avoiding blood clots after hip replacement surgery
A major study of patients who were hospitalized because of life-threatening blood clots after hip replacement surgery report that pneumatic compression--external devices that massage and compress the legs--can dramatically lower the risk of rehospitalization but it is only effective in average- weight patients.

War without tears
Military advisors in the US want to rewrite the treaties banning chemical and biological weapons so they can develop

Coffee may protect against bladder cancer
Coffee may protect against the development of bladder cancer, especially in smokers.

Takin' care of business - the Navy way
The Navy's Best Manufacturing Practices Program (BMP), sponsored by ONR, is transforming the way the government does business by serving as an

First plant genome completed
An international collaboration, the Arabidopsis Genome Initiative, reports the completion of the first plant genome.
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