Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 14, 2000
Scripps Institution scientist honored with Maurice Ewing Medal of the American Geophysical Union
Joseph L. Reid, professor emeritus of physical oceanography in the Marine Life Research Group at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, is being honored with the Maurice Ewing Medal of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) for his outstanding scientific contributions to ocean sciences.

Immune proteins play role in brain development and remodeling
Boston, MA--December 15, 2000--Two immune proteins found in the brains of mice help the brain develop and may play key roles in triggering developmental disorders like dyslexia and neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson's Disease, according to a Harvard Medical School study reported in today's issue of Science.

In a hopeful sign, mercury levels decline in Everglades wading birds
In a rare piece of good news about mercury contamination in the Everglades, a University of Florida researcher has found that levels of the pollutant in wading birds have dropped significantly since 1994.

Ancient origins found in arabidopsis genome
A weedy, inedible member of the mustard family, Arabidopsis thaliana is the first plant to reveal its primordial origins.

Translating the human genome into protein function: structural genomics research at Columbia
Columbia researchers are making a major contribution to the rapidly expanding field of structural genomics, an endeavor that relates protein structures to the genetic sequences that encode them.

IMAGE far-ultraviolet camera illuminates unseen portions of the Earth's northern lights
The orbiting far-ultraviolet camera on NASA's IMAGE satellite has recorded the full range of visible and invisible light in the most vivid and intense auroras observed this year.

Global diagnosis completed of ocean regions most sensitive to an iron-rich diet
Adding iron to the diet of marine plant life can boost the amount of carbon-absorbing phytoplankton in certain parts of the oceans.

Should doctors be advising young people to abstain from sex?
Against a background of high rates of teenage conceptions and an increasing level of sexually transmitted infections, a debate in this week's BMJ considers whether advising abstinence is an effective response to declining teenage sexual health.

Ice core from Antarctica indicates record warming spike 19,000 years ago
Ancient ice cores indicate air temperatures in Antarctica rose up to 18 degrees Fahrenheit in just a few decades as the last ice age began to wane some 19,000 years ago, the largest and most abrupt warming spike ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere, according to a University of Colorado reseacher.

"People smartness" essential to Bush's success as president
George W. Bush will need to exhibit extraordinary

Growth of world chemicals industry expected to slow next year
After healthy growth in the first half of this year, the world chemical industry faltered, hurt by high oil prices and the consequent rise in energy and feedstock costs.

Something's fishy with Columbia chinook: females carry male's genetic signature
A University of Idaho scientist's 1999 samples of fall chinook salmon in the Columbia River's Hanford Reach show that four-fifths of the females spawning there apparently began life as males.

A new approach for detecting high cholesterol in families
A nurse-led genetic register, linking lipid clinics nationally, may be a more effective way of detecting new patients with a family history of high cholesterol than general population screening, suggests a study in this week's BMJ.

Young adult cancer survivors exhibit posttraumatic stress disorder
According to a new study, one-fifth of young adults who have been cured of childhood cancer show symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, a post-war phenomenon that when applied to the experience of cancer, can include periods of overwhelming anxiety.

Emergency departments can help tackle community violence
Injury data derived from hospital emergency departments will be shared with the police as part of new government proposals to help tackle community violence.

Researchers probe extra-fast lightning
Data from a 1996 Colorado field experiment is illuminating a new class of lightning flashes thousands of times faster than those previously observed.

AAPS kicks off new century with workshop on bioanalytical methods validation
The American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) will present the AAPS Workshop on Bioanalytical Methods Validation - A Revisit with a Decade of Progress on January 12-14, 2000 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va.

Epidural or spinal anaesthesia reduces major postoperative complications
Giving patients epidural or spinal anaesthesia (known as neuraxial blockade) during major surgery reduces mortality by about a third and also reduces the risk of serious postoperative complications in a wide range of patient groups, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Losing your head
You know those people who seem to have lost their heads?

New books put environmental issues in perspective
Recent books from the National Center for Atmospheric Research offer insights into a range of environmental issues, including the challenge of translating environmental science into policy and the state of our knowledge about El Nino, severe storms, the carbon cycle, and the weather impacts of a changing climate.

Sustained use of anti-depressants increases cell growth and protects cells in the brain
Continued use of anti-depressants leads to new growth in the hippocampal area of the brain.

Presence of only two genes makes the difference between an ordinary and headless embryo
It only takes two genes to make the difference between an ordinary embryo and one that develops without a head: This is the latest insight from research that has begun to unravel the myseries of development at the molecular level.

West Antarctic ice sheet: are we afraid of the right thing?
The West Antarctic ice sheet has been a focal point of concerns about global warming since the 1970s.

Recovery of Arctic ozone layer may take longer than expected
The recovery of the Arctic ozone layer may be slower than previously expected because of unusually low stratospheric temperatures.

High rates of caesarean section in Chile do not reflect patient choice
In Chile, the rate of caesarean sections in women with private health insurance is double that of those in the public sector, yet this does not reflect patients' choice, according to a study in this week's BMJ.

Strange quark contribution to proton structure yields surprising result
Scientists seeking to confirm earlier measurements of the strange quark's contribution to the proton's magnetic moment have found several surprises, instead.

Joint Mathematics Meetings in New Orleans
Over 1300 research papers, representing all areas of mathematics, will be presented at the Joint Mathematics Meetings, January 10-13 in New Orleans.

Despite periodic pummeling, conditions on early earth were ripe for life
Even during an extraordinarily violent era in Earth's early history, when our young planet was being whacked by asteroids and comets so frequently that scientists refer to it as

Natural selection for lactose tolerance
New data in the January issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics suggest that the habits of your ancestors may have determined whether you can eat an ice cream sundae without experiencing the unpleasant side-effects of lactose intolerance.

Advisory panel on federal report on carcinogens makes recommendations to NIEHS/NTP for new listings
An expert advisory panel today recommended to the federal government that steroidal estrogens be listed as a

Witnessing tests for brain stem death may help relatives cope with their loss
The majority of health care professionals involved in testing for brain stem death believe that allowing relatives to be present during testing may help them to understand that death has occurred and may assist the grieving process, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

New report links meteorite to possibility that microscopic life existed on Mars
New scientific evidence reveals that primitive life in the form of bacteria could have existed on Mars.

Chemical society announces minority scholars program
Applications for 2001 are being accepted by the American Chemical Society (ACS) for its minority college scholarship program, the program's manager, Robert J.
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