Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 19, 2000
Depression in later life may be caused by hardened arteries
Some late-life depression is likely to be caused by narrowing and hardening of the brain arteries rather than any chemical or emotional imbalance.

Study shows no connection between cell phone usage and brain cancer
A case-control study of 891 people who regularly used a cellular phone showed no statistical association between the amount of cell phone usage and the likelihood of developing brain cancer.

Children of heavy smokers may not get treatment for asthmna they need
Children of heavy smokers may not be getting the treatment for asthma that they need.

Obese people overdiagnosed with asthma while thin people are underdiagnosed
Obese people are probably being overdiagnosed with asthma, while thin people are probably not being diagnosed enough, suggests a study in Thorax.

Electronic sniffer
The world's fastest electronic sniffer can identify hundreds of scents in a mix.

Researchers find small survival benefit for patients who have colon cancer surgeries at high-volume hospitals
Hospital experience is one of many important factors patients must consider when deciding where to have their surgery.

Some epilepsy drugs taken during pregnancy may impair brain development
Certain epilepsy drugs taken during pregnancy may impair children's normal brain development.

Where are they now? Twenty years later researchers report on career, life choices of students from 1980 study on gender differences in math ability
Twenty years after finding that gifted boys are better at math reasoning than gifted girls, a follow-up study of these students - now in their 30s -shows that the women chose careers in which they could work with people and were less engaged in the physical sciences and engineering than men.

Exploding meat
Most people tenderise their tough meat by bashing it with a culinary hammer.

New research software to simulate biochemical processes
Bioinformatics experts from the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (USA) and the European Media Laboratory (Germany) have joined forces to develop a software for simulating biochemical networks.When fully developed, the software package will be made available free of charge for scientists working in the academic sphere.

Human reproductive success tied to mitochondrial organization in eggs
The viability of a developing human embryo appears to be related to the clustering and subsequent symmetrical distribution of tiny DNA structures in the egg's fluid surrounding its nucleus prior to the first cell division, according to a new Colorado study.

Waddling is a good way to make up for short legs - at least for penguins, say UC Berkeley researchers
A new study by Timothy Griffin and Rodger Kram of UC Berkeley shows that penguins waddle to make up for the inefficiency of walking with short legs.

University of Toronto researchers develop potent vaccine for Alzheimer's
Researchers in the University of Toronto's Faculty of Medicine have discovered that a vaccine may help prevent and treat the disabling memory loss and cognitive impairment (dementia) of Alzheimer's disease.

As Internet speeds ahead, New York and Chicago lead, while most Florida cities fall behind, UF study finds
In a nationwide study of the country's best-connected cities, a Florida professor's rankings has found New York and Chicago top the list while the Sunshine State's major cities have slipped further behind in the race for high-speed Internet access.

Smoking, heavy drinking and poor nutrition tend to cluster
A lifestyle of smoking and heavy drinking may predispose individuals to make poor food choices and increase their health risks, according to the results of a survey of more than 6,700 individuals.

Artificial eel
An artificial eel that can harvest energy from the currents of the ocean or a river is being developed by engineers in the US.
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