Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 09, 2001
NEAR Shoemaker primed for final weeks in orbit
The NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft -- the first to orbit an asteroid -- embarks on a series of low-altitude passes over 433 Eros this month in a prelude to its daring February descent to the surface of the rotating, 21-mile-long space rock.

National study to assess impact of anti-seizure medications on unborn children
About 24,000 children in the United States are born each year to women with epilepsy and the vast majority are fine, but a national study aims to further level the playing field.

New clue to diagnosis and treatment of malignant melanoma
Malignant melanoma is an aggressive, deadly cancer that does not respond to conventional chemotherapy.

Syndecan-4 regulates wound repair in vivo
Cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPG) can be divided generally into two gene families: syndecans and glypicans.

Medical hospitalization may be especially distressing for those with psychiatric disorders
Being hospitalized for a medical illness may have long-term negative effects on those with psychiatric conditions, according to a one-year study of male veterans.

Researchers trace toxins from algal blooms through the marine food web in Monterey Bay
Researchers studying a bloom of toxic algae in Monterey Bay last summer found the algal toxin domoic acid in anchovies, sardines, and krill, all key species in the marine food web.

Clearing the way for lipopolysaccharide
This study offers insight into how lipopolysaccharide, which provokes an inflammatory host response to infection by Gram- negative bacteria, is afterward regulated and cleared from the circulation to prevent damage from an unregulated response.

New fossil found in Mongolia provides insight into the origin of living birds and the evolution of flight
The discovery in Mongolia of the fossil of a new bird, Apsaravis ukhaana, that lived about 80 million years ago, sheds new light on the evolution of birds.

Discussing advance care directives may improve patient satisfaction
Some physicians may hesitate to discuss advance care directives with patients for fear of scaring or alienating them.

Liquid water at Earth's surface 4.3 billion years ago, scientists discover
Strong evidence for liquid water at or near the Earth's surface 4.3 billion years ago is presented in Nature's Jan.

Newborn lung treatment poses risk of intestinal perforation
A treatment commonly prescribed to reduce the risk of chronic lung disease in extremely premature infants does not reduce the risk of death or chronic lung disease in these infants and may increase the risk for perforation of the intestines, according to a study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Neonatal Research Network.

APL explores new wind tunnel model fabrication method
Researchers are developing an alternative, low-cost way of fabricating scale models that will make aerodynamic wind tunnel tests a more affordable way for air defense programs to collect high-quality data on conceptual missile designs.

Conference will explore 'quality of life' vs. 'the bottom line'
A Cornell-sponsored conference

Galapagos finches sing different mating songs due to evolutionary diversification of beaks, says UMass biologist
An evolutionary biologist at the University of Massachusetts has presented new evidence that the different courting songs sung by the famous Darwin's finches of the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, may be shaped by the evolutionary diversification of their beaks.

Federal grant establishes University of Pittsburgh as Center for Excellence in Minority Health Research
The University of Pittsburgh has received a $1.27 million federal grant to study racial and ethnic differences in health status and the use of health services among adults.

Scientists find that grasslands can act as 'carbon sinks'
Scientists have long known that forests sometimes act as

Salmonella in combination with radiation effective against cancer tumors,study by Yale researchers finds
A study of melanoma tumors by Yale researchers shows that Salmonella injections in combination with radiation therapy could provide a promising new cancer therapy.

A Texas A&M physicist is developing a technique to identify molecules on the surfaces of metals
A Texas A&M University physicist is developing a technique that will enable scientists to identify molecules on the surfaces of metals, which will have far-reaching implications in the control of chemical reactions by chemical and petroleum industries.

New center focuses on ways to enable buildings to withstand explosive blasts
With the aid of a two-year, $3.51 million contract from the U.S.

$1.85 million grant to study racial differences in self-care awarded to University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health
The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health has received a federal grant of $1.85 million to study differences in health and self-care among chronically ill elderly blacks and whites in western Pennsylvania, and the effects of these differences.

New species of early bird discovered in Mongolia by team of research scientists
New fossil, Apsaravis ukhanna, found in Mongolia's Gobi Desert by the American Museum of Natural History/Mongolian Academy of Sciences Paleontological Expedition at Ukhaa Tolgod, is the best-preserved specimen of a Mesozoic ornithurine bird found in over a century, and offers critical insight into a key stage of avian evolution, near the time when all living bird groups diversified.

Drilling for Martians
Drilling into the surface of Mars may be the best way to find evidence of past life.

Chandra associates pulsar and historic supernova
A team of American and Canadian scientitsts have found new evidence that a pulsar in the constellation of Sagittarius was created when a massive star exploded, witnessed by Chinese astronomers in the year 386 AD.

Immunoprivilege has its disadvantages
Given reports emphasizing the ability of IFNg to promote vascular disease, this cytokine has recently been considered a new target for therapeutic intervention.

Umbrella boots for astronauts
Future astronauts may be donning a pair of umbrella boots to power themselves around a space station.

"Smart probe" for breast cancer detects malignant tumors instantly
The BioLuminate

Malaria Vaccine Initiative establishes partnership with Emory Vaccine Research Center at Yerkes to test malaria vaccine candidates
The Emory University Vaccine Research Center has begun the first of a series of malaria vaccine trials in non-human primates as part of a new partnership with the Malaria Vaccine Initiative at the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health.

Killer virus
Scientists have accidentally stumbled upon a killer virus while trying to make a mouse contraceptive vaccine.

Sprinters' secret weapon
The same protein that helped Maurice Greene become the

Star nurseries: Not much to drink and very hard to breathe
After more than two years in space, NASA's Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite (SWAS) has provided radio astronomers with one definite conclusion about the clouds of gas and dust that make up the bulk of the mass in our galaxy, the Milky Way: water vapor and oxygen are scarce.

Prevention of eye attacks
New research is underway at the University of Pennsylvania's Scheie Eye Institute looking into the causes and prevention of

The college of veterinary medicine and the institute of nautical archaeology team up at Texas A&M University
They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but a seasoned archaeologist learned one today - Computed Tomography (CT) Scans can be useful tools in both medical and archaeological applications.

Chronic fatigue associated with additional health problems
Having chronic fatigue syndrome appears to be associated with an increased risk of developing other physical health problems, suggest the results of a small study of identical and fraternal twins.

Chandra links pulsar to historic supernova
New evidence from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory suggests that a known pulsar is the present-day counterpart to a supernova that exploded in 386 AD, a stellar explosion witnessed by Chinese astronomers.
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