Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 21, 2001
Volcano helps meteorologists find answer to climate change mystery
With some help from the massive eruption of a Philippine volcano, scientists from North Carolina State University and the National Climate Center of China believe they have solved a climate change mystery.

Scientists investigate "nanowires" with very low resistance
In the world of electronic circuits, smaller is better: Small circuits, such as those used in computers, run faster and process more data.

Study pinpoints an enzyme key to both male and female sexual dysfunction -- along with a potential treatment
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and other institutions have identified an enzyme that appears to play a key role in bringing on sexual dysfunction in both men and women - and a second molecule that can just as easily yank the offending enzyme out of commission.

First medicinal cannabis studies approved by research center
The Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR), a University of California-based center funded by the State of California, announces the approval of its first proposals for the study of cannabis as a treatment for specific medical conditions.

Scholar finds parallels between U.S./Japanese attitudes toward wolves
The Japanese once saw wolves as benign creatures that guarded their crops.

Gene for DiGeorge Syndrome discovered
The gene responsible for DiGeorge Syndrome, one of the most common genetic causes of congenital heart defects, has been discovered by Baylor College of Medicine researchers.

Fetal and prepubertal growth both programme cholesterol metabolism in adulthood
The body's ability to process cholesterol as an adult is likely to be programmed by size at birth.

Nabi StaphVAX elicits antibodies with in vitro activity against antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains
Antibodies elicited by Nabi(R) StaphVAX(R), an investigational vaccine to prevent Staphylococcus aureus bacteremias, combat antibiotic resistant as well as antibiotic sensitive strains of the bacteria.

Weight regain after dieting can be avoided with low-intensity exercise
Weight regain associated with metabolic changes that occur after dieting can be avoided through a program of low- intensity exercise, according to a study by van Aggel- Leijssen et al.

Johns Hopkins-led team discovers gene defect linked to lung disease
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and Children's Hospital Medical Center of Cincinnati have discovered a genetic defect associated with lung disease in infants and adults.

Excess iron stores more common than anemia in study of U.S. elderly
Fleming et al. conducted a study of iron nutrition in the elderly, who are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population.

Nurses health study links dietary glycemic load with cardiovascular risk factors
A new study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition strengthens the evidence that glycemic load, a measure of carbohydrate intake, can predict cardiovascular disease risk, especially in those who are insulin resistant.

"Fingerprints" of melting ice caps point directly to global climate change and sea level rise
Global climate change is having a direct impact on the Earth's sea level and a group of scientists led by two University of Toronto geophysicists is providing the sea level

Clemson fibers and films center wins $1.3 million grant for cutting-edge virtual reality lab
Clemson University is moving virtual reality out of science fiction and into real labs.

MMR vaccine linked to bleeding disorder
The measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine is linked to a bleeding disorder, called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) in children.

Laboratory wins awards for commercializing technology
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have been recognized this year by the Federal Laboratory Consortium for their efforts in the commercialization of important laboratory-developed technologies.

Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology: February 2001
From the Journals of the ASM: New species of mycobacterium responsible for declining Rockfish population in Chesapeake.

Genetic mutation causes cardiac conduction disease
Studies that started in an Amsterdam emergency room have yielded the first molecular insight into cardiac conduction disease--a disorder that slows the heart rhythm, necessitating pacemaker implantation in millions worldwide.

Neuronal choir hums in unison to rivet brain's attention
In a crowded room of people talking, a few voices singing in unison will quickly drown out the noise.

Cocaine use decreases ability to respond to stimulation, Yale researchers find
Using an innovative method called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to measure brain responsiveness, Yale researchers have found that a cocaine addict's response to stimulation is decreased, indicating possible evidence that cocaine causes permanent brain damage.

Stowaways from space provide link between impact, biggest extinction in Earth history
An asteroid or comet similar to the one that wiped out the dinosaurs smacked into Earth 251 million years ago, releasing about 1 million times the energy of the largest earthquake of the last century and triggering the biggest extinction in Earth history.

Violence is seasonal
Violence is seasonal, peaking in late summer and at its lowest ebb in spring.

Two studies find supplementation and moderation are keys to lowering homocysteine
Two different studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined modifiable lifestyle choices, which can have a significant effect on homocysteine levels.

Lehigh professor testing golf club heads that are center of controversy
When Stanley H. Johnson, professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics at Lehigh University, speaks of

Genes-to-protein connection may have new twist
DNA's protein-building instructions may be able to combine in an unexpected way, increasing the number of possible proteins that can be generated from a given number of genes, according to a report in this week's Nature.

Asteroid or comet triggered death of most species 250 million years ago
Earth's most severe mass extinction - an event 250 million years ago that wiped out 90 percent of all marine species and 70 percent of land vertebrates - was triggered by a collision with a comet or asteroid, according to new findings by a team led by a University of Washington scientist.
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