Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 28, 2001
Researchers isolate proteins that allow sperm to penetrate egg
A team of proteins vital to fertility because of their ability to send signals that allow sperm to pass through an egg membrane has been isolated by researchers at two universities.

Engineers form unique consortium for better undergraduate earthquake engineering
It doesn't take a catastrophe on the order of the Seattle or recent India earthquake for civil engineers to realize that earthquake-engineering studies need to be intensified.

Calcium scan predicts heart attack risk in physically fit people
An electron beam computed tomography (EBCT) scan was able to identify individuals at elevated risk for a heart attack who did not fit the usual high-risk profile, according to a study presented today at the American Heart Association's 41st Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention.

Genetic engineering speeds development of new antibiotics
By hijacking the biosynthetic machinery of bacteria, scientists can create antibiotics.

Latest muon experiment may reveal crack in Standard Model
A high-precision measurement of the muon spin anomaly has shown a tantalizing discrepancy with the Standard Model of particle physics that may require new physics to explain, say University of Illinois researchers who participated in the experiment.

Sequential disinfection process provides safer drinking water
Fresh from the faucet, a killer may be lurking in your glass.

Researchers document brain damage, reduction in motor and cognitive function from methamphetamine abuse
Two studies by researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory provide evidence for the first time that abuse of methamphetamine -- the drug commonly known as

The Institute of Physics Congress
Annual Congress in Brighton, 18-22 March 2001 including a two-day meeting on the future of technological plasmas, seven other conferences including polymers in drug delivery, physical environment and health, and optical techniques for sensing.

Americans aren't as nice as they think they are
Most people are better judges of the moral character of others than they are of their own, Cornell University psychologists report in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Genome project's likely impact on cancer care: Limited in short term, unpredictable in long term
Completion of the human genome project will influence the general framework for anticancer drug development but not fundamentally alter it any time soon predict two cancer specialists in a commentary in the March issue of Nature Medicine.

Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center performs first U.S. implant of the Arrow Lionheartâ„¢
Walter Pae, Jr., M.D., professor of surgery at Penn State College of Medicine and director of transplantation at Penn State Milton S.

Researchers discover stem cells that can generate insulin-secreting cells
Researchers at MGH discovered stem cells within the pancreatic islets of Langerhans that can generate insulin- secreting (beta) cells - a discovery that may eventually help make islet transplantation a standard treatment of diabetes.

New treatment for whiplash induced headaches
Doctor's at the University of Pennsylvania's Department of Rehabilitation Medicine have demonstrated a new and successful technique for treating headaches stemming from whiplash injuires by injecting a steroid into the C2-3 joint where the skull connects to the spine.

Osteoporosis drugs found to combat malaria, other diseases
A series of bisphosphonate drugs already approved to treat osteoporosis and other bone disorders in humans carry potent anti-parasitic activity, offering a new approach to the treatment of malaria, sleeping sickness and AIDS-related infections such as toxoplasmosis.

Teens with emotional and behavioral problems more likely to smoke
Teenagers with aggressive tendencies and who suffer from even low levels of depression may be more likely to start smoking, according to the results of the first study to collect information from teens in real-time, using electronic diaries.

High-energy physics instruments measure turbulence
Cornell University researchers, using techniques developed to observe subatomic particles, have measured turbulent flow in liquids over a wide range of velocities and have come up with some surprising results: Particles often get an extra kick that accelerates them out of proportion to the general motion of the fluid.

Researchers discover thymus gland plays role in fighting infection after bone-marrow transplantation
The thymus gland, until recently thought to be inactive after childhood, plays an important role in immune system reconstitution after bone-marrow transplantation, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have discovered.

Plant genome offers clues to longevity
Researchers studying the tips of chromosomes in Arabidopsis thaliana-a weed in the mustard family-are learning about gene functions that determine how rapidly plants age, which could lead eventually to advances in human medicine.

More accurate test for Lyme disease announced by researcher at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
A new blood test for Lyme disease may provide a more accurate method for detecting the tick-borne illness, particularly in its early stages when current tests may not yield an accurate diagnosis.

Estrogen found to play key role in male birds' ability to sing
Why do male but not female zebra finches sing? Scientists for 20 years have known that males develop the correct brain pathway but researchers didn't know why.

African plant can be grown in Illinois, shows promise as wood substitute
Samples of potential wall-sheathing, sub flooring, tiles and interior car panels are seen throughout Poo Chow's Wood Engineering laboratory at the University of Illinois.

Collaboration speeds stroke treatment for rural Canadians
Thanks to a new collaborative approach to treating strokes in a rural part of Canada, bypassing the nearest hospital didn't mean passing up time- sensitive, brain-saving treatment, according to a study in the March issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Understanding neurodegeneration
As published in Genes & Development, scientists have concluded that the gene ATM is required for neural fate determination and neuronal survival in the adult mammalian brain.

Physicists create quantum gas mix of bosons, fermions: Rice researchers stabilize miniature atom cloud, similar to white dwarf star
For the first time, a mixed gas of the two fundamental types of atoms has been cooled to a state of simultaneous quantum degeneracy--a state of matter in which atoms behave like waves--dramatically illustrating the difference between the two types at ultralow temperatures, Rice University physicists report.

A first: a road map for evolution of placental mammals
A paper set to appear Friday in the journal Science offers new evidence that scientists are close to pinning down the evolutionary road map for the most diverse and largest subgroup of mammals, a feat that may resolve a longstanding scientific debate and shed light on the newly completed human genome.

NSF invites media to report on USA sponsored Antarctic research 2001-2002 season
The National Science Foundation (NSF), which runs the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP), is accepting written requests from professional journalists to visit Antarctica during the 2001- 2002 research season (early November through mid-January).

Sudden cardiac deaths jump among teens and young adults - biggest increase seen among women
In the first study to examine nationwide trends in sudden cardiac death (SCD) among the young, researchers have found that the number of adolescents and young adults who die from sudden cardiac arrest has gone up in the past decade.

Risks of exotic forest pests and their impact on trade
A workshop and symposium entitled

Code needs to be developed to prohibit stalking by means of Internet
Harassment through the Internet, or

UT Southwestern, Korean researchers link bicarbonate transport to cystic fibrosis
Physiology researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, working with Korean researchers, have connected defects in the transport of bicarbonate with cystic fibrosis.

Scientific discovery in plants may advance human medicine
Researchers at Texas A&M University studying the tips of chromosomes in a lowly weed have new insights that likely will lead to advances in human medicine.
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