Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 15, 2001
Researchers build on discovery of potent potential antibiotic
Building on recent discovery of a potent potential antibiotic, University of Michigan College of Pharmacy researchers have found a previously unknown family of metal- requiring enzymes in bacteria.

Duration of breast feeding may influence health in later life
Breast feeding in infancy is related to reduced arterial function 20 years later, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Social scientists and biologists collaborate to address human dimensions of biodiversity
At next week's Annual Meeting of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, a panel of prominent social scientists and biologists will discuss links between biodiversity and human societies and identify research priorities to provide missing information on these links that decision-makers need.

Weeds in disturbed areas may be source of more medically important compounds than plants in tropical rainforests
Conservationists have long pointed out that primary tropical rainforests may have dramatic value because of important and undiscovered medicinal plants.

Ballistic phonons reveal strange attenuation in lead superconductor
By measuring how long it takes phonons (lattice vibrations) to travel through a thin crystal, University of Illinois researchers have found experimental evidence of an unusual spin-density-wave ground state in lead superconductors.

Scientists receive $3 million to develop biologically-based artificial vision systems
A team of researchers from three universities, led by a University of Pennsylvania bioengineer, has won a $3 million grant for work toward artificial-vision technologies that might detect patterns as robustly as the human brain.

Social deprivation linked to increased risk of blindness from glaucoma
People with the least material and psychosocial resources seem to be at greatest risk of going blind from glaucoma, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Childhood obesity has doubled in a generation; too much TV, too little activity are to blame, study shows
A study in the current issue of Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, authored by a University at Buffalo epidemiologist, found that obesity among children ages 8-16 has more than doubled in one generation.

Dyslexia study in Science highlights the impact of English, French, and Italian writing systems
For the first time, a study published in Science shows that the neurological basis for dyslexia is the same across French, English and Italian languages.

Privatisation can affect health
A study in this week's BMJ finds that loss of secure public sector employment through privatisation has a direct effect on minor psychiatric illness and longstanding health.

Viagra passes initial safety test, but more research is needed
A study in this week's BMJ finds no evidence for a higher incidence of fatal heart attack or ischaemic heart disease among English men taking sildenafil (Viagra).

New technique answers one of water's basic mysteries
The driving force behind a fundamental property of water, its pH, has defied explanation for decades, but scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Rochester have created the first model of how water becomes acidly neutral--a characteristic on which all life depends.
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