Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 22, 2001
Seventy-year quest for galactic dark matter ends with discovery of population of cool white dwarfs in the halo of our galaxy
Astronomers from UC Berkeley, Edinburgh, Cambridge and Vanderbilt report the first direct detection of dark matter in the halo of our galaxy, in the form of ancient cool white dwarfs.

Time to tackle unethical attitudes and behaviour in medicine
Nearly half of medical students often feel under pressure to act unethically during training and almost two thirds regularly witness a clinical teacher behaving unethically, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

MCG researchers study hormone that may prevent bone being lost in space
The reality of long-term space travel is raising questions about how to deal with the impact of long-term weightlessness on the body.

Foot-and-Mouth disease: Can research offer solutions? Science feature examines prevention and detection efforts
When it strikes cows, pigs and other livestock, foot-and- mouth disease (FMD) rapidly threatens financial disaster for farmers and, potentially, for entire economies.

Sedatives not linked to hip fractures in elderly people
Currently, the role of benzodiazepines (sedatives) in hip fracture is unclear, but a study in this week's BMJ finds that, in general, exposure to benzodiazepines does not increase the risk of hip fracture in people aged over 65.

Home exercise can prevent falls in elderly people
Exercise programmes delivered by trained nurses can reduce falls in elderly people and are cost effective in those aged 80 years and older, report two studies in this week's BMJ.

With its key role in plant maturation, a newfound gene could yield a novel class of genetically modified crops
Biologists at the University of Pennsylvania have identified the first gene known to mediate the maturation of plants from a juvenile stage to adulthood.

Science of Mind-Body Interactions: An Exploration of Integrative Mechanisms
At the first major scientific conference bridging the spectrum of mind-body research -- the social world in which we live to the molecules that make us -- leading researchers in psychology, social science, neuroscience, microbiology, and medicine will explore how mental state, emotions, and social relationships shape human health and disease.

Concerned by critical shortage of engineers, leading CEO's and educators to gather for engineering education summit
Over the course of two days -- Friday, March 30, and Saturday, March 31 -- some 150 engineering executives and education leaders, including Texas Instruments CEO Tom Engibous and National Academy of Engineering President William Wulf, will gather at Smith College to begin a dialogue on educational strategies for diversifying the engineering and technology workforce.

Movement of Earth's crust can now be detected using GPS
The same type of technology used by motorists to help them navigate city roadways can now be used to detect and measure the smallest movements in the Earth's crust, an international group of scientists, including a University of Toronto geophysicist, has found.

Press invitation: 'The Future of Medical Technology: 2001-2010' - Anglo-Japanese Healthcare Conference at Imperial College, London
Scientists at the centre of developments in genomics, electronic patient care and other emerging medical technologies will gather at Imperial College, London, next week to discuss the direction and consequences of their work with over a hundred selected delegates from industry, government and education in Japan, UK, the USA and other countries.

Emory scientist reports nature contact may heal humans
When physicians and scientists talk about the health effects of environmental exposures, most people think of hazards ranging from air pollution to pesticides.

Hopkins scientists discover how Huntington's kills cells: block death in cultures
Scientists discovered the gene for Huntington's disease in 1993, but in all that time, they couldn't explain how the gene leads to the death of a small patch of nerve cells in a key part of the brain.

Laboratory study confirms skin cancer risks of sun exposure
For years, health officials have warned that overexposure to sunlight, particularly the ultraviolet light component, is an important risk factor for developing skin cancer.

Proposed U.S. research budget "out of balance," Science Editor-in-Chief says
The U.S. Administration's proposed research budget is

High school chemistry text focuses on problem-solving, societal issues
The American Chemical Society has released a new edition of Chemistry in the Community, a unique high school chemistry textbook for college-bound students.

Star survey reveals part of the "missing mass" of the galaxy consists of ancient, dying stars
A careful star survey conducted by an international team of astronomers has concluded that a significant portion of the dark matter that forms an invisible halo around the Milky Way galaxy is made up of cool white dwarfs: ancient, dying stars.

Quick, easy, color-coded technique will speed identification of drugs for diseases
John Hopkins researchers have developed the first color- coded tracking system to see how receptors on the surface of a living cell transmit signals to the cell's interior and regulate a wide range of biological processes.

Men and women recover differently after surgery
Women emerge more quickly than men from general anaesthesia, but have a slower return to former health after surgery, according to a study in this week's BMJ.
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