Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 11, 2001
Distinguishing how the visual system perceives approaching objects
Using computer-generated animations, HHMI researchers have distinguished some of the cues used to estimate the speed and location of approaching objects.

Coaching reduce cancer patient's pain
Short coaching sessions aimed at helping cancer patients talk to their doctors about pain and to set pain-management goals resulted in pain reductions of 20 percent, a UC Davis study found.

Rutgers physicists tackle plutonium complexities
Physicist at Rutgers' Center for Materials Theory have devised the first reliable method to predict changes in physical properties of plutonium over time.

Dietary fibre supplements may be harmful
Not all dietary fibre is as good for us as we have been led to believe, says an editorial in Gut.

Why missing out on a good night's sleep could give you ulcers
Missing out on a good night's sleep through long haul travel, shift work, or partying could increase the risk of ulcers.

Turning diamond film into solar cells
Timothy Fisher is taking a Tiffany's approach to converting sunlight into electricity: With a $348,000 grant from National Reconnaissance Office, the assistant professor of mechanical engineering is exploring the use of polycrystalline diamond as a replacement for the silicon solar cells currently used in many space applications.

Gulf war veterans report more ill health than other service men and women
Gulf war veterans are twice as likely to report ill health as other service men and women.

Ticks have potential to transmit cat scratch disease
Cat scratch disease may no longer be the appropriate name for the malady caused by the bacterium Bartonella henselae.

Older fathers more likely to have children with schizophrenia
Older fathers are much more likely to have children with schizophrenia, a study led by Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons researchers has found.

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute develop a new 'kit' to screen mercury in fish
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), have developed a screening method, similar to a home pregnancy test, that can detect mercury contamination in fish.

Saharan dust "cools" climate warming estimates
Desert dust may slightly diminish estimates on how warm the world will become, based on findings of how much sunlight is absorbed by dust.

Researchers solve century-old earthquake mystery in India
The mystery of what caused a great earthquake in northeast India in 1897 that killed several thousand people and reduced all masonry buildings to rubble in a region roughly the size of England finally appears to have been solved by researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder and Oxford University.

Increased use of chemicals in agriculture worldwide seen as major environmental threat
Agriculture will be a major driver of global environmental change over the next 50 years, rivaling the effect of greenhouse gases in its impact, according to a new study published in this week's journal Science.

Measuring the muscle: new study by Scripps researchers depicts how the tuna's body is built for speed
Scientists have long predicted that tuna, with their highly streamlined body and elevated internal temperatures, are equipped with a

For some, sleep style serves as harbinger of depression
The search for the genetic roots of depression has led scientists to the bedroom, where they've discovered that people with a particular type of sleep pattern and a family history of depression are twice as likely to become depressed as relatives who don't sleep the same way.

CU-Boulder experiment heading for International Space Station
The University of Colorado at Boulder-based BioServe Space Technologies Center is sending an intriguing biomedical experiment to the International Space Station April 19 in collaboration with the Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute to test the effects of long-term weightlessness on antibiotic production.

Neuroimaging identifies brain regions possibly involved in alcohol craving
Viewing pictures of alcoholic beverages activates the prefrontal cortex and the anterior thalamus in alcoholics but not in moderate drinkers, report Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) researchers in the April Archives of General Psychiatry.

Study of HIV in rural America paints picture of suicide, isolation
A four-year study of people with HIV and AIDS in rural America paints a picture of isolation, depression and thoughts of suicide.

Digging for genetic fossils: Hutchinson Center researchers solve structure of ancient biological molecule
Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have solved the structure of an intricately folded ancient biological molecule, called the hairpin ribozyme, as it twists and turns to carry out its enzymatic function.

"Microbes deep within South African gold mines" subject of NSF lecture
Scientist Tullis Onstott of Princeton University will speak on subsurface microbial communities that live deep within the gold mines of South Africa at the National Science Foundation (NSF) on April 24.

Study finds new way that brain detects motion
How hard to hit the brake is probably the most important judgment a driver can make, and though cognitive scientists have known for several decades that the brain uses changes in the visual image to measure self-motion, a scientist at the University of Rochester has uncovered a new trick that the mind uses to judge just how quickly we're hurtling toward something.

Biodiversity increases ecosystems' ability to absorb CO2 and nitrogen
Biodiversity is an important factor regulating how ecosystems will respond to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide, say researchers from the U.S.

Designer molecules link together to make nanotubes a snap
Inspired by nature's own building blocks, Purdue University researchers are using the same principle that makes DNA strands link together to create tiny structures that may someday be used to manufacture molecular wires and other components for use in nanometer-sized electronic devices.

RADAR Flashlight could help save police officers' lives
Police officers serving a warrant or searching for a suspect hiding inside a building could soon have a new tool for protecting themselves and finding the
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