Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 22, 2001
Scientists weigh costs of mycotoxin-contaminated crops
Certain crops are susceptible to molds and fungi that produce what scientists call mycotoxins.

Novel surface analyzer effective in detecting chemical warfare agents
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory can detect part-per-million levels of chemical warfare agents such as the blister agent HD or the nerve agent VX using a novel ion-trap secondary ion mass spectrometer (IT-SIMS).

U-M scientists reveal prostate cancer's molecular fingerprint. Study links proteins to patient prognosis.
Like most killers, prostate cancer leaves fingerprints. Every malignant cell has a unique pattern of active genes and proteins that spells the difference between benign, localized or metastatic tumors.

Celebrity cloning
Should stars like Britney Spears be seriously worrying about leaving a few cells behind on a glass in case besotted fans want to use it to make clones of them?

New magnetic tool lock attracts 40% - 60% time saving for plastics manufacturers
One of the few delays for modern plastic injection moulding machines is the time taken to physically uncouple the injection moulding tool - now a new magnetic tool locking device will transform that task to a single simple flick of a switch.

NSF awards Penn scientists $1 million to identify better, earlier means of 'debugging' embedded computers
The National Science Foundation has awarded $1 million to a University of Pennsylvania team to identify better techniques for software development, particularly ways to get a jump-start, during product design, on debugging the embedded computers that run modern automobiles and a host of other electronic devices and appliances.

Brain drain
You don't need to wait until your 60s and 70s to experience sudden memory loss.

ORNL, IBM pooling talents to examine diseases
Massive computing power and biology are coming together in a big way through a cooperative research and development agreement announced today by IBM and the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Exploring the frontier of ultra-small electronics
Two groups of Cornell University researchers have been awarded U.S.

Brain trauma may increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease
A new study published in BMC Neurology suggests that brain injury leads to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease

Is Earth's magnetic field failing?
How does the Earth produce its protective magnetic field? Researchers are making mini mock-ups of the Earth, filled with churning molten metal to simulate the effect of the Earth's core and find out what really goes on.

Prison population swells under Republican presidents, study says
The number of prisoners nationwide increases more under Republican presidents than it does when a Democrat leads the country, according to a new study that looked at 52 years of data.

Heavy metal stars
Using a telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory, a group of Belgian and French astronomers have discovered very high abundances of the heavy element Lead in three distant stars in the Milky Way Galaxy.

New study shows oral contraceptive may be effective in treating severe form of premenstrual syndrome
Results from a double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the current issue of the Journal of Women's Health and Gender-Based Medicine show that the hormones contained in the oral contraceptive Yasmin may have a beneficial effect in the treatment of severe premenstrual syndrome affecting more than 3 million U.S. women.

UF researchers: Few adults are reaching recommended intensity during physical activity
Many physically unfit adults think they exercise more vigorously than they do, a misperception that may hamper their efforts to prevent heart disease, University of Florida researchers report.

Immune cell suspected of halting proper immune system function
Researchers here are finding new evidence of why social stress seems to be especially damaging to the immune system.

Among the Mayas, writers for defeated kings met a cruel fate
New research sheds light on the cruel fate that awaited official scribes for Maya kings who had been conquered by rivals.

Ending the cycle of premenstrual pain: Oral contraceptive found to relieve severe PMS and PMDD symptoms
Researchers report that a combination of components found in a unique oral contraceptive have been found to ease the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

New study shows oral contraceptive may be effective in treating severe form of premenstrual syndrome
The combination of the progestin drospirenone with the estrogen ethinyl estradiol in the oral contraceptive Yasmin (R) may be beneficial in treating premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that affects more than 3 million U.S. women, according to a study in the Journal of Women's Health and Gender-Based Medicine.

New Scripps monitoring devices set to detect clandestine nuclear weapons testing
A unique array of listening devices deployed by researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, is one of the first stations in an important new global network that will detect signals from events as diverse as secret nuclear weapons tests, volcanic eruptions, and hurricanes in early formation.

Brittlestars use crystal lenses to spot approaching predators unique "visual" system is the first of its kind to be discovered in animals inhabiting the earth today
Brittlestars of the species Ophiocoma wendtii form crystal lenses in their skeletons that allow them to spot approaching predators, according to a study reported in Nature on August 23.

Social stress may trigger problems in immune system
Certain social interactions may weaken the immune system to the point it can't control inflammation, new research suggests.

Physical examination findings are important in predicting outcomes in heart failure, researchers report
Two common findings from a traditional physical examination can provide important information for the 5 million Americans diagnosed with heart failure, according to researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to