Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 27, 2001
Air pollutants on the job may affect heart function
Exposure to occupational and environmental air pollutants can alter heart rates in young, seemingly healthy hearts, researchers report in today's Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Fuel cell materials studied for many kinds of environments
Hydrogen is the key ingredient in fuels for fuel cells, but today's fuels -- diesel or regular gasoline, natural gas, or methanol -- can be used as the source of hydrogen protons to pass through a membrane to the oxygen side of the fuel cell, where electrochemical energy, water and heat are produced.

INEEL develops safe, efficient process for making cleaner-burning fuels
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) have developed an energy-efficient process for producing alkylate-a high-octane gasoline blend that is very low in environmental pollutants such as sulfur and benzene.

Leading experts address safety and economics of biotech crops
A three-day symposium, August 27-29, will explore the safety and economics of biotech crops at the national meeting of the American Chemistry Society in Chicago.

Implanted heart devices prone to silent, dangerous staph infection
Pacemakers and other implanted heart devices prolong the lives of people with heart rhythm problems.

Scripps Ocenographer Walter Munk awarded first-ever international Prince Albert I Medal
Walter Munk, considered by many to be one of the world's greatest living oceanographers, will be awarded the inaugural Prince Albert I Medal from the International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Oceans (IAPSO).

Earthquake engineering network: Design goes to Illinois-led team
Development of a national cyber-network for earthquake engineering research will begin in earnest with a $10 million award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

NSF funds virtual "collaboratory" for better quakeproofing
A consortium of institutions will receive $10 million to build a national virtual engineering laboratory, or

Catnip repels mosquitoes more effectively than DEET
Researchers report that the oil in catnip that gives the plant its characteristic odor is about ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET -- the compound used in most commercial insect repellents.

Molecular structure could advance understanding of human disorders
A breakthrough by scientists at Northwestern University could advance understanding of the biochemical causes of some nervous system disorders, including forms of Lou Gehrig's disease.

Paychecks & power: Husbands lose some household control when they retire
Society may honor the homemaker but it's the family wage-earner who is more likely to control spending.

Substitution of generic drugs may cause problems for epilepsy patients
A new study adds weight to the argument that, for some epilepsy medications, generic drugs should not be substituted for brand-name drugs, at least not without informing the patient and physician.

Penn State researchers investigate alternative diesel fuel
In the search for clean diesel fuels, dimethyl ether seems like a good choice with good ignition quality and very low emissions, but mixing DME with diesel fuel to run these engines is more complicated than simply combining the two fuels, according to Penn State researchers.

Virtual laboratory for better quakeproofing
A team that includes University of Michigan School of Information researchers will receive $10 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to build a virtual laboratory, or

An emerging force in the development of global e-commerce
Advisory on new study of the Global Business Dialogue on e-Commerce, or GBDe, a consortium of business leaders from around the globe looking at such emerging issues as Internet taxation, intellectual property and privacy.

Biocomposites put the plant into the auto plant - and more
Michigan State University researchers are finding ways to make tough, lightweight and versatile materials that can be fabricated into items ranging from automotive parts to tennis rackets to housing panels to furniture to bridges ¡V all from plants and agricultural products.

Scientific American's Global Summit on privacy and security in the digital age
The first strategic forum to tackle the complex issue of privacy and security from the perspectives of technology, policy and business globally for a CEO audience Privacy is not just a policy issue, but an urgent business concern.

Twin study evaluates role of environmental stress in cardiovascular disease
MCG researchers have been following the African-American and European-American identical and fraternal twins for four years to determine how genetics and environment affect the twins' blood pressure at rest and in response to stress.

Scientists identify chromosome location of genes associated with long life
Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Children's Hospital Boston and other institutions have pinpointed a region on human Chromosome 4 that is likely to contain a gene or genes associated with extraordinary life expectancy.

Estrogen patch may improve memory for women with Alzheimer's
Here's another round in the ongoing debate over whether estrogen can help with the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease: A new study shows that an estrogen skin patch given to women with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease can improve their memory and attention skills.

First-ever published study of moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease patients taking Aricept (r) shows significant treatment benefits in cognition, daily living activities and behavior
The benefits of ARICEPT (R) may extend to more advanced stages of Alzheimer's disease than previously investigated, according to the first published study of ARICEPT in patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease.

Does chromosome 4 hold the secret to human longevity?
By comparing the DNA of siblings who are extremely long-lived, HHMI researchers believe they have found a region on chromosome 4 that may hold an important clue to understanding human longevity.

Researchers develop ultra-thin heat protective coatings for rockets, insulating coatings for microelectronics
What if you could protect surfaces from extreme heat with coatings many times thinner than the surface of a soap bubble?

Corvas presents 3-D molecular structure of matriptase, first structural insight into new class of protease cancer targets
Corvas International, Inc. reported that Company scientists and collaborators have solved the three-dimensional molecular structure of the functional domain of matriptase, a newly identified serine protease target for breast and prostate cancer drug development.
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