Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 01, 2001
NSF awards University of Georgia $8.7 million for crop genetics research
The National Science Foundation has awarded three grants to the University of Georgia to support research which aims to decipher the genetic blueprint of economically important crops in the grass family and identify useful genes for crop improvement, such as ones that confer drought tolerance.

NSF boosts funding for plant genome research
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded 24 new grants totaling more than $71 million over the next five years for plant genome research.

NSF invests in a second year of grants to foster community innovation
A National Science Foundation (NSF) program to foster significant public/private partnerships and help better position local communities to accommodate new and enhanced research and development will continue into a second year.

Researchers discover way to make electrical circuits by self-assembly
Researchers at NC State University and the University of Delaware have discovered that colloidal nanoparticles - dispersed particles ranging in size from 15 to 30 nanometers - can spontaneously self-assemble into wires when placed under the force of an alternating electric field, a process called dielectrophoresis.

Internal documents reveal tobacco industry strategy to undermine unwelcome research
Philip Morris tobacco company launched a hidden campaign in the 1990s to change the standards of scientific proof needed to demonstrate that secondhand smoke was dangerous, according to an analysis of internal tobacco industry documents by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

Fundamental change needed to improve men's health
Men worry about their health but feel unable to talk about their concerns or seek help until it is often too late, according to Dr Ian Banks, President of the European Men's Health Forum in this week's BMJ.

High school teacher explores South Pole
Marietta Cleckley is the kind of teacher who would go to the ends of the earth to help her students learn biology - and soon, she?ll be doing just that.

Scientists succeed at first-ever attempt to sequence DNA at sea
Scientists funded in part by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and affiliated from the University of Delaware and Amersham Biosciences, Inc., in Piscataway, New Jersey, have succeeded in conducting the first-ever DNA sequencing experiments at sea.

Kidney cancer associated with Chinese herbal medicine
Two years ago, Dr Graham M Lord and colleagues reported in The Lancet that two people who had been taking Chinese herbal medicines had developed kidney failure (Lancet 1999;354:481-82).

Gene controls neural stem cell growth
HHMI researchers have discovered that a gene previously implicated in a variety of forms of cancer is also a key regulator of neural stem cell proliferation.

Hubble reveals ultraviolet galactic ring
The appearance of a galaxy can depend strongly on the color of the light with which it is viewed.

Life span extension and prevention of neurological deterioration in mice demonstrated with synthetic catalytic anti-oxidants
Neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimers diseases may be attenuated through use of small molecule drugs that powerfully augment natural anti-oxidant systems.

Widespread uncontrolled use of antibiotics to prevent anthrax will lead to resistance
Giving antibiotics to large numbers of potentially exposed individuals to prevent anthrax will lead to resistance, according to researchers from Liverpool in this week's BMJ.

Computerized social science data archive
Significant changes have been taking place at the world's largest computerized social science data archive, the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR).

Researchers describe atomic-size 'sorter' that performs vital cellular function
Scientists are now able to

UCLA School of Medicine and Computer Motion Inc. win $2 million federal award to collaborate on development of world's first telemedicine surgical training system
UCLA School of Medicine and a company called Computer Motion just received a $2 million federal grant to create a new surgical training system that will help experienced surgeons mentor new surgeons using robotic technology.

Are men in danger of extinction?
Despite having had most of the social determinants of health in their favour, men have higher mortality rates for all 15 leading causes of death and have a life expectancy about seven years shorter than women's.

Fluids, electrolytes key to good health for firefighters
Since the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center, images of exhausted firefighters have been imprinted on the national psyche.

New experimental drug shown to slow the growth of prostate cancer tumors in mice
A new experimental drug has been found to slow the growth of prostate cancer tumors in laboratory studies conducted at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Cryptography and coding for kids
University of Illinois at Chicago mathematicians have received NSF funding to develop text and instructor material to teach coding theory and cryptography to middle school students.

Costs of caring for elders with dementia
Caring for older Americans with dementia costs more than $18 billion a year in additional time spent by family and friends, according to a University of Michigan study published in the November issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Impact of genetically engineered fish subject of U of Minnesota study
A four-year, $425,000 grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID) to the University of Miinnesota will support the first scientific research on the effects of introducing tilapia that has been genetically engineered for growth enhancement into Thailand.

Epidemic of tuberculosis in Russia
People who are infected with HIV are more likely to catch tuberculosis.

Estrogen found in soy stimulates human breast-cancer cells in mice
The increasingly consumed isoflavone genistein - a plant estrogen linked to the health benefits of soy - has been shown in a series of University of Illinois studies to stimulate the growth of estrogen-dependent human breast-cancer cells implanted into laboratory mice.

Random noise from within objects reveals their internal structure
By picking up the tiny vibrations of thermal energy that exist naturally in all objects, researchers at the University of Illinois have performed ultrasonic measurements without using a source.

Moderate exercise program benefits health of older women caregivers
Older women caregivers slept better and lowered their blood pressure reactivity in response to stress tests after participating in a moderate exercise program compared to a group of women who only received nutrition counseling.

Mom was wrong, UCLA/VA researcher concludes sleep not essential for learning
Following popular advice to sleep rather than study is unlikely to help a student ace the big exam.

Project aimed at helping rural patients with swallowing disorders
Each year, an estimated 500,000-600,000 people suffer strokes in the United States.

'Buried water' wins world prize
Australian scientists' work on water 'banking' has been honoured internationally with the awarding of the inaugural UNESCO International Water Prize for Innovation in Water Resources Management in Arid and Semi-Arid Areas.

Hookworms may prevent asthma
Asthma is less common in rural areas in Africa than in towns.

'Smart bandage' diagnoses danger before infection takes hold
Researchers at the University of Rochester have taken the first major step toward a bandage that will change color depending on what kind of bacteria may be present in a wound.

UT Southwestern scientists explain how the injured brain remodels itself
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have begun to reveal the cellular mechanisms critical for restoring brain functions after traumatic injuries - a step that could lead to effective treatments of paralysis and other brain and spinal-cord damage.

Overdosing on news can be bad for one's mental health, scholar says
In these uncertain times, what do authorities on uncertainty management advise?

Body image isn't just a woman's problem
Body dysmorphic disorder - a severe form of body image disturbance - affects as many men as women, yet it remains underrecognised and underdiagnosed, according to an editorial in this week's BMJ.

Contrast agents enhance optical coherence tomography
A new approach to improving the detection and removal of tumors has been developed by scientists at the University of Illinois.

HIV gene causes formation of nuclear herniations halting cell division, Gladstone researchers find
An HIV gene called Vpr causes the membrane surrounding the nucleus-the nuclear envelope-to form herniations that project and retract much like solar flares radiating from the surface of the sun, giving clues as to how HIV conquers the immune system.

Vitamin D reduces risk of type 1 diabetes
It is not known why some people get type 1 diabetes (diabetes that starts early in life), but there has been a suggestion that if children have a diet lacking in Vitamin D, they may go on to develop diabetes.
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