Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 03, 2001
Working more than 20 hours a week hurts students' math and science studies
Even when socioeconomic status and previous educational achievement were taken into account, high school students' jobs still had a

December Media Mighlights: GEOLOGY and GSA TODAY
The December issue of GEOLOGY includes a new

New depression and anxiety treatment goals defined
To be successful, treatment for the more than 20 million Americans suffering from depression and anxiety must aim not for partial improvement of the illness but for remission (virtual elimination of symptoms) and complete recovery of quality of life, according to an expert panel comprised of leading U.S. mental health clinicians, researchers, consumers and advocates convened by the National Mental Health Association (NMHA) on Friday, Nov.

Arctic Gakkel Ridge eruption reveals magma from Earth's mantle
It's exciting to be the first scientist to observe a volcanic eruption on an ultraslow-spreading mid-ocean ridge, an event in and of itself that rarely occurs.

TV news skews viewer perception of threats to life and limb
Reporting in the first epidemiological study of its kind, UCLA researchers say television news in Los Angeles skews viewer perception of actual threats to life and limb, causing unwarranted anxiety over some risks while masking the danger of others.

Gatekeepers may not be essential to keep HMO costs down
Eliminating gatekeepers, the primary care physicians charged with controlling patient access to specialists, may not necessarily raise costs for health maintenance organizations, new study findings suggest.

Cedars-Sinai holiday tip sheet
1. Diabetes and the Holidays; 2. Weight Management During the Holidays; 3.

Burning off a little heart muscle stops rapid heart beats in infants
A treatment that corrects rapid heart beats by burning away small amounts of heart tissue is equally as effective and safe in infants as it is in older pediatric patients, researchers report in today's Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Scientist finds best way to measure soil fertility is - in a Mason jar
In a world of technological advancements, a simple wide-mouthed, one-pint Mason jar is the foundation of a diagnostic tool that may revolutionize how farmers determine the nitrogen needs of their cornfields.

Initiative seeks more accessible Web tools, software for disabled
Companies that develop and distribute browsers, multimedia players and other Web-based software have become more savvy in recent years when it comes to understanding the needs of people with disabilities.

Paradox of groundwater age has implications for hydrology
How old is your groundwater? Chances are, it's much older than you, or many scientists, had thought.

Wine-bottle shard provides long-sought proof of old French site
Finally. The site of a well-documented but long-lost 18th century French frontier village has been found in a former city neighborhood of Peoria, Ill.

Cardiologists at UNC, Duke and leading medical centers launch project to improve patient care
Cardiologists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Duke Clinical Research Institute and other leading medical centers officially launched a 60,000-patient project aimed at encouraging physicians to follow published practice guidelines for high-risk acute cardiac patients.

Animals can play key role in therapy for severely disabled children
When trying to engage and interact with children with severe, multiple disabilities, therapists have found that nothing gets their patients' attention like a visit with Fido, Fluffy or Flicka.

Annals of Internal Medicine, December 4, 2001
1). Hormones and Women's Risk for Heart Disease Two studies and an editorial in the December 4 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine examine the role of sex hormones in causing heart disease in women.

New portable device senses chemical weapons
University of Delaware researchers have developed a portable detection platform that could provide real-time recognition of chemical and biological weapons using infrared spectroscopy.

ACS solicits nominations for science writing award
The American Chemical Society announces that it is currently accepting applications for the 2003 James T.

A curve ball into the snowball earth hypothesis?
The idea that the Earth was encased in ice some 650 million years ago has sparked much scientific debate in recent years.

Floods ain't what they used to be; Study shows wing dams have made them worse
Like so many other things, floods just aren't what they used to be.

World's smallest reptile discovered in Caribbean
The world's smallest reptile, a 16-millimeter lizard, has been discovered in the Caribbean islands by Pennsylvania State University Evolutionary Biologist Blair Hedges and University of Puerto Rico Biologist Richard Thomas.

New study suggests anti-epileptic medication, Topamax, can improve manic symptoms of bipolar disorder
Monte Carlo - Nov. 29 - The severity of manic symptoms that plague the victims of bipolar disorder -- which afflicts approximately 1-2 percent of the world population -- was significantly reduced by Topamax® (topiramate) in a multi-centre study of the medication in patients who had a history of poor response or intolerance to mood stabilizers.

7-day-on, 7-day-off regimen could reduce cost, toxicities of HIV therapy
A pilot study at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) suggests that it may prove feasible for certain people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease to move from a continuous regimen of anti-HIV therapy to a strategy in which they discontinue and then resume anti-HIV therapy in a pre-planned, cyclic fashion.

World's smallest lizard discovered in Caribbean
The world's smallest lizard has been discovered on a tiny Caribbean island off the coast of the Dominican Republic.

URI chemical oceanographers successfully use naturally occurring radium to measure round water input to Rhode Island salt ponds
Chemical oceanographers Margaret K. Scott and S. Bradley Moran at the University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Oceanography have estimated the input of ground water to coastal systems by measuring naturally occurring radium-226 (226Ra) as a ground water tracer.

Early detection device for exposure to chemical warfare agents being developed
A device that could detect the earliest signs of exposure to deadly chemical warfare agents is being developed by researchers in Augusta and Boston.

'Gender and Science Reader' a source book for addressing issues related to women, gender, and the sciences
Well-known feminist writers challenge the self-proclaimed objectivity of scientific practice by uncovering the gender, class, and racial prejudices of modern science.

Estrogen holds promise as preventive therapy for cardiovascular disease
Taking estrogen appears to reverse thickening in the arteries of healthy, postmenopausal women, according to a study by researchers at the USC Atherosclerosis Research Unit.

Women & asthma: New survey reveals heavy toll on health, emotions and lifestyle
According to

Adherence to national asthma guidelines is poor among high-risk population of children
Children with persistent asthma are not following national guidelines for managing asthma at home with appropriate preventive medications.

Automated external defibrillators to become as widespread as fire extinguishers, UT Southwestern researchers say
Automated external defibrillators, portable 4-pound devices used to restore cardiac activity after sudden cardiac arrest, have the potential to save as many as 50,000 lives yearly and are expected to become as widespread as fire extinguishers, say researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Researchers distinguish new type of leukemia
HHMI researchers who have studied the activity of thousands of genes in a drug-resistant form of childhood leukemia are now proposing that the disease be called mixed-lineage leukemia because it is a distinct disease, and not a subtype of the more prevalent acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

'Like magic!' is how Rodney Blauer describes the results of his two endoscopic brain surgeries in less than a year
After undergoing two highly specialized types of minimally invasive skull base brain surgery in less than a year 69-year-old Rodney Blauer says he is feeling great this holiday season.

Inhibition of mast cell survival as a novel therapy for allergic diseases
Allergic diseases are caused by reactive mast cells. They are long-lived and survive the allergic reaction thereby prolonging the symptoms.

Human cancer-detection test showing promise in pets, too
An early-detection technique developed to look for cancer-associated enzyme activity in humans is showing dramatic sensitivity to malignant tumors in cats and dogs.

Structural engineer describes what went wrong inside the World Trade Center on Sept. 11
Vulnerabilities in the design of New York`s World Trade Center (WTC) are likely to have contributed to the collapse of its two main towers and adjacent buildings, according to Ronald O.

Fatty food triggers taste buds, new research finds
It wasn't your imagination that the fat-free chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream didn't taste as good as the creme de la creme version, despite what the label said.

Research study looks for answers to treating teenage depression
Teenagers are notorious for being moody or having

Scientists developing strategies for upcoming phosphorus mandates
A reality of Illinois agriculture is phosphorus, a consequence of keeping soils fertile to produce food, feed and fiber.

World's smallest lizard discovered in the Caribbean
The world's smallest lizard has been discovered on a tiny Caribbean island off the coast of the Dominican Republic.

Shipboard aerosol measurements enhance climate models
Sea-level measurements of aerosol properties, obtained last spring under both clean and polluted conditions in the Pacific Ocean, are helping to quantify aerosol optical properties related to climate change.

Smoking increases likelihood of impotency
Men who smoke are more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction than nonsmokers, reports an international group of impotency experts in the November issue of the Journal of Urology.

Molecule that restricts mouse cells' potency could yield embryonic stem cells without the sacrifice of embryos
Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have identified a receptor that plays a key role in restricting embryonic stem cells' pluripotency, their ability to develop into virtually any of an adult animal's cell types.

Stratospheric polar vortex influences winter cold, researchers say
A mechanism to explain how the behavior of the stratosphere may affect tropospheric weather patterns has been proposed by scientists at the University of Illinois. 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