Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 13, 2002
Ciliary proteins and polycystic kidneys
Polycystin 1 and 2 mutations represent the most common cause of dominantly inherited polycystic kidney disease.

Low-nicotine cigarettes studied as a smoking cessation tool
Two studies designed to measure the strength of the habit of smoking versus the craving for nicotine have shown that low-nicotine cigarettes could possibly be used in smoking cessation therapy to satisfy the overwhelming urge to light a cigarette.

NICHD scientists develop vaccine against deadly hospital-acquired infection
Scientists at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the biologics firm Nabi have developed the first vaccine against Staphylococcus aureus, a major cause of infection and death among hospital patients.

Stainless steel corrosion mystery solved by UK researchers
From cutlery and cooking pans to the inside of a Formula 1 car engine or a huge chemical process plant, stainless steel is all around us.

A new route to branching morphogenesis
Branching morphogenesis, one of the unifying themes in organogenesis, allows a cluster of epithelial cells to generate a system of branching tubules and ducts, rather than a simple, flat sheet.

Sandia gun residue detection technique will help police ID shooters right at the crime scene
Explosives experts at the Sandia National Laboratories, working with a Colorado company, Law Enforcement Technologies, Inc.

New mouse model enables studies of heart, brain and spinal cord
A mouse model that enables scientists to study the role of a master control gene in major body systems such as the heart, brain and spinal cord, has been developed by Medical College of Georgia researchers.

In ice cream wars, less flavor is more
Is an 8-oz. Starbucks frozen latte more profitable than a 16-oz.

Fundamental structural differences discovered in brains of autistic individuals
Autistic individuals have a fundamental structural difference in the alignment and wiring of their brain cells, a difference that explains these individuals' proclivity to live in their own world, according to researchers.

NSF/EPA team up on grants to treat pollution with plants
Seven universities are receiving grants totaling nearly $2.22 million to study the plant-based phytoremediation of soils contaminated by heavy metals or organic chemicals.

Nabi experimental vaccine reduced Staph aureus bloodstream infections by nearly 60 percent
A single injection of a first-of-its-kind experimental vaccine, Nabi(TM)StaphVAX(TM) (S.

In Nature, UB team reports infrared to visible upconverted stimulated emission
A team of University at Buffalo researchers reports in the current issue of Nature the first observation of a phenomenon called stimulated emission by direct three-photon excitation, which occurs when three photons of lower energy are simultaneously absorbed to reach a higher energy state.

Scientists delve into North Pacific mystery of changing oxygen
Oxygen in the upper waters of the North Pacific, an area that accounts for 40 percent of the world's oceans, decreased as much as 15 percent in a little under two decades between the early 1980s and late 1990s.

New research sheds light on earth's largest animals
Blue whales, the planet's largest animals, travel much farther and faster than scientists ever thought, searching for fertile marine upwelling zones that provide their diet of krill and help them grow as large as a hundred feet long and weigh in at a staggering 100 tons.

Stanford researchers warm to cooling heart attack patients
A cold body, not to mention a cold heart, may be a lifesaver for some heart-attack patients.

High homocysteine levels may double risk of dementia, Alzheimer's disease
People with elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood had nearly double the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD), according to a new report from scientists at Boston University.

Scientists urge that the patient physical should now include this advice: 'Get off the sofa and get active'
Thirty years ago, American children grew up in a world consisting of four television channels, friendly sports that required no more than a glove and a bat, and a secure environment that allowed for endless exploration of the neighborhood.

Warm and getting warmer...
Over the past century, the extent of the winter pack ice in the Nordic Seas has decreased by about 25%.

New species clarifies bird-dinosaur link
The discovery and analysis of an early carnivorous dinosaur, Sinovenator changii, are clarifying the evolutionary relationship between dinosaurs and birds, according to a paper in Nature Feb.

Bridging the language barrier
Researchers from the Indiana University's Diabetes Research and Training Center are developing a touch screen computer-based project to help alleviate the inability of non-Spanish speaking health care workers and non-English speaking Hispanic patients to communicate.

'Cotton candy' fiber barrier protects crops from pests
A Cornell University entomologist uses a 'cotton candy' web of fibers to protect crops as maggots and worms develop resistance to pesticides.

Flying high
What do the hawkmoth, the fruit fly, and the bird-wrasse fish all have in common?

Battle of the sexes leads to evolutionary arms race
Boxes of chocolate and Valentine cards won't get you far in the animal world where courting is considerably tougher than it is for humans.

MCG researcher develops animal model for studying autoimmune disease
What triggers the immune system to attack the body, as it does in autoimmune diabetes, is the ultimate goal of a Medical College of Georgia researcher who has developed a mouse model to help make that finding possible.

Cell interactions in spermatocyte apoptosis
Among their many unfortunate effects, heavy metals such as cadmium can impair male fertility.
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