Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 20, 2002
Leptin replacement therapy reduces metabolic abnormalities in patients with rare fat disorders, researchers report
Leptin replacement therapy drastically reduces triglyceride levels and controls diabetes in patients with rare fat disorders known as lipodystrophies, according to researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Speeding product design
From turbine engines to toilet tissue, the time to market of manufactured products could be accelerated through improved high-tech design.

New book aims to keep elderly drivers on the road
A new book by a researcher at The Schepens Eye Research Institute aims to help people with impaired vision drive safely and as long as possible.

Hawaiian Ridge HOME to efforts to understand deep-ocean mixing
With waves - some 300 to 1,000 feet tall - traveling beneath the surface, internal tides at the Hawaiian Ridge and other such spots around the world may help scientists discover what causes 90 percent of the mixing in the world's ocean.

Are genetics the only reason for high blood pressure among certain hispanic populations?
A study of 700 Venezuelan men show that hypertension may not be caused by the factors historically blamed for the condition.

Questions have a higher pitch
In the Dutch language questions are spoken with a higher pitched voice than statements.

Go ahead with EMBO restart fellowship
This year for the first time EMBO (the European Molecular Biology Organisation) is awarding fellowships to young scientists who wish to recommence scientific research having taken a career break to have a family.

Past socio-economic factors influence present quality of life for the old
New, independent research from the Economic & Social Research Council's 'Growing Older' Programme says that the odds of poor quality of life in old age increase by 50 - 70 per cent for people who live in rented housing compared to those who own their home.

Dartmouth researchers expose weakness of common parasite
Dartmouth Medical School geneticists in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology have discovered how to weaken a common human parasite to prevent disease in an animal model after infection by the normal parasite.

Corals are being robbed of light
It's not just overfishing and climate change causing coral death.

Predicting the species diversity of large herbivores in nature reserves
The number of species of large herbivores that can live in a nature reserve can be easily calculated using just rainfall and soil fertility data.

Science backs Cod Liver Oil as cure for arthritis
Scientists at Cardiff University have confirmed what thousands of people with arthritis have believed for years.

Modeling may show processes observation misses in volcanic eruptions
The Soufriere Hills volcano in Montserrat holds the key to improved modeling of vulcanian eruptions because it has been so well studied over the past seven years, according to a Penn State geologist in the current issue of Nature.

Satellite images help find safe routes to South Pole
Using satellite images and software, researchers at the Ohio State University are mapping land routes across the Antarctic that could make it safer and easier to transport equipment and supplies to the South Pole.

New research reveals that fibre can improve mood
A new study at Cardiff University (Wales,UK) shows that high-fibre eaters are less stressed and have a more positive mood.

Physics tip sheet #1 - February 20, 2002
Highlights of this issue include reports on cold anti-hydrogen, new tests of Einstein theory on space station, immunization of complex networks, and strategies for increasing the chance of finding a biological target.

A current controversy: Is Europe about to freeze?
One of the odd possibilities that could emerge from global warming is that much of Europe, robbed of the ocean current patterns that help keep it warm, could rather abruptly enter a deep freeze and have a climate that more closely resembles Alaska than the modest temperatures it now enjoys.

Kingston named Virginia Outstanding Scientist of 2002
Work by Virginia Tech chemist David G. I. Kingston paved the way for developing a semi-synthetic process to create Taxol and

Land conflicts due to accumulated legislation
Carelessly drawn up laws which come on top of older laws, lead to many land conflicts in rural South America.

Scientists from Syracuse University and the Netherlands create first global map of grazing mammal biodiversity
A team of biologists at Syracuse University and Wageningen University in the Netherlands has created the first global map of

Ninety percent of young white male workers now doing worse than they would have 20 years ago
The promise of upward mobility- a centpiece of the American dream, which fosters the notion that anyone can get ahead with hard work- may have disappeared with the 20th century.

Rensselaer faculty member honored by NSF, navy for research
Yuri Lvov, assistant professor of mathematical sciences, has received two prestigious research awards, a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation and a Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research (ONR).

Kidnapping males could save a species
Kidnapping the dominant males could save some endangered species. A team at San Diego Zoo say that by removing the males who hold sexual monopoly over the females in a group, you give other males a shot at mating - maximising the genetic diversity of a species.

New superconducting transformer is light and compact
Researchers from the Technology Foundation STW and the University of Twente, in cooperation with Smit Transformatoren and Smit Draad, have developed a prototype coil for a superconducting transformer which is not only light and compact but also energy-efficient.

Runway project clears the way for improved Antarctic airlift
The U.S. Air Force has certified a newly constructed glacial ice runway near Antarctica's McMurdo Station as capable of handling large military cargo jets.

Studies suggest new headache treatment is more effective than medication
In a controlled study conducted at New York Medical College, a new headache treatment outperformed Imitrex, the most widely prescribed migraine medication.

University of Southern Mississippi $6 million grant will aid coastal waters research
The University of Southern Mississippi is the lead among nine universities on a $6 million project that will use esturaine plants and animals to signal changes in Gulf of Mexico coastal waters.

Temperature inversion brings ultra-clean air between layers of pollution
The atmosphere often is highly layered, particularly when a temperature inversion blocks intruding air from above and below.

Rat makes a partial recovery following a spinal cord lesion
Scientists at the Netherlands Institute for Brain Research have developed an experimental therapy which enables rats with a spinal cord lesion to partially recover from their paralysis.

Living in large groups could give you a better memory
Losing your memory? You'd better get yourself some more friends.

Increased water vapor in stratosphere possibly caused by tropical biomass burning
The doubling of the moisture content in the stratosphere over the last 50 years was caused, at least in part, by tropical biomass burning, a Yale researcher has concluded from examining satellite weather data.

Increased attempts to quit smoking follow introduction of over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapies
Since nicotine replacement therapy became available as a nonprescription treatment to help Americans stop smoking, the number of adults attempting to quit smoking significantly increased to nearly 40 percent, according to a study of U.S. census data scheduled for presentation Feb.
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