Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 18, 2002
Stable silicon layer makes flat-panel display cheaper
In a joint project between the Technology Foundation STW and the energy agency Novem at Utrecht University, researchers have developed new silicon layers which are more stable and cheaper than the present amorphous silicon layers.

Genetic causes of hypertension identified
Researchers at the University of Virginia and Georgetown University have identified three abnormalities in a single gene that are linked to hypertension.

Antarctic ice shelf collapses in largest event of last 30 years
Recent satellite imagery analyzed at the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder has revealed that the northern section of the Larsen B ice shelf, a large floating ice mass on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula, has shattered and separated from the continent in the largest single event in a 30-year series of ice shelf retreats in the peninsula.

Immune system in hamsters bolstered during winter, especially in times of stress, study finds
A new study found that Siberian hamsters boost their immune function during the winter in order to help them cope with the seasonal stresses of cold weather and limited food.

Too much sun can harm ocean life
Solar radiation has a much greater effect on ocean life than was previously thought.

Screening - the controversy continues...
A news briefing at the 3rd European Breast Cancer Conference in Barcelona on Tuesday (19 March) will hear that controversy continues to dog the topic of breast cancer screening.

Years of research, thought lead geologist to propose new supercontinent Columbia
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill geologist believes he has discovered a new, long-vanished supercontinent.

Annals of Internal Medicine, tip sheet, March 19, 2002
Articles include

Relative of snake venom toxin may aid in understanding nicotine addiction
HHMI researchers have found that a protein resembling snake venom neurotoxin modulates the sensitivity of specific receptors in the brain that are targets of nicotine, the primary addictive drug in tobacco.

Errant stem cells may account for symptoms of schizophrenia
UIC researchers have found that a protein called reelin is responsible for directing the migration of neural stem cells to the appropriate location as the brain adapts to new information.

Computational innovation predicts how patients will respond to drug treatments
A new computational innovation could lead to precisely targeted, personalized cancer treatments based on a person's genetic makeup rather than the current more generalized approach.

Immigrant 'brain waste' weakening economy, says professor
Skilled immigrants driving cabs or flipping burgers are costing the Canadian economy up to $15 billion, says a University of Toronto study.

Proven heart therapy used in only 25 percent of cases
Duke University Medical Center researchers report that only one out of four patients with acute coronary syndromes receives drugs that have been proven to reduce death and heart attacks.

X-ray microscope can image crystalline grains in three dimensions
A lensless X-ray microscope that can create three-dimensional images of micron-size samples has been developed by scientists at the University of Illinois.

Cancer killing gene found by Dartmouth researchers
Dartmouth Medical School cancer researchers have identified a gene that triggers the death of leukemia cells, opening a novel target for anti-cancer drugs.

Husbands of fibromylagia sufferers in slightly poorer health, more depressed than other men
Men whose wives suffer from fibromyalgia, a painful rheumatic disorder, have slightly worse health, including higher rates of stress and depression, than other men.

UCSF prion finding in mice leads team to urge similar study in cattle
University of California, San Francisco researchers have made a finding regarding prions in mice that they say warrants similar study in cattle.

President Bush announces 2001 Presidential Mathematics and Science Teaching Award Recipients
President Bush announced today the recipients of the prestigious 2001 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

The building blocks of erection: Nitric oxide...and more nitric oxide
A team of Hopkins scientists has greatly advanced the science of penile erection, showing for the first time the mechanism for continued production of nitric oxide that maintains an erection over time.

CRDF announces launch of first grant-making science foundation in the Republic of Georgia
The U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) announces the Georgian Research and Development Foundation (GRDF), the Republic of Georgia's first, independent grant-making science foundation.

Physics research recognized in American Physical Society annual prize ceremony
Outstanding physics research on topics from carbon nanotubes to plasma physics is being recognized today at the American Physical Society's (APS) annual March meeting in Indianapolis.

Mood linked to cognitive abilities
In a study of how human emotional states influence higher mental abilities, cognitive neuroscientists at Washington University in St.

Superconducting nanowires assist in study of phase transitions
By creating superconducting nanowires using carbon nanotube molecules, researchers at the University of Illinois are investigating just how small a wire can become and remain a superconductor.

Lunch on the street feeds the poor residents of Nairobi
Slum residents in particular seem to benefit from meals from street stalls.

Nursing degree improves patient outcomes, study shows
Home care patients need fewer visits if their main caregiver is a university-trained nurse, suggests University of Toronto research.

New study in mice shows promise for vaccine to prevent plaque buildup
Cardiac researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, working in collaboration with Swedish investigators, have developed a novel vaccine to prevent plaque buildup in genetically engineered mice with high cholesterol levels.

Sturgeon researcher's vision spawns thriving industry
California is the world's foremost producer of white sturgeon. Farming sturgeon for meat and caviar may relieve the pressure on wild stocks of the endangered fish.

Clotting cells switched on by cold
Platelets, the cells that make blood clot, have a short shelf life.

Rice researchers solve longstanding tectonic mystery
Geologists at Rice University have located the oceanic portion, off the southern African coast, of a boundary between the west African (Nubian) plate and the east African (Somalian) plate, solving a decades-old tectonic mystery.

Decision rules and physician judgment
Decision-making rules have been widely adopted because of their potential for safely reducing a patient's exposure to costly and unnecessary testing.

3D ultrasound telehealth system first commercial test at Indian reservations
Pregnant women living on South Dakota Indian reservations where infant mortality rates are more than twice the national average will receive specialty care under the first commercial test of a telehealth system called MUSTPAC-3.

Profiles of myocardial infarction among South Asian Canadians
Dr. Sonia Anand and colleagues explore the the fact that South Asian Canadians (those from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh) have higher rates of myocardial infarction (MI) than Canadians of European origin.

Top Ramen platelets: just add water
Using a new process discovered at the University of California, Davis, platelets,the clot-forming cells in blood, can be freeze-dried and stored for at least a year at room temperature before being reconstituted with water.

Sensor will save energy, reduce pollution, engineer says
A University of Toronto professor has developed a furnace sensor that will save energy, reduce pollution and save millions of dollars in electricity costs a year.

Myocarditis plus pulmonary hypertension means transplant sooner
Pulmonary hypertension can predict death for people with myocarditis and suggests the need for a heart transplant or other aggressive therapy sooner, according to a report in today's rapid access Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Dartmouth biologists say algae might be missing mercury link in aquatic food chain
A team of Dartmouth researchers is one step closer to understanding how toxic metals, specifically methylmercury, move through the aquatic food chain.

Lost European delta predicts the future of modern-day rivers
Earth Scientists from the Delft University of Technology have described the deposit patterns of the largest river ever known in Europe.

Checking in on BC's reference-based pricing experiment
British Columbia introduced reference-based pricing in 1997 as a cost-saving measure.

Researchers move step closer to photonic microchip
Researchers at the University of Toronto have figured out a way to

Ames Laboratory pursues new standard in sensor technology
A novel fluorescence-based chemical sensor that can be miniaturized and used within living organisms has been developed by researchers at the U.S.

2 is orange but 'two' is blue
A new study of the most common form of synesthesia - the perception that numbers, letters and words have distinct colors - confirms that it is a genuine perceptual phenomenon and provides additional evidence that synesthetic experiences originate during the central stages of visual processing in the brain.

Like a deer in the headlights
Vehicle collisions with wildlife are common and often cause significant property damage and human injury.

Physicists identify possible new superconductor
A potential new high-temperature superconductor has been identified by physicists at the University of California, Davis. 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