Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 19, 2002
Manhattan Project: A Living Legacy
The Manhattan Project, the top-secret effort during World War II to develop the atomic bomb, left an indelible legacy.

Flexible ceramic material is a 'plumber's nightmare'
Using nanoscale chemistry, researchers at Cornell University have developed a new class of hybrid materials that they describe as flexible ceramics, with a structure so convoluted it has been dubbed

As heart patients flock to alternative medicine, hazards may lurk
Nearly three-quarters of heart patients surveyed in a new University of Michigan study used some kind of alternative medicine approach to help them heal, but dietary supplements chosen by one-third of them could actually interact with their heart medications to raise their risk of further health problems.

Stanford scientist seeks participants in NASA hypergravity study
If you`ve ever wanted to experience the sensation space shuttle astronauts feel during liftoff and landing - or if spinning around in circles all day inside a large NASA centrifuge is your idea of a good time - then Human Biology Professor Malcolm Cohen wants to hear from you.

American Thoracic Society Journal news tips for March (second issue)
Newsworthy journal articles point out that men 65 and older had a higher incidence of bacterial pneumonia, developed more complex cases, and suffered higher disease mortality; and that Los Angeles County, although it had the second highest number of tuberculosis (TB) cases reported in a metropolitan area, showed a very low rate of multidrug-resistant TB transmission over a five-year period.

Other highlights in the March 20 issue of JNCI
Other highlights in the March 20 JNCI include a study that shows that COX-2 inhibition can slow cell growth in Barrett's esophagus, a study that found that mutations in a specific tumor suppressor region interfere with cell senescence, a study that concludes that a common polymorphism is associated with a decreased risk of colorectal cancer, and a commentary that explores the lymphatic system as a pathway for metastasis.

Southern Graduate Schools award John Eaton for Electronic Thesis, Dissertation project
John Eaton, retired senior associate dean of the Graduate School at Virginia Tech, has received the 2002 Award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate Education in the Southern Region from the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS).

UIC awarded $1.25 million for AIDS prevention program in Malawi
Under a $1.25 million grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research, the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing and the University of Malawi Kamuza College of Nursing will launch a five-year AIDS prevention project in Malawi, one of the poorest countries in Africa, where 10 percent of the population is infected with HIV.

Environmental costs may be higher than you think
Companies with less than ten employees may be losing money and opportunities as a result of lack of knowledge of environmentally-friendly work practices, suggest researchers at Cardiff University.

Women with vaginal cancer likely to have been exposed to HPV-16, the virus that causes genital warts
Infection with HPV-16, a common virus that causes genital warts, is a serious risk factor for vaginal cancer, according to a recent large-scale study of women in western Washington.

Blood test for heart failure scores big in new study
A new study finds that a 15-minute blood test helps emergency-room doctors to correctly diagnose congestive heart failure in 9 out of 10 cases-without relying on costly, time-consuming tests such as echocardiograms and chest X-rays.

Riverways create as much pollution as highways
Pollution from shipping around riverside cities in the United States can equal that of a major freeway full of traffic, according to a study reported in Environmental Science and Technology. Marine transportation accounts for nearly as much cargo movement in the United States as does commercial trucking.

Inhaled steroids produce variable benefits in the treatment of asthma
A new study demonstrated that low to medium doses of inhaled steroids are usually sufficient to improve lung function in patients with persistent asthma.

Internet child porn a major threat
In the past five to 10 years, child pornography on the Internet has grown substantially to become a major presence, particularly in newsgroups and bulletin boards, says a Penn State researcher.

Multimillion dollar immunology research directed at edible or nasally delivered vaccines
The Commonwealth Technology Research Fund has awarded $3.6 million to Virginia Tech, the Univesity of Virginia, and Virginia Commonwealth University for research on mucosal immunology.

Book uses college life to explain sociological concepts
A new book,

Prostate cancer hormonal therapy may increase sexual and physical problems
Men with early-stage prostate cancer who are treated with androgen deprivation therapy may experience more physical discomfort and be twice as likely to experience sexual impairment compared with men who receive no therapy, a new study suggests.

Majority of parents schedule child's first dental visit two years too late
Nearly 70 percent of children begin receiving dental care two years later than the age recommended by pediatric dental experts, according to the

Seeing movie stars smoke makes teens more vulnerable to tobacco use
The more times an adolescent sees movie characters smoke, the more receptive that child is to the idea of taking up smoking.

Implantable heart device reduces deaths by one-third
Implantable defibrillators reduce the death rate of heart attack survivors at risk for sudden death by 31 percent, according to a study of 1,232 patients at 76 sites.

Use of invasive heart procedures decreases after the age of 75
Duke University Medical Center cardiologists have found that the use of invasive procedures used to clear clogged heart vessels declines as the age of patients increases, with the decrease especially noticeable after the age of 75.

NIH, Argonne sign agreement
An agreement to build new biological research capabilities at Argonne National Laboratory's Advanced Photon Source was signed today by Argonne officials and the directors of two institutes of the National Institutes of Health.

Hormone therapy may be most protective in women with healthiest blood vessels
When it comes to protection against heart disease, women with the healthiest blood vessels may have the most to gain from estrogen replacement therapy.

Biological evidence can persuade people to change unhealthy habits
When confronted with evidence of how their behavior is harming their bodies, some people will adopt healthier attitudes and lifestyles.

Portable radiation detector could be used at customs, ports, border crossings and airports
Scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in collaboration with engineers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a mobile, handheld mechanically cooled germanium radiation spectrometer that detects signature gamma-rays from radioactive materials.

Key predictors of heart disease in women develop as early as adolescence
A new Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center study shows that thickening of the heart or an increase in heart mass --important predictors of heart disease in women -- can develop as early as adolescence.

Cutting-edge research to be presented at ASCPT pharmacology conference
More than 300, never before published, peer-reviewed findings will be presented March 24 - 27 at the ASCPT annual meeting.

Rethinking the Role of Science and Technology in a Vulnerable World
The most comprehensive information on the President's research and development budget will be presented at the AAAS 27th Annual Colloquium on Science and Technology in Washington D.C., 11 - 12 April, 2002.

'Mercury sunrise' phenomenon found in Antarctica
The journal Environmental Science and Technology reports that the so-called

URI scientists study life buried deep beneath the ocean floor
URI oceanographers Steven D'Hondt, Scott Rutherford, and Arthur J. Spivack are studying the activity of bacterial life deep in the sediments at the bottom of the ocean.

Scientists conduct first DNA field tests on Antarctic soil microbes
An international team of scientists recently conducted genetic tests of the bacteria that thrive in one of the driest, coldest places on Earth -- Antarctica's

Treadmill exercise tests point out hidden heart disease
Two Johns Hopkins studies have strongly affirmed the value of treadmill exercise tests in diagnosing heart disease in middle-aged women and men before symptoms occur.

African-American heart patients
´╗┐Duke University Medical Center researchers have demonstrated for the first time that African-American heart patients tend to suffer worse symptoms and be more functionally impaired as a result of their heart disease.

Darwin's Time Machine: Scientists begin predicting evolution's next step
Untangling the branches of evolution?s past is a daunting enough task for researchers, but some scientists are now turning their eyes toward the future in a bid to predict evolution?s course.

Calcium intake may be associated with reduced risk of colon cancer
A new study suggests that increasing calcium intake may reduce the risk of colon cancer.
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