Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 28, 2002
New method links rainfall patterns to developing El Niños
NASA researchers have created a tool that can predict El Niño events months before they occur, by linking variations in rainfall patterns over the Indian Ocean with developing El Niños.

NSF grants to boost homeland security research
A series of new grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will support research related to the terrorism and anthrax incidents of Fall 2001 and will contribute to homeland security objectives.

Substance abuse increases in New York City in aftermath of September 11th
Survey results indicate that smoking and alcohol and marijuana use increased among residents of Manhattan during the five to eight weeks after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

Columbia study finds differences in PSA, PSA density test measurements for Caucasian, Hispanic men
In one of the few studies to look at the performance of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests in the detection of prostate cancer in Hispanics as compared to Caucasians, doctors at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital's Columbia Presbyterian campus report that when the tests are extended to the point of measuring PSA density (PSAD), they are better able to predict whether a man has malignant or benign disease if the man is a Caucasian than if he is Hispanic.

Uncertainty in West African climate models addressed
Plans to meet the outcome of global climate change are underway worldwide, but nowhere is that planning more difficult than in West Africa where the climate has some of the largest signals of change and the climate models have the greatest level of uncertainty, according to Penn State meteorologists.

Chemical engineers' process grows crops of nanowires
A new technique for growing nanowires is likely to lead to better design of military and space gear and apparel, solar cells, sensors and other devices, and could be used to fight bioterrorism more effectively.

Two-drug therapy is best for symptomatic prostate enlargement
Two drugs commonly used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) are more effective in combination than alone to prevent progression of this condition, according to results of a multi-center National Institutes of Health clinical trial being presented at the American Urological Association (AUA) meeting in Orlando on May 28.

URI oceanographers test method to control metamorphosis in summer flounder
Adult flounder represent important commercial and recreational fisheries in Rhode Island waters.

Long-term cognitive impairment found in crack-cocaine abusers
Impaired memory and motor skills were found in crack-cocaine users up to 6 months after their last use of the drug.

Wildmeat: Overhunting threatens species and people
In many parts of the world, people are driving wild animals toward extinction by over-eating them.

Implant may stabilize schizophrenia patients' treatment
Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have designed an implantable device capable of delivering anti-psychotic medication for a period of five months, and continuing work at Penn indicates that such devices may work for up to a year.

A warm polar winter was easier on Arctic
A NASA researcher has found unusually high levels of protective upper atmospheric ozone in the Arctic as a result of a rare sudden warming during the early winter of 1998.

Snowmobiles can stress wildlife
Snowmobile lovers say the noisy machines don't harm wildlife but conservationists fear they do.

Three nations agree to share ice core thatmay yield clues about nature of Lake Vostok
Scientists from the United States, France and Russia will equally share samples of an 11.7-meter (38.5-foot) ice core taken from the ice sheet above Lake Vostok, deep in the Antarctic interior, under the terms of an agreement worked out among representatives of the nations' Antarctic research programs.

Glaciers and national security, how much oil, fighting natural hazards and terrorism
Is the world running out of oil? Will vanishing glaciers improve relations or enable conflict in Central Asia?

Ozone losses may be speeding up at higher latitudes, according to U. of Colorado study
New findings by University of Colorado at Boulder researchers indicate ozone losses due to the breakdown of chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, occur much faster than previously believed at higher latitudes roughly 10 miles above Earth.

UB research provides first scientific proof that handwriting is unique to each of us
Computer scientists at the University at Buffalo have provided the first peer-reviewed scientific validation that each person's handwriting is individual, according to a paper that will be published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences in July.

Rutgers' announces Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research
Rutgers' Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research has announced the recipients of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) annual Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research.

Neuronal differences in certain brain regions observed in chronic users of cocaine
Differences in the areas of the brain involved in decision making, behavioral inhibition, and emotional reaction to the environment were found in chronic cocaine users.

People linked to new sea otter diseases
The California sea otter is in trouble and people may inadvertently be part of the problem.

Flambe helps with firefighting, weather and air quality forecasts
Several federal agencies have teamed with universities in the development of revolutionary new fire and smoke monitoring products under a program using satellite data that will help with improving weather and visibility forecasts, firefighting efforts and air quality forecasts as smoke and fire events are happening.

Biocontrol backfires again
Biocontrol advocates claim that releasing non-native insects to control non-native plants is safe for native species -- but the number of

Drug used in treatment of alcoholism may have role in treatment of HIV
Naltrexone, a drug use to treatment heroin addiction and alcoholism, may increase the effectiveness of antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV.

Dopamine may play role in cue-induced craving distinct from its role regulating reward effects
Dopamine has been found to play a role in conditioned cue response to food.

Hatchery salmon may threaten wild populations
A popular way to manage endangered Pacific salmon may do more harm than good.

New data show fast and significant weight loss with Xenical sustained over time
The weight loss medication Xenical helps patients achieve rapid and sustained weight loss according to the results of a new study designed to reflect real world usage of Xenical in clinical practice.

Definitive CWRU study says exercise, no smoking leads to longer life in adults over 75
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland found the first definitive evidence that exercising and not smoking leads to a longer life in adults over the age of 75.
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