Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 12, 2002
Does your brain shutdown with Alzheimer's?
When Alzheimer's takes hold, does your brain literally run out of power just like a battery going dead?

Discovery of three faint companions of bright stars
Three small, faint stars, apparently locked in the gravitational embrace of much larger and brighter companions, have been discovered in the first light from a new infrared camera with innovative optics on the 100-inch telescope at the Mount Wilson Observatory in Pasadena, California.

Physics tip sheet #17 - June 12, 2002
Highlights of this issue include an all-silicon quantum computer recipe, how to measure the speed of gravity using a quasar and Jupiter and escape rates for asteroids orbiting planets.

Rock-eating fungi helps trees
With the help of rock-eating fungi, some types of trees are able to

Nasal antibiotic ointment reduces infection risk after surgery
In what may be the largest clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of antimicrobial agents in preventing surgical wound and hospital-based infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus, scientists at the University of Iowa and Johns Hopkins found that an antibiotic ointment, called mupirocin (moo-PIE-roe-sin), smeared inside the nose cut infection rates in half or better.

Although controversial, stem cell therapies exhibit potential in biotechnology markets
Stem cells have enormous potential for repairing damage to the body caused by disease, injury, or aging.

Scientist detail how brain regulates sensory information
An unusual collaboration between physicists at the University of California, San Diego and psychologists at Vanderbilt University has revealed how the brains of higher animals and probably humans integrate sensory information and motor control signals in way that allows us to heighten our senses to smell a faint odor, visualize an individual in a crowd, or even discern the sounds of a single instrument in an orchestra.

Nabi Biopharmaceuticals begins human testing of novel vaccine to fight nicotine addiction
NicVAX™, a proprietary and novel investigational vaccine developed by Nabi Biopharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: NABI) to help the body develop antibodies that bind to nicotine and block it from reaching the brain, has begun phase 1 human testing.

ND3 - The first molecule with three deuterium atoms discovered in space
This is a special form of ammonia, NH3, where all three hydrogen atoms are replaced by the heavier and rare isotope deuterium (as in heavy water - D2O).

Contour mission gets to the 'heart' of comet diversity
Set to visit and study at least two comets, NASA's Comet Nucleus Tour should provide the first detailed look at the differences between these primitive building blocks of the solar system.

Nation's leading hospitals serving up fast food
A new study finds that 38 percent of the nation's top health institutions have regional or national fast food franchises on their main medical campuses.

Two breakthroughs achieved in single-molecule transistor research
How small can electronic devices get? Nano-small! Two teams of scientists have fashioned transistors from single molecules, and report their results in the June 13 issue of Nature.

Nominations sought for AGU's 2003 Sullivan and Perlman Awards
The American Geophysical Union seeks nominations for two annual journalism awards: the Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence in Science Journalism - Features and the David Perlman Award for Excellence in Science Journalism - News.

Molecule between wires makes single-atom transistor
The development of a single-atom transistor was reported by researchers at Cornell University.

Doubt cast on theory of tropical forest diversity
Duke University researchers meticulously measuring the fate of tree seeds in the Appalachian Mountains have obtained results that call into question a popular theory of why tropical forests show such extraordinary diversity of tree species.

Landmark study results published in NEJM highlight breakthrough treatment for heart failure
Hundreds of thousands of Europeans who live with restricted energy, mobility and independence due to heart failure could benefit significantly from a breakthrough treatment featured in tomorrow's New England Journal of Medicine1.

Progress and future directions for management of hepatitis C
Substantial advances in treatment for chronic hepatitis C and a decline in the number of new infections, were highlighted by a panel convened by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Had your morning coffee? Thank a killer bee
Debunking the widely held belief that the self-pollinating shrub that produces the Arabica coffee bean has no use for insects, David W.

CIIT research on estrogens featured at national meeting
Preliminary research shows that the soy based estrogen genistein when combined with a pesticide (methoxychlor) causes gene alterations in rats.

Northeastern's CenSSIS announces research agreement with ART Advanced Research Technologies
Northeastern University's Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems (CenSSIS), a National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Center, and ART Advanced Research Technologies Inc.

Accidental Armageddon
Although tensions seem to be receding this week between India and Pakistan, there are still increasing fears of a nuclear exchange - and all through carelessness.

New approach to post-transplant lymphoma shows promise
Scientists may be making headway in treating a transplant-related form of lymphoma with a novel combination of acyclovir and gradual reduction of immunosuppressive drugs.

Research shows how pollutants affect tree growth
An international group of researchers is headed to northern Wisconsin to continue a long-term study that is revealing how air pollution affects northern forests.

Quantum computing with individual atoms
Researchers at the University of Michigan's have reported the first demonstration of laser-cooling of individual trapped atoms of different species.

Beyond copolymer 1
Copolymer 1, also called glatiramer acetate, is an unusual therapeutic compound, a heterogeneous mix of polypeptides containing the four amino acids Y, E, A, and K in definite ratios but with no uniform sequence.

Protein discovered that keeps hemoglobin in balance
Hematology researchers at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia have discovered a gene and its associated protein that may have major implications for red blood cell formation, specifically for hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in red blood cells.

Electroacupuncture trial is NCCAM's first intramural study
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has launched a clinical trial of electroacupuncture to determine if it reduces the delayed nausea experienced by cancer patients following chemotherapy.

Beta-blockers protect brain during bypass surgery
When given prior to or during coronary artery bypass surgery, a class of heart drugs known as beta-blockers provides significant protection to the brain and its functions, according to a new study by Duke University Medical Center researchers.

Company offering computer games for blind, sighted users has roots at UMass
A company with its roots at the University of Massachusetts has introduced a computer game that allows people who are visually impaired to compete on an equal footing with sighted competitors.

The MAP kinase pathway in coxsackievirus infections
Heritable biochemical idiosyncrasies are thought to help explain the variable outcome when individuals in the outbred human population are exposed to pathogens.

CEO salaries are checked at companies with a powerful shareholder or threat of bankruptcy
An analysis of CEO salaries in bull and bear markets shows that the most effective checks on profligate executives are a major shareholder's takeover threat, a looming bankruptcy, or a relatively small Board of Directors whose members own company stock, according to a study in a journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS®).

Dogs key to understanding prostate cancer
Scientists have created a dog model to help them understand the molecular action of human prostate cancer and how and why it spreads to the bones.

Two years to save the world
Paying up now to fix global warming won't harm our future prosperity.

Molecular clues to an inherited epilepsy
At the cellular and molecular level, epileptic seizures are not completely understood.

Study offers a rare view of how species interactions evolve
The complicated relationship between a common wildflower and a little gray moth is yielding new insights into how species coevolve, with implications for the conservation of biodiversity.

A detour for stalled intracellular lipid traffic
The NPC1 protein, which is defective in the glycosphingolipid (GSL) storage disease Niemann-Pick disease type C (NP-C), resides in the cell's endosomes, Golgi stacks, and lysosomes.
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