Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 24, 2002
NOAA-17 (M) environmental satellite successfully launched
A new environmental satellite that will improve weather forecasting and monitor environmental events around the world soared into space this morning after a picture-perfect launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

Insight into how the body tells time
You may feel different at the dreary hour of 4 a.m. than you do mid-afternoon at 4 p.m.

Aqua mission status
NASA's newest Earth Observing System satellite, Aqua, is successfully providing data and engineering images.

Two new monkey species discovered
Conservation International announced today the discovery of two new species of titi monkey in Brazil's Amazon rain forest.

New insights into open string theory
Theoretical physicist Lennaert Huiszoon has described a new family of strings in research conducted at the National Institute for Nuclear Physics and High Energy Physics.

Low-cost reminder helps prevent infections for heart patients
Helping doctors remind their patients with valvular heart disease to take antibiotics before dental procedures can help prevent bacterial endocarditis, according to a report in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Dearborn, Mich., researchers receive award for improving automobile plastics
Chemical engineers Ellen Lee, Ph.D., and Deborah Mielewski, Ph.D., of Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Mich., will be honored June 28 by the world's largest scientific society for developing a new process for making stronger, lighter plastics for automobiles.

The Romans preferred small-scale solutions to aqueducts and sewers
Contrary to common opinion, the Romans had several systems for the supply and drainage of water.

Surgeons perform skin expansion procedure on conjoined twins at UCLA's Mattel Children's Hospital
Doctors at UCLA's Mattel Children's Hospital are scheduled to perform a skin expansion procedure Monday on 11-month-old twins joined at the skull.

UCLA surgeons complete skin expansion procedure on conjoined twins
Doctors at UCLA's Mattel Children's Hospital completed a skin expansion procedure at 3:30 p.m. on June 24 on Maria Teresa and Maria de Jesus Quiej-Alvarez, 11-month-old twins joined at the skull.

Cervical tissue changes may explain false negative pap smears
Study findings suggest the routine tests for cervical cancer sometimes cannot pick up abnormal cells because cells are tightly adhered to cervix.

Hopkins researchers to lead independent study of 'next generation' ethics issues
A pioneering Johns Hopkins stem cell expert and one of the institution's leading bioethicists have won a multi-year grant from the Greenwall Foundation to develop far-reaching recommendations on a

Fatal Fridays
A study in this issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal indicates that hospital patients sent home on Friday are more likely to die or be readmitted.

A strong primary care system is good for a nation's health
The stronger a country's network of primary care providers, the lower the health care costs and the better a population's health are generally, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Is there a neurologist on this flight?
Neurological symptoms are the most common medical complaint requiring air-to-ground medical support, second only to cardiovascular problems for emergency landings, according to a study published in the June 25 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Simple reminder can help patients avoid dangerous infection
A study led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) finds that a simple reminder to their doctors can help patients with valvular heart disease to remember to take antibiotics before having their teeth cleaned or undergoing other procedures that may be associated with subsequent heart infections.

Investigating the techniques of Old Masters
Why do the colours in some of Van Gogh's paintings change?

Less inflammation, better heart health in physically fit females
Physical fitness may have an anti-inflammatory effect that protects against heart attacks, according to a report in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Researchers identify protein linked to tumor invasion
A protein known for its role in helping to provide the body's immune system with a line of defense against infection has unexpectedly been discovered in cancer cells that were removed from aggressive carcinomas of the breast and colon.

Two drugs are better than one to prevent return of atrial fibrillation
The high blood pressure drug irbesartan delayed the recurrence of irregular heartbeats, researchers report for first time in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Report considers role of science in a world made vulnerable by terrorism
The nation is ill-prepared for a terrorist assault on its information systems, and lacks the public health structure necessary to address a major attack of bioterrorism, according to a report published recently by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Ames Lab seeking materials research proposals
Materials researchers are invited to take advantage of the expertise and specialized equipment available at U.S.

Columbus-area high school chemistry teacher wins regional award
Chemistry teacher Chris M. Allen of Thomas Worthington High School in Worthington, Ohio, will be honored June 27 by the American Chemical Society for outstanding high school chemistry teaching.

General decline in death rates from skin cancer in Scotland over past two decades
A UK study published on THE LANCET's website today--
Penn State College of Medicine researchers correct scientific theory about how gene switch works
A discovery by Penn State College of Medicine researchers refutes an idea widely accepted by scientists and throws new light on how certain genes are regulated by so-called gene switches.

Landmark study demonstrates potential for nerve regeneration treatment of stroke
A landmark study published in the June 25 print edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences demonstrates that Inosine, a naturally occurring chemical, can induce axon (nerve fiber) growth within the brain and spinal cord, and thereby improve motor function after stroke in animal models.

NASA's Earth Observing technology satellite proves a success
The new Earth monitoring technology aboard NASA's Earth-Observing 1 (EO-1) satellite has proven itself invaluable in its clarity and ability to more accurately identify objects on the Earth's surface, and will become part of a long-term Earth monitoring mission on the next Landsat satellite.

Depression in mothers caring for chronically ill children can make problems worse
Children with chronically painful illnesses are frequently depressed, as anyone might expect.

New practice guidelines focus on neuroimaging of premature and low birth weight babies
The American Academy of Neurology and the Child Neurology Society have released new recommendations regarding the use of brain imaging of preterm and term infants.

Society for Women's Health Research News Service to provide series on women and pharmacology
Beginning June 24 and continuing through September 19, the Society for Women's Health Research News Service will distribute a series of articles on women and pharmacology; the first article covers sex differences and drug metabolism and is available at
Clemson researchers create biosensors to protect nation's food and water supplies
Unlike nuclear terrorism, bioterrorism won't begin with a bang. It will begin with a whimper -- a child feeling the effects of food poisoning.

New imaging technology promises better breast cancer detection in early stages
Scientists at the Research & Education Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (REI) are developing a new breast imaging diagnostic tool which will afford clinicians greater opportunities for detecting early stage breast cancers with greater certainty and help patients avoid biopsy in some cases.

National Institutes of Health green lights additional research into new breast imaging system
Cancer in pre-menopausal women tends to be more difficult to spot because their breast tissue is denser, often fooling traditional mammography into a false negative reading.

Protein simulation can be done three times as fast
Protein movement can be simulated three times as fast than had been thought possible up to now.

NHGRI launches
The National Human Genome Research Institute has launched a completely revised Web site, which provides improved usability and easy access to new content for a wide range of users.

Will scientists finally defeat deadly chestnut blight?
Hope lies on 90 acres of unglaciated hillside in western Wisconsin.

Scientists get no-strings awards for biodiversity leadership
The Bay and Paul Foundations announce winners of their third round of awards for excellence in biodiversity research, conservation, and communication.

Weizmann Institute scientists win global competition in predicting protein-protein interactions
A team of scientists from the Weizmann Institute of Science achieved the best result in the CAPRI Challenge, an international competition in which participants submit predictions of structures of protein-protein complexes prior to experimental determination.

INEEL, California groups unveil unique natural gas liquefaction facility
A first-of-its-kind, small-scale natural gas liquefaction facility designed by scientists at the U.S.

Abnormal chemical bonds cause bleeding disorder
Blood platelets and the protein von Willebrand factor (vWF) normally pass like strangers in the night - until an artery is injured.

Researcher turns brown algae phylogeny upside down
According to fellow phycologists, algae expert Stefan Draisma from the Leiden University has turned brown algae phylogeny completely upside down.

Warren, Mich., researchers receive award for improving automotive plastics
A team of chemists, chemical engineers and polymer scientists from the GM R&D Center in Warren, Mich., will be honored June 28 by the world's largest scientific society for developing a new process for making stronger, lighter plastics for motor vehicles.

Pennsylvania chemist and educator receives award for fostering diversity
Chemist and educator Susan Yochum, S.C., Ph.D., of Seton Hill College in Greensburg, Pa., will be will be honored June 28 by the American Chemical Society for encouraging women and minorities to study and pursue careers in chemistry.

Wives' employment increases marital stability
Full-time work for wives decreases the likelihood of divorce but does not improve marital happiness, Penn State researchers say.

Genome protects itself against mobile junk DNA
At the Hubrecht Laboratory in Utrecht, the biologist Sylvia Fischer has discovered how organisms protect themselves against transposons.

Individualized educational materials help women decide about hormone replacement therapy
A new study shows that individually tailoring educational materials about hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can help menopausal women better understand the pros and cons of taking HRT and feel more confident about their decision whether or not to undergo the therapy. 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