Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 26, 2002
Computer scientists help create fireworks of your dreams
The Fourth of July is synonymous with fireworks displays, but before all the bright colors and thunderous booms, scientists are hard at work behind the scenes making each firework display its best.

Bacterial quorum-sensing structure solved
A decade after microbiologists began to suspect that many groups of bacteria can communicate -- by releasing and detecting chemical pheromones to gauge their population density -- the molecular structure of a key protein in this interbacterial communication has been solved.

New cholesterol disorder discovered - As predicted from gene's role
A team led by UCSF medical researchers has discovered a new disorder that can cause severely elevated blood cholesterol levels and may affect several hundred thousand people in the U.S. and Europe to varying degrees.

NYU/European scientists solve the mystery of proton transport in aqueous solution
A team of chemists lead by NYU Physics Professor Mark Tuckerman has shown that proton transport mechanisms in aqueous solution - a problem of fundamental importance in biological processes and technological applications - depend critically on whether the environment is acidic or basic.

Exposed: The film industry's 100-year love affair with Carmen
She was the first film 'vamp', has been a black bisexual and a Tom and Jerry cartoon character, appeared in country and western guise, and played for laughs with Charlie Chaplin.

Physical aggression common in the lives of young adults
The prevalence of physical aggression among adults

Virginia Tech researchers receive $450,000 award to model cell division
Mathematical models of the molecular mechanisms that control the way yeast cells grow and assume various shapes may help scientists understand the misregulation of cell growth and division known as cancer.

Good news about oral contraceptives
A new study reverses the long held notion that birth control pills increase a women's risk for breast cancer.

A computer-based, self-help system for the space age
Make way for a computerized system designed to help people work through issues such as conflict resolution or mild depression.

Mixed croplands may make some areas cooler, wetter in summer
The variety of the vegetation and crops in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain states has helped maintain a cooler, wetter climate, according to a NASA-funded study using a computer climate model.

Students join scientists in search of asthma triggers
Students and teachers of more than 20 Baltimore, Md., middle and high schools will be helping NASA scientists, and doctors and researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine to better understand the causes of pediatric asthma in Baltimore City.

Semen makes you happy
Semen makes you happy. That's the remarkable conclusion of an American study which shows that women whose partners don't wear condoms are less depressed than women whose partners do wear condoms.

ORNL computer 8th fastest in world
Oak Ridge National Laboratory has moved up 21 places to claim the No.

Girls' higher grades come with emotional price tag, researchers say
Girls generally make better grades than do boys, but a new study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign shows that girls also experience more internal costs -- worry, anxiety and depression -- despite their academic success.

UC study links parasites in freshwater runoff to sea otter deaths
Southern sea otters in California may be dying from Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite commonly associated with cats.

Clover strip-cropping in cotton provides critical habitat for threatened songbirds
Cotton farming is on the rise across the South, and that spells trouble for rural songbirds.

Researchers identify genes associated with aging of the retina
A new study finds that the aging of the human retina is accompanied by distinct changes in gene expression, an important step in understanding the mechanisms of aging and its impact on vision disorders such as macular degeneration.

Is corporal punishment an effective means of discipline?
In a large-scale meta-analysis of 88 studies, a psychologogist looked at both positive and negative behaviors in children that were associated with corporal punishment.

Historic U.S.-Peru debt-for-nature swap
With a commitment of $1.1 million from Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund, the U.S. and Peruvian governments today signed an historic agreement to protect some of the most biologically rich tropical rain forests on Earth.

Passive smoking increases the risk of heart disease
A new study published in
Young stars in old galaxies -- A cosmic hide and seek game
Combining data from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT), a group of European and American astronomers have identified a huge number of

New NCAR, ORNL climate simulation doubles detail of previous models
Climate studies just doubled in resolution because of a new model developed and implemented by researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and Oak Ridge National Laboratory and run on the Cheetah supercomputer.

ORNL adds three R&D 100 Awards to DOE lab-leading total
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have won three R&D 100 Awards from R&D magazine, which annually gives awards for the 100 most significant innovations of the year.

University at Buffalo materials researchers develop device for 'ultrasmall' data storage
Two University at Buffalo materials researchers have developed an extremely sensitive nanoscale device that could shrink ultra-high-density storage devices to record sizes.

Girls with views of nature have better chance of success
At-risk inner-city girls who see nature through the windows of their homes may have a better chance for success than those girls whose views are not as green, say scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

First longitudinal study on lesbian health
A researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing has launched what is believed to be the first-ever longitudinal study of lesbian health.

UCSF hosts Bay Area Lesbian Health Conference
The 2nd annual Lesbian Health Research Conference, to be held at UCSF in conjunction with San Francisco's LGBT Pride Week Celebrations, will convene Bay Area community leaders to focus on understanding and eliminating barriers faced by lesbians, especially lesbians of color.

Data storage gets ultrasmall with remarkable breakthrough in electrical resistance
Two materials researchers have developed an extremely sensitive nanoscale device that could shrink ultra-high-density storage devices to record sizes.

Physics tip sheet #19 - June 26, 2002
Highlights of this issue include an evaluation of climate models, advances in nanospintronics and no-destructive testing of processes in biological systems such as dehydration of fingernails.

New drug boosts fight against HIV, researchers find
A new drug that advances the fight against HIV has been found to work better than treatments currently on the market, research led by a University of Toronto and Toronto General Hospital scientist has revealed.

Study finds no association between oral contraceptive use and breast cancer for women 35 and over
Women who took oral contraceptives at some point in their lives are no more likely to develop breast cancer between the ages of 35 and 64 than are other women the same age, according to findings from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Women's Contraceptive and Reproductive Experiences Study (Women's CARE).

Passive sensors remotely monitor temperature and stress
The same material that makes the theft detectors go off in a department store when the salesperson forgets to remove the anti-theft tag, may make inexpensive, passive temperature and stress sensors for highways, concrete buildings and other applications possible, according to Penn State researchers.
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