Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 15, 2002
UMass geologist leads team probing Bering Land Bridge
A University of Massachusetts Amherst geoscientist is part of a team of researchers sailing the Bering and Chukchi seas this summer, searching for clues about the sea floor history and the land bridge that once existed between what is now Alaska and Russia.

DARPA to support development of human brain-machine interfaces
Devices including

All Hajj pilgrims should get meningitis jab
Seventeen per cent of those returning from the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina (Hajj) are carrying meningococcal bacteria, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Research shows that male smokers who want a long life should get married
New research by economists at the University of Warwick reveals that men who smoke but who want a long life should marry without delay as marriage reduces the risk of death by even more than the act of smoking increases the risk of dying.

New enzyme pathway to nerve cell death discovered in stroke and neurodegenerative diseases
Most knowledge about pathways to nerve cell death have come from targets identified inside nerve cells.

Canadian-led team hopes to unlock mysteries of Cameroon's granite strongholds
Who built them and what were they used for? A University of Calgary archaeologist is leading the first expedition to excavate the so-called Strongholds of Cameroon, which are some of the most remarkable stone-built structures anywhere in Africa.

NSF director to address interdisciplinary science and women's issues at national chemistry meeting
Rita Colwell, director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), will participate in two American Chemical Society (ACS) Presidential Events at the ACS national meeting in Boston, Mass., August 18-21, 2002.

Genetics in clinical practice: a revolutionary approach
A DMS professor is leading the way in using computer technology for medical education with a pioneering virtual clinic to teach

UW scientists find genetic pathway to potent anticancer agents
Exploring the genomes of two different but related soil microbes, scientists have found the genes that govern the production of a class of highly potent anticancer agents.

Demystifying irritable bowel syndrome
A seminar in this week's issue of THE LANCET examines the history, epidemiology, and different treatment options for one of the most misunderstood medical complaints-irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Grant from Vetlesen Foundation supports URI Graduate School of Oceanography Climate Research
The G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation of New York City recently awarded the URI Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) $100,000 to support its work in climate research.

Air pollution cleansed through ocean cloud processes, say Hebrew University scientists
Scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have demonstrated that sea spray over the oceans contributes to cleansing air that has been polluted overland.

Brookhaven National Laboratory and collaborators win R&D 100 Award
The U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), along with industrial partners Bob Curran & Sons and Ticona Corporation, have won a 2002 R&D 100 Award for developing a smart, high-performance coating.

International study suggests carboplatin could be first-line chemotherapy drug for ovarian cancer
Results of an international study in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggest that the drug carboplatin could become a first-line chemotherapeutic agent for the treatment of ovarian cancer.

Good grief: Religious people may have better health while mourning
Elderly people whose religious beliefs help them cope with the loss of a loved one seem to stay healthier than those who don't look to spiritual forces for support, according to a new study.

Researchers find Central American volcanoes yield new clues about Earth processes
A chain of Central America's most active volcanoes has given a team of researchers from the University of New Mexico (UNM), Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Northern Illinois University a novel glimpse into fundamental Earth processes.

Songbird population declines linked to acid rain
The first large-scale study to provide a clear link between acid rain and widespread declines across the breeding range of a songbird, the wood thrush, points to calcium depletion as a possible cause, Cornell University ecologists say.

Twofold difference in referral rates between US and UK
Patients are twice as likely to be referred to a specialist in the United States compared with patients in the United Kingdom, find researchers in this week's BMJ.

No justification for early laser treatment of uncomplicated childhood haemangiomas
Early laser treatment of uncomplicated childhood haemangiomas (strawberry birthmarks) is no more beneficial than no intervention, conclude authors of a UK study in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

Danger at Sea
A research letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET highlights how trawler fishing and other seafaring jobs are by far the most hazardous occupations in Great Britain.

Studies define biochemical structure that keeps blood pressure low, bypass grafts open
A sort of biochemical scaffold for a compound that enables blood pressure to be low, heart bypass grafts to remain open and nerves to communicate has been identified by Medical College of Georgia researchers.

Flawed sampling, not just pollution, may be responsible for beach closings
A study of California's Huntington Beach shows that flawed sampling techniques could be responsible for recent beach closures in California and across the country.

'Jumping genes' create ripples in the genome - and perhaps species' evolution
Laboratory experiments led by Hopkins scientists have revealed that so-called

Satisfactory consultations do not have to be long
Consultations with general practitioners do not have to be longer to satisfy patients' needs, according to researchers in this week's BMJ.

No link between epidurals and backache
Epidural pain relief during labour is not associated with long term backache, find researchers in this week's BMJ.
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