Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 18, 2002
Scientists discover 30-year history of El Niño in cave
Scientists have discovered a history of the past 30 years of El Niño events recorded in Central American stalagmites, according to two University of Iowa researchers and their University of New Hampshire colleagues.

Nationwide organic standards to be launched Monday
On October 21, a USDA organic seal will appear on food for the first time to indicate products that meet federal standards for

St. Jude to receive multi-million dollar grant for sickle cell program
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has competed for and will receive a multi-million dollar, five-year grant to expand its sickle cell disease program.

Scientists find grass yield, carbon storage not affected by creepy-crawlies in the soil
New results from experiments at a unique ecology facility show that plant communities are dramatically altered by changes to the type of animal species living among their roots, but that key ecosystem measurements such as overall agricultural yield or the amount of soil carbon stored are unaffected.

Agronomy, Crops and Soils Annual Meetings' papers, symposia searchable online
Several key sessions involving Biosecurity, GMO Crops, Neutraceuticals, Conservation, and Science Education highlight the Nov 10-14 Meetings in Indianapolis.

Emotional well-being in patients who make treatment choices
Women with breast cancer want to be involved in decisions over their treatment, but a new study shows that the extent to which they participate varies considerably between North America and Europe.

Novel gene mutation causes Huntington's-like symptoms, providing window into how brain cells die
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered a gene mutation that causes a condition apparently identical to Huntington's Disease, helping to explain why some people with the disorder do not have the mutation found in most cases.

Doctors too embarrassed to discuss sex
Concerns over body image, altered moods, pain, and hormonal changes brought on by cancer and its treatment can dramatically affect sexual well-being.

Children's Hospital Boston releases results at the American Academy of Pediatrics Annual Meeting
Information presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics Annual Meeting includes: Early results of robotic-assisted urologic surgery show major promise; Researchers find alternative sources of fetal cells for tissue engineering; Children pose unique problems in preparation for bioterrorism attack; and

Engineers ensure harps hit the right note
Engineering expertise is enabling a craftsman in rural Wales, UK, to produce traditional harps much more quickly and at half the cost.

Food for thought: What are the likely side effects of fertilizing phytoplankton with iron?
Mark Lawrence, leader of the BMBF-supported Junior Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany, has pointed out that the use of iron fertilization of oceanic phytoplankton as a means to remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere could result in significant, unwanted side effects on the climate and the atmospheric chemical composition (Science, 20 September, p.

Desperation drives patients
Oncologists were urged today to be more responsive to cancer patients who want to try alternative medicines.
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