Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 30, 2002
NHLBI study finds improved heart failure survival
Survival from heart failure has greatly improved over the past 50 years, with the risk of dying after diagnosis dropping by about a third in men and women, or an average of 12 percent per decade.

Mild aerobic exercise no protection from osteoporosis
While day-to-day physical activities such as walking, housework and shopping may be good for your heart, they don't do much for your bones, according to a Johns Hopkins study.

Walking on shaky shoes
Scientists from Boston University have shown for the first time that adding artificial random noise can improve a person's balance.

Looming 'lame duck session' by U.S. Congress raises fears for the future of R&D funding
This Halloween, many in the U.S. scientific community may be seized by the fear that promised increases for research and development (R&D) won't happen this year, potentially leaving many agencies operating at 2002 levels well into the New Year.

Popular weed killer feminizes native leopard frogs across Midwest
Atrazine, the most popular weed killer in the U.S., has now been shown to feminize native male leopard frogs throughout the nation's Corn Belt.

UT Southwestern scientist helps identify neurons in worms that control link between stress, eating
UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and the University of California, San Francisco have shown that feeding behavior in worms is controlled by neurons that detect adverse or stressful conditions.

MSU astronomer part of international team that identifies ancient star
A Michigan State University astronomer is part of an international team that has identified an ancient star, one that may be the oldest ever found and which provides clues to what the universe was made of shortly after the Big Bang.

Drug beats sleep?
A drug designed to help people with a particular sleep disorder called narcolepsy, could soon be licensed to help shift-workers who are sleep-deprived.

Slow download speeds capture interest of Internet surfers
As cable companies and Internet access providers compete for customers by offering broadband service, cable modems and digital subscriber lines (DSLs) as faster access to the Web, slower download speeds sometimes prompt greater user response than faster download speeds, a study says.

The Lancet Infectious Diseases (TLID)
The average life expectancy throughout developed countries has rapidly increased during the latter half of the 20th century, and geriatric infectious diseases have become an increasingly important issue.

New centers to research, reduce asthma disparities
A new program will accelerate research to address a critical need for identifying factors that contribute to substantially higher rates of emergency room visits, hospital admissions, and deaths due to asthma among certain populations, such as African Americans, Hispanics, and low-income families.

Holiday in orbit
Space tourism doesn't have to be so expensive. According to advisors to the US Air Force space programme, there is no reason why the price of space flights can't get down to around $15,000 a passenger.

SNM collaboration yields diagnostic nuclear medicine guide for compliance with NRC regulations
The Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM) announced today the release of a unique, one-stop reference work for diagnostic nuclear medicine professionals who want to bring their departments and institutions into compliance with recently revised federal regulations governing the medical use of byproduct material.

Some cosmic rays originate within solar system, researchers find
Researchers have found that a portion of anomalous cosmic rays results from interactions with dust grains from a belt of comet-sized objects near Pluto's orbit.

Biodiversity conservation - no guarantee for shortcuts
New research from scientists at the University of Sheffield published in the November issue of Ecology Letters has cast doubts on the widely held 'rule of thumb' that the conservation of a country's biodiversity can be guaranteed by focusing on protecting its threatened and endemic species.

UC Riverside's Guy Bertrand elected to the Academia Europaea
UC Riverside's Distinguished Professor Guy Bertrand was recently elected to the Academia Europaea.

Recommendations for the future of nuclear education and technology
Attendees at a major conference in the Capital Region convened to hammer out recommendations for solving the looming shortage of a qualified nuclear workforce and to strengthen collaborations between universities, industry, and government.

A glimpse of the young Milky Way
A faint star in the Milky Way has been found to consist virtually only of hydrogen and helium.

Study shows first progress in heart-failure survival
An article in this week's New England Journal of Medicine,

Field Museum plays key role in massive project to map Tree of Life
National Science Foundation has launched an ambitious, multi-disciplinary, 15-20 year program to fill in and flesh out the Tree of Life.

European seal plague may threaten population survival
Scientists from Sweden and the USA report in an upcoming issue of the journal Ecology Letters that the 2002 outbreak of phocine distemper virus, or PDV, in European harbour seals may reduce the population by more than half and that future outbreaks with similar characteristics could significantly increase the risk of population declines.

Slowing insect resistance to genetically modified crops
Genetically modified Bt crops are now widely used in the USA.

The Lancet Oncology (TLO)
Billions of dollars are currently being spent on the search for effective drugs that will stop disease before it happens.

Databases can heal themselves on-the-fly
An innovative new software can detect and correct a database impaired by an attack while the database system continues to process transactions, says a Penn State researcher.

Biodiversity hotspots, centres of endemicity, and the conservation of coral reefs
Coral reefs are renowned for their spectacularly high biodiversity, yet there is widespread concern for their future in the face of threats from land-clearing, over-fishing and global warming.

UCR's Arturo Gómez-Pompa receives Honorary Researcher Award and the Gold Medal Merit Award
For his many significant contributions in the field of tropical ecology, UC Riverside's Distinguished Professor of Botany Arturo Gómez-Pompa recently received two honors: the

Researchers produce strong copper that retains ductility
Combining old-fashioned metal-working techniques with modern nanotechnology, engineers have produced a form of pure copper six times stronger than normal, with no significant loss of ductility.

USC scientists uncover secrets of feather formation
Scientists from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California have, for the first time, shown experimentally the steps in the origin and development of feathers, using the techniques of molecular biology.

New $9.5 million grant to support Male Contraception Research Center
The National Institutes of Health has awarded a five-year, $9.5 million grant to the University of Washington to establish a new interdisciplinary Male Contraception Research Center.

Increasing nitrogen in Earth's soils may signal global changes, say U. of Colorado researchers
The rapid increase of nitrogen falling from the sky as a result of fossil-fuel combustion and crop fertilization, combined with carbon stored in Earth's soils, could change the rate of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, rising into the atmosphere, according to a new study spearheaded by University of Colorado at Boulder researchers.

Mayo Clinic study: Alternative to chemotherapy effective for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma
A Mayo Clinic study indicates patients who are newly diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow, may have a new and better-tolerated option to intravenous chemotherapy treatment.

World Health Report: addressing main risk factors
Authors of a study to be published on THE LANCET's website
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