Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 07, 2002
Mediterranean diet could reduce risk of coronary artery disease in Asian populations
Results of a study in this week's issue of The Lancet highlight how the adoption of a Mediterranean-style diet could help reduce cardiovascular disease in Asian populations, especially among Asian people living in western countries.

Turbulence restrains itself
Like rapidly flowing gases and liquids, magnetically confined plasmas in tokamaks and related fusion devices exhibit a high degree of turbulence, which can generally destroy the optimal conditions for producing fusion energy.

X-rays squeeze fuel to generate nuclear fusion energy
Working toward the vision of generating clean energy from nuclear fusion, researchers have successfully imploded fuel capsules by bombarding them with intense x-rays.

Astrophysical jets in the lab
Many astronomical objects, from galactic nuclei to black holes surrounded by accretion disks, emit very long plumes of plasma, called astrophysical jets.

New treatment strategy for Crohn's disease shows early promise
A preliminary study reports that enhancing the body's innate immunity can improve symptoms of Crohn's disease in 80 percent of patients with moderate to severe forms of the debilitating, inflammatory gastrointestinal disorder.

Schizophrenia drugs linked to increased risk of heart attack
Patients with schizophrenia who take antipsychotic drugs are more likely to have a cardiac arrest than non-schizophrenic patients, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Positive mental attitude does not affect cancer survival
There is little evidence to support the belief that a person's mental attitude affects his or her chances of surviving cancer, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

NERSC to offer 10 teraflop/s system by early 2003
The U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Research Scientific Computing (NERSC) Center has signed a contract with IBM to double the size of NERSC's 3,328-processor RS/6000 SP supercomputer, creating a machine with a peak speed of 10 teraflop/s (10 trillion floating point operations per second).

Brains of elderly can compensate to remain sharp, study indicates
Elderly adults who perform as well as younger adults on certain cognitive tests appear to enlist the otherwise underused left half of the prefrontal cortex of their brain in order to maintain performance, Duke University neuroscientists have found.

Coffee addicts at reduced risk of type 2 diabetes?
High coffee consumption could be associated with a rduced risk of type 2 diabetes, suggest Dutch authors of a research letter in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Reactor research could save money on nuclear waste handling
Recent experiments by Sandia National Laboratories researcher Gary Harms and his team are using a new Labs-built reactor to provide benchmarks showing that spent nuclear fuel - uranium that has been used as fuel at a nuclear power plant - is considerably less reactive than the original fresh fuel.

Young blacks, Hispanics more prone to stroke than young whites
The incidence of stroke is higher among blacks and Hispanics ages 20 to 44 than among young whites, according to a study in today's rapid access issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

New conductor could provide answers for energy demand
Oak Ridge National Laboratory and 3M Company are hoping for powerful results from a project aimed at making transmitting electricity more efficient and reliable.

Ultracold gas shows 'lopsided' properties
Duke University researchers have created an ultracold gas that has the startling property of bursting outward in a preferred direction when releases.

Cellular pathway includes a 'clock' that steers gene activity
Researchers have discovered a biochemical

New method strikes an improvement in lightning predictions
A new lightning index that uses measurements of water vapor in the atmosphere from Global Positioning Systems has improved lead-time for predicting the first lightning strikes from thunderstorms.

When it comes to sperm competition, size can matter--it's the female who holds the aces
When it comes to mating and determining whose sperm reaches the elusive egg, females control both the playing field and the rules of the game, according to a new study on male sperm competition vs. female choice to be published in the Nov.

Alaska interior reveals scars and ruptures from 7.9 Denali fault quake
Sunday's magnitude 7.9 earthquake in central Alaska created a scar across the landscape for more than 145 miles, according to surveys conducted the past two days by geologists from the U.S.

The pharmaceutical industry as political player
The second of four articles about the relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and medicine focuses on the political dynamic between industry and regulatory authorities.

Emperor penguin colony struggling with iceberg blockade
The movements of two gigantic Antarctic icebergs appear to have dramatically reduced the number of Emperor penguins living and breeding in a colony at Cape Crozier, according to two researchers who visited the site last month.

Record-high magnetic fields in lab may allow re-creations of extreme astrophysical phenomena
Using a new technique, researchers have created super-strong magnetic fields that are hundreds of times more intense than any previous magnetic field created in an Earth laboratory and up to a billion times stronger than our planet's natural magnetic field.

Plasma doughnut currents made hollow, leading to greater efficiency for fusion
Doughnuts of plasma can be coaxed into configurations with hollow current rings, providing practical advantages over conventional

Genetic variant protects people against malaria
An international team of scientists has discovered a novel genetic trait that protects its carriers against the deadliest forms of malaria, while people without the trait are more likely to succumb to its fatal consequences.

Engineering researchers are designing the ultimate fabrics, for casual or military wear
Mark Jones and Tom Martin are Virginia Tech engineering researchers, not fashion designers, but they are creating the ultimate fabrics of the future.

Risks to survival begin early in life
Adult death rates are higher among people growing up in poor living conditions, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

UF study: Adolescent girls who set goals too high may risk anorexia
Perfectionism puts adolescent girls with unhealthy eating habits at risk for becoming anorexic and the body imperfections that go along with it as they grow older, a new University of Florida study finds.

First 3-D magnetic reconnection measurements
In work that promises new insights into the cosmos and fusion-energy production alike, physicists have reported they have made the first three-dimensional laboratory measurements of magnetic reconnection, the main process by which magnetic fields release energy in the universe.

Schizophrenia drugs increase risk of cardiac arrest
Patients with schizophrenia who take antipsychotic drugs are more likely to have a cardiac arrest than non-schizophrenic patients, finds a study in this week's BMJ.
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