Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 25, 2002
Infants build knowledge of their visual world on statistics
Baby's first look at the world is likely a dizzying array of shapes and motion that are meaningless to a newborn, but researchers at the University of Rochester have now shown that babies use relationships between objects to build an understanding of the world.

GSA release 02-56: Dec. GSA Bulletin Media Highlights
The December issue of the Geological Society of America Bulletin includes a number of potentially newsworthy items.

Waiting for essential diagnostic tests
Increasing attention has focused on waiting lists for diagnostic procedures.

From designer milk to 'green' cows: predictions for milk and dairy products in the next 50 years
Old MacDonald will be surprised when he sees what's headed for his dairy farm: specially bred cows that naturally produce low-fat milk, designer milk that boosts the immune system, and

'Stippling' speeds 3-D computer imaging
Using the ancient artistic technique of stippling -- in which pictures are created by painting or carving a series of tiny dots -- engineers have developed a new kind of computer-imaging software that quickly produces pictures of internal organs and other renderings.

Stressful feelings may influence vaccine effectiveness
A person's state of mind may influence the body's response to a vaccine against meningitis C, suggests new research.

GSA release 02-55: Dec. Geology & GSA Today media highlights
Topics include: new results from study of Lake Tanganyika sediment cores and impacts of deforestation on the lake's biodiversity; changes in Earth's biogeography and its relationship to changes in plate tectonics; new analysis of Martian gullies based on images supplied by the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft; Norian-Rhaetian extinction event that may have preceded the end-Triassic mass extinction; new evidence regarding the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum (PETM) and the dramatic global warming that followed it.

UC Berkeley, Joint Genome Institute target chloroplasts for clues to green plant evolution
Biologists are focusing on chloroplasts, the photosynthetic centers of plant cells, to tell them about the evolution of green plants.

Secretary Abraham announces next steps for artificial retina project
As a result of recent breakthroughs in science and engineering technology, Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham announced that DOE will commit $9 million over three years to augment artificial retina research, including support for a laboratory within the Doheny Eye Institute on the USC campus.

Mighty mice are less susceptible to muscular dystrophy gene's effects
The Johns Hopkins scientists who first discovered that knocking out a particular muscle gene results in

Drinking concord grape juice slowed LDL oxidation
Lowering LDL cholesterol is a well-accepted means of reducing the likelihood of heart disease.

Generalized anxiety disorder linked to peptic ulcer disease
A new finding of a link between an anxiety disorder and peptic ulcer disease lends support to the view that this gastrointestinal disease and anxiety disorder may share a common link.

Ovary gene may explain certain aspects of infertility
Harvard Medical School researchers have uncovered an ovary gene whose absence from mouse egg cells produced severe pregnancy complications.

Hot spot cosmic accelerators
Near-infrared images of intergalactic shocks (

'Crossover' drug effective for restless legs syndrome
An anticonvulsant drug typically used to control seizures and neuropathic pain may reduce symptoms among those who suffer from restless legs syndrome (RLS), a movement disorder that affects up to 10 percent of the population.

Sugar gene helps rice tolerate drought, salt, cold
A new strategy developed at Cornell University to make rice and other crop plants more tolerant of drought, salt and temperature stresses -- by adding genes to synthesize a naturally occurring sugar called trehalose -- should satisfy critics of genetically modified foods.

Beyond patches and pills: the remarkable future of drug delivery
The burgeoning area of drug delivery research could someday produce an insulin pill for diabetics, an under-skin pharmacy on a microchip, and even lab-grown organs for transplants and plastic surgery.

Worsening bulimia may deplete hormone that regulates appetite
Previous studies have noted that some bulimia nervosa patients have low levels of a hormone called leptin in their blood, while others have normal levels.

Research reveals a cellular basis for a male biological clock
Researchers at the University of Washington have discovered a cellular basis for what many have long suspected: Men, as well as women, have a reproductive clock that ticks down with age.

UK Study finds no connection between Gulf War and veterans' neuromuscular symptoms
As in the United States, United Kingdom veterans who were deployed to the Gulf War in 1990 to 1991 have reported a higher prevalence of neuromuscular symptoms than soldiers who served elsewhere.

Chronic fatigue syndrome linked to impaired stress response
Subtle alterations of a hormonal stress response system called the HPA axis may play a role in chronic fatigue syndrome, according to a study in the November/December issue of Psychosomatic Medicine.

Macho, individual qualities turning high-tech workplace into 'software mills'
The high-tech community offers flexibility, creativity and independence in the workplace.

Little yellow molecule comes up big
Bilirubin has been a mystery of a molecule, associated with better health if there's just a little more than normal, but best known for being at the root of the yellow color in jaundice and, at high levels, for causing brain damage in newborns.

Post-monopausal hormones don't improve cognitive function for women with heart disease
Another menopausal myth is challenged: Women with existing coronary disease do not realize improvement in their cognitive function as a result of taking the most common form of hormone replacement therapy, a UCSF study has found.

UF researchers link longer kidney transplant waiting times to poorer outcomes
The longer patients on dialysis wait for a kidney transplant once they develop end-stage renal disease, the worse they fare, University of Florida researchers report in the Nov.

Texas high school students are prepared for science of the future
Texas high school students are prepared for science of the future.

Transgenic rice for human benefit: a religious perspective
A paper to be published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by A.
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