Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 27, 2002
Multitasking genes manage related traits in plants
Think of it as finding the ultimate genetic engineers. A plant biologist at Michigan State University has harvested clues about genes that coordinate the development of plant parts that must work together.

New books show social side of weather and climate
If someone you love loves nasty weather or worries about our changing climate, your shopping list should include one of these books.

Examination of ancient Peruvian sites challenges current theories
Sites once occupied by the ancient people who created some of the pre-Columbian world's most exquisite art, largest ground drawings, most ingenious hydraulic engineering and most intense

University of Toronto study reveals climate change in western Canada
A new study of snow accumulation on Canada's highest mountain provides strong evidence that significant climate change has occurred in Western Canada over the past 150 years.

Two-time Nobel winner not stereotypical 'genius', biographers say
Americans take verbal shortcuts to say someone is intellectually underwhelming -- he's no brain surgeon, no rocket scientist, no Einstein.

Project to increase women and minorities participation in NSF-funded programs
The University of Michigan has been awarded a three-year, $1.5 million program by the National Science Foundation to increase the participation of women and minorities in doctorate programs funded by the foundation.

Sexual dysfunction is widespread in prostate cancer patients and few treatments help
A much smaller percentage of men regain

Infection by closely related HIV strains possible
A report of an individual infected with a second strain of HIV despite effective drug treatment following the first infection has researchers concerned.

Preschool curriculum uses stories and art to build a love of books
Preparing preschoolers to read -- and to love reading -- means more than minding their Ps and Qs.

Myostatin-blockers improve muscle function in dystrophic mice
The mouse Ja16 monoclonal antibody, which blocks the myostatin protein, has been found to be effective in increasing body weight and muscle mass in mouse models of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Mercury associated with risk of heart attack
According to researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, mercury is directly associated with the risk of heart attack.

Artificial cell gets light-powered nanopump for calcium ions
A team of chemists have found a new way to power artificial cells or liposomes: using an shuttle molecule, calcium ions are transported across the membrane barrier to the interior of the cell.

Modified crop breeds toxic hybrid
Crosses between genetically modified oilseed rape and a wild relative produce hybrid plants that are as toxic to insects as the original crop.

Non-invasive tools key to first mapping of early Louisiana culture
Archaeologists have hit pay dirt at Poverty Point, La. Using a variety of advanced non-intrusive instruments, an Army Corps of Engineers team has for the first time geophysically found and mapped

Qubits turn up trumps
Australian researchers have unveiled a device that could be the best hope towards a working quantum computer.

Skin grafts without scarring
Skin grafts are commonplace in surgery, but it is very difficult to replace skin without extensive scarring.

Vanderbilt conference brings together leading scholars in intellectual assessment
Some of the world's leading scholars in the field of individual differences in intelligence and the assessment of mental abilities will gather Dec.

UC Berkeley scientists detail neural circuit that lets eye detect directional motion
One specialized cell type in the retina responds only to objects moving in a particular direction--left to right, for example.

Infection with second strain of HIV compromises treatment
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) researchers are reporting that a patient undergoing experimental therapy for HIV infection became superinfected with a second strain of the virus, which compromised his treatment.

A leukemia-related protein is a master editor of the 'histone code'
Mutations in the MLL gene are associated with aggressive forms of leukemia.

Two landmark fertility studies give hope to young male cancer patients
Research studies published in December issue of Human Reproduction bring new hope of preserving fertility for boys who face sterility after cancer treatment.

Protein in eye may help fight autoimmune diseases in other parts of body
A factor (protein) in the eye involved in the eye's

Insects' survival, mating decrease with age in wild, researchers discover
A unique insect has given researchers the opportunity to study aging in the wild for the first time.

The arctic perennial sea ice could be gone by end of the century
A NASA study finds that perennial sea ice in the Arctic is melting faster than previously thought--at a rate of 9 percent per decade.

Drug delivery leaps biotech hurdles
While new biotech drugs are touted as the next medical revolution, it's proving to be extremely difficult to get some of them into the body--and to get them to behave properly once they're in.

Good health's in the mail: Mailed promotions cut doctor visits for some
Handbooks, personalized questionnaires and other mailed health promotion materials improved the overall health of arthritis patients and reduced the frequency of their visits for outpatient treatment, but did not benefit patients with other chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, a new study found.

New study pursues the impact of pregnancy on drug efficacy
Whether pregnant women with conditions ranging from ulcers to AIDS should keep taking the same doses of medicine they took before pregnancy is a question Medical College of Georgia researchers want answered.

Immune system control of HIV may not protect against second infection
Although antiviral therapy during the earliest stages of infection can enable HIV-infected individuals to eventually control the virus with their immune systems alone, that control may not protect patients from infection with a different strain of HIV.
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