Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 16, 2003
Scientists explain formation of stone circles and other strange patterns in northern regions
Perfect circles of stones cover the ground in parts of Alaska and the Norwegian islands of Spitsbergen.

UK government should act now to regulate tobacco
Cigarettes are the deadliest form of nicotine delivery available on the market, yet are the least regulated.

Rapid diagnostic test for plague
An important step towards controlling bubonic and pneumonic plague may soon be possible with the use of a straightforward and accurate diagnostic test, according to authors of a study in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Picking your way through a minefield
If you know where the mines are, you don't necessarily have to sweep them up--just don't drive over them.

When to screen for diabetic eye disease?
Worldwide debate about how often to screen patients for diabetes-related eye disease is given clarification in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Early mammals used pelvic bones to trot, study finds
Scientists studying the earliest mammals have been stumped for centuries about the function of two pelvic bones found in the fossil record that most mammals don't have today.

New study suggests missing link that explains how dinosaurs learned to fly
Two-legged dinosaurs may have used their forelimbs as wing-like structures to propel themselves rapidly up steep inclines long before they took to the skies, reports a University of Montana researcher in the January 17 issue of the journal Science.

Young adults with insulin-treated diabetes have elevated stroke risk
People with insulin-dependent (type-1) diabetes have an increased risk of dying from a stroke, according to first-time findings from a large, community-based study reported in today's rapid access issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Umbilical cord matrix, a rich new stem cell source, study shows
The cushioning material or matrix within the umbilical cord known as Wharton's jelly is a rich and readily available source of primitive stem cells, according to findings by a research team at Kansas State University.

BIO to host educational seminar on industrial biotechnology
The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) will be hosting an educational scientific seminar at the New York Academy of Sciences on Thursday, January 23rd to discuss the third wave of Biotechnology, Industrial Biotechnology.

NSF funds unique security program among 21 new awards for multidisciplinary graduate traineeships
A unique multidisciplinary program at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) will train a new generation of Ph.D. specialists in policy making, nuclear threats and international security analysis -- trained experts who will be prepared to replace a Cold War generation of strategic thinkers, analysts and policy leaders, many of whom are retiring.

Balance problems make dressing hazardous for stroke survivors
About 40 percent of stroke survivors suffer serious falls within a year of stroke and now research may point to a possible explanation: balance problems while getting dressed, researchers report in today's rapid access issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Masatoshi Nei of Penn State honored in Japan with International Prize for Biology
Masatoshi Nei, the Evan Pugh Professor of Biology and director of the Center for Molecular Evolutionary Genetics, has been honored by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) with its International Prize for Biology.

Scientists discover what makes human embryo attach to uterus
A UCSF-led research team has identified the first molecular step that allows a week-old human embryo to attach to the uterus.

UCSD Computer scientist wins prestigious mathematics prize
University of California, San Diego (UCSD) professor Ronald Graham today received the 2003 Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement.

Teens reveal strategies to quit, cut back on drinking
Teenagers who want to cut back on how much they drink may stop going to parties where alcohol is served, talk to a friend about drinking or drink

Space Station research focuses on lung experiment and crew health
With the International Space Station crew's attention on its spacewalk on Wednesday, the focus of research activity was on human lung function in space and in the low-pressure environment of the spacesuits.

Mobile phones have not replaced teenage smoking
The theory that the recent decline in teenage smoking is linked to the rise in mobile phone ownership is challenged in this week's BMJ.

Researchers find a molecule that improves wound repair
Researchers at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC)have identified a molecule that may be used to treat burn and chronic skin ulcers.

Early diagnosis of childhood diabetes
Scientists have long sought a means to predict the onset of diabetes through routine blood tests.

Demand for quality control provides momentum for nondestructive testing
Technological progress related to computers, electronics, materials science, and other interdisciplinary fields ushers in a new era for non-destructive testing (NDT) methods.

Too much oxygen on the cell biology bench? New study suggests so
Research conducted at Ohio State University suggests that cell biologists may be exposing the cell cultures they study to too much oxygen.

Isolated star-forming cloud discovered in intracluster space
New observations by the Japanese 8-m Subaru telescope and the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) have shown that massive stars can also form in isolation, far from the luminous parts of galaxies.

Reversible switch presages new paradigm for surface design
A research team has designed and demonstrated a reversible surface switch.

MIT's smart surface switches properties reversibly
MIT engineers and colleagues from the University of California are reporting a unique design of a

Baby milk manufacturers are violating international marketing code
Manufacturers of formula milk are violating the international code of marketing of breast milk substitutes in west Africa, say researchers in this week's BMJ.

Leptin regulates the immune response to friend and foe
Stress is detrimental and eating is recommended when fighting bacterial infections, however it appears that in the case of autoimmunity, the opposite holds true - stress and fasting is helpful.

ESA payloads feature on Space Shuttle research mission
European scientists will be 'turning off' the effects of gravity during the STS-107 Space Shuttle research mission this month in order to gain a better understanding of processes in medicine, technology and science.

Back pain under-recognised in less-developed countries
Authors of a research letter in this week's issue of The Lancet highlight how lower back pain is a serious and poorly recognised health burden for rural communities in less-developed countries.

New approach for reducing bleeding after surgery
Encouraging findings from a study in this week's issue of The Lancet suggest that factor VII-an agent involved in blood clotting-could be effective in reducing excessive blood loss during abdominal surgery.

Columbia awarded $2.9 million by NSF to establish new cross-disciplinary graduate program
The Earth Institute at Columbia University is establishing the NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training Program to teach a new generation of researchers skills in math and earth and environmental sciences to solve emerging problems requiring multi-disciplinary skills.

Scientists target microorganisms to break down toxic pesticide
A pesticide used all over the world is receiving attention more for methods being used to clean it up than for its use as chemical to control insects and mites.

Magnetic 'slinky effect' may power aurora
The spectacular aurora borealis displays that light up the northern nights could be powered by a gigantic

Researchers discover how embryo attaches to the uterus
Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have discovered how an embryo initially attaches to the wall of the uterus--what appears to be one of the earliest steps needed to establish a successful pregnancy.

New study finds women in Philadelphia region still face significant inequality at work and at home
A Women's Way study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Soutions for Progress shows that full-time working women in Philadelphia earn 25 percent less than men and face inequalities in the division of labor in their homes as well.

Bringing bandwidth to the battlefield
Anyone who does information technology will tell you that integrating different software packages is notoriously tough--there are lots of unintended consequences when you try to run different applications together--and even commodity hardware like PCs can break.

Boys cause more problems during labour
Women are more likely to encounter complications during labour and delivery when they are having a boy, according to researchers in this week's BMJ.

Researchers decipher cause of parasite's worldwide spread
Research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis reveals that a unique combination of genes inherited less than 10,000 years ago allows the parasite responsible for toxoplasmosis to infect virtually all warm-blooded animals.

Tiny RNAs-'biological equivalent of dark matter'-wins prestigious AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize
The discovery of micro-sized RNA molecules (miRNAs)-a breakthrough described as
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