Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 16, 2003
Background still counts in quest for success - but only up to A-level
A father's background is still, at least as, important as his son's academic abilities in determining whether the child will go on to get a degree at university, according to a new research sponsored by the ESRC.

Scientists urge managers to limit use of destructive fishing gears
Research presented today at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting shows that many fishermen, conservationists, and academics, despite frequent conflict over fisheries issues, agree that bottom trawling -- a common method to catch shrimp, fish, and other bottom dwelling sea life -- is the most ecologically damaging fishing gear.

Computer models forecast sharp increase in temperature if heat-trapping emissions continue to rise
Powerful computer models predict that winter temperatures in the polar regions of the world could rise as much as 10 degrees centigrade in the next hundred years, if no efforts are made to control production of carbon dioxide, methane and other gasses.

From kissing frogs to demonic possession, people are led to believe they experienced the improbable
During a recent study of memory recall and the use of suggestive interviewing, UC Irvine cognitive psychologist Elizabeth Loftus successfully planted false memories in volunteers of several study groups -- memories that included such unlikely events as kissing frogs, shaking hands with Bugs Bunny at Disneyland, and witnessing a demonic possession.

Microbial forensics: An overview (news briefing and symposium)
On the popular television shows involving crime-scene-investigation units in Las Vegas and Miami, small traces of just about anything have been found and used to reel in criminal confessions.

Study shows strong association between academic collaboration and scientific publishing productivity
Academic scientists and engineers have long been encouraged to collaborate on research projects and papers, but until recently little information has existed about the benefits of these interactions.

Mechanism controls movement of cell structures
University of Iowa researchers have discovered a mechanism that helps explain how organelles -- compartments and structures inside cells that perform varied and vital functions -- are delivered to the right place at the right time in a cell.

Fossil plant and insect communities key to understanding global change
Insect damage recorded in fossil plants and the types of plants present in the fossil record are helping researchers to understand how ecological communities recover from climate change and mass extinction events, according to a Penn State paleontologist and his colleagues.

Livermore engineers use computer simulations to illustrate impacts of bomb blasts on infrastructure
Using advanced computing capabilities, engineers from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will illustrate some of the issues that arise when mitigating the effects of bomb blast on the constructed environment.

Time Magazine Future of Life Summit
James Watson and other leaders in the genomics revolution will gather Feb.

Remembering traumatic experiences in childhood
The American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) announces that liaison (AAAS Section on Psychology) Philip Holzman, Ph.D. will be heading a symposium on

Lessons from abroad: United States trails Europe in dependence on renewable energy
As the world's only remaining superpower, the United States is often at the cutting edge of science and technology, but according to researchers at the AAAS meeting today, the Europeans have far outdone the Americans in developing new sources of renewable energy and a sound environmental policy.

Methane and mini-horses: Fossils reveal effects of global warming
How will global warming affect life on Earth? Uncertainties about future climate change and the impact of human activity make it difficult to predict exactly what lies ahead.

Stanford researchers identify genes involved in tuberculosis latency
Stanford University Medical Center researchers have begun to understand how Mycobacterium tuberculosis orchestrates its impeccably timed game of hide-and-seek.

New strategies against disease revealed as scientists probe genes' tasks
A combination of genomics and computing technologies has produced exciting new leads for improving human health and understanding the basic processes of life, scientists said today at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting.

Tufts civil engineer predicts Boston's rising sea levels could cause billions of dollars in damage
Scientists presented their research on the impact of rising sea levels due to climate change on the Boston metro area to the annual AAAS meeting, showing that over the next century, flood damage to residential, commercial and industrial buildings in metropolitan Boston could exceed $20 billion, depending on how the city responds to rising sea levels.

Technological advances making life easier for people with physical and mental challenges
Screen displays that deliver the written word to people who are sight-impaired, the latest ear implants for those who are deaf, and tools for individuals with mental challenges are on the cusp of a major technological revolution, paralleled by a growing aging population.

Genebanks: Preserving genetic diversity for Earth's future
Endangered species protection programs, zoos, and plant conservatories work to preserve the Earth's animal and plant population, but in order to preserve the richness of biological diversity, alternatives such as gene banking must be used, scientist said today at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting.

Study of living eye in real time now possible with optics technology
A new optics technology is providing scientists with real-time microscopic images of the living retina, and may allow doctors to focus in on earlier diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as diabetes and glaucoma.

European research policy for a more competitive Europe and better quality of life
Today (16 Feb.) Director General Achilleas Mitsos of the European Commission will give a topical lecture on European research policy.

Dealing with reams of data
Using Web-based tools they developed to sift through reams of data, scientists from the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins hope to unravel the genetics of neurological problems associated with Down syndrome, autism and lead poisoning.

Symposium on how 'nature and nurture' impact child development
The American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) announces that liaison (AAAS Section on Neuroscience) Regina Pally, M.D.will be heading a symposium on how

Forensics - bringing bacteria into the courtroom
Scientists at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) warn that evidence of bioterrorism will not be admissible unless researchers develop new molecular methods, such as genome sequencing, and adopt standardized methods and data.

Predicting the climate of the 21st century
Warming land and ocean surfaces, melting glaciers, rising sea levels, and other recent evidence strongly suggest that Earth's climate is already changing rapidly because of the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, according to Warren Washington, senior scientist and head of the Climate Change Research Group at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Researchers find promising drug for preventing serious complications of diabetes
Researchers have shown that a drug used in Europe can simultaneously block three of the major biochemical pathways responsible for the blood-vessel damage that causes diabetic complications and also prevent retinopathy in diabetic rats.

U of MN researchers identify protein that causes cell nucleoli to disassemble
Researchers at the University of Minnesota have identified the protein responsible for disassembly of donor nucleoli in the context of nuclear cloning.

Meeting the nitrogen management challenge: Arresting the nitrogen cascade
In order to meet future need and preserve the environment, new strategies and opportunities for improved nitrogen management must be developed, scientists said today at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting.

Brain imaging study sheds light on inner workings of human intelligence
The ability to focus attention in the face of distraction is an important component of human intelligence, according to a study that sheds new light on how our brain accomplishes such tasks.

Sex and gender scientists explore a revolution in evolution
At the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, leading researchers and theorists in the evolution of sexual behavior will gather to present the growing evidence that Darwin's idea of sexual selection requires sweeping revisions.
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