Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 26, 2003
Annals of Emergency Medicine study shows declining trend in emergency department payments
New study shows an overall declining trend in emergency care payments, with the most significant payment decline noted among the privately insured.

U of MN researchers launch national study of epilepsy drugs and seniors
Researchers at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy have received the largest grant in the history of the school to study the use of antiepileptic drugs in seniors.

Michigan researchers achieve quantum entanglement of three electrons
The quantum entanglement of three electrons, using an ultrafast optical pulse and a quantum well of a magnetic semiconductor material, has been demonstrated in a laboratory at the University of Michigan, marking another step toward the realization of a practical quantum computer.

Enzyme controls 'good cholesterol'
A recently discovered enzyme called endothelial lipase regulates the structure, metabolism and blood concentration of high density lipoprotein (HDL), the so-called

Physicist designs perfect automotive engine
Marlan Scully, the Texas A&M University professor who applied quantum physics to the automotive engine and came up with a design that emits laser beams instead of exhaust, has been tinkering under the hood again.

Metal ions may play big role in how we sense smells
Of the five basic senses, the sense of smell is the least understood.

Jefferson Lab plans Open House on Saturday, April 26
Parts of every major area of the facility will be open.

Environmental influences play significant role on experiments
It is natural to suppose that conducting the same tests, with the same strain of mice and the same protocols on identical equipment but in different labs will ensure similar results.

'Herbal cleanser' found to be cause of cardioactive steroid poisoning
A case report from the Annals of Emergency Medicine describes a woman who experienced acute cardioactive steroid poisoning after ingesting an herbal product marketed for its

Duke physicists reveal new insights into stresses between sliding grains
Densely packed granular particles that inch past each other under tension interact in ways more complex and surprising than previously believed, two Duke University physicists have discovered.

Signature of contracts for full development of Vega small launcher and P80
Today ESA signed a contract with the ELV company for completion of the development phase of the Vega European small launcher programme, and CNES signed, on behalf of ESA, a contract with FiatAvio for development of the P80 advanced solid propulsion stage and demonstrator.

Initial requirements set for Orbital Space Plane system
NASA today released the top level requirements for the Orbital Space Plane (OSP), a next generation system of space vehicles designed to provide a crew rescue and crew transport capability to and from the International Space Station.

Oxycodone rarely the sole cause of drug abuse deaths, new study finds
The vast majority of drug abuse deaths involving oxycodone (96.7%) are related to the ingestion of multiple drugs, not solely oxycodone (3.3%), according to an analysis of over 1,000 deaths published in the March Journal of Analytical Toxicology.

American Thoracic Society Journal news tips for March (first issue)
Newsworthy studies include research suggesting that: severe sepsis is major, costly health problem in young children with over 42,000 cases and 4,400 associated deaths per year in the U.S.; imported malaria is a growing health issue in many nonendemic countries, especially in Europe; and loud noises and frequent patient-care activities were responsible for only a small proportion of the observed sleep disruption in an intensive care unit.

Smart sensor technology finds tremendous potential in various industries
Advances in miniaturized electronics and ongoing research are developing intelligent sensing devices into highly sophisticated sensors for applications in various fields including security, manufacturing processes, medicine, and research.

High risk trachoma patients less likely to pay for treatment
Reseachers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public health found that Tanzanians who are at the greatest risk of contracting trachoma, a chronic infection that causes blindness, are the least willing to pay for azithromycin treatment.

Rainforests at risk: Where there's smoke, there's even more fire
In tropical rainforests, it's nearly impossible to see the fire for the smoke, a growing problem that's allowing unintended and unchecked fires to threaten vast regions of ecologically vital terrain.

The only additive you'll ever need
Compounds that block bitter flavours could be used by food manufacturers as a healthy alternative to the vast amounts of sugar, fat and salt currently used to mask unpleasant flavours in processed foods.

U. of Colorado researchers conduct most sensitive search for new forces
University of Colorado at Boulder researchers have conducted the most sensitive search to date for gravitational-strength forces between masses separated by only twice the diameter of a human hair, but they have observed no new forces.

Older women's lives
Older women in Britain could have better lives if public authorities paid more attention to what is important to older people, says new research on women aged between 60 and 75.

Nuclear bunker busters under scrutiny
If the US ever use the

Student knowledge of evolution deficient
Public understanding of evolution is woefully lacking. Despite a considerable boost in evolutionary teachings over the past decade, says Brian Alters, director of McGill's Evolution Education Research Centre, people's lack of evolutionary understanding is still affecting science literacy, research and general academia.

International conference at Atlantic Beach, N.C. will focus on 'strange' quarks
About 300 specialists in nuclear physics and astrophysics are expected to gather this March in Atlantic Beach, N.C., for an international conference on a heavy type of matter called

Fetal death, miscarriage linked to genetic mutation
Scientists have discovered that the genetic mutation that causes the childhood cancer retinoblastoma routinely triggers fetal death and miscarriage in laboratory animals by disrupting the normal functions of the placenta, a finding that may force researchers to reevaluate the powerful Rb gene and the role it plays in causing cancer.

Survey shows benefits of prescription drug advertising, few adverse effects
Survey finds that patients are asking physicians about health concerns because of drug advertising, and many are receiving new diagnoses as a result.

Electronic job aid to benefit healthcare workers and patients
Facing high-pressure situations and the potential for fatigue and error, nurses and aircraft maintenance personnel have a lot in common.

'Comic Book Physics' examined at Jefferson Lab's March 25 Science Series event
Exactly how much force does it take to leap a tall building in a single bound and what does that tell us about Superman's home planet?

Direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical ads may lead to new diagnoses, other physician recommendations
Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of prescription drugs appears to be a powerful source of information that can affect patients' interactions with their physicians, according to a report issued via a special website by the journal Health Affairs.

Study shows declines in payment for emergency care
Payments for emergency care have declined substantially in recent years, according to a new study.

Researchers design system to improve disinfection of water used in food processing
Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have developed a better-performing, less costly method of disinfecting water used in food processing.

Famed physicist Stephen Hawking to speak, Texas A&M to inaugurate Mitchell Institute
Stephen Hawking, the Cambridge University physicist famous for his theories on black holes and his best-selling books about the universe, will present public lectures March 8 at Texas A&M University and March 14 in The Woodlands near Houston.
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