Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 12, 2003
Indiscriminate nursing in communal breeders: A role for genomic imprinting
Many female mammal species indiscriminately nurse each others' offspring. Previous hypotheses have suggested that the inability to recognize one's own young is the result of costs incurred from recognition errors.

Prehistoric art gets the modern touch
An archive featuring England's finest collection of prehistoric rock art - stone carvings aged thousands of years old - is to get a global showcase via what is believed to be the most detailed Internet site of its kind in the world.

Good things, small packages
Imagine a diagnostic

Pinatubo eruption tests arctic circulation's impact on climate
A recent NASA-funded study has linked the 1991 eruption of the Mount Pinatubo to a strengthening of a climate pattern called the Arctic Oscillation.

Improving the efficiency of hydropower stations
Research to improve the output of existing hydropower stations strengthens Europe's energy economy.

The world's first brain prosthesis
A silicon chip implant has been made that can perform the same processes as the hippocampus part of the brain.

Could Bt transgenic crops have nutritionally favourable effects on insects?
An article published in Ecology Letters, March presents an idea that larvae of some resistant populations of the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.), may be able to use Cry1Ac toxin derived from Bt as a supplementary food protein.

It's not you that makes vision mistakes, it's your brain
It's common knowledge that things aren't always as they appear, but a new study shows our brains are complicit in our vision errors even at the earliest point in the brain's visual processing system.

Diamond in the rough...and on the chip
In these tense times, the ability to continuously

Virtual observatory prototype produces surprise discovery
A prototype of the National Virtual Observatory unexpectedly

Switching off Huntington's
Silencing a diseased mutant gene instead of adding new genes could slow down or prevent Huntington's disease.

Personal chemical agent detector ready for trials
A chemical agent detector, potentially no larger than the wallet you carry in your pocket, is in development with support of the Office of Naval Research.

The language of war
Ever since our earliest ancestors decided to leave their caves to talk with their neighbors, we've had language and interpretation problems.

Crash in male saiga antelope numbers drives species closer to extinction
Scientists researching the population numbers of saiga antelope in Russia have found that in the case of the male, there may be a deadly truth in the old boast, 'So many women, so little time.' Writing in Nature today, researchers report the antelopes are being pushed closer to extinction because there are not enough male antelopes to mate with females - despite the male's polygynous practice of maintaining a harem of 12-30 females.

Space center director to speak at robotics competition at UCF
NASA Kennedy Space Center Director Roy Bridges will discuss the Columbia disaster, the shuttle program and the importance of robotics competition March 21 at the FIRST Central Florida Regional Robotics Competition at the University of Central Florida.

UCLA researcher discovers the role of common painkillers in protecting against Alzheimer's disease
In a breakthrough study, UCLA scientists have found that common painkillers such as ibuprofen and naproxen may actually dissolve the brain lesions - or amyloid plaques - that are one of the definitive hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease.

Pulsar bursts coming from beachball-sized structures
In a major breakthrough for understanding what one of them calls

Cancer risk clouds gene cures
Despite its initial achievements, the first successful form of gene therapy - used to cure the immune disease called X-SCID - will for now only be used as a last resort due to the risk of cancer.

New tools speed drug discovery and disease research
Researchers at Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research have made public a new computational tool that allows researchers to more easily silence specific genes using small pieces of RNA called siRNA, an advance that could aid researchers involved in the study of diseases and drug development.

Men overestimate the number of sexual partners they have had in their lives
Men tend to overestimate the number of sexual partners they have had in their lives according to a study of Albertans that offers several theories for the phenomenon.

Deep-sea ecosystem engineers
Lamellibrachia luymesi relies on bacteria for nutrition acquired from seep sediments by tube worms.

USC researchers uncover age discrimination in secretory cells
Hormones and neurotransmitters secreted from cells via bubble-like vesicles are released using age-related criteria, with the youngest vesicles getting first shot at releasing their contents.
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