Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 25, 2003
A closer look yields new clues to why bacteria stick to things
A bacterium's ability to change its hairstyle may help in the effort to clean contaminated groundwater for drinking, according to Penn State researchers.

Doomed matter near black hole gets second lease on life
Supermassive black holes, notorious for ripping apart and swallowing stars, might also help seed interstellar space with the elements necessary for life, regulate black-hole growth, and spur the creation of new stars.

Rutgers scientist speaks on IR-4 crop protection program
Associate Research Scientist Michael Braverman of Rutgers manages a program that promotes the development of new biopesticides, many of which can be used in organic food production.

Best chance to protect giant pandas
At only about 1,000 in the wild, China's giant panda is among the most endangered species in the world.

Underserved US minorities face 'unequal burden of cancer' that must be corrected
Barriers to healthy lifestyles, early detection services and good medical care are contributing to higher cancer incidence and mortality rates for African Americans and other medically underserved minorities in this country, when compared with white U.S. citizens.

Catnip stops termites dead in their tracks
Cats may adore catnip, but termites hate it. Lab tests show that oil from the catnip plant can repel and kill termites.

Gene transfer reduces levels of key Alzheimer's disease protein
A molecule that naturally degrades a protein linked to Alzheimer's disease appears to reduce the levels of that protein by nearly 50 percent when delivered by gene therapy, researchers at the Salk Institute and UC San Diego have found in collaboration with researchers at the University of Kentucky.

Three types of water discovered in fuel cells
Researchers at Virginia Tech have discovered that there are three types of water and which type is present in a hydrogen-fueled fuel cell.

Lung surgery benefits emphysema patients for several years
A procedure known as lung-volume reduction surgery (LVRS) appears to improve overall health and quality of life for individuals with end-stage emphysema, and these effects last as long as five years in more than half of this population.

OHSU researchers discover new brain region involved in alcoholism
Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have found a new target for therapies aimed at combating alcoholism.

Paving roads can increase weed invasions
While it is well-known that roads can spread invasive weeds, new research shows that some roads are worse than others.

Carnegie Mellon University chemists create versatile polymer brushes
Carnegie Mellon University scientists are creating molecularly engineered polymer brushes using a revolutionary catalytic polymerization procedure developed in their laboratory.

Red Imported Fire Ant Conference to discuss control and eradication of fire ants
The Red Imported Fire Ant Conference will take place March 30 through April 1, 2003, at the Palm Springs Riviera Resort & Racquet Club in Palm Springs, Calif.

Scientists find evidence for crucial root in the history of plant evolution
The massive floral colonization of ancient Earth, which could be responsible for life as we now know it, may have been spurred by a single genetic mutation -- the ability of plants to make lignin, a chemical process that leads to the formation of a cell wall.

Termites repelled by catnip oil
Known for its intoxicating effects on felines, catnip oil may also have a future in termite control.

Rock climbing decreases biodiversity
When rock climbers are clinging to a cliff face, the health of the ecosystem is probably the last thing on their minds.

New South Pole seismic station is one of world's quietest and most sensitive
Data collected by a new seismic observatory at the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station indicate that it is the quietest listening post on the planet for observing shudders produced by earthquakes around the world as they vibrate through the Earth.

New studies in mice suggest ways to clear damaging Alzheimer's amyloid plaques
Two new research findings suggest that boosting normal, protective processes in the brain might help degrade or prevent damaging protein plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Riparian birds can rebound after cows are gone
The southwest U.S. has lost more than four-fifths of its riparian habitat and one of the biggest reasons is livestock, which can graze and trample stream-side plants to death.

Assessment finds gaps in access to nation's trauma centers
Many communities still do not have access to specialized trauma care, according to an inventory of trauma services developed by the American Trauma Society (ATS), in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Tailor-made lasers
Precision is everything in the world of lasers, and excimer beams are among the sharpest.

Climate change linked to migratory bird decrease
Biologists believe that climate change is affecting living things worldwide, and the latest evidence suggests that warmer winters may mean fewer migratory birds.

Argonne researchers use electric field to manipulate tiny particles
Intricate patterns formed by granular materials under the influence of electrostatic fields have scientists at the U.S.

Common heart surgery potentially dangerous
Protamine, a drug used for more than 40 years immediately after coronary artery bypass surgery to return thinned blood to its normal state, has been shown to have more potential negative side effects than previously appreciated, according to Duke University Medical Center researchers. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to