Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 28, 2003
Association between increased risk of stillbirths and abnormalities with proximity to incinerators
The risk of some lethal congenital abnormalities and stillbirths may be slightly higher among babies of mothers living near incinerators and crematoria.

NIST assists NASA in Columbia accident investigation
NIST has provided significant assistance to NASA in its investigation of the space shuttle Columbia disaster on Feb.

New technology shows promise in pinpointing and untangling traffic jams in computer networks
New software developed by Ipsum Networks, a start-up co-founded by a University of Pennsylvania engineering professor, has shown promise in detecting hard-to-spot bottlenecks in computer networks, winning $6 million in new venture funding.

School condom availability does not increase sexual activity
Making condoms available in high schools does not increase adolescent sexual activity, but it protects those who are already sexually active from some sexually transmitted diseases, according to a survey of more than 4,000 adolescents attending Massachusetts high schools.

Common hormone therapy doubles dementia risk
New findings from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) suggest that older women taking the most common form of hormone replacement therapy are at increased risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.

Eat your whey: It may protect against prostate cancer
New research suggests that whey, a liquid byproduct from cheese production, may play a role in helping prevent prostate cancer.

UC Riverside engineering students ride 'Victory' to top ten ranking
At the West Coast competition of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Human Powered Vehicle Challenge held in Davis, Calif., in April 2003, the UC Riverside team -

Juvenile detainees push envelope on HIV/AIDS risk behaviors
Nearly all juvenile jail detainees -- even those as young as 10 years -- engage in dangerous HIV and AIDS risk behaviors, a finding that poses serious public health problems and presents additional challenges to the juvenile justice system, Northwestern researchers report.

CFHT and VLT identify extremely distant galaxy
An extremely remote and faint object has been found from observations with a wide-field camera installed at the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope (Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA).

XMM-Newton satellite uncovers X-ray emission and X-ray pulsar in Andromeda
In the most sensitive X-ray survey of our neighboring galaxy, Andromeda (M31), the X-ray Multi-Mirror satellite observatory (XMM-Newton) has uncovered hundreds of X-ray sources and provided new insights into the nature of the interstellar medium in the spiral arms of our own galaxy as well as those of Andromeda.

Breastfeeding may compensate for harmful effects of smoking during pregnancy
Breastfeeding may compensate for the harmful effects of smoking during pregnancy on a child's brain, suggests research in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

NIST helps ensure reliability of trace explosive detectors
In an effort to enhance homeland security, NIST chemists are developing new ways to

Northwestern partners women-led start-up companies in the life sciences
A unique program that supports women-led start-up companies in the life sciences and promotes the pursuit of science-related studies and careers for women has been developed by Northwestern University in partnership with Illinois Technology Enterprise Corporation--Evanston and the Women's Business Development Center.

Beneficial effect of exercise on cholesterol levels persists after exercise cessation
Duke University Medical Center researchers have found that the positive effects of exercise in reducing levels of potentially harmful cholesterol in the blood can persist weeks after exercise cessation, suggesting a long-term bodily adaptation to exercise.

Mimicry makes computers personable
Could you learn to love your computer more if it sounded like you?

New technique narrows hunt for gamma-ray blazars
In the quest to peel back the mysteries of some of the most compelling physics in the cosmos, the enigmatic high-energy gamma-ray blazar - a jet spouting from a giant black hole - promises new insight into some astrophysical phenomena that, tantalizingly, seem to be just beyond the grasp of astronomers.

How black is 'super black'?
Scientists at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), Teddington, Middlesex, UK have good news for manufacturers and users across the optical instrumentation industry.

A new NIST wireless network for emergency communications
In the future, first responders converging on a disaster scene may be able to quickly and easily exchange emergency messages and data using a wireless ad hoc network recently developed and tested by NIST scientists and engineers.

NIST advances in DNA analyses help Identify 9/11 victims
The matching of more than 20,000 recovered bone and tissue remains from the World Trade Center site with DNA samples provided by relatives of presumed victims is the largest DNA identification effort ever undertaken.

Brookhaven Lab and Argonne Lab scientists invent a plasma valve
Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory have received U.S. patent number 6,528,948 for a device that shuts off airflow into a vacuum about one million times faster than mechanical valves or shutters that are currently in use.

Novel NIST spectroscopic method can detect terrorist threats
A new technique using far-infrared (terahertz) radiation demonstrated by NIST and SPARTA Inc. has potential applications for rapidly identifying explosives and other threat materials inside sealed paper or plastic containers.

Born under the sun: UV light and the origin of life
Early evolution of life as we know it may have depended on DNA's ability to absorb UV light.

Trees and flowers more akin than dissimilar
The two major kinds of plants - woody and herbaceous - are genetically far more similar than previously believed, according to genetic analysis conducted by forestry researchers at North Carolina State University.

Orthodox Christianity lowers your cholesterol
Following the fasting regimes laid down by the Greek Orthodox Church could reduce your chances of suffering from heart disease.

Reform efforts improve VA health system
A study led by researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC) indicates that the U.S.

Combined therapies benefit heart failure patients
Devices implanted in the heart that combine the benefits of a pacemaker and defibrillator improve the quality of life and physical stamina capacity in patients with advanced congestive heart failure and life-threatening arrhythmias, according to a new national study.

Secret documents reveal how tobacco industry targeted gay men
Philip Morris (now known as Altria) viewed the gay community as

Swimming pool chlorine byproduct implicated in rise of childhood asthma
The chlorine used to disinfect indoor swimming pools may be implicated in the surge of childhood asthma in developed countries.

Drug design expert sets his group's sights on SARS
Biologists have identified a protein made by the SARS virus that may provide a good target for drug development.

Husbands, wives don't agree on their financial status, study shows
One reason married couples argue about money may be because they don't even agree on how much of it they have, new research suggests.

UCSD's Gupta assumes first Qualcomm Chair in Embedded Microsystems
UCSD computer science professor Rajesh Gupta, a leading expert in embedded systems for mobile computing, has assumed the first Qualcomm Endowed Chair in Embedded Microsystems.

Assisted reproduction provides bright future for HIV positive men
Assisted reproduction can safely help HIV positive men to become fathers without infecting their partners but is less successful for women, according to new research from French fertility experts published in Human Reproduction.

America's radio revolution stalls
Digital radio was all set to hit America this September.

Stroke risk increases with use of combined hormone therapy
Healthy older women who take estrogen and progestin combined, the most common form of hormone replacement therapy, have a higher risk of suffering a stroke, according to new findings from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI).

Is a picture worth a thousand words? Not for young children
For an adult, a picture might be worth a thousand words, but to an infant or young child, it that may not always be the case.

'Do ask, do tell' - UCSF study analyzes disclosure
A troubling 13 percent of HIV-infected individuals failed to disclose their positive status to their HIV-negative or HIV-unknown sexual partners before engaging in unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse, according to UCSF and RAND Health researchers.

MIT, hospital begin cancer trials
Researchers from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and MIT have begun advanced clinical trials of a cancer treatment that could selectively target malignant tissue while reducing the likelihood of injury to healthy tissue.

Plant pathologists from around the world to meet in Charlotte, NC to discuss new research
On August 9-13, 2003, thousands of plant pathologists from across the world will gather at the Charlotte Convention Center for the Annual Meeting of the American Phytopathological Society (APS).

DFG to establish nine new collaborative research centres
On 1 July 2003, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) will establish nine Collaborative Research Centres, including two Transregional Collaborative Research Centres, and one Transfer Unit.

Abnormal immune response may play major role in glaucoma, study says
Scientists at Schepens Eye Research Institute have found that an inflammatory immune response, which is suppressed in the normal eye, may be an early, perhaps the first, step in the onset of a kind of glaucoma known as pigment dispersion glaucoma.

Clinical course and management of SARS
An article on the clinical course and management of SARS is being released online today by the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

U of T study looks inside 'beating heart' of lasers
A new study by University of Toronto researchers offers the first-ever glimpse inside a laser while it's operating, a breakthrough that could lead to more powerful and efficient lasers for fibre-optic communication systems.

Counties in northeast, midwest continue to offer best access to U.S. population, study shows
While locations in the Northeast and Midwest continue to be most accessible to the largest concentrations of people in the United States, research shows that areas in the South and West are making inroads.

Physical inactivity rapidly increases visceral fat; exercise can reverse accumulation
In findings that should add to the national debate over rising obesity rates in the U.S., Duke University Medical Center researchers have demonstrated that physical inactivity leads to a significant increase in potentially dangerous visceral fat, while high amounts of exercise can lead to significant decreases in such fat over a fairly short time period.

Sporicidin disinfectant kills mold more effectively than bleach
A University of Maryland study concludes that Sporicidin® Disinfectant Solution is more effective than household bleach in controlling mold fungi on drywall commonly used in home construction.

The Geiger counter within us
Testing the damage caused by different kinds of radiation exposure has been hard to record - up until now.

New drug enfuvirtide shows promise against drug resistant HIV infection
The new drug enfuvirtide, a member of a new class of medications designed to combat HIV -- the virus that causes AIDS -- shows strong promise in treating drug-resistant cases of the life-threatening infection, a study conducted with patients in North and South America concludes.

Deadly listeriosis often occurs in clusters, research finds
Cases of listeriosis are not as isolated as once believed.

Moonshine can still cause health problems
The word conjures up images of country folk sneaking off into the back woods or downstairs to their basements to engage in an illicit Southern tradition - moonshine. 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