Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 05, 2003
Twice as many predicted genes in 'finished' rice chromosome
The smallest rice chromosome has nearly twice as many predicted genes as the draft DNA sequence had indicated, according to an analysis of the

Astrophysicists simulate comet X-ray emissions in laboratory
Physicists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have produced X-ray emissions in a laboratory setting by recreating the conditions that exist when solar winds collide with gases surrounding comets.

Scientists find the root of learning in the brain's hippocampus
Neuroscientists at NYU and Harvard have identified how the brain's hippocampus helps us learn and remember the sights, sounds and smells that make up our long-term memory for the facts and events, termed declarative memory.

Monkey's memory cells caught in the act of learning
Scientists have detected direct evidence of individual brain cells signaling the formation of new memories.

New web service tackles deficiencies in medical careers advice
The majority of medical students and doctors in training are dissatisfied with the career advice and guidance they receive, according to a report in this week's BMJ.

UCR Plant cell biologists show that plants use unique mechanisms to process and degrade proteins
In the June 10, 2003, issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, plant cell biologists Natasha Raikhel and colleagues identify a key protein, vacuolar processing enzyme or VPEg, in Arabidopsis thaliana (thale cress) that is required for the degradation and activation of proteins in plant cells.

Plants and people share a molecular signaling system, researchers discover
Scientists have discovered that plants respond to stresses with a sequence of molecular signals known in humans as the

Pregnant women carrying boys need more energy
Pregnant women carrying boys have a 10% higher energy intake than those carrying girls, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Exposure to pollution before viral infection linked to more serious asthma attacks
Children with asthma at risk of viral infection from flu or the common cold could also be at an increased risk of severe asthma attacks if they have been exposed to nitrogen dioxide pollution from sources such as vehicle exhausts or gas cookers.

Among disabled, exercise can boost moods of those with most-negative traits
Mounting evidence suggests exercise can improve one's mood. Now University of Florida researchers have found physical activity provides significant emotional benefits to those whose personalities are naturally more negative, anxious and depressed.

The more things change, the more marriages stay the same
Despite major economic and social changes, the overall quality of marriage in the United States has not changed in the last 20 years, according to Penn State researchers.

Direction of another's gaze influences how you perceive emotion
Whether someone is looking directly at you or not when they are angry or afraid has an effect on how your brain interprets those expressions, says a group of Dartmouth researchers.

Who will take responsibility for corporate killing?
This week's editorial discusses the accountability-or rather the lack of it-of UK company directors for the health and safety of their employees and customers.

South Asian people are under-represented in clinical trials
People of South Asian ethnic origin are underrepresented in clinical trials, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

UCSD Stroke Center receives major grant to enhance brain-saving diagnosis & treatment
Pioneering new techniques that could potentially extend brain-saving stroke treatment to more patients will begin at the UCSD Stroke Center with a $5 million, 5-year grant.

NIF project sets records for laser performance
The National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory recently produced 10,400 Joules or 10.4 kiloJoules (kJ) of ultraviolet laser light in a single laser beamline, setting a world record for laser performance.

For diabetics, race and ethnicity can mean the difference between life and death
When a person is diagnosed with diabetes, race and ethnicity can mean the difference between life and death says Ranjita Misra, a Texas A&M University professor who specializes in health and kinesiology in minority health disparities.

Study suggests cause for restless leg syndrome
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) may sound like something right out of a 1950s horror flick.

Global garden grows greener
A NASA-Department of Energy jointly funded study concludes the Earth has been greening over the past 20 years.

Going with the grain: A tale of rice's smallest chromosome
Behold a grain of rice. Inside are thousands of cells; within each cell are 12 chromosomes; and on rice's smallest chromosome, No.

World's most endangered alligator released in China
Three adult Chinese alligators - the world's most endangered crocodilian species - were successfully released in China recently by a team of biologists in an effort to help restore the species to the Yangtze River valley, the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced today.

New software helps teams deal with information overload
Penn State researchers have developed new software that can help decision-making teams in combat situations or homeland security handle information overload by inferring teams' information needs and delivering relevant data from computer-generated reports.

Failing to meet HIV prevention goals could cost nation $18 billion
Failure to reduce new HIV infections in the United States by 50 percent in the next two years not only will have substantial human consequences, but could cost the nation more than $18 billion.

Rutgers research takes aim at world hunger
Scientists at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and their colleagues have announced completion of the sequencing of the genetic structure of rice Chromosome 10 - the first to date.

Powerful nutritional supplement synthesized in lab at UCSB
One of the hottest nutritional supplements, currently manufactured by fermentation only in Japan, may eventually be synthesized in the United States thanks to research at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Million-star cluster in nearby galaxy reported
A small, bizarre cluster of a million young stars - including more than 4,000 massive

Charcoal-a low-cost option to treat oleander poisoning
Research from Sri Lanka in this week's issue of The Lancet highlights how repeated doses of charcoal could reduce deaths from oleander-seed poisoning by up to 70%.

Odyssey thermal data reveals a changing Mars
The first overview analysis of a year's worth of high-resolution infrared data gathered by the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) on NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft is opening Mars to a new kind of detailed geological analysis and revealing a dynamic planet that has experienced dramatic environmental change.

New flu drugs are effective but have important limitations
Evidence suggests that two new antiviral drugs (oseltamivir and zanamivir) are effective for treating and preventing flu, but more research is needed to clarify who will benefit most from treatment, concludes a study in this week's BMJ.

Seals discovered in India offer evidence for surprising cultural complexity circa 3000-1500 B.C.
Excavating at the ancient town of Gilund in southern India, archaeologists from the University of Pennsylvania Museum and Deccan College have discovered a bin filled with more than 100 seal impressions dating to 2100-1700 B.C.

Rb2 gene may play role in determining effectiveness of drug therapies against breat cancer
Tumor suppressing gene pRb2/p130, discovered at Temple University in the early 1990s, may play a significant role in determining the effectiveness of drug therapies against breast cancer in women, according to a study by researchers at Temple's Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine.

Glow of success for new plastics technology and glow in the dark torch
New glow-in the-dark technology has enabled researchers to develop a torch that glows in the dark, so you can find it in the dark.

ESA providing Kyoto estimates of French Guiana's tropical forests
ESA is providing data from its Earth observation satellites to monitor the tropical forests in French Guiana and help the French government meet its obligations under the international Kyoto Protocol agreement on global warming.

Sepsis could be underestimated in new-born babies
UK authors of a research letter in this week's issue of The Lancet suggest that the incidence of disease caused by group B streptococcal infection in babies is underestimated because the 'gold standard' methods for bacterial detection may result in falsely negative results.

Rutgers researchers offer new theories about memory
For decades, scientists have disagreed about the way the brain gathers memories, developing two apparently contradictory concepts.

Indonesia pledges to double marine protected areas to 10-million hectares
Indonesia will virtually double its marine protected areas over the next three years to cover 10-million hectares of some the most biodiversity-rich sea on the planet, the country's Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Dr.

Myosin molecule walks like a person, experiment shows
Scientists have developed an extremely accurate imaging technique for looking inside the machinery of a cell and have found that molecules of myosin

First effective drug for sleep disorder identified
In a clinical trial conducted at the University of Illinois at Chicago, researchers have demonstrated the first promising drug treatment for a common and life-threatening sleep disorder called sleep apnea.

Vitamin D analog found to boost radiation
A form of vitamin D has been found to greatly enhance radiation treatment for tumors associated with breast cancer, according to a new collaborative Dartmouth Medical School study.

Misconceptions about headlice: What does the research really show?
A review article in this week's BMJ dispels some of the myths about treating head lice, using the most up-to-date medical research.

Optical Society of America honors UCF researcher with top award
The Optical Society of America has awarded its prestigious R.W.

UF study: Children's knowledge gap of folk songs threatens heritage
Children in the United States aren't singing the songs of their heritage, an omission that puts the nation in jeopardy of losing a longstanding and rich part of its identity, a new University of Florida study suggests.

Heart drug might help fight chronic fungal infections
Johns Hopkins scientists have determined why a drug routinely used to treat heart arrhythmias might become a crucial addition to fighting chronic fungal infections, they report online in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

New Soyuz TMA spacecraft cleared for next mission with ESA astronaut
The new Soyuz TMA spacecraft, which will carry ESA astronaut Pedro Duque to the ISS and back in October 2003, has been fully approved for operations.

May Anatahan volcanic eruption receives emergency research funding
The May 10, 2003, volcanic eruption on Anatahan Island provided a rare opportunity to study uncontaminated samples, including juveniel mantle materials, from a massive volcanic system.

IAU 25th General Assembly meets July 13-26 in Sydney, Australia
During 13-26 July Sydney will host one of the world's largest astronomy conferences - the 25th General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union.
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