Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 02, 2003
Jefferson lab staff develop and teach safety class at particle accelerator school
Attendees from across the Department of Energy complex, the Department of Defense, Rutherford Lab in the UK, and CERN in Switzerland attended this first-of-its-kind class.

Pitt researchers find genes for depression; Play role in mood disorders, shorter lifespan
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have completed the first survey of the entire human genome for genes that affect the susceptibility of individuals to developing clinical depression, locating a number of chromosomal regions they say hold the genetic keys to a variety of mental illnesses, including major depression, certain addictions and even longevity.

Swedish researchers link endometriosis with increased risk of some cancers
Women with endometriosis have an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, endocrine and brain cancers, according to Swedish research - report to European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology annual conference Wednesday 2 July.

UCLA Center for Astrobiology awarded $5 million
UCLA's Center for Astrobiology has been awarded $5 million of additional research support over five years by NASA for its project

Making sense of bacterial biodiversity
An article in Ecology Letters this month, reports that primary productivity can influence the diversity of bacterial communities.

Simulation software beats traditional approach in online course
Students in an online class who learned networking through a commercially available simulation scored higher and retained more course information than students taught with a traditional network-diagramming software package, says a Penn State researcher.

The science of summer haircuts
As school-age children begin their summer vacation, many parents urge them to get extra-short haircuts for the hot months ahead.

JLab's CLAS physicists learn a little more about 'nothing,' get thrown for a spin
Physicists have long known that matter and anti-matter can be created when energetic particles strike one another.

Researchers find 'luxury effect' helps determine plant diversity in urban areas
Income level appears to have a major positive effect on plant diversity in urban and suburban areas of Central Arizona, according to a team of researchers that includes several Arizona State University scientists.

New study reveals anger management helps Northern Ireland fire fighters handle stress
A recent study from the University of Warwick of fire-fighters in Northern Ireland reveals that anger management training can help emergency personnel deal with stressful events and that those who feel they have little control over their lives and avoid dealing emotionally or practically with traumatic incidents are more likely to suffer psychological stress.

Invading species have tough time cracking diverse neighborhood
An exotic species or weed trying to establish itself in a new ecosystem will have a harder time if it encounters a diverse mix of resident species rather than just a few species.

New technique helps solve mystery of ancient figurines
Thanks in part to new spectroscopic technology, researchers have solved a great mystery concerning some of North America's oldest pieces of sculpture -- figurines found in several locales in the South and the Southeast.

Surrogate mothers have no doubts about handing over the baby
Surrogate mothers do not suffer major emotional problems during or after their pregnancy, or when they hand over the baby to the commissioning parents - report to European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology annual conference Wednesday 2 July.

Human genes can predict AIDS progression rate
A Los Alamos National Laboratory researcher and her colleagues have found that people with less common types of proteins on their white blood cells seem to mount a better immune response against the Human Immunodeficiency Virus - the virus that causes AIDS - and tend to fight progression of the disease better than people with common white blood cell proteins.

Ultracold molecules pave way for quantum 'super molecule'
Researchers at JILA, a joint institute of the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Colorado at Boulder, have done the physics equivalent of efficiently turning yin into yang.

Grazer diversity counteracts plant diversity effects on ecosystem functioning in seagrass beds
In a seagrass system, increasing grazer diversity reduced both algal biomass and total community diversity, and facilitated dominance of a grazing-resistant invertebrate.

Scientists focusing on how exercise raises immunity
An increasing number of doctors and other health experts have been encouraging older adults to rise from their recliners and go for a walk, a bike ride, a swim, or engage in just about any other form of physical activity as a defense against the potentially harmful health consequences of a sedentary lifestyle.

UK to make multi-million dollar investment to develop nanotechnology
UK Science and Innovation Minister Lord Sainsbury today announced a cash injection of $150 million (£90 million) over the next six years to help industry harness the commercial opportunities offered by nanotechnology.

Lead-based paint is poisoning albatross chicks at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge
Lead-based paint from deteriorating buildings still poses a hazard to wildlife on Midway Atoll, despite extensive environmental remediation efforts undertaken as part of the conversion of the site from a military base to a national wildlife refuge.

ICSI and IVF are safe - results from world's largest, longest running study
The world's largest and longest running study comparing children conceived through IVF and ICSI1 with children conceived normally has confirmed that both assisted reproductive techniques are safe and that children conceived through these two techniques are healthy and, in general, doing as well as children conceived by natural means - report to European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology Wednesday 2 July.

Scientists begin to unravel rowers' secret of pulling together successfully
Researchers at Imperial College London have recently gained funding for the UK's first rowing research programme, which aims to reveal the secrets of the best and safest rowing technique.

Kids' gardens grow interest in science, nutrition
Kids who participate in gardening programs generally develop a greater interest in science, according to educators responding to a recent study by Texas Cooperative Extension.

ORNL wins four R&D 100 awards, pushing total to 116
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have won four R&D awards from R&D Magazine, which since 1963 has given the awards for the 100 most significant innovations of the year.

Leaf fall in ancient polar forests still a mystery
Explorers in the 1800s discovered through fossils that deciduous forests once covered the poles, but researchers still do not know why leaf-dropping trees were preferred over evergreens.

Habitat loss and reserve network selection
The minimum combination of areas needed to protect one population of every species in a region is a problem addressed when aiming at cost-effective reserve networks.

Electric vehicles promise economic benefits in the billions
Electric vehicles promise economic benefits in the billions says a study published in Futures Research Quarterly, assessing impacts on US gross domestic product, trade and labor.

Europe's healthcare systems supports trend for quality and quantity in ART
Europe's systems for healthcare are generally more able to support couples seeking fertility treatment than anywhere else in the world, experts will tell the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology today (Wednesday, 2 July).

Solar sailing breaks laws of physics
Both NASA and the European Space Agency are developing solar sails - where sunlight is used to blow spacecraft across the solar system.

High-dose chemo/stem cell therapy doesn't improve breast cancer outcome
Adding high-dose chemotherapy and bone marrow transplantation to conventional chemotherapy offers little benefit for women with primary breast cancer who are at high risk for recurrence, finds a study reported in the July 3 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

Embryonic hope for damaged spines
Nerve cells derived from human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and transplanted into paralysed rats have enabled the animals to walk again.

The communication of risk
The nature and scale of the risks encountered in everyday life are frequently misjudged.

Scientists develop technique that uses ultrafast lasers to obtain hi-quality images of brain tissue
An interdisciplinary team of scientists, headed by physicists at the University of California, San Diego, has developed a new technique for slicing and imaging brain tissue that makes use of ultra-fast lasers.

ESA's Mars Express first check-out nearly complete
ESA's Mars Express spacecraft is progressing further every day on its journey to the Red Planet.

Researchers identify clotting protein which causes hepatitis B
A protein molecule that contributes to the severity of chronic viral hepatitis in humans, and which may also be implicated in SARS, has been identified by a team of scientists from Toronto General and St.

Reporters' terminology affects gentrification, scholars assert
A new study of gentrification in U.S. cities focuses on the activities of a surprising group of players -- not developers, not even politicians, but newspaper reporters.

Jefferson Lab CIO staff develop powerful, lower-cost capabilities through SciDAC
Jefferson Lab is entering the second phase of a three-year effort to create an off-the-shelf supercomputer using the next generation of relatively inexpensive, easily available microprocessors.

Laparoscopic surgery does not reduce adhesions in gynaecological procedures
New epidemiological research involving more than 24,000 patients in Scotland* has found that women undergoing common gynaecological procedures involving laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery are just as likely to be re-admitted for treatment of surgery-related adhesions as those treated using standard open surgical techniques.

OXiGENE announces launch of ophthalmic clinical trial at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
For the first time, clinicians will study a tumor-starving compound in patients with a retinal degenerative disease that is the cause of severe vision loss in between 2 million and 3 million Americans.

Jefferson Lab's Hall C G-zero experiment completes first engineering run
Jefferson Lab's Accelerator Division specialists -- have spent 25 person-years in preparation for the experiment's run this fall, along with several years of work contributed by roughly 100 researchers from around the world who are part of the G0 collaboration.

Predetermined winners and losers in the Ice Age extinction game
This month's Ecology Letters provides evidence that the Ice Age fate of European cool-temperate tree genera was predetermined by evolutionarily conservative limits to their climatic tolerances.

U. Iowa study adds to understanding of salt-taste
Saltiness often enhances our enjoyment of certain foods -- think French fries or a Margarita.

Breast cancer researchers question tradition
High dose chemotherapy coupled with a stem cell transplant do not improve the outcomes of post-operative patients with advanced breast cancer.

Fourth of July grilling should start with irradiated hamburger
Twice as many people will grill hamburgers, chicken, and steaks during the Fourth of July weekend than watched the last Super Bowl.

Gender preferences in 'comfort' foods stem from childhood
Perhaps men are from Mars and women from Venus, at least in the eating department.

Novel bacterium detoxifies chlorinated pollutants
Researchers have isolated a novel bacterium that flourishes as it destroys harmful chlorinated compounds in polluted environments, leaving behind environmentally benign end products.

Lead poisoning still threatens albatross chicks on Midway Atoll
Despite remediation efforts at Midway Atoll, Laysan albatross chicks are still being exposed to lethal doses of lead.

Scholar: Amount of food eaten more critical than fat content
Diners and dieters who look only at a target food and disregard other factors in meal selection can hinder a healthy diet, a food specialist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign says.
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