Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 30, 2003
Geoscience workshop brings teachers to NCAR
This summer the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is offering 20 middle and high school science teachers a chance to learn more about natural and human-induced changes to Earth systems.

Tracking ships over the Internet
Radar consoles that improve marine safety by allowing real-time tracking by the coastguard via the Internet.

UCI resarchers create first living model to exhibit
A newly engineered, genetically altered mouse will allow researchers for the first time to study the two signature lesions of Alzheimer's disease in a single organism -- a model that closely matches how the disease develops in the human brain.

Hygiene is most potent force in tackling deadly diseases
Rapid and sustained implementation of stringent infection control procedures by healthcare workers in hospitals - such as wearing masks, gowns and washing hands regularly - is the single most important measure in combating the spread of new, infectious diseases for which there is no treatment of vaccine, according to research findings by US scientists* to be published in Proceedings B, a learned journal produced by the Royal Society.

'Twinning' phenomenon found in nanocrystalline aluminum
Using a powerful electron microscope, researchers have discovered

Museum mammal collection network to aid conservation and research
The University of Michigan Museum of Zoology is collaborating with 16 other research institutions, including the Michigan State University Museum, on an innovative project that will allow simultaneous electronic access to members' mammal collection databases.

SARS information for antiviral drug design released by Protein Data Bank
The Protein Data Bank (PDB), an international resource for biomedical research with facilities at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, has released to the public a three-dimensional crystal structure of the SARS virus main protease enzyme.

Adding more outside directors may worsen corporate fraud, deception
While many corporate reform advocates urge companies to add outside board members to guard against corporate fraud and deception, that approach may actually exacerbate an already massive problem of directors being too cozy with the very people they're supposed to be overseeing, University of Florida researchers say.

Social environment is the key to quality of life for older people
Healthy older people living with a partner feel they have the highest quality of life, whilst those in residential homes are likely to report the poorest, according to new research funded by the Economic & Social Research Council as part of its Growing Older Programme.

Enhanced nutrition could result from rice research leading to high-protein flour
Expression of a thermostable amylopullulanase in transgenic rice seeds leads to starch autohydrolysis and production of high-protein flour.

Dengue infection more serious for elderly persons
Older people who become infected with the dengue virus are more likely to need hospitalization, are more likely to suffer more severe forms of the infection, and are more likely to die compared to any other age group except infants.

HAART therapy significantly prolongs survival in AIDS patients with central nervous system lymphoma
AIDS patients with primary central nervous system lymphoma who receive the HAART

Study shows enzyme helps guard against Alzheimer's disease
The discovery that an enzyme called Pin1 can prevent tangles of proteins from forming in the brain's nerve cells -- as occurs in patients with age-dependent Alzheimer's disease -- is described in a new study led by investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Plant pathologists from around the world to discuss national agricultural security initiatives
Plans to protect the nation's crops from both intentional and non-intentional plant pathogen introductions and recent technological advances in plant health science will be the focus of the plenary session at the 2003 Annual Meeting of the American Phytopathological Society (APS) in Charlotte, NC, August 9-13, 2003.

Protein: Getting to the meat of this essential element
Living organisms operate with a variety of tens of thousands of protein structures and, though much research has been done on individual protein systems, little is understood about how different protein systems interact.

Rise in ozone could cost US soybean industry additional $21 million annually
The plant scientists said they expect elevated tropospheric ozone concentration to inhibit photosynthesis in soybean and therefore significantly decrease growth and yield.

CNRS use F1000 Biology to evaluate researchers
Top French scientists will use Faculty of 1000 Biology as a tool to assess the research it funds, it was announced today.

Rising ozone levels pose challenge to U.S. soybean production, scientists say
Although rising ozone levels already reduce soybean yields, a study of the crop grown in projected 2030 levels has harvested more troubling results -- a 20 percent yield loss -- say scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Coping: Plant adaptability to stress discovered
Most people who get too hot and thirsty this summer can quickly grab a cool drink.

Physics tip sheet #36 - July 30, 2003
Highlights of this tip sheet include plasma lasers, new ways to observe dark matter, online auction behavior, the first characterizations of the world trade web, the solution to the relativistic submarine paradox, whether H2O is a misnomer, how noise can be good for you, and a natural way to build nanostructures.

Enhancing the nutritional value of soybeans
Biotechnology enhanced soybeans with tryptophan levels that are up to 30 times higher than traditionally bred seeds have been grown over 5 generations.

'Safe' alternative to uranium shells
Contraversial anti-tank shells tipped with depleted uranium may be phased out if an alternative material proves its worth.

Drug for bone loss triggers first known case of drug-induced osteopetrosis
A drug used to treat bone loss associated with diseases such as osteoporosis has caused a child to develop an unhealthy, dense skeleton characteristic of a condition called osteopetrosis, or marble bone disease.

Hostility, depression may boost heart disease protein level
Mild to moderate levels of depression symptoms combined with feelings of hostility in healthy men may raise their levels of a protein that is associated with clogged arteries and a greater risk of heart attack, according to new research in Psychosomatic Medicine.

Close encounters of the stellar kind
NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has confirmed that close encounters between stars form X-ray emitting, double-star systems in dense globular star clusters.

NASA scientist discovers new species of organism in Mars-like environment
They thrive without oxygen, growing in salty, alkaline conditions, and may offer insights into what kinds of life might survive on Mars.

Hackers turn to Google
Computer hackers have a startling strategy to get into secure parts of websites.

American Thoracic Society Journal news tips for August 2003 (first issue)
Newsworthy highlights from the ATS journal include: expert advice on the management of obesity; first evidence of localization of donor-derived cells or chimerism in the human lung; and researchers unveil the first sarcoidosis quality-of-life outcome measure.

GSA release 03-19: August Geology and GSA Today media highlights
The Geological Society of America's August issue of GEOLOGY contains several potentially newsworthy items.

Not all females like macho males
Females aren't always impressed by big, macho males. Contrary to popular wisdom the females of some species prefer the weedier, nicer guys.

Newer vitamin D formulation appears to help dialysis patients live longer
Dialysis patients taking a particular intravenous vitamin D formulation have a significant survival advantage over patients taking an older and more commonly used form of vitamin D.

Emory scientists contribute to study of key regulatory protein in neurodegeneration
A multi-institutional team of scientists has gained important new knowledge about the regulatory role played in Alzheimer's disease by Pin1, a protein that coaxes other proteins into untwisting.

Gene helps regulate longevity in flies, and perhaps humans
Three natural variants in the gene for DOPA decarboxylase (DDC), an enzyme required for the production of dopamine and serotonin, together accounted for 15 percent of the genetic contribution to variation in life span among strains of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, according to recent research by geneticists at North Carolina State University.

Music therapy strikes a chord with cancer patients
Music therapy for patients who have undergone a bone-marrow transplant reduces their reports of pain and nausea and may even play a role in quickening the pace at which their new marrow starts producing blood cells, according to a pilot study.

Carnegie Mellon professor skeptical about use of hydrogen-fueled cars
Carnegie Mellon's David Keith and Alexander Farrell make their arguments against use of Hydrogen-Fueled Cars. 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