Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 05, 2003
Pigeonholing quantum phase transitions
A team of physicists led by researchers at Rice University has developed the first thermodynamic method for systematically classifying quantum phase transitions, mysterious electromagnetic transformations that are widely believed to play a critical role in high-temperature superconductivity.

As parts of the American West continue to suffer from drought and the East and South pull out of recent droughts, scientists will explore the impact of droughts on communities and ecosystems at a symposium during the Ecological Society of America's Annual Meeting this August.

Purdue scientists discover why we're all lefties deep down
In findings that may shed light on the earliest days of evolutionary history, R.

Optical control technique could enable microfluidic devices powered by surface tension
Physicists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have demonstrated a new optical technique for controlling the flow of very small volumes of fluids over solid surfaces.

Measuring the shape of an exploding white dwarf star
A team of scientists has established that the extraordinarily bright and remarkably similar astronomical

Eliminating hunger in a world of plenty
An estimated 840 million people in the world do not have enough to eat, and more than half of all child deaths worldwide are associated with malnutrition.

Other highlights in the August 6 issue of JNCI
Other highlights of the August 6 issue of JNCI include an article on the association between phytoestrogens and endometrial cancer, a study of the immunologic origins of fatigue among breast cancer survivors, a study of the anticancer mechanisms of a topical drug, a study of a polymorphism in an integrin that may be associated with cancer risk, and the publication of an NIH panel's statement on symptom management in cancer.

Parasites prevent ants from protecting coffee plants
Azteca ants are voracious predators that live on coffee plants and aggressively defend their territories.

Solving the mystery of musical harmony
For over two thousand years, musicians and scientists have puzzled over why some combinations of musical tones played together sound more harmonious than others.

First human tests under way of HIV vaccine pioneered at UNC
The world's first human test of a vaccine against the prevalent subtype of HIV in sub-Saharan African and Asia, where millions have the virus that causes AIDS, is now under way.

Latino immigrants exposed to political violence
A high percentage of the Latino population in the United States has been exposed to political violence and torture in their homeland, yet few if any report it to their physician, which affects the patient's overall health, diagnosis and treatment.

Invasive aliens
Many researchers participating in the Ecological Society of America's Annual Meeting in Savannah, Georgia will be presenting findings focused on an increasingly prevalent and far-reaching environmental challenge: invasive species.

Paclitaxel combination improves survival from small-cell lung cancer
Combining paclitaxel (Taxol) with two other chemotherapy drugs appears to improve survival in patients with small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) compared with a standard regimen without paclitaxel, according to results from a randomized clinical trial in the August 6 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Cervical cancer vaccine may lose effectiveness during ovulation
A new study has found that a vaccine against human papillomavirus 16 (HPV16), the virus that causes cervical cancer, produces antibodies against HPV16 at the site where cervical cancer develops--a promising indication of the vaccine's effectiveness.

SMART-1: the lunar adventure begins
This is clearly Europe's time for interplanetary exploration. Having sent the first European mission to Mars, ESA is about to launch its first probe to the Moon.

Is erosion helping Himalayas to grow?
Lehigh University professors Peter Zeitler and Anne Meltzer, leading their second international research expedition in the Himalayas, believe the Indus and Tsangpo Rivers are eroding gorges so deep that they are weakening the earth's crust, encouraging an upward surge of hot metamorphic and mountain-forming rock.

Dr. Robot tested at Hopkins
It lacks the warm bedside manner of Marcus Welby or Dr.

The matrix, seismically loaded
On July 30, as scientists all over the country looked intently on, a synthetic earthquake shook a half-real building.

The VLT measures the shape of a Type Ia supernova
Using the ESO Very Large Telescope, astronomers have performed new and very detailed observations of a supernova in a distant galaxy.

New tool helps doctors predict posttraumatic stress after child injury
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in injured children and their parents is common, but under-diagnosed, following a child's traumatic injury.

Popular Science announces second annual 'Brilliant 10:' the country's top young scientists
Popular Science names its second annual

UC Berkeley museum biologists to repeat 85-year-old Yosemite National Park wildlife survey
Almost 90 years ago, pioneering ecologist Joseph Grinnell led a team of biologists from UC Berkeley's Museum of Vertebrate Zoology in a survey of the wildlife in Yosemite National Park.

Researchers: Fire may help combat fatal dogwood epidemic
There may be hope for that embattled Southern icon, the dogwood tree, say University of Florida researchers.

March of Dimes supports top scientists, new study finds
Young scientists who win research grants from the March of Dimes are more productive, more likely to be on the faculty of prestigious research institutions, and more likely also to receive federal funding for their work than unsuccessful grant applicants, according to a study published in the July issue of the journal Academic Medicine.

Estimated 300 children died in the U.S. from shaken baby syndrome last year
If the rest of the country reflected what happened in North Carolina recently, an estimated 1,300 U.S. children experienced severe or fatal head trauma from child abuse during the past year, a new study concludes. 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