Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 25, 2003
Appreciation of humor doesn't change with age
A Canadian study of humor in older adults has found that appreciation and emotional reactiveness to humor doesn't change with age.

Clinical study of Penn State Hershey technology begins in South Africa
The first clinical study of the neonatal chest wall stabilizer developed at Penn State Hershey Medical Center recently began at three hospitals in Johannesburg, South Africa.

UCSD chemists develop self-assembling silicon particles
Chemists at the University of California, San Diego have developed minute grains of silicon that spontaneously assemble, orient and sense their local environment, a first step toward the development of robots the size of sand grains that could be used in medicine, bioterrorism surveillance and pollution monitoring.

Homeland security symposium covers what chemists can do to help protect the nation
Leading experts will focus on how chemists should address current homeland security issues and potential terrorist threats during a presidential symposium on Sept.

Tungsten photonic crystals may answer the need for more power in advanced electrical applications
Scientists have discovered that when lattice tungsten filaments are heated, they are capable of emitting greater energy than solid tungsten filaments.

Computer design yields better, more efficient therapeutic for preventing tissue damage
The tedious laboratory trial-and-error method for refining protein/peptide-based medicines could be accelerated and complemented by an innovative in silico (on computer) protein design method.

NSF awards new grants to study social implications of nanotechnology
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced two new grants, well over $1 million apiece, that greatly expand its on-going commitment to study the societal implications of nanotechnology: the emerging discipline that seeks to control and manipulate matter on a molecular scale.

Dow Corning president to speak to women chemists in New York
Stephanie A. Burns, president and chief operating officer, Dow Corning Corp., will be the keynote speaker at the Women's Chemist Committee Luncheon at the American Chemical Society's 226th national meeting in New York.

Book traces the history and mystery of the Deschutes River
As discussions about river management and use continue among policymakers, environmentalists, and recreationists, a new book is released that looks at one of the stranger rivers on the planet: Oregon's Deschutes River.

Climate change symposium addresses greenhouse gas, ozone, and energy production
Climate science leaders will address greenhouse gas measurements, atmospheric cycles involving ozone, and technology options for energy production in a

Long-term outcome of epilepsy surgery is favorable for many
The majority of epilepsy patients who are seizure-free for the first year after surgery will have a favorable long-term outcome, according to a study in the August 26 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Curcumin may be an inexpensive, well-tolerated, and effective therapy for inflammatory bowel disease
Found in mustard and other foods, curcumin may offer practical hope to two million with this debilitating disease.

Close encounters with Mars
On 27 August 2003, Mars is less than 56 million kilometres away - approaching closer to our planet than it has done in over 60 000 years.

While the homeland is on alert, Technical Insights provides indispensable technology information
The growing concern for homeland security has amplified the importance of security, safety and privacy in our daily lives.

Study: Stereotypes prevail in media coverage of depression
The media's coverage of depression has changed dramatically in the age of Prozac, a new study finds.

Carnegie Mellon professor wins psychology award
Carnegie Mellon Psychology and Computer Science Professor John Anderson wins the David Rumelhart prize.

WSU ecologist says defense by plants to disease may leave them vulnerable to insect attack
Some of the defenses plants use to fight off disease leave them more susceptible to attack by insects, according to a Don Cipollini, Ph.D., a chemical ecologist at Wright State University.

Black women receive inadequate cardiac care compared to whites despite greater risk, study finds
Researchers have had few clues as to why Black women are more likely to die from heart attacks or strokes than white women.

Couch potatoes may be created in the womb, not at the dinner table
A breakthrough study finds that behavior leading to obesity may be dictated in the fetal environment.

Studies probe rapid evolution of Chinese tallow trees
The evolution of species is usually thought to be long and arduous, but throughout the southern coastal regions of the United States, the process may be unfolding at a dramatic pace.

Fruits, vegetables overlooked by healing heart patients
Even after the jolt of a heart attack or bypass operation, some cardiac rehabilitation patients may

NWO/Spinoza prize for economist, historian and two physicists
On the morning of Monday 25 August, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) announced which four researchers will receive the NWO/Spinoza prize for 2003.

Planetary tilt not a spoiler for habitation
In B science fiction movies, a terrible force often pushes the Earth off its axis and spells disaster for all life on Earth.

New study provides first linkage of fetal alcohol exposure and enlarged heart
Groundbreaking experiments with lab animals support the hypothesis that adaptations to the fetal environment, which result in low birth weight, also

Scientists shed new light on speed of infant learning
New research by a team of psychologists, led by Scott Johnson of New York University, provides the first conclusive evidence that infants actually learn object concepts at a very young age - between three to six months - and that they do so through visual observation.

Tip sheet for August 26 Neurology and more news
Highlights of the August 26, 2003 Neurology Journal include studies showing that donepezil has been found beneficial in treating congitive impairment in vascular dementia (VaD) patients, brain volume change predicts AD pathology, and more.

DNA profiling is subject of two-day expert forum at Wright State
Nearly a dozen of the country's leading DNA experts will meet Friday and Saturday, Aug.

Workplace exposure a significant cause of severe respiratory disease
Workplace exposure to dust or fumes may account for as many as five million cases of emphysema, chronic bronchitis and related diseases in the U.S.

High-tech institute to hold Cal-(IT)²Day@UCSD
The UCSD division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology [Cal-(IT)2] will showcase its current research projects and focus on future technologies at an all-day conference and open house Sept.

UGA faculty of engineering researchers awarded $1 million NSF grant to develop nanoscale biosensors
The National Science Foundation has awarded $1 million to a team of University of Georgia researchers to study and develop 3-D nanoscale structures to address problems in biosensing.

New model predicts likelihood of prostate cancer prior to biopsy
A new, simple predictive model could reduce the number of unnecessary prostate biopsies by 24 percent without sacrificing cancer detection.

Editors' choices symposium to be held at American Academy of Ophthalmology's annual meeting
For the second year in a row, editors from three major ophthalmic journals - Ophthalmology, American Journal of Ophthalmology and Archives of Ophthalmology - will present their choices of papers published in their journals during the past year that have not previously been presented at the Academy's Annual Meeting.

Mayo Clinic researchers discover that donor kidney protects itself in new body
A long-standing medical discussion about how transplanted organs survive in a new body has received provocative new evidence from Mayo Clinic research.

Spotlight session on pseudophakic IOLs to be held at AAO's annual meeting
The American Academy of Ophthalmology will offer a session titled

Amphetamine or cocaine exposure may limit brain changes that occur with life experiences
Researchers know that certain kinds of experiences, such as those involved in learning, can physically change brain structure and affect behavior.

Patillas High School chemistry teacher to be honored for mentoring students
Chemistry teacher Almodovar Fonseca-Rivera of Patillas, Puerto Rico, will be honored for his work in mentoring students during the 226th national meeting of the American Chemical Society in New York.

Researchers identify genes that may be associated with prognosis in pediatric leukemia
A panel of 35 genes have been identified whose expression may be associated with prognosis and response to treatment in pediatric patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), according to a study published in the September 1st issue of Blood.

For those who smoke young...
New research is the first report of smoking-induced alteration of skeletal muscle glycogen synthesis.

Stanford, Packard research finds better drug therapy for children predisposed to bipolar disorder
Children with psychiatric problems who also have a high risk of developing bipolar disorder respond well to a mood-stabilizing drug, according to a study that is the first to examine the drug's effect on children predisposed to bipolar disorder.

Existing anti-inflammatory drug could help children suffering from an inherited bone disease
A drug commonly used as an anti-inflammatory medication could also help children with an inherited form of rickets avoid complications from their disease, according to UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas researchers.

UIC project may reduce drug name confusion
A computer program to determine how likely the proposed name for a new drug is to be confused with any drug already on the market is now being developed in the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy.

25 years of human spaceflight in Europe
2003 is a year for Europe to commemorate a number of 'firsts' in human spaceflight. 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