Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 10, 2003
Fruit fly pheromone receptor first ever discovered linked to specific sexual behavior
For the first time in any animal, Duke University Medical Center researchers have linked a single pheromone receptor in the fruit fly to a specific sexual behavior.

AIDS development can be monitored and predicted
A potentially less expensive tracking HIV tracking device may be beneficial to people with HIV and their phsicians.

Tiny holes capture light, could boost sensor capability
Scientists at Ohio State University have found a way to boost the light absorption of a metal mesh up to 1000 times, possibly paving the way for powerful chemical sensors and laboratory instruments.

Fe-TAML(R) activators developed at Carnegie Mellon break down toxic pesticides
Carnegie Mellon University scientists have found that a rapid, environmentally friendly catalytic process involving Fe-TAML® activators and hydrogen peroxide appears to totally break down some organophosphorus compounds, a widely used class of agricultural pesticides associated with profound toxicity.

Role of tropics in global climate change gains attention
The tropics are being recognized as an important element in the dynamic process of global climate change, according to a new study headed by David Lea, professor of geological sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Nutrition education program teaches children how to make healthy food choices
Nutrition Pathfinders, a technology-based nutrition education program, teaches third, fourth and fifth graders facts about nutrition and health in a fun, interactive format.

UGA researchers use transgenic trees to help clean up toxic waste site
Can genetically engineered cottonwood trees clean up a site contaminated with toxic mercury?

Young sea animals clone themselves--century-old debate halted
After more than a century of intensive study, scientists have assumed that larvae of non-parasitic invertebrates reproduce only very rarely, but new research by University of Alberta scientists overthrows this conventional wisdom.

Fe-TAML(R) activators developed at Carnegie Mellon work with oxygen in unprecedented chemistry
Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University have successfully synthesized a chemical compound called a Fe-TAML® activator that works extremely well with oxygen to transform molecules into substances that play critical roles in laboratory, industrial and environmental settings.

National enforcement program galvanizes action at the state and local levels to reduce teen drinking
A national evaluation of a comprehensive federally sponsored initiative shows that the program has galvanized action at the state and local levels to reduce underage drinking, according to Mark Wolfson, Ph.D., of Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

Los Alamos team develops rapid procedure for radioactivity identification in dirty bomb debris
One nightmare scenario: A terrorist dirty bomb is detonated in a major metropolitan area.

Study shows prions stick around in certain soils
Dirt may help scientists answer a question that has baffled them for decades: How does chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer and elk spread from animal to animal?

Detecting chemical threats with 'intelligent' networks
Prototype microsensor arrays connected to artificial neural networks -- computer models that

World Parks Congress: Legacy of sustainable development continues with Brazilian reserve
A proven model of sustainable development is the foundation for the newly established Piagaçu-Purus Sustainable Development Reserve in Brazil--one of six reserves recently created by the Amazonas State Government.

Baboon fathers really do care about their kids
Baboon fathers may be promiscuous, but, when it comes to their offspring, they really do care.

State of Amazonas safeguards world's richest biodiversity with six new protected areas
The state government of Amazonas, Brazil announced today the creation of six new protected areas covering 3.8 million hectares of the world's most biodiversity-rich territory.

Despite notable security advances, financial sector still vulnerable
A report released today by Dartmouth's Institute for Security Technology Studies (ISTS) examines the security of the banking and finance industry, which is one of thirteen critical infrastructure sectors identified by the Department of Homeland Security*.

Francis Collins and Ari Patrinos receive Energy Secretary's Gold Award for Human Genome Project
Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham today presented Francis Collins and Aristides Patrinos with the Secretary's Gold Award, the department's highest honorary award, for their leadership of the government's Human Genome Project.

Electrospinning cellulose waste into fiber
Cornell University polymer scientists have successfully produced nanofibers from cellulose by electrospinning.

Dating of King Hezekiah's Tunnel verified by scientists
Modern radiometric dating of the Siloam Tunnel in Jerusalem shows that it was excavated about 700 years before the Common Era, and can thus be safely attributed to the Judean King Hezekiah.

Fe-TAML(R) activators developed at Carnegie Mellon decolorize textile mill wastewater
Powerful, environmentally friendly catalysts called Fe-TAML® activators, developed by scientists at Carnegie Mellon University, significantly decolorize dyes found in wastewater released from textile mills and are highly promising for clearing this polluted water.

Male baboons recognize and care for their own offspring
In a discovery that suggests the fathering instinct might be more fundamental to primate evolution than previously believed, researchers have shown that male baboons give preferential protection to their own genetic offspring.

Sudbury neutrino observatory reports new measurements - thanks to table salt
A common table commodity that people sprinkle on their food every day is the main ingredient in new measurements by scientists at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO).

Researchers to develop digital library for archaeology
Archaeological data are currently scattered across various intranet and Web sites, and new information is constantly being unearthed from active excavation sites.

Fe-TAML(R) activators developed at Carnegie Mellon remove recalcitrant sulfur from automotive fuels
More than 85 percent of recalcitrant sulfur compounds in refined automotive fuels can be easily removed using a powerful, environmentally friendly catalyst called a Fe-TAML® activator developed by Carnegie Mellon University scientists.

NASA satellites sample hurricane 'ingredients' to help forecasters
The Atlantic Ocean becomes a meteorological mixing bowl from June 1 to November 30, replete with all needed ingredients for a hurricane recipe.

Adequate anticoagulation reduces impact of stroke for patients with atrial fibrillation
A research team from Massachusetts General Hospital and Kaiser Permanente of Northern California has shown that patients with atrial fibrillation who receive an appropriate level of anticoagulation therapy not only reduce their risk of having a stroke, they also cut the risk that any stroke they have will result in death or serious disability.

Software opens the door for natural ventilation
A lack of rigorous design methods and comprehensive performance data has slowed U.S. acceptance of natural ventilation technology, which proponents argue can increase energy efficiency in commercial buildings as well as improve indoor environmental conditions.

Fe-TAML(R) activators developed at Carnegie Mellon decontaminate anthrax simulant
Carnegie Mellon University scientists today announced that one of their powerful, environmentally friendly catalysts called Fe-TAML® activators has the potential to become a powerful cleanup tool for anthrax contamination.

Archaeological find provides insight into northeast 9,000 years ago
University of Vermont archaeologists have identified what is unequivocally the state's first Late Paleoindian site (10,000-9,000 B.P.)--one of only a few known to exist in the eastern U.S.

Opening up the dark side of the universe
Physicists in the UK are ready to start construction of a major part of an advanced new experiment, designed to search for elusive gravitational waves.

Jefferson and Brigham and Women's researchers find blue light important for setting biological clock
Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) in Boston and Jefferson Medical College have found that the body's natural biological clock is more sensitive to shorter wavelength blue light than it is to the longer wavelength green light, which is needed to see.

Emmy nods for NSF-backed public television science programs, grantee
Two television programs funded by the National Science Foundation and a foundation grantee were awarded Emmys by the National Television Academy at the 24th Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards September 3.

Video game used for study of human navigation
Using a video game featuring a yellow taxi, virtual city and human players with electrodes embedded in their memory banks, neuroscientists at UCLA and Brandeis University have discovered how three types of brain cells interact to help people navigate the real world.

University of Illinois at Chicago receives $15.7 million grant to stop anthrax
A team of ten researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago has received a $15.7 million grant for a multi-pronged program to develop drugs to treat and stop the spread of anthrax, the often fatal infectious disease that has been rated second to smallpox in potential impact as an agent of bioterrorism.

Asthma at school is disruptive to routine underdiagnosed, often poorly understood, survey suggest
According to a national sample of members surveyed from the National Association of School Nurses, asthma is more disruptive of school routines than any other chronic condition, has a significant impact on absenteeism and many school staff may lack awareness of the causes of an asthma attack.

From movies to minutia: DVDs eyed for archival uses
Computer scientists at NIST are launching an effort to develop specifications for

New technique creates patterns in photonic crystals formed from hydrogel nanoparticles
Researchers have developed a laser-based technique for creating patterns in self-assembled colloidal crystals produced from hydrogel nanoparticles - soft spheres that respond to heat by changing size.

American Thoracic Society Journal news tips for September 2003 (second issue)
Newsworthy highlights include studies showing that: innate immunity plays a critical role in lung transplant rejection, which researchers believe has important implications for patients; French investigators gave pulmonary function tests not requiring active cooperation to preschoolers in order to characterize their disease; and tests for apnea show periods of stable breathing during sleep that last over 3 minutes without pauses in air intake.

Drug developed for rare disease may help millions more as treatment for cancer, autoimmune diseases
An anti-angiogenesis drug developed at the University of Michigan is showing promise in studies of three different disease families, including multiple forms of cancer.

Comfort-food cravings may be body's attempt to put brake on chronic stress
UCSF researchers have identified a biochemical feedback system in rats that could explain why some people crave comfort foods - such as chocolate chip cookies and greasy cheeseburgers - when they are chronically stressed, and why such people are apt to gain weight in the abdomen.

UCLA's CMISE forms partnership with Raytheon
UCLA's Institute for Cell Mimetic Space Exploration (CMISE) has formed a partnership with Raytheon which will employ nanotechnology to enhance defense applications.

Is this what killed the dinosaurs?
The extinction of the dinosaurs - thought to be caused by an asteroid impact some 65 million years ago - was more likely to have been caused by a 'mantle plume' - a huge volcanic eruption from deep within the earth's mantle, the region between the crust and the core of the earth.

Trade Center debris pile was a chemical factory, says new study
The fuming World Trade Center debris pile was a chemical factory that exhaled pollutants in particularly dangerous forms that could penetrate deep into the lungs of workers at Ground Zero, says a new study by UC Davis air-quality experts.

Fe-TAML(R) activators developed at Carnegie Mellon help cleanup paper and wood pulp manufacturing
Potent, environmentally friendly catalysts called Fe-TAML® activators, developed by scientists at Carnegie Mellon University, can destroy colored pollutants and toxic compounds resulting from paper and wood pulp processing.
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