Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 13, 2003
UC scientists discover plant gene that promotes production of ozone-destroying methyl halides
A team of University of California scientists has identified a gene that controls the production by terrestrial plants of methyl halides, gaseous compounds that contribute to the destruction of ozone in the stratosphere.

Launch of Ariadna to boost advanced space research in Europe
Will spacecraft travelling through interplanetary space be able to determine their positions by using signals from dead stars as astronomical clocks?

Thoughts translate to actions
One promising approach for recovery after spinal cord injury involves circumventing neuronal damage by establishing connections between healthy areas of the brain and virtual devices, called brain-machine interfaces (BMIs), programmed to transform neural impulses into signals that can control a robotic device.

Double trouble: big portions of calorie dense foods
Big portions encourage people to eat more but big portions of calorie dense food -- the kind Americans tend to grab on the run -- boost calorie consumption even higher without providing additional satisfaction, a new Penn State study has shown.

New scientific study finds forgiveness a factor in decreasing spread of AIDS
A new study shows that forgiving may be a factor in placing others at risk of contacting AIDS.

New diode could enable faster, more efficient electronics
Engineers have designed a new diode that transmits more electricity than any other device of its kind, and the inspiration for it came from technology that is 40 years old.

New scientific study finds women more forgiving than men
Women are more likely to forgive than men, but both are equal in seeking revenge.

Study overcomes stroke care's biggest travesty
Only a tiny percentage of stroke victims who could be saved by the quick delivery of emergency therapy actually get the right treatment in time.

Scientific study of twins shows forgiveness has genetic component
Scientific study of twins shows forgiveness has genetic component. Scientific study of twins shows that forgiveness and vengefulness are partly genetic, whereas spirituality is shaped by the family environment.

New scientific study finds reconciling with offender not suggested for victims of child sexual abuse
A ten-year study on the long-term impact of child sexual abuse found that reconciling with the offender might not be a healthy choice, especially when the mother and child are not close.

Researchers launch project to retarget America's education spending
A grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launches a four-year study to refocus the nation's education dollars on specific measures that help students achieve.

Sperm from marijuana smokers move too fast too early, impairing fertility, UB research shows
Men who smoke marijuana frequently have significantly less seminal fluid, a lower total sperm count and their sperm behave abnormally, all of which may affect fertility adversely, a new study in reproductive physiology at the University at Buffalo has shown.

World's largest scientific society holds regional meeting in Long Beach, Calif.
The American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, convenes its 38th Western regional meeting, Oct.

Researchers discover genes that distinguish human, nonhuman primate brains
A research team from the Salk Institute, the Yerkes National Primate Research Center of Emory University and the University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA), has identified genes in the cerebral cortex that differ in levels of activity between humans and nonhuman primates.

Mathematical modeling predicts cellular communication
In a tour de force combination of mathematical modeling and precise quantitative measurements, Marc Kirschner, of Harvard Medical School, Reinhart Heinrich, of Humboldt University, Berlin, and colleagues push the envelope of our understanding of the Wnt signaling pathway, which plays a role both in various stages of embryonic development and in carcinogenesis.

Causal relationship suggested between reflux and sleep apnea
The results of a recent study to be presented at the 68th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology suggest that gastroesophageal reflux (GER) of any sort -- not just acid reflux -- may contribute to sleep apnea arousals.

MicroRNA targets: How big is the iceberg?
Small RNAs that do not encode proteins themselves can regulate mRNA molecules.

Revised periodic table slanted toward astronomers
The periodic table isn't what it used to be, thanks to innovations by a planetary chemist at Washington University in St.

Scientists discover overweight, obesity jump during period between adolescence, adulthood
More than 2 million U.S. adolescents became obese and another 1.5 million remained obese as they grew into adulthood between 1996 and 2001, a new University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study concludes.

Study finds hispanic heart patients have best survival rates
study looking at more than 47,000 cardiac patients at two Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers over 12 years found that Hispanics had the best survival rate, compared to whites and African-Americans.

Diagnosis: mismanagement
In a paper being delivered next Sunday morning, a University of Toronto expert in Operations Research argues that the health care system in the U.S. and Canada could cut ballooning hospital expenditures more than 10% if management adopted the same proven techniques for managing limited resources that are commonly used in manufacturing, financial services, and other industries.

Injection savings could mean better care in ICU
Intensive care doctors could cut the daily cost of care per patient by up to €64, and improve patient recovery simply by prescribing a different antibiotic or method of administering it.

New Hampshire lung disease research center funded
A team of New Hampshire scientists has been awarded a five-year, $12 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish an interdisciplinary research center on lung diseases in New Hampshire.

Relatives of Parkinson's patients have higher risk for action tremor
Action tremor, the condition where goal-directed movements produce shaking in the moving body parts, most noticeably in the hands, is more apt to occur in first degree relatives of people with certain types of Parkinson's disease than in the population as a whole, according to a study published in the October 14 issue of Neurology.

MIT engineers report new approach to tissue engineering
MIT engineers report a new approach to creating three-dimensional samples of human tissue that could push researchers closer to their ultimate goal: tissues for therapeutic applications and replacement organs.

Fashionable, nonprescription contact lenses may pose a danger to your eyesight
The sale of unregulated and unmonitored contact lenses is a reckless endangerment of the ocular health of the U.S. public, warns the editor-in-chief of the scientific journal, Eye and Contact Lens.

Monkeys consciously control a robot arm using only brain signals
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have taught rhesus monkeys to consciously control the movement of a robot arm in real time, using only signals from their brains and visual feedback on a video screen.

More than $34 Million in SPORE Grants
Recognized for its translational approach to cancer care -- bringing research findings from the lab to patient care -- The University of Texas M.

Critics are wrong: Suburban residents feel a strong sense of community
People who live in traditional small-town neighborhoods use their cars less than do people living in the suburbs, but they don't feel a stronger sense of community, a new study found.

For 'quantum confinement' size matters, but so does shape
Size matters, but so does shape, at least in the world of semiconducting nanocrystals, report chemists at Washington University in St.

Researchers identify molecular alterations in patients with irritable bowel syndrome
New research shows that alterations in serotonin signaling in the gastrointestinal tract are present in patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, a condition marked by such symptoms as abdominal discomfort, pain, bloating, constipation and/or diarrhea.

Heavy alcohol consumption linked to colorectal cancer
Stony Brook University (Stony Brook, NY) researchers report that people who drink at least 9 glasses of alcoholic beverages made with distilled spirits per week for more than 10 years are much more likely than nondrinkers to develop colorectal cancer or premalignant polyps.

Old mosquito theory holds no water
So you think you know mosquitoes? Consider the venerable law that rainy weather is the cause of increased mosquito populations.

Researchers discover new genetic link to common colon cancer
A team of researchers from University Hospitals of Cleveland (UHC) and Case Western Reserve University have identified a specific location on a human chromosome that can be linked to familial cases of colon cancer--the type of colon cancer that tends to run in families.

Study confirms benefits of hemispherectomy surgery
A new study by Johns Hopkins Children's Center scientists confirms the lasting benefits of hemispherectomy, a dramatic operation in which half the brain is removed to relieve frequent severe seizures that medications cannot control.

Astrazeneca receives European approval for Seroquel™; in bipolar mania
AstraZeneca announced today that it has successfully completed the Mutual Recognition Procedure (MRP) involving 14 European countries to extend the use of SEROQUEL (quetiapine) to the treatment of mania associated with bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness).

Study finds few substance abuse treatment programs for elders
Fewer than one in five existing substance abuse programs in the United States offers services specifically designed for older adults, according to a University of Iowa investigation.

Report cites risks associated with over-the-counter cosmetic contact lenses
One patient needed a corneal transplant and another is legally blind after wearing over-the-counter cosmetic contact lenses.

Novelty-seeking teens more receptive to tobacco advertising, new study shows
Adolescents who demonstrate impulsive and risk-taking behavior and an increased need for stimulation, a personality trait known as

Darifenacin increases 'warning time' for OAB sufferers
Darifenacin, a new oral treatment for overactive bladder (OAB), has the potential to prolong

Diet may play role in IBS and dyspepsia
Two recent studies released today attempt to unravel the role that diet plays in gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and dyspepsia.

Smoking more common among nursing than medical students
Nursing students are more likely to smoke cigarettes and to be more severely nicotine-dependent than medical students, says a study published in the October issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP).

Kuwaiti citizens want democracy, but don't desire closer ties with the West, study finds
The citizens of Kuwait became more supportive of democracy during the mid- to late-1990s, but that did not include a desire for closer ties with the United States and other Western countries, a new study found.

Mild depression breeds prolonged inflammation in caregivers
Even mild depression can substantially unbalance the human immune system and that change can be pivotal in setting older Americans up for developing serious age-related diseases. 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