Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 15, 2003
NCAR tip sheet: Weather modification experts tackle a slippery subject
Weather modification is big business, but how reliable is it?

Down and dirty: Airborne ozone can alter forest soil
The industrial pollutant ozone, long known to be harmful to many kinds of plants, can also affect the very earth in which they grow.

Grant of powerful computer to Rutgers-Newark will increase understanding of brain activity
Rutgers-Newark has been chosen as one of only 19 research universities nationwide to receive a powerful new state-of-the-art computer through a grant from Hewlett-Packard.

Rutgers geneticist to battle autism with $3.7 million NIH grant
Linda Brzustowicz, an associate professor in Rutgers' department of genetics, has been awarded a five-year, $3.7 million NIH grant to investigate the genetic basis of autism.

Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology
Highlights from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology include: Humans may contract Salmonella from pet treats; New method of treatment may reduce contamination of retail poultry; Gum disease contributes to heart disease.

Building a better atlas of yeast proteins
Using high-tech robots and old-fashioned hard labor, Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have measured the abundance and pinpointed the cellular locations of more than 4,000 proteins in yeast.

NSF awards $219 million over five years for Earthscope project
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has funded a latter-day Lewis and Clark expedition: EarthScope, a scientific exploration of the structure and evolution of the North American continent, and the physical processes controlling its earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

New global treaty proposed to control climate change and improve health
A global treaty focusing on intercontinental air pollution could be a better approach to climate change than the Kyoto Protocol, according to a new study.

UCB/USC 'mini-Internet' testbed will improve defenses against Web attacks
A three-year, $5.46 million grant from the National Science Foundation will establish a testbed at U.C.

Satellite broadband to boost rural economies
The so-called digital divide that excludes rural communities from the benefits of broadband access could be overcome by using a combination of wireless networks and satellite receivers.

New protein provides clue to diabetes
Although cases of adult-onset diabetes have skyrocketed in the United States, researchers still don't know much about the biological processes that predispose so many people to the disease.

New drug-and-psychotherapy program for bipolar disorder in children
A psychiatrist at the University of Illinois at Chicago has devised a promising drug regimen for children with bipolar disorder.

Rutgers-Newark researchers receive $1 million grant to tap nanotechnology's potential
A research team led by Rutgers-Newark scientists has received a $1 million National Science Foundation grant to develop hybrid organic/inorganic nanostructures that may lead to more efficient solar cells, among other applications.

Dartmouth study advances prion disease research
Adding to the paradox of prion diseases, Dartmouth Medical School researchers have discovered that RNA plays a role in converting a normal prion protein into a mutant that leads to mad cow disease and other fatal brain illnesses.

Researchers show autoantibodies occur before lupus in New England Journal of Medicine
In the October 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, scientists report that in lupus patients, autoantibodies (proteins that the body mistakenly unleashes against its own tissue) are typically present years before patients are diagnosed with the disease.

Awareness of GM foods increasing, while overall support slipping
Most Americans are unaware that they are already eating genetically modified (GM) foods, although awareness of GM foods is growing.

Climate change and US agriculture: Benefits dwindle as the picture sharpens
Computer-based simulations of U.S. agriculture show that, by the year 2060, the benefits of climate change to American croplands could be less than previous work had indicated.

Enigmatic role for NF-kappaB in the hardening of arteries
A report in the October 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation resulting from a collaboration led by Menno P.J. de Winther and researchers at Vrije University, Maastricht University, Technical University of Munich, and Harvard Medical School, reveals that inhibition of the transcription factor NF-kappaB increases atherosclerosis - a chronic inflammatory disease that causes the progressive narrowing and hardening of arteries over time.

Language more foul in Elizabethan street theatre than 21st century TV, reveals historian
New research from the University of Warwick reveals that the language of public name-calling, or 'street theatre', in early modern England was full of foul sexual insults that are more lewd than today's broadcast media- and that women were the main offenders.

Scientists determine identity, cell locale and quantity of nearly all proteins in an organism
UCSF scientists have developed a set of powerful tools that allow researchers to look in unprecedented detail at the full complement of thousands of proteins acting and interacting in a living organism.

Startling deep-sea encounter with rare, massive Greenland shark
During a recent submersible dive 3,000 feet down in the Gulf of Maine a Harbor Branch scientist and sub pilot had the first face-to-face meeting ever in the deep sea with a rare Greenland shark.

FGF-2 to the rescue following traumatic brain injury
In the October 15 issue of the JCI, Michael Moskowitz and colleagues from Harvard Medical School report that administration of fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) boosts the production of new brain cells and protects existing neurons from degeneration following traumatic brain injury.

Sandia develops ultra-high-temperature ceramics to withstand 2000 degrees Celsius
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories have developed a new lightweight material to withstand ultra-high temperatures on hypersonic vehicles, such as the space shuttle.

Passing stop sign cures gene disease
Simply popping a pill could overcome some genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy.

The American Geological Institute's Distinguished Service Award to be presented to Edward C. Roy Jr.
The American Geological Institute announces that Edward C. Roy Jr.

NSF awards four-year, $3.9 million grant to plant biology team led by University of Georgia
The National Science Foundation's Plant Genome Research Program has awarded a grant of $3.9 million to a team of researchers directed by University of Georgia plant biologist Michael Scanlon.

Bone marrow fusion with nerve cells may repair damage, Stanford researchers say
Bone marrow cells can fuse with specialized brain cells, possibly bolstering the brain cells or repairing damage, according to research from the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Getting the bigger picture
Ever attempted to make a panorama of your favourite holiday scene by taking photos at different angles, only to find the photos don't quite fit together when you get them developed?

Researchers fly away from gravity on the 35th ESA Parabolic Flight Campaign
Zero-G flying is just like throwing a football through the air, explains test pilot Captain Gilles Le Barzic as he briefs an audience about to leave gravity behind:

Initial conference topics announced for 2004 ACS ProSpectives schedule
The American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, will hold eight ACS ProSpectives conferences in 2004, beginning in January, including one in April dealing with counterfeiting, tampering, diversion and theft of pharmaceutical products.

Duke experiments validate relativity theory's light speed limit
Addressing a controversy first raised around 1910, two physicists have performed experiments with the aid of an engineer that validate anew the special theory of relativity's limitations on the speed of light.

Setting the evolutionary record straight
Documentary evidence describing the theory of evolution by natural selection, which predates Darwin's Origin of Species by 60 years, has been unearthed by a Cardiff University scientist.

WSU scientist part of study seeking vaccines to combat potential bioterrorist attack
A research scientist at Wright State University is involved in a $1 million federal grant to combat a terrorist attack involving biological weapons.

Cancer risk calculated with Pap test every 3 years; found comparable to male breast cancer
Many women can safely extend their cervical cancer screening interval to three years, according to a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Gene mutation responsible for Chrohn's disease inflammation identified in Temple study
Temple University School of Medicine researchers have identified a genetic mutation that might be responsible for the inflammation that characterizes Crohn's disease.

Music of any kind usually improves mood of college students
College students usually find themselves in a better mood after listening to music, regardless of whether it is rock or classical, according to a Penn State study.

NIEHS issues additional awards to continue 9/11 follow up
NIEHS has made supplemental awards totaling more than $9 million for FY 2003 to continue a public health and research response to the Sept.
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