Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 22, 2003
Let gravity assist you...
'Fly-bys', or 'gravity assist' manoeuvres, are now a standard part of spaceflight and are used by almost all ESA interplanetary missions.

Case Western Reserve University scientists test protein as early cancer detection agent
Scientists at Case Western Reserve University have identified an agent that could lead to the early detection of many cancers.

Robot skin stretches to the task
American researchers have found a solution to the difficult requirements of robot skin - which needs to be elastic to allow movement and yet carry wiring to sense its environment.

New genomic data helps resolve biology's tree of life
A team of scientists from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, writing in the current issue (Oct.

Embedded Systems Design Group hosts colloquium
Embedded computers are used in growing numbers of applications, from cars and traffic lights, to climate control systems and household appliances.

Kolodzy leads group in National Science Foundation grant
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded an $800,000 wireless networking research grant to a consortium led by Stevens Institute of Technology, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Vanu, Inc.

President Bush names Rutgers' Evelyn Witkin for nation's highest science honor
President George W. Bush today named Evelyn M. Witkin, Barbara McClintock Professor Emerita at Rutgers University , a recipient of the 2002 National Medal of Science, the nation's highest science and engineering honor.

Latest advances in end-of-life care to be featured at Tampa conference
A national conference focusing on the latest advances and issues in end-of-life care will be held Thursday, November 6, at the Tampa Airport Marriott Hotel.

Scientists seize golden business opportunity by solving 20-year old problem
A researcher from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne has solved a problem that has been baffling scientists for over 20 years by creating the alloy gold nitride, which could be used in the electronics industry to save millions of pounds each year.

Heart risks more likely if hostility increases with age
People who don't mellow with age may be putting themselves at greater risk for heart disease, according to new research in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.

UBC researcher discovers 'control room' that regulates immune responses
The approximately 50 million people in the U.S. who suffer from autoimmune diseases like HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and arthritis, may soon be able to control their immune responses, thanks to a breakthrough discovery by a researcher at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

Sandia uses hypersonic vehicle design, development, flight experience to assist NASA's HyTEx program
Sandia National Laboratories researchers are assisting with NASA's HyTEx (Hypersonic Technology Experiment) program to create new mature technologies that will benefit next-generation launch vehicles, a follow-on to the current shuttle.

Multiphoton microscope observes cell membrane action
Using multiphoton three-dimensional microscopy, Cornell University biophysicists have achieved the first visualization of cell membrane sacs (vesicles) as they change shape.

National Medal of Technology awarded to Dupont for developing alternative to ozone-depleting CFCs
U.S. President George W. Bush today announced that DuPont has been awarded the National Medal of Technology -- the highest honor for technological innovation in the U.S.

Study reveals low complication rates for reconstruction after radiation therapy
Women with breast cancer who have a mastectomy often wish to proceed with reconstruction at the time of the mastectomy because of psychological, cosmetic and practical reasons.

Teens want relationship help along with sex health info
When it comes to sexual health, teens have more questions about relationships than condoms or sexually transmitted infections, according to a study in the American Journal of Health Education.

Workshop tackles biological hydrogen production
The results of a two-day workshop on hydrogen production through biological and artificial systems now is available online.

Inequality rules today's public schools
Would widespread school choice programs make schools more unequal than today?

Study finds VA maintained quality despite shift to outpatient care
Survival rates among chronically ill veterans remained constant in the mid-1990s despite a sharp reduction in hospital-based care provided by the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system, report researchers in the Oct.

Saliva spits out information on chemical exposure
Home testing of saliva to measure personal hormone levels is gaining popularity, with dozens of companies offering do-it-yourself, mail-in test kits.

Embryonic pathway critical to growth of digestive tract tumors
A common signal critical for normal embryo development in many species also contributes to cancers of the esophagus, stomach and pancreas in people, according to Johns Hopkins researchers.

Re-engineered blood vessels show promise for bypass surgery, grafts, UMHS researchers find
Surgeons at the University of Michigan Health System report that they have been able to strip tiny blood vessels from rats and re-engineer them to be more effective when implanted in a new animal.

Daily living problems facing Parkinson's disease patients
The problems faced by seniors with Parkinson's disease in coping with daily living are the subject of a research study by Jeffery Allen, Ph.D., an associate professor at the Wright State University School of Professional Psychology.

Shape of beverage glass influences how much people pour and drink
Your eyes play tricks. And your brain makes it worse.

Dads and cads: U-M study tests female preferences for partners
For long-term relationships, women like dads---men who are kind, compassionate and monogamous.

New study seeks to identify and minimize danger to aviation from cosmic radiation
The need to know the precise level of cosmic and solar radiation along air routes has become more acute, as recent generations of commercial aircraft use

New study identifies gene signaling puberty
NIH-funded researchers have identified a gene that appears to be a crucial signal for the beginning of puberty in human beings as well as in mice.

Research collaboration identifies gene essential to puberty
Scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital and from Paradigm Therapeutics and the University of Cambridge in the U.K. describe how mutations in the gene for a protein called GPR54 prevent both humans and mice from undergoing normal puberty and sexual maturation.

Stowers Institute researchers identify stem cell niche
A research team led by Stowers Institute for Medical Research scientists has discovered the location in mice where hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) reside, often called the HSCs'

Vision-producing cells fail 'taste-test,' treat key light-detecting molecules identically
Johns Hopkins scientists have discovered that the eye's vision-producing rods and cones cannot tell the difference between their respective light-detecting molecules.

Mussel researcher awarded Meritorious Service Award by the U.S. Department of the Interior
Richard J. Neves, professor of fisheries and wildlife science at Virginia Tech, has been recognized for his outstanding contributions to the U.S.

Evidence that neurons prune only 'twigs' to rewire themselves
By using a laser microscope to spy on individual nerve cells in living mice, researchers have discovered that neurons' wiring remain largely stable, providing a solid scaffold to accommodate the challenges in their environment.

UMHS researchers find clues to growing new jawbones in cancer patients after radiation therapy
In limited attempts with individual patients, varying surgeons have found mixed success in a method of growing new human jawbones after radiation therapy to treat head and neck cancer.

Are walruses right-handed?
Walruses are 'right-flippered', according to research published this week in BMC Ecology.

Bone cells help call the shots for the blood's stem cells within
Just as oak barrels don't simply hold fine wine but also play a vital role in its aging and development, scientists have discovered that bones nurture and control blood development in the bone marrow within to a profound extent.

November's Ophthalmology journal
Studies for November's issue of Ophthalmology, the clinical journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, are now available.

Philosophers look to Bentham's individualism to promote philosophy in the UK
The new British Philosophical Association (BPA), set to support learning, teaching and research in Philosophy, is the public face of philosophy in the UK, speaking with one voice on all matters that affect the future of the study of the subject, and is to host its first ever Conference on Friday 24th October 2003, at Portcullis House, Westminster, London at 2.00pm.

Study finds way to dramatically increase hematopoietic stem cells
Massachusetts General Hospital researchers have found a novel way to significantly increase the production of hematopoietic stem cells in a mouse model.

IARC receives $15 million to continue climate change research
The National Science Board has authorized the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund the International Arctic Research Center (IARC) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks for a second three-year term with an amount of $15 million.

Carnegie Mellon to launch new initiative to ensure cybersecurity
Carnegie Mellon University is scheduled today to announce an integrated initiative designed to ensure safety for every computer log-on, including a broad range of home users to small businesses and large corporations.

Retroviral protein triggers proliferation of immune cells
Scientists here have found that a protein in the retrovirus known as human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) can cause immune cells to divide and proliferate, helping the virus spread through the body.

Nuna II breaks all records in the World Solar Challenge!
The Dutch solar car Nuna II, using ESA space technology, finished first in the World Solar Challenge, a 3010 km race right across Australia for cars powered by solar energy.

Common drug, given promptly, reduces incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder, small study finds
A common drug administered in the first hours following trauma to patients deemed to be at risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) reduced the occurrence of PTSD, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Lille, France.

Sandia's Truman Fellowship program seeks nation's top postdoc talent
Sandia National Laboratories is offering the nation's outstanding new Ph.D.s in science and engineering an opportunity to conduct independent research of their own choosing within a national security context through a new prestigious postdoctoral research fellowship.

White House awards National Medal of Science to Rockefeller University's James Darnell
James E. Darnell Jr., M.D., a pioneering researcher in the field of gene regulation, will receive the National Medal of Science, the White House announced today.

UK science research to beat breast cancer
To mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is highlighting some of the pioneering research projects that it is funding to develop new ways of detecting and treating breast cancer.

Common genetic damages in non-dividing cells lead to the creation of mutant proteins
Two types of DNA damage that frequently befall most cells on an everyday basis can lead to the creation of damaged proteins that may contribute to neurodegeneration, aging and cancer, according to research by scientists at Emory University School of Medicine.

President names eight elite scientists and engineers to receive National Medals of Science
President Bush today named eight of the nation's leading scientists and engineers to receive the 2002 National Medal of Science for work that spawned many advances in scientific theory and developments leading to new technologies.

U-M scientists find genetic 'fountain of youth' for adult stem cells
Scientists at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have identified a gene that controls the amazing ability of adult stem cells to self-renew, or make new copies of themselves, throughout life. 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