Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 29, 2003
GenSAT (Gene Expression Nervous System Atlas) project announced
For scientists studying the brain, this week's Nature announces a remarkable new map describing previously uncharted territory, plus the means of exploring the new horizons for themselves.

Not all aerial reptiles were level-headed, CT scans show
With its 13-foot wing span, a flying dinosaur soars above a lake, scanning for dinner as its shadow glides across the water's surface below.

Polar bears' habitat threatened by thinning of Arctic sea ice
The only natural habitat of the polar bear is under increasing threat as a consequence of the dramatic thinning of the Arctic sea ice.The link between the thinning of the ice and rising temperatures has been discovered by scientists at UCL and the Met Office Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research.

New mouse model of Alzheimer's, other diseases may clarify steps of brain degeneration
A new mouse model developed by Harvard Medical School researchers and reported in the October 30 Neuron may allow scientists for the first time to spotlight two key proteins in a living animal and see how they contribute to the neuronal death and atrophy found in neurodegenerative diseases.

Study reveals patterns of gene activity in the mouse nervous system
The first published data from a government-funded project provide remarkable new insights into where specific genes are active in the mouse nervous system during development and adulthood.

Nine-eyed robots are go
A robot's navigation skills could be vastly improved by giving it eyes in the back of its head.

Poorer performing Philadelphia schools have more undiagnosed asthma, Jefferson study finds
A new study by researchers at Jefferson Medical College shows that poorer performing schools in the Philadelphia School District have higher percentages of students with unrecognized symptoms of asthma, leading researchers to suggest that those students at risk receive screening for the disease.

US develops lethal new viruses
A scientist funded by the US government has deliberately engineered an extremely deadly strain of mousepox, a relative of smallpox, that kills 100 per cent of mice even if they have been vaccinated.

AgriTalk travels to the ASA-CSSA-SSSA meetings for the latest in agricultural research
The popular radio program, Agri-Talk, will feature six leading scientists talking about cutting-edge agricultural research, including plant genetics, globalization, nutrient trading, and conservation.

Treating blood clots, a half-century later
The first new oral drug in 50 years to prevent blood clots after knee-replacement surgery was superior to the standard treatment in a clinical trial of about 2,300 patients led by the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Gene-expression atlas will provide new direction for brain and spinal-cord studies
Using a technique to insert fluorescently labeled genes into live mice, Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have created a new atlas that will quite literally light the way for neuroscientists to explore the maze of connections between cells in the central nervous system.

Intervention improves control of high blood pressure in young inner-city black men
In East Baltimore's inner city, a group of hypertensive young African-American men gained control of their high blood pressure, thanks to a comprehensive intervention conducted at the community level by a multidisciplinary health care team.

Old English Dictionary examines 'F' words
The letter F has come in for some close scrutiny lately, thanks to the editors of the Dictionary of Old English (DOE) project at the University of Toronto.

NCCAM funds Developmental Centers for Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is forging new partnerships between complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) institutions and major research universities in an innovative effort to advance research on widely used CAM practices.

NCCAM funds Centers of Excellence for Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has made the first two awards in a new program to establish Centers of Excellence for Research on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).

Premature babies benefit from breast milk, study says
Premature infants fed breast milk made developmental gains equal to or greater than those fed formula specially designed for low-birth-weight infants, an international study finds.

New program establishes distinguished scholar in thrombosis
With an eye toward increasing awareness and improving diagnosis and treatment of thrombosis, the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP); The CHEST Foundation, the ACCP's philanthropic arm; and Organon Sanofi~Synthelabo LLC have collaborated to establish the Organon Sanofi~Synthelabo Distinguished Scholar in Thrombosis.

'Dog-on-a-chip' could replace drug-sniffing canines
Police dogs across the country could soon be out of work, replaced by an electronic

Enormous X-ray solar flare seen by SOHO
The third most powerful solar X-ray flare on record, a remarkable X17.2 category explosion, erupted from sunspot 10486 on Tuesday, 28 October 2003.

Forget the big bang, tune in to the big hum
The big bang sounded more like a deep hum than a loud bang.

Academy launches eBriefings Web site to help scientists
The New York Academy of Sciences has launched

NYC firefighters and EMS workers go tobacco-free
Since the launch of the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) Tobacco Cessation Program in August 2002, nearly 400 firefighters and EMS workers have participated in the educational tobacco-free programs, with more than half becoming tobacco-free at 3-months.

Danish study finds that taking a long time to conceive is linked to problems at birth
Women who take more than a year to conceive have a higher than normal risk of having a premature birth, a full-term baby with low birthweight, or a Caesarean section, according to a large Danish study reported in Europe's leading reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction.

Isolated patients get lower quality of care, say researchers
Hospital patients isolated for infection control experience more preventable adverse incidents and report greater dissatisfaction with their treatment, says a new study by University of Toronto and Harvard University researchers.

'Reset switch' for brain cells discovered
Duke University Medical Center neurobiologists have discovered how neurons in the brain

University of Toronto technology could foil fraud with laser-sensitive dyes
Working with capsules of dye just a few billionths of a metre in diameter, researchers at the University of Toronto and the advanced optical microscopy facility at Toronto's Princess Margaret Hospital have created a new strategy for encrypting photographs, signatures and fingerprints on security documents.

Specialized brain helped ancient reptiles fly and hunt
Pterosaurs, which emerged as the first flying vertebrates during the age of dinosaurs, could grow as large as an airplane but soared through the skies with ease.

Aspirin withdrawal may pose risk to coronary patients
Patients with coronary artery disease who stop taking aspirin may be at risk for developing withdrawal-related coronary events, says a new study presented at CHEST 2003, the 69th annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP).

Fruits offer powerful protection from skin cancer
Fruits contain a number of vitamins and minerals that are used as supplements to treat everyday illnesses.

Messages from the abyss
Using the ESO Very Large Telescope, an international team of astronomers has discovered powerful infrared flares from the supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way.

Book clubs help teachers improve skills, build networks
Teachers can learn from the success of the Harry Potter series by starting book clubs to polish their skills and provide professional support, says a University of Toronto education researcher.

An online technical information system for the steel construction industry
Steel construction engineers are helped to work more efficiently by a web-based IT resource of over 300,000 pages of archived text.

Lung cancer screening motivates smokers to quit
Lung cancer screening could be the impetus to help some cigarette smokers quit, according to a Mayo Clinic study to be published in the Dec.

Jeffrey S. Flier, M.D., elected to Institute of Medicine
Jeffrey S. Flier, M.D., Chief Academic Officer of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and George C.

Egg-sharing does not damage a donor's own chance of a baby say UK researchers
Women who take part in egg sharing programmes run by fertility clinics are not compromising their chance of having a baby by donating some of their eggs, according to UK research published (Thursday 30 October) in Europe's leading reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction.

Tobacco use common in schools demonstrating poor academic performance
Students attending schools with poor academic performance ratings have a significantly higher rate of tobacco exposure and experimentation than students attending other schools, says a new study presented at CHEST 2003, the 69th annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP).

Digital Biology Week: Building a national infrastructure for biomedical computing
Top experts in biology, medicine, computer science, and other fields will be gathering in Bethesda, Maryland, November 3 to 7, for

NCCAM awards planning grants for International Centers for Research
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is funding new partnerships between U.S. and international research teams in a novel effort to study traditional medical approaches as they are practiced in other cultures.

Team approach works better to reduce blood pressure in African-American men
A three-year Johns Hopkins study led by a nurse investigator has found that it may take a
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