Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 03, 2003
Water on the Gaza Strip: Time bomb or ray of hope?
Beneath the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip is a groundwater crisis that's rapidly depriving Palestinians of drinkable water.

Variants of BMP2 gene as genetic risk factors for osteoporosis
In addition to powerful genotyping resources, researchers at deCODE in Iceland can take advantage of a nationwide genealogical database of Icelanders stretching back to the population's origin 1,100 years ago.

Ethical guidelines needed before 'nutrigenomic' groceries come to market
New research designed to help consumers create customized diets based on their genetic make up will create ethical and legal challenges with serious implications for the scientific and medical communities, warns a new consultation paper by a panel of international experts.

Children with HIV more likely to utilize health services than infected adults
Although more American adults than children are infected with the HIV virus, children with the disease use more HIV-related health care services, a Johns Hopkins Children's Center researcher reports.

Pioneering device promises a safer future for rail travel
A father and son team have developed a pioneering electronic device that could help prevent rail crashes.

GAD2 as a candidate gene for obesity
In a large study of French families, Philippe Froguel and colleagues used genome-wide scans of a chromosomal region linked with susceptibility to hone in on a new candidate gene for obesity.

Physics tip sheet #38 - November 3, 2003
Highlights of this tip sheet include a new material for efficient solar cells, faster magnetic memory devices, the importance of communication in social networking, quantum mirrors, and negative friction in intermolecular forces.

Sky-high icebergs carried boulders from the Rockies to in south-central Washington
Geologists have uncovered a scene in the Pasco Basin west of the Columbia River in Washington state that shows how boulders piggybacked icebergs from what is now Montana and came to rest at elevations as high as 1,200 feet.

Anti-platelet drug blocks bone metastases in mice
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have dramatically slowed the metastatic spread of a highly malignant tumor in mice by disabling platelets with an experimental drug.

Articles on life in tropical island streams published in BioScience
Seven articles published in a special section in the November 2003 issue of BioScience detail recent findings about tropical stream ecosystems and identify emerging themes in research.

Outpatient pediatric visits good opportunity to help parents quit smoking
Children's visits to pediatricians or other medical practitioners offer an excellent opportunity to counsel parents about their own smoking and offer smoking cessation services.

Purdue engineers: Metal nano-bumps could improve artificial body parts
Biomedical engineers at Purdue University have proven that bone cells attach better to metals with nanometer-scale surface features, offering hope for improved prosthetic hips, knees and other implants.

Hydrogen sulfide, not carbon dioxide, may have caused largest mass extinction
While most scientists agree that a meteor strike killed the dinosaurs, the cause of the largest mass extinction in Earth's history, 251 million years ago, is still unknown, according to geologists.

Distinct genes influence Alzheimer's risk at different ages
The genes that influence the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease may vary over the course of an individual's lifetime, a new study by Duke University Medical Center researchers finds.

Molecular electronic device shows promise
Thanks to a team of materials scientists at Northwestern University, molecular electronics may be one step closer to reality.

Gene therapy establishes a TRAIL to arthritis treatment
In the November 3 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, John Mountz and colleagues from the University of Alabama at Birmingham describe a gene-modified cell therapy utilizing the TRAIL molecule that successfully limits the incidence and severity of arthritis in a mouse model of collagen-induced arthritis and joint inflammation.

Near-real time ozone forecasting made possible by Envisat
Stratospheric data supplied by Envisat are the basis for a near-real time global ozone forecasting service now available online.

Climate change in the vineyards: The taste of global warming
A study of the world's top 27 wine regions' temperatures and wine quality over the past 50 years reveals that rising temperatures have already impacted vintage quality.

Sand ripples taller on Mars
Mars is kind of like Texas: things are just bigger there.

Debate heats up on role of climate in human evolution
Scientists at the Geological Society of America annual meeting in Seattle next week are taking a comprehensive new look at drivers of human evolution.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, November 2003
Tips for this month include the following topics and titles: Forensics, Microbial detectives; Genetics, New mice, new opportunities; Transportation, More practical fuel cell; and Physics, Alternate path to success.

Unusual fatigue may be warning symptom of heart attack in women
In a study of women who had heart attacks, symptoms such as unexplained fatigue or trouble sleeping were experienced as much as a month before the heart attack, indicating the possibility that acting on these advance symptoms could prevent an impending heart attack.

Role in Type 1 diabetes provides clue for researchers who discovered 'obesity gene'
The discovery of a gene believed to be connected to morbid obesity has international origins and began as an exploration into the causes of Type I diabetes.

Forests in a market economy
USDA Forest Service (FS) economists and cooperators have developed a book that shows the effective use of economic principles to analyze forest policy issues.

What makes peppers hot may also be cool for what ails you
The word 'capsaicin' doesn't exactly roll easily over the tongue easily, but this is especially appropriate since it is the name of the chemical that makes peppers hot and gives a surprisingly wide variety of other products a real bite.

Stem cell factor: Secret to liver's fountain of youth
Following surgical liver resection, a technique known as partial hepatectomy, which is often employed in the removal of benign or malignant tumors, a large reservoir of stem cell factor (SCF) in the liver drives increased hepatocyte proliferation in order to restore liver mass to normal.

Childhood obesity and behavior problems linked
In a study that points to the importance of considering both mind and body in children's health, researchers report they have found a clear link between childhood obesity and behavior problems.

Systolic better than diastolic or pulse blood pressure as indicator of mortality risk
An evaluation of blood pressure measurements and mortality risk found that rising systolic blood pressure is the clearest indicator for increased risk of death compared to other blood pressure measurements.

Extraterrestrial enigma: missing amino acids in meteorites
Amino acids have been found in interstellar clouds and in meteorites - but with some enigmatic omissions and tantalizing similarities to life on Earth.

New endowed chair established at Vanderbilt to promote brain resesarch
Brain research received significant new support today through the creation of the E.

Wound healing gel wins Medical Futures award
A bio-active gel developed by UCL scientists that is capable of healing wounds in half the time it takes currently, has won the award for the Best Biotechnology Start-Up at the Medical Futures Innovation Awards in London.

Women's symptoms are new or different
A study of women's symptoms prior to heart attack indicates that about 95% said they knew their symptoms were new or different a month or more before experiencing their Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI).

Newborn screening is cost-effective in detecting rare but treatable genetic disease
Screening newborns for MCADD deficiency, a rare but treatable genetic disease, benefits families and society, according to a team of pediatricians and health care economists who analyzed patient records and data from mass screening programs in several states.

NIH establishes Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announces the establishment of the Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network.

Lesser amount of patching effective for treating lazy eye in children
Children between the ages of three and seven with severe lazy eye, or amblyopia, can be treated just as effectively with a six-hour daily regimen of patching as with a full-time patching regimen for all waking hours.

Children are less likely to be delinquent if supervised after school
Children who are supervised after school are less likely to get into trouble than those who are home alone, according to a Brown University study forthcoming in the Journal of Public Economics and currently available online.

Roses in the southern sky
A team of European astronomers used the 67-million pixel digital camera of the Wide-Field-Imager (WFI) at the MPG/ESO 2.2-m telescope of the ESO La Silla Observatory, to provide another striking - and scientifically extremely rich - image of the giant complex of nebulae in the Large Magellanic Cloud known as N44.

Students of mixed races report suffering more health problems
A new study that involved surveying 90,000 adolescent U.S. students showed that those who considered themselves to be of mixed race were more likely than others to suffer from depression, substance abuse, sleep problems and various aches and pains.

APS Foundation names student travel award recipients
The American Phytopathological Society (APS) Foundation recently presented 16 student members with the 2003 student travel awards.

Annals of Internal Medicine, tip sheet, November 4, 2003
Highlights of the November 4 edition of the Annals of Internal Medicine include vulnerable older adults needing special geriatric care to remain independent, leeches relieving pain in arthritic knees, and a study that looks at three ways to measure blood pressure for insight into mortality.

Kon-Tiki adventure in space age style
Assisted by ESA technology, Frenchwoman Raphaƫla le Gouvello has completed a remarkable odyssey - a single-handed windsurfer crossing of the Pacific Ocean. 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