Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 05, 2003
Computer model offers new tool to probe Woburn toxic waste site
A computer model developed at Ohio State University is giving researchers a new understanding of how municipal wells at a famous toxic waste site in Woburn, Massachusetts, came to be contaminated, and how much contamination was delivered to residents.

US crackdown on bioterror backfiring
After the anthrax attacks of 2001, the US passed stringent laws, complete with criminal penalties, to control the research, and researchers, that deal with dangerous pathogens.

Opportunity at the Bottom: Nanotechnology Symposium
Since the seminal lecture by Nobel laureate physicist Richard Feynman in 1959 entitled,

Oldest human custom
Early humans knew a thing or two about dental hygiene.

$2.25 million institute for fuel cell development
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded Cornell University $2.25 million over three years to establish the Cornell Fuel Cell Institute (CFCI).

Isotopes from feathers reveal bird migration
Using naturally occurring patterns of stable-isotopes created by weather and plants, Jason Duxbury of the University of Alberta and his colleagues are tracking the migration routes of birds of prey.

Placental malaria increases mother-to-child HIV transmission
A study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that placental malaria infection during pregnancy significantly increases the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

Among elderly, depression more prevalent in Hispanics and blacks
Elderly Hispanics and African Americans have higher rates of depression than their white counterparts, due largely to greater health burdens and lack of health insurance, a Northwestern University study has found.

Committee on disabilities research announces progress and recommendations
The Interagency Committee on Disability Research announces progress in several areas including rehabilitation, technology transfer, dissemination of disability statistics, and efforts to break down barriers to the disabled in education, the workforce, and public facilities.

Hot cocoa tops red wine and tea in antioxidants; may be healthier choice
There's sweet news about hot cocoa: Researchers at Cornell University have shown that the popular winter beverage contains more antioxidants per cup than a similar serving of red wine or tea and may be a healthier choice.

Thunderstorm research shocks conventional theories
If Joseph Dwyer, Florida Tech associate professor of physics, is right, then a lot of what we thought we knew about thunderstorms and lightning is probably wrong.

President Bush to present DuPont with National Medal of Technology
President George W. Bush will present DuPont Thursday with a National Medal of Technology -- the highest U.S. honor for technological innovation -- for its global leadership and innovation in developing alternative technology that reduced the environmental impact caused by ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

A new look at Neoproterozoic Earth
The end of the Proterozoic Eon was marked by tremendous tectonic, climatic, and biological change.

New findings help predict soil production and erosion
Two Dartmouth researchers have quantified the chemical weathering rates of bedrock at three sites around the world.

Lifesaving lamp posts
Polymer composite lamp-posts that are stronger than steel ones, maintenance free and recyclable can save lives by crumbling on impact.

U of MN receives $1 million technology grant to expand assisted living services for the elderly
The Virtual Assisted Living Umbrella for the Elderly (VALUE) telemedicine program will combine videoconferencing technology, Internet access, and home monitoring devices to provide assisted living services to frail elderly persons living independently in their home communities.

Study: growth hormone-deficient young adults need larger replacement doses than older adults
Young adults who received growth hormone treatment as children for deficiencies in producing that essential hormone likely will need continued treatment for years and at higher doses than doctors now prescribe, a new multi-center North American study concludes.

Report gives NIH-sponsored clinical research a good report card
A slew of recommendations made in 1997 by a committee commissioned to review the National Institutes of Health's efforts in clinical research has had a positive effect, according to a report in today's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Scientists believe ancient arachnids may have spun silk like modern spiders
Geologists at Ohio State University have found evidence of silk spinning structures on the fossilized body of a long-extinct relative of modern spiders, one that lived 55 million years before the first dinosaurs.

New pathway found to enhance cancer treatment
Dartmouth Medical School (DMS) research points to a potentially larger role for retinoids in the treatment of cancer.

New study shows possible role of SERMs in future menopausal hormone therapy
New research published this month in the journal Endocrinology highlights a possible safe, future treatment for postmenopausal women.

Memory-enhancing drugs for elderly may impair high-level brain function
A new study cautions that drugs being designed to enhance some forms of memory in the elderly may actually worsen working memory, such as the cognitive ability to hold a phone number in mind long enough to dial it.

Heavens are dimmed for Chandra space telescope
The $2 billion Chandra spacecraft is losing its sight. A mysterious build-up of grease on one of its camera filters is partially obscuring astronomical objects of study.

Canadian discovery promises treatment for HIV dementia
Millions of HIV patients who suffer from dementia now have hope of a treatment, thanks to a breakthrough discovery by Canadian researchers.

Cognitive performance influenced by gene for prion protein (also affected by mad cow disease)
Cognitive performance is influenced by an interplay of genes and environment.

PET scan predicts Alzheimer's more accurately
Scanning a patient's brain metabolism with positron emission tomography (PET) can improve a doctor's ability to forecast the patient's future cognitive functions up to 30 percent.

New CDC-funded HIV program at UNC integrates treatment with prevention
In its latest attempt to reduce the number of new HIV infections nationwide, the federal government is locating prevention programs squarely in the treatment setting.

President Bush will honor U.S. science and technology leaders
Eight of the nation's leading fundamental research scientists and engineers, and another eight individuals and one corporation considered leaders in technology and innovation for the nation, will receive presidential medals at the White House on Nov.

World's largest scientific society holds regional meeting in Columbia, Mo.
The American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, will hold its 38th Midwest regional meeting, Nov.

Autoantibodies precede disease in lupus patients
A new study funded largely by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) reveals that people diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus) -- an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks its own tissues -- have autoantibodies in their blood years before the symptoms of lupus appear.

New ACOG guidelines on progesterone to prevent preterm birth praised by March of Dimes
The latest research shows that some women at very high risk of having a preterm baby may benefit from treatment with a derivative of the hormone progesterone, according to an opinion issued by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Committee on Obstetric Practice and published this month in ACOG's official journal, Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Study of deadliest form of stroke demostrates much lower mortality rates at high caseload hospitals
A study published today in the Journal of Neurosurgery found a strong relationship between in-hospital mortality following subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), the deadliest form of stroke, and the volume of such cases seen at the treating hospital.

Unique molecular structure offers insight into nanoscale self-assembly, solution chemistry
Scientists at DOE's Brookhaven National Laboratory and the University of Bielefeld, Germany, have discovered a new type of hollow spherical vesicles formed by large-scale, wheel-shaped inorganic molecules.

Overweight boys outweigh girls in stress response, study finds
Overweight boys have greater increases in blood pressure in response to stress than their female peers and decreased ability to restore normal pressures, researchers say in the December issue of Hypertension.
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