Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 24, 2003
Bird 'breathalyzer' helps assess migratory diet
While breathalyzers help police crack down on drunk driving, a similar new device is helping a URI student analyze the dietary changes of migrating songbirds.

Tip sheet for the November 25, 2003 Neurology journal
Highlights include RNA (

Most hospitals don't use latest ordering technology
OHSU study finds most hospitals don't use computers to reduce errors in patient care orders.

Tracking the illegal ivory trade
Despite the international ban on selling African elephant ivory, poaching is still widespread.

Senator Jon S. Corzine pledges support to NYU Child Study Center
United States Senator Jon S. Corzine, a longtime supporter of the NYU Child Study Center, has made a generous commitment of $2 million to establish the Corzine Family Associate Professorship of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Center's Institute for Children at Risk.

ORNL to design high-speed experimental network called UltraNet
Big science requires big computers that generate vast amounts of data that must be shared efficiently, so the Department of Energy's Office of Science has awarded Oak Ridge National Laboratory $4.5 million to design a network up to the task.

Five more African countries to benefit from Schistosomiasis Control Initiative
Another five countries from across Africa have today been informed that they will benefit from a multi-national project to tackle schistosomiasis.

Researchers show absence of key oxygen-sensing molecule leads to developmental defects
UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas researchers have shown that the absence of a key oxygen-sensing molecule can lead to multiple developmental defects - from an enlarged heart to eye problems.

Effects of maternal myasthenia gravis on pregnancy and birth examined
A 33-year study of all births by women in Norway with Myasthenia Gravis (MG) confirms that MG is associated with an increased risk for complications during pregnancy, including a threefold higher incidence of preterm rupture of the amniotic membranes, and twice the occurrence of delivery by cesarean section.

Endangered species listings may backfire
New research confirms fears that Endangered Species Act listings do not necessarily help - and may even harm - rare species on private lands.

Researchers probe how young consumers learn to use and misuse credit cards
The use or misuse of credit cards by young adults has attracted much attention from the public, with calls for earlier programs in financial literacy.

New test may diagnose heart disease risk better
A new, unprecedented test created at UCLA may offer a better way to diagnose heart disease risk for patients who develop coronary heart disease despite normal cholesterol levels.

Study shows combining gene therapy and radiation holds promise
A novel approach that combines gene therapy and radiation therapy for treating prostate cancer has shown promising results for its safety and effectiveness, according to Henry Ford Hospital researchers.

First peer-support helpline for people concerned about hereditary breast and ovarian cancer
Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE), a national advocacy group for women concerned about hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, has joined with the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn's Department of Psychiatry to establish the nation's first peer-support helpline for women with a hereditary risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer.

The space industry meets to exchange views
Over 600 representatives of more than 320 European companies will gather at ESA's research and technology centre (ESTEC) on 24-26 November for Industry Space Days.

Natural scenes calm drivers more than city views, study finds
The hassles and frustration of commuting and road trips may not seem so bad if you drive down scenic, tree-lined streets, a new study suggests.

Physical activity in later years helps women preserve functional abilities
Women who are consistently physically active in their later years function better and have fewer problems with performing basic daily activities, according to an article in the November 24 issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Urban black bears becoming couch potatoes, study says
Black bears living in and around urban areas are up to a third less active and weigh up to thirty percent more than bears living in wild areas, according to a recent study by scientists from the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

Breastfed infants show little effect when moms take anti-depressant
Most breastfed infants nurse without showing meaningful effects from their mothers taking 20-40 mg of the anti-depressant fluoxetine (Prozac) daily, according to a study by Yale researchers.

Increasing number of physician assistants handle more than 190 million patient visits in 2003
The number of physician assistants (PAs) in clinical practice continues to increase, with more than 50,000 PAs in practice accounting for almost 200 million patient visits and writing over 200 million prescriptions.

Suicidal minority teens lack adult support
Low-income black and Latino teens who report suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts also say they have few adults in their lives with whom they can discuss personal problems, according to a new study.

New USC process offers faster, cheaper 3D 'printouts'
 A University of Southern California inventor has created a machine that can produce 3-dimensional

Patients starting cholesterol-lowering drugs in hospital take meds longer
Starting patients on cholesterol-lowering drugs in the hospital instead of after they go home may increase the likelihood that they will continue taking their medications longer, according to an article in the November 24 issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Soil fungi affect parasitism of foliage-feeding insects
Recent studies have shown the importance of links between soil organisms and those feeding above-ground.

After bypass surgery, women have worse quality of life than men
A study by Duke University Medical Center researchers has found that women do not derive the same long-term quality-of-life benefits as men following coronary artery bypass surgery.

2003 Hurricane season: USWRP research led to more accurate track forecasts
Findings from this year's active Atlantic hurricane season confirm that track forecasts have markedly improved, following computer-modeling advances at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that include the use of enhanced wind data from parachute-borne instrument packages devised at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

Vindication for Vinland map: New study supports authenticity
Recent conclusions that the storied Vinland Map is merely a clever forgery are based on a flawed understanding of the evidence, according to a scientist at the Smithsonian Institution.

Self-management program helps patients with acute low back pain
A self-management program consisting of group classes, exercise sheet handouts and telephone follow-up may help inner-city patients with acute low back pain manage their pain and improve function, according to an article in the November 24 issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Nutrient pollution can exacerbate coral disease outbreaks and threatens coral reef health
Wildlife diseases are one of the primary threats to coral reefs and other endangered marine ecosystems.

Marine pathogens spread much faster than their terrestrial counterparts
It has become increasingly clear that pathogen epidemics are as significant a component of marine systems as they are in terrestrial systems.

Helping carnivores and people co-exist
When wolves and other large carnivores threaten people and livestock, wildlife managers often resort to killing them.

Physical activity key to maintaining independence say University of Pittsburgh researchers
Physical activity plays a significant role in maintaining functional ability later in life, according to a study completed by University of Pittsburgh researchers.

Cows as unravellers
Long-term conservation of biodiversity may depend on the maintenance of its component parts and on their interactions.

FDA approves Climara Pro to treat menopause symptoms
Berlex, Inc., a U.S. affiliate of Schering AG, Germany (NYSE: SHR), announced today that the U.S.

Does shade coffee help or hinder conservation?
While shade coffee is promoted as protecting tropical forests and birds, conservationists are split on whether it actually works. 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