Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 02, 2003
December Geology and GSA Today media highlights
The December issue of Geology covers a wide variety of subjects and includes several newsworthy items.

Journal 'Transportation Science' marks 100th anniversary of flight with special issue
Transportation Science, the leading operations research journal dedicated to the analysis of transportation systems, has issued a special issue devoted to the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first flight, the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMSĀ®) announced today.

'No doubt' human activity is affecting global climate
There is no doubt that human activities are having measurable--and increasing--impacts on global climate, say Kevin Trenberth (NCAR) and Tom Karl (NOAA).

December GSA Bulletin media highlights
The December issue of the Geological Society of America Bulletin includes a number of potentially newsworthy items.

Fox Chase Cancer Center researcher develops new model for studying prions - mad cow disease
Fox Chase Cancer Center researchers and their colleagues have obtained new insight into the molecular structure of prion particles responsible for mad cow disease and other degenerative neurological disorders.

Elderly men receiving excessive prostate cancer screening, study suggests
Physicians are frequently recommending prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening to men ages 75 and older, despite general agreement that routine prostate cancer screening of men in this age range has little benefit, according to a study in the December 3 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Yerkes researchers discover natural brain chemical reduces effects of cocaine
Researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University have shown that CART peptide, a chemical that occurs naturally in both the rodent and human brain, reduces some effects of cocaine when additional amounts are administered to the region of the brain that is associated with reward and addiction.

Experts debate the future of nanotechnology
Two giants in the field of nanotechnology, K. Eric Drexler, cofounder of the Foresight Institute and the person who coined the term

Lose weight fast the ESA way!
Lots of us want to lose some weight - but just take your seat on one very special aircraft and you will soon weigh 100% less - guaranteed!

New MR technique may allow earlier diagnosis of MS
A new method to measure the virulence of multiple sclerosis (MS) can help physicians be more exact and aggressive in treating a disease that robs people of their youth and vitality.

Top scientists conclude human activity is affecting global climate
Two of the nation's best-known atmospheric scientists say human activities are having measurable--and increasing--impacts on global climate.

Launching PPARC's Five Year Strategy Programme
PPARC's Five Year Strategic Programme is now available online at
Technique allows scientists to fine-tune strength and conductivity of nanotube-laced materials
University of Pennsylvania researchers have developed a technique to customize nanotube-laced materials.

Materials could make for super LEDs, solar cells, computer chips
Engineers at Ohio State University have overcome a major barrier in the manufacture of high quality light emitting devices and solar cell materials.

All sides are not created equal as babies process speech
For the first time, researchers have used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate infant brain activity in response to speech and have found that, almost from birth, the brain's left hemisphere plays the leading role in processing most language functions, challenging the previously held belief that left-hemisphere dominance isn't fully developed until puberty.

Honeywell awards support Virginia Tech chemical engineering research
Honeywell International Inc. has awarded an educational grant of $100,000 for support of the Honeywell Center of Excellence in Computer-Aided Design (CAD) at Virginia Tech.

Other highlights in the December 3 issue of JNCI
Other highlights of the December 3 JNCI include a study examining the interaction between calcium and vitamin D in reducing the risk of colorectal cancer, a study showing that anti-inflammatory drugs may reduce the risk of stomach cancer, a study suggesting increased cancer incidence among people with type I diabetes, a study examining human papillomavirus and cancers of the oropharynx and oral cavity, and an article on the epigenome in cancer chemoprevention.

HRT and breast cancer: better prognosis more likely due to frequent screening than hormone use
While women with breast cancer who have used HRT have better survival odds than those who've never taken hormones, the advantage is due, most likely, to more-frequent mammography screening associated with HRT use rather than the effect of the hormones on tumor biology.

Glycerin may help skin disease, study finds
Glycerin, commonly found in skin care products because it attracts water and helps skin look better, may have therapeutic value as well, according to researchers at the Medical College of Georgia.

Hot flash drug may hinder effectiveness of tamoxifen
An antidepressant used to ease a common side effect of the drug tamoxifen for breast cancer may conceivably reduce the effectiveness of tamoxifen by interfering with the breakdown of the drug into its active metabolites, according a new study in the December 3 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Molecular memories, once doubted, prove durable and practical
Until now, researchers were skeptical that molecular devices could survive the rigors of real-world manufacturing and use, which involve high temperatures and up to one trillion operational cycles.

Solitary pancreas transplant not associated with improved survival for patients with diabetes
Patients with diabetes who received a solitary pancreas transplant appeared to have worse survival than patients on the transplant waiting list who received conventional therapy, according to a study in the December 3 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

DuPont-led scientists unveil key nanotechnology discovery with use of DNA
A group of DuPont-led scientists have discovered an innovative way to advance nano-electronics applications through the use of DNA that sorts carbon nanotubes.

Echinacea not effective in treating colds in children
Echinacea is not effective in shortening the duration or decreasing the severity of upper respiratory tract infections in children, according to a study in the December 3 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Northwestern Memorial enrolling participants in two trials on new drug to fight deadly cancer
Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH) is participating in two research studies on Revimid, a new drug, being developed by Celgene Corporation, for people with multiple myeloma.

Beta-blocker or calcium antagonist-based therapies equally effective in treating hypertension
Hypertensive patients with coronary artery disease had similar outcomes when they took a beta-blocker therapy or a calcium antagonist-based therapy, according to a study in the December 3 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

FCC Chairman Michael Powell to address academic and telecom industry leaders at UC San Diego Dec. 9
FCC Chairman Michael Powell will talk about the future of the telecommunications industry at a meeting at UC San Diego Dec.

Self-management improves course of low back pain
Empowering low income adults to deal with their pain through such self-management strategies as exercise, behavior and dietary changes, significantly improved both mental and physical functioning.

Chromosomes are 'nibbled' before they fuse, researchers report
Overturning 60 years of scientific presumption, new evidence from Johns Hopkins scientists shows that enzymes nibble away at chromosomes when the chromosomes' protective tips, called telomeres, get too short.

fMRI depicts multisensory dysfunction in people with dyslexia
Sights and sounds cross paths abnormally in the minds of dyslexic readers, according to the first functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study of multisensory processing in people with the disorder.

USGS December science picks!
It's our holiday gift to you this year: a stocking-full of great science stories -- some of which are timely, some of which are evergreen -- but all are great leads to fill these otherwise barren winter months.

Tamoxifen's effectiveness may be compromised by hot flash drug
An Indiana University School of Medicine study suggests that tamoxifen's metabolism, and possibly its effectiveness, can be modified by the genetic makeup of the person taking the drug and by the use of another drug prescribed to reduce tamoxifen-related hot flashes according to IUSM pharmacogeneticist David Flockhart.

Left side of brain activates speech from birth
UCLA researchers used fMRI to investigate infant brain activity in response to speech.

Major nanotechnology hurdle not so worrisome, thanks to Indiana University chemistry discovery
According to the classic rules of physics, substances melt at a lower temperature when their sizes decrease.

Pesticide delays sexual maturation
Male school children exposed to the pesticide endosulfan showed delayed sexual maturity compared with similar children who were not exposed.

Unraveling a protein, researchers uncover mechanics of anti-cancer agent
From within the rich fabric of connecting tissue between cells, researchers of four institutions, led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, have identified the action of anastellin, a natural agent that is showing promise blocking metastasis of cancer cells and enhancing wound healing.

Doppler ultrasound predicts risk of miscarriage
Doppler ultrasound performed in early pregnancy can accurately identify embryonic congestive heart failure and subsequent risk of miscarriage. 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