Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 17, 2003
Researchers develop nanoscale fibers that are thinner than the wavelengths of light they carry
Researchers have developed a process to create wires only 50 nanometers (billionths of a meter) thick.

Study finds evidence for global methane release about 600 million years ago
Scientists at the University of California, Riverside and Columbia University have found evidence of the release of an enormous quantity of methane gas as ice sheets melted at the end of a global ice age about 600 million years ago, possibly altering the ocean's chemistry, influencing oxygen levels in the ocean and atmosphere, and enhancing climate warming because methane is a powerful greenhouse gas.

Americans speak out on cancer
Most Americans are far more afraid of cancer than getting into a serious car accident, or being victim of a violent crime or a terrorist attack.

Race affects older Americans' likelihood of getting flu shot
As America battles the first wave of influenza this season, a new Duke University Medical Center study reveals a major gap in vaccination rates between older African-Americans and whites of the same age.

Small and deadly
Researchers at USC's Southern California Particle Center and Supersite launch an airborne investigation, using novel technologies, to find the missing link between smog and cardio-respiratory disease.

New findings can help parents looking to combat number of kids' sick days
Researchers report that children who spent more time in sports activities and had higher aerobic fitness reported fewer

Mapping a road to understanding human health
The International HapMap Consortium describes the new tools and approaches it has developed that will enhance the ability of scientists to identify disease-related genes and to develop corresponding diagnostic and therapeutic measures.

Stable isotope data provide evidence for huge global methane release about 600 million years ago
The Earth's most severe ice coverings are thought to have occurred about 600 million years ago, with frozen ice sheets covering much of the globe.

EGFR: A molecular lab rat let loose in systems biology
Epidermal growth factor and its receptor system, or EGFR, is well-trodden territory in molecular biology.

Alcohol exposure in pre- and early post-natal stages may cause insulin resistance
A new study finds that alcohol exposure during early development -- though not necessarily during pregnancy -- may program the offspring for insulin resistance and glucose intolerance later in life.

Combined drug therapy prevents progression of prostate enlargement
A combination of drugs is significantly more effective than either drug alone for preventing progression of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), especially in men at high risk for disease progression, according to a study appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine tomorrow.

How are the sexes different?
Georgetown University Medical Center has officially launched the Center for the Study of Sex Differences in Health, Aging, and Disease (CSD) to explore the sex-based underpinnings of why men and women experience many aspects of health in fundamentally different ways.

Virginia Tech researcher receives $1.8 million to study Arabidopsis genome
A Virginia Bioinformatics Institute researcher has been awarded a $1.8 million grant to examine parts of the Arabidopsis genome that are involved in essential functions of the plant, leading to improvements in crop yield and nutritional value.

Biodegradable particles mimic white blood cells, target inflamed tissue, new study finds
Scientists have developed biodegradable polymers that can mimic the ability of white blood cells to target inflamed blood vessel walls, according to a new study led by Ohio University researchers.

Can the mode of training affect the hormone response to different modes of exercise?
First-of-its kind study concludes circulating endogenous hormone profile is more dependent on exercise mode or intensity than exercise volume as measured by caloric expenditure in men.

New-generation autonomous helicopter to create new era of human safety
Australian scientists have developed a 'brain', which enables the production of a world-first low-cost, intelligent small helicopter, set to end many difficult and dangerous tasks undertaken by humans.

Growing human organs on the farm
The controversial idea of having a bank of your own tissue growing live in an animal to use as a factory for repairing any damaged organ, may be closer than you think.

New study reports large-scale salinity changes in the oceans
Tropical ocean waters have become dramatically saltier over the past 40 years, while oceans closer to Earth's poles have become fresher, scientists reported today in the journal Nature.

Drug company fees for FDA reviews haven't accelerated approvals, study finds
Fees paid by drug companies for FDA reviews of new medicines haven't made the drug approval process any quicker than increased federal funding for the FDA was already doing, a new study finds.

ACPM to host web-based conference on emergency contraception and adolescents
The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) will host a web-based conference to present the latest information on providing emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) to adolescents.

New study reports large-scale salinity changes in the oceans
Tropical ocean waters have become dramatically saltier over the past 40 years, while oceans closer to Earth's poles have become fresher, scientists report in the December 18th issue of the journal Nature.

Keeping found things found: Web tools don't always mesh with how people work
Of all the personal computers to be unwrapped during the holiday season, more than 80 percent will be used to go online and search the Web's more than 92 million gigabytes of data (comparable to a 2 billion-volume encyclopedia).

Point and shoot
Any football or rugby fan knows that when a player kicks the ball, there is no longer anything they can do to influence its path.

International HapMap Consortium publishes scientific strategy
The International HapMap Consortium today published a paper that sets forth the scientific rationale and strategy behind its effort to create a map of human genetic variation.

Studies show global warming is likely to drive big changes in California's coastal waters
Global warming could have profound effects on the wind-driven upwelling of deep ocean water along the California coast, according to recent studies by researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow: Mount Sinai researchers are making sense of episodic memory
Many of our actions are guided by past experiences combined with insight into the future.

Combination therapy significantly delays progression of benign prostatic hyperplasia
For men who suffer from enlargement of the prostate, also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), combining two classes of drugs reduces the risk of significant worsening of symptoms and other BPH complications by 66 percent, according to research led by UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas investigators.

Rutgers area to become 'test track' for wireless Internet
Rutgers' Wireless Information Network Laboratory (WINLAB) will construct and operate a facility for researchers around the nation to test the next generation of wireless and mobile networks.

NASA and DOE lab team on fuel cell research
The Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and NASA's Glenn Research Center have agreed to collaborate in solving one of the toughest technical challenges to the development of advanced solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs).

UCSD professor wins IEEE Award for work on data transmission and storage
UC San Diego professor Jack Wolf has won the 2004 IEEE Hamming Medal for his contributions to the theory and practice of information transmission and storage.

EUROCARE-3 publishes new childhood cancer survival figures
The Nordic countries of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland, represent a gold standard in Europe for the treatment of children's cancer.

UB, military collaborate on design, testing of first drug to prevent noise-induced hearing loss
Six hundred Marines at Camp Pendleton in California will undergo two weeks of war games in the coming months armed with a new weapon: a drug designed to protect their hearing from the destructive decibels of battle, thanks to researchers at the University at Buffalo's Center for Hearing and Deafness.

Cancers' love-hate relationship with proteins offers new treatment window
Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that the absence of two proteins cells used to cope with heat stress can make it easier for the cells to become cancerous, but that same absence also makes it harder for cancerous cells to survive exposure to heat and radiation.
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