Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 22, 2003
Black soot and snow: A warmer combination
New research from NASA scientists suggests emissions of black soot alter the way sunlight reflects off snow.

Carnegie Mellon rovers let museum visitors explore Mars as NASA rovers land
As NASA's twin rovers land on Mars next month, a cadre of 20 smart robots developed at Carnegie Mellon University will be deployed at some of the nation's most prestigious science museums so visitors can experience the thrill of exploring the red planet.

Solving the Ebola enigma: satellites will provide clues
As a new outbreak of Ebola haemorrhagic fever strikes northwestern Congo, ESA is set to gather satellite data to help resolve the scientific enigma of this deadly disease.

Structure of a Nobel-prize winning molecule: Aquaporin
This year, the Nobel Prize committed recognized Peter Agre for discovering that a major protein found in red blood cells functions primarily as a water channel.

Regenerative chemical turns muscle cells into stem cells
A group of researchers from The Scripps Research Institute has identified a small synthetic molecule that can induce a cell to undergo dedifferentiation--to move backwards developmentally from its current state to form its own precursor cell.

New device to help premature babies
Australian scientists have invented a simple device that is ready to help thousands of premature babies in third-world countries who suffer from respiratory difficulties - problems that can cause brain damage and blindness.

Mars mission scientist will live a 25-hour day
Cornell astronomer Steven Squyres is preparing to live on Mars time--an approximate 25-hour day-- for the duration of the two-rover mission, expected to be at least four months starting Jan.

Palliative care for dying children
Palliative and end-of-life care programs for children and young adults can now be designed on the basis of good evidence.

Findings from Brookhaven's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) presented at QM2004
Physicists from the four detector groups at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) -- the world's largest facility for nuclear physics research -- gather with colleagues from around the world to present their latest data and analyses during the Seventeenth International Conference on Ultra-Relativistic Nucleus-Nucleus Collisions, also known as Quark Matter 2004.

Tip sheet for the December 23, 2003 Neurology journal
Highlights from the journal Neuology include: Atkins diet reduces seizures in some epilepsy patients; Epileptologists highly accurate in identifying seizures in epilepsy patients through clinical descriptions; People with Down syndrome may shed light into what causes dementia; More evidence that gabapentin effective in treating headache.

Drug-coated stents effective in 'real world' patients
Drug-coated stents are safe and effective at preventing death, heart attack or repeat procedures in

St. Jude ranked among top 500 supercomputer centers
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has joined the ranks of world-class supercomputer users around the world with the installation of an IBM computer system that can perform more than 600 billion operations per second.

National Science Board approves award for a National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network
The National Science Board, the 24-member policy advisory body of the National Science Foundation (NSF), has authorized the Foundation to fund a National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN): 13 university sites that will form an integrated, nationwide system of user facilities to support research and education in nanoscale science, engineering and technology.

Stevens' Cattabiani helps link doctors, hospitals worldwide
Since 2000, a Stevens Institute Special Lecturer in Chemical Biology, Thomas Cattabiani, has worked to help realize the global vision of a successful New York surgeon, his longtime friend and onetime classmate.

Stem cells illuminate early stages of human development
A team has taken some of the first critical steps to putting stem cells to use to understand early development and maternal and fetal health.

NSF creates 13-member nanotechnology network
The National Science Foundation has awarded to a 13-university consortium the designation as the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network and at least $70 million to share their facilities with qualified users for a five-year period.

Invalid vaccine doses would cost millions to fix
Children who receive some of their vaccine doses too soon may need to be revaccinated, at an extra cost of $10 to $18 million a year, according to a new study.

Study expands understanding of alcoholic memory disorder
New research finds that deficiencies in the hippocampus play a key role in alcoholism-related Korsakoff's syndrome, a memory disorder.

Down syndrome study reveals possible method for detecting initial stages of Alzheimer's
UC Irvine College of Medicine researchers conducting the first longitudinal brain imaging study of adults with Down syndrome may have found a way to detect Alzheimer's disease before symptoms of dementia begin to set in.

Profiling the genes that make stem cells
In this month's issue of PLoS Biology, Minoru Ko and colleagues present a model that takes a first step towards characterizing the molecular profile of stem cells, based on a comprehensive database of genes expressed in mouse early embryos and stem cells.

University of Pittsburgh studies broccoli-derived chemicals to prevent prostate cancer
Fruits and vegetables are good for health, and a newly funded study at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) may show that certain vegetables, such as broccoli, also offer protection against prostate cancer.

Candy canes, sugarplums or licorice for Christmas? Only one might stop cancer
A novel molecule extracted from licorice root has the ability to stop some cancers dead in their tracks, according to a collaborative research study conducted at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Obesity linked to aggressive prostate cancer
Obese men with prostate cancer are more likely to have aggressive tumors and to experience cancer recurrence after surgery compared to men of normal weight or those who are overweight but not obese, according to two new studies.

U of MN study first to detect tobacco-specific carcinogens in non-smokers in public setting
University of Minnesota researchers found that levels of a tobacco-specific carcinogen increased in nonsmokers when they visited a public setting where smoking is allowed.

Texas A&M scientists clone world's first deer
In what is believed to be the first success of its kind, researchers at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University have cloned a white-tailed deer.

United States, Russia, China link up first global-ring network
The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), a broad consortium of Russian ministries and science organizations and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) today announced the start of operations for the first roundthe-world computer network ring, which will be used for joint scientific and educational projects.
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