Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 29, 2004
What stops Mars Express getting lost in space?
Determining the three-dimensional position of Mars Express in space with as much precision as possible, at a distance of 155 million kilometres away from Earth, is no simple business.

Smallpox in 50-year-old tissues detected by integrated diagnostics approach
Although smallpox has been eradicated, the potential for use of Variola virus as a biological threat agent remains--making improved methods of detection and identification a high priority.

Counting atoms that aren't there, in stars that no longer exist
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have reached for the stars - and seen what's inside.

NASA satellites see ocean conditions in 3-D, improve forecasts
Freighters, cruise lines, marine rescuers and coastal managers are among those who could benefit from prototype three-dimensional, three-day ocean condition forecasts created with the assistance of NASA satellite data, computer models and on-site ocean measurements.

Death-defying approach devised by Penn scientists to prevent cell apoptosis
MSRA has been found to protect cells from reactive oxygen species.

New species of desert shrew found in southern Arizona
Not since 1977 has a new mammal species been discovered in Arizona.

Molecular level discovery could play role in development of new antibiotics
Chemists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have uncovered the molecular activity of an enzyme responsible for naturally turning a small protein into a potent lantibiotic.

Why results from genetic tests should be available to medical insurance companies
Authors of a Viewpoint article in this week's issue of THE LANCET discuss the ethical considerations surrounding genetic test results and disclosure to medical insurance companies-the authors outline their reasons for supporting the disclosure of such test results to make health insurance more equitable.

Integrated animal model answers questions about environment
UW-Madison is working to develop a computer model that could predict how animals, living on a real landscape anywhere on Earth, would respond to specific changes in the environment.

Something got me started
This week EMBO launches its new online Life Sciences Mobility Consultancy (LSMC).

A new twist on the mad cow
In a surprising twist on a timely topic, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute are presenting evidence that mad cow disease prions cannot kill neurons on their own and that normal, healthy cellular prion protein may be a direct accomplice in unleashing neuronal destruction.

Sex in the brain: How do male monkeys evaluate mates?
The marmoset fMRI findings add strong weight to the mounting evidence that, when faced with a novel, sexually attractive and receptive female, males even in monogamous species aren't necessarily just acting on some primal urge to procreate, without a second thought.

DOE awards grants to evaluate technologies that reduce truck idling
DOE's Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity has awarded separate project grants to Caterpillar Inc. and Schneider National Inc. to investigate technologies that reduce truck idling.

During earthquakes, mineral gel may reduce rock friction to zero
Researchers have discovered a mineral gel created when rocks abrade each other under earthquake-like conditions.

The first results of Finuda will be announced on January 30th
It will take place on Friday the 30th, during the XLII international winter meeting on nuclear physics at Bormio, the announce of the first results of Finuda experiment (Nuclear Physics at Daphne), settled in Frascati at Infn National Laboratories.

New guidelines for drug studies for relapsed prostate cancer patients
An abnormal or rising prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test is often the first indication that a man may have prostate cancer.

CIESIN receives grant to establish government biological information site
A new grant will allow the Center for Earth Science Information Network, a data center within the Earth Institute at Columbia University, to develop a new website providing environmental data to support policy- and decision-making.

Carnegie Mellon statistics student honored for technique to aid in brain imaging
Kary Myers, a Ph.D. student in statistics at Carnegie Mellon University, has won a Student Paper Competition Award from the Statistical Computing and Statistics Graphics sections of the American Statistical Association for her paper,

Successful progress launch paves the way for further scientific utilisation of the ISS by Europe
Preparing for the arrival of the first European Automated Transfer Vehicle.

Researchers create lung cancer 'cluster bombs'
The butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker may be more famous, but the pharmacist, the engineer, and the doctor may be onto something big.

Virtual reality helps breast cancer patients cope with chemotherapy
Women with breast cancer have fewer adverse effects from chemotherapy and less fatigue when using virtual reality as a distraction intervention during treatments, according to a study from the Duke University School of Nursing and Case Western Reserve Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Researcher 'horrified' by physical stress put on X-ray technologists
A research study out of the University of Alberta has found that the majority of X-ray technologists suffer from

Livermore scientists reveal details of reactive states of water-to-air interface
Using the latest terascale ASCI computers, scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have revealed details of the reactive states and faster relaxation of molecules at the water-to-air interface.

Measuring perchlorate levels in lettuce
Because perchlorate, a component of rocket fuel, has leaked into the lower Colorado River, Charles Sanchez has been evaluating the extent to which perchlorate is found in food crops irrigated with river water.

Teenage girls lacking in vitamin D
A University of Maine researcher has found evidence that many girls in Maine are not getting enough vitamin D, either from their diets or sun exposure.

Study shows low risk of vaccinia transfer after smallpox immunization
According to an article published in the February 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, now available online, people vaccinated against smallpox pose a low risk of accidentally inoculating others if they follow proper bandaging and hand-washing procedures.

Home-based therapy beneficial for stroke patients
A systematic review of published studies investigating the provision of therapy-based services targeted towards people living at home who have had strokes highlights the benefits of these services-the main finding shows that the rate of deterioration in the ability to carry out daily living tasks could be reduced by up to 30% for patients who receive therapy in the home environment.

Study finds wide attitude gap on wolves
Who's afraid of the big bad wolf? The survey says: it largely depends on who you are and what you do, according to a study by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the University of Wisconsin.

Dieters decrease heart risk on moderate fat program
Although low-fat diets are recommended for heart health, a moderate-fat weight loss diet reduced dieters' cardiovascular risk better than a low-fat diet in a study conducted at Penn State.

New antioxidants are 100 times more effective than vitamin E
An international team of chemists has developed a new family of antioxidants that are up to 100 times more effective than Vitamin E.

A killer microbe as a living antibiotic
Predatory bacteria may give rise to novel protein-based anti-microbial substances.

Pharmacists play role in cholesterol control
The idea of pharmacists as simple drug distributors is archaic, and a new study out of the University of Alberta proves it.

Earth Institute at Columbia University hosts State of the Planet 2004
How to ensure delivery of basic needs such as water, energy, health, and nutrition to all the world's people?

UK study quantifies cancer risk from diagnostic X-rays
The most detailed calculation of its kind to estimate the risk of cancer from exposure to diagnostic X-rays is published in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

Genomic changes reveal evolution of SARS virus
Careful study of changes in the SARS virus through the recent epidemic has allowed researchers from China and the University of Chicago to bolster the evidence for the animal origins of SARS and to chart three phases of the virus's molecular evolution as it gradually adapted to human hosts, becoming more infectious over time.
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