Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 15, 2004
Traditional Iroquois methods work for today's farmers
Jane Mt. Pleasant, professor of horticulture and director of the American Indian Program at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., is mining her Iroquois heritage for planting and cultivation methods that work for today's farmers.

Research on tiniest particles could have far-reaching effects
Neutrinos are about the tiniest things in existence, but a University of Washington physicst working at the forefront of neutrino research believes that developing a greater understanding of what they are and how they function is likely to have a huge impact in the next few years.

Cutting-edge oceanography helps scientists understand climate change on Earth (and other planets)
The deep ocean seems as remote as the surface of the moon.

Rutgers researcher offers a new perspective on human evolution
Chi-Hua Chiu introduces and emerging perspective in the study of human origins: the underlying developmental and genetic processes that led to evolutionary changes.

AAAS survey: 80 percent of adults say we're hurting oceans
Most adults believe that human activity is endangering the Earth's oceans, yet less than one-third feel empowered to influence positive change.

Women faculty of color: Numbers are low, but new strategies offer hope for improvement
The numbers of women of color on academic faculties in the United States are very small and not increasing.

New study may explain how fats damage neurons in Alzheimer's patients
Researchers studying alterations of cholesterol and another lipid in the brain cells of deceased individuals with Alzheimer's disease, suggest that they might someday be able affect the course of the disease by limiting the accumulation of those fats in the brain.

3D fabrication technique uses light-activated molecules to create complex microstructures
A three-dimensional microfabrication technique that uses a unique class of light-activated molecules to selectively initiate chemical reactions within polymers and other materials could provide an efficient way to produce complex structures with sub-micron features.

Where to start to launch the 'butterfly effect'
Sociologists postulate that what a few influential leaders think and say can spread and grow and bring about big changes in the thinking of large numbers of people.

Neurologists create a font of human nerve cells
Scientists have created an unlimited supply of a type of nerve cell found in the spinal cord - a self-renewing cell line that offers a limitless supply of human nerve cells in the laboratory.

Research clarifies how Alzheimer's medicines may reduce interference with learning and memory
New evidence clarifies how the only government-approved treatments for mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease may work to improve symptoms.

A shrinking sink? Carbon fertilization may be flimsy weapon against warming
A growing body of evidence questions calculations by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that the land will automatically provide a significant, long-term carbon

1,136 scientists call for protection of deep-sea corals
At a AAAS press briefing on Sunday at 1:00 PM, marine scientists will release a consensus statement from over a thousand of the world's foremost biologists, calling for governments and the United Nations to protect imperiled deep-sea coral and sponge ecosystems.

Training for science teachers should focus on learning, not teaching strategies
Three different professions -- science teachers, science-teacher educators, and university science faculty members -- should be involved in training science teachers for secondary schools.

Three personal ads for physics
Strong, dynamic, grounded-yet-abstract, animated, and relationship-oriented field of study in search of eager students for short- or long-term learning relationship.

Promising new treatment options for people with co-existing alcohol-use and psychiatric disorders
Individuals with co-existing alcohol-use and psychiatric disorders must overcome a number of significant hurdles on their way to recovery: multiple health and social problems, double the stigma, a poor response to traditional treatments, a lack of joint treatment options, and a chronic cycle of treatment entry and re-entry.

Breakthroughs in capacity, power consumption set to revolutionize photonics
For years, organic electro-optic polymers have held the promise of vastly improving technologies such as data processing and communications.

From football conferences to food webs: U-M researcher uncovers patterns in complicated networks
The world is full of complicated networks that scientists would like to better understand---human social systems, for example, or food webs in nature.

Human evolution at the crossroads: Integrating genetics and paleontology
Advances in genetics during the last decade not only have influenced modern medicine, they also have changed how human evolution is studied, says an anthropologist from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who is calling for an integration of paleontology and genetics.

Mice cloned from olfactory cells
Researchers have successfully cloned a mouse using mature olfactory neurons as the genetic donor.

Carbon dioxide fertilization is neither boon nor bust
Trees absorb more carbon dioxide (CO2) when the amount in the atmosphere is higher, but the increase is unlikely to offset the higher levels of CO2, according to results from large-scale experiments conducted at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and elsewhere.

Parenting ethics panel explores thorny issues posed by technology
Advances in reproductive technologies have brought babies into the lives of thousands of yearning couples.

The sensor revolution
In the 1990s, the Internet connected us to a planet-wide webof information-all the zillions of bits that are stored in computer memories and hard drives.

Optically recording millisecond brain nerve impulses
Combining the bright laser light used in multiphoton microscopy with specially developed dyes and a phenomenon called second-harmonic generation, biophysicists at Cornell University and Université de Rennes, France, have made the highest-resolution images ever of millisecond-by-millisecond signaling through nerve cells.

Study shows how African-American Ph.D. chemists overcame discrimination to build careers
A national study of career experiences among African-American Ph.D. chemists shows how these scientists dealt with discriminatory practices and attitudes to build careers in academia, industry and government.

Duke open-air experiment results could deflate hopes that forests can alleviate global warming
A futuristic Duke University simulation of forest growth under the carbon dioxide-enriched atmosphere expected by 2050 does not reinforce the optimism of those who believe trees can absorb that extra CO2 by growing faster, said a spokesman for the experiment.

Genetics, alcohol sensitivity, and behavior
Individual differences in alcohol response - ranging from sleepy to social, sad to happy - have a tremendous influence on a person's risk for developing alcohol dependence.

Would you like a receipt with that election?
Stanford computer science Professor David Dill argues that electronic voting machines should print a paper copy of the ballot, which the voter can inspect and which can be used in the event of a recount.

Media-fueled bias distorts validity of recovered memories
People who say they've recently recovered long buried memories of sex abuse are less likely to be believed than those who've always been able to recall events, says Jennifer Freyd, University of Oregon professor of psychology.

Brief mail- and computer-generated interventions work best for problem drinking among young people
Health professionals who are concerned about hazardous drinking among young people can take heart: research indicates that brief intervention methods relying on mail or computers are both appealing and effective among this hard-to-reach population.

Tools to guide and switch light for photonic microchips
Cornell professor Michal Lipson has developed new tools for making photonic microchips, in which electrons in wires are replaced by beams of light, including ways to guide , bend and switch light and to connect nanophotonic chips to optical fiber.

Advances in equine cloning may aid insight into human diseases
Today at the 2004 AAAS (Triple-A-S) Annual Meeting, researcher Gordon L.

Scientists, lawyers discuss decision-making amid uncertainty
Throw into the pot a thorny scientific issue, some edgy policymakers and a few journalists seeking

Equine cloning's triple play sheds light on calcium, cell signaling, human disease
The successful cloning of three mules and their excellent health is important to the horse industry, a University of Idaho scientist said Monday at Seattle.

Adults and children develop gestures that mimic language
The ability to develop a form of communication that becomes an actual language is apparently innate, new University of Chicago research on the use of gestures among deaf children and experiments with adults shows.

Professor to describe 'uncanny physics of comic book superheroes'
Surprisingly, sometimes comic books get their physics right.
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