Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 18, 2004
Demographics not key to adoption of banking technology
When it comes to people's desire to use ATMs and online banking, it's not just the young, educated, and affluent who are interested.

Question about fundamental chemistry of water answered
In perhaps the final round in a long standing argument about the fundamental chemistry of water, the authors argue that the currently accepted temperature at which water in the glassy state softens into a liquid (known as the

Citizens, scientists and policymakers debate ways to restore ocean health at AAAS Town Hall Meeting
Marine scientists, Seattle citizens and politicians debated the best ways to restore the ocean's health at a town hall meeting sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology for several hours today.

Fair to showcase innovations in natural resources, forestry
The fair highlights new concepts, practices, and technologies generated by PNW Research Station scientists and their collaborators with application to forests in the Pacific Northwest.

Research examines treatment goals for acromegaly patients
New research shows that people who suffer from acromegaly require stringent control of growth hormone levels in blood and close attention to its effects on the body in order to avoid consequent problems of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension.

Chemical turns stem cells into beating heart cells
Scientists have found a way to turn mouse embryonic stem cells into beating heart muscle cells -- a result that could lead to the use of embryonic stem cells in cardiac therapy, and possibly even drugs that can prompt the body to regenerate heart cells on its own.

Teamwork done right: New study sheds light on how to avoid destructive conflict
In a new study, two teamwork researchers at Stevens Institute of Technology have made surprising findings about both the good and bad kinds of conflict.

Sepsis drug also protects brain cells
A compound currently used to treat patients with severe sepsis also protects brain cells in an unexpected way.

Cancer cells can compress blood vessels, block entry of drugs
A growing tumor needs an increased blood supply for its proliferating cells.

Drug addiction, learning share common brain protein
Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators at Duke University Medical Center have linked a gene previously shown to play a role in learning and memory to the early manifestations of drug addiction in the brain.

UK needs more seafarers
An employment study by researchers at Cardiff University predicts a worrying shortfall in the number of people with adequate skills and experience to work in shore-based maritime jobs in the UK.

Same-sex couples plan differently for retirement
Same-sex couples plan differently for retirement than married couples, with lesbians planning significantly less than other groups of men and women, according to Cornell University researchers in one of the first studies of the retirement plans of gay and lesbian couples.

Study in worms shows how genes linked to complexity in animals
The evolution of a particular gene could be the reason why a certain worm might better tolerate a salty environment than its relatives, new research suggests.

Blood test could avoid inappropriate use of antibiotics for respiratory infections (pp 600)
A rapid blood test to help distinguish between bacterial and other (predominantly viral) infections could substantially reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics for common infections, conclude authors of a study in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

New method for converting nitrogen to ammonia
In a process that has challenged scientists for decades, A Cornell research team has converted nitrogen into ammonia in the laboratory using a zirconium metal complex to add hydrogen atoms to the nitrogen molecule.

Report finds inactivated influenza virus vaccines effective in children
Every winter inevitably brings with it the flu season, but kids don't inevitably have to contract the flu, according to an article in the March 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, now available online.

Sandia's miniSAR offers great promise for reconnaissance and precision-guided weapons
Within a year the National Nuclear Security Administration's Sandia National Laboratories will be flying the smallest synthetic aperture radar (SAR) ever to be used for reconnaissance on near-model-airplane-sized unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and eventually on precision-guided weapons and space applications.

Slow-moving ground water slows down water-quality improvements in Chesapeake Bay
Ground water supplies about half of the water and nitrogen to streams in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and is therefore an important pathway for nitrogen to reach the bay, according to a recent USGS study.

Phone fibbing is the most common method for untruths
Phone fibbing -- rather than on e-mail, instant messages or direct conversation -- is the most common form of lying, Cornell researchers find.

Chips to ease Microsoft's security nightmare
Chip makers are planning a new generation of microprocessors that can block the kind of hacker attacks that led Microsoft to issue a

University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center studying promising new imaging technology
A new imaging technology developed by GE Medical Systems and currently being evaluated at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) may allow radiation oncologists to precisely track tumor movement and avoid excess doses of radiation for cancer patients.

UCSF finding advances insight into adult stem cells in human brain
UCSF researchers have made a notable advance in the effort to illuminate the existence of adult stem cells in the human brain, identifying a ribbon of stem cells that potentially could be used to develop strategies for regenerating damaged brain tissue - and that could offer new insight into the most common type of brain tumor.

What are your odds of surviving into your hundreds?
A genetic factor that protects you against heart disease during middle age could reduce the odds that you'll celebrate your hundredth birthday.

AACR and The V Foundation form Translational Cancer Research Alliance
A new alliance to promote and reward outstanding cancer research that links basic scientists with clinicians has been established between the American Association for Cancer Research and The V Foundation for Cancer Research.

Shark guide probes uncharted waters
Difficulties in identifying sharks for stock assessment and for understanding biological and behavioral characteristics prompted the National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) and Rhode Island Sea Grant to produce a 124-page guide that will help users distinguish among 44 highly migratory species that inhabit the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.

GM nation? Public debate: a valuable experiment
As the UK Government moves towards a decision about whether GM crops should be grown commercially in Britain, a major report today (19 February 2004) argues that last summer's Government-sponsored GM Nation? public debate, whilst being both innovative and an important experiment in public engagement, failed to fully meet its potential, and conveyed an overestimate of the strength of anti-GM feeling in the UK.

Exposure to low-level magnetic fields causes DNA damage in rat brain cells, researchers find
Prolonged exposure to low-level magnetic fields, similar to those emitted by such common household devices as blow dryers, electric blankets and razors, can damage brain cell DNA, according to researchers in the University of Washington's Department of Bioengineering.
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