Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 19, 2004
Congo plans to safeguard biodiversity with new protected areas
The Republic of Congo announced today plans to expand its protected area network for the purpose of further conserving the region's immense biodiversity, one of the key goals of the 7th Conference of the Parties for the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP-7).

ESC in partnership with EU to strive for European consensus on CVD treatment and prevention
The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) has long called for concerted action on a European Union (EU) level to curb the growing epidemic of cardiovascular disease across Europe.

Protein helps immune system mount 'instant strike' against deadly flu viruses
Researchers have identified a protein in the immune system that appears to play a crucial role in protecting against deadly forms of influenza, and may be particularly important in protecting against the avian flu.

NASA's SORCE satellite celebrates one year of operations
Having marked its first anniversary on orbit, NASA's Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) satellite has hit its stride.

Postpartum weight loss classes work
A structured program of diet and exercise is better at helping new moms take off weight than a single educational session, according to Saint Louis University research published in the Journal of Women's Health.

Evolution caught in the act
An experiment which forced E. coli bacteria to adapt or perish showed that, in a pinch, they were capable of improvising a novel molecular tool to save their skins.

Final media advisory for the 4th European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC-4)
The 4th European Breast Cancer Conference is the only forum in Europe that involves all the major players in breast cancer and is expected to attract a record 4,000 delegates from around 80 countries worldwide.

Predators and human health
Lyme disease, bubonic plague, and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome--all potentially serious disease threats to people--are carried by non-human vertebrates, most often rodents, the host species for many pathogens.

Giant black hole rips star apart
A super-massive black hole has ripped apart a star and consumed a portion of it, according to data from ESA's XMM-Newton and NASA's Chandra X-ray observatories.

European Summer University on Innovation and Business Intelligence
The Cherbourg School of Engineering will hold its third European Summer University on

Life in the universe takes orders from space
Experiments involving the syntheses of organic compounds show that the exclusive chirality of the proteins and sugars of life on Earth - their tendency to be left- or right-handed, could in fact be due to the chemical contribution of the countless meteorites that struck the planet during its early history.

One in five asthmatics are highly sensitive to aspirin
One in five asthmatic patients are sensitive to aspirin, yet many are unaware that they are at risk of a potentially life threatening reaction known as aspirin induced asthma, warn researchers in this week's BMJ.

Save The Tiger Fund announces alliance with the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
Save The Tiger Fund (STF) and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) have joined forces to link tiger conservation programs across Asia, a major step in unifying the efforts of many conservation organizations.

Vaccine development against influenza A (h5n1) virus 'should be made a priority'
Two studies in this week's issue of The Lancet raise questions about the transmission of avian influenza viruses from chickens to humans.

Veterinarians, wildlife experts applaud China's ban of wild bird trade
A group of scientists and veterinarians from the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) today applauded China's decision to ban trade in wild birds to help prevent the spread of Avian Flu.

Celiac disease is a risk factor for schizophrenia
A report published in the British Medical Journal found a link between the digestive disorder celiac disease and schizophrenia.

Rice University's Connexions project pioneers open-source academic publishing
Rice University today launched Connexions, a Web portal that allows any educator in the world -- including both K12 and university instructors --to create, share and modify course materials for free.

Empathy for pain activates pain-sensitive regions of the brain, says UCL study
Knowing our partner is in pain automatically triggers affective pain processing regions of our brains, according to new research by University College London (UCL) scientists.

UK scientists countdown to launch of Europe's comet chaser mission
In a week's time the European Space Agency's pioneering Rosetta mission will begin its 12-year expedition to orbit and land on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Oxidation processes basis of interdisciplinary research, graduate training
Virginia Tech researchers in several colleges are focusing a wide range of expertise on the study of free radical and oxidative processes.

EMBL researchers discover key molecular 'switch' in eye development of medaka fish
Researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg have discovered a molecular

Energy organizations urge restored funding to prevent blackouts
The Administration and Congress should restore $26 million in funding for Department of Energy (DOE) base programs into research and development on electricity transmission and distribution in FY 2004, according to a coalition of energy organizations, industry leaders and experts coordinated by IEEE-USA.

Women's group seeking nominations for annual media awards
The Society for Women's Health Research is commencing its second annual media awards program to honor journalists for exceptional coverage of women's health research, and is seeking nominations, including those who wish to nominate themselves.

Schering-Plough scientists identify protein essential for cholesterol absorption from intestine
In a major advance in understanding the intestinal pathway for cholesterol absorption, scientists at Schering-Plough Research Institute (SPRI) have identified and characterized a long sought protein critical to intestinal cholesterol absorption.

Brain scans show how placebo eases pain
Researchers have produced the strongest evidence yet that placebo--or the mere expectation of relief, with no real treatment--causes physical changes in how the brain responds to pain.

Research adds health benefit to tomatoes
Researchers at OSU have created purple-fruited tomatoes that include anthocyanins, the same class of health-promoting pigments in red wine that function as antioxidants and are believed to prevent heart disease.

Vaccine shows promise for kidney cancer
Results of a phase III study from Germany in this week's issue of The Lancet suggest that a tumour-based vaccine could reduce disease recurrence and increase survival of patients who have had surgery for kidney cancer.

Michelin joins BMW, IBM and Microsoft in Clemson's $90 million-plus research campus
Michelin North America is the fourth company to join Clemson University's International Center for Automotive Research since the auto research campus was announced in November 2003.

UF professor: Living choices need new terms for aging baby boomers
Nursing home and assisted living are yesterday's news - at least as far as baby boomers are concerned.

Biochemical clues to long lifespan revealed
Researchers at Children's Hospital Boston have discovered how two key cellular influences on lifespan work together, providing insights into possible aging mechanisms in humans.

URI oceanographer awarded NSF grant to study function of jellyfish in coastal ecosystems
URI Graduate School of Oceanography biological oceanographer Dr. Dian Gifford and collaborators Dr.

System can predict disease spread
Scientists have developed a new system that uses basic information about the ecology of

NHS reforms have left no time to train surgeons
More and more reforms have resulted in less and less time to train the next generation of surgeons in the United Kingdom, warn doctors in this week's BMJ.

Coeliac disease may predict schizophrenia
A history of coeliac disease (gluten intolerance) is a risk factor for developing schizophrenia, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Study provides new insights about brain organization
New evidence in animals suggests that theories about how the brain processes sight, sound and touch may need updating.
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