Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 19, 2004
NSF invites media to apply to report from North Pole on climate research
The National Science Foundation (NSF) invites members of the news media to apply for the opportunity to report from the North Pole on a major scientific initiative to understand changes in atmospheric circulation and ocean currents near the Pole that scientists believe have far-reaching effects on global climate.

Novelty-seeking teens may be more easily influenced by tobacco advertisements
Scientific data indicate that teens' receptivity to tobacco marketing campaigns may play an important role in the choice to start smoking.

Long-lasting medication shows promise for treatment of heroin addiction
Scientists funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) report that a single injection of a sustained-release formulation of buprenorphine effectively relieved withdrawal symptoms for 6 weeks in heroin-dependent patients.

Genes predict response of adult leukemia patients to chemotherapy
Genes can indicate which adult leukemia patients will respond to therapy and what the duration of their remission will be, according to a new study published in the April 1, 2004, issue of Blood, the official journal of the American Society of Hematology.

Social costs of gambling nearly half that of drug abuse, new book concludes
Owing to the widespread expansion of casinos, the cost of pathological and problem gambling has soared to nearly half the annual cost of drug abuse in the United States, an expert at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign says in a new book.

Carnegie Mellon University chemist receives prestigious award at American Chemical Society Meeting
Carnegie Mellon University polymer chemist Krzysztof Matyjaszewski has received the 2004 Cooperative Research Award in Polymer Science and Engineering from the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology
Featured stories in this month's issue include: Fungi cause of wood decay in historic antarctic huts, Cheese-making bacteria survive pasteurization, and Sand fly saliva contributes to disease in humans.

New study reveals big disparity between countries in breast conservation rates
The rates of conservation surgery for breast cancer vary hugely between countries, Professor Jacek Jassem told the 4th European Breast Cancer Conference.

St. Jude shows how disorderliness in some proteins lets them interact with a diversity of molecules
Investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have demonstrated for the first time that--contrary to the long-held belief among scientists that proteins must maintain a rigid structure in order to perform an assigned task--many proteins actually exploit disorderliness in their structure to perform a variety of different jobs.

Health risks of phthalates
Phthalates, largely used as plasticisers, have long been suspected in connection with rising infertility rates, particularly among men.

Prevention program curbs drug abuse among middle-school youth
Results of a recently published study show that Project ALERT, a widely used school-based drug abuse prevention program, successfully curbs the use of alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana among middle-school students.

Buprenorphine may help those addicted to heroin and cocaine
A recently published study shows that buprenorphine, an effective and well-tolerated office-based treatment for opiate addiction, may significantly reduce abuse of heroin and cocaine in people addicted to both drugs.

Scientists find new carbon pollution called 'tar balls'
Scientists have discovered new carbon-bearing particles, which they call

UNC neuroscientist awarded renewal of federal grant that began in 1957
With a recent nod from federal officials, a research grant to a pioneering neuroscientist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine entered its 48th year.

Opening the big black box: European study reveals visitors' impressions of science laboratories
On 29 - 30 March the findings of 'Inside the Big Black Box'- a Europe-wide science and society project - will be revealed during a two-day seminar hosted by CERN .

Parents need to listen to their teens before the teens will listen to them
Those public service ads that advise parents to

Center to focus on entrepreneurial education as academic discipline
Developing entrepreneurial education as an academic discipline is the goal of a center being established by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Behavioral symptoms may indicate increased smoking risk among adolescents
Adolescents who show a high level of aggression and hyperactivity may be at greater risk for smoking cigarettes than those who do not present these behavioral symptoms, according to a study by researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse's Intramural Research Program, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the National Institute of Mental Health.

Patagonian ice dam studied from space cracks open
A spectacle unseen for 16 years occurred in Patagonia this week: a natural dam of blue ice gave way to crushing lake waters trapped behind it, finally breaking apart.

Will Silicon Valley make way for nanotube valley?
A team of University of California, Riverside researchers received $1.5 million from the Microelectronics Advanced Research Corporation (MARCO), a not-for-profit research management organization, to create a new generation of nanoscale materials and devices to make computers and other semiconductor-based devices faster, cheaper and more efficient.

Cross-species comparison reveals shared features between tumorigenesis and organogenesis
A new study, published in the March 15th issue of Genes & Development, provides critical new insight into the shared mechanisms of normal organ development and solid tumor formation.

Study looks at employment rates of Illinois graduates with severe disabilities
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has long been known for its pioneering programs and services for students with disabilities.

Sandia begins major test capabilities upgrade
New construction is under way at the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) Sandia National Laboratories on a $110 million, five-year program to revitalize the Laboratories' large-scale test capabilities.

First large-scale trial of genetically personalised treatment for breast cancer to start soon
The first large-scale independent trial to study the role of molecular tumour signatures in breast cancer will get underway in the coming year, scientists announced at the 4th European Breast Cancer Conference.

New Canadian study demonstrates clear survival benefit of treatment in trials and at large centres
A new Canadian study has found that breast cancer patients who were treated according to accepted standards of care or who took part in clinical trials were from 30% to 60% less likely to die from any cause during a seven-year follow up period, the 4th European Breast Cancer Conference heard.

Evolution's twist
When our human ancestors started eating meat, evolution served up a healthy bonus - the development of genes that offset high cholesterol and chronic diseases associated with a meat-rich diet, according to a new USC study.

Agriculture investment is the answer to sub-Saharan Africa in crisis
Greater investment in smallholder agriculture could offer a route out of the deepening poverty facing many African nations, a study by Imperial College London economists has concluded.

Press workshop 'Life, a Nobel Story'
Press are invited to participate in the press workshop adjacent to the symposium 'Life, a Nobel Story'(open to science journalists).

Scientists calculate how high heels can go
As Sex and the City's Carrie finally wanders off the UK's television screens, physicists at the Institute of Physics (London, UK) have devised a formula that high-heel fans can use to work out just how high they can go.

From Jupiter's Moon, Io, come ideas about what Earth may have looked like as a newborn planet
Investigations into lava lakes on the surface of Io, the intensely volcanic moon that orbits Jupiter, may provide clues to what Earth looked like in its earliest phases, according to researchers at the University at Buffalo and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
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