Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 26, 2004
News tip: Duke marine biologist calls for whale-proof fishing gear
Current efforts to disentangle an endangered right whale whose flipper is wrapped in fishing gear off the North Carolina coast, while essential, are

Bright light yields unusual vibes
By bombarding very thin slices of several copper/oxygen compounds, called cuprates, with very bright, short-lived pulses of light, a physicist at the U.S.

April GEOLOGY and GSA TODAY media highlights
The April issue of Geology covers a wide variety of subjects and includes several newsworthy items.

U of T researchers one step closer to creating oral insulin
University of Toronto researchers have shown that

Studying 3-D materials in one dimension
Research by Young-June Kim, a physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, may help determine how a class of materials already used in electronic circuits could be used in optical, or light-based, circuits, which could replace standard electrical circuits in telecommunications, computer networking, and other areas of technology.

National Academies news: Clinical research involving children
While biomedicine offers a growing array of new drugs and treatments, relatively few are clinically tested in children, often leaving health care professionals to extrapolate from adult dosages the amount to prescribe to pediatric patients.

Livermore research highlighted at annual American Chemical Society Meeting
The study of nanoparticle contaminants traveling through water and soils.

Drug companies are top health care lobbyists
Pharmaceutical companies spend more money lobbying Congress than other health care organizations, according to a new study in the April 1, 2004 issue of the American Journal of Medicine.

Pension security can't be solved by tighter regulations
The lack of pension security in the UK is a scandal, according to ESRC research at the University of Warwick.

Acid rain study reaches milestone, confirms soil nutrient depletion
Researchers studying the environmental consequences of acid rain have reached an important milestone, adding evidence for a theory that has been the focus of much scientific debate.

Texas Children's Hospital implants first MicroMed/DeBakey child ventricular assist device
A six-year-old Texas Children's Hospital patient is the first pediatric patient in the world to receive a MicroMed/DeBakey® child ventricular assist device (VAD), recently approved by the FDA for use in children.

'Top Houston Women in Technology' honoree at UH
Susan H. Hardin, an associate professor of biology and biochemistry at the University of Houston, has been chosen one of Houston's top women in technology for her accomplishments in her career and for acting as a positive role model for women.

Protein folding on a chip
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory are proposing to use a supercomputer originally developed to simulate elementary particles in high-energy physics to help determine the structures and functions of proteins, including, for example, the 30,000 or so proteins encoded by the human genome.

American Thoracic Society Journal news tips for April 2004 (first issue)
Newsworthy studies show that: patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who were current high-dose users of inhaled corticosteroids had an increased risk of fractures; over 6 years, researchers found that greater use of the analgesic acetaminophen was associated with an increased new diagnosis of adult-onset asthma in women; and investigators found that exposure to tiny particulate matter and ozone was associated with cystic fibrosis patients having two or more serious pulmonary exacerbations.

Successful testing of Jules Verne videometer
For the first time, the 'videometer' (VDM), a new technology device to ensure very precise automatic rendezvous operations between the 20.7 tonne Jules Verne Automated Transfer Vehicle and the ISS, has been successfully tested this month.

Doolittle Award honors UH professor for outstanding research in polymers
Rigoberto Advincula, an associate professor of chemistry at the University of Houston, will be presented with the Arthur K.

Monetary policy does reduce unemployment - are unions right to hold contrary views?
Recent monetary policy has helped control inflation which, in turn, has kept unemployment rates low according to detailed research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Fetal heart monitoring ineffective at diagnosing cerebral palsy
Fetal heart monitoring does not identify babies who are diagnosed with white matter brain injury after birth, according to a new study by Johns Hopkins researchers.

Innovative study clarifies evolutionary history of early complex single-celled organisms
A Virginia Tech graduate student has devised a new way to study the ebb and flow of life in the Neoproterozoic and Early Cambrian ages, a period that includes two mass extinctions.

Human genome-wide RNAi library for biotech and pharma research
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory announces the availability of the first library of human RNA interference (RNAi) clones which will provide non-exclusive licensees in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries a powerful tool for target discovery and validation.

Genome sequence reveals leaner, meaner intestinal parasite
Cryptosporidium parvum--an insidious, one-celled, waterborne parasite that lodges in the intestines of infected people and animals and for which there is currently no effective treatment--is missing key structures normally found in similar parasites, say researchers supported by NIAID, one of the National Institutes of Health.

Balancing risks
Why do great powers often initiate risky military inventions in far off lands?

Vitamins good for some older women/bad for others
A simple blood test could determine whether older women with diabetes would benefit from--or be harmed by--vitamin doses designed to protect their ailing hearts, according to researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.
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