Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 31, 2004
Claritas Fossae tectonic region on Mars
These Mars Express images show Claritas Fossae, an ancient tectonic region on Mars, west of Solis Planum, a tectonic and volcanic area south-east of the Tharsis volcano group.

Smelly air cannon to tempt shoppers
A new Japanese device that squirts enticing aromas at customers as they walk through stores is so accurate it can actually track the person using a camera mounted on top and aim the smell directly at the target's nose.

Laboratory rat gene sequencing completed
A large team of researchers, including a computer scientist at Washington University in St.

Australian 'mud football' game sickens players
Participants in a charity

Dirt aged hurriedly, elegantly observed
A team at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) speeds soil's natural aging process to sponge up and trap organic contaminants.

New marking process traces spammers, pirates and hackers
Penn State researchers have proposed a new marking process for Internet messages to make it easier to trace the originators of spam, illegal copyrighted material or a virus attack.

Missing gene a potential risk factor for birth defects
Mouse embryos missing a gene that aids in the repair of DNA damage are at greater risk of developing birth defects, say University of Toronto scientists.

Bay area to get unique x-ray microscopy resource
A first-of-its-kind x-ray microscope being built for the Advanced Light Source (ALS) of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) holds forth the promise of

Advanced small-cell lung cancer patients
According to a retrospective analysis, even patients with advanced small-cell lung cancer can tolerate and benefit from chemotherapy, providing a new option for patients who previously had none.

World's largest tiger reserve declared in Myanmar
The Bronx Zoo based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced today that the government of Myanmar has formally declared a sprawling 8,400-square-mile reserve for tigers, making it the largest protected area for these endangered big cats on earth.

NJIT chemists pave way for cheap, usable field test for polluted, toxic, water, air, food
Scientists at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) believe they have discovered a new and critically important chemical process to force scattered nanoparticles into infinitesimally tiny, but clearly-defined channels of microstructures.

From discovery to encounter: international conference on Saturn's moon Titan
In the week that sees the 375th anniversary of the birth of the Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens, an international conference entitled 'Titan: From Discovery to Encounter' is taking place, from 13 to 17 April, at ESA's European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), Noordwijk, the Netherlands.

Researchers say US military accidentally introduced tree pathogen to Italian estate
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and in Italy, say they have unlocked the mystery of how a destructive tree pathogen could have spread to the Presidential Estate of Castelporziano, an exclusive estate south of Rome which has been sealed off from the public for centuries.

Researchers develop electronic nose for multimedia
Imagine you are a thousand miles from home, and your mother cooks your favourite meal for you.

Genes make the marsh
In a study published in the March issue of Ecology,

Scientists compare rat genome with human, mouse
An international research team, supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), today announced it has completed a high-quality, draft sequence of the genome of the laboratory rat, and has used that data to explore how the rat's genetic blueprint stacks up against those of mice and humans.

UCSF Medical Center palliative care experts mentor health care organizations in end-of-life care
UCSF has been named one of six leadership centers in the country for training health care professionals who want to start palliative care programs.

Popular chewing gum eliminates bacteria that cause bad breath
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have found that Big Red -- the popular cinnamon-flavored chewing gum made by Wrigley's -- reduced bacteria in the mouth that cause bad breath.

National Academies news: Managing the Columbia River
The Washington State Department of Ecology last year asked the National Academies' National Research Council to study whether additional water withdrawals from the Columbia River for farm irrigation would affect the survival of endangered and threatened salmon.

UCF data-sharing system helps police nab suspects, shorten investigations
A new data-sharing system developed at the University of Central Florida has helped law enforcement officials make more than 70 arrests since October while shaving days off the length of some investigations.

A new way to see DNA (and other tiny molecules)
Like many objects of curiosity in the nanoworld, the DNA molecule has defied visual scrutiny because it lies beyond the

Research questions transplant safety procedure
Lyophilization, a method once thought to inactivate retroviruses such as HIV from bones and connective tissues used in transplant procedures, may not be quite as effective as originally thought, researchers at Michigan State University have concluded.

Can we believe our memories?
The use of photographs by psychotherapists as memory cues for the

'Telling people what they want to believe'
Writing in the April issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Dean Ornish, founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute and author of numerous diet books, seeks to

Rock art depicting comanches, horses clad in leather armor discovered in Colorado
Several new rock art discoveries by a University of Colorado at Boulder researcher depict mounted warriors, likely Comanche, astride horses clad in leather armor and created around 1700 to 1750, the first such petroglyphs found in the state.

Prediction: California will see 'a lot more' cases of West Nile Virus in 2004
An expert on mosquitoes and the spread of West Nile virus predicts the disease will break out of Southern California this summer and propagate northward, likely triggering

City rain run-off poses threat to coastal water users
Rainwater running off city roofs and streets poses health risks to surfers and others who spend time in coastal waters, according to a new study.

Latest exploration tools for University students
Computer software that could revolutionise the teaching of earth sciences in UK universities is being installed at Cardiff University.

Best way to clean up toxic plumes? Give 'em a pill
A staple of chemistry classroom demonstrations may offer a solution for cleaning up decades' worth of toxic solvents polluting the environment, new research suggests.

World dialect explosion becomes a talking point
Experts will discuss how the world's dialects are multiplying faster than ever before, along with other related topics, at Europe's major conference on dialect and society.

New quasar studies keep fundamental physical constant constant
New measurements of spectra of quasars, conducted using the UVES spectrograph on one of the unit telescopes of ESO's Very Large Telescope array, have provided the strongest astronomical constraints to date on the possible variation of the fine structure constant - the dimensionless number that determines the strength of interactions between charged particles and electromagnetic fields.

Heinz Maier-Leibnitz prizes 2004
This year the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is once again honouring six young researchers with the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize.

Software to organise your photos
Tell your computer about your holiday and it will label all your digital photos for you.

Space technologies aid solar-powered global flight bid
ESA's Technology Transfer Programme is to supply state-of-the-art technologies to assist adventurer Bertrand Piccard's flight around the world in a single-pilot solar-powered aircraft, as the ultimate demonstration of the potential for pollution-free flight.

Mayo Clinic researchers discover green tea component helps kill leukemia cells
Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered that a component in green tea helps kill cells of the most common leukemia in the United States.

As tax deadline approaches Americans say money is number one cause of stress
As Americans rush to file taxes by April 15, many name money as the number one factor that affects their stress level.

Ferns diversified in shadow of flowering plants
Belying the popular notion of ferns as delicate, lacy relics surmounted by the evolution of flowering plants, biologists have presented evidence for a much different scenario.

PNNL develops mercury-absorbing pollution solution
Scientists at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed a novel material that can remove mercury and other toxic substances from coal-burning power-plant waste water.

Geoscientists discuss river management issues and earthquake hazards this week in St. Louis
Geoscientists will gather April 1-2 in the St. Louis, MO, for the 38th annual meeting of the North-Central Section of the Geological Society of America.

Scientists seek cause for what makes good cell go bad
Research at the University of Chicago may help explain why identical cellular twins, although exposed to the same environment, will follow different cell fates.

Chatty finches
Max Planck Scientists and their American co-workers have identified a

Molecular midwives hold clues to the origin of life
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have discovered a crucial link in the early history of one of the molecules that makes life possible.

East African artifacts support evolution of symbolic thinking in Middle Stone Age
New finds from an open-air archaeological site in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania have intriguing implications for the evolution of modern human behavior, including further indications that symbolic thinking developed in humans earlier than the currently accepted date of about 35,000 years ago.

Latest cancer research features small molecule therapy, and the preventative benefits of sunshine
Among the latest breaking cancer research presented today scientists described a small molecule that locks into DNA structures, inhibiting the expression hard-to-target oncogenes.

Playing fair: U-M science students confront ethical dilemmas
Consider these ethical missteps: A microbiologist accidentally destroys samples of plague bacteria in his lab, but covers his blunder by reporting them missing, setting off a bioterrorism scare.

Gene-rich human Chromosome 19 sequence completed
The United States Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI) and Stanford University report today the completion of the sequencing of human Chromosome 19, the most gene-rich of all the human chromosomes.

GenVec, U.S. NMRC, and PATH's Malaria Vaccine Initiative partner to expand malaria vaccine efforts
GenVec, Inc. (Nasdaq:GNVC), PATH's Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI), and the U.S.

Offshoring study misses important issues
An offshoring study touting benefits to the United States on outsourcing high-wage jobs to lower-cost countries fails to address a number of important issues, according to IEEE-USA.

Chestnut trees to spread across landscape again, says Purdue scientist
A Purdue University researcher is working to restore the American chestnut, an important wildlife tree and timber resource that dominated the landscape from Maine to Mississippi before it was driven to near-extinction by a fungal disease introduced about 100 years ago.

Study: Ice forms a perfect crystal, becomes ferroelectric
Chemists at Ohio State and elsewhere may have settled a 70-year-old scientific debate on the fundamental nature of ice.

Embryonic stem cells induced to develop into bone marrow and blood cells
Researchers at Northwestern University have devised a method to induce embryonic stem cells to develop into bone marrow and blood cells.

NIAID vaccine protects against SARS virus infection in mice
An experimental vaccine prevents the SARS virus from replicating in laboratory mice, according to a new report in the April 1 issue of Nature.

Minerals are key to earthquakes deep in the Earth
A team of geologists can tell you more about earthquakes in

The Jekyll and Hyde of granular materials uncovered
Melbourne University scientists have had a major breakthrough in solving a problem that has baffled physicists for generations: how do you predict the behaviour of an inanimate object with a split personality?

Better predictors are needed for posttraumatic stress disorder in children
Clinicians seeking to predict which acutely traumatized children are in need of more extensive follow-up should not rely solely on assessment of acute stress disorder (ASD) as a diagnostic tool.

Carnegie Mellon University researchers create nanoparticles to clean up contaminated sites
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and the U.S. Department of Energy are developing
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