Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 01, 2004
Tree-Ring Laboratory receives $5.5 million to study climate dynamics
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded the Tree-Ring Laboratory of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO), Columbia University, a $5.5 million grant to study one of the largest climate systems affecting the globe--Asian monsoons.

Beware cancer, insomnia and liver disease - UH students are taking aim
Targeting a range of diseases and disorders, three University of Houston students won awards at the Intercultural Cancer Council 9th Biennial Symposium on Minorities, the Medically Undeserved and Cancer for their research in liver disease, cancer and insomnia.

Atherosclerosis treatment needs to go with the flow
Arterial branch points are common blocked in atherosclerotic disease. The optimal treatment, opening the main branch, the side branch, or both, remains uncertain.

New theory finds middle ground between conflicting evidence for first stars
The very first stars that formed early in the history of the universe were smaller than the massive giants implied by the results of a NASA research satellite, but still larger than the typical stars found in our galaxy today, according to a research team led by the University of Chicago's Jason Tumlinson.

NASA researchers customize 'lab-on-a-chip' technology
Labs on chips may help protect space explorers, find life on Mars.

'Controlling light with light': Making optics history at Stevens
Dr. Rainer Martini and post-doc Robert Murawski have taken a mid-infrared laser beam, illuminated it directly with a near-infrared fiber-optic laser diode, and switched a message from one beam to the other.

Handwashing program decreases incidence of diarrhea among children in Pakistan
An intensive program of handwashing education and promotion in Pakistan decreased the incidence of diarrhea by more than 50 percent among children, according to a study in the June 2 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), a theme issue on Global Health.

Spartans go to the Olympics - not on the field, but with the field
MSU know-how is bringing a little myth-like magic to the summer games.

UCLA/UC Santa Cruz study offers new perspectives on NCAA coaching legend John Wooden
A study by researchers at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and UC Santa Cruz reveals the daily, detailed and deliberate planning behind the unprecedented coaching success of UCLA basketball legend John Wooden, who led teams to an unprecedented 10 NCAA championships.

Stem cells can convert to liver tissue, help restore damaged organ
Bone marrow stem cells, when exposed to damaged liver tissue, can quickly convert into healthy liver cells and help repair the damaged organ, according to new research from the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

Study explores link between depression, anxiety and asthma in Puerto Rican children
Parents of Puerto Rican children are more likely than parents in other ethnic groups to report asthma among their children, and researchers wonder if the relationship between asthma symptoms and psychological problems may explain why.

Neighborhoods may influence whether residents have asthma
Along with the usual risk factors for asthma such as smoking and poverty, researchers have added another factor that may contribute: a neighborhood where people live in fear.

Tufts researchers identify a novel target for cancer therapy
Tufts University researchers and colleagues have discovered an extracellular form of heat shock protein 90 (hsp90) and shown its role in cancer invasion.

'Reduced exposure' tobacco products lessen carcinogen exposure, but medicinal nicotine better
Smokers and other tobacco users who switch to

Articles on remote sensing in ecology published in BioScience
Six articles published in a Special Section in the June 2004 issue of BioScience, the journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), assess remote sensing techniques that are now being used--or have potential for use--in ecological studies of landscapes, regions, and the entire globe.

Variations in DNA repair genes may predict survival in non-small cell lung cancer patients
Genetic variations in an individual's ability to repair DNA damage may help predict survival in lung cancer patients treated with the common chemotherapy drugs cisplatin or carboplatin, a new study shows.

Cream may ward off jellyfish stings, Stanford study suggests
Two dozen volunteers bravely exposed their arms to jellyfish tentacles as part of a new Stanford University School of Medicine study to test a topical, over-the-counter cream designed to protect against stinging nettles.

Chess masters are quick on the trigger
Chess is typically envisioned as a game of concentration and deliberation, a game not to be taken lightly and a game definitely not to be rushed.

The skinny on diagnosing skin disease
Lichen sclerosus is a common, autoimmune skin disorder that is often misdiagnosed as signs of abuse in young children and as lichen planus in adults.

Challenges to worldview trigger distress and revenge
The September 11 terrorist attacks demonstrated, for many people, that the world is not fair.

International research conferences at the Villa Vigoni
DFG funds networking between German, French and Italian researchers in the humanities and social sciences - first proposals already approved

Other Highlights in the June 2 JNCI
Other highlights in the June 2 JNCI include a study that proposes a new biomarker for prostate cancer, an investigation of a more effective method of gene silencing, an evaluation of the new AJCC breast cancer staging system, a study that proposes a new mechanism for estrogen's ability to promote breast cancer, and an evaluation of zoledronic acid in the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer.

Chronic diseases need global health attention
The rising global burden of chronic diseases needs a coordinated effort from policy makers, advocates and health professionals, according to a special communication in the June 2 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), a theme issue on Global Health.

Cells from fat tissue turned into functional nerve cells
Two years after transforming human fat cells into what appeared to be nerve cells, a group led by Duke University Medical Center researchers has gone one step further by demonstrating that these new cells also appear to act like nerve cells.

Flavonoid-rich dark chocolate boosts blood vessel function, study suggests
UCSF scientists are publishing sweet results of a study examining chocolate's effects on blood vessel function in healthy people.

Concerns remain about UVB damage to amphibians
The exposure of amphibians to damaging levels of ultraviolet-B radiation in sunlight is likely a significant part of global amphibian declines, researchers say, despite some recent suggestions to the contrary and a scientific controversy about what role UV-B actually plays in this crisis.

RNAi delivery system crosses blood-brain barrier to target brain cancer
Researchers have combined novel molecular targeting technologies to deliver gene-silencing therapy specifically to tumor cells shielded by a normally impermeable obstacle, the blood brain barrier.

Expressing yourself isn't always ideal
For years, the advice of psychologists and mothers alike has been to express your emotions in order to achieve a balanced mental state.

D-dimer test may eliminate need for 60% of CT angiograms of the lungs
The use of a D-dimer test as the first step in the diagnosis of blood clots in the lungs could eliminate the need for up to 60% of all CT angiograms of the lungs, says a new study by researchers from the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Honolulu, HI.

Read my lips: UCL launches centre for human communication
Deaf people may one day be lip-reading their telephone calls, thanks to one of many projects at UCL's new Centre for Human Communication, opening on Friday 4th June 2004.

New CT-based classification proposed for acetabular fractures
A new classification for acetabular fractures using CT has been developed that is simple, unambiguous, readily understood by both radiologists and orthopedic surgeons, and provides clear direction for both diagnosis and surgical planning, says a new study by researchers from the University of Texas-Houston Medical School.

Virtual reality program to teach doctors, therapists about human back problems
Virtual reality conjures up images of video games - dizzying flights on simulated jets or auto races at death-defying speeds.

17th century solar oddity believed linked to global cooling is rare among nearby stars
A dip in the sun's activity during the 17th century, what is now called the Maunder minimum, has been linked to a lengthy cold spell during the same period, leading astronomers to look for stellar analogs of this solar funk.

Folds at surface show ancient seismic stresses still at work in Washington
Scientists know that tectonic stresses have left dips and folds deep within the Earth's crust across a large swath of the Puget Sound region called the Seattle uplift.

Umbilical cord blood transplants, bone marrow transplants save lives
Patients unable to find a matching bone marrow donor may have an alternative with umbilical cord blood transplantation.

Engineers visualize electric memory as it fades
While the memory inside electronic devices may often be more reliable than that of humans, it, too, can worsen over time.

Incentive-based intervention with nutritional component improves health status of children in Mexico
An incentive-based program that now reaches 4.5 million families in Mexico is associated with lowering the rate of anemia and improving growth in low-income, rural infants and children, according to a study in the June 2 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), a theme issue on Global Health.

After natural disasters, the risk of infection, epidemics from dead bodies is negligible
Worries that dead bodies will produce widespread infection following a natural disaster are unjustified and often lead to mistreatment of the bodies that unnecessarily adds to the suffering of the surviving friends and family members of victims, according to a peer-reviewed scientific article that provides the first-ever comprehensive review of this subject.

K-State researchers share $1 million grant to study insect pests
Researchers at Kansas State University and in Germany have received a four-year, $1 million award from the U.S.

Micro-satellite steers by the stars to return views of Earth
Since its launch in October 2001, ESA's Proba micro-satellite has been returning remarkable imagery of some of our planet's major landmarks with a compact instrument called the High Resolution Camera.

Nanosphere announces genetic detection advance in Nature Biotechnology
Nanosphere Inc. today announced researchers have developed a colorimetric detection capability for its nanoparticle-based molecular detection systems that will further simplify the identification of genomic DNA, RNA and protein targets without the need for traditional signal or target amplification.

Affirmative Action gets an affirmative
When colleges advertise, they often use racial diversity as a selling point.

Water: Key to a healthy country
One of the largest water research partnerships in Australian history, the Water for a Healthy Country National Research Flagship, was launched in Canberra today by the Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson.

Study: Business people win when they apologize, take personal blame for mistakes
Love means never having to say you're sorry - but a new study suggests that attitude won't fly in the business world.

World mental health surveys find mental disorders highly prevalent and often untreated
Reallocation of treatment resources could substantially decrease the problem of unmet need for treatment of mental disorders among serious cases in developed and developing countries, according to the findings from the World Health Organization (WHO) World Mental Health Surveys published in the June 2 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), a theme issue on Global Health.

Study measures risks of exclusive pipe smoking
Exclusive pipe smoking carries approximately the same risk of tobacco-associated disease as cigar smoking, according to a new study that is published in the June 2 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Bringing the Martian landscape to the silver screen
Features of the Martian landscape come to three-dimensional life for faculty and students when they don their 3-D glasses and step into the Visualization Laboratory at Northwestern University.

Yo-yo dieting may have a long-term negative effect on immune function
Yo-yo dieting may have a lasting negative impact on immune function.

With fat, women have a more visceral response
There is a close relationship between abdominal fat and metabolic disease, but how this relationship is translated into biological effect remains uncertain.

Study finds no association between marijuana use and incidence of oral cancer
Contrary to previous research findings that have suggested a link, marijuana use does not appear to be associated with an increased risk of developing oral cancer.

Joseph M. Grogan selected as Tau Beta Pi Fellow 2004-2005
A 2004 graduate of Stevens Institute of Technology, Joseph M.

Seeing stars and a lot more: Photos of nearby galaxy open new era of discovery
Like nosy neighbors, astronomers are spying on one of the nearest galaxies to our Milky Way in search of clues to how our own galaxy and others are born, live and die.

$5.5 million awarded to tree-ring research and climate studies
Columbia University will apply the science of tree-ring analysis to key quesitons regarding the processes that drive one of the most important climate systems on Earth--Asian Monsoons

Scanning blood flow during operations
New imaging techniques allow surgeons to monitor patterns of blood flow around vital organs during life saving operations.

Two dinosaurs from Africa give clues to continents' split
The fossil skull of a wrinkle-faced, meat-eating dinosaur whose cousins lived as far away as South America and India has emerged from the African Sahara, discovered by a team led by University of Chicago paleontologist Paul Sereno.

Jefferson Lab completes 100th experiment
The experiment, titled

Male and female smokers have similar lung cancer risk
It has been claimed that the risk of getting lung cancer is greater in female cigarette smokers than in male cigarette smokers.

Highlights of June Journal of the American Dietetic Association
The June 2004 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association contains articles and research studies you may find of interest.

June 2004 Ophthalmology Journal
Studies from the June 2004 issue of Ophthalmology, the clinical journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, are now available.

GOODS uncovers hidden black holes in the distant universe
Images from NASA's new Spitzer Space Telescope have allowed researchers to detect the long sought population of

The Venus Transit - One week to go!
The international VT-2004 public educational programme is heading for the Day of the Transit, with more than 1100 observing teams on all continents already registered with the VT-2004 Observing Campaign.

Beneficiaries with chronic conditions still face high costs under new Medicare drug law
The new Medicare prescription drug law will provide much-needed help to many, especially beneficiaries with low incomes, but it's unclear whether most patients will benefit in the long run, a new Commonwealth Fund report says. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to