Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 04, 2004
Carnegie Mellon develops robot that successfully explored gas mains in NY
Carnegie Mellon University robotics researchers, in conjunction with the Northeast Gas Ass'n, DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory and NASA, have developed a remote-controlled, untethered, wireless prototype crawling robot, designed to inspect underground gas mains.

Education, monitoring vital for sport-fish eaters
Men and women who routinely eat Great Lakes fish should pay attention to fish advisories and make appropriate species selection, especially if they are of reproductive age, says a U of T researcher.

Combination of erection pill and testosterone gel may benefit men who fail treatment with pill alone
For men with erectile dysfunction and low testosterone who do not respond to Viagra® (sildenafil) alone, the supplemental use of AndroGel®(testosterone gel) improves erectile function and overall sexual satisfaction, according to a New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center study.

Motion control software plays an increasingly significant role in the industrial automation sector
The growing tendency to use motion control software in the robotics automation sector has created a demand for software packages that include a wide variety of features such as human machine interface, logic and motion control, and communications.

Goals unlikely to protect Gulf of Mexico shrimp industry
Research from the University of Michigan shows that the current federal plan to reduce the

New research calls for schools to be more aware of head injuries
New research from the University of Warwick examining return to school and classroom performance following head injury reveals that teachers are often unaware of the injury and that children only very rarely receive specialist help, despite having attention and memory problems.

Study shows how consensus is attained in a noisy world
Seventy thousand people gathered in Leipzig, East Germany, on Oct.

Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder where you are
Whether viewed dimly through the haze and lights of a city or in all their glory in a pristine wilderness, the stars that surround the Earth are magnificent, and one day Earthlings will travel to some of the new planets that astronomers are locating.

Computer imaging of Archeopteryx skull suggests this dinosaur-bird link could fly
Detailed images of the fossilized skull of an Archeopteryx animal by scientists at The University of Texas at Austin and elsewhere provide strong evidence that the bird predecessor could handle flight maneuvers.

Genes may be central to cocaine addiction
Two related genes that help control signaling between brain cells may be central components of the biological machinery that causes cocaine addiction, researchers have found.

Molecular therapeutics advance fight against brain cancer
An estimated 41,000 new cases of primary brain tumors are expected to be diagnosed in 2004, according to the American Brain Tumor Association.

Protein vaccine fully protects mice from lethal aerosol challenge with ricin toxin
Scientists at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases have developed an experimental vaccine against ricin, a potential biological threat agent, which fully protected mice from aerosol challenge with lethal doses of the toxin.

Dispute over life in Antarctic lake
Controversy has erupted over Lake Vostok, which lies deep beneath the Antarctic ice.

Hearing where it's at: How humans and gerbils learn to locate sound
Humans behave like small mammals when tracing the source of a low-pitched sound, according to a study funded by the Medical Research Council at University College London.

Symptoms of foodborne botulism may help predict fatality
The extreme toxicity of botulism makes it a potentially lethal type of food poisoning - and a possible agent of bioterrorist attack.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
Highlights for the Journal of Neuroscience include: Multiple sites of adaptive plasticity in the owl's auditory localization pathway, and putting fear in its place: remapping of hippocampal place cells during fear conditioning.

Primary care doctors who treat blacks may be less able to provide high quality care
If you are a black Medicare patient in the United States, you are more likely than a white Medicare patient to be treated by a primary care physician who reports being unable to provide consistently high-quality medical care to all patients.

Early clinical treatment can halt progression of Alzheimer's disease, UCI researchers find
UC Irvine neurobiologists have provided the first evidence that early clinical treatment of brain lesions can halt the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

Outcome for acute lymphoblastic leukemia linked to gene expression patterns
A relatively small number of genes are linked to either resistance or sensitivity to four major cancer drugs used to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), suggesting that these genes are key to treatment outcome.

Study explains spatial orientation differences between sexes
A University of Toronto researcher has found that differences between men and women in determining spatial orientation may be the result of inner ear size.

Case Western Reserve's Flight Nursing Academy holds camp for nurses in air medical services
With today's terrorism concerns surrounding the Summer Olympics in Greece and threat of terrorism on American soil, as well as worrisome health-related events of recent years such as SARS, West Nile virus and the anthrax scare, the need to diagnose and initiate advanced treatment for disaster victims as quickly as possible - often at the scene of the disaster - has never been greater.

Manatee population rising in some regions, likely stalled or declining in others
Manatee populations are growing at healthy rates in two of four regions off Florida's coast, but may be stalled or declining in the remaining regions, according to a recently released report by the U.S.

Wartime spitfire strain test monitors stress on key heart artery - aortic aneurysm
Researchers at the University of Warwick have found a way of using a test devised in the 1930s, and used to gauge the stress on the superchargers in wartime spitfire fighter planes, to model the stress that surgical procedures would put on an aortic aneurysm.

Aug. 11 symposium on war US nuclear strategy after the Cold War
The National Academy of Sciences' Committee on International Security and Arms Control will host a public symposium to discuss how the United States should manage its nuclear arsenal in the post-Cold War world.

Physics World Digest August 2004: Eye surgery sharpens up
In August's Physics World, physicists have devised a new way to map the cornea that could improve the accuracy of laser eye surgery.

New discovery may help transplants survive
For the first time scientists have found that a growth factor called vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-3 (VEGFR-3), known to cause the growth of lymphatic vessels in the body, controls how immune cells traffic (move) within the eye and also stimulates the immune system to reject corneal transplants--the most common type of transplantation performed.

Einstein gets a surfing lesson at UK's biggest surf festival
At 11am on 6 August, Albert Einstein will get a lesson in surfing from one of the UK's top professional surfers at the Rip Curl Boardmasters, the UK's biggest free lifestyle sports festival and the only UK leg of professional surfing's World Qualifying Tour.

Immune therapy 'untangles' Alzheimer's disease
An immune-based therapy against Alzheimer's disease (AD) not only removes the protein that causes the brain-clogging plaques in the disease, researchers have found.

NHGRI adds 18 organisms to sequencing pipeline
As part of its ongoing effort to enhance understanding of the human genome, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), one of the National Institutes of Health, announced today that the Large-Scale Sequencing Research Network has received the green light to begin sequencing 18 strategically selected organisms, including the orangutan, African savannah elephant and domestic cat.

Depression traced to overactive brain circuit
A brain imaging study finds that an emotion-regulating brain circuit is overactive in people prone to depression - even when they are not depressed.

Protein loss plays role in acute T-cell leukemia
The loss of a key protein (Smad3) in a pathway that helps prevent tumors from forming is specific to one form of childhood leukemia, but not to other pediatric and adult forms of leukemia, according to a new study published in the August 5, 2004, New England Journal of Medicine*.

Free antiretroviral drugs cut Taiwan's HIV transmission rate in half
A government policy of providing HIV-infected citizens with free access to potent regimens of antiretroviral drugs reduced the rate of HIV transmission by 53% in Taiwan, according to a study in the August 15 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, now available online.

Study suggests humans can speed evolution
It's no secret that life in the 21st century moves at a rapid pace.

Oldest evidence for processing of wild cereals: starch grains from barley, wheat, on grinding stone
Evidence presented in the journal Nature (August 5, 2004), by archaeologists from the Smithsonian Institution, Harvard University and the University of Haifa, pushes back the date for the processing of close wild relatives of domesticated wheat and barley--a key step in cultural development-- to 23,000 years before the present era.

UC Riverside researcher takes snapshots of the movement of molecules in a billionth of a second
A team of researchers including University of California, Riverside Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Ludwig Bartels has developed a technique to take extremely fast snapshots of molecular and atomic movement.

New survey reveals insights into unique relationship between mothers and pediatricians
Results of a new survey released today by iVillage reveal insights into how moms select and interact with their baby's pediatrician.

HFES 48th Annual Meeting highlights innovative human factors/ergonomics work
The technical program is set for the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society's 48th Annual Meeting.

Group dynamics
Every family unit is a complex social network influenced by numerous inputs.

Endangered turtles' trek along ocean currents revealed by satellite
The Atlantic shoreline of French Guiana -- the site where Europe's spacecraft is launched into orbit -- is also the starting point for another remarkable journey: The epic migration of the critically endangered leatherback turtle. 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