Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 10, 2004
Excess thyroid hormone harmful to fetus
University of Chicago researchers show, for the first time, that an excess of thyroid hormone during pregnancy has a direct toxic effect on the fetus, tripling the risk of miscarriage and reducing the average birth weight of infants who survive.

Varicella vaccine reduces contagiousness of chickenpox
Children and adolescents who have received the varicella (chickenpox) vaccine and contract varicella are about half as contagious as those who have not been vaccinated, according to a study in the August 11 issue of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Graduate student formidable foe for rice water weevil
Because of the work of graduate student Dr. Bandara Ratnayake, scientists may now be able to identify proteins that are toxic to the insect and develop genetically-altered rice varieties.

Geologists host tour of San Andreas Fault on Sept. 2nd
In a modern-day journey to the center of the Earth, geologists are exploring the structure and evolution of the North American continent at scales from hundreds of kilometers to less than a millimeter - from the structure of a continent, to individual faults, earthquakes and volcanoes.

Jefferson scientists find gene expression pattern may predict behavior of leukemia
The expression pattern of certain genes may someday help doctors to diagnose and predict whether or not an individual has an aggressive form of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), Jefferson cancer researchers have found.

Search and rescue group uses Sandia synthetic aperture radar
A radar, originally developed by the National Nuclear Security Administration's Sandia National Laboratories for military surveillance and reconnaissance applications, is helping a volunteer search and rescue group save lives.

Research details Bush's use of religion to sell war on terror, Iraq
An analysis of hundreds of administration speeches and articles in major newspapers reveals the frequent echoing of Bush's religious imagery by the mainstream press.

SAT, ACT & GRE test prep analysis reveals poor study habits
An analysis of the self-directed study behavior of 100,000 students who used the Internet to prepare for the SAT, ACT and GRE -- the largest sample of admissions test-takers ever studied -- shows that they start shortly before the test, neglect math and science, and prefer vocabulary drills and analogies to practicing questions on reading passages.

Old boys' clubs contribute to gender gap in IT
When it comes to understanding women's underrepresentation in the IT workforce, nature/nurture theories don't explain why some women successfully hold positions such as systems and Web developers, IT administrators, project managers and software architects, say Penn State researchers.

PNNL testing reliability of radiation detectors
A marathon of testing is under way at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to ensure that personal radiation detection equipment purchased with Department of Homeland Security funds meets new standards for identifying potential threats.

UCSD study reveals pediatricians overlook Kawasaki disease in extremes of pediatric age ranges
Researchers at the UCSD School of Medicine report in the August 10 issue of Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal that a significant number of pediatric physicians fail to diagnose Kawasaki disease in children younger than six months and older than eight years.

Children walk nearly as much as their grandparents did
The popular notion that all modern children are chauffeured around by their parents and never walk has been overturned by researchers at Lancaster University.

Early results show promise for strep vaccine
Preliminary results from a trial for a streptococcal vaccine indicate the vaccine appears likely to offer protection against streptococcal infections, according to a study in the August 11 issue of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Afghan sees opportunity in nation's recovery from war
The eighth World Renewable Energy Congress (WREC VIII) will provide a forum for energy suppliers and consumers, as well as governments, industry, academia and financial institutions to discuss the development of energy sources that are secure, sustainable, accessible and economically viable.

APS awards more than $36,000 to its 2004 undergraduate research fellows
The American Physiological Society (APS) is announces its 2004 Undergraduate Research Fellows.

It isn't a UFO, it's a space-age car
The world's fastest solar-powered car is being driven through Sweden and Norway.

Scientists help police bust forgers
Writing in the latest issue of the Institute of Physics journal, Journal of Optics A, the scientists announce a new technique that can detect forged handwriting better than ever before.

Water on Mars not easy to find, says Texas A&M researcher
Suspected large lakebeds that once were scattered on the planet Mars have not yet been found, say the research team that operated the twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity.

Physicists to mark 20th anniversary of first string theory revolution
Twenty years have passed since the first superstring revolution started in the Aspen Center for Physics in Colorado.

Scientists discover 'moving mountains'
University of Nevada, Reno researchers have for the first time recorded a cluster of nearly 1,600 small earthquakes 20 miles beneath Lake Tahoe ? the world's second-largest alpine lake.

Scientists identify compounds that mimic calorie restriction
Compounds that mimic the effects of a low calorie diet but without a change in the amount of essential nutrients has been identified by investigators from an international consortium of research institutes, including the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

AGU Journal highlights - 10 August 2004
In this edition: Daily temperature ranges track climate variability; Cause of New Zealand volcanism; Robotic aircraft can patrol the ocean; Validating the Earth's interior conditions; Amplifying seismic waves through the ground; Measuring airborne water-soluble carbon; Evolution of undersea tectonic plates; Volcanic motion could initiate tsunami waves; New Guinea Trench is active inter-plate boundary; Watching the Everglades flow from space.

Relays from Mars demonstrate international interplanetary networking
ESA's Mars Express has relayed pictures from one of NASA's Mars rovers for the first time, as part of a set of interplanetary networking demonstrations.

For Africa's valuable mahoganies, it's the soil, stupid
A study by a scientist from the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society has revealed how Africa's giant mahoganies, the ancient trees driving the tropical logging industry, require specialized, poorly understood soil conditions - results that could have huge implications on how Africa's tropical forests are managed.

Biomass and solar technologies lauded
Two technologies developed by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory are among this year's most significant innovations, as judged by Research & Development (R&D) Magazine.

Historians investigate when French shopping became seductive
Historians from the University of Warwick have won a grant of over £155,000 to investigate and catalogue trade cards and advertising in the 18th century.

Brain's reward circuitry revealed in procrastinating primates
Scientists have turned procrastinating primates into workaholics by temporarily suppressing a gene in a brain circuit involved in reward learning.

Excess levels of nitrogen, phosphorus linked to deformed frogs
A collaboration involving ecologists at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Wisconsin strongly points to farming practices and development, two factors that create a condition called eutrophication in ponds and wetlands, as the cause for deformed frogs.

Excess thyroid hormone associated with increased rates of miscarriage
High levels of thyroid hormone in pregnant women can have a direct toxic effect on fetal development, according to a study in the August 11 issue of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Listening in on the whispering heart
A new implantable device that could send an early-warning signal to your doctor before heart rhythm problems arise, may now be possible thanks to research described in the latest issue of the Institute of Physics journal, Physiological Measurement.

The telomere crisis: A crucial stage in breast cancer
New research demonstrates that telomere crisis is an important early event in the development of breast cancer, and its occurrence can be identified with precision.

Cincinnati Children's scientists develop new spine staples
Scientists at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have developed a

US corporations should stop being complicit in China's cyber censorship, journal editor says
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Detecting the spin of a single electron
University of California scientists working at Los Alamos National Laboratory and at the University of California, Los Angeles have demonstrated the ability to detect the spin of a single electron in a standard silicon transistor.
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