Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 23, 2004
Coast-mapping satellites will follow the tides
Satellite image acquisitions will be synchronised with the tides as part of an ambitious new project to map coastlines from space.

Study findings question claims of significant savings from pharmacy dose consolidation programs
Previously published research suggests that programs encouraging physicians to prescribe once-daily strength tablets instead of two lower-strength tablets when the cost is the same, would save money.

Florida Tech earns $50,000 grant to create coral database
Florida Tech faculty have earned a $50,000 grant from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to set up a Coral Database (CoralData) node for the southeast region of the U.S.

Eating more soy-rich foods could reduce spread of breast cancer - UU research
Eating more soy-rich foods could reduce the spread of breast cancer - a new study from the University of Ulster has revealed.

Nathaniel Fisch, Princeton University Professor and PPPL scientist, wins E.O. Lawrence Award
Nathaniel Fisch, a Princeton University professor and a scientist at the U.S.

ESA gives green light to funding for GMES
ESA's Earth Observation Programme Board met at the Eden Project in Cornwall on 21 and 22 September.

New fossil sheds light on old mystery
The well-preserved fossil of a newly discovered reptile species may explain the function of the extremely long neck for which some protorosaurs are known - a feature that has puzzled scientists for decades.

Strong quake could trigger a tsunami in Southern California, USC researchers report
A team of geophysicists from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering warns that a strong enough jolt off the coast of Southern California could trigger a tsunami.

Older Mexican-born Hispanics return to Mexico when ill, inflating US life expectancy rates
For almost two decades, demographers have puzzled over why U.S.

Researchers ID chlorophyll-regulating gene
UC Berkeley researchers have found that a gene called phytochrome-interacting factor 1, or PIF1, affects the production of protochlorophyll, a precursor of the chlorophyll used by plants to convert the sun's energy into food during photosynthesis.

Groundbreaking research could ignite new solutions to heat transfer in nano-devices
For the first time, an innovative research technique successfully completed a detailed measurement of how heat energy is created at the molecular level, an approach that could have far reaching implications for developing nano-devices.

Experiment station partnering with federal agencies in conservation study
Texas Agricultural Experiment Station scientists are working cooperatively with several federal agencies in assessing the effectiveness of federally funded conservation initiatives as part of the 2002 Farm Bill.

Asia must tackle HIV in injecting drug users
Asian countries must adopt strategies to slow the spread of HIV among injecting drug users, urge researchers in this week's BMJ.

New hydrothermal vents discovered as 'South Pacific Odyssey' research begins
A team of 27 U.S. marine scientists beginning an intensive 2-year program of exploration at the Lau Basin in the South Pacific has discovered a new cluster of hydrothermal vents along a volcanically active crack in the seafloor.

At molecular scale, vibrational couplings define heat conduction
Too much heat can destroy a sturdy automobile engine or a miniature microchip.

Columbia U receives $4.2 M grant to increase ranks of women in sciences
NSF Awards major grant to The Earth Institute at Columbia University to implement necessary tools encouraging women to advance in science careers.

A long-necked sea predator from China described in Science
Scientists have discovered a long-necked sea reptile with fangs that probably preyed on fish and squid in a shallow sea in present-day southeast China more than 230 million years ago.

Penn State part of $7.9 million multi-institution project to study restless legs syndrome
A multi-institution research team including three Penn State scientists recently was awarded a $7.9 million grant from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health to study the causes of and effectiveness of iron therapies to treat restless legs syndrome (RLS).

Females may be more susceptible to overindulge 'sweet tooth' cravings than males
New research shows that there may be a physiological disposition in females to overindulge in sweets.

Master of antimalarial resistance
The malaria gene pfcrt may be a

Anthrax enzyme images reveal secrets of antibiotic resistance, suggest new drug design
Computer-generated images of a crucial anthrax bacterium enzyme are helping to solve the mystery of how slight mutations in the shape of this protein can make it resistant to the antibiotics called sulfa drugs.

University of Alberta researcher looks for clues to mysterious disease
Few have heard of the degenerative, deadly disease called Ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) but a University of Alberta researcher is hoping to provide clues to this mysterious disorder.

Pollutant causes delayed flowering in plants
Biologists have discovered that the air pollutant nitric oxide acts as a plant hormone to delay flowering in plants.

Optics meeting tips: Internal fingerprints, no cell left behind, 3-D reality
The Frontiers in Optics 2004/Laser Science XX meeting, the premier annual gathering place for members of the Optical Society of America, will take place October 10-14, 2004 at the Rochester Convention Center in Rochester, NY.

2004 Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge winners
The winners of the 2004 Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge, held jointly by NSF and AAAS, are announced.

British scientists zero in on the birth of the universe
British scientists from the University of Cambridge and the University of Exeter discovered that the evolution of the Universe was much slower than previously thought.

WTO and the challenges for trade-led growth
A new study by the World Institute for Development Economics Research of the United Nations University (UNU-WIDER),

Americans had strong need for spiritual support following 9/11 attacks
Americans had a strong need for spiritual support and a positive outlook in coping with the aftermath of the terrorists attacks and a new study also found what appears to be a potential spiritual-psychological pathway linking the so-called faith factor with post-crisis mental health.

New structure found deep within West Antarctic Ice Sheet
Scientists have found a remarkable new structure deep within the West Antarctic Ice Sheet which suggests that the whole ice sheet is more susceptible to future change than previously thought.

Computer scientists develop wireless system to monitor volcanoes
A rumbling South American volcano has gone wireless: Computer scientists at Harvard University have teamed up with seismologists at the University of New Hampshire and University of North Carolina to fit an Ecuadorian peak with a wireless array to monitor volcanic activity.

Brain's 'storehouse' for memory molecules identified
Neurobiologists have pinpointed the molecular storehouse that supplies the neurotransmitter receptor proteins used for learning-related changes in the brain.

Dogs can 'smell' bladder cancer
Dogs can be trained to detect bladder cancer by 'smelling' urine, concludes new research published in this week's BMJ.

Fathers less likely to live with infants in poor health
A study of mainly unwed, U.S. urban parents finds that fathers of infants in poor health are less likely to be living with the child's mother following the child's first birthday than fathers of healthy children.

Increased suicide risk from low birthweight babies and those born to teenage mothers
Results of a prospective population study from Sweden in this week's issue of The Lancet highlight how low birthweight and being born to a teenage mother are independent risk factors associated with increased risk of suicide in later life.

Low doses of a common intravenous anesthetic may relieve debilitating pain syndrome
Limited, low-dose infusions of a widely used anesthetic drug may relieve the often intolerable and debilitating pain of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), a Penn State Milton S.

Twice daily imatinib could improve outcome for people with specific form of gastro-intestinal cancer
Results of a randomised trial in this week's issue of The Lancet suggest that a single daily 400 mg dose of imatinib--known to be a first-choice treatment for gastro-intestinal stromal tumours (GIST)--is sufficient to induce a therapeutic response; a doubling of a daily dose can slightly improve progression-free survival for patients.

Up to 6.5 million US women could benefit from new heart health advance
The first, integrated data analysis from multiple clinical trials to focus exclusively on the benefits of the Sirolimus-eluting Coronary Stent in women shows that female patients who received the CYPHER® Stent are five times more likely to avoid a repeat reblockage in the treated arteries than women treated with bare metal stents.

Enzyme maintaining chromosome ends is linked to bone cancer recurrence, decreased survival
Children with the bone tumor osteosarcoma are more likely to experience a recurrence of the cancer after treatment and less likely to survive if the cancer cells are expressing the telomerase gene.

Physiotherapy no better than advice for back pain
Routine physiotherapy for mild to moderate low back pain is no more effective than a single advice session with a physiotherapist, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

K-State sociology professor studies girls in the juvenile justice system
The needs of girls and girls' experiences have been pretty much ignored in the juvenile justice system.

A fishy change in diet
New McGill research suggests that a common freshwater fish, the yellow perch, is moving away from its traditional diet to one that is less nutritious and potentially poisonous.

NSF, AAAS announce winners of 2004 Visualization contest
Judges have named 11 winners in the 2004 International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge, an annual international competition created to recognize outstanding achievement in use of graphics media to illustrate research processes and results.

Two views on suicide risk with antidepressants
The recent FDA proposal to force antidepressants to carry warnings about increased suicide risk is the subject of a pair of articles by leading experts in The Annals of Pharmacotherapy.

No role for simian virus 40 in human pleural mesotheliomas
Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer of the chest cavity that kills about 2000 people a year in the United States.

Flexible pain relief with morphine-free poppy
A handful of genes in a morphine free poppy could hold the key to producing improved pain management pharmaceuticals.

'Gene chips' research in cotton could lead to superior variety
A technology that uses

Keep genome data freely accessible
This week's lead editorial discusses the benefits and potential risks of allowing genomic information to be freely available on the internet--and supports the recent report by the US National Research Council recommending that such information should remain freely accessible to all.

Successful birth to woman with re-implanted ovarian tissue after infertility from chemotherapy
A 32-year-old Belgian woman has given birth to a healthy baby 7 years after banking her ovarian tissue before starting chemotherapy for Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Oral amoxicillin could be future treatment for children with pneumonia in developing countries
Pneumonia--one of the world's deadliest diseases for young children in developing countries--could be treatable by the oral antibiotic amoxicillin rather than injectable penicillin, with implications for better health outcomes and reduced costs, conclude authors of an international study in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Brown research reveals key insight into memory-making
Brain cells in the hippocampus make new long-term memories using a synapse-strengthening process called long-term potentiation, or LTP.
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