Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 12, 2005
Information fusion research simulates disasters to manage emergency response
Improving how decision-makers respond in the minutes and hours that follow the first reports of a natural disaster like the recent tsunami or a manmade incident, such as a chemical accident or a terrorist attack, is the focus of a research project at the University at Buffalo's Center for Multisource Information Fusion.

Giant robot helps prevent landslides
Fighting landslides is dangerous work, but help from space is on its way.

January Geology and GSA Today media highlights
Topics include: new insights into conditions during the Neoproterozoic and Cryogenian; evidence challenging a widely used method for dating rocks; mathematical descriptions of sand ripples that may aid understanding of water flow on planetary surfaces; and evidence questioning whether Akilia Island's metamorphic rocks really contain Earth's earliest signs of life.

Major Caribbean earthquakes and tsunamis a real risk
A dozen major earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 or greater have occurred in the Caribbean near Puerto Rico, the U.S.

IODP partner announces urgent study in Sumatra
The Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) announced that it will conduct an urgent study of the large-scale earthquake which occurred off the coast of Sumatra in Indonesia on December 26, 2004.

Computer analysis says painter Hockney 'was wrong'
Next week, an American physicist and art historian will present computer analysis of a 17th-century painting which, he says, undermines a theory recently put forward by the painter David Hockney.

Rotary blood pump shows promise for pediatric patients
Ventricular assist devices (VADs), blood pumps used in heart failure situations, now have the potential for use in additional patient groups.

Complementary and alternative therapies and conventional medical therapies
Stating that health care should strive to be both comprehensive and evidence-based, a new report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies calls for conventional medical treatments and complementary and alternative treatments to be held to the same standards for demonstrating clinical effectiveness.

Researchers develop way to track quality of home health care
University of Michigan researchers are part of a team that has developed a new tool to assess the quality of home health care, with the goal of improving care and providing meaningful feedback about the care.

Weill Cornell team develops fast-acting anthrax vaccine
Using gene transfer technology, investigators were able to immunize mice against anthrax in just 12 hours, according to new research featured in the February 2005 issue of Molecular Therapy, the peer-reviewed scientific journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy (ASGT).

Complementary & alternative medicine use
In a comparison of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use by adults in 1997 and 2002, researchers from Harvard Medical School found more than one in three US adults (36.5 and 35.0 percent, respectively) used at least one form of CAM.

University of Pittsburgh receives award to study new theory of breast cancer development
The University of Pittsburgh has been awarded a $3.6 million Era of Hope Award by the US Department of Defense for a project on a new and potentially important target for breast cancer therapy - tumor stem cells.

Graphic video simulation of Indian Ocean tsunami
Cornell University researchers have created a video simulation of the Dec.

NYU physicist isolates first source
Professor Glennys R. Farrar, a physicist at New York University, today announced that, for the first time, a source of ultra-high energy cosmic rays has been isolated and studied, a major breakthrough in the field.

Hubble finds infant stars in neighbouring galaxy
Hubble astronomers have uncovered, for the first time, a population of infant stars in the Milky Way satellite galaxy, the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC, visible to the naked eye in the southern constellation Tucana), located 210,000 light-years away.

Enjoy naturally nutrient-rich foods for better health
The United States Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) today released the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans - science-based dietary guidance that is updated every five years by the government.

Reduced calorie and carbohydrate diet slows progression of Alzheimer's disease in mouse model
Researchers found that a low carbohydrate diet that reduced total caloric intake by 30% prevented the development of a fundamental feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD) in mice genetically engineered to develop the disease.

Astronomers take revealing peek at star factory
Astronomers have taken an unprecedented peek at Orion and come away with observations that may lead to enhanced knowledge of how interstellar dust absorbs and scatters ultraviolet starlight.

Added sugar displaces food groups lowering quality of preschooler diets
American preschoolers get about 14 to 17 teaspoons of added sugar a day, on average, mostly from fruit-flavored drinks, high-fat desserts and cola-type soft drinks which displace the grain, vegetable, fruit and dairy food groups and lower the quality of their diet, a Penn State study has shown.

New view of distant colliding galaxies captured by Keck laser system
For the first time, astronomers have combined the deepest optical images of the universe, obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope, with equally sharp images in the near-infrared part of the spectrum using a sophisticated new laser guide star system for adaptive optics at the Keck Observatory.

Dietary Guidelines Alliance offers tools to help consumers understand new nutrition guidance
The United States Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA) today released the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Is it all in the mind or is it a medical condition?
Leading psychiatrists and medical authorities in the field of sexual medicine are set to debate the topic: Premature Ejaculation - Psychological Therapy is preferable to Medical Therapy.

New drug may aid battle against nicotine addiction, Alzheimer's and other disorders
Along with aiding efforts to study addicted smokers, a new drug that attaches only to areas of the brain that have been implicated in nicotine addiction may help studies of people battling other disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia.

Leading researchers in allergic disease to gather for 2005 AAAAI Annual Meeting
The world's leading researchers in allergic disease will gather in San Antonio, March 18-22, 2005, for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology's (AAAAI's) 2005 Annual Meeting.

If you suffer from pain, your doctor should consider it a disease
Chronic and recurrent pain is a disease, not just a symptom, according to the European Federation of IASP (International Association for the Study of Pain) Chapters (EFIC).

In Nature paper, scientists at U.Va. health system crack part of 'histone' code
Researchers at the University of Virginia Health System have unraveled one mystery about what histones accomplish in the complex chemical cascade that determines the function of a cell in the body.

Dwarf galaxy has giant surprise
An Indiana University astronomer studying small irregular galaxies has discovered a remarkable feature in one of them that may provide key clues to understanding how galaxies form and the relationship between the gas and the stars within galaxies.

Mathematician William Thurston wins AMS Book Prize
William P. Thurston, professor of mathematics at Cornell University and a world-famous topologist, is the winner of the 2005 Book Prize from the American Mathematical Society for

New image sensor will show what the eyes see, and a camera cannot
Researchers are developing new technologies that may give robots the visual-sensing edge they need to monitor dimly lit airports, pilot vehicles in extreme weather and direct unmanned combat vehicles.

NREL releases new version of energy evaluation software
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently released Version 2.1 of HOMER, a micropower optimization software model that simplifies the task of evaluating design options for both off-grid and grid-connected power systems.

Carbon nanotube 'shock absorbers' excel at dampening vibration
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a novel carbon-nanotube-based material that chokes vibration and may have applications for both large and small devices.
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