Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 26, 2005
Researchers discover way to make cells in the eye sensitive to light
Researchers have discovered a way to make light sensitive cells in the eye by switching on a single gene.

XML-based language formats checklists for IT security
To make it easier to measure the security of an information technology product or system, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Security Agency (NSA) have developed a common specification language--Extensible Configuration Checklist Description Format (XCCDF)--for writing security checklists and related documents.

Brown scientists uncover inner workings of rare eye cells
Three years ago, Brown University researchers discovered new eye cells - indeed a parallel visual system.

Lab experiments mimic a star's energy bursts
A key process that enhances the production of nuclear energy in the interior of dense stars has been re-created in the laboratory for the first time by physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Study sheds light on cross-species infection for BSE
A study published early online by The Lancet provides an estimate of the compared efficiency of oral transmission of BSE to cattle and to man.

Caution urged for switch to internet phones
Federal agencies and other organizations that are considering switching their telephone systems to Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) should proceed with caution and carefully consider the security risks, says a recent report* by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Media fellowship on autism available at Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University encourages active journalists to apply to attend its Council for the Advancement and Support of Education media fellowship,

Mayo Clinic researchers identify new form of muscular dystrophy in adults
Mayo Clinic researchers have identified a previously unknown form of muscular dystrophy, a group of genetic diseases characterized by progressive weakness and muscle degeneration.

UCSD engineering faculty members brief industry partners at CNS Research Review
UCSD's new Center for Networking Systems used its first Research Review since the center's inception last July to brief corporate partners on progress in seven projects ranging from network architectures to grid services.

Celebrex® prevents adhesions after surgery
The COX-2 inhibitor Celebrex, known best as an arthritis drug, recently came under scrutiny with evidence that chronic use may lead to heart attack and stroke.

People wounded in tsunami at risk of undetected fungal infections
Infection with a fungus frequently found in the soil and decaying vegetation could represent a risk for people injured in the tsunami, suggests a report published online by The Lancet today.

Harvard scientists discover how the venus flytrap snaps
A team of applied mathematicians, physicists, and biologists has discovered how the Venus flytrap snaps up its prey in a mere tenth of a second by actively shifting the curved shape of its mouth-like leaves.

Quantum dots research leads to new knowledge about protein binding in plants
UC Riverside researchers from the Departments of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Botany and Plant Sciences have worked together to discover a way to utilize Quantum Dot bio-conjugates to uncover new knowledge about the binding of a protein at the growing pollen tube tip.

National Academies News: William H. Foege to receive Public Welfare Medal, Academy's highest honor
The National Academy of Sciences has selected William H. Foege to receive its most prestigious award, the Public Welfare Medal.

Research could lead to new treatments for blindness
Scientists have discovered how to make cells sensitive to light in what may lead to a new approach to treating certain forms of blindness.

Biochip for detection of inflammatory bowel disease
The biotechnological company, Progenika, has presented a DNA-chip the purpose of which is the optimisation of the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease and Ulcerous Colitis).

Richard Zare awarded the 2005 Wolf Prize in chemistry
Richard N. Zare, the Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor in Natural Science at Stanford University, has been named winner of the $100,000 Wolf Prize in chemistry.

Gentler processing may yield better molecular devices
A simple, chemical way to attach electrical contacts to molecular-scale electronic components has been developed by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

National Academies news: Academy honors 17 for major contributions to science
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has selected 17 individuals to receive awards honoring their outstanding scientific achievements.

Brain 'avalanches' may help store memories
Recent studies suggest that avalanches in your brain could actually help you to store memories.

Laser applications heat up for carbon nanotubes
Carbon nanotubes---a hot nanotechnology with many potential uses---may find one of its quickest applications in the next generation of standards for optical power measurements, which are essential for laser systems used in manufacturing, medicine, communications, lithography, space-based sensors and other technologies.As described in a forthcoming paper in Applied Optics,* scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have made prototype pyroelectric detectors coated with carbon nanotubes.

Population of rare gorillas may be increasing in war-torn Congo
An isolated population of rare Grauer's gorillas, living among rebel armies and bands of poachers, has managed to survive in one of the most dangerous regions in Africa, and may even be increasing in numbers, according to a recent census by the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

New research reinforces importance of aerobic health
Research published in the current issue of Science magazine reinforces the belief that aerobic capacity is an important determinant in the continuum between health and disease.

Molecular probes for biology research and drug discovery
Chemists, biochemists and biologists from six Max Planck Institutes will work together in the new

Novel approach yields predictions validated by experiments
Coming full circle has new meaning for researchers who demonstrated a promising new approach integrating scientific experimentation and mathematical modeling to study a key signaling pathway that helps cells decide whether to grow or die.

Cranfield University launches research unit to assess tsunami disaster response
A special unit to assess the recent earthquakes and tsunami disasters in Asia and to harvest the lessons learned from the international relief effort has been launched by Cranfield University's Resilience Centre.

SMART-1's first images from the Moon
ESA's SMART-1 captured its first close-range images of the Moon this January, during a sequence of test lunar observations from an altitude between 1000 and 5000 kilometres above the lunar surface.

US syphilis epidemics not driven by increases in unsafe sex say researchers
A UK based team of researchers has found that regular epidemics of syphilis in the USA are due to the intrinsic cyclical nature of the disease.

Olson family donates $1 million to Arizona Cancer Center
The gift from Arizona's head men's basketball coach and his family will benefit the Bobbi Olson Endowment for Ovarian Cancer Research.

Disaster management: Better management of hospital resources and staff is the answer
Better management of current hospital resources and staff could greatly improve preparedness for disasters such as the tsunami that hit South East Asia a month ago, according to an article by J Christopher Farmer and colleagues, to be published in the journal Critical Care.

Atmospheric chemist recognized by American Geophysical Union
Roger Atkinson, a distinguished professor of atmospheric chemistry at the University of California, Riverside has been elected a fellow of the American Geophysical Union, an honor recognizing his eminence and leadership in atmospheric research.

'Moss in space' project shows how some plants grow without gravity
Experiments on moss grown aboard two space shuttle Columbia missions showed that the plants didn't behave as scientists expected them to in the near-absence of gravity.

Clinical trial of Etanercept for Wegener's disease shows no benefit
A Johns Hopkins-led study designed to evaluate the ability of etanercept to maintain disease remissions in a serious autoimmune disorder has failed to show any benefit.
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