Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 11, 2005
Chinese used diamonds to polish sapphire-rich stone in 2500 BC
Researchers have uncovered strong evidence that the ancient Chinese used diamonds to grind and polish ceremonial stone burial axes as long as 6,000 years ago -- and incredibly, did so with a level of skill difficult to achieve even with modern polishing techniques.

ORNL Director Wadsworth named to National Academy of Engineering
Jeffrey Wadsworth, director of the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

Lychnis moth (Hadena bicruris) lays more eggs in isolated areas
The Lychnis moth (Hadena bicruris) is laying more eggs on white campion (Silene latifolia), due to the increasing fragmentation of the countryside.

Oxygen sponge saves energy during the production of plastics
Dutch researcher Bart de Graaf has developed a solid oxygen carrier, a sort of oxygen sponge.

Ingestion of afterbirth appears to promote maternal behavior in mammals
A behavioral neuroscientist at the University at Buffalo holds that the ingestion of afterbirth by a mother, a feature of pregnancy in nearly all non-human mammals, not only relieves postpartum pain, but optimizes the onset of maternal behavior by mediating the activity of specific opioid activity circuits in the brain.

Gladstone Institutes rank high in the scientist survey of best places for postdocs
The J. David Gladstone Institutes, a group of UCSF-affiliated medical research institutes, is among the top 15 institutional work environments for life sciences postdoctoral fellows, according to The Scientist's annual

Rat brain's executive hub quells alarm center if stress is controllable
When it deems a stressor controllable, an executive hub in the front of the brain quells an alarm center deep in the brainstem, preventing the adverse behavioral and physiological effects of uncontrollable stress.

International trial of two microbicides begins
A large, multisite trial designed to examine the safety and preliminary effectiveness of two candidate topical microbicides to prevent HIV infection has opened to volunteer enrollment.

A glimpse into the life of a physicist
Over 30 physicists from different countries are keeping a weblog for a year.

National Inventors Hall of Fame announces 2005 inductees
The National Inventors Hall of Fame announces its new class of inventors for 2005.

A startling diary reveals the onset of autism
A meticulous diary kept by a mother of twins has revealed indicators of autistic behaviour in children as young as six months of age.

Carnegie Mellon and United Defense to develop unmanned ground vehicles for marines
Carnegie Mellon University's National Robotics Engineering Consortium in the Robotics Institute and United Defense Industries have been awarded a $26.4 million system development and demonstration contract from the DoD's Joint Program Office/Robotic systems to design, develop and produce tactical unmanned ground vehicles for the Marines.

Right before your eyes
How long did it take you to realize that this orange circle was a piece of fruit?

National Academies advisory: Feb. 15 program for African-American History Month
FREEMAN A. HRABOWSKI III, president, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, will give the keynote address at a National Academies program celebrating African-American History Month.

American Physical Society board decries Hubble demise resulting from President's budget
Money dedicated to NASA's Moon-Mars program would be better spent on Hubble and other proven space missions, according to APS Board.

Emory researchers find more evidence for children's growth spurts, pain
The existence of growth spurts and growing pains in children may be perpetually evident to parents, but their cause has lacked scientific explanation.

Falling in love in three minutes or less
It seems that the heart wants what the heart wants - and it can figure it out fairly quickly, according to evolutionary psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania.

Transport system smuggles medicines into brain
Dutch researcher Corine Visser investigated a new way of transporting medicines into the brain.

Preparing for the inevitable: New book for nurses guides patient care during a disaster
Driven by the Sept. 11 terror attacks and what they observed in Israel, two Saint Louis University nursing professors wrote a textbook on what nurses should do during a disaster.

Amgen's decision to block reinstatement of GDNF is faulted by a leading Parkinson's advocacy group
The Amgen announcement to forgo the offer of reinstatement of GDNF to patients who were involved in recent clinical trials of the treatment is deeply disappointing to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, to the Parkinson's community, and to the participating patients.

Sprinklers shown effective in slowing dorm fires
An automatic sprinkler system significantly increases a person's chances of surviving a dormitory fire, according to a report issued recently by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Penn joins major NCI research initiative to advance breast cancer therapies
The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine was recently selected to become a member of the National Cancer Institute's Mouse Models of Human Cancers Consortium Penn is one of four MMHCC sites at which breast-cancer models are being developed and studied, out of 24 total sites.

Research focusing on why estrogenic hormones produce differing results
New research is shedding light on why estrogenic hormones produce unintended results in women, giving hope to the idea that new drugs might reach their targets and work more effectively.

Sustainable gas from 'roasted' wood is a feasible option
'Roast' hardwood at relatively low temperatures and then gasify it.

Induction at 32 weeks possible action for expectant moms with premature membrane rupture
A new Mayo Clinic study of pregnant women who experience early membrane rupture has found induction of labor at 32 weeks gestation to be a viable option.

Computer cracks Go game
A computer program that can solve the Go game for a 5x5 playing board.

The BIOS Initiative - open source biotechnology is born
In a publication today in the prestigious scientific journal, Nature, a team at CAMBIA in Canberra unveils the 'kernel' of the world's first 'explicit open source' biotechnology toolkit.

Dialogue & personal example work best for parents in drug talks with teens
Parents can more effectively advise teens about alcohol and drug use if, first, they try dialogue instead of lecture and, second, they set an everyday example, rather than give the one-time drug sermon, according to a Penn State researcher.

Simulations show how growing black holes regulate galaxy formation
Results explain supermassive black holes and star distribution in nearby galaxies
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