Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 16, 2005
Science from Mars Express after one year in orbit
After reaching its observational orbit around Mars a year ago, ESA's Mars Express has already delivered an avalanche of scientific data of unprecedented quality that have completely changed the way in which we think about the Red Planet.

Brain center shows there is accounting for taste
While the brain center called the nucleus accumbens (NAc) has been called a key component of the brain's

Common virus becomes a new target for cancer treatment
A typically innocuous virus found in 90 percent of people worldwide is the key to a new treatment for a cancer particularly common in North Africa and Southeast Asia.

Biotech science thriving but the business needs intensive care
Global healthcare spending exceeds $3 trillion of which pharmaceuticals account for approximately $250 billion.

New DNA studies verify existence of three right whale species
For the first time, two types of genetic material--both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA--have been used to verify a new species designation of great whale, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society and other groups in The Royal Society's Proceedings: Biological Sciences.

Columbia scientists identify potential therapy for kidney failure
Columbia University Medical Center researchers have identified a protein that may provide a powerful new therapeutic tool for fighting kidney failure.

NASA news tips for AAAS annual meeting
NASA researchers will present findings on a variety of Earth and space science topics at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Washington, Feb.

ASU researchers finds novel chemistry at work to provide parrot's vibrant red colors
Parrots, long a favorite pet animal, are attractive to owners because of their vibrant colors.

Saturn's aurora defy scientists' expectations
Aurora on Saturn behave in ways different from how scientists have thought possible for the last 25 years, according to new research by a team of astronomers led by John Clarke, a professor in Boston University's Department of Astronomy.

New book looks at ecosystem of mucous membranes
A new book from ASM Press highlights the codependent relationship that has evolved between mammals and microbes in the mucous membranes.

Genomics champion Eric Lander receives 2004 AAAS Public Understanding of Science & Technology Award
AAAS, the world's largest general scientific society, today named Eric S.

Experiments provide proof of how traveling in groups protects insects
Few events involving animals are more dramatic than when they band together and head out on the march cross-country.

'EuroVacc 02' HIV vaccine trial begins in February 2005
The European Vaccine Effort against HIV/AIDS, today announced that a phase I clinical trial of novel investigational vaccines comprising DNA-HIV-C and NYVAC-HIV-C for the prevention of HIV infection has started in Lausanne and London.

Florida Tech scientist wins patent for device to deliver X-ray irradiation
Florida Tech and Dr. Kunal Mitra, Florida Tech associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, have just been assigned a U.S. patent for an x-ray delivery device which can be used for arterial irradiation following balloon angioplasty.

Hormone therapy controversy raises drug safety issues
The history of hormone therapy drugs - once thought of as almost magic pills to keep women healthy, vital and young - shows why it is so important to conduct research studies to identify the risks and benefits of drugs, say researchers from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

Researchers track program's success in curbing aggressive behavior
Researchers at the University of South Florida found that a first-grade prevention program, the

Science.gov offers new alert service
DOE and other federal science agencies help public stay

Are IVF embryos starved of a vital ingredient?
A lack of growth factors in the culture medium in which IVF embryos are grown could have life-long health effects on those conceived in this way.

Young blood revives aging muscles, Stanford researchers find
A study in the Feb. 17 issue of Nature shows that it's old blood that keeps the muscles down.

New thinking on national energy future
In the first meeting of its kind, industry, environmental, government, scientific and community groups have now met.

AAAS honors recombinant DNA advisory committee at NIH, citing 30 years of leadership
An advisory committee of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) today was cited by AAAS, the world's largest general scientific society, for

Dictionary explains sociologist Max Weber's ideas
To help readers understand the complex and difficult works of Max Weber (1864-1920), a German sociologist, economist and political scientist, Cornell University professor of sociology Richard Swedberg has written a book, The Max Weber Dictionary: Key Words and Central Concepts (Stanford University Press).

Educators in Pennsylvania and North Carolina earn top 2004 Mentoring Awards from AAAS
A Bryn Mawr College professor in Pennsylvania and an energetic North Carolina-based engineer this week earned top honors from AAAS, the world's largest general scientific organization, for their tireless efforts to help underrepresented students earn doctoral degrees in the sciences.

New software helps with anti-terrorism planning
New software can help anti-terrorism planners determine how best to allocate limited resources to defend military bases, industrial parks and civic facilities from terrorist attacks, say the Penn State researchers who built the system.

Clemson research could help turn hydrogen hype into 'hy'ways
Americans will have a hard time driving on the future's highways if they don't have fuel.

Could schizophrenia arise from a single defect?
Researchers have long puzzled over the apparently multiple causes of complex developmental disorders such as schizophrenia.

Singers (and parents) take note: Worst songbird rehearsals precede best debuts
According to a new study, sleep helps young birds learn the art of song, and it does so in a surprising way.

Immediate access to antibiotics stems spread of sexually transmitted diseases
In an editorial to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers at Johns Hopkins offer their support for a study which shows that providing faster, more direct access to antibiotics for partners of newly infected patients reduces re-infection rates and spread of sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea and Chlamydia, compared to standard practice.

No increase in C-sections when epidural analgesia given early in labor
Injecting spinal-epidural analgesia in early labor does not increase cesarean delivery rates and provides better pain relief and a shorter duration of labor than systemic opioid analgesia, according to an article by Northwestern University researchers published in the Feb.

PENN begins clinical trial of newest technology to treat thoracic aortic aneurysms
A clinical trial is underway at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) to study the safety and effectiveness of an endovascular medical device to treat life-threatening thoracic aortic aneurysms.

Stockpile bird flu vaccine now
Governments should consider stockpiling vaccine against H5N1 bird flu now, before a pandemic starts, a World Health Organisation report out next month will advise.

Radiologists offer non-surgical treatment for early-stage liver cancer
Radiofrequency (RF) ablation offers an effective first-line treatment for some liver cancer patients who are excluded from surgery, according to two studies appearing in the March issue of the journal Radiology.

Inherited gene may increase risk for prostate cancer by 50%
A single gene variant may increase a man's risk of prostate cancer by 50%, according to a new study led by researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and published this week in Cancer Research.

Johns Hopkins geobiologist wins Macelwane Medal
A. Hope Jahren of Johns Hopkins will be awarded the James B.

Critical role in programmed cell death identified
Dartmouth Medical School geneticists have found links in the cell death machinery of worms and mammals, opening new avenues for studying and targeting a process vital to development and implicated in cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Computer-aided protein design wins prestigious AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize
A process whereby a computer-designed protein was synthesized and confirmed to match the original plan earned the coveted 2003-2004 AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize.

Changing chemistry helps explain estrogen threat to the heart
A piece of the topical puzzle of how estrogen goes from protecting women from heart disease to apparently increasing their risk later in life may have been found.

New European cancer figures for 2004 - major efforts needed against the big four killers
There were nearly 2.9 million new cases of cancer and more than 1.7 million cancer deaths in Europe last year, according to new estimates in a report published (Thursday 17 February) in Annals of Oncology.

2004 AAAS International Scientific Cooperation Award to Michael J. Balick
AAAS, the world's largest general scientific society, today named Michael Jeffrey Balick of The New York Botanical Garden to receive the 2004 International Scientific Cooperation Award.

International gathering of experts to share retinoblastoma breakthroughs
Experts in the fields of retinoblastoma research and treatment will gather to update colleagues on the latest developments in these fields during a two-day symposium April 28-29 at St.

Prestigious 2004 AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Prize honors Maxine Singer
For her countless roles in service to science and its potential for improving human welfare, AAAS, the world's largest general scientific society, today named Maxine Frank Singer, President Emeritus of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, to receive the prestigious 2004 AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Prize.

SMART-1 mission extended
ESA's SMART-1 mission was extended by one year, pushing back the mission end date from August 2005 to August 2006.

Study finds no reason for expectant mothers to shy away from early epidurals
A study published in this week's New England Journal of Medicine by researchers at Northwestern Memorial Hospital refutes the popular belief that getting an epidural early in labor increases a woman's risk of cesarean delivery.

Merck CEO Raymond Gilmartin to lecture at NJIT
Raymond V. Gilmartin, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Merck and Co., Inc., will visit New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) on Feb.

New research questions basic tenet of neuron function
New findings by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center challenge one of the established views of how nerve cells communicate with one another.

American Chemical Society meeting March 13-17 features wide variety of new research
From analyzing the popular margarita cocktail to introducing a new method for fighting Type 2 diabetes and lowering cholesterol, chemists will present their latest findings at the 229th national meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Diego, March 13-17.

Novel sulfide-binding mechanism found in deep-sea tubeworms
The discovery that zinc contained in the hemoglobin of deep-sea tubeworms is used to bind and transport nutrients to symbiotic bacteria will be published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science during the week of 14 February 2005.

Researchers find Saturn's radio emissions, bright auroras linked
Just as the static on an AM radio grows louder with the approach of a summer lightning storm, strong radio emissions accompany bright auroral spots -- similar to Earth's northern lights -- on the planet Saturn, according to a research paper published in the Thursday, Feb.

The oldest Homo sapiens
When the bones of two early humans were found in 1967 near Kibish, Ethiopia, they were thought to be 130,000 years old.
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