Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 18, 2005
Female sex hormones play a vital role in defense against sexually transmitted diseases
Charu Kaushic, assistant professor and supervisor of the studies, says the implication of this work is quite significant.

RHESSI satellite captures giant gamma-ray flare
The Earth and solar system were blitzed last Dec. 27 with a giant gamma-ray flare brighter than any previously observed.

Titan's atmosphere may have come from ammonia, Huygens data say
Cassini-Huygens supplied new evidence about why Titan has an atmosphere, making it unique among all solar system moons, a University of Arizona planetary scientist says.

California researchers help map human genetic variation across populations
Researchers at UC San Diego and the UC Berkeley-affiliated International Computer Science Institute co-authored a study mapping key genetic signposts that will accelerate whole-genome association analysis.

Heart attack treatment gap may be closing for women
Women who have suffered a heart attack or have chest pain are being prescribed appropriate drug intervention at hospital discharge at the same frequency as men, researchers reported at the Second International Conference on Women, Heart Disease and Stroke.

USC dental researchers develop first test for predicting cavities in children
A saliva test can predict whether children will develop cavities later in life, USC researchers say.

Penn astrophysicist outlines a multi-pronged approach in the hunt for dark energy
In the last few years, the universe has gotten weirder.

Melting ice important indicator of global warming
Surrounded by winter snow and ice, melting seems like a good thing, but, on a global scale, the melting of ice sheets and glaciers is a sign of global warming, according to a Penn State glaciologist.

Looking through the Hubble Space Telescope with an artist's eye
Although derived from scientific data, the spectacular images from the Hubble Space Telescope circulate far beyond the scientific community.

The history and controversy behind post-menopausal hormone therapy
A new analysis reports on the history and stakeholders behind the drugs.

Controversial dates of Biblical Edom reassessed in results from new archeological research
New archeological research from modern-day Jordan indicates the existence of the biblical nation of Edom at least as early as the 10th Century B.C., the era of kings David and Solomon, and adds to the controversy over the historical accuracy of the Old Testament.

Foiling fugitive fish
A leading Canadian fish farming scientist is stirring the scientific waters by arguing that it may be safer to risk introducing exotic salmon into a marine ecosystem than to farm native ones there.

Culture-specific exercise sparks interest of older women
Getting older Americans to exercise isn't always easy, but exercise programs in tune with a culture create interest and increase adherence, researchers in a pilot study reported at the Second International Conference on Women, Heart Disease and Stroke.

New study highlights universality of public views toward science and technology
In a new analysis comparing the public's perception of science across 40 nations, researchers have found extensive areas of similarity in how people think of science, particularly regarding the broader issues such as whether science and technology improve the quality of life.

Language development via the internet
Professor Crystal tells the Annual Conference of the AAAS that the advent of the internet and related communication technologies provide the greatest opportunity for the development of the English language since the advent of the printing press in the Middle Ages.

Diabetes a bigger heart disease risk for women than for men
Women with diabetes have a significantly greater risk of dying from coronary heart disease (CHD) than men with diabetes, researchers reported today at the Second International Conference on Women, Heart Disease and Stroke.

Stanford researcher to discuss public confidence in genetic technology
How genetics can be safely translated into reliable and affordable medical applications will be discussed by Barbara Koenig, associate professor of neurology and neurological sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine, during a panel discussion Feb.

NASA & National Park Service partner on Earth research
NASA and the U.S. Department of the Interior's National Park Service (NPS) recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for collaboration on mutually beneficial Earth science programs for the preservation, enhancement and interpretation of U.S. natural resources.

Lead in the environment causes violent crime, reports University of Pittsburgh researcher at AAAS
Exposure to lead may be one of the most significant causes of violent crime in young people, according to one of the nation's leading researchers on the subject.

Were bigger brains really smarter?
Bigger is smarter is better. That's the conventional wisdom for why the human brain gradually became three times larger than the ancestral brain.

NYU's Dvali says change in laws of gravity, not 'dark energy,' source of cosmic acceleration
New York University physicist Georgi Dvali concludes that the cosmic acceleration of the universe may be caused by the modification of standard laws of gravity at very large distances, and not by

Americans support most uses of reproductive genetic testing, report on US attitudes reveals
A majority of Americans believes it is appropriate to use reproductive genetic testing to avoid having a child with a life-threatening disease, or to test embryos to see if they will be a good match to provide cells to help a sick sibling, a new report of the Genetics and Public Policy Center reveals.

US Constitution provides framework for debate on genetic engineering of human beings
The US Constitution may not provide direct answers to policy questions about the genetic engineering of human beings, but it does offer shared values that can help frame the debate about this developing technology, according to a Georgia Institute of Technology professor.

Marine seaweed can detoxify organic pollutants
Marine seaweeds have a remarkable and previously unknown capacity to detoxify serious organic pollutants such as TNT or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and they may therefore be able to play an important role in protecting the ecological health of marine life.

String theorist explores dark energy and our unique 'pocket' of the universe
Dark energy is a mysterious force that causes matter to accelerate away from other matter.

Epilepsy and depression - A two-way street?
Researchers have noted a higher incidence of depression among patients with epilepsy than the general population or others with chronic conditions such as diabetes.

Scientists advance in detection and attribution of climate change
Access to the next generation of climate change experiments has helped scientists obtain more comprehensive estimates of the expected

Missing micronutrients - How best to nourish a child?
As many as half of children in the developing world lack enough vital micronutrients, such as iron and zinc, in their diets.

Biochemical marker aids prognosis in liver transplant patients
A new study on whether the model used to identify patients most in need of a liver transplant can be improved upon found that measuring serum sodium in potential transplant patients helps to better predict those with a poor prognosis.

Working for a safer and more reliable electrical supply
Scientists at Cardiff University, UK have been called in to help improve the already high levels of safety and reliability on the United Kingdom's electrical transmission system.

Linguistic research moving in new direction
Some linguistics researchers are applying larger scientific principles that describe natural forces to the study of language.

A more accurate screening test for prostate cancer?
Men middle-aged and older routinely get blood tests for prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, to screen for prostate cancer.

Component of green tea protects injured livers in mice
A new study investigating the effects of the major flavonoid component of green tea on hepatic steatosis (fatty liver) found that it significantly protected livers that suffered ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury in mice.

Web searching made more successful with automated, personalized assistance system
A Penn State researcher has developed software that improves Web searching with a personalized system that offers automated assistance for structuring and refining queries, evaluating search results and finding more relevant information.

Gorilla diet tips -- Have we 'evolved to eat mush'?
Early humans living alongside great apes million years ago may have gained a competitive evolutionary advantage by embracing a primitive version of the Atkins Diet, according to new research discussed today at the 2005 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Study finds new designer drug is potent treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia
A study led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers has shown that a potent and highly selective therapy for chronic myelogenous leukemia may ultimately be more effective than GleevecĀ®, the current standard of care.

Women in science: Better in Britain?
In the UK, the government has invested in a number of measures designed to recruit more women in science.

Biological clock may shut down long-term memory at night
If you crammed for tests pulling 'all nighters' in school, ever wonder why your memory is now foggy on what you learned?

Natural selection as we speak
Shared properties of human languages are not the result of universal grammar but reflect self-organizing properties of language as an evolving system.

Climate threshold may alter economic picture of climate change
Typical economic analysis applied to global warming may be biased because they neglect climate thresholds, according to Penn State researchers.

Defining male and female
Gender, often said to depend solely upon anatomy or hormones, may depend also on hard-wired genetics, according to new research that could help doctors and lawyers better understand the one in 4,000 babies born with both male and female traits.

University research ethics committees: A look from behind closed doors
Georgia Tech researcher studies research ethics committees' decision making.

Scientists mount ambitious experiments, propose dramatic new theories about dark energy
A panel of physicists and astronomers will preview emerging theories and experiments aimed at solving the mystery of dark energy, an invisible force that dominates the universe, from 1:45 to 4:45 p.m.

Molecular machine may lead to new drugs to combat human diseases
The crystallized form of a molecular machine that can cut and paste genetic material is revealing possible new paths for treating diseases such as some forms of cancer and opportunistic infections that plague HIV patients.

Plants become green Mr. Clean to combat toxic messes
The next big way to clean up toxic sites may be coaxing plants to become janitors, a Michigan State University scientist says.

Super-heavy nuclei take shape in 'extreme' new theories
Advanced computational methods and supporting experiments, including work performed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, are giving scientists a better understanding of the nature and stability of superheavy nuclei and the heaviest elements that lie beyond the borders of the periodic table.

Many postmenopausal women with cardiovascular disease don't use lifesaving aspirin therapy
Low-dose aspirin therapy has been shown to reduce the chances of a secondary heart attack or stroke in women who already have cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Women should be advised not to drink alcohol in pregnancy
Expectant mothers should be advised not to drink alcohol, as this may pose health risks to the foetus, argues an editorial in this week's BMJ.

EU researchers in US want more contact with Europe
EU researchers based in the US have given an outstanding

Brain-scanning technologies need standards, according to Stanford researcher
Judy Illes, PhD, senior research scholar at the Center for Biomedical Ethics at the Stanford University School of Medicine, will discuss the clinical implications of new imaging technologies today during the

Revolutionary grassroots astrophysics project 'Einstein@Home' goes live
A new distributed computing project now offers people around the globe the chance to aid in the search for gravitational waves from space.

Gene therapy converts dead bone graft to new, living tissue
Researchers have created a way to transform the dead bone of a transplanted skeletal graft into living tissue in an experiment involving mice. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to