Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 23, 2005
Hydro's dirty secret revealed
Contrary to popular belief, hydroelectric power can seriously damage the environment.

Scientists discover why the North Pole is frozen
Ice has been building up in the Arctic for 2.7 million years.

Polar expedition contributes to ESA's ice mission CryoSat
In a few days, a three-man scientific expedition called Pole Track is to embark upon a gruelling 1000 km trek across the frozen Arctic to collect valuable data for climate-change research.

The touchy-feely side of telecoms
In March, Samsung will release a phone that will be the first to use the technology of haptics - recreating touch and texture through artificial stimuli.

Researchers model brain's electrical storm during a seizure
University of California researchers have created a mathematical model describing the electrical storm raging during a brain seizure.

Cartilage repair techniques shown to restore patient mobility and reduce pain
Two separate new studies presented at American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeon's (AAOS) annual meeting provide objective scientific evidence that the two most commonly performed cartilage repair techniques are effective at restoring patient mobility and reducing pain.

Elusive HIV shape change revealed; Key clue to how virus infects cells
Structural biologists at Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School have shown how a key part of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) changes shape, triggering other changes that allow the AIDS virus to enter and infect cells.

Recent breakthroughs in common adult leukemia highlighted in New England Journal of Medicine
When the most common adult leukemia in the US was last reviewed by the New England Journal of Medicine in 1995, it was seen through the eyes of decades-old theories.

Plants, animals share molecular growth mechanisms
A newly discovered plant protein complex that apparently switches on plants' growth machinery, has opened a scientific toolbox to learn about both plant and animal development, according Purdue University scientists.

European Patent Office Information Day in the European Parliament
The European Parliament will host the first European Patent Office (EPO) Information Day on the 30th March 2005.

James D. Watson to recieve 2005 Othmer Gold Medal
The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) has selected James D. Watson, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, to receive the 2005 Othmer Gold Medal.

Tiny particles could solve billion-dollar problem
New research from Rice University's Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology finds that nanoparticles of gold and palladium are the most effective catalysts yet identified for remediation of one of the nation's most pervasive and troublesome groundwater pollutants, trichloroethene or TCE.

Sexual banter in workplace may have its benefits
A little sexual banter in the workplace isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Columbia study finds hemophilia therapy dramatically improves outcomes for bleeding stroke
A new multi-center, international study led by Columbia University Medical Center researchers at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia shows that recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) has the potential to be a significant advance in treating bleeding stroke (acute intracerebral hemorrhage or ICH).

An Earth-Mars laser link, the OptIPuter, and cinema-quality digital video
Researchers will announce some of the latest breakthroughs and innovations in optics-based communications at OFC/NFOEC 2005-a joining together of two leading meetings in the optical communications community.

OHSU scientists develop MRI approach to improve breast cancer detection
Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University's Advanced Imaging Research Center (AIRC) are developing a new imaging method that may provide a clearer diagnosis of breast cancer.

ESA's comet chaser to fly by Earth
ESA's comet-chaser Rosetta will make a fly-by of planet Earth on 4 March 2005, and sky watchers should be able to see it with telescopes or binoculars if the sky is clear!

Duke, Woods Hole geologists discover clockwork motion by ocean floor microplates
A team of geologists from Duke University and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has discovered a grinding, coordinated ballet of crustal

Antarctic ice shelf retreats happened before
A study of George VI Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula is the first to show that this currently 'healthy' ice shelf experienced an extensive retreat about 9500 years ago, more than anything seen in recent years.

Fifth Annual Leadership Initiative in Science Education (LISE) Conference
The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) will hold its fifth annual Leadership Initiative in Science Education (LISE) conference on 27-28 April 2005.

Bidding frenzy diagnosed
According to University of Alberta researchers, bidding frenzy poses potential pitfalls for buyers - as logic loses out to human competitiveness.

Termites feed through good vibrations
CSIRO entomologist Theo Evans says laboratory experiments have found that termites use their ability to detect vibrations to determine which food source is most suitable.

CK2 protein sustains colon cancer cells by sabotaging ability to commit suicide
A protein called CK2 plays a deadly role in colorectal carcinoma by blocking the ability of these tumors to activate a natural self-destruct mechanism that would clear this cancer from the body.

Schepens scientists regenerate optic nerve for the first time
For the first time, scientists have regenerated a damaged optic nerve -- from the eye to the brain.

AGU Journal highlights - 23 February 2005
In this Edition: Resolving clouds and climate; Magma shakes up earthquake locations; Explaining correlation between coral records and El Nino; Warming of the world ocean, 1955-2003; Sulfur dioxide cuts could increase fine particles in the summer air; To predict wildfire erosion, find out how hot the soil got; Signs of a Martian ice age preserved in layers of ice and dust.

Seeing the invisible - first dark galaxy discovered?
A British-led team of astronomers have discovered an object that appears to be an invisible galaxy made almost entirely of dark matter - the first ever detected.

Newly-discovered class of genes determines - and restricts - stem cell fate
Research on adult stem cells found in the skin hints at a new class of genes, according to a study from investigators at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Nice website, shame no-one visits it: Politics still a turn-off, even in cyberspace
Despite soaring use of the Internet, online politics is still 'very much a minority sport', according to new ESRC-sponsored research showing that e-mails and websites have so far done little to bring us closer to our parliaments and politicians.

A safer route to school makes children more likely to walk and bike, study shows
A state program designed to make children's routes to school safer may actually be encouraging kids to walk or bike to school more often -- something that's good for their health.

Study identifies mechanism of resistance to targeted therapy in lung cancer patients
A new study led by investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) identifies a second mutation in a gene associated with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), a discovery that helps to explain why NSCLC tumors become resistant to treatment with the cancer therapy gefitinib (Iressa).

Protein that promotes survival of stem cells might be key to poor leukemia prognosis
The complex and life-sustaining series of steps by which hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) give rise to all of the body's red and white blood cells and platelets has now been discovered to depend in large part on a single protein called Mcl-1.

Genome of deadly amoeba shows surprising complexity, evidence of lateral gene transfer
The genome sequence of the parasitic amoeba Entamoeba histolytica, a leading cause of severe diarrheal disease in developing countries, includes an unexpectedly complex repertoire of sensory genes as well as a variety of bacterial-like genes that contribute to the organism's unique biology.

TGen and Kronos initiate Alzheimer's disease study
Researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Kronos Science Laboratories, an affiliate of Phoenix-based Kronos Optimal Health Company, have initiated a study with unprecedented power to identify genes that are involved in the development of Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of disabling memory and thinking problems in older persons.

Plant derivative attacks the roots of leukemia
A daisy-like plant known as Feverfew or Bachelor's Button, found in gardens across North America, is the source of an agent that kills human leukemia stem cells like no other single therapy, scientists have discovered.

Successful late access loading test for Jules Verne
For the first time last month, technicians at ESA's research centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, including an ESA astronaut, entered inside the vertically positioned Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), Jules Verne, in order to simulate the late loading of cargo bags.
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