Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 06, 2005
National Academies news: Spent nuclear fuel storage
Spent nuclear fuel stored in pools at some of the nation's 103 operating commercial nuclear reactors may be at risk from terrorist attacks, says a new report from a committee of the National Academies' Board on Radioactive Waste Management.

Fourth European Conference on space debris to address key issues
The European Space Agency hosts the 4th European Conference on Space Debris, 18-20 April, at ESA's Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany.

People can learn motor skills by watching
It's widely accepted that people watching an expert golfer or carpenter can learn the procedural steps to a better golf swing or building a deck.

An (ecological) origin of species for tropical reef fish
Dealing a new blow to the dominant evolutionary paradigm, Luiz Rocha and colleagues from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Harvard University the University of Florida and the University of Hawaii, report coral reef fish from neighboring habitats may differ more from one another than from fish thousands of miles away.

Research team recreates ancient underwater concrete technology
A University of Colorado at Boulder professor and his colleagues have taken a page from the writings of an ancient Roman architect and built an underwater concrete pier in the manner of those set in the Mediterranean Sea 2,000 years ago.

Scientists analyze chromosomes 2 and 4
A detailed analysis of chromosomes 2 and 4 has detected the largest

Era of galaxy and black hole growth spurt discovered
Distant galaxies undergoing intense bursts of star formation have been shown by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to be fertile growing grounds for the largest black holes in the Universe.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, April 2005
Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory include: PHYSICS -- Stirring the Big Bang soup; CHEMISTRY -- Molecules in jail; ENERGY -- Heat pumps and more; ENERGY -- Nuclear fuel study; and ENVIRONMENT -- Tracking truck emissions.

Road salt routine may alter with warming
Salting and sanding roads in the Northeast is a routine part of winter, but changes in climate patterns caused by global warming may alter the established policies on snow removal, incurring higher costs and influencing road safety, according to a Penn State geographer.

Money doesn't buy happiness - - except when disability strikes
The old saying that 'money doesn't buy happiness' may hold true most of the time.

Hormonal birth control, bacterial infections in women linked to increased shedding of type-2 herpes
Women who are infected with herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) may have an increased risk of transmitting the virus to others if they use hormonal contraceptives or have certain bacterial vaginal infections, according to an article in the May 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, now available online.

Joslin Diabetes Center announces new nutrition guidelines
Joslin Diabetes Center announces new nutrition guidelines for people with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes who are overweight or obese.

SSRI antidepressants involve dopamine as well as serotonin signaling
Researchers have discovered that antidepressant drugs such as Prozac not only affect levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain, but also

Timing nature's fastest optical shutter
It's nature's fastest quick-change artist: In less than the time it takes a beam of light to travel a tenth of a millimeter, vanadium dioxide can switch from a transparent to a reflective, mirror-like state.

Liverpool vet creates pain relief diet for arthritic dogs
A University of Liverpool vet has developed a new food for dogs to help relieve the pain of canine osteoarthritis (OA).

First intensive investigation of early agriculture in Liangchengzhen suggests rice was prevalent
Archaeologists from the University of Toronto, the Field Museum, and Shandong University announce the results of the first intensive investigation of early agriculture in Liangchengzhen, Shandong in Northern China.

A possible new phase for rheumatoid arthritis treatment
The pathology of rheumatoid arthritis within the first few months after symptom onset is distinct from that of the early phases of other inflammatory joint diseases and also of established rheumatoid arthritis.

Sensory deprivation reduces new cell size in the olfactory system
Sensory deprivation causes changes in new cell size and excitability in the olfactory system, giving new insight into how stem cells in the olfactory system may be used to restore function.

Vaccine against cervical cancer and genital warts shows promise
A vaccine against the virus that causes cervical cancer and genital warts could reduce persistent infection and disease by 90%, suggest the results of a randomised trial published online today by The Lancet Oncology.

Gene found in mice may play role in determining susceptibility to tuberculosis in humans
Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health studying tuberculosis resistance and susceptibility in animals have identified a gene in mice which plays a significant role in limiting the multiplication of intracellular pathogens Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Listeria monocytogenes inside host cells.

Nutritional supplement reduces need for traditional ulcerative colitis treatment
According to a study published in the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, a nutritionally complete oral supplement enriched with fish oil, soluble fiber and antioxidants reduces reliance on traditional therapies for people with ulcerative colitis.

Mutation in clams protects against paralytic shellfish poisoning but raises human health risk
Just like people, clams can be affected by the toxins that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), but scientists have now identified a mutation in clams that gives some protection.

New health information resource from Tufts for Asian-language speakers
Tufts University's Health Sciences Library announces today an unprecedented health resource for Asian Americans whose first language is not English.

Nanobacteria in clouds could spread disease, scientists claim
Micro-organisms in clouds could play a crucial role in the spread of disease and in the formation of rain drops, scientists have claimed.

Study finds that women with PCOS are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease
Women who suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), one of the most common causes of female infertility in the U.S., have an increased chance of developing cardiovascular disease, according to a new study published this month in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, published by The Endocrine Society.

Scientists aboard drilling vessel recover rocks from Earth's crust far below seafloor
Scientists affiliated with the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) and seeking the elusive

Researchers identify potential therapeutic target for Huntington's disease
Researchers studying yeast cells have identified a metabolic enzyme as a potential therapeutic target for treating Huntington's disease, a fatal inherited neurodegenerative disorder for which there is currently no effective treatment.

At the molecular level, the predator is the prey
An evolutionary arms race between predatory garter snakes and their newt quarry is turning out to be something of an illusion.

2005 Potamkin Prize goes to neurologists for research in early detection of Alzheimer's disease
The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) will award the 2005 Potamkin Prize for Research in Pick's, Alzheimer's and Related Diseases to John C.

Alfred G. Knudson Jr., receives American Association for Cancer Research Lifetime Acheivement Award
Alfred G. Knudson Jr., M.D., Ph.D., an internationally recognized geneticist and physician, will receive the American Association for Cancer Research Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research.

Scientists making advances receive international awards
Leading scientists whose work in research laboratories, universities and medical centers is helping to understand and eradicate cancer will be recognized April 16-20, 2005, by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) at its 96th Annual Meeting in Anaheim, Calif.

Dr. Brenda Milner: 2005 Gairdner Award Winner
Dr. Brenda Milner, recognized as a founder of cognitive neuroscience, was named a 2005 winner of the prestigious Gairdner Award.

Fink receives National Pharmacy Leadership Award
Joseph L. Fink III, B.S. Pharm, J.D., professor of pharmacy at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, has received the 2005 Phi Lambda Sigma-Procter & Gamble National Leadership Award.

Hi-tech bandages
Impedimap Technologies, a biomedical engineering development business spun-out of the University of Ulster, has produced the 'smart bandage' which uses electrodes to transmit information on how wounds such as burns, pressure sores and skin grafts are healing.

Children's hospital neurologist receives Young Investigator Award in spinal muscular atrophy
Mustafa Sahin, MD, PhD, an instructor of neurology at Children's Hospital Boston, has been selected to receive the 2005 Young Investigator Award in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

New technology, new approach to help heart and lung patients awaiting transplants
Promising new technology may extend the life of a failing organ for patients suffering from heart or lung disease while they wait for a donor organ.

Homeschool numbers growing, tracking difficult
An outgrowth of the 1960s alternative school movement, homeschooling, is on the upswing in the United States, and a Penn State researcher is trying to piece together a snapshot of the movement where in many cases, states require little record keeping.

Human chromosomes 2, 4 include gene deserts, signs of chimp chromosome merger
The first detailed studies of two of the largest human chromosomes have revealed enormous gene

UCR, Science Fiction Museum & Hall of Fame team up for conference on science fiction
The University of California, Riverside Libraries, which house The J.

Music improves sleep quality in older adults, researchers find
Sleep, a vital ingredient in life, can sometimes become difficult as humans get older.

AACR: The premier international meeting for developments in cancer research
The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is sponsoring teleconferences to coincide with the press briefings scheduled during its 96th Annual Meeting starting April 16th in Anaheim, CA.

US service academies to collaborate with UNC, Andrews Air Force Base, Duke in knee injury study
The U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force academies - fierce rivals on the sports field - soon will cooperate on a $2.8-million study of risk factors for a common knee injury among athletes.

Yeast discovery gives insight into familial dysautonomia
Ruth Collins of Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine has found that the gene Elp1 is critical for cell polarity -- directing new growth to a tip of the cell so a daughter cell can divide off.

Research shows smoking adds a decade to reproductive age of IVF patients
A major new Dutch study has found that smoking adds the equivalent of ten years to a 20-year-old subfertile woman's reproductive age and has a

Hope for portable MRI
Cheap, hand-held MRI scanners could one day replace the cumbersome and expensive machines now used in hospitals to create maps of body tissue.

American Association for Cancer Research hosts 96th Annual Meeting
The AACR Annual Meeting is the world's leading multidisciplinary event in the cancer research field, featuring the latest findings and most significant information in laboratory, translational and clinical cancer research.

Asthmatics naturally deficient in antiviral immunity, report scientists
Asthmatics produce lower levels of a type of immune cell protein needed to fight off infection from colds and other viruses, scientists have discovered.

Poultry plant moves to renewable energy
A British poultry supplier has developed a system to use the latest technology to convert feathers, heads, innards and other poultry waste into renewable electricity.

SV40 not implicated in mesothelioma
SV40 does not have a role in the majority of malignant mesotheliomas - a cancer associated with exposure to asbestos - according to a study in this month's Cancer Research.

EPSRC annual conference
Members of the media are invited to the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council 2005 Annual Conference.

Risk of HIV transmission highest in early stage of infection
The risk of HIV transmission via heterosexual intercourse is highest early in the course of HIV infection, before most infected people know their HIV status, according to a new study published in the May 1 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, now available online.

Paralytic shellfish toxins cause mutation that allows clams to accumulate 100 times more toxin
Exposure to toxins that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning can result in a mutation that makes clams much more resistant to the toxin than other clams, making them more dangerous to humans, according to a study published this week in the journal Nature.

Alcohol consumption disrupts breastfeeding hormones
Despite age-old claims advising breastfeeding moms that alcoholic beverages can improve their nursing performance, researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center report that even moderate doses of alcohol affect the hormones responsible for lactation in a counterproductive manner.

Study reveals drinking alcohol reduces breast milk supply in women
Scientific researchers have turned folklore on its head by showing that alcohol consumption by women who are breast feeding reduces their milk supply, rather than boosting it.

Earliest evidence of domestic herding in the Negev Desert revealed
In the April 2005 issue of Current Anthropology, new research in the Negev Desert, Israel, reveals the archaeological potential of ancient desert dung that documents, among other things, the earliest direct evidence for the infiltration of domestic herd animals into the desert at around 5000 BC, and the presence of shepherds at different times in history.

Insomnia, falls in elderly linked
Nursing home residents with untreated, or partially treated, sleeplessness have a much higher risk of falls than those who take sleep medications and get relief from their insomnia.

Molecular testing impact: Heart transplant patients benefit from new technology, easier monitoring
New technology for cardiac transplant patients indicates a patient's risk of organ rejection with a simple blood test.

$3 million donation accelerates TGen breast cancer research
TGen today announced that Paradise Valley businessman and entrepreneur, Mr.

It's good to talk - but don't make a sound
Soon we may be using phones that can be heard over the din of loud background noise such as in a factory or loud bar.

We need EUREKA to reach Barcelona objectives
EUREKA highlighted the key role it is playing in enabling Europe to reach the Barcelona objectives in a presentation on its activities to the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee of the European Parliament on 30 March 2005.

Q Chip helps make cures more effective
Welsh nanotech business Q Chip has developed a process to produce uniform particles at a molecular level, which will make asthma cures more effective, and allow drugs to be absorbed into the body faster.

Scientists discover way to control allergic reactions
Scientists have discovered a novel method to reduce cat allergic reactions by topping up the immune cells responsible for controlling them.

'Drinking beer in a blissful mood'
While the modern era has a fondness for the business lunch, the ancient world viewed the feast as an important arena of political action.

Less cognitive impairment seen in women taking drug for osteoporosis
A drug prescribed for the prevention of osteoporosis reduced women's risk of mild cognitive impairment by 33 percent in a worldwide clinical trial led by researchers at San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC).
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