Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 21, 2005
Egyptian sea vessel artifacts discovered at pharaonic port of Mersa Gawasis along Red Sea coast
In December, an archaeology team led by Kathryn Bard of Boston University and Rudolfo Fattovich of the University of Naples

Two are better than one
Cancer patients may one day benefit from treatment with mixtures of customized antibodies.

World quasicrystal focus on Ames
More than 150 researchers from 22 countries will be Ames next month for the 9th International Conference on Quasicrystals.

Antarctic Peninsula glaciers in widespread retreat
The first comprehensive study of glaciers around the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula reveals the real impact of recent climate change.

X-rays shine light on high-intensity gas lamps
An X-ray technique developed by physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is helping to improve the design and energy efficiency of the bright white lights often used to illuminate stadiums, roads and many other settings.

Canadian youth 4th highest in international obesity study
Canadian youth rank fourth-highest on the obesity scale in a new international study of adolescents from 34 countries, says co-author Dr.

San Fernando, Northridge quakes may be maximum
A new study by researchers at Oregon State University suggests that the magnitude 6.7 earthquakes that struck California's San Fernando Valley in 1971 and Northridge area in 1994 may have been about the most powerful quakes that this specific area can sustain.

Pregnant women with epilepsy face dilemma
An article in the journal Epilepsia reviewed recent data on the risks associated with continuation of medical treatment of women with epilepsy during their pregnancies.

Switching to chemistry
Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have demonstrated a new kind of electrical switch, formed of organic molecules, that could be used in the future in nanoscale electronic components.

UT-ORNL joint institute state's top rated 'green' building
The state of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory together are setting a new standard for environmental responsibility and energy efficiency for Tennessee public buildings.

Dogs and robots share NIST special test arena
Bomb and drug sniffing dogs are regular visitors to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for training, not for emergency work.

Exploring Earth's past climate at the top of the world
The Polar Reserach Board and the Antarctican Society presents their annual lecture on May 5, 2005 at the Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences.

Strongest proof yet found for prion hypothesis
Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) have produced the strongest proof yet that the mysterious and devastating brain diseases known as

Anti-malarial drugs given to infants can protect them for two years
Giving children intermittent preventative treatment against malaria under the age of one can protect them from the disease in their second year of life, suggests a study in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Study finds possible mechanism for link between sleep disturbances and metabolic syndrome
A new mouse study suggests that a brain system that controls the sleep/wake cycle might also play a role in regulating appetite and metabolism.

Growth in biomass could put US on road to energy independence
Relief from soaring prices at the gas pump could come in the form of corncobs, cornstalks, switchgrass and other types of biomass, according to a joint feasibility study for the departments of Agriculture and Energy.

Meeting to explore possible gene expression consortium
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will a host a meeting on May 16, 2005, in Boulder, Colo., to explore the possibility of creating a NIST-industry consortium focused on gene expression metrology.

UCLA researchers discover new method to generate human bone
UCLA researchers have discovered and isolated a natural molecule that can be used to heal fractures and generate new bone growth in patients who lack it.

Faulty body clock leads to obesity and diabetes
Researchers from Northwestern University and Evanston Northwestern Healthcare have pinpointed something deep within the brain and other tissues that plays an important role in the struggle to maintain a healthy weight: the body's internal clock.

Chip-scale refrigerators cool bulk objects
Chip-scale refrigerators capable of reaching temperatures as low as 100 milliKelvin have been used to cool bulk objects for the first time, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) report.

Media advisory 4 - Joint Assembly in New Orleans
Special session on March 2005 Sumatra earthquake added. Press field trip to study New Orleans flood control infrastructure planned.

Standardized microarrays may bring us one step closer
A new study by 64 renowned scientists may bring us one step closer to personalized medical treatment -- that is, medical treatment tailored to each person's unique genetic make-up and medical condition.

Researchers uncover sequence of major rice pathogen
In a genomics milestone, an international consortium of researchers has for the first time lifted the veil from a fungal plant pathogen by sequencing the genome - or set of all genes - of the most destructive enemy of rice: Magnaporthe grisea, the fungus that causes rice blast disease.

Anti-malaria drug combination could help address treatment crisis in Africa
Using a combination of two drugs--artemether and lumefantrine--is the most effective way to treat malaria in the areas of Africa where resistance to commonly used malaria drugs is high, concludes a randomised trial published in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Counting the human cost of international trade
International trade is creating a global road safety crisis that only serves to inhibit development and perpetuate poverty, argues an expert in this week's BMJ.

Brain imaging study explains Williams syndrome language gifts
A team of neuroscientists led by UCLA researchers used a novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique to create the first detailed images showing how Williams syndrome affects the cerebral cortex.

Amazonian Chief to speak at the University of Manchester
The University of Manchester's Centre for Latin American Cultural Studies and the School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures will host a rare opportunity for the public to meet and talk with three members of Brazil's Suya community on 10 May.

Study finds enzyme activity promotes rare form of leukemia, offers potential target for new drugs
Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have identified an enzyme that helps trigger the development of leukemia, a cancer of blood cells.

Who needs health care - the well or the sick?
Shifting drug spending from the worried well in rich countries to those with treatable disease in poorer nations will benefit the health of everyone, argues a doctor in this week's BMJ.

Neural tube defects decrease with folic acid fortification
A new study examines whether the recent decline in neural tube defects in Chile was due to the addition of folic acid to wheat flour in that country or to pre-existing decreasing trends.

May GEOLOGY media highlights
Topics include: new insights into Nova Scotia's Joggins fossil forests; a seismic tomography look underneath the British Isles; limits on potential earthquake magnitudes in northwest Los Angeles; earthquake potential of the Lake Tahoe region; analysis of post-impact heating at the Haughton crater in the Canadian high Arctic; newly identified features of the Chesapeake Bay impact crater; and evidence linking euxinic oceans and increased atmospheric methane with the end-Permian mass extinction.

'Towards a Europe of Knowledge and Innovation', the EIROforum paper on science policy
Today Europe's seven major intergovernmental research organisations, working together in the EIROforum partnership, presented their comprehensive paper on science policy,

Glaciers from Antarctic peninsula in widespread retreat, Science study says
Eighty-seven percent of the 244 marine glaciers have retreated over the last 50 years, a new study says.

ARRS annual meeting on May 15-20, 2005, in New Orleans, LA: Abstract book available
The American Roentgen Ray Society has recently published the abstract book for its Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA, on May 15-20, 2005.

Molecule on immune cells linked to sexual transmission of HIV
Scientists have long suspected that HIV hijacks immune cells called dendritic cells to infiltrate the immune system.

Genes influence how heart failure patients respond to drugs
University of Florida researchers have discovered that patients with heart failure can harbor genetic variations that determine whether they will tolerate the common heart drugs known as beta-blockers.

NASA study finds snow melt causes large ocean plant blooms
A NASA funded study has found a decline in winter and spring snow cover over Southwest Asia and the Himalayan mountain range is creating conditions for more widespread blooms of ocean plants in the Arabian Sea.

ANNA awards Nurse Researcher of the Year to Rutgers College of Nursing faculty member
The American Nephrology Nurses' Association awarded its Nurse Researcher of the Year award to Charlotte Thomas-Hawkins, a Rutgers College of Nursing faculty member, during its national symposium in the MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas April 18-21.

Water and the environment
Safe and clean water is central to American life. We expect safe water from every faucet any time we want, and most economic activity relies on readily available and clean water.

Study reveals new technique for fingerprinting environmental samples
Groundbreaking research led by the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) demonstrates for the first time that the signatures of the genes alone in terrestrial and aquatic samples can accurately diagnose the health of the sampled environments.

Solutions that reduce death of marine life reeled in by International Smart Gear Competition
As the world prepared to observe Earth Day, World Wildlife Fund and its partners in the International Smart Gear Competition announced three new winning solutions to prevent the accidental maiming and killing of marine mammals, juvenile fish, and sea turtles that become ensnared by fishing nets and longlines -- a problem known as bycatch --while also improving the efficiency of commercial fishing.

'Virtual colonoscopy' effective in finding most polyps but may miss small ones
A type of noninvasive

Data effort improves flow toward 'greener' chemistry
Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) report* that flow properties for a relatively new class of alternative solvents called ionic liquids are extremely sensitive to tiny amounts of water.

Adolescents not receiving health counseling, Stanford study shows
Fewer than 50 percent of adolescent medical checkups include preventive health counseling, despite the demonstrated effectiveness of doctor-delivered advice in promoting healthy behavior as well as reducing risky behavior in teens.

A decade after launch, ERS-2's mission continues
Ten years and 52 289 orbits on from its launch, the Earth Observation mission of ESA's ERS-2 satellite continues with all instruments functioning well.

With a complement, the sperm gets the egg
In sperm, researchers have looked at the activation of the complement cascade, a cell-signaling pathway that is activated during immune reactions, but that was not known to contribute to normal physiological processes.

Genetic variation linked to alcohol dependence found in a Russian population
The same gene that accounts for part of a genetic risk for developing alcoholism in a U.S. population is found in a Russian population, according to a published study by a Yale School of Medicine researcher.

The Roll Back Malaria partnership has done more harm than good
The Roll Back Malaria partnership (RBM)--an international alliance of over 90 organisations--has not only failed to control malaria, but its ineffectiveness has meant that malaria rates have increased since its inception, states an editorial in this week's issue of The Lancet ahead of Africa Malaria Day on April 25, 2005.

Yale scientists 'see' basis of antibiotic resistance
Using X-ray crystallography, researchers at Yale have

Allicin in wonderland
In a recent study published in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science paired the active ingredient of a garden remedy with advanced bio-technology to deliver a powerful punch against cancer.

UT Southwestern sports medicine doctor pedals advice on gearing up for safe cycling season
So what if you're no Lance Armstrong, six-time winner of the Tour de France.

Brain scans reveal how gene may boost schizophrenia risk
Increased activity in the front of the brain predicts increases in the neurotransmitter dopamine in the middle of the brain in subjects with a suspected schizophrenia-related version of a gene.

Portable radiation detectors generally meet standards
Portable radiation detectors generally perform well enough to meet new consensus standards but provide inaccurate readings for certain types of radiation, according to recent tests by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Buying time through 'hibernation on demand'
Scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have, for the first time, induced a state of reversible metabolic hibernation in mice.

Child sex abuse policy recommendations published in Science magazine
An article in the April 22 issue of the journal Science summarizes the body of research to date on child sex abuse and makes major policy recommendations regarding the need for improved understanding of the causes, consequences and treatment of what one expert terms an

Whale bones and farm soil: Sequencing biodiversity
Instead of sequencing the genome of one organism, why not sequence a drop of sea water, a gram of farm soil or even a sunken whale skeleton?

Breakthrough for kids with epilepsy
A study on 50 preschool-aged children with epilepsy who underwent surgical treatment showed significant improvements on overall cognitive development and left many seizure-free.

A healthy internal clock keeps weight off
Staying up past bedtime, skipping meals, and snacking constantly add up to weight gain, fatty livers, and high cholesterol levels for an unlucky group of mice whose internal biological clocks are genetically disrupted.

Creswell rock art dated
A team of scientists from Bristol, The Open and Sheffield Universities have proved the engravings at Creswell Crags on the Derbyshire-Nottinghamshire border, are greater than 12,800 years old, making them Britain's oldest known rock art.

Sandia BROOM tool can help restore facilities following release of biological warfare agents
Sandia National Laboratories researchers have developed a software-based tool called BROOM - short for Building Restoration Operations Optimization Model - to assist in the gathering of samples following a release of a biological warfare agents in a public facility.

Researchers make gains in understanding antibiotic resistance
Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers chiseling away at the problem of antibiotic resistance now have a detailed explanation of how the drugs' main cellular target in bacteria evolves to become resistant to some of these medications.

Brain-mapping technique aids understanding of sleep, wakefulness
By tracking which nerve cells in the mouse brain stimulate others, researchers in Japan and at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that a type of neuron responsible for keeping animals awake receives inhibitory signals from neurons active only during sleep, as well as reinforcing, positive signals from nerve cells that are very active during wakefulness.

New superlens opens door to nanoscale optical imaging, high-density optoelectronics
Scientists at UC Berkeley have created a superlens that can overcome a limitation in physics that has historically constrained the resolution of optical images.

10 years before malaria vaccine is ready for widespread use
A seminar on malaria in this week's issue of The Lancet states that it will be at least a decade before a vaccine for the disease will be ready for widespread use and emphasises the need to expand the use of existing control methods.
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