Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 12, 2005
A solution on paper
One wouldn't expect paper to be a major source of pollution: after all, it's made from wood, which in nature breaks down into tiny components that re-enter the plant growth cycle.

The Gerontological Society of America announces 2005 Hartford Pre-Dissertation Award winners
The Gerontological of America is pleased to introduce the twenty recipients of the 2005 Hartford Doctoral Fellows Pre-Dissertation Award.

Speed and endurance are doled out by the pound
The conspicuous size differences between beefy sprinters and lithesome distance runners are dictated by simple rules of form and function, according to new research from Rice University and the Texas Medical Center's National Center for Human Performance.

Ability, not disability, at heart of yacht trek
A crew of six sailors challenged by such physical disabilities as quadriplegia and blindness -- and their able-bodied skipper -- embarked today on a 2,225-mile competitive race from Calif. to Hawaii, the sailing crucible known as the Transpac.

Women report various symptoms after stopping hormone therapy
Over half of women who began menopausal hormone therapy because of symptoms such as hot flashes or night sweats experience those symptoms when they discontinue hormone therapy, according to a study in the July 13 issue of JAMA.

Hunt for human genes involved in cell division under way
A systematic search through human genes has begun at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany.

Modification of program enables prediction of gene transcription
A modification to an

Helping in a selfish world
Billions of people tuned into recent Live 8 concerts. What makes some of us look out for each other, while others look out for themselves?

Boosting vitamin C in plants can help reduce smog damage
The harmful effects of smog on people and animals - the stinging eyes and decreased lung capacity - are the stuff of well-researched fact.

Virginia Bioinformatics Institute researcher receives USDA functional genomics grant
Brett Tyler, a research professor at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) and a Virginia Tech professor of plant pathology, physiology, and weed science, has been awarded a three-year, $980,000 grant from the US Department of Agriculture to identify the ways in which the plant pathogen Phytopthora sojae overcomes the defenses of its host soybean.

Rice nanophotonics lab gets $3 million training grant
Rice University's Laboratory for Nanophotonics (LANP) has been awarded a five-year, $3 million NSF grant to prepare students in the design and fabrication of nanoscale optical components and their emerging applications.

Carnegie Mellon's Sandstorm robot makes unprecedented 200-mile autonomous run
Carnegie Mellon University's Sandstorm robot drove an unprecedented 200 miles in seven hours without human guidance in preparation for the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge, a 175-mile driverless desert race with a $2 millon winner-take-all prize.

New markers of climate change
Epiphytes (plants without roots) are being investigated for their use as markers of climate change in rainforests.

Study in Royal Society journal on world's only horned rodent
This week's list of Royal Society journal papers, including studies on the world's only horned rodent, the link between facial attractiveness and genetic make-up, and migrating locusts.

Naturally occurring asbestos linked to lung cancer
Everyday exposure to naturally occurring asbestos increases the risk of developing malignant mesothelioma, according to a study by UC Davis researchers.

X-ray oscillations from biggest star quake provide clues to mysterious interior neutron stars
A gigantic explosion on a neutron star halfway across the Milky Way galaxy, the largest such explosion ever recorded in the universe, should allow astronomers for the first time to probe the interiors of these mysterious stellar objects.

Strong magnetic fields aid severe depression
For severe depression, electro-shock therapy is nowadays the last hope.

Top young African-American scholars in science and engineering to meet in Monterey, Calif.
More than 50 young African-American scholars in science and engineering will convene in Monterey beginning Thursday evening for a conference that will focus not only on their research, but on the challenges they confront in seeking doctoral degrees and jobs.

The very defensive caterpillar
Caterpillars are bleeding defensive! Dr. Ionannis Eleftherianos from the University of Bath, UK will speak about the discovery of a protein response system that protects caterpillars from lethal infections when pre-infected with non-pathogenic bacteria.

General assembly of the DFG welcomes the excellence initiative
The General Assembly of the DFG (German Research Foundation) has welcomed the final agreement and commitment by the German federal government and the states to fund top-level research at German universities by means of an 'Excellence Initiative.'

Car buyers say silence isn't golden - Researchers help customers literally sound out quality cars
The technology improvements that are giving us ever quieter cars are not proving popular with many car drivers.

US still spends more on health care than any other country
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that the United States continues to spend significantly more on health care than any country in the world.

Northwestern Memorial named among '100 Most Wired Hospitals' for sixth consecutive year
Northwestern Memorial Hospital has once again achieved recognition on the list of the

Biologists see combined structure of cold virus and receptor molecule
Biologists have determined the combined structure of a common-cold virus attached to a molecule that enables the virus to infect its host, and findings will appear in the July issue of the journal Structure.

News tips from the journal of Neuroscience
Dopaminergic neurons are lost in Parkinson's disease (PD) and after 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) treatment, a neurotoxin that is the standard animal model of this neurodegenrative disorder.

Free guide helps parents address hearing loss in children
Hearing loss in more than a million American children is undetected or untreated, according to the Better Hearing Institute (BHI).

New report shows female lung cancer death rates in Europe still rising
The first comprehensive picture of female lung cancer mortality trends in Europe shows rates are still rising in most countries.

State newborn screening programs advance, but most infants still not fully covered
Expanded newborn screening is now required by law in dozens of states, but millions of infants still are not covered by the full panel of 29 tests recommended by experts, according to the March of Dimes 2005 state-by-state report card on newborn screening.

Living fossil roams the seas
Genomics is being used for the first time to investigate the mystery of the 'living fossil' fish coelacanth, first dragged up along the coast of South Africa in 1938, having been considered extinct for 65 million years.

Good connections are everything
Max Planck scientists discover unusual dynamic properties of activity patterns on scale-free networks.

Foot in mouth: Breaking the rules of social behavior
Some of us can hold our tongues better than others but even the best of us will blurt out the truth when we're tired, stressed or distracted, according to a new research report.

Supercomputer installed at RIT among the world's fastest
One of the fastest supercomputers in the world and the first ever designed specifically to study the evolution of star clusters and galaxies is now in operation at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Hospice referral rates increase with intervention improving communication
A simple information and communication intervention between a patient and physician can increase hospice referral rates among nursing home residents, increase their families' ratings of end-of-life care, and may decrease use of acute care resources, according to an article in the July 13 issue of JAMA.

Hepatitis A in US drops substantially after implementation of vaccination program
Following implementation of an expanded program of hepatitis A vaccination of children, the overall hepatitis A rate in the US has declined by 76 percent, according to a study in the July 13 issue of JAMA.

France's highest scientific honor awarded this year to Salk Institute scientist Ronald M. Evans
Ronald M. Evans, Ph.D., professor and head of the Gene Expression Laboratory of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, will receive the 2005 Grande M├ędaille D'Or (Grand Gold Medal), France's highest scientific honor, for his research discovering how hormones and drugs control the body's metabolism, development and reproduction.

Living with salt
Life thrives in all sorts of hostile environments, including the extreme salinity of the Dead Sea.

Device creates electricity and treats wastewater
An environmental engineer at Washington University in St. Louis has created a device similar to a hydrogen fuel cell that uses bacteria to treat wastewater and create electricity.

PediPump presents hope for children with heart failure
A new ventricular assist device (VAD) called the PediPump has been developed specifically for use in children.

Metals take a walk
Do metal complexes casually stroll around certain molecules prior to chemical reactions?

American Academy of Neurology supports embryonic stem-cell research bill
The American Academy of Neurology delivered its position statement on embryonic stem-cell research to all members of the U.S.

NIH funds eleven High-End Instrumentation grants
The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced today it will provide nearly $18 million for 11 High-End Instrumentation (HEI) grants that will fund the purchase of new state-of-the-art equipment required to advance biomedical research.

Muscle repair: Making a good system better, faster; implications for aging, disease
Skeletal muscles naturally repair themselves very efficiently but researchers at the Universities of Illinois-Chicago and Michigan found that a deficiency in plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) actually promotes muscle regeneration, making PAI-1

Manchester launches UK's largest nuclear institute
A century after Ernest Rutherford embarked on his research at The University of Manchester leading to the eventual splitting of the atom, the University is set to take another pioneering step towards the advancement of nuclear technology, teaching and research.

Women cautioned against using herbal supplements
Women who take soy or herbal supplements, such as black cohosh, red clover and ginseng, should do so with care, says Barbour Warren, an expert affiliated with the Program on Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors (BCERF) at Cornell University.

Taking a flying jump
Ever wondered why you aren't able to swat a fly?

Estrogen, estrogen-like drugs' ability to protect brain after stroke under study
How brain cells die after a stroke and whether estrogen or estrogen-like drugs can save them is the focus of a new grant at the Medical College of Georgia.

Low heart rate variability in depressed patients contributes to high mortality after heart attack
Scientists have known for years that depression increases the risk of dying in the months after a heart attack, but they haven't understood how depression raises that risk.

Letting the spin loose
Two properties of an electron - its spin and its charge - are generally thought to be inseparable, intrinsic characteristics, no more given to sudden changes or going off on their own than say, the fur on a cat or the paint on a bicycle.

Enhanced innovation and European cooperation
For the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) 2004 was a year of innovation.

Study: Nose doesn't smell like the eyes see
Johns Hopkins scientists have uncovered new details of how smelly things create signals in the nose that eventually go to the brain. 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