Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 03, 2005
Alligator egg development at prehistoric oxygen levels
The development of bone structures in alligator eggs raised under varying oxygen concentrations creates a link to fossil records of the evolution of vertebrates and prehistoric atmospheric oxygen concentrations, according to a paper to be presented at the Earth System Processes 2 meeting in Alberta, Canada.

Novel technique offers new look at ancient diet dogma
A Penn State researcher is part of the team that developed techniques that have generated insights into dietary divergences between some of our human ancestors, allowing scientists to better understand the evolutionary path that led to the modern-day diets that humans consume.

Optoelectronic integration overcoming processor bottlenecks
One of the biggest obstacles facing computer systems today is the problem of memory latency, the time a computer must wait to access the data stored in memory despite faster processor speeds.

First intensive marine finfish larviculture research & training workshop underway
Research on cobia has been a priority at Virginia Tech since 2001.

Complex gene interactions account for autism risk
Using a novel analysis of the interactions among related genes, Duke University Medical Center researchers have uncovered some of the first evidence that complex genetic interactions account for autism risk.

Fossil fuel emissions can overwhelm planet's ability to absorb carbon
If fossil fuel emissions continue to rise, the land and oceans will eventually exceed their capacity to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, according to a new, improved computer climate model developed by UC Berkeley, NCAR and Woods Hole.

Trapped genes show how flower development is controlled
Scientists at Yale and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory report the first large-scale survey of patterns of gene expression in flowers, using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, to identify the genes most likely to have critical roles in plant reproduction.

On a wing and a prayer
University of Alaska (UAF) scientists and state and federal biologists from across Alaska have joined forces and formed the University of Alaska Program on the Biology and Epidemiology of Avian Influenza in Alaska to study migratory birds in Alaska and determine how many are infected and how strains of influenza virus jump from one species to another.

Roundup(r) kills frogs as well as tadpoles, Pitt biologist finds
As amphibians continue to mysteriously disappear worldwide, a University of Pittsburgh researcher may have found more pieces of the puzzle.

Obesity lowers likelihood of receiving preventive health care
Obese people are less likely to receive preventive services such as mammograms, Pap smears and flu shots from health care providers, according to an analysis of health care data by Duke University Medical Center researchers.

Research casts doubt on circulating stem cells
Although adult stem cells taken from bone marrow are able to migrate into the muscle fibres, they do not generally take on any tissue-specific functions.

History of Earth Sciences Society joins AGI
The History of Earth Sciences Society (HESS) joined the American Geological Institute (AGI), unanimously approved by the AGI Member Society Council, as the federation's 43rd member society.

Optoelectronics to increase the broadband flow
The broadband boom is creating an ever-increasing demand for more capacity and higher rates of data transfer on both fixed-line and wireless networks.

Malnutrition and obesity increasingly co-exist in global community
While nutritional status has improved worldwide over the past fifty years, new nutrition-related problems have also emerged.

Preventing a pandemic: Study suggests strategies for containing a flu outbreak
Though quick to caution about the many things that could go wrong, researchers say that it may be possible to contain a Southeast Asian outbreak of avian influenza in humans, buying precious time for the production of a vaccine.

Venus Express launch campaign starts
ESA's Venus Express spacecraft has just completed its last phase of testing in Europe and is ready to be shipped to its launch site at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Study finds obesity has effect on disability, not life expectancy, for adults 70+
New research shows that obese adults who reach the age of 70 are at no greater risk of dying than their non-obese counterparts, but they do have a much greater probability of spending their remaining years disabled.

Drought bumps up global thermostat
Climate research groups have warned that this summer's European drought will unleash large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, giving further impetus to global warming.

Nerve cells' power plants caught in a traffic jam
To work properly, nerve cells need energy delivered to the right place at the right time.

Blood stem cell transplant from a relative better option for children with leukaemia
Children with very high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) benefit if they receive a blood stem cell transplant from a compatible related donor rather than chemotherapy, according to an article being published online today by The Lancet.

Livelihoods under siege in Darfur
The Darfur region of the Sudan, which has been accustomed to local level conflict for hundreds of years, is currently in crisis since conflict took on new national and international dimensions.

Researchers model avian flu outbreak, impact of interventions
A carefully chosen combination of public health measures, if implemented early, could stop the spread of an avian flu outbreak at its source, suggest two international teams of researchers in Nature (August 3) and Science (August 5). he researchers used computer modeling to simulate what might happen if avian flu were to start passing efficiently between people in Southeast Asia.

'License to kill' enables powerful immune attack cells in mice
Scientists have discovered that a group of important immune system cells has a surprising resemblance to cinematic British superspy James Bond: the cells receive a

Computer model could help prevent flu pandemic
Close disease surveillance and targeted use of anti-viral drugs could be enough to keep a small outbreak of avian flu from becoming an international pandemic, according to a computer model designed to prepare at-risk nations for a pandemic that could affect millions worldwide.

Scientists discover anti-cancer mechanism that arrests early prostate cancer
Scientists at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have found an unexpected effect of the interaction of these two genes in early stage prostate cancer.

Ice shelf disintegration threatens environment, Queen's study
The spectacular disintegration of Antarctica's

UK Center for Research on Violence Against Women director to receive national justice award
University of Kentucky Center for Research on Violence Against Women Director Carol Jordan has won the Paul H.

Study shows big game hunters, not climate change, killed off sloths
Prehistoric big game hunters and not the last Ice Age are the likely culprits in the extinction of giant ground sloths and other North American great mammals such as mammoths, mastodons and saber-toothed tigers, says a University of Florida researcher.

Understanding Fragile X syndrome with the blink of an eye
While researchers have long known the genetic defect underlying Fragile X syndrome, they are still tracing how that defect creates the complex mix of mental retardation, hyperactive behavior, attention deficits, and other problems in the disorder.

Grasshopper love songs give insight into sensory tuning
As anyone whose nerves have been jangled by a baby's howl or who have been riveted by the sight of an attractive person knows, nature has evolved sensory systems to be exquisitely tuned to relevant input.

Why we all need pornography
Porn fans are the driving force behind technologies that we might one day all rely on to protect our identity.

Collapse of Antarctic Ice shelf unprecedented
The Antarctic Peninsula is undergoing greater warming than almost anywhere on Earth, a condition perhaps associated with human-induced greenhouse effects.

Finding may explain link between alcohol and certain cancers
Drinking alcoholic beverages has been linked to an increased risk of upper gastrointestinal cancer and other cancers.

Women can gauge what their fitness level should be at a given age to reduce risk of death
Researchers have developed a nomogram (alignment chart) specifically for women that can be used to predict their expected exercise capacity at any given age, as well as demonstrated that the resulting measure is a predictor of the risk of death.

Is melanoma being overdiagnosed in the United States?
New research published online by the BMJ today (Thursday 4 August 2005) suggests that melanoma is being overdiagnosed in the United States.

Revised classification system is effective for predicting breast cancer outcome in some patients
A revised and commonly used system for classifying the seriousness of cancer is effective for predicting relapse and survival in women with breast cancer who receive chemotherapy prior to surgery, according to research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Study of 5700 women finds not enough exercise means serious risk for heart problems, death
In a groundbreaking first of its kind study, researchers studied over 5,700 women's fitness levels relative to age and lifestyle, and found that women who score less than 85 percent of their age predicted exercise capacity on an exercise stress test have a two times greater risk for serious heart problems and death.

Molecular partners required for appropriate neuronal gene repression
A new study by researchers at The Wistar Institute offers insights into the intricate biochemistry governing gene regulation, while simultaneously pointing to the importance of investigating the complex biology of life at different levels of organization.

Virginia Tech electrical engineers invent wireless Internet connection
A new unlicensed, wireless Internet connection, WiFi, is providing new freedom to the World Wide Web addict.

Link between Alzheimer's disease and traumatic brain damage clarified
This week scientists of the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) will once again publish a breakthrough in their research regarding Alzheimer's disease.

Scientists weather a space storm to find its origin
A team of researchers from the UK and France used SOHO, ACE and the four Cluster spacecraft to study a huge eruption on the Sun, tracing its progress from birth to when it reached Earth.

Report recommends renewed focus on food and agriculture research
Despite the ever-present threats to the food supply posed by disease, spoilage and the specter of agroterrorism, commitment to and research in food and agricultural microbiology is on the decline, according to a report by the American Academy of Microbiology entitled Research Opportunities in Food and Agriculture Microbiology.

A giant sucking sound for sea turtles
Sea turtles that receive the highest protection in Costa Rica and other neighboring countries are dying by the thousands at the hands of unregulated - and unsustainable - commercial fishing in Nicaragua, according to a study by the Bronx Zoo based Wildlife Conservation Society.

Envisat monitoring China floods as part of Dragon Programme
China's rainy season has led to serious flooding in the north-east and south of the country.
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