Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 27, 2005
Sailing the planets: Exploring Mars with guided balloons
Global Aerospace Corporation of Altadena, CA proposes that the Mars exploration vehicle combining the global reach similar to that of orbiters and high resolution observations enabled by rovers could be a balloon that can be steered in the right direction and that would drop small science packages over the target sites.

Fever of unknown origin: a marker for occult cancer?
Fever of unknown origin might be a marker of occult cancer, according to research published online today by THE LANCET ONCOLOGY.

Hybrid grass may prove to be valuable fuel source
Giant Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus), a hybrid grass that can grow 13 feet high, may be a valuable renewable fuel source for the future, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign say.

DFG intensifies cooperation with South Korea
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) have signed an agreement on the joint funding of German-South Korean Research Training Groups.

Spitzer and Hubble find a 'big baby' galaxy in the newborn Universe
Two space observatories, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, have teamed up to

Preliminary data update from Betaseron 16 yr. long-term follow-up study in patients with MS
Berlex, Inc., a U.S. affiliate of Schering AG Germany today announced updated data from the Betaseron® 16-Year Long-Term Follow-up (16-Year LTF) Study being presented at the 130th Annual Meeting of the American Neurological Association (ANA) meeting.

Penn theorists to create optical circuit elements
Engineers at the University of Pennsylvania have theorized a means of shrinking electronics so they could be run using light instead of electricity.

Inheritance, smoking spawn mysterious and deadly lung disease
An incurable, deadly lung disorder,

CERN receives prestigious Milestone recognition from IEEE
At a ceremony last night at CERN*, Mr W. Cleon Anderson, President of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE**) formally dedicated a Milestone plaque in recognition of the invention of electronic particle detectors at CERN.

ASU secures $3.9 million to study spinal cord injuries and neurological disorders
Ranu Jung and James Abbas are on a roll. The ASU researchers recently secured four grants totaling $3.9 million to advance efforts to repair or replace lost function for people with spinal cord injury or other neurological disorders.

Optical imaging added to ultrasound improves breast cancer diagnosis
A new study shows that combining a technology called optical tomography with standard ultrasound imaging can help distinguish early-stage breast cancer from non-cancerous lesions -- and potentially reduce the number of breast biopsies performed.

Antibiotic resistance markers in GM plants not a risk to human health
Antibiotic-resistance markers in genetically modified (GM) plants do not pose a substantial risk to human health, concludes a review article published in the October issue of The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Deflecting asteroids could lead to more versatile spaceprobes
The UK's first engineering feasibility study into missions for deflecting asteroids has begun.

Impact of somatization on health resource usage in patients with irritable bowel syndrome
Even though there are definitive guidelines to diagnose IBS through simple blood tests, many irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients have additional procedures and surgeries that rarely result in relief or any additional diagnostic findings.

From aircraft aerodynamics to improved heart implants
At first glance airplane wings and human hearts have little in common, but, say a team of European researchers, a technology used to measure airflow over wings can now be used to help keep hearts in working order.

Space test for Swiss-designed solar antennas
A satellite equipped with novel solar antennas developed by the EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne) will be part of the payload on the Russian rocket Cosmos, scheduled for launch September 30 from Plesetsk, Russia.

Secrets of the deep may hold key to life on other planets
Extraordinary creatures who inhabit extreme underwater conditions are being investigated by University scientists in a three-year project.

MSU researchers receive $4 million grant to uncover gene functions
A collaboration of Michigan State University researchers will use a $4 million grant from the National Science Foundation to uncover the functions of roughly 4,400 nuclear genes from the Arabidopsis plant which may ultimately lead to improvements in human health and agriculture.

Gene variants linked with increased risk of death among heart patients treated with beta-blockers
Patients with certain gene variants who were prescribed beta-blocker drugs after acute coronary syndrome (ACS) had an increased risk of death over the next three years, according to a study in the September 28 issue of JAMA.

World's first international real-time streaming of 4k over gigabit IP networks
Japanese and U.S. institutions participated in the world's first real-time international collaboration over optical networks in 4K -- with four times the resolution of high-definition TV.

New method for growing barium titanate films at atmospheric pressure
Many advanced material fabrication techniques use multi-step processes that can be environmentally stressing, energy-consuming and have high-costs.

Unwed mothers are less likely to marry, study shows
Unwed mothers are significantly less likely to marry; when they do marry, they are less likely to improve their socioeconomic status through marriage than their childless counterparts, says a Cornell University study.

Two Sandia microChemLab technologies soon to be checking for toxins in the nation's water supplies
Two technologies developed at the National Nuclear Security Administration's Sandia National Laboratories are expected to soon be checking for toxins and harmful bacteria in the nation's water supplies.

Gene therapy to lower blood pressure just enough
A newly developed virus that introduces a blood pressure-lowering gene into cells and enables that gene to maintain blood pressure at healthy levels for four months promises to take gene therapy for the disorder a step closer to reality, said researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in a report released online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Penguin chicks exposed to human visitors experience spike in stress hormone
Newly hatched magellanic penguin chicks in breeding grounds with a large number of human visitors show a significant spike in levels of a stress-related hormone compared to chicks hatched in areas not visited by humans.

Eating foods with 'weak estrogens' may help reduce lung cancer risk
Eating vegetables and other foods that have weak estrogen-like activity appears to reduce the risk of developing lung cancer in smokers - as well as in non-smokers, say researchers at The University of Texas M.

Study in Royal Society journal on first observation of giant squid in the wild
Royal Society journals release including studies on first observation of giant squid in the wild, fear in animals and spread of Dutch Elm disease.

Brazil adopts new digital TV standard
A Yorkshire research centre has won a prestigious contract as specialist consultants on a multi-billion dollar project to roll out interactive digital television across Brazil.

Hypnotherapy an effective treatment for IBS
Medics at The University of Manchester have discovered a way to treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) using hypnotherapy.

CU virologist finds contagious equine flu in dogs
Cornell veterinarian Ed Dubovi isolated an equine flu virus that has for the first time jumped species to dogs, causing respiratory flu to spread among man's best friends.

NASH clinical research network launches trial for treatment of liver disease in children
The Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) Clinical Research Network has launched its second clinical trial to study NASH, a liver disease that resembles alcoholic liver disease but occurs in patients who drink little or no alcohol.

£1.7m to build world's first SIMS instrument combined with infra-red spectroscopy
The University of Manchester has been awarded £1.7m to build a new instrument which will for the first time combine ToF-SIMS and infrared spectroscopy opening up new possibilities in the study biological, organic and inorganic materials.

Long-sought Maya City -- Site Q -- found in Guatemala
A team of scientists including Marcello Canuto, assistant professor of anthropology at Yale, has found incontrovertible proof of Site Q, a long-speculated Mayan city, during a mission to the northwest Peten region of Guatemala.

Heavy smokers who cut their smoking in half may reduce their risk of lung cancer
Heavy smokers (more than 15 cigarettes per day) can reduce their risk of lung cancer if they decrease smoking by 50 percent, according to a study in the September 28 issue of JAMA.

Change in focus needed for progress in HIV-vaccine research
It is not time to give up on HIV vaccines but to change the way we pursue them, states a viewpoint published online today (Wednesday September 28, 2005) by The Lancet.

Preserving a 460 year old wreck
An international team of researchers has analysed the sulphur and iron composition in the wooden timbers of the Mary Rose, an English warship wrecked in 1545, which was salvaged two decades ago.

Studying climate change in the Arctic: Scientists and students working together
The Arctic is a key component of Earth's physical, biological, and cultural systems, and climate change is both impacting the functioning of the Arctic and altering feedbacks from the Arctic to the global climate system.

Climate change transforming Alaska's landscape
Lakes and wetlands in the Kenai Peninsula of south-central Alaska are drying at a significant rate.

Exploring the avian biodiversity of Africa with different species concepts
A recent debate over the usefulness and relevance of the widely used Biological Species Concept, based on reproductive isolation, versus the Phylogenetic Species Concept, which is centred around identifying the smallest group with common ancestry, has raised concerns that changing nomenclatural foundations might result in the appearance of previously unrecognized patterns of biodiversity.

Simulator can help stroke patients drive again
A high-fidelity simulator that allows people to practice driving on a computer-generated course can help stroke patients learn to drive again, researchers have found.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The current issue of the Journal of Neuroscience includes the following two articles: 1.

Sept/Oct 2005 Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet
This tip sheet reviews highlights of the September/October 2005 issue of the Annals of Family Medicine including topics such as HIV testing, antidepressant medication use, use of antibiotics among others.

Higher consumption of some soy products, grains and vegetables linked to reduced risk of lung cancer
A diet higher in plant-derived compounds known as phytoestrogens is linked with a lower lung cancer risk, according to a study in the September 28 issue of JAMA.

Unusual meteorite unlocks treasure trove of solar system secrets
An unusual meteorite that fell on a frozen lake in Canada five years ago has led a Florida State University geochemist to a breakthrough in understanding the origin of the chemical elements that make up our solar system.

Survival of heart patients on beta-blockers varies greatly with genetic variation
Survival of heart attack and unstable angina patients placed on beta-blocker therapy corresponds to specific variations in their genes, according to a study by researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Location system for wireless sensor networks
In recent years a great amount of integrated radio circuits have come onto the market.

Quality fuels delays in judicial confirmations
The smarter the judge, the longer it will take for him or her to be confirmed. 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