Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 11, 2006
Health seriously declines, disparities increase as youths become adults
Can becoming an adult be hazardous to your health? A new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Carolina Population Center indicates that may be the case, with leading health indicators showing serious declines as adolescents become adults.

Norman R. Augustine to receive 2006 Public Welfare Medal, Academy's highest honor
The National Academy of Sciences will present its most prestigious award, the Public Welfare Medal, to Norman R.

MRIs better at diagnosing needs for 'bionic ear' implants
Magnetic resonance imaging is a better diagnostic tool for cochlear ear implants than the more commonly used high-resolution computed tomography, a UT Southwestern study shows.

New insights into neural tube defects
Environmental and genetic factors lead to neural tube defects in 1 in every 1,000 births and cause 1 in 20 of every spontaneous abortion.

Elsevier announces a new publishing partnership with the American Association of Endodontists
World-leading scientific and medical publisher Elsevier is pleased to announce that it has formed a publishing partnership with the American Association of Endodontists.

Advanced genomics and proteomics improve the diagnosis and treatment of a deadly lung disease
University of Pittsburgh researchers report that a serious, life-threatening form of pulmonary fibrosis, called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, lacks all the hallmarks of inflammation and is probably unnecessarily treated with anti-inflammatory drugs.

Study shows inhaled medicine improves survival for lung transplant patients
An inhaled anti-rejection drug can dramatically improve survival after a lung transplant, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Manomet report studies impact of massive turnover of timberland in New England's Northern Forest
Scientists at Manomet Center for Conservation issue report showing dramatic ownership change of New England's Northern Forest timberlands.

Study highlights role of hit-and-run collisions in planet formation
Hit-and-run collisions between embryonic planets during a critical period in the early history of the Solar System may account for some previously unexplained properties of planets, asteroids, and meteorites, according to researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Most behaviors preceding major causes of preventable death have begun by young adulthood
By the time they reach early adulthood, a large proportion of American youth have begun the poor practices contributing to three leading causes of preventable death in the United States: smoking, overweight and obesity, and alcohol abuse.

How elasticity affects the market for illegal goods
In an important new study, world-renowned economists -- including a Nobel Prize winner and a MacArthur

Global warming drives epidemic disease wiping out amphibian populations
A University of Alberta scientist is part of a research team offering the first evidence that global warming is behind an infectious disease epidemic wiping out entire frog populations and forcing many species to extinction.

One in five patients on commonly prescribed diuretics have abnormal sodium and potassium levels
One in five patients taking commonly prescribed diuretics for blood pressure or heart conditions end up with reduced sodium and potassium levels, which can lead to a range of health problems.

Memory design breakthrough can lead to faster computers
Research team devises method to make asymmetrical magnetic nanorings, advancing work on fast, efficient, reliable magnetic random-access memory.

Optical wireless and broadband over power lines: High speed, secure Wi-Fi alternative
Penn State engineers have shown that a white-LED system for lighting and high data-rate indoor wireless communications, coupled with broadband over either medium- or low-voltage power line grids (BPL), can offer transmission capacities that exceed DSL or cable and are more secure than RF.

The secret life of algae
A fundamental process that has puzzled researchers for many years has been explained by UK scientists.

Protein finding could lead to treatment for inflammatory diseases
A protein that undesirably shields a skin poxvirus from the immune system may become the key ingredient in a new topical treatment for inflammatory diseases, say medical researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

NASA gambles all for a shot at the moon
In order to realise President Bush's Vision for Space Exploration, which includes a base on the moon, NASA is recommending the agency scale back on their shuttle programme.

5th European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC)
Come along to the largest meeting of breast cancer specialists in Europe - the only one of its kind to include advocacy groups.

Practice makes deadly perfection, FSU suicide researcher says
Every year, close to 1 million people around the world kill themselves.

Researchers identify early warning signs for meningococcal disease in children
Researchers have identified a number of early symptoms for meningococcal disease in children that could substantially speed up diagnosis, reporting their findings online in The Lancet today (Wednesday January 11, 2005).

Hubble panoramic view of Orion Nebula reveals thousands of stars
In one of the most detailed astronomical images ever produced, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is offering an unprecedented look at the Orion Nebula.

Extinctions linked to climate change
A new report in Nature that links global warming to the recent extinction of dozens of amphibian species in tropical America is more evidence of a large phenomena that may affect broad regions, many animal species and ultimately humans, according to researchers at Oregon State University.

Planet finders use much faster instrument to discover distant planet
Astronomers have discovered a planet orbiting a very young star nearly 100 light years away using a relatively small, publicly accessible telescope turbocharged with a new planet-finding instrument.

Severe periodontal disease is more frequent among socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals
Socioeconomic disadvantage at the individual and neighborhood level is associated with severe periodontitis among African-Americans and Whites, according to research conducted at the Mailman School of Public Health.

'Darwinian debt' may explain why fish stocks don't recover
Why does it take so long for fish stocks to recover from over-fishing?

Clemson University research leads to improved airport runways
Although the research study officially ends in May 2006, the Federal Aviation Administration has given Clemson University civil engineering professor Prasad Rangaraju the green light to solve an escalating problem.

St. Jude projects 90 percent cure rate for ALL
The cure rate for the once almost universally fatal childhood cancer acute lymphoblastic leukemia could reach 90 percent in the near future, thanks to improvements in diagnosis and treatment over the past four decades, according to investigators at St.

Deep-rooted plants have much greater impact on climate than experts thought
A study of deep-rooted trees in the Amazon shows that they don't simply suck in carbon and spew out water vapor.

7th International Neuro-Psychoanalytical Congress
Love and lust, passion and affection, are fundamental ways of relating.

PNNL unveils GridWise(TM) initiative to test new electric grid technologies
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory announced today the launch of the Pacific Northwest GridWiseTM Demonstration Projects, a regional initiative to test and speed adoption of new smart grid technologies that can make the power grid more resilient and efficient.

UCLA scientists uncover mechanism of response to targeted therapy
Jonsson Cancer Center scientists uncovered the cascade of molecular events by which the cancer cells in a subset of patients became sensitized to the experimental drug CCI-779.

Sandia researchers aim to keep points-of-entry safe through systems-level modeling of operations
Sandia's recent work on border security is well on its way to providing an enormously valuable national asset by providing federal agencies with a reliable and comprehensive simulation capability that lets officials

APS Physics Tip Sheet #59
Articles in the January 6, 2006 issue include:

Climate change drives widespread amphibian extinctions
Results of a new study provide the first clear proof that global warming is causing outbreaks of an infectious disease that is wiping out entire frog populations and driving many species to extinction.

Multi-wavelength images help astronomers study star birth, death
New composite images of optical, radio, infrared, ultraviolet and X-ray wavelengths are giving astronomers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign a clearer picture of the birth, life and death of massive stars, and their effect on the gas and dust of the interstellar medium surrounding them.

First demonstration of 'teaching' in non-human animals
Certain species of ant use a technique known as 'tandem running' to lead another ant from the nest to a food source.

Common enzyme is a key player in DNA repair
Researchers have identified the job of one of the most common DNA-damage response proteins, an enzyme that has puzzled scientists ever since it was discovered.

ESA and ANU make space propulsion breakthrough
Australian National University has successfully tested a new design of spacecraft ion engine that dramatically improves performance over present thrusters and marks a major step forward in space propulsion capability.

The giant protein titin helps build muscles
Imagine grabbing two snakes by the tail so that they can't wriggle off in opposite directions.

Engineers create mathematical method to design better robots, structures
Mechanical and civil engineers have created a new mathematical method to design better structures, machines and versatile computer-controlled robots called

2006! Year of Sigmund Freud
The International Neuro-Psychoanalysis Centre and Society in London and New York have declared 2006

Why the brain has 'gray matter'
By borrowing mathematical tools from theoretical physics, scientists have recently developed a theory that explains why the brain tissue of humans and other vertebrates is segregated into the familiar

The forgotten methane source
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg make a surprising discovery: plants themselves produce methane and emit it directly into the atmosphere.

Scientists 'RAVE-ing' about most ambitious star survey ever
An international team of astronomers is announcing the first results from RAVE, an ambitious all-sky spectroscopic survey aimed at measuring the speed, temperature, surface gravity and composition of up to a million stars passing near the sun.

Infection-fighting protein could be key to autoimmune disease, say U-M scientists
Scientists at the University of Michigan Medical School have discovered that a protein called cryopyrin responds to invading bacteria by triggering the activation of a powerful inflammatory molecule called IL-1beta, which signals the immune system to attack pathogens and induces fever to protect the body against infection.
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