Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 02, 2006
Forecasting the seas
Ocean search-and-rescue can operate more effectively. Meteorologists and climatologists now have a tool to provide long-range weather prediction more accurately.

Falcon decoys and simulated rifle fire keep birds from oil
A fake peregrine and a radar-activated cannon work better at keeping birds away from oil sands tailings than the current system, says new research from the University of Alberta.

Miniature synchrotron produces first light
In 2004 Lyncean Technologies, began construction of the Compact Light Source (CLS), a miniature synchrotron to produce high-intensity, tunable, near-monochromatic X-ray beams.

Bone marrow cells can become functional gut lining cells
Yale researchers report the discovery that cells used in bone marrow transplantation can develop into new cells lining the gut.

Computer scientist sorts out confusable drug names
Was that Xanex or Xanax? Or maybe Zantac? If you're a health care professional you'd better know the difference -- mistakes can be fatal.

20 of world's top women scientists honored in Paris for groundbreaking research in life sciences
Today at UNESCO House in Paris, France, Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones, Chairman and CEO of L'Oreal, and Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, presented the prestigous 2006 L'Oreal-UNESCO for Women in Science prize to five distinguished women scientists from North America, Africa, Asia/Pacific, Europe, and Latin America.

How nice, brown rice: Study shows rice bran lowers blood pressure in rats
Scientists in Japan have shown that the outer layer of long-grain rice, called rice bran -- a waste product of rice processing -- significantly lowers blood pressure in rats whose hypertension resembles that of humans.

A new magnetic phenomenon may improve RAM memories and the storage capacity of hard drives
A team of scientists from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona -- in collaboration with colleagues from the Argonne National Laboratory (USA) and the Spintec laboratory (Grenoble, France) -- has for the first time produced microscopic magnetic states, known as

Research shows ventilated auto seats improve fuel economy, comfort
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has demonstrated that ventilated automotive seats not only can improve passenger comfort but also a vehicle's fuel economy.

Acute stress boosts flu shot response in women, small study finds
Women who participated in short bouts of physical or mental activity before receiving a flu shot produced more antibodies than other women, according to the first study of this effect in humans.

Novel vaccine effective against middle ear infection in young children
A novel vaccine could help prevent middle ear infection in children under two years of age, according to a paper in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Does Titan's methane originate from underground?
Data from ESA's Huygens probe have been used to validate a new model of the evolution of Titan, Saturn's largest moon, showing that its methane supply may be locked away in a kind of methane-rich ice.

Saliva test offers new window on caffeine/stress response
Penn State researchers have shown that a simple saliva test may offer a new way to probe the physical consequences of caffeine coupled with stress.

Screening may over-diagnose 1 in 10 breast cancers
Screening women for breast cancer could result in a 10 percent rate of over-diagnosis, finds a study published online by the BMJ today.

Antarctic ice sheet losing mass, says University of Colorado study
University of Colorado at Boulder researchers have used data from a pair of NASA satellites orbiting Earth in tandem to determine that the Antarctic ice sheet, which harbors 90 percent of Earth's ice, has lost significant mass in recent years.

Now is a pivotal point in history to abolish state execution
This is a pivotal point in history for countries to consider evidence that demonstrates the barbarity of lethal injection and abolish state execution, states an editorial in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Winning postcards from Venus chosen
Venus, as the goddess of beauty, has been celebrated in art and myth for millennia.

Flow of high-pressure form of ice tells tales of interiors of giant icy moons
Everyday ice used to chill that glass of lemonade has helped researchers better understand the internal structure of icy moons in the far reaches of the solar system.

Crater Lichtenberg and young lunar basalts tracked by SMART-1
This animation, made from images taken by the Advanced Moon Imaging Experiment (AMIE) on board ESA's SMART-1 spacecraft, illustrates a special pointing mode, the so-called 'target-tracking' mode.

Breast screening information should be more balanced
The information sent to women about breast screening needs to be more balanced to ensure women are adequately informed about the benefits and harms, say researchers in this week's BMJ.

Internet research builds cancer patients' confidence
Newly diagnosed cancer patients who use the Internet to gather information about their disease have a more positive outlook and are more active participants in their treatment, according to a new Temple University study published in the March 2006 issue of the Journal of Health Communication.

Stanford doctors spotlight fatal flaw in multiple sclerosis drug trial
Annette Langer-Gould, MD, and Lawrence Steinman, MD, of Stanford warn of the pitfalls of testing a drug with unknown side effects in patients who would do fine without the drug.

Future of cancer research in Europe under threat
A new European directive is threatening the future of cancer research in Europe, warn experts in this week's BMJ.

Mini-synchrotron could increase access to key research tool
Scientists based in Palo Alto, California, have accomplished a major feat: They have produced brilliant X-ray light from a device just a fraction of the standard size.

NDRI researchers evaluate prison Hepatitis program
In an article published in the Journal of Correctional Health Care, researchers from the National Development and Research Institutes, Inc.

Better procedures needed on care of prisoners in hospitals
Better procedures and training are needed to improve the care of prisoners in general hospitals, argue doctors in a letter to this week's BMJ.

A new tree of life allows a closer look at the origin of species
A group at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg has developed a computational method that resolves many of the remaining open questions about evolution and has produced what is likely the most accurate tree of life ever.

Weighting cancer drugs to make them hit tumors harder
Duke scientists have devised a blueprint for boosting anti-cancer drugs' effectiveness and lowering their toxicity by attaching the equivalent of a lead sinker onto the drugs.

Baby's helping hands
According to a Yiddish proverb, 'if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm.' A new study from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany offers another place to find one - children and chimpanzees.

Doubts raised about illegal drug use surveys
A scientific study reported in two related articles in the Journal of Drug Issues raises serious doubts about the nation's illegal drug use surveillance programs.

Study reveals mass migration of mormon crickets driven by hunger, fear
An international research team reports hunger for protein and salt, and a fear of cannibalism, drives the mass migration of Mormon crickets in western North America.

US involvement in the Middle East began with Eisenhower
The president's actions initiated US commitment to the security and stability of the Middle East.

IODP scientists acquire 'treasure trove' of climate records off Tahiti coast
An international team of scientists, supported by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, reunited at the University of Bremen to analyze a trove of coral fossil samples retrieved from Tahitian waters during October and November 2005.

Nutritional friend or foe? Vitamin E sends mixed messages
One of the most powerful antioxidants is truly a double-edged sword, say researchers at Ohio State University who studied how two forms of vitamin E act once they are inside animal cells.

Barbara Turnbull Award honours leading spinal cord researcher
Dr. Joseph Culotti, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) funded researcher and Senior Investigator at the Centre for Neurodevelopment and Cognitive Function at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, has been named the 2005 recipient of the Barbara Turnbull Award for Spinal Cord Research.

Researchers to scrutinize megacity pollution during Mexico City field campaign
A large research team is heading to Mexico City this month to assess the impact of air pollution on regional and global air quality, climate, and ecosystems.

Brandeis chemist wins Sloan Research Fellowship
Chemist Oleg Ozerov has won a 2006 Sloan Reserach Fellowship, a highly competitive award given to the very best young faculty in specific scientific disciplines.

UCR researchers design chip that can improve citrus varieties
UC Riverside researchers, in partnership with Affymetrix, Inc., have designed a chip that can improve citrus varieties and suggest ways to better manage them.

How, not where, you die matters most to terminal patients
The circumstances around their dying - and not the location - are what matter most to terminally ill Canadians, says Queen's University Professor of Medicine Daren Heyland.

Wildlife Conservation Society receives more than $621,000 in software from Microsoft
Microsoft Corp. today announced it is donating more than $621,000 to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), a Bronx-based nonprofit organization committed to helping wildlife and humans live in sustainable interaction on both a local and a global scale.

What's needed for terminally ill patients to die at home?
Family support and better home-based care are two of the key priorities needed to enable terminally ill cancer patients to die at home, say researchers in this week's BMJ.

Study of Latina women and children finds large variation in susceptibility to pesticides
A new study by researchers from UC Berkeley and the University of Washington raises the question of whether current standards for safe levels of pesticide exposure are sufficiently protective of a vulnerable population.

International biodiversity meeting to take place in Brazil
The Convention on Biological Diversity, one of the most widely-subscribed international agreements on sustainable development, will meet in Curitiba, Brazil, from 20 to 31 March 2006, to address ways to reduce the rate of loss of biodiversity around the world.

Chimpanzee cooperators
In the animal kingdom cooperation is crucial for survival. Predators hunt in prides and prey band together to protect themselves.

Data in drug promotional brochures can be inaccurate
Brochures produced by pharmaceutical companies to promote drugs to doctors don't always present accurate data.

Scientists capture the speediest ever motion in a molecule
The fastest ever observations of protons moving within a molecule open a new window on fundamental processes in chemistry and biology, researchers report today in the journal Science.

Chocolate milk could be key to longer, healthier life
Non-pharmaceutical means of increasing muscle quality could help reduce human morbidity and prolong mortality.

Community-wide health program slows creep toward heart disease
A five-year push to blanket a Dutch community with healthy heart programs and education curtailed three major risk factors for heart disease: body mass index, waist circumference and blood pressure.

Sacking of Canadian Medical Association Journal's editors 'deeply troubling'
The dismissal of two of the Canadian Medical Association Journal's editors seems to be an attempt to deprive the journal of its capacity for investigative journalism, states an editorial in this week's issue of The Lancet.
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