Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 03, 2006
Key root-development pathway mapped using advanced genomic technique
Biologists have vastly expanded understanding of the biological machinery controlling the intricate process by which plant roots burgeon from single cells into complex tissues.

The brain's motivation station
The prospect of a paycheck, good grade, or promotion wonderfully concentrates the mind, and researchers have now identified the brain circuitry responsible for such reward-motivated learning.

Award supports Virginia Tech research to reduce vehicle emissions, create biofuel
Virginia Tech researchers who are working on energy and environmental issues have received the Ralph E.

Slowdown in tropical Pacific flow pinned on climate change
The vast loop of winds that drives climate across the tropical Pacific and helps nourish marine ecosystems has weakened by 3.5 percent since the mid-1800s and may weaken another 10 percent by 2100, according to a new study in Nature.

Free access to world-class biological databases for European science thanks to FELICS
Today the European Molecular Biology Laboratory's (EMBL) European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), the Swiss Institute for Bioinformatics (SIB), the University of Cologne, Germany, and the European Patent Office launch FELICS (Free European Life-science Information and Computational Services).

Infrared system helps pilots and drivers see in fog and at night
A European research project has developed a prototype infrared-camera system that substantially enhances human visual perception in poor visibility conditions such as fog, heavy rain and at night.

Tequila! Chemists help assure quality of popular Mexican beverage
Whether you're celebrating Cinco de Mayo or just having another relaxing day in Margaritaville, you might one day thank a chemist for assuring the authenticity of your tequila.

Fringe religions helped propel rise of Nazis
The German Faith Movement, an amalgamation of new age ideas and distorted Christian concepts, played a pivotal role in paving the way for the rise of National Socialism, or Nazism, in Weimar Germany, according to a new book by a University of Calgary anthropologist.

The secret lives of sea slugs
It turns out that the sea slug isn't really that sluggish after all.

PMS - a fact of life or all in the mind?
Professor Jane M Ussher, will put forward her views to delegates of an international 3-day conference for psychologists to be held at the University of Leicester, entitled

How long is a day on Saturn?
Measuring the rotation period of a rocky planet like the Earth is easy, but similar measurements for planets made of gas, such as Saturn, pose problems.

Hormones may affect how brain listens, Emory study finds
From zebra fish to humans, reproductive hormones govern behavioral responses to courtship signals.

American Chemical Society first to join Iraq Virtual Science Library
The American Chemical Society is the first of more than 20 scientific publishers and other organizations to agree to offer deeply discounted electronic access to 17,500 full-text scientific journal articles to Iraqi chemists, engineers and students.

New findings help pinpoint autism's genetic roots
By deleting a gene in certain parts of the brain, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have created mice that show deficits in social interaction that are reminiscent of humans with autism spectrum disorders.

XMM-Newton 'spare-time' provides impressive sky survey
For the past four years, while ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory has been slewing between different targets ready for the next observation, it has kept its cameras open and used this spare time to quietly look at the heavens.

Medical organizations gather for ultrasound practice forum hosted by AIUM
The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) recently hosted the 2006 Ultrasound Practice Forum in Washington, DC, on April 21, 2006.

Man-made climate change
A new study published in this week's issue of Nature is the first to show that human activity is altering the circulation of the tropical atmosphere and ocean through global warming.

Strong cooperation forges global advances in semiconductor processing
Thanks to a series of highly successful projects in the EUREKA MEDEA+ Cluster, Europe leads the way in extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography for the production of future generations of semiconductor chips.

Israel crosses the threshold
In the May/June issue of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists: The Nixon administration's secret policy debate over Israeli nuclear weapons.

In tĂșngara frogs, female choice for complex calls led to evolution of unusual male vocal cord
Male tropical tĂșngara frogs have evolved masses on their vocal cords that help them woo females with complex calls, show scientists working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama.

Italian researchers find fenretinide cuts the risk of second breast cancers in young women
A 15-year follow-up of women in a breast cancer trial has found that fenretinide - a drug related to vitamin A - significantly cuts the risk of a second breast cancer among younger patients.

Stem cell research
Medicines Australia welcomes today's announcement by the Federal Government that it will invest $22 million over four years towards establishing a National Adult Stem Cell Research Centre.

New radiation protection technique results in reduced physician exposure
A new radiation protection technique can significantly reduce physician radiation exposure during coronary angiography, according to a researcher at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, MD.

Salk scientists untangle steroid hormone signaling in plants
When given extra shots of the plant steroid brassinolide, plants

WWU receives $720,000 for 5-year harbor seal study
Grad students at Western Washington University are researching the effects of harbor seals on recovered rockfish populations.

ORNL poised to help nation reach goals outlined in study
Creative thinking and the unique capabilities of Oak Ridge National Laboratory could play a role in realizing some of the goals outlined in the comprehensive

Screening tool to help detect explosives nets technology transfer award for LLNL researchers
Airport screeners, military personnel and others have a new ally in the war against terrorism - a portable, sensitive and accurate explosives detector developed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers.

Could a popular HIV drug benefit hepatitis B patients?
Saint Louis University School of Medicine researchers are studying the effectiveness of a drug for patients with chronic hepatitis B that is currently used to treat HIV.

New study finds similarities between monkey business and human business
Little attention has been paid to whether systematic economic biases such as risk-aversion are learned behaviors - and thus easily ameliorated through market incentives - or biologically based, arising in novel situations and in spite of experience.

Mutant mice show key autism traits
While the causes of autism remain complex and mysterious, researchers are steadily adding pieces to its intricate puzzle.

Results with newer bladeless LASIK equivalent to standard microkeratome LASIK
A Mayo Clinic study comparing femtosecond (bladeless) and mechanical microkeratome LASIK surgeries has found equal results from both types six months post-surgery, using a variety of vision and eye health measurements.

New treatment allow patients to return to pre-injury activity
Ultrasound-guided, intra-tendonous injection of a dextrose solution is a very effective treatment for certain chronic tendonoses in the leg, reported radiologists from the department of radiology at St.

Few gay man regret disclosing HIV status to friends, family
Gay men who are HIV-positive rarely regret revealing their health status to others, according to a new Ohio State University study.

First social scientist selected as Oak Ridge National Laboratory Wigner Fellow
Benjamin K. Sovacool of North Canton, Ohio, a PhD student in science and technology who studies at Virginia Tech, has been named a Eugene P.

New kind of drug could increase number who quit smoking
Smokers are twice as likely to quit if they use medication, but 80 percent will be smoking again within a year.

See Jane run for president and then see girls become political
A high visibility of women politicians increases adolescent girls' interest in future political activity.

The hunt for a hepatitis C vaccine is under way at Saint Louis University School of Medicine
Human clinical trials involving investigational vaccines to prevent Hepatitis C are rare.

Pandemic challenges for Asia-Pacific region
The Asia-Pacific region faces a number of challenges in preparing for an influenza pandemic, yet gaps and inconsistencies in plans across the continent could hinder an effective response to a pandemic, according to a new report(1) presented today at the Lancet Asia Medical Forum 2006, Singapore.

Study shows newborns with jaundice at no greater risk
Newborn babies who are diagnosed with and treated for jaundice are no more likely than other babies to suffer long-term developmental problems, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

FAO workshop highlights sharing of satellite data
Some 50 scientists and engineers gathered at the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation headquarters in Rome, Italy, on 27 April for a workshop to discuss the use of gathering, cataloguing and sharing satellite imagery, spatial databases and interactive maps.

Inhibiting cell process may give cancer drug a boost
A molecule that interferes with the internal scaffolding that shapes the cell may kill cancer cells, retard the growth of tumors and give a boost to a common chemotherapy drug, according to researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Researchers report technique for freezing and preserving genetically enhanced pig embryos
In a study posted on Biology of Reproduction -- Papers in Press, researchers report success in freezing and preserving swine embryos that were created by in vitro techniques and that carried modified genetic material.

Early myocardial enhancement defects on multidetector CT predicts future myocardial viability
Early myocardial enhancement defects (dark spots) on multidetector CT are valuable predictors of myocardial viability in patients who have suffered a heart attack, reported doctors from the departments of cardiology and radiology at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel.

New research reveals Australians too busy for lunch
While most Australians think that eating a substantial, healthy lunch is important, one in three skip this vital meal at least once a week, and one in 10 rarely or never have it.

Startling new facts about what Australians are eating for lunch
A new AC Neilsen Omnibus poll of 1400 Australians reveals that almost two thirds are regularly choosing takeaways, with hot chips, hamburgers and meat pies the most popular menu items.

Ozone recovering, but unlikely to stabilize at pre-1980 levels, says study
While Earth's ozone layer is slowly being replenished following an international 1987 agreement banning CFCs, the recovery is occurring in a changing atmosphere and is unlikely to stabilize at pre-1980 levels, says a new University of Colorado at Boulder study.
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