Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 25, 2006
Virginia study urges early emphasis on science
Students were two to three times more likely to earn science and engineering degrees in college if they expected as early as eighth grade to have a science-related career.

What lies beneath: LSU researchers explore Gulf floor
LSU researchers Harry Roberts and Bob Carney are combing the most unique continental slope in the world to study some of the most unique animal communities on the planet - all just off the coast of Louisiana.

Mass spectrometry methods database gets major update
NIST researchers recently added 150 new

First trial on life-threatening condition finds two surgical approaches have same results
Nationwide clinical trial involving researchers at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh compared two radically different surgical procedures to treat an often fatal intestinal disorder in premature infants and found nearly identical results.

Ancient Etruscans unlikely ancestors of modern Tuscans, statistical testing reveals
For the first time, Stanford researchers have used novel statistical computer modeling to simulate demographic processes affecting the population of Tuscany over a 2,500-year time span.

New biomarkers for improving treatment of spondylarthritis
For an international alliance of researchers, synovial tissue analysis presented an ideal vehicle for identifying biomarkers of SpA.

Millennium development goals ignore health of indigenous people worldwide
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as they stand today, will allow whole populations of indigenous people to disappear, warn the authors of a paper in The Lancet's series on indigenous health, which begins this week.

Theoretical blueprint for invisibility cloak reported
Using a new design theory, researchers at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering and Imperial College London have developed the blueprint for an invisibility cloak.

Stereotypically 'black-looking' criminals more likely to get death sentence, researchers find
Male murderers with stereotypically ''black-looking'' features are more than twice as likely to get the death sentence than lighter-skinned African American defendants found guilty of killing a white person, Stanford researchers have found.

Still more accurate after all these years
Researchers at NIST have developed an improved method for measuring basic properties of complex fuel mixtures like gasoline or jet fuel.

Revolution in the fight against cancer & viruses
A recent scientific discovery could herald the introduction of fast, effective treatments for cancer and viruses.

Neuronal cell cultures kept on the straight and narrow
An improved cell-culture technique developed at NIST uses microfluidics and some clever surface chemistry to culture difficult-to-grow neuron-like cells on a variety of surfaces, and to culture the cells in patterns to study the effects of geometry on cell development.

Exploring the potential of cholesterol-lowering drugs for patients with systemic sclerosis
Dr. Masataka Kuwana and colleagues at the Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo share the results of an experiment to affirm their hypothesis and test a novel treatment strategy.

Include Indigenous communities in MDGs or watch them die a slow death, experts warn
We are dangerously close to killing off the world's Indigenous populations, and losing forever the invaluable knowledge these communities have about medicines and the ecosystem.

Employers need highly skilled social science PhDs
In a new report published today the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) sets out the findings of a review it has commissioned that evaluates both the needs of non-academic employers for highly skilled social scientists, and the extent to which social science PhD-holders in such employment are using the skills and knowledge developed during their doctorate.

DNA: Bacteria's survival ration
DNA is a critical food source in the battle of the fittest, say molecular biologists at the University of Southern California.

Gap between death rates for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal infants widening
The risk of death for an Aboriginal infant in Western Australia is three times higher than for a non-Aboriginal infant, according to an article in this week's issue of The Lancet.

H-1B program hurts small US businesses, New Jersey entrepreneur says
The H-1B program hurts small US high-tech business' ability to compete, engineer and entrepreneur Oscar McKee said in recent visits to Capitol Hill.

Global health gains offset by HIV/AIDS epidemic and mortality in Eastern Europe
Substantial gains in health have been made by most populations between 1990 and 2001, reveals a study on the global burden of disease published in this week's issue of The Lancet.

The tropics may be expanding
Atmospheric temperature measurements by U.S. weather satellites indicate Earth's hot, tropical zone has expanded farther from the equator since 1979, says a study by scientists from the University of Utah and University of Washington.

Healthy fruits, vegetables highlight joint medical, agricultural research meet in Texas
Nutritionists, medical researchers and agricultural scientists will convene in College Station, Texas, June 6 for

Reconstructing a healthcare system in Iraq
Nurses in Iraq listed building new hospitals, English language training and creating more autonomy and respect for their profession as priorities in reconstructing a healthcare system in the war ravaged country.

Overfishing puts Southern California kelp forest ecosystems at risk, report scientists
Kelp forest ecosystems that span the West Coast -- from Alaska to Mexico's Baja Peninsula -- are at greater risk from overfishing than from the effects of run-off from fertilizers or sewage on the shore, say scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Parasitic worms used to fight bowel disease
At Michigan State University, researcher Linda Mansfield is part of a national team of scientists investigating the role that parasites can play in treating inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, in humans.

Minerals go 'dark' near Earth's core
Minerals crunched by intense pressure near the Earth's core lose much of their ability to conduct infrared light.

More effective reporting needed on spinal manipulation in children
Few serious harmful events stemming from spinal manipulation in children have been reported compared to the number of manipulations delivered, says new University of Alberta research.

Desvenlafaxine data show significant improvement in symptoms of depression in adults vs. placebo
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth (NYSE:WYE), this week presented for the first time phase 3 data and results from other studies concerning its investigational drug for major depressive disorder (MDD), desvenlafaxine succinate (DVS-233), a novel serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) at the 2006 American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting in Toronto.

Forsyth issues imperative for a vaccine against cavities
Researchers at The Forsyth Institute have made significant advances in research to develop a vaccine against cavities.

Faster atmospheric warming in subtropics pushes jet streams toward poles
The atmosphere is warming faster around 30 degrees north and south latitude than elsewhere, new research shows.

A gene predisposing to pituitary tumors identified
A recent study identifies a low-penetrance gene defect which predisposes carriers to intracranial tumors called pituitary adenomas.

Study outlines eruption at undersea volcano
An international team of scientists has presented its findings from the first observations of the eruption of a submarine volcano that in 2004 and 2005 spewed out plumes of sulfur-rich fluid and pulses of volcanic ash 550 meters below the ocean's surface near the Mariana Islands northwest of Guam.

Patients, be patient: Brain images suggest new therapy for severe depression can take months to work
New preliminary brain scan research confirms earlier observations by psychiatrists about vagal nerve stimulation, a therapy for treatment-resistant depression.

Researchers explore using nanotubes as minuscule metalworking tools
Bombarding a carbon nanotube with electrons causes it to collapse with such incredible force that it can squeeze out even the hardest of materials, much like a tube of toothpaste, according to an international team of scientists.

Plague agent helps UT Southwestern researchers find novel signaling system in cells
The bacterium that causes bubonic plague would seem unlikely to help medical scientists, but researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have harnessed it to uncover a new regulatory mechanism that inhibits the immune system.

Two very different surgical procedures produce same results in often fatal intestinal disorder
Two surgical procedures, one invasive and the other much less so, for premature infants with intestinal perforation due to necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) produce virtually identical results.

Most extensive survey ever of world's tropical forests shows upward trend in sustainable management
The most comprehensive analysis of the status of tropical forest management ever conducted has documented a significant increase in the

Scientists predict how to detect a fourth dimension of space
Scientists at Duke and Rutgers universities have developed a mathematical framework they say will enable astronomers to test a new five-dimensional theory of gravity that competes with Einstein's General Theory of Relativity.

Historic Colorado River streamflows reconstructed back to 1490
A new tree-ring-based reconstruction of 508 years of Colorado River streamflow confirms that droughts more severe than the 2000-2004 drought occurred before stream gages were installed on the river.

Growing glowing nanowires to light up the nanoworld
Nanowires made of semiconductor materials are being used to make prototype lasers and light-emitting diodes to illuminate the nanoworld.
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