Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 21, 2006
UCLA scientists strengthen case for life more than 3.8 billion years ago
Ten years ago, an international team of scientists reported evidence, in a controversial cover story in Nature, that life on Earth began more than 3.8 billion years ago -- 400 million years earlier than previously thought.

Virtual realities against pain
The feeling of pain produced during medical treatment can be reduced through sophisticated virtual reality helmets, a simple computer game and the determined predisposition of the patient.

People unconsciously use 'verbal gestures' when they speak
University of Chicago scientists have determined that people spontaneously use a system of communicating when they speak that either reinforces their message or provides additional information that is not conveyed by words alone.

Johns Hopkins researchers find link between cell's energy use and genome health
While studying how a cell keeps its genetic material intact, scientists at Johns Hopkins got busy alternately knocking out two catalysts vital to managing a yeast cell's energy.

Progress report on Homogeneous Assay project
International medical diagnostics company Panbio Limited today announced that it has achieved some encouraging results in the development of its Homogeneous Assay Technology.

New training technique helps alcoholics in battle with the booze
A new training technique developed in the UK is proving successful in helping excessive drinkers curb their alcohol abuse.

ESA to help Europe prepare for space tourism
With summer here, many people are thinking about their holiday destination.

Robot-assisted, laparoscopic surgery for vaginal vault prolapse found to be effective
Mayo Clinic researchers have found that laparoscopic surgery assisted by a surgical robot to fix vaginal vault prolapse, a collapse of the vagina that can occur after a hysterectomy, is an effective option to the traditional, open surgical repair when measured at least a year after the surgery.

Optical illusions, mirages that don't deceive
In the picture on the right you will see the circles moving.

Mass. General study finds potential ovarian cancer stem cells
Massachusetts General Hospital researchers have identified potential ovarian cancer stem cells, which may be behind the difficulty of treating these tumors with standard chemotherapy.

Dark and distant heavenly bodies revealing the secrets of star and galaxy formation
British astronomers are releasing the first data from the largest and most sensitive survey of the heavens in infrared light to scientists across Europe.

Increased collaboration and awareness critical to managing climate variability and saving lives
The U.N. World Meteorological Organization, together with the Finnish Meteorological Institute and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, gathered together more than 250 stakeholders for the Living with Climate Variability and Change conference to discuss practical ways of achieving better management of climate risks in their short and long term operations.

Sandia work launched on space shuttle shows live cells influence growth of nanostructures
Sensors, TB modeling, cell preparation and surgical implant safety may all be improved by a Sandia Labs and University of New Mexico discovery that live cells improve nanostructures when inserted in slurry that, drying, self-assembles into them.

Rise in sea level, loss of wet lands may account for unstable ground in Mississippi Delta
While erosion and wetland loss have become huge problems along Louisiana's coast, the land 30 to 50 feet beneath much of the Mississippi Delta has been very stable for the past 8,000 years, with low to nonexistent subsidence rates.

Reversing and accelerating the speed of light
Physicist Costas Soukoulis and his research group at the U.S.

New study fuels Louisiana subsidence controversy
While erosion and wetland loss are huge problems along Louisiana's coast, the basement 30 to 50 feet beneath much of the Mississippi Delta has been highly stable for the past 8000 years with negligible subsidence rates.

Hopkins researchers develop new tool to watch real-time chemical activity in cells
Attempts to identify potential drugs that interfere with the action of one particular enzyme linked to heart disease and similar health problems led scientists at Johns Hopkins to create a new tool and new experimental approach that allow them to see multiple, real-time chemical reactions in living cells.

Looking deep with infrared eyes
Today, British astronomers are releasing the first data from the largest and most sensitive survey of the heavens in infrared light to the ESO user community.

Industry, C-SPAN leaders energize Lugar-Purdue summit
The chairman and president of BP America Inc. will be part of a blue-ribbon panel being moderated by the head of C-SPAN as part of an energy summit convened by U.S.

Long-term ibuprofen regimen after brain injury worsens cognition in animal study
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that chronic ibuprofen therapy given after brain injury worsens cognitive abilities.

Power plants are major influence in regional mercury emissions
The amount of mercury emitted into the atmosphere in the Northeast fluctuates annually depending on activity in the electric power industry, according to researchers at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

August Geology and GSA Today media highlights
Topics in the August issue include: discovery in Spain of fossilized bone marrow from 10 million-year-old amphibians; tectonic stability of the Mississippi delta; dietary influences on survival versus extinction in the late Pleistocene; use of fossilized buffalo teeth to reconstruct climate and vegetation of Great Plains grasslands; quantifying long-term landscape evolution; and proposed standard terminology for fragmental volcanic rocks. 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