Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 30, 2006
Long-lasting but dim brethren of cosmic flashes
Astronomers, using ESO's Very Large Telescope, have for the first time made the link between an X-ray flash and a supernova.

High-performance steel used in new bridge
The Illinois Department of Transportation has announced the completion of a new bridge in Lake County, Ill., constructed with a groundbreaking type of high-performance steel developed by engineering researchers at Northwestern University.

Time in space
Scientists who study black holes and the supernova events leading to them have, for the first time, been able to observe a supernova explosion as it occurs.

AKARI unveils the birth and death of stars
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's AKARI Infrared Space Telescope has returned spectacular new images showing the earliest stages of star formation and the final stages of the death of stars in our Galaxy.

Study confirms ammunition as main source of lead poisoning in condors
Lead poisoning is a major factor limiting the success of efforts to rebuild populations of the endangered California condor.

Society for Conservation Biology to provide free access to publications in developing countries
The Society for Conservation Biology (SCB), in collaboration with Blackwell Publishing and Elsevier Publishing, announces that online access to Conservation Biology, Conservation In Practice and Biological Conservation is now free to SCB members in developing countries.

Death of a star
For the first time a star has been observed in real-time as it goes supernova -- a mind bogglingly powerful explosion as the star ends its life, the resulting cosmic eruption briefly outshining an entire galaxy.

Scientist-astronaut sends T-cells into space
A former astronaut and researcher at the San Francisco VA Medical Center will be traveling to the Cosmodrome space-launch site at Baikonur, Kazakhstan, this Saturday, Sept.

Sister, can you spare a million?
Considering both direct and indirect costs, the financial burden on a woman who has chest pain and blocked coronary arteries may total more than $1 million during her lifetime.

Kasei Valles outflow channel system
These images, taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, show the region of Kasei Valles, one of the biggest outflow channel systems on Mars.

Full-year results from Oxford Open show wide variation in open access uptake across disciplines
Oxford Journals, a division of Oxford University Press, today released full-year figures from its optional open access experiment, Oxford Open.

Human rights abuses frequent in Haiti's capital
Human rights violations -- including murders, sexual assaults and kidnapping -- were common in Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital city, after the departure of the democratically elected president in 2004, according to an article published online by the Lancet.

Unlocking colon cancer with key of prevention
An international team of scientists reports that a single 400-milligram daily dose of celecoxib, commonly called Celebrex and manufactured by Pfizer, significantly reduced recurrence of adenomas -- or pre-malignant colon tumors -- within three years of previous adenoma removal.

Is it possible to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism?
Nuclear terrorism is the gravest international security challenge today. Is the United States prepared to cope with this very real threat?

Nanotube ink: Desktop printing of carbon nanotube patterns
Using an off-the-shelf inkjet printer, a team of scientists has developed a simple technique for printing patterns of carbon nanotubes on paper and plastic surfaces.

SUNY Downstate scientists discover memory molecule
Scientists have succeeded in erasing memory in animal models. These findings may be useful for the treatment of disorders characterized by the pathological over-strengthening of synaptic connections, such as neuropathic pain, phantom limb syndrome, dystonia and post-traumatic stress.

Better after-school snack choices boost nutrition for low-income kids, UC Davis research confirms
School lunches and vending machines aren't the only places to look for ways to improve students' nutrition.

Bacteria beat the heat
How do some microorganisms manage to exist and even thrive in surroundings ranging from Antarctica to boiling hot springs?

JRRD tipsheet: Focus on stroke
This issue of the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development (JRRD) focuses on stroke.

Mayo clinic finds aspirin, other NSAIDs, may prevent or delay enlarged prostate
Mayo Clinic researchers have found that taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen may prevent or delay benign prostatic hyperplasia, an enlarged prostate which can cause urinary symptoms in men as they age such as frequent urination, trouble starting urination, awakening frequently at night to urinate, weak urine stream and an urgent need to urinate.

Rates of eczema and hay fever may be in decline
After having risen year on year in recent decades, the rates of eczema and hay fever seem to have stabilised, and may even be falling, suggests research published ahead of print in Thorax.

Atmospheric ozone recovering in mid-latitudes, report shows
Concentrations of atmospheric ozone -- which protects Earth from the sun's ultraviolet radiation -- are showing signs of recovery in the most important regions of the stratosphere above the mid-latitudes in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres, a new study shows.

Electronic life extension
Peter Bruce of the University of St. Andrews and team have devised a new and efficient way to improve battery power as well as make charge last longer by using lithium oxide intercalation materials.

Rofecoxib significantly reduces the risk of recurrence of colorectal polyps
The use of the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor rofecoxib (Vioxx®) reduces the risk of colorectal adenomas, according to data being published in Gastroenterology, the journal for the members of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA).

Death rate in pensioners reduced by regular health worker visits
Old people are less likely to die if they receive regular home visits from health professionals.

Researchers map out networks that determine cell fate
A two-step process appears to regulate cell fate decisions for many types of developing cells.

Jefferson radiation oncologists among first to use cone beam CT to improve treatment accuracy
Cancer patients undergoing radiation treatment for weeks at a time physically change, often shifting radiation target sites.

Muscle cells self-destruct rather than grow with use
Muscle cells that should grow stronger with use instead self-destruct when a protein called BAG3 isn't around, researchers have shown.

Anger and hostility speed up decline in lung power
Longstanding anger and hostility compromise lung function and hasten the natural decline in lung power that is a normal part of aging, reveals research published ahead of print in Thorax.

Study finds that vioxx reduces the risk of colorectal polyps
A researcher from Dartmouth reports the results of a clinical trial that shows that the cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor rofecoxib reduces the risk of colorectal adenomas, or polyps.

Rising health expenses are a good value, researchers say
Despite dramatic increases in health expenses since 1960, the return on medical spending is high, according to a new study by researchers at Harvard University and the University of Michigan.

A better water test
Water is essential for life. Nevertheless, even small amounts of water in the wrong places -- such as fuels, lubricants, or organic solvents -- can cause motors to sputter, metal parts to rust, or chemical reactions to go awry.

Molecular motor helps cells tell which way is up
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago show how a newly discovered molecular motor helps a cell determine which way is up.

It's not fair! We are programmed to resist weight loss
Research confirming the human body is designed to strongly resist attempts to lose weight will be presented at an international gathering of obesity experts hosted by QUT this week.

Scandal grows over suspect body parts
Retrieving and supplying body parts for surgery is a billion-dollar business, but safety regulations which came into effect last year are still being breached.

Physicists invent 'QuIET' - single molecule transistors
University of Arizona physicists have discovered how to turn single molecules into working transistors.

Iron critical to ocean productivity, carbon uptake
A new study has found that large segments of the Pacific Ocean lack sufficient iron to trigger healthy phytoplankton growth and the absence of the mineral stresses these microscopic ocean plants, triggering them to produce additional pigments that make ocean productivity appear more robust than it really is.

Silence of the amoebae
Three years ago, scientists at the Weizmann Institute accidentally discovered a way to silence the expression of a key amoebic gene, one which codes for a toxic protein that kills human intestinal cells infected with this devastating illness.

NOVA documentary honors pioneering African American chemist Percy Julian
A sneak preview of a two-hour PBS/NOVA documentary on Percy Julian highlights a symposium honoring the life of the pioneering African American chemist.

The public face of mental illness -- is it a one-sided view?
Research carried out at the University of Leicester suggests that the British press may be guilty of misguiding the public and promoting distorted views of mental illness.

Disabling a carbohydrate trigger reduces obesity and appetite
The absence of a key protein prevents normally obese mice from becoming fat, lowers their blood triglycerides, a type of fat, and reduces the insulin resistance related to type 2 diabetes, researchers have found.

Key industry players meet at the European Parliament's Life Science Circle
On September 12, 2006, in Brussels the European Life Science Circle (ELSC) will be held, a policy platform founded by Dr.

Unique results from Swedish study of HIV vaccine
A Swedish HIV vaccine study conducted by researchers at Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital and the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control has produced surprisingly good results.

Vitamin D supplements should be given to Asian children for two years from birth
Vitamin D supplements should be given to Asian children from birth up to the age of two years, to curb the re-emergence of vitamin D deficiency in the UK, say researchers.

Polymers show promise for lab-on-a-chip technology
University of Alberta researchers are touting the use of liquid crystalline polymers as a viable tool for use in devices such as the sought-after lab-on-a-chip technology.

Deer-free areas may be haven for ticks, disease
Excluding deer could be a counterproductive strategy for controlling tick-borne infections, because the absence of deer from small areas may lead to an increase in ticks, rapidly turning the area into a potential disease hotspot, according to a team of U.S. and Italian researchers.

Governments agree to a renewed mining action plan for Canada
Mines ministers from the Government of Canada, the provinces and the territories concluded the 63rd annual Mines Ministers' Conference yesterday by agreeing to a mining Action Plan for Canada.

Widespread elephant slaughter discovered in Chad
A team led by a conservationist from the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society, working with the Chadian government and the European Union project CURESS near Chad's Zakouma National Park, has discovered 100 slaughtered elephants, most of them missing only their tusks -- a sure sign that poaching is on the upswing just outside of this renowned protected area.

Cassiopeia A -- The colorful aftermath of a violent stellar death
A new image taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope provides a detailed look at the tattered remains of a supernova explosion known as Cassiopeia A (Cas A) -- the youngest known remnant from a supernova explosion in the Milky Way. 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