Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 25, 2010
Size of mammals exploded after dinosaur extinction
Researchers have demonstrated that the extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago made way for mammals to get bigger -- about a thousand times bigger than they had been, as well as confirming the dramatic growth in mammalian size after the dinosaurs.

Giants among us: Paper explores evolution of the world's largest mammals
In a paper just published in the journal Science, an international team of researchers has compiled and analyzed an enormous database of information about the largest mammals across time and around the globe, revealing striking patterns in their evolution.

Gender gap in physics exams reduced by simple writing exercises, says CU-Boulder study
Women are underrepresented and on average perform more poorly than men in introductory physics.

ASU's Ask A Biologist website wins prestigious SPORE prize
The American Association for the Advancement of Science has chosen Arizona State University's

Research highlights the 'human face' of climate change
Five years of social science research in Canada's arctic has taught one University of Guelph geography professor a thing or two about climate change's

Will this be the end of hamburger disease?
Hamburger disease, a debilitating form of food poisoning, may be a thing of the past.

Researcher explores the evolution of largest mammals over the past 100 million years
Researchers have demonstrated that the extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago paved the way for mammals to get bigger -- about a thousand times bigger than they had been.

A high-yield biomass alternative to petroleum for industrial chemicals
A team of University of Massachusetts Amherst chemical engineers report in the Nov.

Researchers image atomic structural changes that control properties of sapphires
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University and the Institute of Solid State Research have imaged the change in atomic structure of sapphire that had undergone deformation at high temperatures.

Researchers identify a molecular switch that controls neuronal migration in the developing brain
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital investigators have identified key components of a signaling pathway that controls the departure of neurons from the brain niche where they form and allows these cells to start migrating to their final destination.

A high BMI in childhood linked to greater heart disease risk in adolescence
Children who have a high body mass index (BMI) between 9 and 12 years of age are more likely to have high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood insulin levels (all risk factors for developing heart disease) by the time they reach adolescence, according to a study published on bmj.com today.

New online atlas shows how climate change will affect distribution patterns of forests
Researchers from Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona and CREAF have developed the Suitability Atlas of Woody Plants of the Iberian Peninsula, a series of digital maps available online which for the first time reveal the present and future degree of adaptation to climate conditions of the main plant species found in the forests throughout the Iberian Peninsula (south-western Europe).

New strategies for cancer drug development urgently needed
Millions of cancer patients worldwide may soon be able to receive more effective, personalized treatments for their disease thanks to developments in the understanding of cancer biology, experts will say at the Cancer Biology for Clinicians Symposium organized by the European Society for Medical Oncology in Nice this week.

Google -- an engine of knowledge creation?
Search engines like Google have become part of everyday life, not least in the academic context.

Experts question whether patients will use performance data to choose their care
Expectations are high that the public will use performance data to choose their health providers and so drive improvements in quality.

Young-star discovery hints magnetism common to all cosmic jets
Highly-sensitive observations with the Very Large Array show the first-ever evidence for a magnetic field in the jet of a young star.

Cassini reveals oxygen atmosphere of Saturn's moon Rhea
A tenuous atmosphere infused with oxygen and carbon-dioxide has been discovered at Saturn's moon Rhea by the Cassini-Huygens mission, the first time a spacecraft has captured direct evidence of an oxygen atmosphere at a world other than Earth.

Science selects 'Ask a Biologist' website to win SPORE award
When students using the Ask a Biologist website ask questions of a fictional character named Dr.

New bandage splint designed to make life easier for hip surgery patients
Over a short period of time, the Materials Research Division at Risoe DTU, in collaboration with the Danish surgical bandage maker Sahva, has developed the principles for a new bandage splint for hip surgery patients.

Writing exercise helps women overcome sexist stereotypes
According to a new study, a brief writing exercise can help women in college physics classes improve their academic performance and reduce some of the well-documented differences between male and female science students.

Developing countries can cut greenhouse gas emissions and help the poor
UC Berkeley researchers have looked at simple investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy in a small community in rural Nicaragua, and found that these investments can cut energy costs for the poor at the same time as they reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

More than 600,000 deaths per year worldwide -- 1 perecent of all deaths -- caused by passive smoking, and around 165,000 of these deaths are among children
Around one in 100 deaths worldwide each year is due to passive smoking, which causes more than 600,000 people to die each year worldwide.

Epilepsy: Women need specific treatment
Doctors treating female epilepsy patients have to take account of the specific hormonal situation in women.
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