Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (1999)

Science news and science current events archive 1999.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from 1999

Frequent Digestion Complaints May Mean Calling In Psychiatrist
Patients who repeatedly seek treatment for digestive tract symptoms but show no evidence of organic disorder should be identified early on so the psychiatric aspects of their conditions can be examined and treated, say British researchers. They say this would result in better health prospects for the patients and better use of limited health care resources.

NCAR Scientist's Observations Aid In Discovery Of Multiple Planets Orbiting A Sun-Like Star
Three planets have been found orbiting the star Upsilon Andromedae in the first discovery of multiple planets outside our solar system. NCAR scientist Timothy Brown was part of the team of eight scientists who observed the additional planets.

First Trial Comparing Adderall To Ritalin For ADHD Shows It To Be Longer-Lasting, Equally As Effective
The first trial of comparable doses of Ritalin, the standard treatment for children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and Adderall, another drug used to treat ADHD, has shown that Adderall lasts longer than Ritalin and is at least as effective. Results are reported by University at Buffalo researcher William R. Pelham in the April issue of Pediatrics.

UCSF Study Finds Patients Willing To Talk About Risky Behavior
A new University of California San Francisco study has found that patients are willing to discuss risky behavior with their primary care physicians and that it matters little whether they do that face-to-face or with the help of technology.

Cedars-Sinai is first site in California offering LDL apheresis to treat severehypercholesterolemia
While the majority of patients with extremely high LDL cholesterol (also called

Rockwell awards $1 million scholarship endowment to Clemson University
Continuing its investment in South Carolina's economic infrastructure, Rockwell today announced a $1 million endowment to Clemson University to fund scholarships for students in mechanical engineering and electrical engineering.

Hutchinson Center to lead $11.5 million ovarian-cancer research consortium
The NIH has selected the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle to lead a five-year, $11.5 million investigation into the causes, prevention, early detection and treatment of ovarian cancer.

ALA/ATS Meeting Explores Gender Differences In Smoking And Lung Transplant Outcomes And Heart Attack Risk From Asthma Medication
New findings on the different reasons men and women smoke, lung transplant outcomes and gender, and the risk of heart attack from a common asthma medication in people with heart disease were discussed here today by an expert panel at the American Lung Association/American Thoracic Society International Conference.

Screening and intervention for domestic violence lags behind need
Hundreds of women in California who experience domestic violence are not getting the attention they need from their primary care physicians, according to a study released by the University of California, San Francisco.

Full bone mass restored to most postmenopausal women with osteoporosis in two-year trial of new treatment
The first fully controlled two-year study of a new treatment for osteoporosis in postmenopausal women restored bone mass to its original level in nearly two thirds of the women participating in the trial, UC San Francisco scientists reported today.

More Tools May Be At Hand To Combat Global Warming
Farms, forests and grasslands around the world can play an important role in combating global warming in the 21st century by removing carbon from the atmosphere and storing (sequestering) it in the soil.

Depression-treating drugs lead record-setting pharmacy benefit cost rise -- Total increase lower when pharmacy benefit actively managed
America's growing use of depression-treating drugs like Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil made antidepressants the biggest contributors to a record-setting pharmacy benefit cost increase of 16.8 percent last year. The total increase was lower by as much as half for plan sponors that actively managed their pharmacy benefit.

UB Oral Biologists Find Link Between Gum Disease And Passive Exposure To Tobacco Smoke
Passive smoking, implicated in middle-ear infections and asthma in children, also may be a major cause of periodontal disease in adult non-smokers, the first study to look at this relationship has shown. Research conducted by oral biologists in the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine has shown that passive exposure to tobacco smoke may increase the risk of developing gum detachment and bleeding gums in adults by up to 70 percent.

Scientists Use Fossilized Emu Eggshells To Discern Changes In Vegetation, Provide Additional Evidence Of Human Impact On Australian Landscape
For more than 30 years, scientists have suggested that the first human immigrants into Australia dramatically changed the continent's vegetation with the use of fire. However, few vegetation records from the vast Australian interior exist. A report in the May 14 issue of Science, describing a novel approach to reconstructing paleovegetation, presents the first continuous vegetation record from the Australian interior extending back 65,000 years.

Porous Ceramic Foam -- Taking The Heat Out Of Furnaces
A new porous ceramic material, called Hi-Por, could be set to replace the refractory ceramic fibres (RCFs) used as an insulation material in research and industrial furnaces following the European Union's (EU) classification of RCFs as Category II carcinogens. Hi-Por is made using ceramic powders and foaming agents to produce a material that can withstand changes in temperature from ambient to 1600 degrees Celsius in less than fifteen minutes.

Depression May Lower Your Sex Hormones
Sex hormones are secreted at different rates in men who are severely depressed than those who are not depressed, a team of eight medical doctors associated with the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich has determined.

U.S high school finalists announced for International Chemistry Olympiad
Twenty of the nation's top high school chemistry students have been selected to vie for a spot on the U.S. team that will compete in the 31st International Chemistry Olympiad to be held in Bangkok, Thailand, July 4- 11. The announcement came from the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society and primary sponsor of the team.

Duke Scientists Engineer 'Stealth Virus' To Deliver Genes
Duke University Medical Center researchers report that they have modified a common virus so that it can carry corrective genes to defective cells without stimulating an immune response.

Where you live may help predict risk of early death from heart disease
The state in which you live may help predict your risk of early death from heart disease, according to research being presented today at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions.

Mosquitoes have discriminating tastes, UF researchers find
If you think mosquitoes like you better than they like other people, you're probably right, say University of Florida researchers. In a study to determine whether the tiny vampires choose their victims or feed indiscriminately, UF entomologist Jerry Butler and research assistant Karen McKenzie found that mosquitoes do, indeed, choose.

NIAID-Supported Scientists Discover Origin Of HIV-1
NIAID-supported scientists report that they have discovered the origin of HIV-1, the virus responsible for the global AIDS pandemic. A subspecies of chimpanzees native to west equatorial Africa has been identified as the original source of the virus.

Electronic nose sniffs out fresh fruit
Engineers at the University of Warwick have devised an

Chelation Therapy May Alter Immune System
A commonly used drug for reducing toxicological effects of lead poisoning, DMSA, may alter the immune system, a Cornell University study of pregnant rats and their offspring has found.

Wake Forest University Wins $7M Grant To Study The Causes Of Alcohol Addiction
The National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse of the National Institutes of Health has awarded a $7 million grant to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center to study alcohol addiction. The studies will provide insights into brain processes that lead to alcoholism.

In Animal Groups, Scientists See Patterns That Could Predict The Future
Like teenage boys hanging out on a street corner, animals behave differently when they're in a large group than when they're by themselves. The mechanics and patterns of nature's aggregations - schooling fish, flocking birds or swarming insects - help understand how such groups behave in, and survive, trying conditions, says a University of Washington zoologist.

Seattle Researchers Zero In On Location Of Gene For Inherited Prostate Cancer; Gene Also Linked To Brain Cancer
Scientists in Seattle have mapped the region of a gene associated with prostate cancer that runs in families. The gene also may trigger an inherited susceptibility to primary brain cancer.

NOVANTRONE application for multiple sclerosis granted priority review by FDA
FDA review of NOVANTRONE data to be completed within six months

Breast-Feeding Hormone Lowers Nursing Moms' Blood Pressure
A new study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill links increased levels of the hormone oxytocin to lower blood pressure among mothers who nurse their babies. The findings help explain why many breast-feeding mothers report feeling mellow and relaxed after nursing.

Novartis submits NDA for Zometa® (zoledronic acid for injection)
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation today announced that it has submitted a new drug application (NDA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Zometa (zoledronic acid for injection) for the treatment of tumor-induced hypercalcemia (TIH). A potentially life-threatening disorder, TIH is characterized by elevated serum calcium levels in patients with cancer. Tumor-induced hypercalcemia is one of the most common metabolic complications associated with cancer.

One in seven adolescents still doesn't have health insurance
One in seven U.S. children aged 10 to 18 is not covered by health insurance. That figure has not changed in more than a decade, even though government-funded health plans now cover more children and teens.

Common Respiratory Virus Identified As One Cause Of Heart Muscle Damage That Can Lead To Sudden Death
DALLAS, March 16 -- A common respiratory virus can infect the hearts of adults -- young and old -- and cause heart muscle damage that can shorten life and cause sudden death, according to a study in today's Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

No More Running Blind In A Maze-The Laboratory Rat Genetic And Radiation Hybrid Map Is Here
An essential resource for understanding genetics in the rat, a primary model for human medical research, the completion of a high-density integrated genetic linkage and radiation hybrid map is a genome science landmark. The new maps allow researchers previously hampered by incomplete rat genetic infrastructure to connect disorders to their underlying genetic components and will give human geneticists an invaluable tool for pinpointing related human genes.

Relaxation And Music Significantly Reduce Patients' Postoperative Pain
New research has found that relaxation and music, separately or together, significantly reduce patients' pain following major abdominal surgery. The study, published in the May issue of Pain, found that these methods reduce pain more than pain medication alone.

New series tackles complementary medicine
This week's BMJ sees the beginning of a new series of the ABCs of Complementary Medicine. This first issue looks at what is actually meant by the term 'complementary medicine'; how this area of medicine developed; how practitioners are trained and regulated and how they might approach the treatment of patients.

Doing Housework: The 'Ideal' Fair Share
Researchers have calculated that employed husbands and wives should each do less than half of the household chores - 45.8 percent each to be precise - to keep their personal distress levels at a minimum. For those who keep house, the ideal share is 80 percent. No men in the study placed themselves in the

Who Cares For You When You're Ill
The presence of nurse practitioners and physician assistants, and the debate that surrounds it, is the subject of a new study by U-M researcher Peter D. Jacobson.

Magnet therapy: what's the attraction?
A University of Maryland physics professor raises doubts on the practice of using magnets to relieve pain--with some simple experiments you can try at home.

Common cholesterol drugs could be used to treat osteoporosis, as reported in the 3 December issue of Science
A team of scientists has discovered that some widely- prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs also have impressive bone-building capabilities that may make them effective drugs for treating osteoporosis.

Novel anti-cancer agent shows minimal side effects with preliminary evidence of tumor shrinkage
On November 16, 1999, researchers will present data on an ongoing Phase I clinical trial during the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference in Washington, DC. The data shows that CCI-779, a derivative of rapamycin, an immunosuppresive agent, is well-tolerated and may have antitumor activity.

New dinosaurs appear to be oldest yet, as reported in the 22 October issue of Science
The jaws of two of the oldest dinosaurs ever discovered and the remains of eight other prehistoric animals have been unearthed in Madagascar. The fossils provide a freeze-framed picture of life during the earliest days of dinosaurs and mammals--a picture that has been largely obscured until now.

Gene Therapy Incorporates Molecular Rheostat For Controlled, Long-Term Drug Delivery
Using a unique combination of innovative technologies, scientists have demonstrated the ability to introduce therapeutic genes into the body and then, further, to precisely control the activity of those genes with a drug that could be given as a simple pill.

A New Encyclopedia Of Mouse Genes
In the genome-conscious world of modern molecular biology, the mouse is getting a boost with the release of an encyclopedia containing more than 360,000 genetic sequences. Already, researchers have used these sequences to identify new genes, including some suspected of playing roles in a variety of human diseases.

The Commons: Not Always A Tragedy
This research refutes a thrity-year-old assertion that human users of common resources will ultimately destroy the resource on which they depend. A review of specific examples shows that people are capable of managing resources particularly at the local level. Lessons from small scale examples can be used as a point of departure for managing resources on a global scale.

Major $17 Million Grant To Fund Ocean Research
Researchers at Oregon State University and three other leading marine science universities in Oregon and California have received a five-year, $17.7 million grant to conduct ecological research aimed at improving the conservation of marine organisms.

Drilling Project To Plumb Million Years Of Volcanic Island History
The Hawaii Scientific Drilling Project is set to begin boring through 15,000 feet of lava flows on the Big Island of Hawaii March 15. The project--a collaborative effort of the University of Hawaii, University of California and California Institute of Technology--will analyze core samples dating back a million years to study mantle plumes and volcanic island formation.

UT Southwestern Researchers Find Way To Control Gene Activity, Opening Way For Cancer Drugs
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have developed a method to turn off a gene for telomerase, which activates the continuous division of cancer cells. This finding could aid in the creation of new cancer drugs.

National Science Board to meet (July 29-30)
Journalists are invited to attend the next open session of the National Science Board (NSB) on Thursday, July 29, and related events on Friday, July 30, at the National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Va.

Trade, science, risk, precaution: Issues for Seattle
Has the international community failed to heed Britain's hard won experience on food safety, risk and consumer confidence? This would appear to be the case from the World Trade Organisation's current handling of risk issues. In a letter to be published this week in the prestigious science journal Nature(1), ten leading UK environmental researchers point to some serious weaknesses in the WTO's current approach to risk assessment and product safety.

New books view storms, the stratosphere, and more
A global perspective on storms, a glimpse into creeping degradation of the Aral Sea, and a portrait of the stratosphere await readers of recent books by National Center for Atmospheric Research scientists. More specialized works examine atmospheric chemistry and global change and present new statistical methods.

Florida installs wind monitoring devices on 10 South Florida homes
The Florida Department of Community Affairs today launched the Florida Coastal Monitoring Project, an unprecedented initiative that will have a significant impact on the study of wind behavior on coastal homes. As part of the initiative, 28 sensors to monitor wind speed and pressure will be installed on 10 South Florida homes. 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