Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (2000)

Science news and science current events archive 2000.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from 2000

Low levels of salivary cortisol associated with aggressive behavior
Low salivary levels of the stress hormone cortisol are associated with early onset and persistence of aggressive behavior. Boys with consistently low levels began antisocial acts younger, exhibited three times as many symptoms of conduct disorder, and were three times as likely to be named by their classmates as

FDA clears Berlex Laboratories' Mirena (R), new form of long-acting contraception meets need for U.S. women
U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved MIRENA (R)(levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system), a convenient, innovative contraceptive that is as effective in preventing pregnancy as tubal ligation (better than 99 percent) and lasts for five years or until removed. Two million women worldwide use MIRENA. Available for 10 years in Europe, MIRENA will be available in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2001.

Beliefs act as barriers to flu immunization
Certain individuals may avoid getting a flu shot because of beliefs they hold, such as concern about unknown ingredients in the vaccine, suggest the results of a small study of elderly low-income community residents.

Witebsky Center to sponsor conference on TMJ disorders
The Ernest Witebsky Center for Immunology at the University at Buffalo will sponsor on Aug. 4-6 one of the first scientific conferences to address the combined issues of diagnosis, treatment and the body's immune response to implants for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and diseases and disorders affecting it.

Promising new Parkinson's treatment proves safe
An experimental drug that may improve Parkinson's disease symptoms when used in conjunction with current therapies is safe for use by Parkinson's patients, according to a study published by the Parkinson Study Group in the April 25 issue of Neurology, the American Academy of Neurology's scientific journal.

Penn researchers discover cause of kidney failure in diabetic mice
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have demonstrated in an animal model that diabetic kidney failure is triggered by a protein that can be neutralized, thus effectively blocking the development of kidney disease -- which is one of the most deadly side- effects of diabetes. The new finding appears in the July 5 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Science

Regression of advanced kidney cancer seen with allogeneic stem cell transplantation
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health report that advanced kidney cancer, a disease notoriously resistant to therapy and usually fatal, can be completely or partially reversed in some patients with the use of blood stem cell transplants from a healthy sibling donor

Public programs encourage retirement at 60, says research
Today's Canadian seniors benefit most from government retirement programs if they stop working between 60 and 61 years of age, says University of Toronto economist Michael Baker.

Scientists reveal details of brain cell communication: implications for learning & memory
The extremely tiny size of synapses and the limitations of conventional experimental techniques have hampered detailed studies of these essential structures. (One trillion synaptic compartments, or

Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons receives $2.4 Million grant from Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S) has been awarded $2.4 million from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The grant will enable Columbia to find new ways to combine basic biomedical research with clinical treatment of patients by augmenting its efforts in systems biology.

Increased risk factors for diabetes and heart disease in African-American children
Note: The embargo time of this release has been changed from 1 March 2000 at 08:00 ET US to 28 February 2000 at 13:00 ET US
African-Americans are about twice as likely to have diabetes or to die of stroke than are whites. Lindquist et al., in a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, have examined risk factors for diabetes and vascular disease that appear in childhood.

Study evaluates Zyban in smokeless tobacco users
Data presented today at the 11th World Congress on Tobacco Or Health evaluated the use of ZYBAN® (bupropion HCl) Sustained Release 150 mg Tablets as a cessation aid for users of smokeless tobacco. Zyban is indicated as an aid to smoking cessation treatment in smokers 18 years and older; it is not indicated for treating smokeless tobacco addiction.

Cell studies may further gene therapy prospects for head and neck cancer
New laboratory research at the University of North Carolina appears to kindle prospects of finding ways to treat head and neck cancer with gene therapy.

Scientists identify molecular 'planner' that helps brain reorganize
Scientists have used a molecule to help re-wire the brain as an animal learns from new experiences, much like a highway planner alters a complicated road system working its way through a congested, bustling neighborhood.

Grant of the Max Planck Research award 2000 in Berlin
On November 29th 2000 the Max Planck Society and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation are granting the Max Planck Research Award for the year 2000 to four scientists working abroad and eight scientists working in Germany.

Risk factors for heart disease not to be ignored in youth
Teenagers and young adults who have risk factors for heart disease have fatty plaques in their arteries that indicate varying stages of atherosclerosis - from the earliest signs of blockages to the more dangerous advanced stages - according to a study in today's Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Study shows cholesterol-lowering medications are greatly underused, especially in women
Despite evidence that cholesterol-lowering medications can reduce the risk of heart attacks and death in people with coronary artery disease, many physicians at major teaching hospitals in the U.S. and Canada still do not prescribe them, according to a new study. The study, published in the February 14 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, also shows that significantly fewer women than men with heart disease are receiving any medication at all.

Changes in processes can substantially reduce error
Two studies in this week's BMJ look at how changes in the way things are done can have a significant impact on safety.

Current guidance doesn't help doctors treat young patients at risk of heart disease
Current guidelines on drug treatment for heart disease don't advise doctors on how to treat young patients with a high risk profile, reports research in this week's BMJ.

Researchers produce the first direct 3-D image of a volcanic system
Until now, textbook depictions of the fiery magma chambers that reside beneath volcanoes and below the earth's crust were based on projected measurements, some guess work, and the artist's creative imagination. Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, have for the first time produced a direct three- dimensional image of a volcanic system based on sound waves reflected from a subterranean magma chamber.

University of Wisconsin-Madison scientist is named ESA president
Stephen Carpenter has been elected the new president of the Ecological Society of America.

Binge drinking: a dangerous rite of passage
  • Adolescence is a time when many begin experimenting with alcohol.
  • Some adolescents binge drink, that is, drink heavily during a short period of time.
  • Adolescent brains may be particularly vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects of alcohol.
  • Binge drinking during adolescence may have long-term disruptive consequences for memory.


Sandia attenuation technology may help resolve arsenic envirnomental crisis in Bangladesh
Technology developed at the Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories to remove toxin from groundwater contaminated by nuclear waste may offer cludes about how to resolve a catastrophic environmental crisis in Bangladesh where arsenic-polluted wells are slowly poisoning and killing hundreds of thousands of people.

Experimental 'brain pacemaker' alleviates seizures in rats
Duke University Medical Center researchers have discovered a promising new way to alleviate epileptic seizures by stimulating a facial nerve that extends into the brain, disrupting the cycle of seizure activity. Their experiments in rats also involved testing the concept of a

Upper Columbia River: Some fish contaminants decreasing, USGS study shows
Biologists updating 1994 studies of contaminants in upper Columbia River fish--including Lake Roosevelt--have found either decreases or no change in levels of mercury, dioxins and furans, and PCBs, according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey.

Pitt research shows early lead exposure is a significant cause of juvenile delinquency
Children exposed to lead have significantly greater odds of developing delinquent behavior, according to a University of Pittsburgh researcher. The study results, directed by Herbert Needleman, M.D., professor of child psychiatry and pediatrics, were presented today at the 2000 Pediatric Academic Societies and American Academy of Pediatrics Joint Meeting.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Computing - Electronic notebook ...Paper laboratory notebooks may go the way of the typewriter with the invention of the DOE Electronic Notebook. Manufacturing - Manufacturers of components made of plastics, polymers and metals may be able to reduce time and energy costs significantly with direct thermal systems. Electronics -- World's smartest transistor Environment -- New sensor is 'Johnny on the spot'

NHLBI funds asthma coalitions to improve care among high risk populations
Asthma coalitions in seven communities with exceptionally high asthma death rates have been awarded contracts by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to develop innovative, model programs to eliminate disparities in asthma morbidity and mortality in their communities, especially among children, minorities, and low-income individuals.

New genes implicated in neurodegenerative diseases
In the November issue of Nature--Baylor College of Medicine researchers find genes involved in pathways not previously known to be associated with neurodegenerative diseases. Discovered using Drosophila to study SCA1, an inherited polyglutamine disease related to Alzheimer's, the new genes are involved in RNA processing, transcriptional regulation, and cell detoxification.

Researchers design test for visioning ability
Two Penn State researchers have fine-tuned a test measuring one of the key components of leadership: the ability to shape a long-range vision for one's company, church or local school district.

St John's wort as effective as standard antidepressant therapy
St John's wort is as effective as imipramine - one of the most commonly used antidepressants - and should be considered as a first line treatment in patients with mild to moderate depression, according to the largest ever study of St John's wort published this week in the BMJ.

Study finds public health issues not addressed by physicians lobbying Congress
Physicians are frequent and effective lobbyists on Capitol Hill, but their lobbying efforts do not generally address public health issues, according to a new study from Case Western Reserve University's School of Medicine that appears in the November 27 issue of the

Bees wearing reflectors help scientists track insects' training flights
Like aviators in training, honey bees preparing to forage learn their skills in a series of pre-flights to learn the landscape before undertaking new missions, say Illinois and UK scientists who used harmonic radar to track bees wearing ultra-light reflectors.

Young women with heart disease at risk of 'menstrual angina'
Young women with heart disease seem to be at risk of

CU-Boulder graduate school awarded $2.5 million National Science Foundation grant
The University of Colorado at Boulder has received a five- year, $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate, according to Chancellor Richard L. Byyny.

More than 300 regularly prescribed medicines can damage the lungs
The First World Congress on Lung Health and Respiratory Diseases (Florence, Italy, Aug 30 - Sept 3) issues a warning: more than 300 regularly prescribed medicines can damage the lungs. The lung experts meeting in Florence believe other doctors are not sufficiently aware of the danger.

Common mode of action likely in gene-activation molecules linked to cancers
Scientists have identified the structure of an important gene-activation molecule linked to cancers. Comparing the structures of several molecules with related function but dissimilar composition, they found unanticipated structural similarities. The findings suggest a common mechanism of action and raise the possibility of developing anti-cancer drugs based on structural insights.

Bone-conserving hip replacement option good choice for younger patients
A study published in September's British Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery concludes that a hip replacement device developed at Mayo Clinic is successful in conserving bone, making it an attractive choice for younger patients.

Disabled elderly women receive less home care than men
Disabled elderly women living in the community receive about one-third fewer hours of informal home care than their male counterparts, and many disabled elderly married women serve as caregivers to their spouses, according to an article in the December 20 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Family connections feed eating disorders research
For the millions of Americans who experience eating disorders, new research published in the March 2000 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry provides increased understanding of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, and offers a greater awareness of the family and hereditary links of the disorders.

Stepfathers invest significant resources in stepchildren
In time for Father's Day: Contrary to popular perception, stepfathers do invest significant amounts of both money and time in their stepchildren, according to researchers studying the life histories of American stepfathers.

Immune proteins play role in brain development and remodeling
Boston, MA--December 15, 2000--Two immune proteins found in the brains of mice help the brain develop and may play key roles in triggering developmental disorders like dyslexia and neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson's Disease, according to a Harvard Medical School study reported in today's issue of Science.

Implanted chemotherapy 'pump' as standard treatment for liver metastases presented at the Society of Surgical Oncology Cancer Symposium
The use of an implanted chemotherapy pump to treat cancer that has spread to the liver will be presented at the Society of Surgical Oncology's 53rd Annual Cancer Symposium by Elin R. Sigurdson, M.D., Ph.D. of Fox Chase Cancer Center on Thursday, March 16 in New Orleans, La.

Scientists map first structure in important family of proteins
An international team has mapped the first crystal structure of a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), rhodopsin, one of a family of proteins crucial to everything from vision to embryonic development. Understanding the structure should help in the development of treatments for disorders ranging from vision problems to drug addiction and depression.

New observations of sun's interior shed light on magnetic field activity
Scientists have detected changes in the rotation rates of violent, charged gases some 130,000 miles beneath the sun's surface, a finding that may help them better understand the physical dynamics of the 11-year solar cycle that affects Earth.

Genes may help protect kidneys from diabetes damage
Ohio University scientists have identified genes that may be involved in protecting the kidneys of diabetics from damage, a first step in the development of a drug or therapy for millions of people who suffer from kidney failure as a result of the disease.

Biomolecular motors with propellers can live inside cells
Nanobiotechnologists at Cornell University have built and pilot-tested the first biomolecular motors the size of virus particles with tiny metal propellers. (Science Nov. 24, 2000)

Seattle researchers need your help in searching for the genes linked to inherited prostate cancer
Scientists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington are conducting a search, involving hundreds of families nationwide, to find the genes responsible for inherited prostate cancer. However, of the nearly 300 families that have participated to date, only a handful have been African American. At least 100 such families are needed to participate in this ongoing study.

Scripps Institution scientist honored with Maurice Ewing Medal of the American Geophysical Union
Joseph L. Reid, professor emeritus of physical oceanography in the Marine Life Research Group at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, is being honored with the Maurice Ewing Medal of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) for his outstanding scientific contributions to ocean sciences.

Gravity research smooths car rides, creates jobs
Today's cars ride so smoothly that if you feel vibration you know something's amiss. That's because of extensive technology that automobile manufacturers use to cushion every pothole drivers are apt to encounter. Future rides should be even smoother, thanks to the contributions of Mark Bocko, an electrical engineer at the University of Rochester.

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