Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (2002)

Science news and science current events archive 2002.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from 2002

Moderately high homocysteine tied to stroke, Alzheimer's risk
Moderate elevations of homocysteine are associated with a more than five-fold increase in the risk for stroke and almost triple the risk for Alzheimer's disease, according to research in the October issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

New radioimmunotherapy cancer treatment
A major advance in cancer therapy--high dose radioimmunotherapy--resulted in long-term remission for persons with an often-fatal form of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL). Seven of eight patients who received the high-dose RIT had a complete remission, compared to only one of four with low dose. Six of the eight (75%) were still in complete remission, and seven of the eight--or 87% of the high-dose patients--were still living after 42 months.

Simpler therapies may help improve outcomes for HIV patients
HIV-infected patients with cognitive impairment are more likely to fail to take their medications than those without cognitive impairment, according to a study published in the December 24 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Failure to take prescribed medications can cause the disease to progress and can even lead to the development of drug-resistant HIV strains.

Environmental enrichment reverses learning impairments caused by lead poisoning
A study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health finds that environmental enrichment can reverse the long-term learning deficits caused by lead poisoning. Lead poisoning remains a major public health problem with an estimated 34 million housing units in the United States containing lead paint. The study is the first to demonstrate that the long-term deficits in cognitive function caused by lead can be reversed and offers a basis for the treatment.

Hemispherectomy ends seizures in many older children with rare seizure disorder
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center report that hemispherectomy - a procedure in which half the brain is removed -- may reduce or eliminate severe seizures even in older children with a rare congenital disorder associated with epilepsy. The findings are published in the December issue of Neurology.

Swedish trials suggest modest benefit for screening mammography
New data with longer follow-up from four Swedish trials published in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggests there may be a modest benefit from screening mammography for women aged 55 years or over.

Societies raise concerns about document removal from US Department of Education Web site
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the American Library Association (ALA), in concert with 12 other national organizations, have joined in an effort to retain documents on the U.S. Department of Education's Web site. In a letter to Education Secretary Rod Paige, the 14 professional organizations have requested that all U.S. Department of Education materials retain the level of accessibility now available.

Flexible ceramic material is a 'plumber's nightmare'
Using nanoscale chemistry, researchers at Cornell University have developed a new class of hybrid materials that they describe as flexible ceramics, with a structure so convoluted it has been dubbed

Directed antisense expression moderates feeding and weight gain
Rats receiving the hormone ghrelin as a direct injection into the hypothalamus respond with vigorous feeding and reduced fat metabolism.

Industrial fishing threatens sharks, dolphins, billfish
Industrial fishing poses the biggest threat to life and fin for sharks, dolphins and billfish that inhabit the tropical and northern Pacific Ocean, says a new study forecasting the effects of commercial fishing on ocean ecosystems.

NIAID expands vaccine testing network
NIAID has awarded seven new contracts that will expand and reorganize its Vaccine Treatment and Evaluation Units -- a network of university-based sites conducting clinical trials of promising vaccine candidates and therapies for infectious diseases.

Single moms in poor, rural areas aren't ruled by setting
Good parenting style and a positive personal outlook can help black single mothers in poor rural areas raise children who do well in school and cope well with life in general, according to a new research.

New approach to insulin treatment improves patients' lives
Training patients with diabetes to adjust their insulin doses to match their food choices, improves diabetes control and quality of life, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Possible new cancer therapy shrinks tumors in melanoma patients, Science authors report
A treatment that replaces most of the body's immune system with cancer fighting cells shrank the melanomas of some seriously ill patients, researchers report. The findings appear in the journal Science, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

New center to study deadly microbial pathogens
The Keck Center for Functional, Structural, and Chemical Genomics of Microbial Pathogens will unite 20 UW faculty to exploit the full medical potential of existing and forthcoming microbial genome sequences. In addition, the Keck Center will attract new faculty in the areas of mass spectrometry, crystallography, and proteomics. In the United States, the rate of deaths caused by infectious disease has grown from 36 per 100,000 in 1981 to at least 63 per 100,000.

Research may lead to jump-starting damaged nerve cells
New research from University of Houston scientists may lead to techniques for jump-starting the faulty

NYU scientists advance toward nanorobots
A new device allows for localized movement in molecular scale DNA constructs, advancing the study of nano-scale robotics. Findings are reported in the January 3rd issue of Nature.

New grant helps UCSD support academic enrichment
The University of California, San Diego is the recipient of a comprehensive $1.4 million federal grant to improve academic achievement and increase the college-going rates of Pauma Elementary School and Valley Center High School students in northeast San Diego County.

New insight into origin of superconductivity in magnesium diboride
A team of scientists has provided new insight into the superconductivity of magnesium diboride (MgB2), an unusual superconductor discovered only last year.

Study: Katie Couric wakes up America on colonoscopy screening
Colonoscopies in America increased nearly 20 percent after Katie Couric underwent a live, on-air cancer screening, University of Michigan researchers report today. The results show the power of having a celebrity spokesperson for a disease or condition.

Cloning chip
A chip that will create hundreds of cloned embryos at a time is being developed by a Californian biotech company. The chip, which automates the laborious process of nuclear transfer, could make it easy enough for companies to mass-produce identical copies of prize animals for farmers.

Continued disruption of movement among alcoholics despite abstinence
  • Most alcoholics do not display the obvious medical, cognitive or motor abnormalities that can accompany alcoholism.
  • Rigorous neuropsychological examination, however, has revealed mildly to moderately severe cognitive and motor deficits even in abstinent alcoholics.
  • A new study finds that deficits in speed and efficiency of movement may linger despite abstinence.


New power plant combustion model lowers pollutant emissions at affordable cost
Engineers from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have developed a unique combustion method that results in lower power plant pollutant emissions by combining stage-combustion with nitrogen-enriched air.

Pain-relief drug may prevent lung problems, blindness in premature infants
A popular pain-relief drug may prevent lung and eye disorders common in premature infants, a UC Irvine College of Medicine study has found.

South African government urged to take action in preventing mother-to-child HIV transmission
Leading South African scientists, writing in a Commentary in this week's issue of THE LANCET, are calling on their government to implement antiretroviral drug programmes without delay to reduce the vertical transmission of HIV-1 infection from pregnant women to their children.

UW-Madison leads $26 million study on aging
While we all age, we age in different ways. But exactly why we age differently remains much of a mystery. A new $26 million study led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, however, plans to make the reasons more clear.

Mayo Clinic Proceedings features primers on medical genomics
The August issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings features the first two parts of a series of primers on medical genomics. The primers will provide valuable background to help physicians and scientists understand the human genome and its implications for the practice of medicine.

Global warming has uneven effect on coastal animals
Although it is expected that populations of many organisms will move away from the equator and toward the poles to stay cool during global warming, researchers have found that the intertidal zone does not exactly fit this pattern. A study published in this week's Science Magazine indicates that there may be

Virus decimates algal blooms
As soon as the pest algae run out of nutrients, viruses attack and abruptly end the algal bloom. This is revealed in a three-year international study under the leadership of the Netherlands Institute for Sea Research. This knowledge opens up opportunities for using natural enemies to remove algal blooms in isolated areas.

Latest ice core may solve mystery of ancient volcanic eruptions
Ohio State University researchers have returned from an expedition in southeastern Alaska with the longest ice core ever drilled from a mountainous glacier. The core measures 460 meters (1,509 feet) and is 150 meters (492 feet) longer than the previous longest core - a record of ice from the Guliya ice cap in western China that eventually relinquished a climate record stretching back 760,000 years - the oldest such record retrieved to date.

Chemical & Engineering News column receives virtual recognition
Chemical & Engineering News column,

Satellites to profile weather, improve forecasts through GPS
A revolutionary, globe-spanning satellite network called COSMIC will furnish round-the-clock weather data, monitor climate change, and improve space weather forecasts by intercepting signals from the Global Positioning System (GPS). Nearly 100 scientists from over a dozen countries are meeting in Boulder on August 21-23 to help plan the use of data from this mission. Operations will begin in 2005.

Engineers develop economical terrorist-resistant air conditioning concept
Penn State engineers have developed a terrorist-resistant air conditioning concept that they estimate costs less to install in new construction, is more energy efficient, and is cheaper to operate than the current industry standard.

UF research: For stroke recovery, two therapies better than one
For millions who have lasting paralysis after a stroke, the key to regaining movement may lie in a combination of therapies, according to a new University of Florida study.

Mountain streams with rhythm?
Turns out that picturesque mountain stream you've always admired doesn't just burble randomly down the hillside: It marches to the measured cadence of its own drummer. Geographer Anne Chin has discovered that like their flatland cousins, mountain streams meander too. It's just that they meander vertically, dropping from pool to pool at a rhythmic, periodic rate.

Tobacco industry strategies for influencing European community tobacco advertising legislation
A public-health article in this week's issue of THE LANCET highlights how the tobacco industry lobbied individual member states of the European Community to prevent the introduction of a total ban on tobacco advertising in 1998.

A helping hand: Healthy arm helps retrain stroke-impaired arm
In the first study of its kind, stroke survivors rehabilitated with a technique that electrically stimulates the stroke-impaired arm and requires it to work in unison with the healthy arm regained motor skills better than those who stimulated the impaired arm alone, according to a report in the June issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Calif. handgun study to fortify crime prevention efforts
UC Davis researchers are releasing a groundbreaking report that provides the first complete description of how more than 200,000 handguns are sold legally in the state each year. The study, which gives results for the state as a whole, as well as for each county and major cities, will help policymakers identify trends and develop strategies to reduce gun-related violence.

The Second Conference on the History and Heritage of Scientific and Technical Information Systems
Emphasis for this conference will be on scientific and technical information systems in the period from the Second World War up through the early 1990s. Forty historians of science and technology, information scientists and scientists in other fields will be delivering papers on a wide range of topics: informatics in chemistry, biology and medicine; information developments in multi-national, industrial and military settings; biographical studies of pioneering individuals; and the transformation of information systems.

Prehistoric human footpaths lure archaeologists back to Costa Rica
Ancient, buried footpaths visible using satellite instruments but invisible on the ground to the human eye will be studied in Costa Rica this summer after a 20-year hiatus by University of Colorado at Boulder and NASA archaeologists.

Livermore scientists create highest resolution global climate simulations to date
Atmospheric scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have performed the first global climate simulations with spatial resolutions of roughly 50 km (30 miles). This capability will be used to assess climate change and its societal impacts.

Laser-like beam may break barriers to technological progress
Researchers have created a sharply focused, laser-like beam of ultraviolet light using a device that could fit on a dining room table. Scientists and engineers will be able to use this extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light source to measure and manipulate objects at the scale of nanometers (billionths of a meter).

Lipid abnormalities linked to Lou Gehrig's disease
Abnormal accumulation of two common lipids in motor nerve cells could play a critical role in the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), according to investigators at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) in Baltimore. The finding could help scientists develop drugs and other treatments that might one day slow or arrest the disease's progression.

Computer chips found to possess explosive properties useful for chemical analysis and nanoscale sensors
Chemists at the University of California, San Diego have discovered that silicon wafers, the raw starting material for computer chips, can be easily made into tiny explosives that might be used one day to chemically analyze samples in the field or serve as power sources for tiny electronic sensors the size of a speck of dust.

New wave supercomputers catch big waves
The new wave in computing - super-fast machines churning out three-dimensional models viewable in high-tech, immersive theaters - may teach us more about the big waves that sometimes threaten people who live near the seashore.

Radiation rids arteries of re-narrowing for up to five years
People who received radiation in their arteries during angioplasty had a reduced risk of artery renarrowing for up to five years compared to those who got only angioplasty, according to a report in today's Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Lazy snakes! Pythons can be couch potatoes, too
A team of California researchers have studied factors associated with pythons digestion, assimilation and execretion of certain foods. Study shows that their energy stores are based more on what they eat than how much they eat.

Researchers show COX-2 inhibitors interfere with bone growth, healing
Researchers at Stanford University Medical Center have found that selective COX-2 inhibitors - a class of medications widely prescribed for painful inflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis - interfere with the healing process after a bone fracture or cementless joint implant surgery.

UF researchers discover blood stem cells
Stem cells found in the bone marrow of adult mice don't just evolve into key components of blood--they are able to build blood vessels.

Manhattan Project: A Living Legacy
The Manhattan Project, the top-secret effort during World War II to develop the atomic bomb, left an indelible legacy. Manhattan Project veterans and eminent historians will examine the Manhattan Project and its lessons for the 21st century at a Symposium on the Manhattan Project from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM on Saturday, April 27, 2002. The Atomic Heritage Foundation is presenting the Symposium at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1530 P Street, NW, Washington, D.C.

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