Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (2004)

Science news and science current events archive 2004.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from 2004

Other highlights in the February 4 issue of JNCI
Other highlights in the February 4 JNCI include a commentary about partial-breast irradiation, an analysis of pre- versus postoperative chemoradiation for rectal cancer, a study of glycemic load and colorectal cancer, a report of the characterization of two new antiestrogens, and an analysis of breast cancer risk factors according to hormone status. The tipsheet also contains a listing of additional articles in the issue.

NSF invites media to apply to report from North Pole on climate research
The National Science Foundation (NSF) invites members of the news media to apply for the opportunity to report from the North Pole on a major scientific initiative to understand changes in atmospheric circulation and ocean currents near the Pole that scientists believe have far-reaching effects on global climate.

First data from deep underground experiment narrow search for dark matter
With the first data from their underground observatory in Northern Minnesota, scientists of the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search have peered with greater sensitivity than ever before into the suspected realm of the WIMPS. The sighting of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles could solve the double mystery of dark matter on the cosmic scale and of supersymmetry on the subatomic scale.

New system 'sees' crimes on audiotape
The Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a real-time magnetic imaging system that enables criminal investigators to

Can cabbage help prevent cervical cancer?
Did your grandmother always tell you to

New Royal Society journal studies
This Royal Society journal release includes the mystery of the Moas, nightvision geckos and the origin of teeth development.

Emory researchers find race and gender gaps in treatment of heart attack
Despite increasing attention to sex and race related disparities in the management of myocardial infarction over the past decade, Emory scientists say there are gender and racial gaps in the U.S. between heart attack therapies white men receive and those offered to women and blacks.

Encouraging results from vaccine trial to reduce cervical cancer
A randomised trial in this week's issue of The Lancet shows how a vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV) infection could potentially reduce the global incidence of cervical cancer.

Virginia Tech's Geospatial Center serves government, business
Virginia Tech structured its statewide program to allow for large cost savings, widespread availability of the full spectrum of ESRI software, and building synergistically on the expertise across Virginia so that the state and businesses can take advantage of the many uses of spatial data from flood control to making 911 operations seamless.

Existing therapies applied to new use in broader spectrum of cancer care
Drugs approved for treatment of specific maladies sometimes show unexpected benefits. Researchers at the 95th annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research demonstrated highlighted how some drugs may one day offer previously unforeseen benefits for patients.

Infertility treatment affects oral health
Researchers found that women undergoing ovulation induction for infertility treatment for more than three menstrual cycles experience higher gingival inflammation, bleeding and gingival crevicular fluid (GCF). This study appeared in the recent issue of the Journal of Periodontology.

Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery effectively improves obesity-related health problems
This study examines the positive effect laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery can have on obesity-related health problems.

Best approach to taking out thyroid may be under the arm, study shows
The best approach to removing a diseased thyroid, the endocrine gland just under the Adam's apple that controls the body's metabolic rate, amazingly may be from under the arm, according to a study published in the August issue of the journal Laryngoscope.

Families, media and education crucial in preventing eating disorders
The process of educating young people on the prevention of eating disorders needs to start as early as middle-school, emphasizes Danny J. Ballard, a Texas A&M University health education professor. Ballard said that 5 to 10 million women and a million men in the United States suffer from some type of eating disorder or borderline condition that could lead to an eating disorder.

p110 delta: A key player in the allergic response
Findings from the University College London Branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR), published in this week's Nature, detail how inactivating a key signalling molecule called p110delta reduced the effect of allergies on mice.

Activity level predicts and prevents heart disease in women better than focus on weight
Although excess body weight is associated with numerous heart disease risk factors, the body mass index (BMI) appears to be a poor predictor of both existing coronary artery disease and future risk of adverse events in women. A more valuable tool may be a self-reported assessment of physical activity and functional capacity. For heart disease prevention, the tendency to focus on body mass, waist circumference, waist-hip ratio and waist-height ratio fails to address the related but more important lack of physical fitness.

NIDA sponsors frontiers in addiction research mini-convention
Frontiers in Addiction Research will bring together outstanding scientists from a wide array of research disciplines to share advances and discuss future directions in the neuroscience of drug abuse and addiction. The symposium, which coincides with NIDA's 30th anniversary, includes 20 speakers and 72 poster presentations, will run from 8:00 a.m. to 9:15 p.m.

University of Alberta researchers offer physical evidence for chronic fatigue syndrome
A University of Alberta study has verified that there is physical evidence for those who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), giving new weight to the often stigmatized and misdiagnosed disorder.

New model can aid in understanding immune system diseases
Epstein-Barr is a common virus that is often harmless but likely contributes to malignancies and autoimmnune disease in people with compromised immunity. A research team has engineered a mouse that provides new insights into the virus.

Model predicting colorectal cancer screening suggests higher mortality for virtual colonoscopy
A model predicting complications for colorectal screening options found a greater risk of cancer deaths and procedure-related deaths in virtual colonoscopy as compared to traditional colonoscopy.

Worldwide approach tackles kidney disease
A new initiative,

Zebrafish study yields observation of muscle formation
In this month's issue of the journal Developmental Cell, Clarissa Henry, assistant professor in the University of Maine Dept. of Biological Sciences, reports findings from a study of muscle cell development in zebrafish embryos. Looking at the formation of two types of muscle fibers, Henry and co-author Sharon L. Amacher of the University of California, Berkeley, describe a process regulated by a gene known as Hedgehog.

Turkish-American relations conference first of its kind
An unprecedented gathering on American soil of Turkish cabinet members and Turkish cultural and business leaders will converge at Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, NJ) for the first Turkish-American Conference on Technology, Business and Culture:

Human brain works heavy statistics learning language
A team at the University of Rochester has found that the human brain makes much more extensive use of highly complex statistics when learning a language than scientists ever realized. The research, appearing in a recent issue of Cognitive Psychology, shows that the human brain is wired to quickly grasp certain relationships between spoken sounds even though those relationships may be so complicated they're beyond our ability to consciously comprehend.

Duke scientists overcome immune resistance in dendritic cell vaccines for cancer
Scientists have discovered why dendritic cell vaccines do not attack cancer as forcefully as expected, and they have demonstrated how to overcome this constraint by bolstering the vaccines' tumor-seeking machinery.

Laos camera traps capture tigers
A recent camera trap survey launched by the Wildlife Conservation Society in collaboration with the Department of Forestry in the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) to determine the abundance of tigers has uncovered a surprisingly varied gallery of mammals in one of the country's last remaining wild areas.

Congo plans to safeguard biodiversity with new protected areas
The Republic of Congo announced today plans to expand its protected area network for the purpose of further conserving the region's immense biodiversity, one of the key goals of the 7th Conference of the Parties for the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP-7).

Stroke news tips for Friday, Feb. 6, 2004
To complement our news releases, here are some additional news tips reported by News Media Relations from the more than 500 abstracts and presentations. Abstract numbers are listed for each tip. Note: Embargo times listed. All times are Pacific.

Eating broiled, baked fish may lower incidence of irregular heart rhythm in the elderly
Eating broiled or baked fish - but not fried fish or fish sandwiches - appears to lower the incidence of the most common irregular heartbeat among the elderly, according to a study published in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

New internet resource facilitates international HIV/AIDS healthcare provider training
A major barrier to access to care for HIV/AIDS patients in resource limited settings -- the lack of trained healthcare providers -- is now eased with the launch of an internet-based clinical training resource database.

Chemical reaction in birds provides sense of direction during migratory flights
Migrating birds stay on track because of chemical reactions in their bodies that are influenced by the Earth's magnetic field, a UC Irvine-led team of researchers has found.

Scientists find more keys to the North Pacific Ocean's climate
Using satellite and other data, scientists have discovered that sea surface temperatures and sea level pressure in the North Pacific have undergone unusual changes over the last five years. These changes to the North Pacific Ocean climate system are different from those that dominated for the past 50-80 years, which has led scientists to conclude that there is more than one key to the climate of that region than previously thought.

Breakthrough cancer treatment Avastin receives first approval in the US
Roche today announced that Genentech has received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Avastin (bevacizumab, rhuMAb-VEGF), an innovative new cancer drug, to be used with intravenous 5-Fluorouracil-based chemotherapy as treatment for patients with previously untreated metastatic cancer of the colon or rectum (first-line treatment). Genentech will market Avastin in the US and expects it to be shipped within three days.

A glass of red wine a day may keep prostate cancer away
Drinking a glass of red wine a day may cut a man's risk of prostate cancer in half, and the protective effect appears to be strongest against themost aggressive forms of the disease.

Hopkins to found first center for comprehensive study of epigenetics
With a $5 million, five-year federal grant, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is establishing what is believed to be the first university-based research center devoted to studying epigenetics, an effort that will set the stage for learning as much about our epigenetics as the Human Genome Project taught about the sequence of building blocks that make up our genes.

LSUHSC neurosurgical team discovers novel therapy for intractable hiccups
Dr. Bryan R. Payne, and Dr. Robert Tiel, neurosurgeons at LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans have discovered a new approach to treating medically intractable hiccups. They implanted a Vagus Nerve Stimulator in a Texas man to stop the hiccups which have severely disrupted Shane Shafer's life following a stoke he had two years ago. This is the first reported case of its kind. When Dr. Payne activated the implant following the surgery, Shafer's hiccups stopped.

UGA named recipient of $5.6 million grant from NSF for corn improvement
Corn is by far the most important cereal grain grown in the United States, and a project at the University of Georgia that could one day lead to the development of artificial corn chromosomes has just been awarded a five-year grant by the National Science Foundation for $5.6 million.

New England forests at greater risk from air pollution
When it comes to forests, air pollution is not an equal opportunity hazard. While dirty air spreads across large areas of the New England region, it's more scattered in the southeastern part of the United States.

Janet Jackson's 'accidental' exposing of her breast was the height of fashion in the 1600s
New research from the University of Warwick reveals that Queens and prostitutes bared their breasts in the media of the 1600s to titillate the public, and that the exposure of a single breast in portraits and prints was common in portrayals of court ladies. While Janet Jackson's action of baring her right breast at the Super Bowl was considered outrageous, such exposure in 17th century media wouldn't have raised so much as an eyebrow.

New polyelectrolyte inks create fine-scale structures through direct writing
Like spiders spinning webs, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are creating complex, three-dimensional structures with micron-size features using a robotic deposition process called direct-write assembly.

As obesity increases in people with diabetes, so does risk of cardiovascular disease
As weight goes up among people with diabetes, so does risk for developing cardiovascular diseases, according to a national study of people with diabetes.

Williams to share in NSF award in support of undergraduate research in astronomy
The National Science Foundation has awarded $200,000 to the Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium (KNAC), of which Williams College is a member. The grant will allow astronomers Karen B. Kwitter, Jay M. Pasachoff, and Steven Souza to continue their work with students in a variety of ways.

Common virus may contribute to uncommon bone disease in children
A common virus may play a major role in causing a painful disease of immune cells that attacks children's bones, according to a new study from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The research may eventually lead to an easier diagnosis and to more effective treatments of the disease, Langerhans cell histiocytosis

New computational tools to aid in protein research
Computer Science Professor Bruce Randall Donald and his students are working to ease this burden by developing techniques that simultaneously minimize the number of experiments and accelerate the NMR data analysis involved in determining the structure of proteins.

Beware cancer, insomnia and liver disease - UH students are taking aim
Targeting a range of diseases and disorders, three University of Houston students won awards at the Intercultural Cancer Council 9th Biennial Symposium on Minorities, the Medically Undeserved and Cancer for their research in liver disease, cancer and insomnia. All three from UH's College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, these students swept the undergraduate research competition, taking home half of the six awards handed out in that category.

Longevity protein may slow many neurodegenerative disorders
A protein linked to increased lifespan in yeast and worms also can delay the degeneration of ailing nerve cell branches, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Research team develops nonhuman primate model of smallpox infection
Scientists have made significant progress in developing an animal model of smallpox that closely resembles human disease, which will be necessary for testing of future vaccines and potential treatments. The study, published in this week's online early edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first to demonstrate that variola virus, the causative agent of smallpox, can produce lethal disease in monkeys.

New genetic tools provide clues to the effects of exercise and diet on obesity, diabetes
Children's National Medical Center researchers have described the molecular basis for the improvement in several CVD risk factors associated with the metabolic syndrome and the importance of skeletal muscle in governing these changes. They also found that that changes in glucose metabolism which occur in aerobic exercise trained skeletal muscle are responsible for the cardiovascular benefits of habitual exercise in individuals with impaired glucose tolerance.

Strengthening independent junior research groups in collaborative research centres
The decision made by the responsible Grants Committee on 24 and 25 May 2004 brings the total number of Collaborative Research Centres funded this year to 272, located at 61 universities, including 19 Transregional Collaborative Research Centres and 14 Transfer Units, receiving total funding of about €363 million.

Are nanobacteria alive?
After four years' work, an American team has come up with the best evidence yet that nanobacteria - a possible new life form - do actually exist. The team isolated these nanobacteria-like structures from diseased human arteries and observed them self-replicating in culture. The particles have previously been implicated in a range of human diseases. Many remain unconvinced by the research though, dismissing it as

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