Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (April 1996)

Science news and science current events archive April, 1996.

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Week 18

Top Science News & Current Event Articles from April 1996

New 'Twist' In Proteins Offers Possible Route To Improved Antibiotics
Biochemists using X-ray crystallography to figure out the structure of an enzyme critical to th growth of many bacteria have discovered an extremely unusual

Duke Medical Center Study Shows Alcohol Damages Learning More In Young Brains
Duke University Medical Center researchers report experiments with brain tissue show that alcohol severely disrupts a biochemical process associated with memory formation in young animals, but that alcohol is much less potent in brain tissue from mature animals

Tumor Suppressor Gene Located In Liver Cancer Cells
A malfunctioning 'traffic cop' gene apparently plays an important role in the formation of liver cancer, according to researchers from the Duke University Comprehensive Cancer Center and Zeneca Pharmaceuticals of Chesire, United Kingdom.

AIDS Treatments Seek To Eradicate Virus, Restore Immunity
Duke University researchers and physicians are set to launch a multi-pronged attack against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and will employ clinical strategies never before tested. Using a $4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, two sets of experiments will be conducted that aim to annihilate HIV from infected patients as much as possible, and to then rebuild their immune system.

Enzyme's "Magic" May Hold Key to Anticancer and Antimicrobial Drugs
Harvard researchers reveal inner workings of anticancer drug target. They determined the detailed, 3D structure of the enzyme topoisomerase II, which is the target of several anticancer drugs. This work revealed an unusual and unexpected mechanism for the enzyme and could lead to improved anticancer and antimicrobial drugs.

New Cancer Switch Discovered By Duke Medical Center Pharmacologists
A new way that cancers may be triggered in the body -- through damage to molecular

Duke Geologists Explore Alternative Way To Measure Ice Age Sea Bottom Temperatures
A new study suggests that differing calcium-magnesium ratios in the shells of tiny North Atlantic Ocean marine fossils may finally provide scientists with an unambiguous way to reconstruct how bottom sea water temperatures have changed during and betweenpast ice ages

Cardiology Scorecard
It soon may become easier to accurately compare how well hospitals perform common cardiology procedures such as bypass surgery and angioplasty, due to a new outcomes scorecard system developed with federal funds by cardiologists at Duke University MedicalCenter

Blood Substitute Found Safe During Surgery
Duke University Medical Center researchers report that an important step has been achieved in the development of a blood substitute for use during surgery. The phase II trial tested a genetically modified version of hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying proteinin human red blood cells

Duke Study Indicates Patients With Heart Failure Live Longer With Surgery Than Drug Treatment
While patients with serious coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure generally have a poor prognosis, those treated with invasive therapies like bypass surgery and angioplasty may have a better chance of long-term survival than those treated only with medications, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center

New Approach to Throat Surgery
Surgeons at Duke University Medical Center have demonstrated for the first time that they can successfully treat a disabling condition in the throats of the elderly using endoscopic techniques

News Backgrounder: Rebuilding The Immune System Through Thymus Transplants"
In an experimental treatment, doctors at Duke University Medical Center will implant thin slices of thymus tissue into eight AIDS patient volunteers, in an effort to rev up their floundering immune systems

Gene-Altered Mouse May Provide New Insights To Parkinson's Disease, Substance Abuse And Schizophrenia
Researchers at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Duke University Medical Center have deleted the gene for a crucial molecular component of a mouse's nervous system and created an animal that, in essence, mimics a person constantly high on illicit drugs

Dangerous Chemical Combination Presents Possible Scenario For Gulf War Illnesses
Animal experiments at Duke University Medical Center show that harmless doses of three chemicals used to protect Gulf War soldiers from insect-borne diseases and nerve-gas poisoning are highly toxic when used in combination, researchers reported Wednesday. They said the findings may explain the wide array of symptoms reported by an estimated 30,000 Gulf War veterans.

Key to Triplet Repeat Brain Diseases Open Door For New Way To Understand, Treat Genetic Diseases"
As reported in the March issue of Nature Medicine, Duke University Medical Center researchers have found a possible key to brain disorders such as Huntington's disease, as well as discovering a new concept of how mutant genes may produce disease

Sugar Does Not Cause Weight Gain, Mood Alterations
Healthy people can lose weight on a high-sugar, low-fat diet without experiencing mood changes or adverse health effects as long as they reduce their total caloric intake, according to a study at Duke University Medical Center.

Duke Researchers Find Brain's Motor Center Keeps Time Too
By measuring activity in the brain as reflected by blood flow, Duke researchers have demonstrated for the first time that the brain's motor control center also keeps track of time. Their experimentd show that in both animals and people, the striatum, a portion of the brain once thought only to control movement, keeps track of timing short intervals, from seconds to minutes

Study Suggests Fitness May Help Buffer Stress At Work For Women
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have found that the more physically fit a woman is, independent of regular exercise, the lower her blood pressure level is during a stressful day a work

Growth Factors Improve Accuracy Of Regenerating Nerve Cells
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have demonstrated that the addition of two naturally occurring growth factors significantly improved the ability of severed nerve fibers to reconnect with a high degree of accuracy

Second Breast Cancer Gene Located
A second breast cancer susceptibility gene has been located, researchers at the Duke University Comprehensive Cancer Center and the United Kingdom's Institute for Cancer Research reported

Duke Study Suggests New Class Of Drugs Could Bypass Leptin Loop
Animal studies at Duke University Medical Center show that the protein leptin's role in weight loss has as much to do with burning stored fat reserves as it does with signaling the brain that the stomach is full -- a discovery that could lead to a new class of drugs that bypass the leptin brain circuit and target the fat cell itself

Brain Protein "Rescues" Neurons From Atrophy
Duke University Medical Center neurobiologists have protected growing brain cells from atrophying from disuse by treating them with a protein believed to be involved in helping the brain

Duke Engineers Unveil New 3-D Ultrasound Technology
A new imaging technology pioneered at Duke University will allow physicians to study a living internal organ's entire volume just as though doctors had a window into their patient's body

Study: Physician Specialty Influences Heart Attack Survival
Older people who suffer heart attacks appear to have a much better chance of survival if they are immediately cared for by a cardiologist rather than a family practitioner, according to results of a study by physicians at Duke University Medical Center

Women And Men Respond Equally To Medical Treatment For Coronary Artery Disease
In the first analysis of gender differences in heart disease based on many studies, researchers at Duke University Medical Center have shown that women respond as well as men to medical treatment for heart disease

Researchers Pinpoint Site For Petit Mal Seizures In Brain
Using a type of mouse genetically prone to petit mal seizures, researchers at Duke University Medical Center reported Monday finding new clues about the precise location in the brain that causes the common childhood form of epilepsy

Duke Researchers Discover Central Role Of Nitric Oxide In Hemoglobin Action
Duke University Medical Center researchers have found that nitric oxide, combined with hemoglobin, is a major regulator of gas exchange, as well as blood pressure, in the circulatory system 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