Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (April 1997)

Science news and science current events archive April, 1997.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from April 1997

New Steps Found In Deadly Path Of Cancer-Causing Virus: Findings Suggest Novel Method Of Stopping Cervical Cancer In Its Tracks
Researchers at Harvard Medical School report in the April Journal of Virology that the two viral genes of human papillomavirus, E6 and E7, that together can cause cancer, may work more similarly than previously thought, targeting and degrading tumor-supressor proteins in human cells. The findings suggest new therapies against cervical cancer

NICHD-Funded Researchers Find Possible Mechanism Of Preeclampsia
A team of investigators has discovered that preeclampsia--a life threatening complication of pregnancy--results from a failure of the placenta to invade the wall of the uterus and to appropriately mimic the tissue which lines blood vessels. The reasearch, funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, appears in the May 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation

Scientists Urge Further Study Of Alarming Coral Reef Decline
Scientists are becoming increasingly concerned about the decline of coral reefs throughout the world and are recommending more extensive research into the potentially serious problem. Two Johns Hopkins biologists are publishing an overview of the problemof declining coral reef health in an April issue of the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health

Flooding In North Dakota Exceeds All Previous North Dakota Floods By Far
The current floods in North Dakota far exceed previous floods that occurred in 1950, 1969, 1978, 1979 and 1996, according to the U.S. Geological Survey

Pregnancy Hormone May Help Fight HIV
An animal study at the National Institutes of Health has produced intriguing evidence that a pregnancy hormone may protect the developing fetus from the ravages of the human immunodeficiency virus, HIV. The study also points to a potential role for the hormone in fighting HIV-related wasting

When Metal Meets Air: New Catalysts For Oxidizing Molecules May Result, UD Chemists Say
By revealing exactly how oxygen and various organometallic molecules interact, fundamental studies at the University of Delaware may someday support the development of improved organometallic catalysts for making a variety of molecules--from plastics to hydrocarbon fuels, researchers reported April 15 during the American Chemical Society meeting

American Girls Reaching Puberty Earlier, New National Study Shows
Girls in the United States appear to be entering puberty earlier than they did in the past, according to a new American Academy of Pediatrics study, but researchers are not sure why

Overweight Cats Risk Disease And Premature Death, Cornell Study Finds
Overweight cats are more likely to suffer diabetes, lameness and non-allergic skin conditions, according to a Cornell University veterinary study that followed obese felines for four years. About 25 percent of 2,000 cats in the study were overweight when the study began, and some didn't survive for the follow-up.

Purdue Study Aims To Boost MRI Capabilities
Biomedical researchers are using a unique device to obtain information that will enable developers of Magnetic Resonance Imaging systems to produce faster, more precise scans without causing discomfort to patients. Findings will be presented April 16at the meeting of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance Medicine

Organic Displays May Be Feasible
In the future, cheaper, more durable and more easily manufactured liquid crystal computer displays may be manufactured from organic thin films, according to a team of Penn State researchers. Pentacene, an organic compound, has the key materials characteristics necessary to fabricate useable thin film electronic devices

Menstrual Irregularities May Indicate Genetic Disorder
Five to 10 percent of women suffer from a hormonal disorder that may be inherited and may cause infertility, according to a doctor at Penn State's Milton S. Hershey Medical Center who is researching the problem

Tiny Coated Beads Could 'Explosively' Release Drugs On Cue Within Tumors
Researchers at Duke University and Access Pharmaceutical Inc. of Dallas, Texas, are jointly devising microscopic beads that can dump drugs directly onto tumors by mimicking the way substances are secreted within cells

Genetic Variations In Enzymes That Metabolize Drugs Contribute To Cancer Risk, Find University Of Pittsburgh Researchers
Naturally occurring genetic variations in drug metabolizing enzymes significantly contribute to whether a person develops certain cancers, report University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute researchers on April 14 at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting in San Diego.

New Ultrasound Technique Allows Closer Inspection Of Food Containers
University of Illinois food scientists have developed an acoustic technique that provides for much closer inspection of food containers than is currently possible through ordinary visual inspection

Scientists Study Sea Lamprey's Success At Reconnecting Neurons After Spinal Cord Damage
Young sea lampreys possess a remarkable capability:

New Software Boosts Internet Performance
Novel techniques developed by Boston University researchers that allow computer users to assess the performance of their link to the Internet have been incorporated into a new consumer software product designed to be used with web browsers such as Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer

Vitamin D Inhibits Prostate Cancer Growth In Animal, Find University Of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute Researchers
The first evidence that vitamin D significantly inhibits prostate cancer growth in animals with widespread disease that mimics human prostate cancer is being presented by University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute researchers on April 14 at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting in San Diego.

Discovery Sheds Light On Increasing Bacterial Drug Resistance
A molecule that enables bacteria to resist an unusually wide range of drugs has been discovered at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, as reported in the April issue of the Journal of Bacteriolgy. The finding throws light on the alarming phenomenon of increasing bacterial drug resistance and may help overcome it in various diseases

Arrays Of Hundreds Of Identical Millimeter-sized Machines May Replace Conventional Mechanical Devices
Taking a leaf from microelectronics manufacturers, who have perfected methods to produce millions of transistors simultaneously, Stanford researchers are pioneering development of massively parallel mechanical systems consisting of arrays of hundreds of mechanisms ranging in size from a few hundreds to an inch to the width of a human hair.

Environmental News: Soil-Chemistry Studies At UD Suggest New Pathways For Immobilizing Metal Contaminants
SAN FRANCISCO, CA--New information, based on molecular-scale studies of metals in soils, may help environmental engineers immobilize these contaminants more effectively, University of Delaware researchers reported April 14 during the ACS meeting. At the soil's surface, key industrial metals including nickel, copper, chromium, cobalt and zinc--but not lead--form compounds that dramatically diminish their mobility in the natural environment, says Donald L. Sparks

AIDS Epidemic Could Be Curbed Through Three Efforts, Experts Say
Rigorous analysis of the latest evidence on sexual transmission of HIV -- the virus that causes AIDS -- has identified three major factors that should be targeted to help curb the deadly epidemic, researchers say

Common Carbohydrates May Prove To Be Substitute For Dietary Fiber
It may be possible to get the disease-fighting benefits of bran -- without having to eat bowlsful of the stuff -- by switching to smaller amounts of certain fruits and vegetables, says a University of Illinois scientists

Altered Gene Increases Men's Risk For Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Possessing an altered form of a gene involved in communication between the brain's nerve cells may put certain men at greater risk of developing obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), report Rockefeller University scientists. This is the first susceptibility gene isolated for OCD, which affects 1 to 3 percent of the U.S. population

New Technique Creates "Impossible" Reactions And New Electronic Materials In One Step
At temperatures hotter than the sun's surface, University at Buffalo chemists are generating new coatings and then dramatically cooling them to, or even below, room temperature before depositing them on electronic devices. The technique was described inan invited talk today at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Project Shows Native Bacteria Can Destroy Widespread Pollutant In Groundwater
Native bacteria can be used to destroy one of the most tenacious and widespread groundwater contaminants, Stanford researchers have shown. The pollutant is trichloroethylene (TCE). Results of the first full-scale test of in situ bioremediation's effectiveness against TCE reported at the ACS meeting in San Francisco.

New Data Shows How Humus Handles Pollution
A new analytic approach pioneered by Penn State researchers is helping to pile up evidence about why and how composting's product, humus, can control pollution

Prostate Cancer's Aggressiveness May Be Predicted Early By The Ratio Of Free To Total PSA
The ratio of free to total prostate specific antigen (PSA) in a man's blood may predict at the time of diagnosis whether prostate cancer will be an aggressive, fast-growing disease or a non-aggressive, slow-growing type of cancer, say researchers at theNational Institute on Aging

'Quantum Dots:' The Finish Line In High-Speed Computing?
In the full-throttle quest to make smaller, faster and better computer chips, University of Wisconsin-Madison engineer Max Lagally is exploring what may be the final frontier: Building them one atom at a time

Duke Study Uses Tiny Temperature Changes To Probe Water-Exclusion At Protein Binding Sites
In research that could lead to better drug design, a Duke University bioorganic chemist is exploiting the differences between two forms of water to probe how proteins' shapes control the way they bind with other molecules

Tracking The Red River Flood Northward
As the unprecedented floodwaters of the Red River slowly begin to subside in Grand Forks, N. Dak., crews from the U.S. Geological Survey are tracking the northward movement of the water, taking measurements to help improve forecasts of the flood for evacuations upstream

Materials Science: UD Chemist Proposes New Description Of Reactions For "Growing" Computer Chips
University of Delaware research might someday help computer companies

Tornado Sensor May Become Reality
Residents of tornado-prone areas across the country may soon be able to purchase an inexpensive form of protection that will warn them when a tornado is approaching

Disarming Alzheimer's Toxic Proteins: Discovery May Lead To New Understanding Of Brain Disorder
A new study of the proteins that may be responsible for the brain lesions associated with Alzheimer's disease promises a new understanding of its underlying cause, and may someday yield new treatments for the devastating and deadly disease

Virus May Be Linked To Obesity -- Early Findings Hint At Relationship
A virus that can cause obesity in animals may be linked to some cases of obesity in humans, researchers at the University of Wisconsin Medical School have found

Warming Surgery Patients Reduces Fatal Heart Risks
Keeping surgery patients warm is a simple and inexpensive way to significantly reduce the risk of heart complications, the leading cause of post-operative death, a Johns Hopkins study suggests

ORNL Is Developing Medical Telesensors For The Military
ORNL is leading an effort to develop medical telesensors for the military that may also have civilian uses. These telesensors are electronic chips that will be able to collect and send measurements on body temperature, pulse rate, blood pressure, and other vital signs to medical personnel miles away

Novel Solid-State Mid-Infrared Laser Nearing Reality, Scientists Say
A novel concept for making a tunable, mid-infrared semiconductor laser has been moved a step closer to reality at the University of Illinois

Higher Rate Of End-Stage Renal Disease In African-American Men Associated With High Blood Pressure And Lower Income
Although hypertension and low income already are linked to an increased risk of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) for both African-American and white men, the two factors may help explain the four-fold higher incidence of ESRD found in blacks, compared to whites, according to a study led by Johns Hopkins researchers

New Variations On Old Drugs Promote Nerve Regeneration
Researchers at Johns Hopkins and Guilford Pharmaceuticals Inc., have successfully modified a group of established drugs to stimulate nerve growth without suppressing the immune system.

UPMC Researcher Discovers Brain Abnormality That May Lead To Greater Understanding Of Depression
Newly discovered abnormalities in an area of the brain that helps control reactions to emotional experiences may lead to a new understanding of why people develop depression and other mood disorders, says a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) in today's scientific journal Nature

Scientists Locate Two Memory Processes In Human Brain
Neuroscientists at Stanford have distinguished between clusters of neurons just inches apart that are involved in two different aspects of human memory - retrieving and encoding information, according to a study using functional MRI that is published inthe April 11 issue of Science.

New Gamma-rays Count Challenges Astronomical Theories
Scientists have discovered recently that there are fewer low-energy photons in the universe than previously thought, an observation that may alter the way astronomers think about how galaxies were formed. The results were presented April 18 at the meeting of the American Physical Society in Washington, D.C

UB Research Provides Biochemical Explanation For Obesity
Research at the University at Buffalo is the first to provide a biochemical explanation for obesity that could help pave the way for development of treatments for the condition. The work was reported today at the annual meeting of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology in New Orleans.

New Polymer Diode Is The First To Emit Light Of Many Colors
Materials scientists have developed a new polymer-based light-emitting diode (LED) that can change color with the ease of a chameleon. The device, the first plastic material and the first LED able to emit light of multiple colors, signals an era when plastic actually forms the electronic soul of modern devices and is no longer relegated to the outer shell

Here Comes The Sun...
As the recent solar mass-ejection arrives at the Earth, it is expected to produce a marked increase in the brightness of the aurora or

New Series Of Massive Gold Clusters Has "Extraordinary" Quantum Properties For Nanoelectronics
An interdisciplinary team of researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology has isolated a new series of highly stable and massive gold-cluster molecules that possess a set of

Jackson Lab Scientists Report Advance In Study Of Neuronal Migration In Brain Development
Genetic research conducted at The Jackson Laboratory has identified a protein in mice that may play a fundamental role in the critical process of

Virginia Tech Researchers Designing Light-Activated Molecules As New Anticancer Drugs
Virginia Tech faculty members and students in chemistry and biology are building new molecules to act as anticancer agents. The aim is to develop molecular systems to counter cancer's ability to develop immunity to anticancer drugs and to help physicians focus their attack on cancer cells. The new molecules will be photoinitiated.

Herpes-Based Gene Therapy Is Key To Promising Liver Tumor Vaccine
Physicians from the University of Rochester's Cancer Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have created a promising compound that recruits the body's immune system to target and wipe out cancer cells in the liver. The majority of rats injected with the vaccine were cancer-free, while control animals typically had dozens of tumors

Research Team Sticks With Prediction Of Above-Average Hurricane Year; Colorado State University's Gray Says More Active Storm Period Brewing
Colorado State University's team of noted researchers predict an above-average hurricane season in 1997 in its April forecast, released today.

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