Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (April 1999)

Science news and science current events archive April, 1999.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from April 1999

The Commons: Not Always A Tragedy
This research refutes a thrity-year-old assertion that human users of common resources will ultimately destroy the resource on which they depend. A review of specific examples shows that people are capable of managing resources particularly at the local level. Lessons from small scale examples can be used as a point of departure for managing resources on a global scale.

No More Running Blind In A Maze-The Laboratory Rat Genetic And Radiation Hybrid Map Is Here
An essential resource for understanding genetics in the rat, a primary model for human medical research, the completion of a high-density integrated genetic linkage and radiation hybrid map is a genome science landmark. The new maps allow researchers previously hampered by incomplete rat genetic infrastructure to connect disorders to their underlying genetic components and will give human geneticists an invaluable tool for pinpointing related human genes.

In Animal Groups, Scientists See Patterns That Could Predict The Future
Like teenage boys hanging out on a street corner, animals behave differently when they're in a large group than when they're by themselves. The mechanics and patterns of nature's aggregations - schooling fish, flocking birds or swarming insects - help understand how such groups behave in, and survive, trying conditions, says a University of Washington zoologist.

ALA/ATS Meeting Explores Gender Differences In Smoking And Lung Transplant Outcomes And Heart Attack Risk From Asthma Medication
New findings on the different reasons men and women smoke, lung transplant outcomes and gender, and the risk of heart attack from a common asthma medication in people with heart disease were discussed here today by an expert panel at the American Lung Association/American Thoracic Society International Conference.

First Trial Comparing Adderall To Ritalin For ADHD Shows It To Be Longer-Lasting, Equally As Effective
The first trial of comparable doses of Ritalin, the standard treatment for children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and Adderall, another drug used to treat ADHD, has shown that Adderall lasts longer than Ritalin and is at least as effective. Results are reported by University at Buffalo researcher William R. Pelham in the April issue of Pediatrics.

NCAR Scientist's Observations Aid In Discovery Of Multiple Planets Orbiting A Sun-Like Star
Three planets have been found orbiting the star Upsilon Andromedae in the first discovery of multiple planets outside our solar system. NCAR scientist Timothy Brown was part of the team of eight scientists who observed the additional planets.

Globalization Of The Economy Focus Of AAAS R&D Colloquium
The globalization of the economy, the future of electronic commerce, and the role of industry, state, and local goernments in boosting the knowledge economy will be addressed at the 24th annual American Association for the Advancement of Science Colloquium on Science and Technology Policy.

Striking A Healthy Balance For The Elderly
U-M study says the elderly consume recommended dietary allowances of iron, zinc and magnesium, but nutritional supplements and drugs can offset the balance of these nutrients.

New Research Identifies Outcomes And Future Trends Based On Past Behaviors, Experience
At the frontier of better diagnosis and newer treatments for mental illnesses, psychiatric researchers are successfully using knowledge from the past to determine patient outcomes and future trends. Four studies in the April issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry show long-term research and historical observation can refine diagnosis and treatment of specific disorders.

UK Researchers Receive Grants To Examine Benefits Of Aerobic Exercise For People With Spinal Cord Injuries
Researchers at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine recently received two grants for a study that will examine the benefits of aerobic exercise for people with quadriplegia and high paraplegia.

Intensive Care Before A Major Op May Improve Survival
Intensive care treatment of patients about to undergo major elective surgery can help to improve survival rates. Appropriate pre-operative care may help to reduce mortality, morbidity and even reduce total stay in hospital, say researchers in this week's BMJ.

New Book Looks At Those Who Examine Our Sex Lives
In a new book, Kiss and Tell: Surveying Sex in the Twentieth Century, a Temple University researcher looks past the sensational results of sex surveys to examine the questions, questioners, and questionnaires.

3D Sight From Sonic Imaging
A new technique for visualising the three dimensional internal structure of an object will allow engineers to see exactly where cracks and faults have appeared and how well the structure has been built. The technique, being developed by Sonoscan, can provide an unparalleled 3D view of the internal features and defects of items such as integrated circuit packages, diamond coatings or ceramic discs.

Jefferson Scientists Find Link Between Learning And Preventing Alzheimer's
A new study in rats suggests that a stimulating, learning environment early in life might actually help ward off neurodegenerative diseases later. The findings indicate that nurture may be more influential than nature when it comes to the brain's resilience against injury.

Alcohol Consumption, Related Problems Among High-Risk College-Age Drinkers Can Be Slashed Using Brief Intervention
Using a technique that can be likened to defensive drinking, alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems were significantly slashed among a group of high-risk college- drinkers using a brief, non-confrontational intervention treatment developed by University of Washington researchers.

Strokes Are More Common In The Black Population
The incidence rate of stroke is twice as high in black people than in white people, say Dr. Judith Stewart and colleagues from Guy's, King's College and St Thomas's School of Medicine.

AHA Scientific Conference On Compliance In Healthcare And Research
A fully equipped and staffed newsroom will be provided for working members of the media. Abstracts, programs, news releases and news conference summaries will be available.

Compounds From Fruits, Vegetables And Grains Slow The Growth Of Human Tumor Cells
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison report in the current issue of the Journal of Nutrition that small concentrations of two compounds from plants we eat suppress the growth of three kinds of human cancer cells in the laboratory.

Autoimmune Diseases May Be Triggered By Cells From Your Mother
Autoimmune diseases, in which the body attacks its own tissues, may in some cases be triggered by cells from your mother that have been lurking within you since you were in the womb. Researchers in Seattle found maternal cells in a man suffering from an autoimmune disease.

Important Genetic Marker For Alzheimer's Disease Questioned
A team of researchers from the University of Toronto, Boston University School of Medicine, Duke University and Vanderbilt University, has determined that recent findings suggesting a gene on chromosome 12 was a strong genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease cannot be replicated. The results of the investigation appear in the May issue of Nature Genetics.

Improving Salmon Management
A half-a-million-dollar (CAN) grant could lead to better management of Pacific salmon. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council grant was awarded to Randall Peterman, school of resource and environmental management, Simon Fraser University, and three collaborators with the federal department of fisheries and oceans.

Options Available For Raising Pay For Child Care Providers
Low wages among child care workers in Montana contribute to high turnover among caregivers, according to a recent survey at Montana State University-Bozeman. Here are some suggested ways of addressing the problem at the community, state and federal levels.

New Website Lets You Calculate Water Quality Consequences
A new Penn State website that enables you, with just a point and click, to calculate the consequences when one or more environmental or policy factors are changed or disturbed in Pennsylvania's Spring Creek watershed is available now on the Internet.

X-33 Liquid Oxygen Test Tank Ready For Stress Tests At NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center
A duplicate of a major component of the experimental X-33 technology demonstrator -- its liquid oxygen tank -- soon will undergo a series of stress tests at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

New Cell Isolation Method Will Aid In Studying Tumor Development
Investigators at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have developed a new way to isolate purified cancer cells - an important advance that will help unravel the mysteries of tumor biology and cancer development.

Patient Characteristics And The Way Patients Are Treated Have Impact On Hospital Costs Of Liver Transplants
A new study by UCSF researchers has found that age, severity of illness of patients, and the types of services patients receive have a major impact on hospital resource use for liver transplantation. These findings suggest that guidelines to standardize resource use may lower costs of liver transplants.

Mandatory Reporting Of Domestic Violence Cases To Police Has Mixed Support From California Physicians
A study of California physicians shows the majority has mixed feelings about a state law requiring suspected cases of domestic violence to be reported to authorities.

What Will Be The Impact Of Devolution On Healthcare?
In an Education and Debate paper in this week's BMJ, an author provides an overview of the changes devolution will bring to the political structure in Scotland and Wales and what the process could mean for healthcare funding.

National Science Board To Meet (May 5-7)
Journalists are invited to attend the next open session of the National Science Board (NSB) on Thursday, May 6 and Friday, May 7.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Researcher To Present Five Scientific Sessions At 51st Annual Meeting Of American Academy Of Neurology
Five scientific and two educational sessions at the American Academy of Neurology's 51st annual meeting will be given by a Cedars-Sinai Medical Center neurologist and researcher. His presentations will provide details of recent findings related to spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) and describe advances in determining the chromosomal location of a new ataxia- related gene. Stefan M. Pulst, M.D., Carmen and Louis Warschaw Chair in Neurology at Cedars-Sinai, is available for interviews.

Electronic Auction House First To Offer Mobile Agent
A computer scientist at Washington University in St. Louis has created a model e-auction house that lets a user create his/her own virtual mobile agent. The auction house, eMediator, has other next-genertion features beyond what are found in the current marketplace and is accessible to the general public.

UCSF And Eight Other Medical Centers Chosen For National Cancer Institute's Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium
The University of California San Francisco has been named one of nine academic research medical centers to form the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The network is intended to speed the development of innovative, technically challenging therapies for children with brain malignancies.

New England Water Is Improving But Problems Remain, Says New USGS Report
Water quality has improved significantly in New England over the past 50 years because of advances in the treatment of municipal and industrial wastes. However, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island are still experiencing some problems with the quality of ground and surface water and the water in the Gulf of Maine.

Researchers Develop New Treatment For Hepatitis B And C As Nation Anticipates Surge In Number Of Cases
Scientists are studying new treatments to combat two viruses that cause chronic liver inflammation and are expected to become increasingly devastating over the next decade. Chronic hepatitis B is currently blamed for about 6,000 U.S. deaths a year; Hepatitis C for 10,000. Those numbers are expected to jump sharply - perhaps to as high as 30,000 hepatitis C deaths annually by the year 2010. The increased mortality is likely to be clustered in people of mid-adult years.

Negative Mothering Breeds Defiance Into School Years
Adolescent mothers who are depressed and anxious and use negative control tactics such as yelling, insulting, threatening, and spanking their children are likely to find those children continuing their defiant behaviors beyond their pre-school years and into school, researchers are learning.

Mt. Washington's Wild Weather Sheds Light On Aircraft Icing
Scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) are spending April at the Northeast's highest, coldest, and windiest peak. The Mt. Washington Winter Icing and Storms Project is testing methods for remote sensing and improved prediction of in-flight icing conditions that can down small aircraft.

Research of Percy Julian , First Synthesis of Glaucoma Drug, Named National Historic Chemical Landmark
The world's largest scientific society, the American Chemical Society, will designate the research of African-American scientist Percy Lavon Julian (1899-1975) a National Historic Chemical Landmark. Julian was the first to make the anti- glaucoma drug physostigmine synthetically, a necessary step to making the drug widely available.

Nuclear Submarine Puts To Sea To Serve Science
Researchers supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) are sailing aboard a U.S. Navy nuclear submarine in April to map the oceanic ridges and basins beneath the Arctic ice cap and study ocean currents that may have an effect on global climate.

For First Time In 40 Years National Jewish Researchers Report Chronic Beryllium Disease Caused By Extremely Low Levels Of Exposure
Exposure to extremely low levels of a lightweight metal commonly used to make everything from nuclear weapons to golf clubs has been shown to cause chronic beryllium disease (CBD) in workers who manufacture these products, according to National Jewish Medical and Research Center physicians.

Sandia Discovery About Protein May Help Clean Up Pollutants, Find Cures For Diseases
A discovery linking the shape of a unit called the heme in a protein to protein function may prove useful in a range of scientific advances, including finding cures for diseases and cleaning up pollutants, says discoverer John Shelnutt, a physicist at the Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories.

Better Than Frosting
By combining low-cost infrared sensors with predictive modeling techniques, ONR-sponsored researchers have developed a new welding technique that promises to save the Navy $10 million per year at one shipyard alone.

Darwinian Design -- Survival Of The Fittest Spacecraft
NASA Scientists plan to 'breed' better spacecraft using artificial intelligence. Such a strategy mimics nature, and may be one of the most efficient methods of future spacecraft design.

Mixing Radiation, Minerals, Toxic Waste Could Be Cleanup Boon -- Or Kaboom
In a finding that could either lead to a new method of chemical waste cleanup or predict disaster at a nuclear waste site, researchers have shown that soil minerals and radiation can break down toxic wastes. The same reactions in enclosed storage tanks, however, may build up pressure and explode.

Melatonin Shapes Brain Structure In Songbirds
Scientists have found that the hormone melatonin is a critical regulator of brain plasticity in birds, controlling mating-related song bursts and fine-tuning the profound effects of testosterone. Now the question is: Does it have a similar effect on humans?

Repeated Exposure To Cocaine Alters Brain Structure
Cocaine can produce long-lasting changes in the structure of nerve cells in certain areas of the brain, according to new data presented at the Fifth Annual Wisconsin Symposium on Emotion April 23 by Dr. Terry Robinson of the University of Michigan.

Causes, Prevention Of Dwarfism Are Goals Of International Skeletal Dysplasia Registry At Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Uncovering the causes and, eventually, a

Psychologist Detects Brain-Activity Changes In Maltreated Kids
Learning to spot signs of anger early, before they lead to trouble, becomes a finely honed survival skill for children who have suffered severe abuse. A new study by psychologist Seth Pollak suggests that this survival skill may actually trigger biological changes, altering the way the brain processes anger.

Clemson Scientists Refining Natural Immune System Booster
Vaccines and antibiotics help control infectious diseases, but some experts say they can have serious side effects or limited effectiveness. In response, Clemson University researchers are collaborating with a biotechnology company to help the body itself fight disease. The company, Animune, Inc., holds a patent to produce immune enhancers derived from colostrum in cows' milk.

Anthropologist Studies Life Close To Home: Book Documents Change In Cincinnati's East End
From Margaret Mead's pioneering studies in the South Pacific to modern-day forays into the Amazon jungles, anthropologists always seem to be in far-flung locales studying cultures and tribes with exotic names, rituals and customs. University of Cincinnati anthropologist Rhoda Halperin has done the opposite. She spent years researching life and social change in Cincinnati's East End. The result was Practicing Community, the first scholarly book about an Appalachian community.

Seeking Life At Its Limits Leads To Antarctica
A Temple University biologist and colleagues from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution spent two months in Antarctica aboard an ice-breaking research vessel studying microorganisms and retrieving samples to analyze back in their labs.

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