Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (July 1998)

Science news and science current events archive July, 1998.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from July 1998

Molecular Marker May Identify Bladder Cancer Patients Most Likely To Recur
A new study from the University of Southern California concludes that a molecular test may indicate which patients with bladder cancer will most likely recur and which will be cured following surgical treatment. In the July 15 JNCI, USC scientists show that patients with tumors expressing abnormally low levels of p21 tumor suppressor protein have a worse outcome than those with elevated levels of the protein.

Wistar Scientist Earns Fellowship Award From American-Italian Cancer Foundation
Giorgia Gri, Ph.D., a visiting scientist at The Wistar Institute, has been given a fellowship by the American- Italian Cancer Foundation, U.S. representative of the European School of Oncology. The $25,000 award will support her medical research project,

Particle Beams Clash For First Time At New Collider
The Asymmetric B Factory - a sophisticated new

National Science Board To Solicit Input On K-12 Science & Mathematics Education Reform
The National Science Board (NSB) will hold a public hearing in Chicago on July 20, hosted by the Chicago Public Schools, to investigate the effectiveness of various school-based reform strategies to improve the nation's teaching and learning of mathematics and science.

Anti-Migraine Drugs Might Cause More Pain Than Relief For Those With Heart Disease
As if lowering risk factors for heart attack isn't headache enough, researchers report that migraine sufferers with established heart disease shouldn't take certain anti-migraine medications.

Over-The-Horizon Radar: From The Cold War To The Drug War
With the end of the Cold War, research and development of over-the-horizon (OTH) radar has shifted to applications aimed at detecting drug smuggling. A special section of the July-August issue of the journal Radio Science provides a look at the state of the art.

Paying For The Right Answers? Should Industry Sponsor Medical Research?
This week's BMJ focuses on

Policy Methods For Eliminating Child Labor
World governments might be more successful in removing the nearly 100 million children from the labor market by working to increase adult wages and employment rates rather than pursuing legislative action against child labor, which could be effective only in certain countries, say two Cornell University economists

Horses Prefer Bridles That Have A Bit Missing
An ex-cowboy from California has worked out how to control a horse using a new type of bitless bridle, which takes the pressure away from the horse's sensitive mouth. He hopes this new bridle will eliminate any behavioural problems in horses upset by wearing a bit.

UCSF Study Finds Drug Treatment Can Be Cost Effective In Tanzania And Thailand For HIV-Positive Pregnant Women
Antiviral drug treatment can be a cost-effective measure in both Tanzania and Thailand to reduce the high rate of mother- to-child transmission of HIV, say University of California San Francisco AIDS researchers.

DFG To Fund Four New Research Units
The Grants Committee of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) has decided to set up four new research units. This programme is designed to help establish new lines of research in Germany. The four units will be based in Chemnitz, Dresden, Munich as well as Mannheim and Heidelberg.

Sacramento Glows With Urban Heat
California's capital city glows in its own summer heat in this false-color infrared image taken as part of the NASA/EPA Urban Heat Island Pilot Project (UHIPP). This

Early Medical Abortion With Mifepristone (RU 486) And Misoprostol Is Highly Acceptable To American Women
Over 2,000 American women, pregnant for 63 days or less, who underwent medical abortion with mifepristone (RU 486) and misoprostol, found the method highly acceptable. Nearly all (96 percent) would recommend the method to others and 91 percent would choose it again, according to an article in the Archives of Family Medicine.

Mostly In The Mind
Antidepressants may be little better than placebos. The benefits of taking the drugs could be almost entirely due to the psycological boost derived from taking a pill rather than their effects on brain chemistry, say two researchers in the US.

UNC-CH Researchers Learning Ways To Help Black Women Cope With HIV
Learning what works best in helping low-income black mothers cope with HIV is the goal of a new study now under way at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Anti-Depressants: Miracle Drugs Or Placebos With A Buzz?
A new meta-analysis of 19 drug studies concludes that three- quarters of the beneficial effect of antidepressants may be attributable to the placebo effect and that the remaining 25 percent may be attributable to the fact that the drugs, unlike placebos, have side effects.

New Survey Finds Physicians Seek More Clarity In MS Diagnosis And Management
A new survey shows that seven in 10 U.S. neurologists who treat multiple sclerosis believe the current definitions used to classify MS patients -- from the least to the most severe -- fail to adequately address the diagnosis and management of patients in each of the disease categories. Results of the national survey, conducted by Louis Harris & Associates,were presented at a recent University of Maryland-sponsored consensus conference.

Study Finds Economic Downturns Unrelated To Incidence Of Hate Crimes
While convention wisdom has been that hate crimes in the United States rise with a declining economy, an analysis of hate crime in New York City from 1987 to 1995 found little evidence linking racial, religious, ethnic or homophobic incidents to deteriorating economic conditions.

Mechanism Discovered For Determining Early Vertebrate Body Plan: New Zebrafish Mutants Afford Deeper Look Into Embryonic Patterning
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center have identified new zebrafish mutants important in the first steps that control the dorsoventral -- back to abdomen -- arrangement of embryonic tissues, a process called patterning.

The Future Of Computer Processors Could Be Spherical
The silicon chip may be no more if one American company has its way. Ball Semiconductor Inc, near Dallas, Texas, claims it is close to making computer processors in the form of silicon spheres.

New Findings Add To The Debate On Usefulness Of The Most Commonly Used Screening Test For Colon Cancer
Many of the erroneous results from the cheapest and most common screening method for colon cancer are caused by bleeding above the colon, a Duke University Medical Center researcher has found. Such colon cancer screening is often recommended for all Americans over the age of 50.

'Modern' Behavior Began 40,000 Years Ago In Africa, Evidence Suggests
Excavations from the Enkapune Ya Muto rock shelter in the central Rift Valley of Kenya offer the best evidence yet that modern human behavior originated in Africa more than 40,000 years ago, and also suggest that by that time our earlier selves sealed social alliances and prevailed over others by giving token gifts, says an archaeologist at the University of Illinois.

Researchers Document Transmission Of Protease-Resistant HIV
A team of AIDS researchers has reported a case in which a person has become infected with HIV that is resistant to six of the 11 approved HIV anti-retroviral drugs, including protease inhibitors.

Odds Favor McGwire Or Griffey Breaking Maris' Home Run Record, CWRU Physicist Predicts
Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals has a 97 percent chance of making baseball history by breaking the home run record with 70 homers this season, according to Case Western Reserve University physicist Robert Brown, an avid baseball fan. And Brown stresses that McGwire has a stab at surpassing baseball legend

Potential HIV Vaccine Trial Participants Tell Researchers: Be Open And HonestAnd Do No Harm
Members of communities similar to those likely to be targeted for participation in HIV vaccine trials have specific concerns about how this research is carried out.

Scientists Report Cancer Fighting Drug As Possible Treatment For Multiple Sclerosis
A drug currently undergoing phase III clinical trials for certain types of cancer may have potential benefit for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), report researchers from The Rockefeller University, Albert Einstein College of Medicine (AECOM), British Biotechnology Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and Harvard Medical School. These findings, published in the July Annals of Neurology, offer a new avenue for treatment of this disease.

Professional Nursing Care Related To Fewer Adverse Patient Occurrences, Study Finds
University of Iowa researcher finds that higher proportions of care delivered by registered nurses related to fewer adverse patient occurrences in 81 hospital nursing units. Replacing professional nurses with lower-skilled personnel to cut costs

Building Block Of Cholesterol May Be Better Way To Determine Women's Risk For Coronary Artery Disease
Blood levels of a certain protein in cholesterol may be a better predictor than total cholesterol in determining a woman's certain protein as well as a man's cholesterol risk for heart disease, according to a report in today's Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Social Stress Causes Dormant Herpes Virus To Resurface In Mice
New research in mice shows that changes in social interactions can stimulate a dormant herpes virus to resurface. In a series of experiments, 40 percent of mice with latent herpes had their virus reactivated when their social structure was reorganized, leading to conflicts among the mice.

Native Fish Found In U.S. Lake Ontario For First Time In 50 Years
A little five and a half inch fish is causing a whale of a delighted stir since U.S. Geological Survey scientists hauled the fish up from depths of nearly 500 feet in April. It marked the first time the deepwater sculpin, a species once abundant in Lake Ontario, had been seen in the U.S. waters of the lake in more than 50 years.

MIT Researchers Help Fill In "Missing Link" In The Evolution Of Stars
An extremely rapidly spinning neutron star, spotted by NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer satellite during a month-long outburst of X-rays that began in April, could be a millisecond radar pulsar that provides proof for the theory that these unusual neutron stars are propelled to mind- boggling speeds by the force of material spiralling onto their surfaces from a companion star, say researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

'Frustrated' Lubricant Molecules Offer New Strategy For Reducing Friction In Mechanical Devices
For decades, researchers have struggled to reduce friction in mechanical systems by improving the chemical composition of the lubricants used to separate moving parts. Now, an atomic- scale study of thin-film lubricants, reported in the Journal of Physical Chemistry, suggests a promising new strategy.

Early Independence For Junior Scientists - DFG Presents Emmy Noether Programme
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft has now set up a new programme to promote the early independence of young scientists. The programme named after the mathematician Emmy Noether is targeted at especially qualified young scientists. It is meant as a clear signal to change the rigidified structures of German universities.

Federal Government Issues Second Annual Report On The Well-Being Of The Nation's Children
The Federal Government issued its second annual report today on the well-being of America's children, revealing some good news about their overall health and educational achievements. The report provides information on critical aspects of children's lives, including their health, economic security, education, behavior, and social environment.

Hallucinations In Schizophrenia: Genetic Findings
Recent work by investigators at Hillside Hospital, New York and the National Institute of Mental Health has shown that in unmedicated schiophrenic patients hallucinations are more common in individuals with a specific subtype of the serotonin transporter gene. This is the first genetic marker for hallucinations, and should open a new area for research in this field.

First Visualization Of Chaos In Three Dimensions
In the cover article of the July 31 issue of the journal Science, Northwestern researchers have provided the first visualization of 3-D chaotic flow, showing all the intricacies of the regular features and the chaotic regions in the flow.

Marine Snail Toxin Targeted At African Toad Eggs Reveals Novel Impact On The Regulation Of Serotonin
Researchers have known that the marine snail known as conus geographus uses a toxic venom to stun its prey into submission. Now, researchers led by a UC San Francisco scientist have determined that proteins extracted from the venom wield their power over serotonin, a key chemical messenger in the brain.

Inter-Element Recombination Between Retrotransposons May Be Strategy For Evolution Of Viruses Like HIV
Researchers at the University of Georgia have uncovered intriguing new clues about the evolution of retrotransposons in a genome - evidence that could serve as a model system for understanding why retroviral elements evolve so quickly.

"Scifish" Technology To Protect Alaska's Fisheries And Promote Sustainable Use
Patrick Simpson, the son of Alaskan fishermen, has developed software and a type of sonar that will help fisheries while reducing harmful effects on the environment. Simpson, with the assistance of the National Science Foundation's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, created Scientific Fisheries Systems Inc. (SciFish) in 1993.

Australian Scientists In World-First Cell Discovery
A team of Australian scientists has achieved a world first by describing the structure of a vital receptor found on the surface of the body cells of all animals including humans.

Explaining Sporadic Layers Of Sodium In The Upper Atmosphere
Researchers have given new backing to a theory explaining the presence of sporadic sodium layers in the upper atmosphere. Auroral ionization was not a factor. New technology installed in Greenland made the observations possible, a step toward better understanding of the chemistry and physics of a largely inaccessible region.

Move Over, Protein Kinase C, You've Got Company: Munc13-1 Is A Novel Diacylglycerol Target That Modulates Neurotransmitter Release
Researchers at the Max Planck Institutes for Experimental Medicine, and for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen/Germany, at the University of Göttingen/Germany, and at the UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas/Texas, identified a novel target of the diacylglycerol second messenger pathway that regulates the release of neurotransmitter from nerve cells (Neuron 21, 123-136, July 98).

Research Shows How Shrimps Escape Predators
Researchers from Sweden have found that freshwater shrimps spin tiny currents to enable them to detect the scent of brown trout waiting downstream to ambush them. These small back flows extending 7 millimetres downstream could enable the shrimps to escape predation.

Workshop To Evaluate Research Needs On The Safety Of Medicinal Herbs
A public workshop to evaluate what research may be needed to ensure the safety of medicinal herbs will be held at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina September 23 and 24.

Siblings Of People With Heart Disease Are Less Likely To Get Treatment
DALLAS, July 17 -- You may think you're nothing like your brother or sister, but if any of your siblings have heart disease, think again. In a study in this month's Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association, brothers and sisters of people who have heart disease before age 60 had a greater risk of developing high blood pressure, a major risk for heart disease.

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Trains Displaced Fishermen And Women In New Careers As Aquafarmers
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution has recently graduated ninety-nine new hard clam farmers and helped them establish their own businesses in Florida. All of the graduates were former net fishermen displaced from their livelihoods due to Florida's constitutional ban on inshore net fishing enacted in July 1995.

Report On Heart Disease And Stroke Lists Hospitalization Rates By Counties
Ten California counties have significantly higher hospitalization rates for coronary heart disease compared to the rest of the state, according to a new report by UC San Francisco and the California Department of Health Services.

Focus On The Bay: Pfiesteria And The Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem -- Symposia At Annual Meeting To Examine Science Policy On Pfiesteria And The Bay
To lay the groundwork for future environmental policy governing Pfiesteria and the Chesapeake Bay, the Ecological Society of America and the American Institute of Biological Sciences will host the

UNC-CH Researchers Develop Promising Heart Research Tool
Because scientists and physicians don't know enough about the cause of sudden death during heart attacks, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed a unique new laboratory tool that promises to provide some useful answers.

Only Eight Percent Of San Francisco HIV-Positive Urban Poor Receive Protease Inhibitors
In the first large-scale study of HIV treatment among the urban poor, University of California San Francisco AIDS researchers have found that very few of the HIV-infected poor receive drugs to combat the virus. 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