Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (June 2002)

Science news and science current events archive June, 2002.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from June 2002

How consumers process information at heart of debate over labeling of genetically modified foods
One of the most controversial public policy issues surrounding genetically modified (GM) foods is whether food products containing ingredients from GM crops should be labeled so that consumers can make informed purchasing decisions, as consumer groups assert, or whether labels are ill-advised because GM foods are safe and mandatory labels could mislead consumers into believing otherwise, as the food industry argues.

New wave supercomputers catch big waves
The new wave in computing - super-fast machines churning out three-dimensional models viewable in high-tech, immersive theaters - may teach us more about the big waves that sometimes threaten people who live near the seashore.

A helping hand: Healthy arm helps retrain stroke-impaired arm
In the first study of its kind, stroke survivors rehabilitated with a technique that electrically stimulates the stroke-impaired arm and requires it to work in unison with the healthy arm regained motor skills better than those who stimulated the impaired arm alone, according to a report in the June issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

UF research: For stroke recovery, two therapies better than one
For millions who have lasting paralysis after a stroke, the key to regaining movement may lie in a combination of therapies, according to a new University of Florida study.

Chemical & Engineering News column receives virtual recognition
Chemical & Engineering News column,

New insight into origin of superconductivity in magnesium diboride
A team of scientists has provided new insight into the superconductivity of magnesium diboride (MgB2), an unusual superconductor discovered only last year.

NIAID expands vaccine testing network
NIAID has awarded seven new contracts that will expand and reorganize its Vaccine Treatment and Evaluation Units -- a network of university-based sites conducting clinical trials of promising vaccine candidates and therapies for infectious diseases.

New radioimmunotherapy cancer treatment
A major advance in cancer therapy--high dose radioimmunotherapy--resulted in long-term remission for persons with an often-fatal form of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL). Seven of eight patients who received the high-dose RIT had a complete remission, compared to only one of four with low dose. Six of the eight (75%) were still in complete remission, and seven of the eight--or 87% of the high-dose patients--were still living after 42 months.

Common bacteria kills elkhorn coral off Florida keys, says UGA research team
Populations of the shallow-water Caribbean elkhorn coral, Acropora palmata, are being decimated by white pox disease. Losses of living elkhorn coral in the Florida Keys typically average 85 percent. A team of scientific investigators, led by researchers from the University of Georgia, has identified the common fecal enteric bacteria, Serratia marcescens, as the cause of white pox.

Beta-blockers after heart surgery show double benefits
Beta-blockers should be used as a first-line medication to prevent postoperative atrial fibrillation, a common complication of heart surgery, researchers report in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Students need strong multimedia comprehension skills to succeed in web-based courses
Students skilled at multimedia comprehension get higher grades with Web-based than lecture courses -- but they still don't like them, according to a new study.

Computer scientists help create fireworks of your dreams
The Fourth of July is synonymous with fireworks displays, but before all the bright colors and thunderous booms, scientists are hard at work behind the scenes making each firework display its best. Computer scientists at Infinity Visions Inc. In Bellevue, Washington have teamed up with the pyrotechnic magicians at Pyrodigital Consultants in Pebble Beach, California to develop software that makes any firework imaginable.

Sugar on the brain: Study shows sugar dependence in rats
It's a common refrain:

Tomato packs more cancer-fighting punch
Forget the attack of the killer tomato, this is the attack of the healthy tomato: A team of scientists has developed a tomato that contains as much as three and a half time more of the cancer-fighting antioxidant lycopene.

Acarbose could delay onset of type-2 diabetes
An international study in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggests that the drug acarbose could be used to delay the development of type-2 diabetes in patients with slightly raised blood sugar (impaired glucose tolerance).

Does your brain shutdown with Alzheimer's?
When Alzheimer's takes hold, does your brain literally run out of power just like a battery going dead? American scientists say that the plaque, which Alzheimer's patients develop, causes a leakage of electrical charge out of the brain cells, forcing them to die, taking memories with them.

New robotic microscope helps scientists track cells over time
A new invention--a robotic microscope--is opening the way for scientists to track changes in cells over time as genes are expressed and the resulting proteins go into action. Tracking this dynamic process is extremely difficult using conventional techniques. Part of the problem has been the cells' need for the warmth and atmosphere of an incubator such that cells can only be taken out and viewed for brief periods of time.

Aventis Pasteur ready to meet nation's needs for tetanus and diphtheria vaccine
Aventis Pasteur announced today that it has produced a sufficient supply of the adult and adolescent vaccine for tetanus and diphtheria, Tetanus and Diphtheria Toxoids Adsorbed For Adult Use (Td), to meet the nation's critical care and routine booster needs.

Natural resistance of pigment cells to sunlight may make deadly skin cancer tough to treat
Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have discovered that a gene that enables the skin's pigmented cells to survive harsh sunlight may have a darker side as well: making the deadly skin cancer, malignant melanoma, highly resistant to treatment. The findings are published in the June 14 Cell.

NOAA-17 (M) environmental satellite successfully launched
A new environmental satellite that will improve weather forecasting and monitor environmental events around the world soared into space this morning after a picture-perfect launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

Probiotics may prevent antibiotic associated diarrhoea
Probiotics (microbes that protect their host and can prevent disease) can prevent diarrhoea associated with the use of antibiotics, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Think you're healthy? Open wide and look inside
A case report published in the June issue of the Journal of Periodontology provides another reason why abnormalities in the mouth, such as swollen or bleeding gums and oral sores, should be taken seriously.

Chicago researchers receive award for innovative HIV drug-making process
A team of chemists from Abbott Laboratories in North Chicago, Ill., was honored June 3 by the American Chemical Society for developing an innovative process for producing the HIV/AIDS drugs ritonavir and lopinavir. They will receive one of two 2002 Industrial Innovation Awards at the Society's Great Lakes regional meeting in Minneapolis, Minn.

African predator rediscovered in Tanzania
A scientist from the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society has rediscovered an African carnivore that has remained undetected for the last 70 years.

Insight into how the body tells time
You may feel different at the dreary hour of 4 a.m. than you do mid-afternoon at 4 p.m. Now, researchers might understand why. A study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis helps explain how genes dictate our biological clock.

American Thoracic Society news tips for June (second issue)
Newsworthy highlights include how researchers show that inhaled corticosteroids can improve symptoms in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)patients; an editorial on the benefits of inhaled corticosteroid use in cases of advanced COPD; and higher levels of a protein that stimulates the formation of new blood vessels in sleep apnea sufferers.

Students from Boston, Connecticut, Ohio and Minnesota win 2002 US Physics Olympiad
After a week of grueling physics exams, lab experiments and classroom work, five students have been selected as winners of the 2002 Physics Olympiad. The students will be awarded medals and college scholarships at a tribute hosted by NASA in Washington D.C.

Importance of early environmental exposure pinpointed in study of breast cancer development
Where a woman lives at birth and puberty may have an impact on her risk of developing breast cancer later, findings from a novel study conducted by geographers and epidemiologists at the University at Buffalo have shown.

ADVISOR 2002--a powerful vehicle simulation tool gets better
A powerful tool for the analysis of advanced and conventional vehicles just got better with the release of ADvanced VehIcle SimulatOR (ADVISOR) 2002.

Genetic abnormality may increase stroke risk fourfold among young
A genetic abnormality that affects how the body processes cholesterol may increase the risk of stroke in young adults fourfold, according to a report in the June issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Rush receives Magnet Award for excellence in nursing
Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago announced today that is the only medical center in Illinois caring for adults and children, and one of only 51 hospitals nationwide, to receive the Excellence in Nursing Service designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet Nursing Services Recognition Program. There are approximately 5,000 hospitals in the United States.

Prying eyes? Researchers can keep it confidential
Patient privacy is a touchstone of medicine. But what about the privacy of those who are responsible for many of the breakthroughs in health care--researchers? Too often the confidentiality of their unfinished work and of the independent experts involved in peer review, which can validate scientific findings, are at risk.

Purdue, IU create new 'tera-scale' supercomputer grid
Purdue University and Indiana University have succeeded in linking their IBM supercomputers in a computational grid via the universities' high-speed optical network, creating a facility capable of performing a trillion operations per second.

Procedure to cement spine now simpler
Johns Hopkins interventional radiologists have demonstrated that cement can be injected into the spine without prior, potentially dangerous dye studies.

Discovery of three faint companions of bright stars
Three small, faint stars, apparently locked in the gravitational embrace of much larger and brighter companions, have been discovered in the first light from a new infrared camera with innovative optics on the 100-inch telescope at the Mount Wilson Observatory in Pasadena, California. The discoveries mark the beginning of a new era in the use of the 100-inch telescope for discovering very interesting faint objects in orbit around brighter stars.

Largest ever study on European cancer prevalence shows large differences between countries
The largest study on the prevalence of cancer in Europe is published in the latest issue of Annals of Oncology, journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology.

Sexually transmitted diseases, malaria, and tuberculosis and the HIV-1/AIDS epidemic in Africa
The effect of HIV-1 on other infectious diseases in Africa is an increasing public health concern. In a review in this week's issue of THE LANCET, Elizabeth Corbett from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, and the Harare Biomedical Research and Training Institute, Zimbabwe, and colleagues describe the role that three major infectious diseases-malaria, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and tuberculosis-have had in the HIV-1 epidemic.

Science editor explores the role of environmental change on global security
Hijackings, bioterrorist attacks and suicide bombings aren't the only human-induced threats to global security. Climate change, dwindling resources and the unintentional spread of microbial pests also have the potential to cause political destabilization, according to former university president Donald Kennedy, now editor-in-chief of the journal Science.

Bacterial quorum-sensing structure solved
A decade after microbiologists began to suspect that many groups of bacteria can communicate -- by releasing and detecting chemical pheromones to gauge their population density -- the molecular structure of a key protein in this interbacterial communication has been solved.

Jorge R. Barrio, PhD receives Aebersold Award for research
Researcher, educator, advocate and author Jorge Raul Barrio, PhD, has been named recipient of the Society of Nuclear Medicine's (SNM) Paul C. Aebersold Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in basic science applied to nuclear medicine. Dr. Barrio, a professor of molecular and medical pharmacology at the University of California at Los Angeles, is known for his effort to identify and track brain chemicals and pathological markers in vivo and establish their roles in human disease.

Laparoscopy for colon cancer could offer long-term survival benefit over conventional surgery
A study in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggests that laparoscopy-assisted surgery to treat colon cancer could be more favourable than conventional open surgery, with the potential to reduce operative complications, hospital stay, and increase cancer-related survival in the longer term.

Inner city adolescents identify jobs, education as keys to their future
Inner city teenagers in North Philadelphia identified education and employment opportunities as the most important factors that would help them achieve a positive future. While acknowledging the risks existing in a high-poverty urban environment, the teens presented an optimistic view that solutions offered by education, jobs and interaction with involved adults could help them succeed in life.

Aqua mission status
NASA's newest Earth Observing System satellite, Aqua, is successfully providing data and engineering images. After more than six weeks on-orbit, the spacecraft and its six instruments are almost midway through their checkout period and are performing extremely well.

Early intervention stops damage to insulin-producing cells
Giving an anti-diabetes drug early to women at high risk for type 2 diabetes preserves the health of their insulin-producing cells better than postponing treatment until they actually develop the disease, according to a study from the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

'Hydra's Tale' examines disgust in literature, art and history
University of Alberta Professor Robert Wilson has written and published a new book entitled, Hydra's Tale: Imagining Disgust. This work examines the notion and 'disgust' throughout literature, art and history.

Ultrafast laser spectroscopy tracks energy flow through molecules
Using an ultrafast laser spectroscopy technique, scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have tracked - and timed - the flow of vibrational energy through certain molecules in their liquid state.

Fungi help some trees weather acid rain, not all
Although some acid rain-battered trees get needed calcium via fungi on their roots, forests are still endangered by other effects of acid rain, ecologists say.

Feeding tubes may not help in severe dementia, yet use varies widely
Use of feeding tubes in nursing home patients with severe dementia is more than 10 times higher in some states than others despite evidence that it may not delay death or improve quality of life, according to a study by Brown University researchers in the June 26, 2002, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Continuous stitching method reduces pain for women with perineal damage after childbirth
Authors of a study in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggest that a simple, continuous stitching technique to repair tears to the perineum after vaginal delivery can prevent one woman in six from having pain ten days after childbirth. The study also highlights how the use of more rapidly absorbed suture material can avoid the need for the removal of stitches up to 3 months after delivery for one in ten women.

Record winter weather caused major economic impacts in the U.S.
Unusual weather across most of the United States last winter created huge and generally positive impacts to the nation's struggling economy. 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