Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (June 2004)

Science news and science current events archive June, 2004.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from June 2004

Novel therapeutic bortezomib moves to phase II trial in lung cancer patients
A three-drug combination including the novel molecularly targeted agent bortezomib, the first drug in its class, proved well-tolerated and showed promising efficacy in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer, according to phase I trial results.

Patients with Parkinson disease and high homocysteine levels may be more likely to be depressed
Patients with Parkinson disease (PD) who also have high levels of homocysteine (an amino acid produced by the body) are more likely to be depressed compared with other patients with PD who have normal levels of homocysteine, according to an article in the June issue of The Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Climate change Qs & As
A free, public conference on climate change is planned for Tuesday, 15 June.

Japanese researchers develop novel method of introducing transgenes into animals
Japanese scientists report the birth of transgenic mice with new genetic material from sperm stem cells possessing a retroviral transgene injected into the testes of immature male mice. The transgenic offspring were able to pass on the transgene to the next generation. This novel method is simpler and has a higher rate of success than other reported methods of introducing transgenes into animals.

Rutgers professor receives Service Award from AIARD
Dr. Carl Pray, professor of agriculture, food and resource economics at Rutgers' Cook College, has been selected by the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD) as the recipient of their 2004 Special Service Award.

'Rolling Store' provides model for overcoming barriers to healthy foods and better health outcomes
The Rolling Store, a unique approach to overcoming economic and transportation barriers in order to provide poor women in the Lower Mississippi Delta access to healthy foods, not only prevented continuing weight gain - the study's objective - but resulted in weight loss and improved self esteem.

The rush to pick a perfect embryo
The latest hope for couples struggling to have children is PGD, for pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. In countries such as the US and Australia, PGD is offered as a way of screening embryos during IVF, to improve the chances of conceiving. But several experts told New Scientist that proof that PGD improves the outcome of IVF is still lacking. Also, the latest research shows the technique cannot help all women.

To understand innate immunity, silence the genome
To elucidate one arm of the innate immune system in the Drosophila fruitfly, Edan Foley and Patrick O'Farrell sequentially silenced its conserved genes (over 7,000) to study the effect on the flies ability to mount an immune response. Their findings not only add to our understanding of the highly conserved innate immune system, but they have also demonstrated that a global genome silencing approach is feasible for elucidating complex molecular signaling systems.

NIST demonstrates 'Teleportation' of atomic states for quantum computing
Physicists at the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated

Drug tested at OHSU prevents MS-like disease in animals
Scientists at OHSU are announcing very promising results of an MS drug trial conducted in rats. The drug prevented MS-like symptoms in the animal models being studied. The data is being presented at The Endocrine Society meeting.

Canada's first space telescope finds stellar 'Flat Liner'
MOST, Canada's first space telescope, celebrates its first birthday today, but its latest surprising results could spoil the party for other astronomers whose earlier results are now being questioned.

Floating university expedition to unravel ocean bed secrets of rapid climate change
Researchers from Cardiff University, UK, have sailed into Cardiff Bay, returning from a major research expedition to to unravel the complex history of ice-ocean and climate change over the past 50,000 years.

Tree-Ring Laboratory receives $5.5 million to study climate dynamics
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded the Tree-Ring Laboratory of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO), Columbia University, a $5.5 million grant to study one of the largest climate systems affecting the globe--Asian monsoons.

Noah's modern ark: The role of ART in conserving endangered species
Killer whales, giant pandas, cheetahs and black-footed ferrets are just some of the endangered species that are benefiting from advances in reproductive technology, the 20th annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology will hear tomorrow (Monday 28 June).

Strengthening independent junior research groups in collaborative research centres
The decision made by the responsible Grants Committee on 24 and 25 May 2004 brings the total number of Collaborative Research Centres funded this year to 272, located at 61 universities, including 19 Transregional Collaborative Research Centres and 14 Transfer Units, receiving total funding of about €363 million.

Beware cancer, insomnia and liver disease - UH students are taking aim
Targeting a range of diseases and disorders, three University of Houston students won awards at the Intercultural Cancer Council 9th Biennial Symposium on Minorities, the Medically Undeserved and Cancer for their research in liver disease, cancer and insomnia. All three from UH's College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, these students swept the undergraduate research competition, taking home half of the six awards handed out in that category.

New computational tools to aid in protein research
Computer Science Professor Bruce Randall Donald and his students are working to ease this burden by developing techniques that simultaneously minimize the number of experiments and accelerate the NMR data analysis involved in determining the structure of proteins.

LSUHSC neurosurgical team discovers novel therapy for intractable hiccups
Dr. Bryan R. Payne, and Dr. Robert Tiel, neurosurgeons at LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans have discovered a new approach to treating medically intractable hiccups. They implanted a Vagus Nerve Stimulator in a Texas man to stop the hiccups which have severely disrupted Shane Shafer's life following a stoke he had two years ago. This is the first reported case of its kind. When Dr. Payne activated the implant following the surgery, Shafer's hiccups stopped.

Hopkins to found first center for comprehensive study of epigenetics
With a $5 million, five-year federal grant, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is establishing what is believed to be the first university-based research center devoted to studying epigenetics, an effort that will set the stage for learning as much about our epigenetics as the Human Genome Project taught about the sequence of building blocks that make up our genes.

Laos camera traps capture tigers
A recent camera trap survey launched by the Wildlife Conservation Society in collaboration with the Department of Forestry in the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) to determine the abundance of tigers has uncovered a surprisingly varied gallery of mammals in one of the country's last remaining wild areas.

Infertility treatment affects oral health
Researchers found that women undergoing ovulation induction for infertility treatment for more than three menstrual cycles experience higher gingival inflammation, bleeding and gingival crevicular fluid (GCF). This study appeared in the recent issue of the Journal of Periodontology.

Micro nano breakthrough conference planned for Portland, Oregon
A diverse group of people interested in the evolving growth of nanoscience and microtechnology will participate in the Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference 2004 scheduled for July 28-29 at the Sheraton Portland Airport. This first-ever conference is designed to explore the difficult challenges within the Lilliputian world of nano- and microtechnology, as well as the promising business opportunities for rapidly developing and commercializing the smallest man-made technology in the world.

Changing practices may raise African American women's breast cancer risk
A new study finds African American women derive similar breast cancer risk reductions associated with multiple births and breastfeeding as white women, but that recent trends may lead to a rising risk.

Wireless nanocrystals efficiently radiate visible light
A wireless nanodevice that functions like a fluorescent light - but potentially far more efficiently - has been developed in a joint project between the National Nuclear Security Administration's Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories.

Protein stops blood-vessel growth, holds promise as cancer therapy
Researchers at National Jewish Medical and Research Center have identified a protein that inhibits the formation of new blood vessels. Combined with previous findings that the protein is depleted or missing in a majority of metastatic human cancers, the findings suggest that fibulin-5 may one day be an effective cancer therapy.

Media Advisory 2 - Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting
All 122 sessions and 941 abstracts for 2004 Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting (WPGM) have been posted on the AGU web site and are searchable. The following subjects are the principal themes of the meeting:Biogeochemistry, Climate Variability, Computational Geoscience, Convergent Plate Margins, Crustal Deformation and Intraplate Volcanism, Natural Hazards, Ocean-Atmosphere Coupling, and Remote Sensing. Journalists may preregister now.

Estrogen boosts memory in men with prostate cancer
High doses of estrogen improve long-term memory and decrease feelings of confusion in men whose testosterone levels have been lowered to treat advanced prostate cancer, according to a study conducted by Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute scientists.

New research shows that the seasons may be involved in onset of menopause
Research by Hungarian fertility experts published (Thursday 10 June) in Europe's leading reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction, has revealed that the onset of the menopause may not be dictated only by the fact that a woman's lifetime supply of eggs are running low, but also by changes in the seasons.

SEROQUEL: New data provides evidence for improvement in anxiety in bipolar depression
AstraZeneca announced important new data presented today at the 24th Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psychopharmacologicum (CINP) meeting in Paris, which show that patients with bipolar depression who are treated with SEROQUEL (quetiapine) experience significant improvement in symptoms of anxiety associated with this stage of the disorder, from as early as the first week of treatment.

Carnegie Mellon U. imaging study reveals sex-based differences that persist as mice enter adulthood
Using advanced imaging technology, Carnegie Mellon University scientists have conducted the first systematic examination of developmental and sex-associated changes in adolescent and adult mouse brains to reveal fundamental, persistent differences in key brain structures, such as those important for emotions, learning, and memory. This information, in press with NeuroImage, may be critical for modeling human neurologic and neuropsychiatric diseases, as well as for understanding how structural, sex-associated brain differences influence behavior and cognition.

Turning bone into nerve
It is essential to find additional stem cell sources for research in treating neurodegenerative diseases given the limited number of embryonic stem cell lines. In the June 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers from Kyoto University show that bone marrow cells can become neuronal cells. Further, these transformed cells have significant therapeutic potential as confirmed by their transplantation in a Parkinson disease rat model that resulted in restoration of neuronal function.

New study confirms process leading to disorder causing male characteristics in women
Ovarian stimulation of male steroids is the culprit behind polycystic ovary syndrome.

COX-2 inhibitors reduce complications after laparoscopic surgery
Patients given a class of anti-inflammatory drugs before and after minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery experienced less pain with fewer postoperative complications and an earlier return to normal activities, according to Duke University Medical Center researchers.

VIB presents its annual results at BIO2004 in San Francisco
Every year, the international biotech community gathers together, which this year boasts 20,000 participants. VIB (the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology) is coordinating the Belgian delegation, where it will present its newly published annual results. These latest results from 2003; with the large number of major research breakthroughs, 30 patent applications, and almost 50 agreements with industry ; clearly position VIB among the top in the world.

New ways into space
After an extensive tour through Germany and international exhibitions in Rio de Janeiro, Bangkok and Seoul, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation, DFG) is now presenting its exhibition

Scientists discover two new interstellar molecules
A team of scientists using the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) has discovered two new molecules in an interstellar cloud near the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. This discovery is the GBT's first detection of new molecules, and is already helping astronomers better understand the complex processes by which large molecules form in space.

Method for direct treatment of intestinal illnesses wins prize for Hebrew University student
A method for applying drugs directly to mucousal surfaces in the intestinal system has won a coveted prize for a graduate student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The method has potential for providing better treatment for such diseases as ulcerative colitis and colon cancer.

Elderly leukemia patients benefit from intensive treatment
Contrary to popular belief, patients over the age of 75 with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) do just as well as younger patients with similar chemotherapy regimens. A new study indicates that age cutoffs by themselves are not appropriate selection tools in treatment decision-making for AML.

Altered protein involved in a novel link to Alzheimer's disease
New findings of the presence of beta amyloid in the brain of a mouse that overproduces a protein called p25 may help explain the occurrence of sporadic Alzheimer's (as opposed to the less common familial form of the disease) and also why stroke and high blood pressure increase the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's.

Cedars-Sinai's medical tipsheet - June 2004
Cedars-Sinai's Medical Tipsheet for June includes story ideas pertaining to: polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS); the testosterone patch for women; the new Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute; interleukin 10 brain tumor research; neural stem cell research for treating brain tumors; and the COMPANION Heart Failure Trial.

Germans must research the history of reproductive medicine during the Nazi era
Researching the history of reproductive medicine during the Nazi era is still taboo, a leading German professor will tell the 20th annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology today (Monday 28 June). However, it is vital that such research is conducted, because if Germans do not understand what motivated the behaviour of doctors in the past, they will struggle to make decisions about ethical issues that confront doctors and scientists working in gynaecology, embryology and reproduction today.

How brain gives special resonance to emotional memories
If the emotional memory of a traumatic car accident or the thrill of first love are remembered with a special resonance, it is because they engage different brain structures than do normal memories, Duke University researchers have discovered.

Research gives hope to preemies and Crohn's patients
Babies who arrive 8-12 weeks early and adults suffering from Crohn's disease often develop short bowel syndrome. Now research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers hope to patients who have had parts of their small intestine surgically removed. Adding butyrate to an intravenous nutrition solution helps the intestine grow back and makes it more functional as well.

UK small firms pay lip service to green issues
Government emphasis on voluntary environmental action is unlikely to have a significant effect on the environmental practices of SMEs, according to researchers at Kingston University who will present their findings at the Environment and Human Behaviour Programme seminar at the Policy Studies Institute in London on June 23 during ESRC's Social Science Week. The research concluded that small firms pay scant attention to energy saving and minimising waste.

Scientists confront the challenges of the Arctic in support of ESA's ice mission
Camping out, for anything up to two months, on vast ice sheets in the Arctic is just one of the challenges scientists faced performing the first of a series of six validation experiments in support of ESA's CryoSat mission.

ASCO late breaker - breast cancer- dose dense
New data presented at the 2004 meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology suggest that a chemotherapy regimen including ELLENCE (epirubicin) may significantly improve survival in breast cancer patients at highest risk of recurrence.

Vision's touchy-feely side
When vision alone can't tell you what's going on in your environment, touch can lend a helping hand. A recent study from Vanderbilt University looked at the way this works by forcing people to feel out a visually ambiguous situation.

Trapping carbon in soil key for protecting global food security, dealing with climate change
Restoring soil carbon levels should be a top priority among the global community, according to a viewpoint article in this week's issue of the journal Science. The amount of carbon that can be restored in the world's degraded agricultural soils will directly influence global food security and climate change within our lifetime.

Enrollment in cancer clinical trials is lower for minorities, women, and the elderly
Racial and ethnic minorities, women, and the elderly were less likely to enroll in cancer clinical trials than whites, men, and younger patients, according to a study in the June 9 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

New study shows estrogen patches lower cholesterol in men with prostate cancer
A small adhesive estrogen patch worn by men being treated for advanced prostate cancer lowers cholesterol, according to a new study conducted by Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute researchers.

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