Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (May 1999)

Science news and science current events archive May, 1999.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from May 1999

UT Southwestern Researchers Find Way To Control Gene Activity, Opening Way For Cancer Drugs
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have developed a method to turn off a gene for telomerase, which activates the continuous division of cancer cells. This finding could aid in the creation of new cancer drugs.

Relaxation And Music Significantly Reduce Patients' Postoperative Pain
New research has found that relaxation and music, separately or together, significantly reduce patients' pain following major abdominal surgery. The study, published in the May issue of Pain, found that these methods reduce pain more than pain medication alone.

Depression May Lower Your Sex Hormones
Sex hormones are secreted at different rates in men who are severely depressed than those who are not depressed, a team of eight medical doctors associated with the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich has determined.

Porous Ceramic Foam -- Taking The Heat Out Of Furnaces
A new porous ceramic material, called Hi-Por, could be set to replace the refractory ceramic fibres (RCFs) used as an insulation material in research and industrial furnaces following the European Union's (EU) classification of RCFs as Category II carcinogens. Hi-Por is made using ceramic powders and foaming agents to produce a material that can withstand changes in temperature from ambient to 1600 degrees Celsius in less than fifteen minutes.

Scientists Use Fossilized Emu Eggshells To Discern Changes In Vegetation, Provide Additional Evidence Of Human Impact On Australian Landscape
For more than 30 years, scientists have suggested that the first human immigrants into Australia dramatically changed the continent's vegetation with the use of fire. However, few vegetation records from the vast Australian interior exist. A report in the May 14 issue of Science, describing a novel approach to reconstructing paleovegetation, presents the first continuous vegetation record from the Australian interior extending back 65,000 years.

UI Researchers Identify Possible Reason For Rare, Accelerated Aging Condition
A University of Iowa study looking at a rare, accelerated aging condition could improve understanding of normal aging and lead to treatments for various problems, including the accelerated aging condition itself, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

Carnegie Mellon Conference Highlights 25 Years Of Progress In Understanding And Improving Teaching And Learning
The latest research in how children learn and how teachers can improve classroom instruction will be highlighted June 11-13 when the annual Carnegie Symposium on Cognition is held at Carnegie Mellon University. Titled

Breakthrough On Microbial Disease Published In Science
In a major breakthrough in the treatment and prevention of infectious disease, researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara have found a way to disarm microbial pathogens with the discovery of a

Mayo Clinic Cardiologist Available To Discuss New Guidelines On Treatment Of Stable Angina
Expert committee sorts out proven strategies for treatment of chest pain

What: The American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine will release the first guidelines ever published on treating patients with chronic stable angina. This condition affects more than 10 million Americans with associated costs of tens of billions of dollars.

New Areas Of High Biological Diversity Discovered
Attractive animals have been studied in more detail than lower orders of animals. The knowledge of them to a large extent determines the supposed biodiversity. By concentrating on the terrestrial flatworm, biologists from the Zoological Museum at Amsterdam University (UvA) have discovered three new

Studies Of A Gene For A Rare Form Of Rickets Shed Light On Vitamin D Deficiencies
Two years after they cloned the gene for a vital kidney enzyme, vitamin D-1-alpha hydroxylase, researchers at the University of California San Francisco are beginning to understand how the enzyme works.

Randomized Contolled Study Shows Neostigmine Is An Effective Treatment For Acute Colonic Pseudo-Obstruction
Researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine have performed the first randomized controlled clinical trial showing that a painful and even life- threatening bowel condition called acute colonic pseudo- obstruction can be effectively treated with intravenous neostigmine.

USGS Describes Water-Bearing Bedrock Aquifers Near Mirror Lake, Grafton County, NH
Research on how cracks, or fractures, in the earth's bedrock are distributed and the relations between fractures in rock exposed and beneath the surface, rock type, and the capacity of these fractures to bear water was done on bedrock aquifers near Mirror Lake, Grafton County, New Hampshire. Results of this research are described in a recently published report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Whole Sun Month At Solar Minimum: Results Of A Worldwide Study
Scientists around the world investigated the solar corona and related phenomena during the last solar minimum in 1996. The exercise, dubbed Whole Sun Month, employed satellites and instruments not previously available. The results have been analyzed and are now reported comprehensively for the first time.

Second Annual AIDS Vaccine Day Honors Volunteers Nationwide
On May 18, communities around the country will sponsor a variety of activities for the Second Annual AIDS Vaccine Day honoring the thousands of volunteers who have literally rolled up their sleeves to receive one of 27 different experimental AIDS vaccines.

First Scientific Discovery Made With The Hobby-Eberly Telescope
The press release describes the first scientific discovery made with the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET). The HET has discovered a quasar so far away that the light we see from it today began traveling toward Earth when the universe was only one-eighth of its current age.

Benefits Are Likely From Vitamin B-6 In Premenstrual Syndrome
A dose of no more than 100mg/day of vitamin B-6 is likely to be a benefit in treating premenstrual symptoms and premenstrual depression, say researchers in this week's BMJ.

Livers From Children Are Going To Adults, University Of Pittsburgh Review Of National Data Reveals
Nearly two thirds of all livers donated by children since 1991 were transplanted into adults instead of their peers on the national liver transplant waiting list, despite an increase in the number of pediatric donors, an analysis of nearly 30,000 liver transplants performed in the United States shows.

Press Advisory: Inner Space/Outer Space II Symposium
The Inner Space/Outer Space II Symposium will be held at Fermilab, May 26-29, 1999.

Women With Low Cholesterol May Be At Risk For Depression And Anxiety
Doctors have long warned Americans about the health hazards of high cholesterol, but a growing body of evidence indicates that very low cholesterol can be dangerous too, according to a researcher at Duke University Medical Center.

World's Leading Echinacea Researchers To Examine Latest Scientific Findings On "Nature's Gentle Antibiotic"
Leading echinacea researchers and scientists from around the globe take an in-depth look at the latest scientific and medical information about one of the world's most popular herbal remedies. Results from a long-term clinical study in the Ukraine on the use of Echinacea to treat victims of the Chernobyl disaster is among the new studies.

Food Toxins, Molds, And Pesticide Residues To Be Reviewed At IFT Meeting
Pesticides, toxins, and molds... oh, my! These substances sound scary in relation to food; however, regulators, manufacturers, and scientists work hard to keep unwanted mold species, toxins, and pesticide residues out of the food supply. Ways they do so will be discussed at IFT's 1999 Annual Meeting.

Spiders Can Protect Plants From Insects
Spiders can protect plants from leaf-eating insects in exchange for dollops of sugary nectar. Researchers in New Jersey found that the presence of jumping spiders helped plants boost their seed production and scared off insects.

IFT '99: Prophetic Window To The World Of Food
Peer into the crystal ball of food science and technology at the Institute of Food Technologists' 1999 Annual Meeting & FOOD EXPO® July 24-28 in Chicago, Ill. This year's meeting,

Stress-Driven Recrystallization Of A Distorted Protein Crystal -- Mass Transport Without Thermal Activation
The stress-induced reordering of a protein crystal, distorted by electron irradiation, was observed by scientists at the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society in Berlin, Germany at very low temperatures, where thermal activation is absent (Nature 6 May 1999).

Center For Future Health Aims To Bring High-Tech, Low-Cost Health Care To The Home
The University of Rochester has launched a Center for Future Health with the mission of creating new, portable technologies for use by people in their own homes to prevent disease before it strikes. A melanoma monitor, an interactive digital assistant, wearable computers, memory glasses -- engineers and physicians together are already developing these and other devices.

Invasive fishes pose increasing threat to U.S. waters and native fishes, says USGS
Skyrocketing numbers of invasive non-native fishes in the nation's waters are increasingly threatening aquatic systems, according to three USGS biologists writing in a book recently published by the American Fisheries Society.

Study Suggests Inflammation Signs Can Show Who Will Develop Diabetes
For the first time, researchers working at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have uncovered major evidence that inflammation plays an undefined but central role in development of Type 2 diabetes.

Mental Health Services Should Aim To Improve Safety To Prevent Suicide And Homicide
In England and Wales, about 1000 people who commit suicide each year (nearly a quarter of all suicides) and about 40 of those who commit homicide (about eight per cent of all UK homicides) have had some contact with the mental health services in the year before death, suggest researchers from the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness, at the University of Manchester.

Physicists Find Simple Solution To Great-And-Small Mystery
Physicists have devised a simple theorem to explain why many biological processes change in curiously disproportional but precisely predictable ways depending on an animal's body mass. The theorem goes above the details of specific living and nonliving systems to provide an extremely simple underlying explanation for the long-standing puzzle.

Anti-Depressant Drug Shows Promise As Weight-Loss Treatment
A drug currently approved to treat depression and help people quit smoking has shown promise as a potential weight-loss tool in a small pilot study, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

'To Protect And Preserve The DFG's Scientific Autonomy'
The President of the DFG, Professor Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker, commented on the recommendations made by an international commission set up to evaluate the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and the Max Planck Society (MPG); the recommendations were published on 25 May 1999.

Polish Parliamentarians More Independent Than Western European Colleagues
The Polish parliament plays a more important role in legislation than many parliaments in Western Europe. This is the conclusion of Dutch political scientists, who carried out a survey of 200 Polish members of parliament. The Sejm has also emerged in good shape from its battles with President Lech Walesa, who tried to extend his powers.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Physicians And Scientists Present Findings At Annual Meeting Of The Pediatric Academic Societies
Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center are presenting three scientific lectures (hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, septic shock, Cole-Hughes syndrome) and several poster- session exhibits at the Pediatric Academic Societies' 1999 Annual Meeting May 1 through 4 in San Francisco.

Two Beta-Blocker Drugs Equal In Treating Heart Failure
The first direct comparison of two beta- blocker drugs for the treatment of congestive heart failure found that an older, cheaper drug is as effective as the newest one on the market, researchers report in today's Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Confidence Can Play A Part In The Feel-Good Effects Of Exercise
Studies in the hundreds have proven what many attest from personal experience: Exercise can make a person feel good, reduce stress, enhance a sense of well-being. Yet no one really knows why. A University of Illinois study suggests that at least part of the connection appears to come from a person's self-confidence about exercise.

UT Southwestern Study To Test Efficacy Of St. John's Wort For Treatment Of Depression
Twenty-eight-year-old artist Leslie Kenegar has a group of her paintings that she hides in her back closet and describes as

Smoking and depression weaken immune system
Depressed persons who smoke cigarettes may be at increased risk of cancer and other diseases markedly, according to new research. The combination of depression and cigarette smoking contributes to increased white blood cell count and a decline in the activity of natural killer cells that fight off tumors.

Research Shows That Noncompliance Is Responsible For Half The Cases Of Nonresponse To Antihypertensive Drug Treatment
Michel Burnier, M.D., Professor of Medicine at the University of Lausanne, today presented research findings at the American Society of Hypertension annual meeting indicating that noncompliance with prescribed antihypertensive drugs is responsible for approximately half the failures of drug treatment to bring high blood pressure down to normal levels.

Radar Camera Aims High For The Air Force
When a U.S. fighter pilot is flying over enemy territory, he must deal with the issue of whether or not his stealth fighter can be detected by radar. Now, researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed a hand-held, holographic camera that can assist ground crews in verifying the condition of an aircraft's stealth characteristics.

New Way To Modify Mammalian Genes: Honolulu Transgenesis
Less than a year after announcing the Honolulu Technique for Cloning, University of Hawaii scientists have developed the Honolulu Transgenesis, a new method for producing transgenic mammals. The method uses sperm to deliver genetic information (DNA) from one organism into the egg of another. The experiments demonstrated the new method using DNA for jellyfish green fluorescent protein to make green mice.

Nerve Cells Live Long And Talkative Lives In Sculpted Colonies On Silicon Chips
A USC researcher discusses the colonies of rat nerve cells she has cultured on silicon semiconductor substrate. Such hybrid brain-electronic systems may elucidate the process by which brains perform complex functions, including pattern recognition, or form part of a new generation of chemical

A New NCAR/United Nations Study Will Help 12 Countries Prepare For The Next El Nino
The National Center for Atmospheric Research and the United Nations Environment Programme have together received a $650,000 UN grant to help 12 countries build operational, research and educational programs to protect their people and environment from El Nino and La Nina impacts.

Study Suggests Vaccine Increases Survival In Ovarian And Breast Cancer Patients Following High-Dose Chemotherapy And Autologous Stem Cell Transplant
A new study suggests that the administration of an experimental cancer vaccine following autologous stem cell transplant can increase survival and decrease relapse in ovarian and breast cancer patients when compared to the stem cell transplant procedure alone. The data was presented today at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Atlanta, May 15-18, 1999.

Community Plays Key Role In Preventing Teen Suicide, UF Scientist Says
In a study of almost 15,000 teens, a University of Florida researcher has found that community involvement plays an important role in preventing suicide.

New Anti-Inflammatory Drug Is Easy On The Stomach
A large-scale (1500-patient) test of rofecoxib, an example of a new family of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, indicates that the new pharmaceutical causes significantly fewer ulcers than ibuprofen.

Compound That Mimics Insulin Might Lead To Pill For Diabetes, As Reported In The 7 May Issue Of Science
Diabetics may someday pop a pill to control their disease, now that scientists have discovered a new compound that mimics the effects of insulin in mice. Unlike insulin, this compound can be swallowed instead of injected.

Measles Eradication Plan Approved
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have announced an $8 million cooperative agreement to eradicate measles from the Americas.

International Meeting To Focus On Structural Optimization
The third World Congress of Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, an international conference focusing on research into all aspects of the optimal design of structures and systems, will be held May 17-21 in the Natural Sciences Complex on the University at Buffalo North (Amherst) Campus.

Society For Conservation Biology 1999 Annual Meeting: Integrating Policy And Science In Conservation Biology
The 1999 SCB meeting takes advantage of the proximity of NGOs, multinational banks, and agencies that set most worldwide conservation policy. The meeting includes a scheduled welcome from Vice President Al Gore and sessions ranging from

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