Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 25, 1998
Three-Dimensional Structure Of Human Lung Tryptase Determined, An Enzyme Involved In Allergic Asthma
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried/Germany, working in collaboration with their colleagues at the University of Muenchen have recently unravelled the three-dimensional structure of beta-tryptase, a mast cell-specific serine proteinase that may be involved in causing asthma and other allergic and inflammatory disorders (nature, 392, 306-310).

Growth Factors Shown To Increase Vitamin C In The Immune System
Ever since vitamin C was found to prevent scurvy -- a disease that has killed millions of people throughout history -- scientists have known that the vitamin plays an essential role in the body's defense against disease.

Researchers Identify Biochemically Distinct Pain Phenomena, Conclude Better Pain Relief At Lower Morphine Doses Is Possible
In the not-too-distant future, patients in pain may be better treated with fewer side effects using lower morphine doses combined with new painkillers already under development, according to a new study reported by researchers from the University of California San Francisco in the March 26 issue of the scientific journal Nature.

Research Indicates Molecule Sabotage May Slow Brain Cancer
For the first time, researchers have found that a particularly lethal form of brain cancer tramples through healthy tissue with the help of a tumor-specific molecule.

Yale Physician Provides Insight Into The AIDS Epidemic Memoir Also Reveals His Own Struggle To Face Issues Of Life, Death And Grief
With new drugs, ongoing research and prevention programs, an AIDS diagnosis is no longer considered a death sentence.

Boys And Girls Are Cruel To Each Other In Different Ways -- But The Effects Are Equally Harmful
The vast majority of past studies on peer victimization have focused on boys and physical aggression.

Scientist Finds 2-In-1 Burster; Newly-Discovered Pulsar Goes Off Twice Each Orbit
Scientists have found a new puzzle in the sky, an X-ray pulsar that appears to be in a lopsided orbit that makes it burst twice every

Lower Intelligence May Be Risk Factor For Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
People with lower intelligence before a traumatic experience are more likely to develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, according to the first study to identify a cognitive risk factor for PTSD.

Peptides Implicated In Body's Response To Pain
Scientists studying animal models with support from the National Institutes of Health have found that a chemical, called neurokinin A, may be responsible for the body's response to moderate-to-intense pain.

Jane Goodall, PBS' NOVA Program, To Receive Public Service Award
Citing the

With Less Time On Their Hands, Women Shop Close To Home While Men Tend To Travel Farther, UB Study Shows
Women won't travel as far as men will to do their shopping because they have less time available for the task, a study by a University at Buffalo geographer has found.

Virginia Tech Engineers Receive $9.6 Million Contract
(Blacksburg, Va.) -- Virginia Tech's Fiber and Electro-Optics Research Center has received a $9.6 million grant from the Naval Research Laboratory for an Optical Sciences Research program.

Walking, Climbing Wheelchair
By studying how goats and spiders get around, a biomedical engineer at the University of Pennsylvania has designed and patented an all-terrain wheelchair that can climb up to 12- inch steps and amble over obstacles.

Prostate Cancer Switch May Yield Map Of Cancer Machinery, Targets For Drugs
A team of molecular biologists has pinpointed a genetic switch in prostate cancer cells that may play a role in triggering a quiescent tumor to erupt into an invasive, deadly cancer that spreads throughout the body.

Like Sticking A Balloon To A Sweater: Electrostatic Chuck To Improve Microchip Production Patented By Sandia
A device expected to be potentially more effective than any on the market in helping cool silicon wafers during the chip manufacturing process has been patented in prototype by researchers at Sandia National Laboratories.

Smithsonian Institution Convenes Experts To Discuss Cocoa's Future
The Smithsonian Institution will bring together ecologists, cocoa production experts, cocoa industry representatives and other experts interested in the economics of and the variety of life around small family cocoa farms for a

Declining National Rates Of HIV-Related Deaths And Illnesses Due To Combination Antiretroviral Therapy With Protease Inhibitors
An article published in the March 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine shows that aggressive combination antiretroviral therapy -- specifically including protease inhibitors -- dramatically reduces death rates and opportunistic infections in HIV-infected patients.

Malthus + 200: Disastrous 'Correction' Looms
Two hundred years after the essay by T.R. Malthus that put

Students Hangin' With Drifters
Starting next school year, students can follow the progress of drifting buoys in the Carribbean as part of a Year of the Ocean project to track weather patterns. 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