Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 23, 1999
Polar snow reveals secrets of ozone-depleting gases
Scientists from government and academia have confirmed that most of the gases responsible for stratospheric ozone depletion are produced by human activities and are not naturally occurring in the atmosphere.

USGS will re-evaluate its Alaska strategy
US Geological Survey Director Chip Groat is launching a reevaluation of current USGS programs and projects in Alaska, and exploring ways that the USGS, as a Department of the Interior bureau, can work in partnership with other federal, state and local agencies to achieve the goal of documenting the state's landscape and natural resources.

UMass researchers teaching computers to interpret MRIs
A group of researchers at the University of Massachusetts, in collaboration with the division of neurology and the department of radiology at Baystate Medical Center, is trying to teach computers to help interpret magnetic resonance images (MRIs) to determine how well stroke patients are responding to treatment.

Gemini telescope's first images to be revealed
The first images from one of the largest, most advanced optical/infrared telescopes in the world will be released at its dedication on June 25.

Scientists discover beetle that cures water fern menace
Scientists from Wits University and the Plant Protection Research Institute have developed a cure to one of South Africa's biggest water menaces: the water fern, which has been clogging waterways and suffocating lakes.

Large-volume medical centers produce best clinical and economic results for complex gastrointestinal surgery
A handful of complicated, high-risk gastrointestinal surgeries are safer and easier on patients -- and pocketbooks -- when performed at medical centers that do the most of them, according to results of a Johns Hopkins study published in the July 1999 issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

New targets for nerve diseases, nerve regrowth: It's all in the handshake
In this month's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists at Johns Hopkins and the National Institutes of Health describe an important piece in the puzzle of what can go wrong in nerve-damaging disorders such as multiple sclerosis and Guillian-Barre syndrome.

Pumping with tiny bubbles
Johns Hopkins engineers are developing tiny bubble-powered micro-pumps, smaller than a postage stamp, for use in drug delivery, pharmaceutical testing, pollution monitoring and other applications.

Alcohol researchers prove brief intervention successful in older problem drinkers
A study reported in the Journal of Family Practice (Vol.48, No.5) shows that brief intervention can reduce alcohol consumption in problem drinkers aged 65 years and older.

Many patients not treated for easily corrected life-threatening condition, new study shows
A ten-year-old error in the medical literature continues to cause doctors to improperly treat a potentially life- threatening condition affecting tens of thousands of hospital patients a year, a new study has shown.

Gene that causes familial British dementia may yield clues to Alzheimer's disease
National Institute on Aging (NIA)-supported researchers have discovered a novel gene, which when mutated is responsible for familial British dementia (FBD), a rare inherited disease that causes progressive dementia like that seen in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and severe movement disorders.

First woman commanding general for health care in Pacific speaks on Capitol Hill about Tele-Health
Major General Nancy R. Adams, Commanding General of Tripler Army Medical Center, Hawaii, and U.S.

Target for cystic fibrosis drugs found
In an advance that promises to speed development of new drugs for cystic fibrosis, Johns Hopkins biochemists have discovered what goes awry inside the cells of CF patients at the most basic level.

Vitamin C levels linked to amount of lead in blood
Despite the 1978 ban on lead-based paint for residential use, lead poisoning continues to be a serious public health threat, particularly for children because they are most susceptible to its effects.

NYU scientists discover gene for a dementing brain disease
A mutation in a newly discovered gene causes an unusual form of hereditary dementia characterized by amyloid deposits in the brain.

Common genes form new family tree for animals
Looking deep within the genes of three very different kinds of animals, scientists have found enough molecular evidence to finally fell the animal kingdom's old family tree.
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