Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 02, 1999
One in seven adolescents still doesn't have health insurance
One in seven U.S. children aged 10 to 18 is not covered by health insurance.

Population shifts, not storms, have caused rise in property losses
Don't blame staggering property losses of the 1990s solely on changing weather or global warming.

Conscientious heart patients less likely to die
Heart patients who faithfully take their prescribed medication are significantly less likely to die suddenly than those who do not -- even when that medication turns out to be a placebo, Canadian investigators report.

Meditation decreases blood pressure
Transcendental Meditation decreases blood pressure by reducing constriction of the blood vessels and thereby decreases the risk of heart disease, new research shows.

Treatment for ADHD appears to reduce risk of substance abuse
Boys with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (AHDH) who are treated with medications - usually stimulant drugs like Ritalin - are one-third as likely to develop substance abuse or dependence as are boys with ADHD who receive no treatment, according to a study from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

Immune system responds greater to uncontrollable stresses
The body's immune response is affected in distinctly different ways by the two widely-recognized determinants of the stress response: the controllability or uncontrollability of the stressor, and the mental effort or demand required to cope with the stress, new research shows.

Fellowship application deadline for ALLP
The Aldo Leopold Leadership Program (ALLP) is requesting both applications and nominations for its second cohort of 20 Fellows (deadline, 8/31/99).

Botanical evidence indicates "Shroud of Turin" originated in Jerusalem area before 8th century
Botanist Avinoam Danin will present findings of a comprehensive analysis of pollen taken from the Shroud of Turin, as well as plant images on the Shroud, that place it in Jerusalem before the 8th Century.

Study: Weather better for growing in last 40 years than in previous 60
Illinois farmers have had almost 40 years of

New gene therapy found safe for treating coronary heart disease
The first human test of a gene therapy that is injected directly into the oxygen-starved heart muscle has shown the technique to be safe, opening the door to promising new treatments for heart disease, according to a report in today's Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Caregivers of mentally ill face risk of physical illness
People who care for a severely mentally ill family member not only face a heavy emotional burden but are also at high risk of physical illness, new research shows.

Back pain and its benefits
Instead of making life easier, disability payments and other economic benefits are associated with increased disability and depression in persons with chronic nonmalignant back pain, new research by scientists at the University of Medicine and Dentistry-New Jersey Medical School shows.

World's biodiversity becoming extinct at levels rivaling Earth's past 'mass extinctions'
A compilation of the latest data on extinction rates of plant and animal life around the world reports that humanity's impact on the Earth has increased extinction rates to levels rivaling the five mass extinctions of past geologic history.

Improvements bring chemical oxygen-iodine laser closer to market
By enhancing the performance and lowering the operating costs of the chemical oxygen-iodine laser (COIL), researchers at the University of Illinois have helped to bring the device close to commercial application.

UW professor's climate change theory leads to NASA mission
For nearly a decade, University of Washington atmospheric chemist Robert Charlson has advanced the notion that, in some regions, submicron-sized particles from industrial pollution are actually countering the atmospheric warming effects of greenhouse gases.

Keeping ships healthy
ONR-funded researchers at Systems Planning and Analysis, Inc., of Alexandria, Va., have developed a technology that networks up to 30 remote sensors along a single fiber optic cable and periodically interrogates the sensors to assess structural strain.

DNA: A sloppier copier
Researchers have resolved an enigma of more than three decades standing by definitively establishing how ultraviolet radiation causes genetic mutation in a common bacteria.

Afterburner reduces pollution
A novel afterburner technology based on active combustion control increases the waste consumption of a commercially available marine incinerator while significantly reducing carbon monoxide emission.

1999 Summer drought may become century's worst
As crops wither, power plants try to manage overloads, and rivers and streams dwindle to mere trickles, scientists at the U.S.

New methodology reduces costs of monitoring contaminated sites
Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed an optimization tool that can reduce the costs of long-term sampling and monitoring at contaminated groundwater sites.

Lab experiments reveal potential therapeutic target for degenerative brain diseases
Laboratory experiments on prion diseases - degenerative brain illnesses such as Kuru and Crutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans, scrapie in sheep, and the so-called

Listening to rust
Materials engineers can now 'listen in' on the 'noises' made by localised corrosion thanks to a new technique for monitoring the electrochemical current and potential fluctuations of corrosion in materials.

Reacting well to heart disease can help avoid future attacks
Patients who remain optimistic and cope positively after coronary angioplasty significantly reduce their risk of a subsequent heart attack or other coronary event, new research shows.

UI researchers advance potential, potent way to stimulate human immune system
It may now be possible to use a kind of bacterial DNA called CpG DNA to stimulate human dendritic cells -- the master control cells of the human immune system -- for powerful therapeutic purposes, according to a University of Iowa study.

New trigger will aid in detecting bottom quarks
An electronic device being designed and built at the University of Illinois will assist experimenters at a major accelerator by distinguishing between

Anger expression tied to situations
Instead of viewing anger expression solely as an essentially unchanging personality trait, a new study identifies anger expression as a state that fluctuates according to on-the- spot situations and demands.

Nearby supernova may have caused mini-extinction, scientists say
The recent discovery of the rare radioactive isotope iron-60 in deep-sea sediments could be the telltale sign of a killer supernova, a University of Illinois researcher says.

Materials World: August 1999 issue
Materials World is the leading magazine for the materials science and engineering community in the UK.

Boys treated with Ritalin, other stimulants significantly less likely to abuse drugs later
Boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who are treated with stimulants such as Ritalin are significantly less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol when they get older, according to a new study funded by two components of the National Institutes of Health -- the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Stress common in AIDS victims who respond well to drug therapy
What happens to people who have accepted imminent death, but then learn that they will live?

Despite reforms, China's housing policy still favors men, scholar says
As China strengthens its reforms of housing and land rights, women -- especially those who are poor -- may be left behind if government officials don't begin to factor gender considerations into policy reforms, according to a new book.

The secrets of 10th century steel production unearthed in desert remains
A one thousand year old steel production site has been unearthed by an international research team in the remains of the ancient city of Gyaur Kala in Turkmenistan.

Positive outlook, sense of self-control can predict new coronary events, says Carnegie Mellon study
Angioplasty patients who handle their recovery with a positive attitude are less likely to have a second coronary event, according to a new study by a Carnegie Mellon University researcher.

Doctors find muscle-builder cream caused sex development in toddler
When a young North Carolina father tried to boost his muscle development artificially, he put his 2-year- old son's health at risk.

Children who play creatively early show best creativity and problem-solving later
Giving children the time, space, and tools to play can help them develop important coping and problem-solving skills, according to a new study which showed that children who played creatively in first and second grades continue to use their imaginations and emotions in their play in fifth and sixth grades.

CAD-driven laser forming process may eliminate costly manufacturing practices
An initiative to evaluate the fabrication of aircraft structural components using a CAD-driven laser forming process will be pursued by the Naval Air Systems Command, Boeing, and Northrup Grumman.

Enzyme-based method to isolate stem cells from umbilical cord blood shows promise
Medical researchers have been searching for a reliable method to separate rare and primitive stem cells from human blood because these cells can regenerate a blood supply and immune system damaged by disease or medical treatment.

Oxygen reduces effects of retinal detachment
Getting oxygen quickly should be the first priority of anyone experiencing retinal detachment, according to research published in the August American Journal of Ophthalmology.

Heatstroke killed four football players during 1998, expert urges precautions
During 1998, seven football players died across the United States as a direct result of injuries suffered on the field, the study showed.

"All my friends dream of artificial limbs": US, Russian nuclear labs work with prosthetics company to develop replacement knee
A letter expressing

Nearly half of Earth's land has been transformed by humans; 50 'dead zones' found in oceans
Humans have gravely altered the chemistry, biology and physical structure of the Earth's land and water, according to the latest findings on the

Combination immune therapy kills melanoma in mice
A two-tiered boost to the immune system may allow the body to better fight melanoma on its own, according to promising research in mice by HHMI investigators at the University of California, Berkeley.

Simple test predicts ability to grow new blood vessels: Breakthrough in battle against heart disease, diabetes, cancer
The human body is able to grow new blood vessels that compensate for the blocked vessels that cause heart attacks.

Controlling the cupola to help the environment
A new sensing and control system could help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from inefficient operation of the cupola furnaces used in the iron and steel industries.

Growth factor may determine who grows new blood vessels that protect against heart attacks
The ability of some individuals to develop new coronary arteries that help to re-route blood flow around artery blockages might be the result of their ability to produce a growth factor, a protein that helps to generate new blood vessels, according to a paper in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

UW-Madison team develops technique to create flu viruses
A research team has perfected a method for creating designer influenza viruses, which can be tailor-made to solve mysteries about how flu strains mutate, spread and cause illness.

Duke scientists reverse a rare form of muscular dystrophy in mice using gene therapy
Using a modified virus to deliver a therapeutic gene, scientists at Duke University Medical Center have shown that, in mice, they can reverse the damage caused by an inherited muscle-wasting disease with a single injected dose.
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