Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 31, 1999
Stigma of mental illness still exists
Although the American public does not view all people with mental illness uniformly, evidence of stigma toward the mentally ill remains, results of a new national survey reveal.

Cigarette brand switchers more likely to quit smoking
Smokers who switch to lower tar or nicotine cigarettes for 'health reasons' are more likely to subsequently quit smoking compared with those who continue to smoke regular cigarette brands, according to researchers at the University of Memphis, University of Missouri-Kansas City, University of Minnesota and the U.S.

Study shows black churches can help improve healthy behaviors
Black churches, long a source of spiritual comfort and community for their members, also can help improve people's eating habits and other behaviors to make them healthier, according to a major new study involving a dozen researchers, three Triangle universities and state health experts.

The effects of St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
Hypericum (St.John's Wort) is a plant that has been widely used as an over the counter treatment for depression.

Researchers discover genetic basis of heritable sleep disorder
HHMI researchers have found the first hereditary human sleep disorder that is caused by a single gene.

Selective and nonselective beta-blockers equally effective in preventing sudden death
A new study from UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas should encourage cardiologists to prescribe either selective or nonselective beta-blockers to patients with congestive heart failure.

Researcher explores 'Life Online'
Annette N. Markham felt as if she were in the dark when she decided to go online to try to understand people who spend a great deal of time in virtual space.

Knowledge-centered awards jump start NSF focus on I.T. for the 21st century
The National Science Foundation (NSF) this week awarded $50 million in grants for broad-based research in knowledge and distributed intelligence (KDI).

Learning is growing: scientists investigate the links between memory and brain development
In a special issue of the journal Learning & Memory, research groups from Caltech, Yale University, and other institutions present new studies on how a family of proteins called growth factors help the brain develop and store memories.

Penn study shows that head trauma produces Alzheimer's-like neurodegeneration
For the first time in an animal model, Penn researchers have shown that Alzheimer's disease-like pathology (specifically, the plaque-forming process) is triggered in the brain following head trauma.

NYU researcher finds that foreign investment encouragessocial reform in China
Based on exhaustive onsite research at factories in Shanghai, an NYU sociologist has concluded that foreign investment has fostered social reform in China.

Mitral valve repair at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center gets Los Angeles dentist on the road to recovery
Mitral valve prolapse is a very common cardiac diagnosis, affecting an estimated 5 percent to 20 percent of the population.

Aging hearts need social support
Older people who lack social support may be at increased risk of heart disease, new research shows.

Mountain Lake Hotel places environmental book in rooms
A world-renowned geneticist is giving away his essays and books as part of a life's mission to get people to realize that saving the world's environment is going to take a lot more than technological advances and the work of a few.

Scientists provide first detailed maps of wiring circuitry in the living human brain
Researchers have developed a way to visualize nerve fiber bundles that transmit information between different areas of the living human brain.

Federal, private funding to establish inflammatory disease center at UNC
Growing awareness of important links between inflamed gums and other mouth tissues and such life- threatening conditions as heart disease and stroke has led the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and several private companies to award $12.7 million to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers.

Public strongly associates violence with mental illness
A majority of Americans believe that certain types of mental illnesses lead to violent behavior, according to researchers at Columbia University and Indiana University.

New Zealand's prime minister addresses environmental risk
Prime Minister Simon Upton will discuss strategies for managing ecological risk when he delivers the inaugural Robert C.

Non-drug techniques help reduce symptoms of fibromyalgia
Patients with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) who exercise and practice relaxation and other non-drug techniques report fewer symptoms such as pain, fatigue, and morning stiffness than do patients who receive medication alone, according to scientists at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Physical exercise improves cancer patients' health
Cancer patients who participate in a regular physical exercise program display 'robust and clinically significant' improvements in physical and mental health compared with patients who do not exercise, according to Canadian researchers from the University of Alberta and the Alberta Cancer Board.

DNA fingerprinting reveals surprise in wine-grape family tree
While sleuthing out the parentage of some of France's finest wine-grape varieties, researchers at the University of California, Davis, discovered that somewhere in the distant viticultural past, royalty mingled with a commoner.

Nortran Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Hoechst Marion Roussel announce collaborativeagreement
Nortran Pharmaceuticals Inc., the Canadian drug discovery company, and Hoechst Marion Roussel ( 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