Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 27, 2000
Gel being developed to allow women to control fertility,reduce sexually-transmitted disease risk, including HIV, herpes
A research team representing public and private laboratories is developing a gel that will allow women to discreetly control their fertility and reduce the risk of infection from sexually transmitted diseases.

Evolutionary change leapfrogs over tadpoles
Scientists at the University of Toronto have discovered a species of frog that skips the tadpole phase of development but still requires a thyroid to grow into fully formed adults.

VION and the National Cancer Institute to begin a phase I human intravenous clinical trial of tapetĀ® for advanced cancer patients
Vion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. received approval to begin a Phase I human clinical trial of Vion's first TAPETĀ® bacterial vector at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Bethesda, Maryland and signed a Letter of Intent for a five-year Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the NCI.

CU-Boulder and Australian researchers join forces to study reading in young twins
Researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of New England in Australia have been awarded $2.4 million from the National Institutes of Health to study early reading development in identical and fraternal twins.

New $4.2M research center at U-M seeks to see cancer more clearly
A new $4.2M research center at the University of Michigan will help scientists develop ways to see cancer -- and the effects of treatment -- more clearly using sophisticated medical imaging technology.

Botox effective in headache pain relief
A bacterial toxin known to cause severe illness in humans when taken in large doses can be an effective headache pain reliever, according to a University of Toronto study in the March issue of the journal Headache.

Follow up to NIH Osteoporosis Consensus Conference; Osteoporosis treatment 80-90 percent effective
An emerging technology called vertebroplasty is 80 to 95 percent effective in treating common osteoporosis-related spine fractures, for which there are no treatment alternatives.

Studies: Bad taste of drugs for AIDS, heart disease
NOTE: The embargo time for this release has changed.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center specialist in pediatrics and genetics named to two committees on national health policy
David L. Rimoin, M.D., Ph.D., has been appointed to serve on two committees that will influence national health policy over the next decade.

Teasing young girls about weight has dire results, researchers say
Girls who are teased about their weight -- regardless of how much they weigh -- can develop serious eating disorders, poor body image and distorted eating patterns, according to preliminary results from a University of Toronto study on body-based harassment.

Cockroach birth control from gene discovery
Cornell University entomologists have identified and cloned five key genes of the cockroach, one of which is exclusively expressed in the reproductive system, the first step in developing a safe and specific birth control for the number- one household pest.

Tip sheet: Papers of interest, 96th Annual Meeting, Association of American Geographers
Navigation research with the blind, urban heat islands, Kosovar refugee repatriation, and American trends in divorce and housing are among the topics to be presented at the 96th annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers, to be held in Pittsburgh, PA, April 4-8, 2000.

Facial expressions are contagious
Facial expressions are very contagious, even on a subconscious level.

The geography of cyberspace: Bandwidth key to 'distance'
The feeling of distance in cyberspace - how near or far away a site is - depends on bandwidth because it controls communication speed, says a Penn State information scientist and geographer.

University of Pittsburgh researchers develop new model to study HIV transmission in women
A new understanding about HIV transmission in women-- information that could lead to preventative strategies such as barrier medications -- will likely come from an organ culture model developed by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health, and described in the April issue of Nature Medicine.

On the other hand: Researchers find first experimental evidence of optical chirality in tiny nanoclusters of gold
A report in the March 30 issue of the Journal of Physical Chemistry presents the first experimental evidence that tiny nanoclusters of metallic gold -- assemblies containing between 20 and 40 gold atoms encapsulated by a common biomolecule -- can display distinctly chiral properties.

Sperm counts unchanged over 50 years
Although many American men have at least one type of abnormality in their sperm, they are just as virile as their grandfathers, University of Southern California researchers have found.

Smoking during pregnancy found to increase risk of cleft lip and palate
Women who smoke while pregnant are 50 to 70 percent more likely than nonsmokers to give birth to a baby with a cleft lip or palate, according to a new study at the University of Michigan.

Rockefeller University researchers discover immune-cell mechanism that boosts therapeutic antibody potency
Researchers at The Rockefeller University, in collaboration with Genentech, Inc., have made a surprising discovery about the mechanism by which two currently used clinical antibodies fight tumors.

South Central Section meeting, Geological Society of America
The 34th annual meeting of the South Central Section of the Geological Society of America will be held April 3-4, 2000, at the University of Arkansas Center for Continuing Education, Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Double bubble conjecture proven
Four mathematicians have announced a mathematical proof of the Double Bubble Conjexture: that the familiar double soap bubble is the optimal shape for enclosing and separating two chambers of air.

Breakdown of penicillin by resistant bacteria elucidated
Almost as soon as penicillin was discovered, more than 70 years ago, certain bacteria had learned how to resist this common antibiotic.

Scientists construct interactive molecular model
In research published in the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists' (AAPS) online journal, AAPS PharmSciSM, scientists constructed a 3-D model of the protein kinase GRK2, an important regulator of neurotransmitter and hormone receptors.

Anti-drug campaigns aim at racial fears
The latest headlines about the club drug

Repetitive DNA in the genome of Neisseria meningitidis
Scientists at the Sanger Center, Cambridge, UK, the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Berlin, Germany and the University of Oxford have sequenced and analyzed the entire genome of Neisseria meningitidis .

Liquid cement can stop the pain and prevent deformity from osteoporosis of the spine, a UM Medical Center study finds
The pain and disfigurement of osteoporosis of the spine may be prevented with the help of a liquid bone cement, according to new findings being presented by University of Maryland Medical Center radiologists at the 25th Annual Meeting of the Society of Cardiovascular & Interventional Radiology (SCVIR) in San Diego, CA on March 28.

Co-existing illnesses, high cholesterol add to suicide risk
Major depressive episodes, borderline personality, and high levels of serum cholesterol increase the risk of suicide and the severity of the suicide attempt according to two studies published in the April issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

NTRC brake test facility could make highways safer
A first-of-its-kind facility for testing brakes of commercial trucks could help put a screeching halt to hundreds of accidents caused by mechanical failures.

Community mental health services are lifeline to homeless
Community services are becoming the lifeline to persons with mental illnesses who are homeless or battling substance abuse, according to three articles published in the April issue of Psychiatric Services.
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