Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 31, 2000
Stepfathers invest significant resources in stepchildren
In time for Father's Day: Contrary to popular perception, stepfathers do invest significant amounts of both money and time in their stepchildren, according to researchers studying the life histories of American stepfathers.

'Smart' material grows dumber with shrinking size, scientist says
As active materials become increasingly smaller for the next generation of smart materials systems, the need to understand and predict material response becomes critical.

Columbia takes 'breathtaking' steps to reduce asthma deaths in northern Manhattan
Columbia Presbyterian physicians have launched an aggressive new project to help Washington Heights/Inwood residents with asthma control their illness and live symptom-free.

Combined hormone-replacement therapy may boost incidence of rare form of breast cancer
The incidence of a rare form of breast cancer, called lobular carcinoma, is on the rise in postmenopausal women nationwide, and this increase may be associated with the widespread use of combined hormone-replacement therapy, according to researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

FDA Approves UMR Engineer's Invention to Treat Liver Cancer With Glass Beads
Finding new ways to use glass has been a long-term goal for University of Missouri-Rolla emeritus professor of ceramic engineering, Dr.

From Evita to Rudy: The ethics and politics of caring for the famous
An article in this week's issue of Lancet explores the story of Evita and her doctor in the context of the mid-20th century, when doctors and families often kept patients in the dark about a diagnosis of cancer, and our present time of apparent openness and patient empowerment.

Gamma ray 'watchdog' ends a stellar career
One of astronomy's most prolific tools of the last decade officially ends its career Sunday when NASA plans to command the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory to reenter the atmosphere.

Accuracy of adult memories of childhood is no greater than chance
It is often said that adolescence is the period in life that is most difficult to see clearly.

UI professor observes space weather/earth connection
University of Iowa physics professor Jack Scudder reports that an international team of physicists has significantly advanced mankind's understanding of the northern lights and related phenomena by making the first direct observations of the switch that permits energy to be transferred between the solar wind and the Earth.

Scientists link apoE to a major cause of bleeding strokes
Researchers have discovered a direct link between a protein called apoE and cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), which causes up to one-third of bleeding strokes in the elderly.

Liquid film-thickness measurement technique is fast and inexpensive
Precise measurements of film thickness at liquid-vapor interfaces are important in commercial applications such as power plants, oil refineries and refrigeration systems, but are often expensive and difficult to make.

UCSF researchers find evidence of faulty DNA repair in some infertile men
Some infertile men have mutations or errors in their DNA code, suggesting that faulty DNA repair may be a reason for their infertility, according to UC San Francisco researchers.

Media coverage of new drugs is often misleading
Newspaper and television reports on new medications tend to exaggerate their benefits, ignore their risks, and fail to disclose their costs, according to a collaborative study in the June 1 New England Journal of Medicine.

Scientists propose growing better semiconductor crystals in space
Crystals grown in space may be the next big step toward improved semiconductor materials for use in next-generation communication systems and advanced computers, say researchers at the University of Illinois.

Treating AIDS victims complicated by patients' desire for information
A new study finds that for people living with AIDS or HIV, the conventional wisdom about

Scientists converge in Fargo for the Great Lakes Regional Meeting
Research findings ranging from the current health of the Great Lakes to potential anti-cancer properties in food will be presented at the Great Lakes Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, in Fargo, N.D., June 4-6.

Early aspirin provides quick benefits for acute stroke patients
An aspirin given to stroke patients immediately upon arrival at the hospital may help to prevent recurrent strokes in the high-risk time frame immediately following the first stroke, according to the results of a combined analysis of two large studies.

Anal cancer screening for gay and bisexual men would save lives and be cost effective, new study shows
Just as use of Pap smears has led to a dramatic drop in cervical cancer, so screening for anal cancer among gay men would save many lives at a reasonable cost, according to a study conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health and University of California at San Francisco.

Make believe play boosts learning and school-readiness in preschoolers, Yale study finds
A Yale study shows that make believe play enhances school- readiness skills in children, particularly those from low- income families.

Genomics project aims to create a "virtual plant"
A group of plant physiologists is calling for a major scientific effort to understand the biological machinery of a plant in enough detail to construct a virtual plant that can be used to examine every aspect of a plant's development.

Discovery shows how brain 'fills in blanks' to help us see
Researchers at the University of Toronto have discovered how the brain helps us see and interact with objects by filling in missing information, a discovery that could have implications for the development of artificial intelligence systems.

Molecular system involved in blood clotting may play a role in Alzheimer's disease
The molecular system that regulates blood clotting, called the plasmin system, also may be involved in the development of Alzheimer's disease, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center.

June 'Geology' and 'GSA Today' highlights
The June issues of

In this digital age, compressing medical images can put the squeeze on diagnostic accuracy, UF researchers find
University of Florida researchers have found that even mildly compressing coronary angiograms for delivery over telephone or computer lines can lead to diagnostic errors.

NASA Materials Conference Features Science Results, Experts on Technologies for Exploration
Research contributing to better materials on Earth and seeking resources in space to fuel future exploration will be featured at NASA's Microgravity Materials Science Conference in the North Hall of the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Ala.,June 6-8.

Brain, heal thyself
Researchers have shown for the first time in humans that rehabilitation therapy may help a stroke survivor's brain rewire itself, leading to regained use of a previously unused limb.
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