Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 27, 2000
DNA 'photofits' for tumours - the future of breast cancer treatment
Advances in molecular genetics mean that within the next few years breast cancer patients will have their own molecular profiles, or DNA 'photofits' of tumours.

Weight training may improve strength, health of older men
Men over 60 may be able to increase their strength by as much as 80 percent by performing intense weight training exercises, according to physiologists involved in studies of the health benefits of weight lifting.

MGH study shows immune system can control HIV
A research team from Massachusetts General Hospital has shown that the majority of HIV-infected individuals who begin antiviral therapy during the earliest stages of their infection eventually can stop taking drugs and keep the virus under control with their immune systems alone.

What are 'life-style' genes?
Scientists of the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry analysed the genome of an organism that thrives in an extremely acidic environment (pH as low as pH 0.5) and at temperatures up to 63°C.

Prions may play crucial role in evolution.
Prions, abnormally folded proteins associated with several bizarre human diseases, may hold the key to a major mystery in evolution.

Physician encouragement, patient awareness of risk can affect women's participation in colorectal cancer screening
When physicians actively encourage their older female patients to participate in fecal occult blood testing, patients are more willing to undergo cancer screening, new research shows.

Lymphoedema - the Cinderella side-effect of breast cancer treatment
The scale and impact of lymphoedema, a complication of breast cancer surgery, is frequently underestimated by doctors.

Year 2000 is watershed in cancer research
An explosion in genetic knowledge and increasing cooperation between investigators are combining to provide unprecedented opportunities to advance cancer prevention and treatment.

In a finding with broad safety ramifications, study says infants' skulls are only a fraction as strong as adults'
Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have demonstrated that an infant's skull is only one-eighth as strong as that of an adult, a finding that could greatly enhance the safety of young children.

Pollution from urban sprawl threatens aquatic life in major U.S. cities
Pollution from traffic congestion in major cities like Washington, New York and Seattle is getting into waterways, where it can poison animal and other aquatic life, according to research presented in the current (October 1) issue of Environmental Science & Technology, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Chemical Society.

Researchers clone gene linked to Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 10 and epilepsy
According to a report to be released in the October 1 issue of Nature Genetics, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, TX) and at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Los Angeles, CA) have identified the gene on chromosome 22 and the causative mutation that is linked to inherited diseases that lead to motor incoordination and epilepsy.

American chemical society awards 35 scholarships to economically disadvantaged students
Thirty-five Project SEED college scholarships have been awarded to high school graduates for the 2000 academic school year under a program sponsored by the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

DOE charts 25-year vadose zone research effort
The U.S. Department of Energy has tasked the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory to lead the development of a science and technology roadmap to identify research over the next 25 years that would improve the ability to estimate subsurface contaminant movements.

Judges from elite colleges more likely to rule against unions
U.S. appeals court judges who graduated from elite colleges were 30 percent more likely to rule against unions in labor law cases than were judges from less selective colleges.

Cynical employees created by bad management, study finds
Highly cynical workers are no more likely to have negative attitudes than workers low in cynicism, according to a study of manufacturing workers.

Ethnicity, maternal weight gain, and stress linked with postpartum smoking relapse
African-American women who stop smoking during their pregnancies are one-and-a-half to two times more likely than their Caucasian counterparts to relapse and resume smoking within a few months of giving birth, according to new research.

Scientists tackle ecology of cities
The complicated, messy and uncharted ecosystems of cities are finally getting their due, as scientists plunge into the study of how they work, according to the publication of a leading group of ecologists.

Research shows it pays to take care of yourself
Regular gardening, walking or swimming and simple changes in the home could significantly reduce health-related expenses for older Americans and the federal government, a new University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study suggests.

Liposuction for lymphoedema - novel treatment transforms lives of breast cancer patients
Using liposuction - a treatment more usually associated with the beauty industry - a Swedish surgeon has transformed the lives of breast cancer patients suffering from lymphoedema, a disabling condition resulting in grossly swollen and painful arms and loss of mobility.

Cranfield issues an Aerade warning
Cranfield University in England has launched a new on-line research facility to aid the learning process of all those involved with engineering, aeronautics and defence.

Fishing woes will cast need for aquaculture biotech
At the International Marine Biotechnology Conference, held every three years, keynote speaker, Yonathan Zohar, predicts biotechnology in aquaculture will be the only way to meet future world demands for seafood.

Study finds key link between Alzheimer's genes and cellular defect
A research team based at Massachusetts General Hospital has discovered a key link between two cellular abnormalities associated with early-onset Alzheimer's disease - mutations in genes for proteins called presenilins and an altered handling of calcium inside cells - and have tied a specific calcium pathway to the production of amyloid-beta42, the sticky protein fragments that make up the plaques found in the brains of people with the disease.

Biodiversity databases: biodiversity information on every desktop
Access to information about the world's biodiversity is badly needed by a wide range of users, say resource managers, policy-makers, conservationists, scientists and the general public.

Opening the on-line pipeline for U.S., Russian and Ukrainian science journals
The Internet is becoming one of the most important mediums for scientists around the world to share peer reviewed scientific research.

Yeast prions spur generation of new traits
HHMI researchers have discovered that misfolded yeast prion proteins might serve a useful evolutionary purpose by spurring the generation of novel proteins that may underlie new adaptive survival traits.

Counseling can help correct misconceptions about sexually transmitted diseases
Many individuals have misguided notions of how to protect themselves from sexually transmitted disease, but counseling may help, suggest the results of a study of 3,500 STD clinic visitors.

New front line treatment for advanced colorectal cancer
In an international study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center report the development of a new chemotherapy regimen for first line treatment for patients with metastatic (widespread) colorectal cancer.

State tobacco control policies may result in lower teen smoking rates
A preliminary state-by-state analysis suggests that state tobacco policies may have a measurable effect on teen smoking rates.

Cranfield pumps water to Uganda
Cranfield University, England, have been working as part of an international project to help developing countries improve their water supply.

Study appears to show why muscle decays mysteriously in cancer, AIDS, other illnesses
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill scientists believe they have discovered a major reason why muscles often decay in patients with cancer, AIDS, late-stage heart disease, severe burns and numerous chronic diseases.

Brookhaven scientists initiate MRI study of multiple sclerosis
The search for clues about multiple sclerosis (MS) -- a chronic, often disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord -- got a significant boost today when the National Multiple Sclerosis Society awarded a $613,687 grant to scientists at the U.S.

September tipsheet from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
1) Researchers clone gene linked to Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 10 and epilepsy; 2) Coronary calcium scan may help identify Type 1 diabetics at high risk for heart disease; 3) New pediatric neurosurgery program launched; 4) NEJM article reports that testosterone patch improves sexual function in surgically postmenopausal women; 5) Researchers shed new light on mechanisms causing neurodegeneration; 6) First lung- liver transplant in western U.S.

U.S. Navy, Newport News Shipbuilding, and Electric Boat
Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) and General Dynamics' Electric Boat (EB) in conjunction with the U.S.

UC Berkeley demographer finds first evidence that maximum age at death in humans is rising
The oldest age at death for humans has been rising for more than a century and shows no signs of leveling off, says UC Berkeley demographer.
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