Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 11, 2000
Scientists track phosphate to better understand global warming
Advanced technologies and methods are helping scientists take a new look at one of the Earth`s most abundant elements - phosphorus - to better understand how it cycles through soil, sea and living organisms.

An internal cannabinoid-signaling system regulates human sperm, fertilization potential, study finds
A cellular signaling system that responds to THC, the active substance in marijuana, as well as to anandamide, a cannabinoid-like molecule normally produced in the body, may regulate sperm functions required for fertilization in humans, a study headed by scientists from the University at Buffalo has found.

Difficult mood disorder successfully treated
The only prospective placebo-controlled study of patients wth rapid cycling bipolar disorder, lamotrigine was shown to be safe and effective in preventing mood swings, according to a study in the current issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Effective Clinical Practice, Nov/Dec 2000 highlights
Defining Medical Errors: A Flaw in the Definition; Developing a Culture of Safety in the Veterans Health Administration; Calculating Risk: Validity of Medical Error Numbers Questioned

Lifting the pressure on holiday party perfectionists
Good news for Martha Stewart wannabes who find holiday planning more stressful than enjoyable.

UCSF researcher receives distinguished service medal for his work in eradicating polio in southeast asia
Jon Andrus, MD, UCSF associate adjunct professor of epidemiology and biostatistics in the Institute for Global Health, has been awarded the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) Distinguished Service Medal.

Researchers push back the clock on native farming history
Archeology and physical geography researchers at the University of Toronto have discovered the earliest evidence yet of agricultural activity in southwestern Ontario dating back 1,400 years.

First-ever complete plant genome sequence is announced
Genetics reached a major milestone today as an international research team announced it has completed the first plant genome sequence.

NSF director to speak at nature press conference on plant genetics milestone
The National Science Foundation (NSF) will webcast a press conference hosted by the journal Nature at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on December 13.

FDA, drug industry and scholars find success in effort to tackle regulatory issues
The Product Quality Research Institute (PQRI)--a first-ever collaborative effort between the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), the pharmaceutical industry and academia--has identified issues related to the regulation of pharmaceuticals and is carrying out research which will have an impact on the establishment of testing standards and controls for drug products.

Scientists perform whole-genome, whole-brain study of Down syndrome
One out of every 1000 babies is born with Down syndrome, the result of receiving an extra copy of chromosome 21 (trisomy).

New technology could double film speed, improve photo quality in any camera
A new film could enable even rank amateurs to take clearer pictures in dim light without using a flash, according to research presented in the current (December 6) issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, a peer-reviewed journal of the world's largest scientific society.

Blocking enzyme imprisons malaria parasites
HHMI researchers have prevented infectious malaria particles from bursting out of their protective sacs by blocking the activity of a protein-snipping enzyme, called a protease.

Safe diving poses no risk of brain injury
Scuba diving has no long-term effects on the brain, according to a study in the December 12 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Science groups aim to prevent pollution from lab to living room
Two scientific organizations will work together to prevent pollution

Crime in a pill only a myth, say researchers
In a study of two Ontario university campuses, researchers found there have been no rape charges involving drinks laced with

Home-based primary care improves quality of life for VA patients and caregivers
A home-based primary care intervention program by the Department of Veterans Affairs significantly improved health- related quality of life and satisfaction for patients and their caregivers, according to an article in the December 13 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

HIV research takes promising new direction
A new family of anti-viral compounds has proved 100 times more potent than the original in laboratory studies and opened a promising new direction in AIDS research, reported in two American Chemical Society journals: the Journal of the American Chemical Society and the Journal of Organic Chemistry.

Study in JAMA shows benefits of innovative VA home care model
An innovative Veteran's Affair's home health care model provides patients and their caregivers with higher health- related quality of life and satisfaction with care than does private-sector home care, according to a study jointly conducted by researchers from the UIC, the VA and Northwestern University.

Violent media not to blame for violent people
Violent movies and television programs do not create violent viewers, says a University of Toronto professor who has just completed a comprehensive review of all of the research on the subject.

More study needed on creatine use among athletes, Mayo Clinic reports
Based on their recently completed survey of high school athletes, Mayo Clinic doctors are recommending a large-scale study on the use and long-term effects of creatine, a supplement used by athletes who believe it enhances athletic performance.
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