Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 31, 2001
Wake Forest professor to evaluate managed care patient protection laws
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded a $583,964 grant to Wake Forest University School of Medicine to support an evaluation of managed care patient protection laws, under the direction of Mark A.

Novel larynx organ preservation surgery
University of Pennsylvania study conclusively demonstrates the existence of a valid and effective alternative to the drastic procedure of total larynx removal.

Don't brush off importance of children's oral health
February is National Children's Dental Health Month. The first comprehensive study on the nation's oral health released recently by the Office of the U.S.

JAK-STAT signaling keeps leukemia cells alive
Large granular lymphocyte (LGL) leukemia is characterized by the clonal expansion of a T-cell population sharing many similarities with antigen-activated cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs).

Personality's role in high blood pressure may not be so prominent
Many researchers have proposed that certain personality types are more likely to develop high blood pressure.

Lehigh researchers examine link between abusive child-rearing, overly aggressive behavior
Preschool children who receive severe physical discipline by their parents stand a good chance of engaging in overly aggressive behavior during their school years, Lehigh University researchers say in an article to be published in the February issue of the journal Child Maltreatment.The Lehigh research is the nation's longest continuing study of child abuse and neglect by parents.

Friendly microbes control intestinal genes, study finds
-- A paper in the Feb. 2 issue of Science reports the use of new molecular technologies for unraveling the age-old mystery of the relationships between ourselves and the microbes that live in our body.

Cardiac risk factors in HIV-infected patients are significantly improved with diabetes drug
Researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Framingham Heart Study have shown for the first time that specific markers of increased cardiovascular risk, tPA and PAI-1, which may affect the formation of atherogenic clot, are significantly increased in HIV-infected patients with evidence of fat redistribution.

Patients left out of decision loop on cancer screening
To screen or not to screen for prostate and breast cancer may be the doctor's choice alone, a study suggests.

Long-range magnetic studies explain how delayed 'sprites' get their energy
Magnetic field measurements by a German researcher and analyses by a Duke University engineer explain how dual electrical discharges associated with the creation of ghostly, high-altitude

DNA deletion offers new evidence of mammals' origins
An extensive study of DNA sequences (four nuclear and 2 mitochondrial) offer strong evidence for a group of mammals dubbed

Dopamine receptors implicated in obesity
A deficiency of dopamine in the brain may explain why some individuals engage in pathological overeating, resulting in severe obesity, according to a study published in this week's Lancet.

Dangerous beauty: Fungal flowers offer clues to biofilm formation on medical implants
A florid fungus can be a dangerous beauty, able to coat medical implants with thin films causing complications in patients with medical implants and in the most serious circumstances, even death.

Ovarian cancer treatment receives approval
A drug treatment developed at the University of Alberta to improve the quality of life for women with ovarian cancer has been approved for use in Canada.

UCSD cancer research: Killing leukemia cells by their own sword
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Cancer Center have discovered a way to trick leukemia cells into committing suicide by using the gene that causes the leukemia in the first place.

Where does my heart beat now?
As published in the February 1st issue of Genes & Development, scientists from Harvard Medical School have greatly expanded our knowledge of embryonic heart development.

Number of primary-care doctors dips a bit across North Carolina
For the first time in four years, slightly fewer primary-care physicians are practicing in North Carolina, a new University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill report indicates.

Study pinpoints region in frontal lobes as 'essence' of what makes us human
A new study has found the strongest evidence yet that what sets humans apart from other primates may be found in the brain's frontal lobes, particularly in an area the size of a

Heat kills inoperable liver tumors without initiating onslaught of harmful hormones
The hottest new weapon in the surgeon's arsenal against liver cancer uses heat instead of cold, a shift that could put the freeze on what until now has been the standard therapy for inoperable tumors.

Enhanced exercise harness to be tested on NASA's vomit comet
This March, four Penn State undergraduate engineering students will risk their equilibrium and stomachs aboard NASA's KC135, the

Scientists find link between dopamine and obesity
Dopamine, a brain chemical associated with addiction to cocaine, alcohol, and other drugs, may also play an important role in obesity.

Common heart failure drugs can be safely used at higher, more effective doses, study says
Commonly prescribed heart failure drugs called ACE inhibitors are often given at lower doses than recommended.

Tallgrass prairies may provide early warning of climate change
While their size has diminished over the years -- only an estimated 5 percent of the original tallgrass prairie in the United States exists today -- their importance in the ability to predict climate changes has not, according to research conducted by two Kansas State University scientists.

Chemist Percy Julian captures spirit of black history celebration
He revolutionized the treatment of glaucoma and arthritis, making drugs that once cost hundreds of dollars per drop available for a few cents per gram.

Frozen human cells restore function in animal model; Method may find use in humans
Scientists have successfully used frozen human cells taken from nerve tissue to restore nerve conduction in an animal model of multiple sclerosis.

Oncogene spawns further mutation in breast cancer study
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine describe how the human myelocytomatosis (MYC) gene can select for spontaneous mutations in members of the ras family - leading to more tumor growth even after the MYC gene is shut off.

UW researchers show that the human genome is helpless in the face of chocolate
Knowing extreme sensitivity to some bitter tastes is genetically driven, University of Washington researchers tried to find out if genetic taste markers would prevent some women from enjoying bitter chocolate or espresso.
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