Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 14, 2001
Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, February 2001
Health-Obesity gene discovered.
Exploration-Real-world survivors.
Military-Not your father's tank.

UT Southwestern researchers reaffirm use of Apgar as accurate predictor of newborns' early survival rate
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have reaffirmed the value of the nearly 50-year-old Apgar score as a quick and easy predictor of 28-day neonatal survival.

Who suffers from stress? who does not
Michael Meaney, a McGill neurobiologist, has shown that rat pups which received more licking from the mother had more modest responses to stress, a trait which lasted through adult age.

Job demands sway speed of return to work after stroke
Job characteristics may be a key determinant in how soon an individual returns to work after having a stroke, according to research presented today at the American Stroke Association's 26th International Stroke Conference.

The molecular evolution of viral drug resistance
Although Hepatitis B virus replication is often controllable using nucleotide analogues that inhibit the viral DNA polymerase, drug-resistant variants often emerge following chronic treatment, as a result of mutations in the nucleotide binding site of this enzyme.

Sleepyheads, snorers face risk of stroke
Sleeping for more than eight hours a night, snoring and daytime drowsiness was asscociated with an increased risk for stroke, researchers reported today at the American Stroke Association's 26th International Stroke Conference.

1,000 San Francisco school children to celebrate public science day at Exploratorium
About 1000 students from four San Francisco public schools will celebrate Public Science Day 2001 at The Exploratorium today, where they will conduct experiments in sound, flight, and magnetism.

Link may exist between passive smoking and periodontal disease, researchers say
Among U.S. residents who have never used tobacco products, those exposed regularly to environmental tobacco smoke are more likely to develop gum disease than others not exposed to such second-hand smoke, a new University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study suggests.

Brain regions impaired by alcoholism identified by fMRI studies in young adult, female alcoholics
Specific areas of the brain impaired by years of heavy drinking have been identified in young adult women by researchers at UCSD School of Medicine and the Veterans Administration Health Care System, San Diego.

HIV population shifts following HAART
Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) involves combinations of protease inhibitors and other drugs to block HIV proliferation.

Effect of divorce on children depends on parents' marriage
Children of couples who fight the most and loudest tend to fare better psychologically and socially after divorce than do the children of couples whose marriage reflects few outward signs of strife, according to research published in the February edition of the Journal of Marriage and the Family.

Scientists discover "missing link" between rare disease and inherited forms of breast cancer
Following the gene trail of a rare disease, scientists have discovered a new pathway to BRCA1, a gene that, when defective, is the most common source of inherited breast cancer.

Those who are regularly sleeping during the day may be at increased risk of stroke
If you sleep more than eight hours a night, snore or regularly are drowsy during the day, you may be at an increased risk of stroke, University at Buffalo researchers have found.

Plants as plants: gene could convert crops to plastics factories
Scientists have found a gene that allows plants to package and store materials in their cells -- a discovery that may open the door to producing new types of plastics from plant materials.

Profiling T cell gene expression in anergy and arthritis
T cells that lose their ability to proliferate in response to antigen stimulation are said to be anergic.

Cell transplants offer hope of brain repair following stroke
Rat stem cells developed into neurons and other mature brain tissue when transplanted into normal and stroke-damaged adult rats, according to new research reported today at the American Stroke Association's 26th International Stroke Conference.

Chaos and the wildly beating heart
Abnormal heart rhythms are the focus of research conducted by McGill University professor Leon Glass.

Georgetown researchers to present evidence of biological cause of dyslexia
Addressing a long-standing controversy concerning the causes of reading disability, a series of research studies done by a team at the Georgetown Center for the Study of Learning indicate that the areas of the brain used for reading are the same areas used for other visual tasks, and that these areas may not work properly in the brains of people with dyslexia.

Say CHEES(e): software helps UF researchers compare expressions in men and women
University of Florida researchers have turned to computer technology to quantify gender differences in one component of emotional expression -- how it is revealed by the face.

Anti-clotting drug safer than aspirin at averting second strokes
An anti-clotting drug is as effective as aspirin at preventing a second stroke, but without the bleeding complication sometimes associated with aspirin use, according to two new studies.

Kosovo pediatrician and poet recognized for human rights and humanitarian activities
Flora Brovina, a pediatrician, poet, and human rights activist from Kosovo, will be honored on 17 February for her courage in promoting human rights and in providing shelter and medical care to women and children during the armed conflict in Kosovo.

Researchers discover neuronal stem cell in the developing brain
In findings that could help lead to better understanding and treatment of brain disorders, Columbia researchers have identified a type of brain cell that generates neurons in most advanced region of the brain, the neocortex.

Study finds HIV patients who fail to control the virus with antiretroviral therapy still show significant benefit from continuing treatments
Many patients continue to derive immunologic and clinical benefit from antiretroviral therapy even after drug resistance emerges according to researchers from the University of California, San Francisco.

Targeted clot-busting stops stroke damage
An experimental technique that delivers clot-busting medication directly to a brain artery blockage may limit damage done by strokes, researchers reported today at the American Stroke Association's 26th International Stroke Conference.

Tiny silicon devices measure, count and sort biomolecules
Researchers at Cornell University are using nanotechnology to build microscopic silicon devices with features comparable in size to DNA, proteins and other biological molecules -- to count molecules, analyze them, separate them, perhaps even work with them one at a time.

Carotid stenting not as effective as endarterectomy
Carotid stenting in which a metal mesh tube is inserted into the main neck artery feeding the brain is less effective than surgery as a treatment for carotid blockages that can lead to stroke, a Duke University Medical Center neurologist reported Thursday.

American Thoracic Society news tips for February
The following newsworthy studies are featured in the February American Thoracic Society journals: children exposed to environmental tobacco smoke in the womb have a higher rate of physician-diagnosed asthma; exposure to endotoxins in the first few months of life causes wheezing among babies with a family history of allergy or asthma; and postmenopausal women who took hormone replacement therapy have improved pulmonary function and less pulmonary obstruction.

Could fetal cells left in a mother's bloodstream long aafter the child is fully-grown trigger disease in the mother?
Fetal cells may play a role in triggering diseases years after the birth of a child.

Scientists explore ways of extending the brain's ability to learn; Recover from illness
A Friday, Feb. 16, AAAS press briefing will explore recent findings showing that the brain may have more potential for learning than scientists have previously thought.
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