Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 28, 2001
First chapter of Earth's "biological record" documented from space
NASA has collected the first continuous global observations of the biological engine that drives life on Earth.

Polymer gel holds promise for therapeutics delivery and tissue engineering
A new polymer-based material with unique gelling properties useful in medical applications ranging from targeted cancer treatment to tissue engineering has been developed by researchers at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

New images reveal the workings of cellular protein factories
The workings of a tiny molecular machine crucial to all forms of life are emerging from highly detailed new images published this week.

Illinois chemist wins national award for high-tech materials
Tobin Marks of Evanston, Ill., will be honored April 3 for his innovative research with materials useful for plastic transistors, display screens, solar cells, light-based telecommunications and other applications.

Pasadena chemist wins national award for environmental research
Michael Hoffmann of South Pasadena, Calif., will be honored April 3 for his achievements in applying fundamental insights of chemistry to environmental problems and solutions.

Breast cancer risk lower than women think; statistics by age, ethnicity give more realistic picture
Many women mistakenly interpret their lifetime breast cancer risk, which is 1-in-9, as a short-term probability.

Stony Brook chemist wins national award for drug discoveries
Iwao Ojima of Port Jefferson, N.Y., will be honored April 3 for discovering and assembling new drug candidates, such as second-generation cancer drugs based on taxol.

Baltimore chemist wins national award for insights into body's carbohydrates
Yuan Chuan Lee of Timonium, Md., will be honored April 3 for his achievements in revealing how carbohydrates function as biological signals in the body.

Researchers concerned over early egg retrieval after cancer treatment - doctors advised to monitor pregnancies as mice study reveals problems
Fertility experts are asking doctors to monitor carefully pregnancies and babies of women undergoing egg retrieval and IVF after cancer chemotherapy and advise women to avoid pregnancy soon after treatment.

New Haven chemical engineer wins national award for inventing instrument
Csaba Horváth of New Haven, Conn., will be honored April 3 for developing technology to separate mixtures of compounds, an instrument found almost universally in laboratories today.

Scientists investigate erosion, sand movement on North Carolina's coast
Geologists at North Carolina State University are working to unlock the secrets of sand transport and beach erosion along the sandy coast of North Carolina, where shallow, shifting shoals and violent currents have wrecked ships for hundreds of years.

Swarthmore chemist wins national award for research with students
Robert Pasternack of Swarthmore, Pa., will be honored April 3 for his achievements in chemical research using primarily undergraduate students in his laboratory.

Major fossil find reveals Asian origins of salamanders
More than 500 fossils from a 150 million-year-old Chinese fossil site, many of which preserve exceptional detail, including the entire skeleton and impressions of soft tissues, provide compelling evidence that all the major primitive salamander families originated in Asia.

Harvard chemist wins national award for creating new molecules
Eric Jacobsen of Boston will be honored April 3 for his achievements in developing ways to tailor-make molecules useful in the pharmaceutical industry.

More rigorous studies needed to advance emerging dental caries diagnostic and management strategies, says NIH consensus panel
The development of new diagnostic techniques to detect early stages of dental caries (tooth decay) may give dentists more options than ever before to stop or reverse decay using noninvasive techniques, says an NIH Consensus Development Conference panel, convened March 26-28.

UIC's squirrel count is on
Univ of Illinois at Chicago biology professor enlists public help to gather various regional data on squirrel population.

Austin chemist wins national award for high-tech research
John White of Austin, Texas, will be honored April 3 for his insights into the chemistry of surfaces.

Research on bioengineered crops, global warming and a new flu vaccine will be featured at gathering of world's largest scientific society in San Diego
The 221st national meeting of the American Chemical Society is from April 1-5 in San Diego.

American Thoracic Society news tips for March Journal Second Issue
News from the second issue for March of the ATS journal focuses on the following: experts call for further private- public sector cooperation to develop new drugs to deal with the growing major global problem of tuberculosis infection; researchers believe that a slower rhythm of tiny, hair-like nasal structures called cilia could lead to more respiratory infections in the elderly; investigators discover that a short, broad skull formation is associated with sleep apnea in white persons.

On baseball's opening day, physicists tell batting coaches to get a grip on grip advice
Batting coaches can take some comfort in recent research published in the American Journal of Physics.

Enzyme could provide continual fat burning
An enzyme discovered by Baylor College of Medicine researchers is critical to the metabolic pathway that governs the body's ability to burn fat and could open a door into new ways to reduce obesity, diabetes and other fat-related human diseases.

Tamoxifen use not associated with decreased sexual functioning or mood swings
British researchers report in that long-term tamoxifen use does not affect mood or sexual functioning in women at high risk of developing breast cancer.

Massive sunspot may lead to geomagnetic storms
The Sun has developed the largest sunspot seen in 10 years according to images from SOHO, a satellite that monitors the Sun.

The masculinization of the X chromosome: many genes for early male sperm production reside on the X chromosome
Scientists have found that nearly half of all genes related to the earliest stages of sperm production reside not on the male sex (Y) chromosome, but on the X chromosome, raising the possibility that infertility due to low sperm production may be X-linked, passed on to sons through their mothers.

Hutchinson Center study suggests HPV 18 may be useful for predicting prognosis of invasive cervical cancer
Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle have published the results of the largest, most comprehensive and first population-based study to assess the viability of HPV 18 as a prognostic tumor marker for invasive cervical cancer.

Editor of US Surgeon General's report on women and smoking will speak at UCSF Women's Health Conference
Virginia Ernster, PhD, associate director at the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center and senior scientific editor of the just- released U.S.

The UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center receives $2.2 million boost from the Avon Products Foundation to aid fight against breast cancer
The UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center has received a $2.2 million gift from funds raised by the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade to bolster its already strong commitment to cutting- edge breast cancer research and treatment.

Emory researchers report new strategy to reduce emotional and physical distress associated with cancer treatment
A study conducted at Emory University was successful in preventing depression, anxiety and physical distress in cancer patients with the prophylactic use of antidepressants, the March 29 issue of New England Journal of Medicine reports.
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