Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 17, 2001
Researchers gain insights on pulmonary fibrosis
By studying the genetics of the rarer familial form of pulmonary fibrosis, Duke University Medical Center researchers hope to gain broader insights into the more common forms of this devastating lung disease, which claims the lives of half its sufferers within five years.

Modern composite materials replace steel and concrete in California desert bridge project
A UC San Diego-government research project has resulted in the development of cutting-edge technology that has been applied to a new highway bridge on State Route 86 near the Salton Sea.

Most patients can be treated safely at home for deep vein thrombosis
New therapies for acute deep vein thrombosis mean that most patients do not need to be admitted to hospital, according to a study in this week's BMJ.

BMJ editor resigns after university accepts tobacco money
Dr Richard Smith, editor of the BMJ, has resigned from his position as professor of medical journalism at the University of Nottingham, following its acceptance of £3.8m from British American Tobacco (BAT) to fund an international centre for the study of corporate social responsibility.

Cause of rare genetic disorder points to faulty ion channel
HHMI researchers have found that Andersen's syndrome, a rare disorder that causes muscle paralysis, heart arrhythmias and abnormal growth, is caused by mutations in a gene that encodes a pore-like ion channel that regulates the flow of potassium ions across cell membranes.

Smaller packs of analgesics have reduced overdose deaths
The number of deaths from self poisoning with paracetamol and salicylates has decreased significantly since legislation limiting the number of tablets per pack was introduced in the United Kingdom in 1998, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Language technologies experts to gather at Carnegie Mellon for meeting of North American Chapter of Association for Computational Linguistics
Carnegie Mellon University's Language Technologies Institute will host experts in computerized speech recognition, speech translation, machine translation, data mining and more at a meeting of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Lingistics, June 2-7.

Long-chain alcohol found to block mechanism of fetal alcohol syndrome
An article in today's Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Journal (Chen, S; Wilkemeyer, M; Sulik, K; and Charness, M.

When Shewanella meets goethite: Evidence found of recognition between animate and inanimate objects
A Virginia Tech graduate student has invented a technique called biological force microscopy; and he and his major professor have used it to determine what happens when Shewanella, a microorganism found in most soils, meets goethite, the most important iron oxide in soils worldwide.

Patient information booklets fail to reduce consultation rates
Widespread distribution of information booklets on minor illness is unlikely to reduce demand for health services and therefore may have a limited role in the National Health Service, conclude two studies in this week's BMJ.

Taming chaos? German scientists force checkerboard patterns from turbulence, suggesting better control strategies
Scientists at Germany's Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society are taming chemical chaos, by transforming turbulent spiral waves into highly uniform patterns.

Duke study finds link between patients with autistic disorder and patients with Rett syndrome mutations
A new genetic study, conducted by Duke University Medical Center researchers, has shown that two similar neurodevelopmental disorders - Rett disorder (RD) and autism - once considered to be clinically distinct, may not be as different as previously believed.

Comet's spectacular death may illuminate birth of solar system, special Science package suggests
Astronomers from the United States, France, and elsewhere may have seen a snippet of the solar system's formation in reverse, while taking the first-ever detailed look inside the disintegrating heart of Comet C/1999 S4 (LINEAR) or
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