Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 30, 2001
Improving industrial prospects for new superconductor MgB2
The industrial prospects for Magnesium Diboride (MgB2), the common laboratory chemical turned superconductor 'discovered' in January this year, appear to be more encouraging following the demonstration that introducing internal structural defects could improve its performance in practical applications such as hospital Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners.

NHLBI-VA study finds no increased survival from beta-blocker for moderate to advanced heart failure
The Beta-Blocker Evaluation of Survival Trial has found that, overall, the beta-blocker bucindolol does not increase survival for moderate to severe heart failure.

UIC biologist awarded cancer research grant
Univ. of Illinois at Chicago biologist Jennifer Schmidt named one of 15 young American scientists/physicians to receive two-year Kimmel grant to fund laboratory basic cancer research.

Recently-discovered protein could be key to understanding and preventing Type-2 diabetes, Yale researchers find
A protein called Akt2 or Protein Kinase B plays an important role in maintaining glucose balance, possibly leading to a potential drug target for preventing Type-2 diabetes, Yale researchers report in a study published in the June 1 issue of Science.

Researchers' description of the regulation of a new family of ion channels may open doors for therapies for a variety of conditions
Two articles in this week's issue of the journal Nature describe the regulatory mechanisms of a new family of ion channels found in non-excitable cells.

Many patients who resume driving after head injury may not be fit to drive
Many patients who return to driving after traumatic brain injury report problems which can significantly affect their ability to drive, finds a study in Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

New research shows even a single drug exposure can alter brain function
Scientists supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) have found that a single use of cocaine can modify neural connections in the brain, and this may help explain at the cellular level how occasional drug use can progress into a compulsion.

Labor induction in overdue pregnancies does not lead to more caesarean sections, study shows
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have shown that labor induction alone does not increase the probability of Caesarean section in pregnant women who exceed their due date.

National guidelines for ideal weight may be too restrictive for the elderly, Yale researchers find
Little evidence exists to support the idea that older people who are moderately overweight have a higher risk of illness or death, Yale researchers report in a study published in today's issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Scientists analyze stroke studies from the past 50 years; Success rate of experimental drugs described as 'remarkably dismal'
After analyzing trends in acute ischemic stroke studies from the past 50 years, scientists from UCLA and the University of Pennsylvania found a

Restrictions on teenage drivers carrying passengers potential lifesaver
Researchers estimated the potential effect of prohibiting teenage drivers from carrying passengers younger than age 20.

University of New Orleans researcher to head a nine university, three-year, $15.8 million project
University of New Orleans scientist Dr. Charles J. O'Connor has been named research coordinator for a new $15 million, three-year, nine university research project recently awarded from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Louisiana Board of Regents.

Ancient oceans experienced a global surge in biological productivity
In work that could improve understanding of future climate change, University of Michigan researchers have documented a global-scale increase in oceanic biological productivity that occurred between about 6 million and 4 million years ago, during the late Miocene and early Pliocene epochs of geological history.

Gene chips accurately diagnose four complex childhood cancers
Scientists at the National Human Genome Research Institute and Lund University in Sweden have developed a method of genetic fingerprinting that can tell the difference between several closely related types of childhood cancer.

Restrictions on 16 and 17 year old drivers carrying teenage passengers would save lives
Restrictions on 16-17 year old drivers carrying passengers younger than age 20 would save lives, finds research in Injury Prevention.

Marine snail study suggests conservation efforts should move beyond genetic diversity
A study of climate-induced evolutionary change in a California intertidal snail suggests that conservation plans for protecting endangered or threatened species should not focus exclusively on genetic diversity.

MetaPhore Pharmaceuticals initiates Phase I clinical trial of enzyme mimetic compound for oncology
MetaPhore Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced that it has received FDA approval of its Investigational New Drug (IND) application to conduct clinical trials in the U.S. to evaluate M40403, one of its enzyme mimetic compounds.

Tobacco industry dominates the process of international tobacco standard setting
International standard methods to measure tar and nicotine yields in cigarettes are currently dominated by the tobacco industry, leading to false health claims surrounding low tar cigarettes and failing to protect consumers' health and safety, finds a study in Tobacco Control.

Wind conference looks beyond wind engineering
Politics affect everything, even hurricanes. A conference at Clemson University will explore not only the wind-engineering aspects of the storms but also their sociopolitical impacts in North, South and Central America.

Experimental leukemia drug completes early testing
Recent strides in cancer research owe much to new drugs designed to block signals that would otherwise tell cancer cells to grow uncontrollably.

Reducing primary chemical emissions does not always reduce pollution
Municipalities seeking to limit harmful air pollution typically target primary pollutants with the assumption that limiting sulfur dioxide, for example, will limit the formation of sulfate particulates in the air, but a team of Penn State meteorologists suggests that, depending on the location, other pollutants may actually be the limiting factors.

Leptin's Effect on the Brain's Body Weight Regulation System is More Complex Leptin's effect on the brain's body weight regulation system is more comp
Leptin, a hormone known for its hunger-blocking effect on the brain, operates in a more complex way than previously thought, researchers from Yale and The Vollum Institute find, possibly leading to development of drugs that can better interfere with appetite and eating behavior to fight obesity and diabetes.

Beta-blocker shown to be ineffective in patients with advanced heart failure
A promising beta-blocker did not prolong survival of patients with advanced heart failure, according to a study conducted by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Genetic deficiency may explain sudden infant death syndrome
A missing enzyme may be one possible explanation for sudden infant death syndrome, according to a report by a Wake Forest University School of Medicine gastroenterologist in the June issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation.
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