Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 09, 2001
Genes passed from crops to weeds persist for generations
Genetic traits passed from crops to their weedy relatives can persist for at least six generations, and probably much longer.

Singlehanded doctors are not underperforming
Singlehanded general practitioners in the United Kingdom are not underperforming clinically, despite government concerns about professional isolation and quality standards, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Jefferson neuroscientists uncover novel receptor in the human eye to control body's biological clock
Neuroscientists have clarified how the human eye uses light to regulate melatonin production and the body's biological clock.

A closer look at the genome's 'black holes'
The centromeres of chromosomes -- considered by some to be the genomic equivalent of black holes -- may hold the answers to many scientific questions.

Federal agencies, private industry provide major funding to advance fuel cells materials and systems, speed development and adoption
Virginia Tech researchers have demonstrated improved materials and systems. As a result, a research team led by Virginia Tech has received Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, and private funding to develop the next generation of polymer electrolyte membranes, membrane electrode assemblies, and systems, and to work with industry to provide the science and the understanding to develop and commercialize next-generation fuel-cell materials and systems.

West meets East - WHO tuberculosis treatment
Results of a tuberculosis trial, published in this week's issue of THE LANCET, suggest that a WHO strategy could make a valuable contribution to tuberculosis control in Russia.

First land plants and fungi changed earth's climate, paving the way for explosive evolution of land animals, new gene study suggests
The largest genetic study ever performed to learn when land plants and fungi first appeared on the Earth has revealed a plausible biological cause for two major climate events: the Snowball Earth eras, when ice covered the Earth, and the Cambrian Explosion, when fossils of most major categories of today's animals first appear.

On first science cruise icebreaker healy steams to arctic to study crust formation
Researchers funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) are sailing on the maiden scientific voyage of the U.S.

New model for treating malnutrition during famine
A Viewpoint article by Steve Collins in this week's issue of THE LANCET proposes an alternative approach to tackling malnutrition during famine in less-developed countries.

United Kingdom ranked 24th in health systems of the world
Countries with the best levels of health do not always have efficient health systems, according to a study in this week's BMJ, which ranks the health systems of the world according to their efficiency in turning expenditure into health.

Researchers to design computer network to monitor bone loss in astronauts
Dartmouth researchers are designing sophisticated computer software, called mobile agents, to help astronauts monitor bone loss during long space flights.

Clemson rips apart houses for Science
 In a twist on the fairy tale, Clemson University researchers will be the ones to huff, puff and blow the house down this summer - make that 15 houses.

Early heart disease linked to genes, insulin resistance
Why does heart disease seem to run in families? A new study in the August issue of Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology: Journal of the American Heart Association examined families who developed early heart disease to determine if it was due to shared environmental factors - fatty foods, smoking - or if it was related to a

Wistar study offers new support for a 'histone code' theory of gene regulation
A new study by researchers at The Wistar Institute provides important experimental data to support a novel theory of gene regulation involving coordinated patterns of modifications to DNA-packaging proteins called histones.

Childhood abuse strongly linked to revictimisation
A UK study published in this week's issue of THE LANCET confirms that maltreatment and revictimisation of children and women are not rare problems, and identifies factors that are specifically associated with specific types of revictimisation in adulthood.

Atherosclerosis could be linked to premature ageing
A pilot study published in a research letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggests that chromosomal changes associated with premature ageing may predispose individuals to atherosclerosis.

IQ linked to birth weight even among children of normal birth weight
Many studies have shown that low birthweight babies have lower IQ test scores at school age, but a study in this week's BMJ finds that the association between birthweight and childhood IQ also applies to children in the normal range of birth weight.

New view of primordial helium traces the structure of early universe
NASA's Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) satellite has given astronomers their best glimpse yet at the ghostly cobweb of helium gas left over from the big bang, which underlies the universe's structure.

Study raises concerns over publication of unethical research
Forty per cent of research papers published in five American medical journals failed to report ethical approval or informed consent, despite the fact that all journals explicitly ask authors to document approval, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Heart failure underdiagnosed in UK primary care
A UK study published in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggests that heart failure is more common than previously thought.

Study detailing safety and efficacy of exisulind in treating recurrent prostate cancer
Results of a double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase II/III study published in the J.

Astronomers go behind the Milky Way to solve X-ray mystery
Through layers of gas and dust that stretch for more than 30,000 light years, astronomers using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have taken a long, hard look at the plane of the Milky Way galaxy and found that its X-ray glow comes from hot and diffuse gas.

Researchers discover new route to high blood pressure
After years of detailed genetic analysis, HHMI researchers have discovered two genes that underlie a new metabolic pathway that governs blood pressure in humans.

Antioxidant supplements lessen HDL response to cholesterol drugs
Adding to a growing number of disappointing turns, a new study shows that antioxidant vitamin supplements might nullify a key beneficial effect of the cholesterol-lowering drugs niacin and simvastatin, researchers report in the August issue of Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Distributed terascale facility to commence with $53 million NSF award
High-performance computing system will come on-line in mid-2002 The world's first multi-site supercomputing system -- Distributed Terascale Facility (DTF) -- will be built and operated with $53-million from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Physicists find gyrations of tiny rod-like viruses induce measurable entropic forces in solution
Physicists at the University of Pennsylvania have found that fluctuations as fleeting as the bending of rod-shaped viruses just 880 millionths of a millimeter in length can measurably increase the entropic forces between other particles in solution.

Control technique cuts electricity bills for commercial buildings
Research engineers have shown that electricity costs for office buildings can be reduced by up to 40 percent by running air conditioning overnight.

Webcast will ensure broad public access to the UC Santa Cruz Public Forum on Human Genome Research
The University of California, Santa Cruz, will host a public forum on human genome research on Saturday, August 25, featuring a keynote address by Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, and a moderated discussion by a panel of experts.

'Histone code' joins genetic code as critical determinantof chromosomal inheritance: study reveals key properties of silent versus active DNA
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory scientists report that seemingly small differences between two varieties of histone proteins have dramatic effects on chromosome structure and gene expression.
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