Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 23, 2001
Breakthrough mouse model for Alzheimer's more like human disease
In a breakthough with important implications for research on Alzheimer's disease (AD), scientists at the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville (FL) have developed a new mouse model that more closely resembles the disease as it appears in humans.

Social class and weight history predict adult obesity
Laitinen et al., in a retrospective study of residents of Northern Finland, found that familial social class, maternal body mass index (BMI), adolescent BMI, and age at menarche were all predictive of obesity at age 31.

Few women in the UK get safest test for Down's syndrome
Most pregnant women in the UK do not receive the most effective and safest screening tests for Down's syndrome, yet switching to a better test would not necessarily cost any more, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Health promotion payments don't change GP behaviour
Paying general practitioners to identify smokers who have recently stopped does not change their behaviour and is unlikely to improve smoking cessation rates, according to research in this week's BMJ.

Dartmouth researcher investigates digital secrecy
Hany Farid, Computer Science Professor at Dartmouth College, is a modern-day Sherlock Holmes.

Magazine article by Rutgers researcher details revival of life after deep-sea volcanic eruption
In an article appearing in the September-October issue of American Science magazine, a Rutgers researcher describes how life quickly revived around hydrothermal vents on the Pacific Ocean floor after a lava flow had appeared to exterminate it.

Blood protein plays key role in reducing chemotherapy-related infection (pp 598, 614, 637)
Low concentrations of the blood protein mannose-binding lectin (MBL) are associated with prolonged fever in cancer patients treated with chemotherapy, conclude authors of two studies published in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

Media advisory 1 - AGU 2001 Fall Meeting - information for media representatives
AGU's Fall Meeting will feature some 8,000 researchers in the earth and space sciences presenting their latest findings.

Brown scientists identify Tagish Lake meteorite's origin in space
The well-preserved Tagish Lake meteorite has been identified as coming from a D-type asteroid, confirming that it contains the oldest raw materials among asteroids in the solar system.

Over the Volcano: Michigan Tech researchers search for air pollution in the Azores
If you want to measure air pollution drifting across the North Atlantic, there's just one place on earth to do it.

Abstention from filtered coffee may reduce heart disease risk factors
Christensen et al. studied a group of healthy nonsmoking volunteers, 47% of whom drank filtered caffeinated coffee an average of 4.9 cups per day.

Regular consumption of caffeinated carbonated beverages may result in bone loss
Heaney and Rafferty investigated the effect of caffeinated and noncaffeinated beverages on urinary calcium excretion in a group of 30 women with an average age of 31 years.The authors concluded that caffeine in the drinks was primarily responsible for excess calcium excretion, and that the main cause of calcium loss from carbonated beverages was their lack of the nutrients needed for bone health.

How brain cells "remember" their birth order
While teasing out the molecular signals that govern neural development in fruit flies, HHMI researchers have discovered how brain cells

UC Davis' first cloned calf born, succumbs three days later
The first calf cloned and delivered at the University of California, Davis, died Saturday, just three days after its birth.

Kenyan study highlights public-health implications for reducing respiratory disease from indoor pollutants (p 619)
The concentrations and exposure levels of pollutants emitted as a result of domestic energy and indoor cooking with biomass fuels (eg. wood, charcoal, dung) in less-developed countries have considerable public-health implications, conclude authors of a study in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

Power plant on a chip? It's no small matter to Lehigh scientists
A silicon chip that produces the power to operate a laptop computer?

Colorado U. researchers fail to find alternatives to huge Indian earthquake
Following an exhaustive geophysical and historical analysis, a research team led by the University of Colorado at Boulder believes there are no alternatives to one or more massive earthquakes occurring in India in the near future, threatening millions of lives.

Cattle identified as source of Ugandan sleeping sickness outbreak
A recent outbreak of sleeping sickness in eastern Uganda might be attributed to livestock movement from another part of the country where the disease is endemic, conclude authors of a study in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

Alcohol drinkers consume more calories and cholesterol than nondrinkers
In an article in this month's American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Kesse et al. examined whether eating habits in a large cohort of French women varied according to alcohol consumption.

Duke researchers shed light on a depression in cells that serves as a route of entry for pathogens and toxins
Microbiologists at Duke University Medical Center show from a review of studies that a puzzling depression in cells may serve as an invading pathway for pathogens such as the AIDS virus HIV and other viruses and toxins.

UCSD researchers discover new role for immune-response enzyme
When viruses or bacteria assault the body, the immune system marshals its army of attack cells to ward off invaders.

Breakthrough mouse produced with both lesions associated with Alzheimer's
Researchers at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., have successfully bred mice exhibiting amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, the two key pathologic hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Dementia care in residential homes needs radical improvement
Standards of care given to people with dementia in residential and nursing homes in the UK needs radical improvement, concludes a study in this week's BMJ.

Kenyan study could help other African countries improve HIV blood-transfusion strategies (p 657)
A 1994 study which highlighted the problem of HIV-1 transmission from blood-transfusion programmes in Kenya-and resulted in positive government action-could help other African countries develop safer blood-transfusion strategies.

Rutgers scientists to explore ocean depths off New York-New Jersey harbor
Rutgers University scientists will dive more than a mile to the ocean floor to explore the vast underwater world of the Hudson Submarine Canyon off the New York-New Jersey harbor from Sept.

Information for heart valve patients must improve
Patients who have had heart valves replaced should receive an implant card after their operation.

New combination therapy could reduce Ischaemia after heart attack
Encouraging results from a fast-track study published in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggest a new therapeutic strategy for reducing ischaemic complications (coronary artery blockage) after heart attack.

Well preserved meteorite yields clues to carbon evolution in space
An analysis of the recently discovered Tagish Lake Meteorite notes that it appears to preserve organics that accumulated or developed in the early history of the Solar System and thus gives a historical record of an early stage in a process of evolution of complex carbon compounds in space.

Low dose treatment for parasitic infection is effective but still unaffordable
Half the world's cases of a serious parasitic infection (visceral leishmaniasis) occur in India, but effective drugs remain prohibitively expensive.

Why burn coal when wind power is cheap and plentiful?
The United States should make a large investment in wind farming to help meet the nation's electricity needs and address global warming, two energy experts from Stanford's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering have concluded.

Substantial resistance to HIV infection tied to genetic mutation
Scientists have found that people who carry one copy of a mutation that protects cells against HIV infection may be partially resistant to the virus causing AIDS.

NIMH scientists discover new details of HIV infectious process
NIMH scientists have discovered an unexpected step in the process that HIV uses to get around natural barriers, infect human cells, and eventually cause AIDS....

Seismic doubleheader: Seismologist shows deep earthquakes come in pairs
Seismologists now know that deep earthquakes like to do just like baseball immortal Ernie Banks liked to :
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