Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 30, 2001
New protein may play role in preventing malignant change in cells
A protein discovered by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine plays a key role in regulating the cell's cycle and preventing it from replicating erratically, which increases its chance of becoming malignant.

Biomolecule studied for medical uses
Duke University Chemistry Department researchers are creating unique polymers out of naturally occurring building blocks that don't provoke immune reactions and in some cases also biodegrade in the body.

UCLA/UCSF researchers predict future of drug-resistant HIV epidemic
The number of drug-resistant HIV cases has already reached epidemic proportions in San Francisco, but sexual transmission of drug-resistant strains is not to blame, reports a new UCLA/UCSF study in the September issue of Nature Medicine.

Like a balloon: Study supports buoyancy explanation for how volcanic rock rises through the Earth's mantle
A new study of the Earth's mantle beneath the ocean near Iceland provides the most convincing evidence yet that simple buoyancy of hot, partially molten rocks can play an important role in causing them to rise and erupt through the surface at mid-ocean ridges.

Risk of lung damage from ultrasound greater than once thought
Pumping more energy into a beam of diagnostic ultrasound could produce a better image - and therefore a better diagnosis - but studies at the University of Illinois suggest the risk of ultrasound-induced lung damage is greater than many scientists previously believed.

Career counseling for embryonic cells
Penn researchers had found an enzyme that censors the many signals that bombard primogeniture cells, in order to direct their development into muscle, rather than skin or bone.

Real-time observation of polymer processes allows enhancement of carbon fiber production
In order to determine a material's durability, it has to be destroyed and analyzed to learn how it had formed.

Climate plays bigger role than CO2 in make-up of plant communities
Local climate may be more important than carbon dioxide levels in determining what types of plants thrive and what types don't do so well, a team of scientists reports in this week's edition of the journal Science.

Licensing and registration of firearms makes it harder for criminals and juveniles to get guns, new study shows
States that require mandatory licensing and registration of handguns make it harder for criminals and juveniles to obtain guns from within the state, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Acupuncture is a safe treatment in skilled hands
Acupuncture is a relatively safe form of treatment in the hands of a competent practitioner, conclude two reports in this week's BMJ.

Teenagers not at higher risk during first birth, but a second may lead to complications
Teenagers giving birth for the first time are not at increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Climate, not CO2, may drive make-up of plant communities
Rising carbon dioxide levels tied to global warming may not directly determine the composition of plant communities.

Fathers in India more socially connected to family than US dads
Emotional baggage from a day's work may arrive home with dad, but it gives way to relaxation with family, including regular, lengthy close-knit discussions with the kids.

Slick research says fluids slip on solids, depending on speed
When it comes to predicting boundary conditions of fluids flowing over solid surfaces, the textbooks are all wet, say researchers at the University of Illinois.

Rock and ice linked by crushing mechanism
The cracking, splitting and crushing events occurring constantly just beneath the earth's surface can now be linked to similar activity taking place in floating sheets of ice in the polar regions.

Preoperative nutritional supplement improves outcome for high-risk patients undergoing heart surgery
An immune-enhancing nutritional supplement conventionally used in critical care and cancer surgery could be beneficial for elderly and other high-risk patients requiring cardiac surgery, conclude authors of a study in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

Pipelines, storage containers may spread MTBE throughout Midwest
MTBE, a common gasoline additive, has been found in gasoline sold throughout the Midwest even though it is not routinely used there, researchers report.

Pathfinder composite liquid oxygen tank successfully completes initial proof tests at Marshall Center
A joint effort between NASA and Lockheed Martin has resulted in the development and successful initial testing of the first sub-scale cryogenic tank built of a composite material that is compatible with liquid oxygen.

Test data may overstate social stress among Asian Americans
Are Asian Americans troubled by social anxieties and in need of therapy more than their white counterparts?

Report: Proteins can be engineered as widely adaptable 'bioelectronic' sensors
Biochemists have developed a technology that will enable proteins to be engineered as sensitive, specific

Meditation training lessens symptoms of chronic illnesses
Daily functioning as well as both psychological and physical symptoms improved in patients participating in a meditation training program.

Dementia patients aware of losing grasp suffer breakdowns most
People with dementia who are still aware enough to realize they are losing their ability to function are the patients in nursing homes who may be most likely to have dramatic emotional breakdowns and to lash out physically or verbally, nurse researchers have found.

Drug may help prevent lung injury in newborns
Doctors at Duke University Medical Center have shown how to prevent severe lung injury in newborn animals without subjecting them to the potential brain-damaging side effects of steroids.

Oxytocin remains first-choice treatment for reducing blood loss after childbirth
Results of an international trial in this week's issue of THE LANCET show that oxytocin is superior to the hormone derivative misoprostol in reducing maternal blood loss immediatley after childbirth.

Cancer-detecting microchip - a micromachined cantilever - is sensitive assay for prostate cancer and potentially other diseases, researchers report
A microscopic diving board the size of a human hair may prove to be an ideal detector of proteins or DNA, with potential application in disease diagnosis or drug discovery.

'New agrarianism' reflects renewed interest in land stewardship
People are reinvigorating their ties to the land both practically and in the ways they think about themselves and their communities, a University of Illinois law professor argues in a forthcoming book.

Awareness during surgery leaves emotional scars
General anesthesia, although an obvious boon to modern surgery, fails to completely knock out a small percentage of patients, many of whom go on to develop post-traumatic stress disorder from the pain, horror and helplessness of the experience.

Inhibitory switch found for master regulator of inflammation, Gladstone researchers report
A master regulatory protein, NF-kB, which is responsible for a whole host of important biological processes, is inhibited by a newly discovered pathway, setting the stage for new therapeutic approaches.

The torturous road to democracy-domestic crisis in Nepal
A Health and Human Rights article in this week's issue of THE LANCET documents the increasing use of torture on criminal suspects and political opponents in Nepal, a country embroiled in civil unrest between state police and a well-armed and established Maoist opposition force.

Rutgers professor details how polymers improve drug delivery and make possible crystal-clear water-based cosmetics
Rutgers researcher Kathryn E. Uhrich has developed polymers that may improve drug delivery and enhance cosmetic products by making them water soluable.

Impact of China trade on jobs, investment
Dramatic growth in trade and investment with China has had a significant impact on employment and wages for workers in the United States and other countries, according to a federally funded pilot study by researchers at Cornell and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

PET proves best for revealing spread of cervical cancer
Physicians at Washington University School of Medicine and the University's Alvin J.

No increased cancer risk for siblings of children with cancer
Results of a population-based study published in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggest that siblings of children with common, non-inheritable cancer are not at an increased risk of malignant disease.

Bullying can lead to emotional problems, especially in girls
A history of bullying predicts the onset of anxiety or depressive symptoms, especially in young teenage girls, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Hunting the southern skies with SIMBA
A new instrument, SIMBA (

Seventeen per cent of veterans believe they have Gulf war syndrome
Seventeen per cent of Gulf war veterans believe they have Gulf war syndrome, find researchers in this week's BMJ.

NU scientist finds answers in Antarctic icefish
Biology professor Bill Detrich of Northeastern University knows the potential applications that the study of icefishes can offer: lacking red blood cells and living only on the oxygen dissolved in their blood, the Antarctic icefishes provide a unique model system for determining the genetic regulation of blood cell formation.

Psychological trauma of heart attack may undermine treatment
In the study of 102 heart attack patients, about 10 percent developed significant symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Corn-based carbon adsorbent tested at Illinois power plant
A successful full-scale test of the carbon-injection process for removing mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants took place July 30-Aug.

Decision aids help patients choose best treatment options
Interactive decision aids improves patient knowledge and can help patients play a more active part in making decisions about their treatment, suggest two studies in this week's BMJ.

Study shows antioxidants play vital role in protecting skin
Sun-worshippers beware: Most sunscreen products offer inadequate protection against the harmful effects of the sun's ultraviolet radiation.
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