Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 06, 2001
Chandra probes nature of dark matter
Scientists have precisely determined the distribution of dark matter in a distant galaxy cluster with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Structure of key protein involved in cancer, osteoporosis and foot-and-mouth disease finally solved
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have solved the structure of an integrin receptor, a key protein involved in diseases and processes ranging from tumor angiogenesis and breast cancer metastasis to osteoporosis, vascular restenosis and foot-and-mouth disease.

Alcohol and the brain: Moderation does some good, some harm
How much alcohol an elderly person drinks each week is linked to their brain structure and risk of stroke, for better and for worse, according to a study of more than 3,000 senior citizens, published in the September issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Physicians unveil new technique for stroke analysis
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have found a new way to evaluate acute strokes.

Mothers transmit DNA through daughters only
Scientists have argued whether or not the often-studied mitochondrial DNA molecule is clonally inherited.

Amphetamine speeds language recovery in stroke survivors
In the first study of its kind, researchers have shown that pairing a type of amphetamine with speech/language therapy may help some stroke survivors more quickly recover their ability to communicate, according to a report in the September issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Amphetamines paired with therapy may relieve stroke-related speech problems, researchers report
Stroke patients who take an amphetamine before speech-language therapy regain their speech at a faster rate than patients who go through speech-language therapy without the drugs, UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas researchers report.

A galaxy blazes with star formation
Most galaxies form new stars at a fairly slow rate, but members of rare class known as

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute discover a previously unknown role for antibodies
A team of scientists lead by Professor Richard Lerner, Ph.D., President of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have discovered that antibodies have a novel catalytic ability--unique among proteins--which could possibly mean they do more to protect our bodies than scientists had previously thought.

Young stars in Orion may solve mystery of our solar system
Exotic isotopes present in the early Solar System--long-assumed to have been sprinkled there by a powerful, nearby star explosion--may have instead been forged locally by our own Sun during the colossal solar-flare tantrums of its baby years, according to a discovery with the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

First high-resolution structure of a membrane transporter solved at The Scripps Research Institute--a weapon against cancer and antibiotic-resistant bacteria
A scientist at the Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has published an x-ray crystal structure on the cover of the current issue of the journal Science that provides the first detailed glimpse of a membrane transporter protein, a finding that could be useful for improving cancer therapy and fighting antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Meningitis in infancy linked to developmental problems
Children who get meningitis in their first year of life have a 10-fold increased risk of severe or moderate disability at 5 years of age compared with other children, concludes a study in this week's BMJ.

Both genetics and diet influence cholesterol levels
New research on twins shows that genetics plays a predominate role in differences in cholesterol levels between people.

Biologists find a gene required for tolerance of heavy metals, previously known only in plants, in an animal
Biologists at the University of Pennsylvania have discovered the first biochemical pathway in animals responsible for the detoxification of heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury and cadmium.

Brain shown to recover some blood flow after minor stroke
In an animal study, researchers demonstrated that new blood vessels can grow in the area of the brain damaged after a minor stroke, according to a study in the September issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

No increased risk of miscarriage from folic acid supplements
Women who consume folic acid supplements around the time of conception are not at an increased risk of miscarriage, conclude authors of a population-based study published in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

UF researcher: Rise of black mayors ranks with civil rights movement
The rise of black mayors ranks as important as the civil rights movement in fighting racial discrimination in American society, says a University of Florida researcher and author of a new book on the subject.

Researchers find an antibody that destroys the blood's platelets
New York University School of Medicine researchers have found, for the first time, an antibody that destroys an essential component of the blood called platelets.

Poor diets may worsen health risks in spouses of smokers
People married to smokers may have increased health risk as much from their poor eating habits as from exposure to second-hand smoke, according to a new study.

Cell-cell communication in the flower is unlocked
Familiarity breeds contempt. Nonfamiliarity produces seed. Just as humans have a natural aversion toward marrying kin, some food crop plants have genes that allow them to avoid being fertilized by

ANU scientists find genetic trigger for the 1918 Spanish Flu
Scientists from The Australian National University (ANU) have detected evidence of an event that probably triggered the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.

Regaining hand control after nerve damage similar to learning second language
A Swedish study published as a research letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET concludes that the return of sensory control in the hand after nerve damage in the arm is an age-related learning process involving the central nervous system, and is similar to the processes involved in language acquisition.

Combined chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cervical cancer could increase survival
A systematic review of randomised trials in the past two decades published in this week's issue of THE LANCET concludes that women given concurrent chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cervical cancer could have an increased survival-rate of 12% compared with patients treated with radiotherapy alone.

Slight molecular tweak, and flu virus becomes a killer
By incorporating the slightest change in the arrangement of its molecules, the virus responsible for a brief but frightening influenza outbreak in Hong Kong several years ago can quickly morph from a relatively benign virus to a killer.

Early promise for stroke patients given levodopa and physiotherapy
A preliminary study published in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggests that the neurotransmitter precursor levodopa used in combination with physiotherapy could improve motor recovery for patients after stroke.

Hearing loss in children is higher than previously thought
Far more children in the United Kingdom suffer with permanent hearing impairment by the age of 9 years than previously estimated, find researchers in this week's BMJ.

Why do more men die from heart disease than women?
In most industrialised countries more men die from coronary heart disease than women but what causes these sex differences?

Researchers develop monitoring system for roads, waterways
A team of ocean engineers has developed an environmental monitoring and forecasting system that provides information about conditions on highways and waterways.

Flaws in new elderly care regulations may put patients at risk
The regulatory system that is supposed to protect private nursing home residents in England and Wales is flawed because of compromises made by the government, suggest researchers at University College London in this week's BMJ.

A small genetic change makes flu virus deadly
A tiny change in one of the influenza virus's 10 genes is key to making certain strains of the virus especially virulent to humans, scientists report in the Sept.

ORNL heads effort to build better supercomputer centers
Supercomputers provide researchers with powerful tools, but operating them can also be a super hassle, says an Oak Ridge National Laboratory researcher who heads a team working to fix the problem.

Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and Phenomenome Discoveries developing software to allow visualization of genes and proteins
The Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech is developing software that will allow scientists to visualize metabolomics data.

E-BioSci: Europe's gateway to the life sciences
E-BioSci is a new, next generation scientific information service initiated by EMBO to meet the future needs of researchers in the life sciences and funded by the European Commission with 2,4 million Euro over three years.

Hemophiliacs run high risk of blood clots from implanted catheters, UT Southwestern study reveals
Despite hemophilia's persistent threat of prolonged bleeding, children with the disease run a high risk of developing dangerous internal blood clots from long-term central venous catheter implants, according to research at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

NSF to host distinguished lecture series on large scale networking
The National Science Foundation (NSF) will host the first of a Large Scale Networking (LSN) Distinguished Networking Lecture Series beginning on September 11, 2001.
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