Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 28, 2001
Researchers: Autumn color is nature's sunscreen
University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists have a new theory about why autumn leaves turn scarlet and why the hues are more vibrant some years than others.

URI biological oceanographers awarded National Science Foundation grant to study increases in jellyfish population
URI Graduate School of Oceanography biological oceanographers Barbara K. Sullivan and Dian J.

Rush University College of Nursing among first nursing colleges awarded grant to teach nurses about complementary and alternative therapies
The Rush College of Nursing received a five-year, $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine to provide an educational program on complementary and alternative therapies for nursing faculty, students, and practicing nurses.

Two genes are better than one: Combination approach selectively kills pancreatic cancer cells
A two-fisted, gene-based therapy might someday offer patients with pancreatic cancer another treatment option for their disease, which is a particularly aggressive cancer and a veritable death sentence soon after diagnosis.

Nitrogen: Too much of a good thing?
The challenges of better utilizing available nutrient resources to feed the world's population and decreasing nitrogen emissions from fossil fuel combustion will be addressed when over 350 international scientists and policy makers convene at the Second International Nitrogen Conference,

Caterpillars make noise to fend off intruders, researchers discover
Caterpillars defend their homes by drumming up vibrations with their mandibles to drive intruders away, scientists say.

Scientists find new approach to developing medications to prevent relapse to cocaine use
Researchers from laboratories of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and colleagues abroad have identified a process in the brain's cannabinoid system that may lead to a new generation of medications to prevent relapse to cocaine use.

Researchers build diagram of cell cycle clock
For the first time, researchers have mapped the complete circuit of one of life's most fundamental processes--the cell cycle, which tells cells when to divide.

Strange trail suggests presence of galactic interloper
Scientists have discovered what looks like a jet contrail, possibly left behind by a dwarf star traveling through interstellar space.

Americans leading healthier lives, reducing risk of death from heart disease, UCSF study finds
American adults are leading healthier lives and thus are significantly reducing their risk of heart disease mortality, according to a new University of California, San Francisco study recently published in The Journal of American College of Cardiology (October 1, 2001).

Moving gene in plant results in increased production of amino acid
By placing a nuclear gene in another location - its original home in a plant - researchers have successfully enhanced the production of an essential amino acid.

American Thoracic Society Journal news tips for September (second issue)
Newsworthy studies in the ATS peer-reviewed journal show: the effect of paternal smoking on Chinese children, ages 8 to 15, whose mothers had never smoked; how prenatal nicotine exposure to pregnant rhesus monkeys produces changes in the lung mechanics of their newborns strikingly similar to those reported in offspring of human mothers who smoked; and the advantages of single inhaler therapy containing dual medications on uncontrolled moderate to severe asthma.

'Heart-sense' game passes early test: Players prove more likely to seek prompt help for heart attack symptoms
A computer game developed at the University of Pennsylvania to encourage prompt medical attention in the wake of a heart attack appears to have passed its first test: A preliminary study has shown that the game rendered its players more likely to respond to symptoms by calling 911 or reporting to the emergency room in a timely manner.

Researchers uncover alarming number of undiagnosed hypertension, diabetes in heart study
A landmark heart disease study at UT Southwestern Medical Center, which will continue for at least seven more months, has already identified a large number of study participants who have undiagnosed high blood pressure or diabetes.

Columbia Presbyterian researchers show prostate cancer drug significantly arrests tumor growth with minimal side effects
The results of a clinical study of the effects of Exisulind, a new drug that has been shown to slow tumor growth in men with advanced prostate cancer, are being published in the September issue of The Journal of Urology.

New study shows targeted lifestyle changes could turn the tide aganst diabetes and heart disease
A new study by researchers at the University of Otago in New Zealand suggests that a combination of intensive exercise and specific dietary changes could reverse the world-wide epidemic of diabetes and significantly reduce heart disease.The study found that volunteers who followed specific guidelines increased their insulin sensitivity - the ability of their bodies to use insulin properly - by about 20%.

Prayer may influence in vitro fertilization success
Prayer seems to almost double the success rate of in vitro fertilization procedures that lead to pregnancy, according to surprising results from a study carefully designed to eliminate bias.

NCAR, partners, DOE to boost high-speed network
The Department of Energy awarded $2.5 million to the Net100 Project, a multi-institutional effort to improve end-to-end performance on high-speed networks.

African wildlife databases benefit animal conservation efforts
The health and welfare of African lions, leopards and cheetahs are coming into focus - in Illinois.

Adaptive-decision strategy offsets uncertainties in climate sensitivity
The uncertainty of climate change because of global warming is much greater than previously thought, and as a result, policy-makers should adopt a robust, adaptive-decision strategy to cope with potential consequences, researchers at the University of Illinois say.

Leptin may hold key to better weight loss
Dieters know the phenomenon all too well: They cut calories, exercise, and lose some weight but at some point they can't seem to get rid of any more of the excess poundage.

Protein tied to Alzheimer's also plays key role in honeybees
A protein targeted by drug treatments in some patients with Alzheimer's disease also appears to play an important role in honeybees (Apis melifera), researchers say.

At WTC site, new federal grants to study structural enginerring and hadard response
The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded eight grants this week to engineering and social science researchers to conduct post-disaster assessments at the terrorist attack sites.

Lung reduction surgery risky for certain emphysema patients
The National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT), in which Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center is a major participant, has found that certain advanced emphysema patients benefit little from Lung Volume Reduction Surgery (LVRS) and are at unacceptable risk of death from the procedure.

Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute discover a therapeutic strategy for "misfolding diseases" analogous to Alzheimer's disease
Professor Jeffery W. Kelly, Ph.D., and his colleagues in the Department of Chemistry and The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have uncovered a potentially useful strategy to treat the rare disease familial amyloid polyneuropathy (FAP) -- an approach that may be generally useful for intervention in other amyloid diseases.
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