Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 18, 2001
Study focuses on maternal cocaine use, infant development
In a new study underway at the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions, researchers are examining the cumulative effect of a number of risk factors associated with mothers' cocaine use on their infants' mental development.

Sub-Saharan Africa's need for caesarean sections
The observed rate of cesarean section in west African women is 1-3%, conclude authors of a systematic review in this week's of The Lancet.

Electrical conductivity of single-molecule 'wires' accurately measured
In what may prove to be a major step forward in developing molecular electronics, a team of chemists and physicists have found a method to

Gender differences in respiratory response to exercise and hypoxia
From the APS Conference

MIT prof: Oceans at risk if policy tool not restricted
A policy tool key to arresting global warming could potentially wreak havoc on the oceans if instituted with no restrictions, warn an MIT professor and colleagues in the October 12 issue of Science.

Adverse effects of antiretroviral treatment for HIV infection
It is well known that treatment of HIV-1 infection (that may lead to AIDS) has side effects, but there are few studies of how many people having treatment are affected by adverse reactions.

Core system for national online science library
The National Science Foundation has announced a grant of $1.56 million to Cornell University's Digital Library Research Group to develop the core infrastructure for the National Science Digital Library (NSDL), which will make high-quality science source materials available to students from kindergarten through college.

Does racial stereotyping still occur in psychiatry?
Ten years ago, psychiatrists rated black male patients as potentially more violent than white patients.

Gender and differing rates of brain activity influence the level of reading and language skills for boys and girls
From the APS Conference

Receptor-dependent protein activation - without a receptor
Essential for triggering cellular reactions to hormones and neurotransmitters, activation of G-proteins was believed to be exclusively caused by receptors linking the inside of a cell with its surroundings.

30 years of fighting cancer: Forum discusses future of war on cancer
Experts in cancer research, treatment and national policy will discuss progress and setbacks in the fight against cancer.

Bigger betas are better - Protein found to provide pancreatic cells with protection against diabetes
While studying the proteins in pancreatic beta (β) cells - the cells that produce insulin - researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center discovered how the protein enzyme Akt1 can cause mice β cells to grow larger and produce more insulin.

Month of birth may be linked to risk of Crohn's disease
Month of birth may be linked to risk of Crohn's disease later in childhood, concludes a study in this week's BMJ.

Hormonal changes during physiological development can alter immune response to viruses and infections
From the APS Conference

Understanding DNA damage: New study suggests environment surrounding DNA plays key role in controlling charge transport
The environment surrounding DNA in living cells plays a surprisingly important role in regulating the movement of electronic charge through the life-coding molecule, suggests a paper to be published October 19 in the journal Science.

'Beetle Team' works out the bugs in population studies
In a new study to be published Friday (Oct. 19) in the journal Science, researchers used six years of beetle population data to improve the modeling tools widely used to explain fluctuations in animal numbers.

Prevalence of ICU nurses has strong link to patient outcomes
Patients undergoing high-risk surgeries are more likely to have post-operative complications, including difficulty breathing, if their hospital's intensive care unit (ICU) isn't sufficiently staffed by nurses, according to a Johns Hopkins study of Maryland hospitals.

U.S. and EC officials sign agreement to foster scientific collaboration
The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the European Commission (EC) today signed an Implementing Arrangement for Cooperative Activities in the areas of climate research, marine science and technology, seismic risk and hazards reduction, Arctic research and environmental biology.

Anthrax is just the beginning
What could be deadlier than anthrax? Try smallpox and the bubonic plague.

Molecular motor packs DNA into viruses at greater than champagne pressures, researchers report
The DNA inside some viruses is packed so tightly that the internal pressure tops that of a champagne bottle, according to new measurements by biophysicists at UC Berkeley and the University of Minnesota.

Women with rare lung disease found to also have high prevalence of meningiomas
Scientists at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health report that women with a rare lung disease known as LAM (lymphangioleiomyomatosis) have a high prevalence of meningiomas, a type of brain tumor.

Men and women drinking equal amounts of alcohol have unequal risks for liver damage
From the APS Conference

Selected estrogen compounds modify risks of vein clotting, a response to hormone replacement theraphy
From the American Physiological Society's conference

Sexual vs. asexual reproduction: scientists find sex wins
Why are most organisms sexual? The question of why most species reproduce sexually and others reproduce asexually has stymied biologists for years (particularly since asexual reproduction has many advantages including producing more offspring.) The question is answered in part in this week's Science.

Father's play the key role in transmitting
From the APS Conference

Embryonic stem cell stance should be reviewed, Hopkins physician says
As debate circles around the human embryonic stem cell lines President George W.

UB physics research shows that novel shock-absorption system could make structures
Could structures be built with shock-absorption systems so powerful that jet planes would literally bounce off them?

Weather forecasters may look sky-high for answers
Shifting wind patterns in the stratosphere during the winter may help forecasters predict weather on the surface two months ahead of time, because they have an affect on where storms track in the northern hemisphere.

Estrogen may protect against cocaine-induced brain dysfunction
From the APS Conference

New research identifies why men and women may differ in food choices
From the APS Conference

Differences in response to amphetamines found between males and females pre-puberty
From the APS Conference

Earliest evidence of lemurs discovered in Pakistan, far from their current home, Science reports
Fossil remains of the earliest known lemur have been discovered in Pakistan.

Mountain cloud forests imperiled by lowland deforestation, says Science study
Loss of cloud formation over deforested lowland areas adjacent to the Monteverde mountain cloud forests in Costa Rica may spell trouble for these unique habitats and their diverse flora and fauna.

World's fourth AbioCor Implantable Replacement Heart procedure performed at UCLA Medical Center; first on the west coast
Surgeons at UCLA Medical Center announced today that they implanted the world's fourth artificial heart Oct.

Researchers at Vanderbilt's Free-Electron Laser Center are developing new forms of laser surgery, improved X-ray technology, and better methods for protein identification
Researchers at Vanderbilt's Free-Electron Laser Center are pioneering the use of lasers for brain and eye surgery, developing a new monochromatic X-ray source that could substantially improve mammography and exploring a method that promises to identify proteins more quickly and cheaply than current techniques.

Researchers find a key to immunological development
From the APS Conference

APL technology drives Maryand vehicle-screening initiative
Using an innovative electronic screening process developed by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory,l transportation agencies are launching a six-month test program designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of motor-carrier safety enforcement on the state's highways.

Psychological effects of biological and chemical weapons may be worse than physical symptoms
The long term psychological implications of a chemical or biological terrorist attack may be more damaging than any acute physical effects, according to researchers from the UK and USA in this week's BMJ.

Atlantic floor destined to slip under North American continent
It won't happen overnight, but eventually, the floor of the Atlantic Ocean will plunge beneath the North American continent, forming a deep trench about 2,000 miles long and possibly generating volcanoes, according to research at the University of Minnesota and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

Heavier white female workers earn less
The heavier white women are, the less money they make, a Cornell University researcher reports.

Session at Sociological Association meeting to address attack of World Trade Center
There have been changes in American society as a result of the Sept.

Vitamin E and aspirin delay heart disease in mice even with high cholesterol levels
Vitamin E and a cox inhibitor such as aspirin lower the production of plaque in the blood vessels of mice by more than 80 percent, even when their cholesterol levels remain high, according to research findings from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Does treating high blood pressure save lives?
Findings of a meta-analysis published in this week's issue of The Lancet emphasise that blood pressure control is important and that on average, all antihypertensive drugs have similar long-term efficacy and safety.

Screening mammography under scrutiny
In the UK and many other countries, women are advised to have routine screening (mammography) for breast cancer in the hope that early detection of a breast cancer and prompt treatment will cure the disease.

Preoperative radiotherapy improves outcome in rectal cancer
Preoperative radiotherapy reduces risk of local recurrence and death from rectal cancer, conclude authors of a systematic overview published in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Univ. of Fla. engineer, students create glow-in-the-dark bicycle
Nighttime cyclists may soon have a dramatic safety improvement that's sure to get glowing reviews: a bike that glows from stem to stern, wheels included. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to