Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 12, 2001
VEGF gene therapy eases pain, improves heart function
Injecting a growth factor gene directly into the heart is safe and appears highly effective in treating advanced coronary heart disease.

Short legs associated with precursor of diabetes and heart disease
Short-legged men have an increased risk of heart disease and a condition that leads to diabetes, insulin resistance syndrome, shows research in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Study: control of chloride channels localized, discovery may boost cystic fibrosis treatment
medical scientists have discovered that biochemical signaling mechanisms regulating the salt and water content of the liquid lining surfaces in the lungs are

Results of the OPTIMA study show significant benefits from early and sustained treatment of mild asthma
Earlier and more sustained treatment of mild asthma improves control of asthma symptoms and reduces the risk of a severe exacerbation, thereby preventing lung function damage according to the results of the OPTIMA (Oxis and Pulmicort Turbuhaler In the Management of Asthma) study, published today in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Common chest blows can cause sudden death in children
Seemingly innocent chest blows - even from attempts to remedy hiccups or a blow from a toy plastic bat - can result in rare cases of sudden death in children.

Workers rarely extend the weekend by taking sick leave
The widespread belief that workers extend their weekends by taking sick leave on Fridays and Mondays is misplaced, say researchers in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

New Phase 2 study shows ankylosing spondylitis patients respond to ENBREL® (etanercept)
Data from a Phase 2 clinical study of ENBREL® (etanercept) in ankylosing spondylitis will be presented this week at the 65th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology.

Cold homes linked to poor health among the over 50s
Older people living in inadequately heated homes are three times as likely to suffer from chronic ill health, reports a study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Regular cycling can improve sexual function in men with heart failure
Bicycling has a significantly positive effect in treating sexual dysfunction in men with chronic heart failure.

Hepatitis E recovered from rats in Los Angeles
Researchers from the National Institutes of Health have recovered a virus similar to the hepatitis E virus (HEV) from rats in Los Angeles, California, a finding that may explain high levels of HEV exposure in inner-city residents without disease.

Study helps identify key step in simple motor learning
Neuroscientist David Linden, Ph.D., is excited about his latest research findings, even though the experiments' results echo his four-year-old son's tendency to answer questions with a resounding

Stroke victims at twice the risk of suicide
Stroke victims are at twice the risk of suicide, finds a study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Conservation International and Starbucks announce new coffee sourcing guidelines
In a first for the coffee industry, Starbucks Coffee Company (Nasdaq: SBUX) today announced new coffee purchasing guidelines developed in partnership with The Center for Environmental Leadership in Business, a division of Conservation International (CI).

In a new study Actonel® 35 mg once-a-week was as effective as 5 mg daily in postmenopausal women
A once-a-week dosage of Actonel® (risedronate sodium tablets) 35 mg was as effective as daily Actonel 5 mg at increasing bone mineral density (BMD) in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis (PMO), in a recent study.

Survey of teen girls shows disturbing trends
More than half of teen-age girls think they are overweight, according to results from a recent survey.

Discovery of dynamic sub-cellular processes could lead to medical applications
One of the key processing sites for proteins in cells is fundamentally more dynamic than scientists have traditionally believed, opening the possibility of harnessing cellular processes to benefit human health, according to Virginia Tech biochemist Brian Storrie.

New study shows vagus nerve stimulation effective for treatment of children with refractory epilepsy
Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is associated with a significant reduction in seizure frequency and marked improvements in quality of life among children with treatment-resistant epilepsy, according to a study in the Journal of Child Neurology.

Memory loss affects nearly one-fourth of those over 65
Nearly one quarter of all Americans over age 65 may suffer from memory loss and mild cognitive impairment, which means they are at greater risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published in the November 13 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Immune system discovery may lead to preventive therapy for diabetes
By manipulating a cell that controls the immune system's response to infections, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and their colleague have prevented the onset of diabetes in mice predisposed to the disease.

Biomedicines presents promising results from phase II trials of omega interferon for the treatment of hepatitis C
Positive results announced from two Phase II clinical trials employing the company's omega interferon for the treatment of patients chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV).

Gout drug could offer hope for heart failure patients
A medication commonly used for gout holds possibilities for the treatment of heart failure, Johns Hopkins researchers report.

A drink a day takes some arterial stiffness away
Light to moderate alcohol intake may slow age-related stiffening of the arteries.

Dartmouth researcher uses cosmic rays to calculate erosion rates
People build houses, plant fields and construct cities on the top layers of the planet's surface.

Researchers examine deaths of two postal workers
The Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has published a case study examining the deaths of two Washington, D.C. postal workers who died from inhalational anthrax.

New watchdog for adverse drug events needed
In an editorial in the Nov.13 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Editor John Hoey speculates on whether the current Canadian system of relying on the conscientious participation of drug companies to issue warnings to physicians about potentially serious adverse events is adequate.

Cognitive impairment high among older people, study suggests
A new study of cognitive impairment, the first population-based study of cognitive impairment in the U.S., suggests that the condition may affect a significant proportion of older people.

The World Trade Center attack - The experiences of health care professionals and the lessons to be learned
In this month's Critical Care, health care professionals who were either directly involved in the rescue efforts of 11th September or are experts in the field of disaster response analyse the events of that day, and suggest ways in which health care systems can be better prepared for future disasters, be they natural or acts of terrorism, including bioterrorism.

Researchers think electrons can 'supernova surf' at near lightspeed
Researchers have long been puzzled about the origins of cosmic rays - high energy particles which move very close to the speed of light.

Where diabetic patients with chest pains should be treated
Diabetic patients with chest pain who have more than one other common risk factor for heart attack should be considered for direct admission for a complete cardiac work-up, bypassing a period of Chest Pain Unit (CPU) observation, according to a new analysis by Duke University Medical Center researchers.

Chronic pain causes more than 25 percent of men and women to quit jobs
More than 25 percent of men and women with chronic pain report it affected their decision to quit their job, according to the

Method to restart the heart after traumatic injury and bleeding caused it to stop may help save lives now almost certainly lost
A method for delivering an oxygen-carrying fluid to resuscitate the heart after cardiac arrest may help save trauma victims by buying valuable time to allow surgeons to repair the damage.

Pulse waves promote vessel growth to ease chest pain
Delivering measured pulse waves through special thigh and lower leg cuffs promotes the release of chemicals that trigger new blood vessel growth, thereby reducing chest pain, according to new research presented today at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2001 conference.

Research partnership focuses on air quality, energy resources
A collaboration involving state-of-the-art technology and higher education announced today by Sun Microsystems, Inc. and the University of Houston will enhance research efforts aimed at solving complex problems in the environment and maximizing the utilization of energy resources.

Study finds bupropion SR effective in treating neuropathic pain
Patients with neuropathic pain found greater relief, and fewer side effects, when treated with bupropion SR (sustained-release) than with commonly prescribed treatments.

Free-radical damage occurs in children from families with early heart disease
Children as young as age six whose parents have premature heart disease are more susceptible to free-radical damage that may impair their defense system and put them at risk of the same fate.

Hidden toxin gene in chlamydia linked to chronic illnesses
Using the recently completed genetic blueprint of the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis, NIAID researchers have found a gene that encodes a cell-destroying toxin.

Computer-controlled differential braking can prevent heavy truck rollover accidents
Penn State researchers say a computer program they developed and have tested in simulation could automatically adjust the brake forces on the right and left sides of a heavy truck cab and prevent rollover accidents during cornering maneuvers.

Death of a volunteer
In a commentary presented in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Dr.

Phase 3 psoriatic arthritis data for ENBREL® (etanercept) announced at a national scientific meeting
Phase 3 results of ENBREL® (etanercept) studied in patients with psoriatic arthritis will be presented this week at the 65th Annual American College of Rheumatology National Scientific Meeting in San Francisco.

Dr. David Waddell to present research findings at national meeting
The need for total knee replacements due to osteoarthritis can be delayed or prevented with the use of viscosupplementation, according to a study presented at the American College of Rheumatology Conference.

NHLBI-funded study finds heart assist device extends and improves lives of patients with end stage heart failure
Scientists supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health have demonstrated that despite several serious side effects, a type of implantable heart pump, called a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) can significantly extend and improve the lives of terminally ill patients with end stage heart failure (ESHF) who are not eligible for cardiac transplantation.

Cholesterol and heart disease
Jean-Pierre Després and coauthors reviewed how individuals with a normal low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level can still be at increased risk of CAD, particularly if they carry additional risk factors such as central obesity, elevated serum triglyceride levels and insulin resistance.

Antibodies to liver stage associated with malaria resistance
High levels of antibodies against the liver stage of the malaria parasite appear to predict resistance to the disease say researchers from Brown University and the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute.

Positive attitude is best prevention against heart disease
A positive outlook may offer the strongest known protection against heart disease in adults at risk, according to a Johns Hopkins study.

Living close to a flight path may increase the risk of high blood pressure
Being subjected daily to the noise of aircraft flying overhead may be risk factor for high blood pressure, suggests research in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

First time fathers question their role as providers
Research from the School of Health Policy and Practice looks at how men cope with the transition to fatherhood and combining work and home loyalties.

Gene chips bring new order to lung cancer types, could yield sharper diagnoses, better drugs
Using miniaturized chips that make snapshots of the activity of thousands of genes at once, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists have divided lung cancers into new categories based on their gene functions rather than the cells' appearance under a microscope. 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