Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 15, 2001
Damage to buildings near World Trade Center Towers caused by falling debris and air pressure wave, not ground shaking, seismologists report
While the ground shaking caused by the World Trade Center twin towers collapse was consistent with the energy released by small earthquakes, it was not sufficient to cause the collapse of, or damage to, surrounding buildings, as some have thought.

Landmark clinical trial at 22 medical centers finds implanted heart pumps lengthen and improve lives of terminally ill heart failure patients
Implanted heart pumps can extend and improve the quality of life of terminally ill heart failure patients, a three-year landmark study of 129 patients at 22 major medical centers has found.

Skin expert issues winter sports warning
SKIERS and snowboarders and competitors in the 2002 Winter Olympics should heed sun safety messages this season to reduce the risk of developing skin cancer, says an expert from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Molecular 'nanogenerator' developed that can target cancer cells and destroy them
Researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) have developed a molecular nanogenerator that releases a cascade of atomic fragments known as alpha particles on the inside of cancer cells.

NCAR's 'Blue Sky' to spur climate, weather research
Atmospheric scientists will soon have access to powerful new computational, storage, and communications technologies provided by the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Study suggests rise in heavy drinking among young women
Staff working in well woman and antenatal clinics may need to be trained to identify early signs of heavy drinking in young women, suggest researchers in this week's BMJ.

Criminalising HIV transmission may lead to a rise in new HIV infections
Researchers in this week's BMJ warn of a one third increase in new sexually transmitted HIV infections in Scotland as a result of the Glenochil judgement, which made knowingly transmitting HIV a criminal offence in Scotland.

University of Cincinnati researchers track climate changes in Arctic thaw lakes
University of Cincinnati geographers have developed a new set of tools to track changes in Arctic thaw lakes.

Non-aspirin pain drug may slow ligament healing
A new class of non-aspirin pain medicine now widely prescribed for arthritis symptoms may impair ligament healing associated with sprains, according to laboratory findings at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Researchers developing emergency broadband prototype
Communication systems connected by wire and fiber can be partially or completely wiped out in seconds by an attack or a natural disaster.

Scientists identify specific genes in the brain affected by fragile X syndrome
Scientists have identified for the first time specific genes in the brain that are affected by the lack of FMRP -- the protein that is absent in individuals with fragile X syndrome, the most frequent cause of inherited mental retardation in humans.

Moses baskets are a potential health hazard
Moses baskets may pose potential health risks to babies, suggest researchers in this week's BMJ.

Seat of cellular bus system for protein passengers found by Dartmouth Medical School researchers
For some proteins made deep within a cell, those that work elsewhere in the body have a complex journey aboard carrier vessels with many stops before they exit the cell and continue to their destination.

Fetal nasal-bone examination could improve accuracy of Down's syndrome screening
A new screening tecnique using ultrasonography to determine the presence or absence of nasal bone in fetuses aged 11-14 weeks could improve the accuracy of Down's syndrome screening, conclude authors of a fast-track study in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

New study from Mayo Clinic provides insight into male infertility
A new study, appearing in the November 16 issue of Science, found that mice lacking a certain protein in their sperm were infertile.

Underage smokers respond to threat of legal penalties
Middle school and high school students are more likely to pass up cigarettes when faced with the prospect of being fined or losing their drivers license, according to a study of a Florida program that has helped reduce underage smoking by 40 percent.

Warfarin and aspirin provide no significant difference in preventing another stroke in the ischemic stroke patients
A study led by Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center researchers found that there is no significant different between the two drugs warfarin and aspirin in their ability to prevent recurrent strokes in patients who have had an ischemic stroke but who did not have atrial fibrillation.

Annual screening recommended for people with high-normal blood pressure
A study in this week's issue of THE LANCET highlights how people with normal or high-normal (slightly raised, but not high) blood pressure can progress to high blood pressure (hypertension) over a four-year period, which is positively associated with advancing age and weight increase.

Engineers create 'structural radar' to monitor aircraft, vehicles
Engineers are developing a system that could save lives and billions of dollars in maintenance costs by using radar-like signals to detect when structures and mechanical parts, such as those in aircraft, are about to fail.

Researchers discover 'thermostat' that regulates bone density
HHMI researchers tracking the cause of a rare genetic disorder that causes brittle bones have discovered a genetic

Massive magma layer feeds Mt. Vesuvius, and may hold clues to eruptions, say Science researchers
Seismic data suggest the presence of a 400 kilometer square-wide reservoir of magma located eight kilometers below the famous Mt.

Unique genetic alteration in presenilin 1 gene predisposes some Caribbean Hispanics to early-onset Alzheimer's disease
A unique genetic change associated with the development of early-onset Alzheimer's disease in Caribbean Hispanics has been identified by Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons researchers.

Should elderly patients be told they have cancer?
A study in this week's BMJ finds that 88% of older people would like to be told if they developed cancer, despite evidence that doctors fail to inform patients, particularly older people, when they diagnose cancer.

Researchers discover new family of naturally occurring antibiotics
Two NC State University researchers have isolated a previously undiscovered family of naturally occurring peptide antibiotics.

Community professionals at risk of abuse need risk guidelines
Although for many professionals working in the community these days, physical and verbal abuse are part and parcel of their job description all too often they are ill equipped to deal with it according to new research.

UNC discovery shows properties of gas depend on container size
Hydrogen gas behaves the same whether confined to a laboratory test tube or a huge storage tank, but a new discovery shows that its properties changes markedly when the container is only a few nanometers in diameter, about 10 millionths of an inch.

Scientists adopt new tools to gain better view of San Andreas Fault
Tools never before used at an active earthquake site -- including a technique adapted from oil exploration -- are providing new and more detailed information about the San Andreas Fault.

Which triptan for migraine relief?
A meta-analysis of a class of drugs called the triptans-known to be effective for migraine relief -is detailed in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

High rates of caesarean section do not reflect women's preferences
Recent concerns surrounding high rates of caesarean section have led to a focus on increasing the numbers of women who have a straightforward vaginal birth.

Fire ant protein may help scientists use fire ants' biology against themselves
University of Georgia scientists have discovered a protein in fire ants that may lead to a new way of using their own biology against them.

Eradication of gastric bacterial infection could alleviate hereditary oedematous disorder
The eradication of the gastric bacterial infection Helicobacter pylori could play an important role in improving symptoms for people who have a genetic disorder known as hereditary angioneurotic oedema (HAO), conclude authors of a research letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

Stanford researchers make lung cancer finging that could vastly improve treatment and outcome
Researchers at the Stanford University Medical Center have uncovered a group of genes that could distinguish between different forms of lung cancer.

Science: nanoscale 'Trojan Horse' attacks cancer cells from within
A team of researchers has developed a molecular-sized atomic generator that slips into cancer cells and produces extremely small but potent radioactive particles that destroy those cells without apparent toxic side effects.

Supercomputer simulations provide details of formation of the first star universe
New cosmological simulations performed on a supercomputer have provided astrophysicists with the best indication to date of how the first star in the universe formed.

World's first MRI/X-Ray imaging suite installed at UCSF medical center in partnership with Philips Medical Systems
The first imaging suite to combine MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) with a cath lab officially opened today at UCSF Medical Center.

PNNL science, technology help keep America safe
PNNL scientists demonstrated five counterterrorism technologies at a Dept. of Energy expo Thursday, Nov.

Targeted policing is good for public health
A public-health article in this week's issue of THE LANCET proposes that an understanding of policing and the criminal justice system-especially the concept of deterrence-is integral to the implementation of effective public-health strategies worldwide.

Lupus study finds abnormal alpha-interferon secretion may lead to better therapies for immune-system disease
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and the Baylor Institute for Immunology Research in Dallas have linked abnormal secretion of alpha interferon to the malfunctioning immune systems of young patients with lupus, a disease that can damage kidneys, skin, heart and other organs in children and can be fatal without early treatment.

Duke forum to address medical aspects of terrorism
A Nov. 26 forum hosted by Duke University Medical Center will examine what the medical community is doing to respond to and prepare for acts of terrorism.

Molecular basis of mental retardation uncovered
Scientists at last may have determined how mental retardation develops in people with fragile X syndrome, a condition caused by the inherited loss of an essential protein, termed the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP).

Middle-aged women are on best behavior with their aging moms
Results of a Penn State study show that middle-aged daughters tend to dominate in interactions with their aging mothers but they do it while being just as nice as they can be.

Study shows positive effects of estrogen on consistency
Postmenopausal women who take estrogen and young college-aged women perform more consistently on memory tests compared with postmenopausal women not taking the hormone, according to a new study by investigators at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons.

Signals from nervous system influence immune system, study shows
In a discovery that demonstrates a clear link between the mind and body at a molecular level, scientists have shown that a chemical signal which normally allows nerve cells to communicate with each other -to alter sleep cycles, for example -- can also re-direct actions of the immune system.

NHS services to help smokers quit are under threat
NHS smoking cessation services are one of the most cost effective interventions in the NHS today, yet these services are now under threat because of the government's failure to confirm their future funding, write Martin Raw and colleagues in this week's BMJ.

Deep-ocean research program office established at Penn State
A program designed to study the mid-ocean ridge system and the relationship between its life forms, which thrive in the absence of sunlight, and its geological processes, which lead to the Earth's renewal, has established its program office at Penn State, with support from the National Science Foundation.

Low-tech handheld device detects counterfeit drugs
Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have adapted a simple low-tech device normally used to examine urine specimens to test and detect counterfeit drugs.
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