Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 06, 2001
Chemical engineers suggest Alzheimer's onset tied To cholesterol, brain chemicals
Few people can look Alzheimer's disease in the face without flinching.

Prediction of chronic fatigue syndrome and mood disorders after infection
Certain infections can trigger chronic fatigue syndromes (CFS) in a minority of people infected, but the reason is unknown.

Parents' behavior affects development of low birth weight babies
Babies born small at full term may show different temperament characteristics than normal-weight babies, according to a study that also found that the way a baby's mother responds to this sometimes-troublesome behavior can affect infant development.

Enzyme mimetic reduces joint disease in rheumatoid arthritis model
The painful inflammation and debilitating joint damage characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis may be reduced or prevented with a new approach using small-molecule 'enzyme mimetics,' described in research published today in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism.

The ecological consequences of 'promiscuous' boating
First appearing in North American waters in 1988, the Eurasian zebra mussel has rapidly colonized freshwater systems and can now be found in all of the Great Lakes as well as rivers large and small across the United States and Canada.

Gene triggers stem cell differentiation in the intestine
By probing the nervous system of the gut, HHMI researchers have discovered that a gene that governs development of neuronal cells is involved in regulating differentiation of stem cells into secretory cells in the intestine.

New technology tested at Stanford offers unique view inside small intestines
Stanford researchers are the first in the Bay Area to test an ingestible, pill-sized camera that detects bleeding in the small intestine.

Homosexual behavior discovered among wild orangutans
A researcher from the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has observed homosexual behavior among orangutans in Sumatra, marking the first time scientists have witnessed this activity among wild populations of these critically endangered great apes.

UNC-Chapel Hill gene therapy center awarded $9.2 million from NIH
The Gene Therapy Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine will receive $9.2 million over five years from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

Protein may play role in sex chromosome inactivation
Inactivation of one of the two X chromosomes, which occurs early in development, is a life-or-death decision that is made in the female eggs of all mammals.

Study sheds new light on link between birth weight, obesity, and childhood growth
Boys who are light at birth, but then grow rapidly during childhood, are more likely to be obese as adults, is just one of the findings from a large study in this week's BMJ.

HHS accelerates bioterrorism research
HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today announced seven new initiatives to accelerate bioterrorism research and help strengthen the nation's ability to deal with the public health threat posed by bioterrorism.

Museums must play a bigger role in conservation
Natural history museums, zoos and botanic gardens are critical forces not only for understanding the world's biological diversity, but also for conserving it, says John McCarter, president of The Field Museum, citing major environmental achievements of several museums around the world.

Pharmacists can conduct effective consultations with patients
Consultations with a trained pharmacist are an effective way of reviewing the drug treatment of older patients, without affecting the workload of general practitioners, concludes a study in this week's BMJ.

Concern over new UK legislation to detain people with dangerous severe personality disorders
Recent UK government proposals to reduce the risks posed by people with

Promising results for malaria vaccine
Results of a study from The Gambia in this week's issue of THE LANCET provide evidence of a vaccine that could prevent malaria caused by the micro-organism Plasmodium falciparum.

How's the weather up there?: Science researchers look at snow and climate change on Mars
A new look at the martian surface reveals a shrinking reservoir of solid carbon dioxide that could affect the planet's climate, and scientists track the seasonal depths of carbon dioxide

Benefits of government-mandated folic acid fortification greater than expected
A study released today in the Journal of Nutrition shows that efforts to reduce the incidence of neural tube defects in infants by fortifying grain products with folic acid are paying off -- and the dividends are even greater than expected.

International research gains from optical networking
The StarLight network-research facility is now open for business, providing high-speed connections for U.S. researchers to communicate with colleagues abroad.

Folate supplements during pregnancy could protect against leukaemia
A population-based study from Western Australia in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggests that folate and iron supplementation during pregnancy might be associated with a decreased risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).

Aspirin appears to reduce stroke severity
Individuals who had taken at least one aspirin in the week before suffering an ischemic stroke had milder strokes than people who had not taken aspirin, according to a report in the December issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association

Babies born during shift changes are at higher risk of early death
Babies born between the hours of 5pm to 1am and around 9am are at higher risk of early death, suggesting that shift changes and the hours immediately after are high risk periods for neonatal care, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

'Sonic flashlight' gives users a new form of ultrasonic vision
A 'sonic flashlight' developed by a biomedical engineer at the University of Pittsburgh makes the human body seem translucent right in front of your eyes.

Bacteria's natural foe fights drug-resistant infections
Scientists have turned to nature once again for help in fighting deadly infections.

Canadian study highlights need for clearer directives for resuscitation
A study in this week's issue of THE LANCET highlights how few critically ill patients in intensive-care units (ICUs) have explicit directives guiding physicians whether or not to resuscitate.

Single enzyme may be linked to obesity
The increased activity of a single enzyme in fat cells may be a common cause of obesity and obesity-linked diseases, including diabetes, according to an animal study conducted by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the University of Edinburgh and published in the Dec.

Tiny particles of pollution may carry large consequences for Earth's water supply
According to a United Nations Population Fund report released Nov.

Schizophrenia risk highest in small ethnic groups
The rate of schizophrenia among people from non-white ethnic groups rises as the proportion of these groups fall in the local population, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

MATH1 signal heralds process of differentiation in intestinal lining
Math1, a gene associated with intestinal nerves, has been shown to play a critical role in intestinal stem cells.

Study puts a damper on extent of new brain cell growth
Neuroscientists have not found any evidence that adult primates are able to create new neurons in the most sophisticated part of the brain, the neocortex, according to the results of a study in the Dec.

The impact of terrorist attacks on women: A report of findings from a national survey of American women
While American women continue to pay attention to and feel the impact of September 11, they are strong, knowledgeable and pragmatic, reveals a new national survey exclusively of women by the Center for Gender Equality.

Britain needs more preparation for responding to public health emergencies
The United Kingdom needs to be better equipped and organised to deliver health protection in the event of public health emergencies and major disasters.

NSF awards $18 million contract to the National Opinion Research Center
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a five-year competitive, task-order contract for an amount not to exceed $18,085,225 to the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago for its Doctorate Data Project.

Studying, recreating sound in three dimensions
Realistic computer sound, specifically tuned for each listener, could get a little closer using a new, free public database of acoustic measurements developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis.

A giant star factory in neighboring galaxy NGC 6822
Resembling curling flames from a campfire, this magnificent nebula in a neighboring galaxy is giving Hubble Space Telescope astronomers new insight into the fierce birth of stars as it may have more commonly happened in the early universe.

New data support early intervention with Atacand® for patients with acute ischaemic stroke
New data investigating the effect of antihypertensive treatment with Atacand® (candesartan cilexetil), in acute stroke patients with elevated blood pressure, were presented today at the 25th Scientific Meeting of the German Hypertension Society.

Ohio State scientists bake heart healthy soy bread
A team of scientists at The Ohio State University has concocted what may be the first baked good that can legitimately carry the FDA claim that consuming it is associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
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