Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 08, 2002
Special interests undermine objectivity of scientific research
Objective scientific research, often used as the basis for policy decisions, is increasingly under attack by vested interests attempting to control the outcome or impact of research, reports a peer-reviewed study published by UCLA Public Health Dean Linda Rosenstock in January's American Journal of Public Health.

More accurate digital tunes, images may result from new mathematical theory
Digital music may be clearer, digital pictures may be sharper and MRI scans more precise in the near future due to a new mathematical theory developed by mathematicians Akram Aldroubi from Vanderbilt University and Karlheinz Gröchenig from the University of Connecticut.

Blood stem cells carry targeted genes
Researchers at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins have genetically altered human blood stem cells to selectively activate genes in developing immune cells.

Infant immune system is stronger than many parents think
From the moment of birth, infants are capable of responding to numerous challenges to the immune system, including multiple vaccines.

Magnetic 'bubbles' may be key force in galaxy clusters
Astronomers have suspected that magnetic fields in space play a key role in the makeup of galaxy clusters - the basic building blocks of the universe.

Researchers identify cause of diarrheal illness in nursing homes
Gastroenteritis plagues nursing home residents every year, but until recently, scientists have been unable to identify the predominant cause of these outbreaks.

Body piercing and tattooing prevalent among university students
A survey of university undergraduate students revealed that more than one-half had some type of body piercing and 17 percent suffered a medical complication from the piercing, the authors report in the January issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Estrogen level determines osteoporosis drug's breast cancer prevention effectiveness in postmenopausal women
A common osteoporosis drug can reduce breast cancer in postmenopausal women with high estrogen levels, but produces no reduction in risk for women whose estrogen levels are very low, according to a UCSF study.

Ancient supernova may have triggered eco-catastrophe
An exploding star may have destroyed part of Earth's protective ozone layer 2 million years ago, devastating some forms of ancient marine life, a new theory says.

January media highlights-GSA Bulletin
January's GSA BULLETIN includes research on the rate the Dead Sea is subsiding, stable isotope evidence that a major carbon cycle perturbation helped propel Earth into the late Paleozoic Ice Age, the use of new technology to study the interaction of outside faults with an active fault zone in the Caribbean, and insights into the composition of oceanic crust based on a global survey of Precambrian ophiolites found in Earth's orogenic belts.

Team led by UMass astronomer explores how galaxies change in varying environments
A team of astronomers led by Daniel H. McIntosh of the University of Massachusetts has uncovered evidence supporting the hypothesis that spiral galaxies pulled into large galaxy clusters change drastically both in appearance and star formation.

KS-associated herpesvirus epidemic in SF gay men predates HIV epidemic, UCSF study finds
A high percentage of San Francisco gay men were infected with Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), the virus that causes Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), in 1978 before the onset of the HIV epidemic, according to UCSF researchers.

Primordial air may have been 'breathable'
The Earth may have had an oxygen-rich atmosphere as long ago as three billion years and possibly even earlier, three leading geologists have claimed.

The second great in-migration
New York, Massachusetts most dependent on foreign-born for labor pool, new study from Northeastern University shows

Genes in women who smoke linked to prematurity, low birthweight in their babies
Why do some women who smoke cigarettes during pregnancy have low birthweight babies while others do not?

Tiny molecular change inactivates tumor suppressor gene in neurofibromatosis
A tiny change in the cells of patients with neurofibromatosis (NF) seems to contribute to formation of aggressive tumors and could help explain why the disease -- which predisposes patients to develop tumors -- affects people in different ways.

Experimental appetite suppressant affects numerous brain messengers in mice
Johns Hopkins scientists report success in figuring out how an experimental compound prevents mice from recognizing that it's time to eat, profoundly suppressing appetite and causing weight loss.

Teaching physics first
Traditionally taught in high schools after chemistry and biology, some students never take a course in physics - but that could be changing.
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