Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 10, 2002
Fly cells on the move may reveal clues to cancer metastases
Using neat genetic tricks with fruit flies, scientists from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine have found the key signal that allows a group of normally stationary cells in the ovary to travel, they report in the current issue of Cell.

Unusual patient cases help UCSD researchers link toxin to development of 'flesh-eating' bacterial infections
Three unusual patient cases of severe streptococcal (strep) infection have provided clues that allowed researchers at UCSD School of Medicine to prove that a potent bacterial toxin plays an important role in producing necrotizing fasciitis (NF), the rapid infection of tissue referred to as

Sudan - a war against the people
Two Health and Human Rights articles in this week's issue of THE LANCET highlight the ongoing and forgotten war in Sudan.

Brain protein tied to sleep and feeding also involved in bodily sensations
A brain protein linked to narcolepsy, the sudden, uncontrollable and inexplicable onset of sleep, helps regulate bodily sensations.

Researchers find gene involved in pain relief
Researchers at the University of Toronto, The Hospital for Sick Children and the Amgen Institute have discovered a genetic mechanism involved in pain modulation that could lead to an entirely new approach to pain control.

Giving patients more information reduces antibiotic use
General practitioners prescribe antibiotics to three-quarters of UK adults with acute bronchitis each year, even though there is little evidence to justify it.

The SMART way to fight AIDS
A critical long-term study to determine which of two common HIV treatment strategies ultimately is better began last week at 21 national locations and several sites in Australia.

A 2,000 year-old technique may hold the key to acupuncture's therapeutic effect
A new study establishes a link between needle manipulation and biomechanical effects.

Astronomers determine color of the universe
Astronomers at the Johns Hopkins University have determined that the average color of the universe is pretty close to pale turqoise, although a little bit greener.

Minority patients face barriers to optimum end-of-life care
Minority groups in America have less access to many medical treatments, one of which is end-of-life care, according to a review article in the January Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Staff workload risk factor for infant death intensive care
A comprehensive study of UK neonatal intensive-care units (NICUs) in this week's issue of THE LANCET highlights how high staff workloads pose a threat to the outcome of infants in intensive care.

Using simulations and remote sensing, UB geologists create high-tech hazard maps to mitigate volcanic risk
University at Buffalo volcanologists, leaders worldwide in using advanced technologies to safeguard populations from dangerous geologic events, are pioneering the automation of the time-consuming and expensive process of developing volcanic hazard maps.

Subjects lying face up reveal a reduced ability for 'nasal air conditioning'
Compensating for this physiological finding may assist those with a heart condition.

Heat flow signature key to understanding triple junction dynamics
Just as in the chicken-and-egg story, geologists have debated which came first: the thickened crust at the Mendocino Triple Junction or the junction itself.

The influence of disturbance on tropical rain forest biodiversity: End of a controversy in sight
How to explain the maintenance of high tree species diversity in tropical rain forests ?

Canis Majoris has sand and whiskers in its eyes
About 5,000 light years away across our Milky Way galaxy, a highly brilliant star called VY Canis Majoris has long been thought to be shrouded in smoke.

Study adds to the understanding of musical pitch perception
There is no

American Thoracic Society Journal news tips for January (First Issue)
Newsworthy topics in the ATS peer-reviewed journal include: research showing that preterm birth intrinsically changed the normal development of lung function; treatment with leukotriene antagonists, which block the inflammatory actions of leukotriene, improved pulmonary function and provided better illness control for persons with aspirin-intolerant asthma; and the respiratory symptoms of a group of children with obstructive sleep apnea either completely regressed or improved considerably following 6 months use of an oral, jaw-positioning appliance.

Overcoming the problems of performance league tables
NHS performance league tables are misleading and should be replaced by a more user friendly method of assessing health service performance, argue researchers in this week's BMJ.

Respiratory activation in patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSA)
Sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome is characterized by repetitive upper airway obstruction with ensuing cyclical hypoxia, or a decreased level of oxygen in the blood.

Astronomers discover gold in ancient star
A team of astronomers has discovered gold in an ancient star in the halo of the Milky Way, the first time the existence of the element has been discovered in a star other than the sun.

Susceptibility to psychotic illness in prader willi syndrome linked to gene on chromosome 15
Authors of a research letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET-which investigated the occurrence of severe psychotic illness in adults with Prader Willi syndrome-suggest that susceptibility to psychotic illness in the general population could be influenced by genetic abnormalities on chromosome 15.

Aspirin protects patients at high risk of heart attack or stroke
Aspirin (or another antiplatelet drug) protects patients at high risk of serious vascular events, such as heart attack or stroke, and should be considered routinely for all such patients, concludes a study in this week's BMJ.

Physicists see once-in-a-trillion event -- again!
After careful study of six trillion subatomic particle decays at the U.S.

Abstract engravings show modern behavior emerged earlier than previously thought
People were able to think abstractly, and accordingly behave as modern humans much earlier than previously thought, according to a paper appearing in this week's issue of Science.

Abstaining smokers fare better after surgery
Authors of a study in this week's issue of THE LANCET conclude that smokers should avoid smoking for around two months before surgery to reduce the risk of cardiovascular or wound-healing complications.

New research findings offers possible clues for avoiding sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
Hypoxemia, rather than hypercarbia, may be the more important factor when death occurs in infants sleeping with their faces covered by soft porous bedding.

Flu is not to blame for excess winter deaths
Cold weather rather than influenza is to blame for excess deaths and demands on health services in winter, according to a study in this week's BMJ.

Scientific bias helping cause mass extinction
Scientific bias towards the cute, unique or spectacular may be helping condemn a substantial proportion of the world's plants and animals to extinction, suggests an Australian ecologist.

HIV-1-positive women at increased risk of genital cancer
A study in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggests that women who are HIV-1 positive are at an increased risk of invasive genital cancer.

New research may lead to more effective treatment of asthmatic attacks
Electrohydrodynamic atomization (EHDA) is a new technique able to produce droplets of a defined size.

There's more to ice ages than main theory explains
The widely accepted theory that changes in Earth's orbit drive cycles of glaciation can't account for an early thawing of glaciers from the next-to-last ice age, according to research at the University of Minnesota.

Over 40,000 lives lost worldwide every year
The 'humble' aspirin, which has been known for at least a decade to prevent heart attacks and strokes in thousands of people at high risk of cardiovascular disease, is still massively underused, according to new UK research published (Friday Jan 11) in the British Medical Journal.
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