Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 17, 2002
Surgeons' performance related to visual-spatial ability
A Canadian research letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET highlights how a surgeon's ability to execute a complex procedure is related to their degree of visual-spatial ability.

Livermore Lab hosts conference on Bioterrorism for the Courts
More than 100 justices from state supreme courts and federal courts and scientists from across the nation will gather at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Genetic imbalance could help predict colorectal cancer prognosis
Results of a study in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggest that an imbalance in specific genetic material on chromosomes 8 and 18 could be a better predictor of colorectal cancer prognosis than conventional histopathological assessment.

Thyroid disease raises risk for birth defects
Women with thyroid disease are more likely to give birth to babies with heart, brain and kidney defects even if the thyroid function tests are normal during the pregnancy, according to new research from Johns Hopkins.

Breathing support reduces blood pressure for people with sleep apnoea
A reduction in blood pressure--and in the probable risk of stroke and other cardiovascular disease--could be possible for patients treated with nocturnal breathing support for sleep apnoea, conclude authors of a study in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

Tea and chocolate beneficial for heart health
A Penn State-led review of the available evidence from 66 published studies, supports the view that consuming flavonoid-rich tea and/or chocolate, in moderation, can be associated with reduced risk for cardiovascular disease.

Bhutan signs conservation agreement at Field Museum Jan. 22
Field Museum, Bhutan and World Wildlife Fund are combining forces to save one of the most pristine and biologically important places on Earth.

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute show most people with the genetic mutation for an iron-storage disease stay healthy
A disease that was once thought to be the most common genetic disorder of Europeans has now been shown by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) to be relatively rare.

Clinical trial to investigate new treatment for post traumatic stress disorder
Georgetown University Medical Center is conducting a clinical trial to assess the effectiveness of venlafaxine HCI, marketed as Effexor XR, on post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Herbal extract is an effective treatment for hay fever
The herbal extract, butterbur, is as effective as antihistamines for treating hay fever, and does not have the sedative effects often associated with these drugs, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

NASA satellite instrument warms up global cooling theory
Measurements from a NASA Langley Research Center satellite instrument dispute a recent theory that proposes that clouds in the Tropics might cool the Earth and counteract predictions of global warming.

Hebrew University and Ben-Gurion researchers find that stress causes shift in gene products
Researchers at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and at Ben-Gurion University have found evidence for the fact that stress causes a shift in gene products (mRNAs) by altered splicing.

Nexia and US Army spin the world's first man-made spider silk performance fibers
Nexia Biotechnologies Inc. and the U.S. Army Soldier Biological Chemical Command (SBCCOM) have made the world's first spider silk fibers from man-made materials with properties similar to natural spider silk.

Sandia studies security at nation's chemical plants
Security experts at Sandia National Laboratories are helping shore up anti-terrorism defenses at the nation's chemical plants.

Depression after unintended pregnancy is linked to abortion
Depression among women after an unintended first pregnancy is linked to whether they abort or carry to term, conclude researchers from the United States, in this week's BMJ.

Stem cells for eggs and sperm also control aging in roundworm
The raw material for each generation -- the pool of stem cells that gives rise to eggs and sperm -- also controls the rate of aging into adulthood, UCSF scientists have found in research on the roundworm C. elegans.

Insect bites on plants reduce photosynthesis, imaging device shows
When insects feed on plants, they get nourishment and the plant gets damaged.

Study links El NiƱo to deadly South American disease
In a groundbreaking collaborative study, NASA climatologists and U.S. military health specialists may have discovered a way to predict outbreaks of a deadly South American disease by observing sea surface temperature.

Food fortigication with vitamin B12 in addition to folic acid could reduce risk of cardiovascular disease
Authors of a research letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET conclude that vitamin B12 in addition to folic acid should be used to fortify food to lower concentrations of the blood protein homocysteine, thereby potentially reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

UMass study uses microbes to turn mud into electricity
UMass microbiologists have found that certain microorganisms can transform organic matter commonly found at the bottom of the ocean into electrical energy.

Climate change may bring more winter floods, and a drier growing season in California
A new study finds that climate warming over the next century will bring potential flooding in winter, as a result of increased streamflow throughout California.

U.S. patients get more for their money than NHS patients do
Some patients in the United States are getting better health care than NHS patients in Britain, for roughly the same cost, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

New center will study barriers between people and dental care
A research center will try to understand the causes, and some of the answers, for needless suffering among diverse groups in the Northwest and Alaska.

Limited benefit of community physiotherapy one year after stroke
A study in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggests that physiotherapy given to patients 1 year after stroke is only of limited value, with short-term benefits three months after the start of treatment that are not sustained in the long term.

Maryland's proposed crab regulations could have large economic impacts
A state of Maryland proposal to restrict possession of sponge crabs and crabs smaller than 5-1/4 inches, thus making them unavailable for processing, would add up to a total loss of nearly $18 million annually, according to economists at the Maryland Sea Grant Extension Program and the University of Maryland College Park.

Rutgers research on shear activity may improve safety in areas as diverse as landslides, pill manufacture
The discovery of shear activity in granular flow may help scientists begin to understand a wide variety of phenomena -- from the quirks of landslides to the strange turbulence sometimes seen as grains and powders rush down factory chutes.

Benefits of anti-clotting drug class for people with acute coronary syndromes - but for men only?
Results of a meta-analysis in this week's issue of THE LANCET lend further support to the benefits of the anti-clotting drugs glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors for the treatment of patients with acute coronary syndromes.

California Kaiser patients 'getting more for their money' than UK's National Health System patients
Patients of Kaiser Permanente (KP) are getting better health care than National Health System (NHS) patients in Britain, for roughly the same cost, according to UCSF researchers.

Chairman of Council of Economic Advisers to speak at NSF on terrorism and the economy
An eminent scholar and one of the government's leading economists will give the first talk in a series of distinguished lectures organized by National Science Foundation's (NSF) Directorate of Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences.

HIV-like virus detected in wild chimpanzee
An international team of researchers has identified a wild chimpanzee infected with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIVcpz).

Rutgers wins NIH grants to study how tea consumption, diet are tied to cancer
Rutgers University will study tea and its potential to prevent cancer under a $5.7 million, 5-year program project grant from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health.
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