Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 24, 2002
Findings link disease specific anitbodies to activation of T cells for the first time
Harbor-UCLA Research & Education Institute (REI) announced new findings indicating that antibodies specific to Graves' disease bind to cell surface receptors distinct from thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) receptors.

Strong relationship between peasant farmers and city-dwellers in Zimbabwe
In Zimbabwe farmers are highly dependent on family members in cities for their income.

Physician begins national head-trauma registry to track why, how injuries happen
Each year, emergency room physicians treat more than 1 million patients for head injuries, many due to outdoor recreational activities.

Virginia Tech and Johns Hopkins invest $10 million to combat major human diseases
Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech and the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health will invest a minimum of $1 million per year for five years to better understand tuberculosis, AIDS, malaria, measles, and other deadly illnesses.

Climate change following collapse of the Maya empire
Researchers from the University of Amsterdam have demonstrated that the climate in South Mexico changed following the collapse of the Maya empire.

Consortium aims to improve protection of human research subjects
A national

Condoms and education dramatically reduce HIV spread in Thailand
Public health efforts in Thailand successfully reduced the sexual transmission of HIV and AIDS, but the transmission of the disease through injection drug is increasing, according to a study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Moderate alcohol consumption could reduce risk of dementia
A Dutch study in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggests that light-to-moderate alcohol consumption could reduce the risk of dementia among older people, regardless of the type of alcoholic drink consumed.

Adsorption on clay accounts for organic-rich rocks
New data from black shale deposits in South Dakota and Wyoming show a clear relationship between the presence of organic carbon in the sediments and a clay mineral called smectite.

Race influences outcome of liver transplants, according to Hopkins study
African Americans and Asians have a worse outcome than white Americans and Hispanics after liver transplantation, both in terms of graft rejection and survival, according to a new Hopkins-led study reported in the Jan.

Where is the world's greatest biodiversity? Smithsonian scientists find the answer is a question of scale
Amazonia represents the quintessence of biodiversity - the richest ecosystem on earth.

An HIV vaccine is within reach
An effective, affordable, and accessible HIV vaccine is 7-10 years away, according to scientists at the Medical Research Council of South Africa, in this week's BMJ.

Could drug companies help win the fight against AIDS?
Drug companies could influence the fight against the AIDS epidemic by reducing the cost of HIV drugs in poor countries to zero, writes Donald Berwick in this week's BMJ.

Surgical advances prevent deaths in older heart bypass patients
The age of patients undergoing heart bypass operations has risen sharply, yet the risk of death within two years of the operation has declined, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Nanoencapsulation: Chemists at TSRI discover a new and simple way of controlling reactions
A group of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) were able to demonstrate complex system behavior among small, reacting organic molecules by putting them in and out of a nanocapsule.

Surf against surface: tortured water ripples at contact
Why water beads on some surfaces but not on others has puzzled scientists and engineers for a long time.

What remains to be discovered in Central American forests
Representatives from the World Wildlife Fund-US, the Mesoamerican and Caribbean Herbarium Network, the Panamanian National Authority for the Environment,the Mesoamerican Biological Corredor and the National Museum of Costa Rica gathered at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Insititute in Panama City, Panama, to present a new summary of gaps in our knowledge of Central American flora:

Chemical industry helped by small invisible tube
Chemists at Utrecht University have developed a catalyst for fine chemistry.

Preventing overload in the brain
Brain researchers in Amsterdam have observed a double control system in the hippocampus.

Rutgers develops virtual reality treatment for hand impairment in chronic stroke patients
A new virtual reality treatment for hand impairment in chronic stroke patients works alone even years after a stroke - without the need for traditional rehabilitation.

AIDS surpasses black death as deadliest disease in history
In terms of illness and death, AIDS is worse than the Black Death of the 14th century.

Gene for neat repair of DNA discovered
Researchers from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam have demonstrated that a gene helps in the neat repair of DNA.

Proximity to landfill sites linked to increased risk of congenital chromosomal abnormalities
New data from a 1998 study to assess the potential risks of chromosomal abnormalities of residents living near landfill sites is detailed in a research letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

Outside-in conservation: What's around an area
While most conservation planners focus on preserving certain areas, new research shows that an area's surroundings may be just as important.

Navy medics going digital
Figuring there had to be a better way of keeping track of available beds, medical equipment and blood supplies in the field, rather than depending on information relayed by phone and then scribbled on a white board with a grease pencil, the Office of Naval Research has come up with an answer - NavMedWatch.

Race could influence outcome after liver transplantation
Outcome after liver transplantation--both in terms of graft rejection and patients survival--could be related to race, with African American and Asian patients faring less well than white Americans and Hispanic patients, conclude authors of a study in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

Jaguar conservation spotty
New research shows that the jaguar is in trouble in two-thirds of its historic range.

Fragmentation can make seedlings wimpy
New research shows that fragmentation of tropical forests can make trees wimpy.

UPenn Cancer Center offers prosate cancer prevention trial using selenium & vitamin E
The University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center, the coordinating site for 15 other Pennsylvania locations, is one of more than 400 sites in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada recruiting participants for this trial which is the largest-ever for prostate cancer prevention.

Research shows way to boost morphine's pain-killing benefits
Challenging a decades-old understanding of why morphine-like drugs lose effectiveness with increased use, UCSF scientists have demonstrated in animals how morphine's potent painkilling powers can be easily sustained without increasing dosages.

Microchip gives blind chance of sight
A computer chip implanted near the eye's retina is well on its way to offering some restored vision to people blinded by eye diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related degeneration of the eye.

Darwin and the world's first ecological experiment
Scientists examining the work that influenced Charles Darwin have rediscovered the details of what may be the world's first ecological experiment.

NIH to host symposium on reporting medical research
The National Institutes of Health's Office of Medical Applications of Research (OMAR) will sponsor a three-day symposium for journalists in collaboration with the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Protecting waterbirds from watercraft
There you are, peacefully eating or resting when BLAM, up zooms a loud, splashy jetski.

Stratified seawater disrupts the transport of imposex substances
Biologists from the Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) have discovered that toxic substances from antifouling paint on ships, do not reach the seabed directly if the sea is vertically stratified in different layers.

American Thoracic Society Journal news tips for January (second issue)
Newsworthy articles feature research showing that young persons at high risk for inherited wheezing and allergic asthma who started their wheezing at ages 2 to 5 were more likely to wheeze in adulthood; how investigators developed a brief, simple self-administered questionnaire on asthma control for adult patients that can predict their acute and routine health care utilization; and why obesity and craniofacial abnormalities work together to cause sleep-disordered breathing.

Scientists to manipulate the 'super-size boson'
More accurate navigational aids such as gyroscopes, next-generation sensors including magnetic and gravitational sensors and clocks - will get a boost from the research from the latest physics Nobel Prize winners.

Researchers find better way to predict childhood brain tumor outcomes
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'Nanocircles' act as Trojan horse to shut down disease-causing genes, study finds
Stanford scientists have synthesized a molecule of DNA that is capable of shutting off specific genes in living bacteria.

One-third of child rape in South Africa committed by school teachers
Results of a national survey in South Africa of more than 11,000 women aged under 50 years--detailed in a research letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET--suggest that child rape is becoming more common, with a third of rape of girls perpetrated by school teachers.

Mountain climbers vulnerable to subclinical lung disorder
Three out of four recreational climbers could be at risk of a mild form of the lung disorder called high altitude pulmonary oedema, conclude authors of a study in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

What are those big jellyfish fossils doing in Wisconsin?
Jellyfish fossils are rare--not having a skeleton, they easily decay.

US ecology dramatically altered by fertilizers and acid rain
A NASA-funded study of ancient and unpolluted South American forests promises to upend longstanding beliefs about ecosystems and the effects of pollution in the Northern Hemisphere.

High survival rate for stem cell transplants to treat (SCID)
When performed within the first 28 days of birth, stem cell transplants have a 95 percent success rate in treating newborn babies with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), according to a long-term study by Duke University Medical Center researchers.

Protein may be target for new cancer drugs
During development of multicellular organisms, cells are bombarded by signals from their environment.
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