Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 18, 2002
Scientists look to Europe as evolutionary seat
University of Toronto anthropologist David Begun and his European colleagues are re-writing the book on the history of great apes and humans, arguing that most of their evolutionary development took place in Eurasia, not Africa.

Performance reviews not always accurate, professor says
Performance reviews - those often-dreaded work evaluations - are not very accurate, says a University of Toronto human resource management expert.

Agri-tech innovations promise better food security
With close to 800 million people suffering from hunger, most in the southern hemisphere, the developing world is embracing innovative agricultural techniques that promise increased food production while reducing environmental damage and achieving sustainability.

Lean mice adjust to appetite suppressant quickly, fat mice don't
Expanding their studies of an experimental compound that causes dramatic weight loss and appetite suppression in mice, Johns Hopkins researchers now report that lean mice rapidly adjust to daily doses of the drug and get their appetites back, while their obese counterparts do not.

Critical care bypass in emergency rooms
In this issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Anne Walker examines the policies of critical care bypass in a legal framework, reviewing the concept of duty to care as it relates to emergency physicians.

Dietary supplements make old rats youthful, may help rejuvenate aging humans, according to UC Berkeley study
While many dietary supplements claim to boost energy, few can document it.

Annals of Internal Medicine, tip sheet, February 19, 2002
Highlights in this issue include research that indicates second colorectal cancers often develop despite follow-up tests and that blood supply safety varies between developed and developing countries.

Poland puts US discoverer of first extra-solar planets on Millennium Stamp
Penn State astronomer Alexander Wolszczan, the discoverer of the first planets found outside our solar system, has been honored by the country of Poland on a set of 16 postage stamps celebrating the past millennium.

Neural stem cells move to damaged areas of brain after injury
Primitive neural cells in the brains of laboratory rats respond to acute brain injuries by moving to the injured area and attempting to form new neurons, according to University of Michigan neurologist Jack M.

New frontiers for dinosaur science
Dr. Paul C. Sereno's ongoing field work in Africa has yielded a menagerie of new dinosaurs.

Using cocaine during pregnancy may damage developing fetuses, causing lifelong learning disabilities
Taking cocaine during pregnancy causes possibly permanent changes in an area of the brain that governs short term memory, leading to symptoms that are very much like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Stanford researchers uncover possible approach to attack HIV-infected cells
A drug being tested as a cancer treatment also appears to be effective in the laboratory against HIV, say Stanford University Medical Center researchers.

Virginia Tech physicist's work in molecular electronics earns NSF Career Award
Molecular electronics involves developing immensely fast and powerful computing circuits based on trillions of individual building blocks, each no larger than a single molecule.

Alien life forms more likely to be found outside solar system, says Colorado prof.
The chance of detecting life outside our own solar system probably is greater than discovering it on neighboring planets and moons like Mars or Europa, a moon of Jupiter, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder professor.

Remains of seven types of edible nuts and nutcrackers found at 780,000-year-old archaeological site
The remains of seven types of 780,000-year-old nuts have been found at the Gesher Benot Ya'aqov site in Israel's Hula Valley.

Study examines benefits of caring for seniors
While researchers have thoroughly documented the hardships involved in caring for elderly parents and relatives, a new study says there are also many positive aspects.

Nutrition education with a food label focus helps diabetics over 65 meet treatment goals
A new intense, 10-session nutrition education program, with a food label focus, developed by researchers at Penn State and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, has been shown to help diabetic adults, age 65 and older, improve their eating patterns and advance toward meeting their treatment goals.

'Summer of the Shark' in 2001 more hype than fact, new numbers show
Despite Time magazine labeling it the

Sounding the alarm for infections: EMBL researchers discover rapid-response, interferon-producing cells
Nearly fifty years ago, researchers discovered that cells infected with viruses secreted a protein called interferon which could protect other cells from infections.

Virginia Tech brings Alaska scientists to fourth through ninth graders using Internet2
Students throughout Virginia gathered around computer monitors and were connected to the Alaska-based Jason Project.

Whither the GP who can do everything?
Dr. Benjamin Chan used Ontario Health Insurance Plan billing data to track the participation rates of general practitioners and family physicians in 6 nonoffice settings across Ontario to track a reported decline in the provision of comprehensive care by family physicians.

Low-intensity ultrasound therapy and fracture healing
Jason Busse and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to summarize the data from randomized controlled trails involving humans that studied the effect of ultrasound therapy on fracture healing.

Teen sex offenders need different treatments: Study
Treatment for juvenile sexual offenders should take into account their involvement in other crimes, says a new study.

Students on welfare get little help
ccording to a report released last week by the University of Michigan's Center for the Education of Women (CEW), state policies discourage current or former welfare recipients from obtaining associate's or bachelor's degrees, even though research has shown that completion of post-secondary education increases welfare recipients' wages much more rapidly than does work experience.

New genetic findings in manic-depressive illness
In a large European study Isabelle Massat and colleagues from Belgium, Bosnia and Herzogovina, Germany, Scotland, Greece, Bulgaria, Italy, and Croatia, report on a new susceptibility gene for manic-depressive illness (also known as bipolar disorder).

A genetic basis for diet-induced relapse of depression
Investigators from Universityof Arizona, Yale, and Case Western investigated the relationship between depressive symptoms response during a dietary intervention [trypotophan (TRP) depletion] and a functional polymorphism of the promoter region of the serotonin (5-HT) transporter gene (SLC6A4) in depressive subjects.

A genetic risk factor for substance abuse
When given access to drugs some individuals become addicted and others do not.

New book targets troubles of Latinos in rural areas
New labor markets in rural U.S. communities are drawing Latinos to regions where there has been little or no Hispanic presence, and this influx is accompanied by challenges for both the host communities and the newcomers.

Virginia Tech engineer designing smarter, more robust unmanned vehicle
Aerospace and ocean engineer Craig Woolsey's research will extend new methods of advanced control design to underwater vehicles by incorporating the important effects of lift, drag, and other fluid forces.

Much ado about robins
What's black and white and rare all over? If you didn't know it was a Hooded Robin, you could have asked almost anyone in the Corowa or Berrigan Shires of southern NSW.

Young women at greater risk of death than men after bypass surgery
Women have as much as a three times higher risk of dying during or shortly after coronary artery bypass surgery than men, researchers report in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

2.6 billion years of primate and carnivore evolutionary history at risk
Scientists have discovered that the greatest concentration of all primate and carnivore evolutionary history - totalling 2.6 billion years of evolutionary age - exists within those species found only in the 25 biodiversity hotspots according a collaborative study published by the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science (CABS) at Conservation International and the University of Virginia Charlottesville in the Feb.
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