Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 28, 2002
Making seeds grow: Scientists find gene responsible for seed germination
In a powerful example of the utility of the Arabidopsis plant genome sequence, an international collaboration of researchers has discovered a key component in the regulation of seed sprouting.

Chemists make first-ever compounds of noble gases and uranium
Ohio State University chemists and their colleagues at the University of Virginia have created the first-ever compounds of uranium bonded to atoms of three so-called

New graphics toolkit for Pocket PCs
CSIRO has released the commercial version of PocketSVG - a developers' toolkit for using Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) on Pocket PCs.

Arabidopsis study to help understand wood formation
A Virginia Tech researcher has developed a method for using the annual weed thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) as a model for understanding how wood is formed.

Digital 'Visible Mice' will speed study of genetic disease
Advanced imaging technologies have enabled researchers to produce 3-D

UCLA-led team creates self-repairing plastic
A UCLA-led team of chemists and engineers has developed a transparent plastic that if fractured will mend itself when heated -- a discovery that can be used to create self-repairing products.

Hopkins physicians find hidden tumors in rare bone disease
People with the rare bone disease oncogenic osteomalacia have the worst of both worlds.

UIC awarded $7 million NIH grant for research in reproduction
The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine has won a $7 million grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, designating it a Specialized Center for Research in the Reproductive Sciences -- the only one in the Chicago area.

Stress could increase risk of heart disease in women
Reduced estrogen levels during women's pre-menopausal years may set the stage for heart disease later in life, reports Jay Kaplan, Ph.D., from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in the March issue of The Green Journal, a publication of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Researchers find region of gene for inherited pancreatic cancer
Reseachers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the University of Washington School of Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have mapped the location of a gene associated with inherited pancreatic cancer.

Study reveals ethnic differences in treatment for heart disease
South Asian patients are less likely to receive treatment for coronary artery disease than white patients, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

British National Health Service is failing pregnant women
A new study published in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth reveals that in the UK the standard of care following childbirth is poor, with many women suffering in silence from embarrassing conditions such as urinary and faecal incontinence.

Scientists examine status of California's marine resources in new book
A comprehensive new guide to California's marine life developed by leading government and university scientists promises to become a landmark reference for the general public and researchers alike.

Finding out what's right may benefit dogs and cats with diabetes
A Kansas State University researcher is examining differences in animals with diabetes versus those that are normal.

Managed care plans staying in Medicare provide higher quality care than those that withdraw
Many managed care plans have withdrawn from Medicare, some claiming they cannot sustain quality care under current payment levels.

Homocysteine gene implicated in spontaneous cervical artery tears
Italian researchers have found strong genetic evidence linking homocysteine to the type of strokes caused by tears in the artery wall, according to a report in the March issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Homoeopathy is not an effective treatment for asthma
Homoeopathic remedies are no better than placebo for the treatment of asthmatic patients who are allergic to house dust mite, but there is a difference in response between homoeopathy and placebo, concludes a study in this week's BMJ.

'Microbleeds' may be risk for serious stroke complications
Clot-busting therapy is an effective treatment for ischemic stroke, but complications such as bleeding in the brain may occur.

UCLA study finds evidence that 'sweaty palms' syndrome is genetic and underreported
A new UCLA study shows strong evidence that

Antidepressant drug trials turn away most of the depressed population
Studies establishing the effectiveness of antidepressants are based on highly selective samples of depressed patients.

Genetic testing could identify HIV patients at risk of hypersensitivity to HIV drug
HIV patients at risk of a potentially fatal hypersensitive reaction to the antiretroviral drug abacavir could be identified by genetic testing before drug therapy has started, suggest authors of a fast-track study in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

Study links lead exposure to antisocial behavior
Could exposure to lead in early childhood be behind the rising levels of crime and other antisocial behaviors during the last half of the 20th century?

Researchers identify protein that controls animal cell fusion
An Israeli-U.S. team of scientists has identified a protein that is essential to the process of cell fusion, a critical phase in normal animal development and in the fertilization of eggs by sperm.

A refined approach to measuring time offers clues to Earth's beginnings
Researchers using refined techniques to study minerals from meteorites now believe it took about 20 million years for the Earth to coalesce from the materials already gathered around our sun as the solar system.

Getting closer to locating a trigger for pancreatic cancer
HHMI researchers and their colleagues are reporting progress in the search for a gene mutation that triggers pancreatic cancer, the fifth leading cause of cancer death in the United States.

University of Toronto botanist identifies disease components of bacteria
A University of Toronto geneticist has discovered a process that clarifies the relationship between bacterial pathogens and their plant hosts, which could eventually help in the battle against infectious disease.

NIH grant advances evolutionary studies at University of Idaho
The University of Idaho has established the Center for Research on Processes in Evolution with a $10.2 million NIH grant.

Severe childhood pneumonia linked to specific strain of Staphylococcus aureus
Authors of a French study in this week's issue of THE LANCET highlight the link between a specific strain of the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus and a severe form of pneumonia in children.

Metropolitan areas differ in receptivity to immigrants
Immigrants to the United States find the most welcoming climate from native residents of cities mostly on the East Coast and in the Midwest, according to a Penn State study.

Self-diagnosis, treatment of yeast infections challenged
About half of the women buying over-the-counter remedies for a vaginal yeast infection may have other infections - with similar symptoms - that are going untreated, according to a researcher at the Medical College of Georgia.

Are one stop breast clinics justified?
One stop clinics for assessing women with suspected breast cancer may not be as cost effective as previously thought, according to a study in this week's BMJ.

Abacavir could play important future role in treatment of children with HIV-1
Results of the Paediatric European Network for Treatment of AIDS (PENTA) 5 Trial, published in this week's issue of THE LANCET, suggest an important future role for the drug abacavir in the treatment of children with HIV-1.

March Geology media highlights
March GEOLOGY highlights include the discovery of a huge

Next generation NNRTI, TMC125, shows antiviral effect in patients failing HIV therapy
The first efficacy data of TMC125, a next generation non-nucleoside reverse transcripts inhibitor, demonstrated significant antiviral activity in HIV patients infected with NNRTI resistant virus and failing NNRTI therapy.

Atmospheric aerosols found to brighten clouds
Atmospheric scientists have long suspected that microscopic aerosol particles from industrial processes increase the brightness of clouds, resulting in greater reflection of sunlight and cooling of Earth's climate.

Cataclysm 3.9 billion years ago was caused by asteroids, not comets, researchers say
The bombardment that resurfaced the Earth 3.9 billion years ago was produced by asteroids, not comets, researchers say.

Mayo Clinic book offers prevention tips for #1 killer of men and women
More American women and men die of heart disease each year than any other cause.

Farmers could be predisposed to adverse health effects of sheep dip
A research letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggests that some farmers may have a genetic predisposition to the adverse health effects associated with exposure to organophosphates present in sheep dip.

Nanoscience workshop at Brookhaven National Laboratory
The U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory is organizing a workshop to discuss preliminary plans for a major, Northeastern nanoscience research facility at Brookhaven, to describe Brookhaven's future nanoscience research, and to gather input and feedback from potential users of the Brookhaven facility.
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