Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 04, 2002
Evidence of PSA screening efficacy lacking
There is no evidence to support speculation that prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening has contributed to a decline in prostate cancer mortality rates since 1995, a new study has determined.

Scientists identify a gene causing a fatal heart condition, common in an Israeli Bedouin tribe
A team of researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Sheba Medical Center has identified a gene causing polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (PVT), a fatal heart condition.

New technology may benefit health care, bioterror defense
What took hundreds of researchers working together for nearly 10 years to complete soon may be accomplished in less than a day, according to University of Houston researchers who have filed a patent on a new process to sequence the human genome.

New scale measures customer service quality of Web sites
With consumers purchasing more than $66 billion worth of goods online each year, it might be good to know how your Web site's customer service measures up against the competition.

Steroid nasal spray more effective against hay fever
Researchers from the University of Chicago have found that the corticosteroid nasal spray fluticasone propionate (Flonase®) is slightly more effective at controlling seasonal allergies than a combination of two popular anti-allergy drugs: loratidine (Claritin®) and montelukast (Singulair®).

Light-weight heparin has heavy-weight results in heart attack treatment
Heart attack patients treated with the blood-thinner enoxaparin - a low molecular weight heparin - plus a clot dissolver were significantly less likely to die or have repeat heart attacks within 30 days compared to patients who received unfractionated heparin (UFH), according to a Rapid Track article in today's Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Fusion in a flash?
The dramatic flashing implosion of tiny bubbles--in acetone containing deuterium atoms--produces tritium and nuclear emissions similar to emissions characteristic of nuclear fusion involving deuterium-deuterium reactions.

Optical tweezers show how DNA uncoils
By pulling individual DNA strands, biophysicists at Cornell University and the University of Massachusetts have shown how genetic information stored in structures called nucleosomes might be read.

Transplanted stem cells restore function in stroke
Researchers at the University of Minnesota department of neurosurgery and Stem Cell Institute (SCI) have demonstrated the ability of transplanted adult stem cells to restore function in laboratory animals with stroke.

Nanotechnology symposium to showcase vast potential of 'small wonders'
The National Science Foundation (NSF) will host a symposium and exhibition of nanoscale science and engineering on Tuesday, March 19 in Washington, D.C.

Fighting the spread of sudden oak death
To stop the spread of an exotic fungus that is killing oak trees in northern California, a University of Rhode Island plant pathologist has been tapped to study the newly-discovered pathogen - called sudden oak death -- to better understand how it works.

Annals of Internal Medicine, tip sheet, March 5, 2002
Highlights include a ACP-ASIM criteria to guide the relationship between physicians and the pharmaceutical industry; a study finding that burnout of young doctors affects careers, recruiting and patient care; and a study entitled

Research links level of spina bifida defect and need for shunt after newborn surgery
Researchers at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia have completed the first study comparing the location on the spine of the birth defect spina bifida with the rate of shunting -- the surgical placement of a drainage tube.

Mentoring organization, evolution activist singled out for NSB Public Service Award
The 2002 National Science Board Public Service Award for increasing public understanding of science and engineering will go to Eugenie Scott, an activist for teaching evolution in public schools; and the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), the

Study details costs of providing care inconsistent with patient wishes
A new study shows how frequently seriously ill people who crave comfort receive more-aggressive care instead.

Ergonomic changes help musculoskeletal problems
When office workers received a set of ergonomic products and training about ergonomics, their musculoskeletal complaints eight months later dropped by an average of 40 percent, reports a Cornell University professor of ergonomics.

ACP-ASIM updates ethical advice for relationships between physicians and industry
The American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM) has released guidelines for ethical business relationships between physicians, medical education providers, medical professional societies and for-profit entities.

The effect of laws mandating bicycle helmet use
John LeBlanc and colleagues used trained observers to identify the rates of helmet use in Halifax before, during and after 1997, when helmet legislation was introduced in Nova Scotia.

University of Warwick researchers in nose-on-a-chip-project
An ambitious project is underway to build the world's smallest electronic nose.

UB engineering faculty member receives prestigious 2002 Sigma Xi Young Investigator Award
Paschalis Alexandridis, Ph.D., a faculty member in the University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences who uses molecules and particles as

Health and fitness facilities need defibrillators
A scientific statement urging fitness clubs to install automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and train staff to use them was released today by the American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine.

Scientists battle cold weather mold
It's the last thing golf course managers want to see, but after winter snows have receded it can be all too common.

Ecstasy link to long-term brain damage
Disturbing evidence is emerging from research at the University of Adelaide that the popular drug ecstasy can be linked to users suffering long-term brain damage.

Stopping statins may cause rebound that triples risk of death
Heart disease patients who discontinued using cholesterol-lowering drugs while they were hospitalized for chest pain had triple the risk of death or heart attack as people who kept taking their medicine, say researchers in today's rapid access publication of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Burnout of young doctors affects careers, recruiting and patient care
Four papers in the March 5 Annals of Internal Medicine explore the causes and consequences of medical resident

Lizards and salamanders may use lungs to hear, study says
Certain species of salamanders and lizards can actually hear through their lungs, according to a new study at Ohio State University.

States with higher proportions of black citizens more likely to have death penalty, study finds
States with larger proportions of African Americans are more likely to have the death penalty on the books than states with smaller black populations, according to a new study.

Dartmouth professor capitalizes on wireless technology
As Dartmouth Professor G. Christian Jernstedt taught class in his psychology course last fall, students enthusiastically participated.

X-ray camera images fuel injection in action
A one-of-a-kind X-ray camera capable of capturing a series of microsecond images captures a moving image of shock waves from diesel fuel as it emerges at supersonic speeds from automobile fuel injectors, a phenomenon never before observed or measured, according to Cornell University researchers

Link found between kids' sleep, behavior problems
Children who snore often are nearly twice as likely as other children to have attention and hyperactivity problems, and the link is strong for other sleep problems, a new study finds.

Two viruses team up in West Nile vaccine
U.S. government scientists have developed a hybrid vaccine that protects mice from West Nile virus infection.

URI Graduate School of Oceanography scientists examine the success of restored salt marshes
URI Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) researcher Mary-Jane James-Pirri, along with GSO alumnus Kenneth Raposa of the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and John G.

Mayo Clinic study finds heart disease burden shifting toward women, elderly
The heart attack rate for women increased by 36 percent during the 1980s and early 90s, a time when heart attacks among men were declining by 8 percent, according to findings of a Mayo Clinic study published in this week's Annals of Internal Medicine.

UT Southwestern researchers identify mechanisms by which cocaine elevates blood pressure
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have identified the underlying mechanism by which cocaine triggers hypertensive crisis, the most severe form of high blood pressure and one of the most common cocaine-related, cardiovascular emergencies in the United States.
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