Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 14, 2002
Failure of critical protein connection at heart of cardiomyopathy
The failure of dystrophin, one of the building blocks that literally holds heart muscle cells together, can cause dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a condition in which the pumping chambers of the heart enlarge and cannot pump adequately, according to researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in a report in today's issue of the journal The Lancet.

Swedish trials suggest modest benefit for screening mammography
New data with longer follow-up from four Swedish trials published in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggests there may be a modest benefit from screening mammography for women aged 55 years or over.

Behind the big dry
A 27-year dry spell affecting the southwestern part of Australia could be a foretaste of future national experiences under the Greenhouse Effect.

Helicobacter pylori infection most common in early childhood
A bacteria that causes stomach ulcers infects most people before they reach age 10, according to a Baylor College of Medicine study published in the March 16 issue of the Lancet.

Going beyond the genome
A collaboration of scientists has completed the largest analysis, to date, of protein localization in any eukaryote.

NIAID unveils bioterrorism research agenda
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases today released the NIAID Counter-Bioterrorism Research Agenda for CDC Category A Agents, a document describing the Institute's accelerated research plan for the most threatening agents of bioterrorism.

Alcohol and cancer
Highlights include Drinking alcohol is linked to a greater risk of tumors in the esophagus, mouth, larynx and liver, alcoholics also have a greater incidence of genetic damage than normal, a new study has found that alcohol contributes to the destructiveness of certain carcinogens, acetaldehyde, the first product of alcohol metabolism, appears to play a key role in the damage.

Cholesterol bad for brain too, UCSF study says
Higher cholesterol levels are not only bad for the heart and blood vessels, they increase the risk of cognitive impairment, the precursor to Alzheimer's disease, according to a study of elderly women by UCSF researchers

Demand for emergency ambulances has risen
Demand for emergency ambulances in the United Kingdom is rising.

Stringent regulation of traditional medicines is urgently needed
Traditional Chinese medicines for slimming still cause health problems and stringent regulation is urgently needed, according to a letter in this week's BMJ.

Hopkins Bioethics Institute receives $9.9 million from Pew Trusts
The Phoebe R. Berman Bioethics Institute at The Johns Hopkins University has received a three-year, $9.9 million grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts to establish the Genetics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

Second patient with multiple sclerosis undergoes groundbreaking surgery at Yale
A 29-year-old man with multiple sclerosis is the second patient to undergo transplantation surgery at Yale in an effort to repair myelin, the protective brain and spinal cord sheath that is destroyed by the disease, Yale researchers have reported.

Putting microRNAs in their place
Scientists have discovered a novel protein complex that may help shed light on the function of a newly discovered class of small RNAs, as well as a common hereditary neurodegenerative disease.

Alcohol and nicotine: A deadly duo
Highlights include, alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking often go hand in hand, a rodent study has found that low doses of alcohol and nicotine can have an additive effect on the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, a related study has found that a nicotine blocker called mecamylamine can reduce the rewarding effects of alcohol in humans, the two studies collectively suggest that nicotinic mechanisms are involved in alcohol consumption.

Action to prevent diabetes should begin in childhood
Action to prevent non-insulin dependent diabetes and heart disease in South Asian people may need to begin during childhood, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

New book challenges theories of black speech
A new book by two North Carolina State University linguists challenges a half-century of sociolinguistic theory and takes a fresh look at the history of the controversial and highly visible ethnic English dialect Ebonics, also known as African-American Vernacular English (AAVE).

Technophobes may be right after all
Those who dispute the claim of universal benefits from new information and communications technologies are often called technophobes, but the evidence shows they may be right after all, says a Penn State researcher.

Dietary changes can lower colon cancer risk in families with a history of the disease
People who have a parent or sibling with colon cancer can markedly reduce their own chances of developing the disease by taking a daily multivitamin that includes folic acid and limiting their intake of alcohol, according to a new study by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard School of Public Health.

Helicobacter pylori acquisition most common in young children
A US study in this week's issue of THE LANCET highlights how most newly acquired infections of the intestinal bacterium Helicobacter pylori probably occur in children younger than 10 years of age.

Findings conclude sustained caffeine intake negates the benefits of creatine supplements
The serious athlete knows better than to rely just on a famous cereal to provide additional energy in preparation of a sporting event.

USF/VA researchers identify gene that increases risk for drug abuse
In a major finding in the search for genes of addiction, researchers at the University of South Florida and the James A.

For the longest distance runner, that tired feeling may not be due to central fatigue
Results of a study testing fatigue in marathoners running a circuit equivalent to the distance from the Lincoln Memorial to Camden Yards published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

Examining the effects of managed care on alcohol and other drug treatment
Highlights include different types of managed care organizations as well as contracting arrangements will affect accessing alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment, AOD treatment seeking, entry and completion are three successive but distinct stages of success, introducing managed care to the Massachusetts Medicaid population reduced AOD treatment costs without arbitrarily cutting services or restricting access for disadvantaged groups, the American Society of Addiction Medicine's Patient Placement Criteria appears to successfully match alcoholism patients to their appropriate level of care.

Certain behaviors can predict binge-eating disorders in teenage girls
Binge-eating, a disorder that can lead to obesity in young women, can be predicted by looking at a girl's negative emotions, including dissatisfaction with her body image, new data confirms.

Human running on surfaces of different stiffnesses
The loss of a leg or severe leg injury can be devastating.

Study finds that physicians working outside their specialty may provide lower-quality care
Studies show that subspecialists can provide better quality care than primary care physicians when working within their subspecialty for patients with some medical conditions.

Enzyme once thought harmful to Alzheimer's patients now appears key to future treatment
The four million Americans who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease (AD) experience symptoms which include progressive mental deterioration, confusion, a loss of memory and an inability to calculate the simplest of numbers.

Knocking out SHIP gene improves success of allogeneic bone marrow transplants in mice
Mice lacking a gene known as SHIP did not reject fully mismatched bone marrow transplants from other mice and most survived without complications following the transplants, a study by researchers at the University of South Florida and Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute found.

Symposium on peripheral artery disease
A conference on peripheral artery disease (PAD),

Delaying disability in elderly
A group of commonly prescribed hypertension drugs shows promise for delaying muscle loss and disability in older adults, report researchers from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Ovarian carcinoma, ethnicity, and survival
African-American women with ovarian cancer are younger with more aggressive stage tumors and less likely to undergo surgery than Caucasian women with ovarian cancer.

Prozac is effective for depression...and hot flashes too
A Mayo Clinic study indicates that Prozac, a medication often prescribed for treatment of depression, can safely and significantly relieve hot flashes in women who have been treated for breast cancer.

New findings support 'out of Asia' hypothesis for origin of key groups of modern mammals
New findings support the idea that Asia was the center of origin for at least one important group of mammals, and probably for several others as well.

Guidelines needed to prevent spread of infection in European hospitals
National and European guidelines to control the spread of vancomycin resistant enterococci should be drawn up before these bacteria become endemic in European hospitals, argue researchers in this week's BMJ.

Early promise of simple screening for coeliac disease
A research letter by Cuban investigators in this week's issue of THE LANCET highlights a new technique which could be used for screening of the intestinal disorder coeliac disease.

Ace inhibitors could slow muscle decline
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, a class of drugs used to lower blood pressure, could also be protective against the decline in muscle strength in elderly women suggest authors of a study in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

Costly cancer treatment aimed at protecting kids' hearts offers no additional benefit
A new study refutes a long-held but unproven theory that children suffering from the most common type of childhood cancer might suffer less heart damage if treated with longer-lasting infusions of chemotherapy.

Modeling fluid flow--moving theory into practice
The Department of Energy's Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory has demonstrated a theoretical approach to modeling fluid transport in porous, variable material (such as subsurface soil and rock) that may one day dramatically simplify the development of computer simulation models.

Adult human breast stem cell candidate found
An international collaboration of scientists has successfully established a cell line that appears to function like adult human mammary stem cells.

UC Berkeley researcher promotes new solutions to improving crop yields and ending hunger in Africa
Tens of thousands of farmers in Africa have been seeing crop yields increase two to four times through an innovative soil fertility replenishment program promoted by Pedro Sanchez, senior research fellow at UC Berkeley's Center for Sustainable Resource Development.

New technique monitors chromium contamination in groundwater
Widely used in electroplating, hexavalent chromium is a suspected carcinogen and a common contaminant in groundwater.

US scientist testifies for prosecution in Milosevic trial
A U. S. Statistician, called as a witness in the Milosevic trial, presented a new study to a UN tribunal today, finding evidence consistent with the hypothesis that from March through June 1999, Yugoslav forces carried out a systematic campaign of killing and expulsions of Kosovar Albanians that led to the deaths of more than 10,000 people.

Patient leaflets may not be effective in the real world
Leaflets used to promote informed choice in women using maternity services in the UK are not effective in everyday practice, say researchers from Sheffield University in this week's BMJ.

Food the center of celebration and subject for concern
We are a society concerned with food. We plan our lives around mealtime.

Nanotechnology symposium to be webcast
The National Science Foundation (NSF) will host leading researchers on March 19 at
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