Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 20, 2002
Novel anti-coagulant clears hurdle
Duke University Medical Center cardiologists report that an experimental anti-coagulant that prevents the formation of blood clots earlier in the coagulation process than other agents has cleared another hurdle in becoming a potential new treatment for patients with coronary artery disease.

Surgeons don't offer women choices of treatment as often as they could
Research carried out at the Ulleval University Hospital in Oslo, Norway, has revealed that breast cancer surgeons do not always offer a choice between mastectomy and breast-conserving surgery to women with early stage breast cancer, even when either option is medically appropriate.

Discovery supports theory of a single species of ancestor
The discovery of a million-year-old skull in Ethiopia indicates that a single species of human ancestor, Homo erectus, ranged from Europe to Africa to Asia in the Pleistocene era, according to the cover article in the March 21 issue of the journal Nature.

Researchers determine best possible drug option for cardiac arrest
Data published in the New England Journal of Medicine by St.

HHMI awards $2 million to European Molecular Biology Organization
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has awarded $2 million to the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) to help launch the careers of young scientists in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.

Study shows synthetic pheromone in women's perfume increases intimate contact with men
Women's perfume laced with synthetic pheromones acts as a sexual magnet, increasing the sexual attractiveness of women to men, San Francisco State University researchers conclude in the current issue of the quarterly journal Physiology and Behavior.

Transgenic mice mimic cardiac hypertrophy in humans
Vanderbilt scientists have created a new strain of mouse that exhibits cardiac hypertrophy - an enlargement of the heart similar to that which causes heart failure in millions of Americans each year - and may help explain why men are subject to this fatal condition while women are spared until menopause.

Ethiopian fossil skull indicates Homo erectus was single, widespread species 1 million years ago
A million years ago, Homo erectus was the dominant human ancestor in a swath stretching from Asia through Europe and the Middle East to Africa.

Weird wave behavior near earth's core
Geologists have been intrigued by observations that some seismic waves travel faster than others in particular patches of the lowermost mantle, but they haven't known exactly why that happens.

Seminar addresses role of wireless technologies in disaster response
Wireless communications can play a critical role in homeland defense.

SNM Technologists Section announces 2002 Fellows
The President of the Society of Nuclear Medicine Technologists Secion has announced the recipients of the organization's prestigious 2002 SNMTS Fellowship.

EMBO gets US$ 2 million from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to support young scientists
The European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) announces that the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has joined the organization in supporting young scientists from Central Europe, namely the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.

Growing fish fingers in space
American scientists have found a way to make slices of fish grow bigger.

New dinosaur related to Triceratops
Two fossils of a newly discovered dinosaur - an early, distant cousin of the Triceratops - have been discovered in China.

New test offers hope of easy and affordable screening for hereditary breast cancer genes
Researchers at the Nottingham Breast Unit in the UK have developed an easy and affordable way of screening families for underlying hereditary genetic mutations which predispose them to developing breast cancer, the 3rd European Breast Cancer Conference in Barcelona heard today (Wednesday 20 March).

Hormone therapy for breast cancer - the treatments of the future
Evidence is accumulating that although chemotherapy and hormonal drugs are both effective for patients with early breast cancer, the greater gains are being found from hormone therapy.

Sowing whatever the weather
A special plastic coating will enable farmers to sow seeds early in the season without worrying about early frosts.

Physics tip sheet #5 - March 20, 2002
´╗┐Highlights of this issue include traffic congestion prevention through on-ramp control, osmium being less compressible than diamond, achievement of record terabit transmission rates and tangling of DNA due to entropy.

Eliminating health disparities requires community involvement
Successful programs to lessen racial and ethnic health disparities share common traits of establishing strong ties between health providers and the community members they serve.

Study tracks health of rescue dogs, handlers involved in searches at World Trade Center and Pentagon
When the World Trade Center and sections of the Pentagon came crashing down Sept.

Intensity modulated radiation therapy at Fox Chase Cancer Center
Incontinence and impotence are two major complications feared by men undergoing treatment for prostate cancer, since the bladder and the rectum are the two organs adjacent to the prostate.

Hormone replacement therapy: its role in breast cancers detected between screenings
Research from the Cancer Registry of Norway has revealed that a higher proportion of women who discover they have breast cancer between mammographic screenings have also used HRT (hormone replacement therapy) at some point in their lives.

Squeeze your eyeballs to improve your vision
Instead of reaching for your reading glasses you may soon be able to just flick a switch behind your ear to adjust your imperfect vision.

Predictive testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer: its effect on women
One in ten women opted to have prophylactic mastectomy and nearly half opted to have their ovaries removed in the year following genetic tests which showed they were at risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC), a Belgian clinical psychologist reports.

Chemotherapy trial proves the worth of including elderly patients in clinical trials
Doctors should be encouraged to include many more elderly people in clinical trials than they do at present, Dr Olavo Feher told the 3rd European Breast Cancer Conference in Barcelona today (Wednesday 20 March).

Detecting breast cancer spread by white light - groundbreaking technology
UK doctors are experimenting with white light for detecting whether breast cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.

Losartan could offer new cardiovascular benefit beyond blood-pressure control
Two studies in this week's issue of THE LANCET highlight the potential of the angiotensin-II type-1 receptor antagonist losartan to be more effective than ├č-blockers in reducing cardiovascular complications associated with high blood pressure.

Intracoronary gene therapy trial shows promise for treatment of angina
A new treatment for coronary artery disease patients who cannot undergo angioplasty or bypass surgery may soon become available.

Report supports sustainable food production
The resource-intensive methods used in industrial agriculture are damaging both the environment and public health.

Scientists find a way to detect which breast abnormalities may develop into cancer
Scientists at the Royal Liverpool University Hospitals in the UK have found a way of testing whether certain abnormalities in a woman's breast are likely to go on to develop into breast cancer, the 3rd European Breast Cancer Conference in Barcelona heard today (Wednesday 20 March).

Adhesive science can help optimize use of timber resources
Composite materials offer us an ability to use our timber resources more efficiently.

MGH study finds herceptin has additional antitumor qualities
Scientists have discovered powerful anti-angiogenic properties in herceptin, a monoclonal antibody used to fight certain forms of breast cancer.

First European trial for new breast cancer vaccine
European clinical trials are underway in Denmark and the UK, testing a new breast cancer vaccine against the HER2 growth factor.

Improving communications and support for doctors, patients and partners
A new approach to developing and designing information for patients has been hailed as a

Marrow transplantation should be considered for children with leukemia
Researchers demonstrate that bone-marrow transplantation between tissue-matched, unrelated individuals is a viable option for young children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common form of childhood cancer.

Penn finds atrial fibrilation cure eliminates need for pacemakers, medicine
Cardiac Rhythm Specialists for the University of Pennsylvania Health System have documented the effectiveness of a new technique to cure atrial fibrillation (A-Fib).

Small grain breeding program benefits producers, consumers, agribusiness
Declining prices since 1996 for wheat and barley have increased the need for producers to raise healthy, disease-free crops if they are to make any profit.

Southern history a burden to South, benefit to American image of identity
The South not only bears the burden of a negative history, but also serves as a foil for the aspiration and image of the American identity, according to a Penn State geographer.

Pollen production--and allergies--may rise significantly over next 50 years
Rising carbon dioxide levels associated with global warming could lead to an increase in the incidence of allergies to ragweed and other plants by mid-century, according to a report appearing in the March Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology by Harvard University researchers.

First IBIS results show tamoxifen reduces breast cancer in healthy high-risk women
First results from the long-awaited IBIS trial into the use of tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer in healthy women at high risk have firmly established that the drug can indeed cut the incidence of the disease - but more information still needed on risks and benefits.

Researchers develop first oral drug to treat smallpox infection
An oral drug that halts the deadly action of smallpox and related orthopox viruses in lab tissue culture cells and in cowpox-infected mice has been developed by researchers at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS) and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, and is being evaluated by the U.S.

Gene discovery linked to muscle atrophy in numerous conditions
A newly identified gene, atrogin-1, is involved in muscle loss associated with cancer, diabetes, fasting and kidney disease as well as in the atrophy occurring with disuse, inactivity, and nerve or spinal injury.

Richard Monastersky and Diane Tennant win AGU Journalism Awards
Richard Monastersky has won the 2002 David Perlman Award for Excellence in Science Journalism - News for

Undersize infants score higher on IQ tests if breast fed exclusively
Full-term infants who are born small score an average of 11 points higher on IQ tests if they are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life compared to those who are given formula or solids early on, according to findings published in the March Acta Paediatrica.

American Association for Cancer Research honors Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center investigator
Robert Eisenman, Ph.D., a member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center's Basic Sciences Division, is the first recipient of the Kirk A.

Current growing nursing shortage to be studied at 160 US acute care hospitals
Medication errors, falls hospitalized patients suffer, job turnover in nursing staff and patient satisfaction across the United States are among subjects University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill faculty will investigate through a new $2.5 million grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research.
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