Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 21, 2002
South African government urged to take action in preventing mother-to-child HIV transmission
Leading South African scientists, writing in a Commentary in this week's issue of THE LANCET, are calling on their government to implement antiretroviral drug programmes without delay to reduce the vertical transmission of HIV-1 infection from pregnant women to their children.

Heavy drinking by both sexes is a cause for concern
Heavy drinking is common and a cause for concern in both young men and young women, according to a letter in this week's BMJ.

The answer to educating students: linking cognitive psychology, mathematics education, and learning
A lecture sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science examines questions about human learning potential, the development of higher order cognitive processes, and acquisition of new mathematical knowledge.

Researchers develop blood test to diagnose Alzheimer's-type changes in mice
Researchers have for the first time used a blood test to identify Alzheimer's-type changes in living mice.

Wake Forest commercializes new soy technologies through licenses
Wake Forest University School of Medicine has licensed three soy-related technologies to Physicians Laboratories of Kernersville, which will use the technologies to develop

Researchers describe overall water balance in subglacial Lake Vostok
Lake Vostok, which lies buried under thousands of meters of ice high on the Antarctic Plateau, is thought to be home to unique habitats and microorganisms.

Death after inserting Hickman line was probably avoidable
The death of a 15 year old girl in 1998 due to a complication of inserting a Hickman line could have been avoided if the length of introducers used in these procedures was reduced, argues a consultant surgeon in this week's BMJ.

Teaching computers to replace lost sounds
Mike Savic can't recapture the 18 missing minutes of the Watergate tapes, but he can teach computers to deliver sounds that have been damaged in transmission.

Doubling of life expectancy over past two decades for people with Down's syndrome
A US population study in this week's issue of THE LANCET reports how life expectancy of people with Down's syndrome has doubled since the early 1980s.

Students may be learning more about avoidance strategies than arithmetic in math class
New research shows that teachers that emphasize learning rather than performance may help prevent avoidance strategies in math class and help prevent students from falling further behind and dropping out of school.

Scientists develop new drug to combat tamoxifen-resistant tumours
An anti-oestrogen compound, discovered only four years ago, has been found to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells using a unique mechanism which enables it to work against tumours that are resistant to other anti-oestrogens, the 3rd European Breast Cancer Conference in Barcelona heard today (Thursday 21 March).

Doctors investigating 'one stop shop' radiotherapy at time of surgery
A new radiotherapy technique that can be carried out at the time of surgery and avoids long drawn out sessions of treatment may prove better at preventing the cancer returning in the breast and also bring breast conservation surgery within the reach of women in developing countries.

Excavations in Eastern Europe reveal ancient human lifestyles
Ongoing excavations in Russia indicate anatomically modern humans were developing new technologies for survival in the cold, harsh region some 30,000 to 40,000 years ago, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder researcher.

Brains rush to judgment: U-M study
Within about a quarter of a second after we see the outcome of a gamble, our brains have processed whether we've won or lost, according to a University of Michigan study published in the current (March 22) issue of Science.

UAF biologist tracking extinct bears published in Science
The evolution of brown bears may be better understood with help from the radiocarbon dating of bone specimens found in nearly pristine condition preserved in Alaska's permafrost.

Doctors need training courses in communication skills
Doctors who attended a three-day training course on communication skills were able to communicate more effectively and in a more patient-centred way as a result of the course, according to Professor Lesley Fallowfield, head of Cancer Research UK's Psychosocial Oncology Group at the University of Sussex.

Scientist probes fossil oddity: Giant redwoods near North Pole
An island near the North Pole once was covered by a forest of redwood-like trees.

Early breast cancer tends to be more aggressive in women from deprived backgrounds
Women from deprived backgrounds who develop early breast cancer tend to have tumours that are more likely to be aggressive and to spread, according to data analysed at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow, UK.

Researchers discover new mechanism that targets and destroys abnormal RNA
HHMI researchers have identified a new mechanism that cells use to recognize and destroy messenger RNA (mRNA)that contains errors.

For the first time in 30 years, some New York lakes failed to freeze this past winter
In 30 years of studying freeze-thaw cycles of lakes in New York, Kenton Stewart has never seen some lakes in his lake-ice network stay unfrozen for an entire winter unless it was an El Nino year.

Emory studies COGNIShunt device for Alzheimer's treatment
Neurologists at Emory University are studying a possible new treatment for Alzheimer's disease using a device called the COGNIShunt, designed to drain cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the skull and into the abdominal cavity.

New protein plays espionage role in bacterial attack on plants
Scientists for the first time have identified a protein that plays a double-agent role in the war between plants and disease-causing bacteria.

Study suggests insulin may have potential to prevent thrombosis leading to heart attack and stroke
Insulin may interfere with the cascade of reactions that promote clot formation and platelet aggregation in heart-attack patients and may help prevent clot formation and plaque development in persons at risk of heart attack and stroke, new research by University at Buffalo endocrinologists has shown.

Sunlight, PCB exposure enhance skin cancer chances
Sunlight and PCB exposure can hit you where you least expect it.

Prolonged use of ramipril prevents stroke
Patients who are at high risk of stroke should be treated with the drug ramipril, irrespective of their initial blood pressure levels and in addition to other preventive treatments such as blood pressure lowering agents or aspirin, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Number of passengers experiencing air travel stress jumps to 81 percent
The number of commercial air travelers who now find flying to be at least somewhat stressful has risen dramatically to 81 percent of passenger, according to the first survey measuring the attitudes of people before and after Sept.

Surgeon warns that hospitals need to face the resource implications of breast reconstruction surgery
Roughly three mastectomies can be carried out in the time it takes to do a mastectomy immediately followed by breast reconstruction surgery, a surgeon reported to the 3rd European Breast Cancer Conference in Barcelona today (Thursday 21 March).

Science close to viewing the beginning of time, UW cosmologist says
New research tools promise tantalizing glimpses of characteristics in the universe that until now have gone unseen.

Tufts University reports high protein intake and calcium supplementation helps healthy bones
New study suggests that calcium alone may not be enough to protect against osteoporosis.

Children from 'risky families' suffer serious long-term health consequences, UCLA scientists report
In the first study to analyze how a family's social environment influences physical and mental health, UCLA scientists found strong evidence that children who grow up in risky families often suffer life-long health problems, including cancer, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression and anxiety disorders, as well as early death.

Researchers identify immune response to tuberculosis infection
A new discovery by a scientific team headed by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has found that a group of white blood cells demonstrates previously unrecognized

Cultured sea fans to be re-seeded in Florida keys national marine sanctuary
Harbor Branch Reef Restoration Biologist Kevin Gaines will try to re-seed a reef that was damaged by a freighter with sea fans (soft coral) that have been grown in captivity.

Genetic test for cell-proliferation enzyme could improve treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia
Authors of a Canadian research letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET describe how genetic testing for an enzyme involved in cancer-cell proliferation could identify patients at an increased risk of poor outcome from acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Outsmarting cancer - new results from novel enzyme inhibitors
Smart drugs that can break the chain of command between enzymes and the genes involved in cell division and cell death are a new way forward in tackling breast cancer, according to Dr Stephen Johnston, a consultant oncologist from The Royal Marsden Hospital, London, UK.

Hopkins #1 in NIH funding
For the tenth straight year, the National Institutes of Health annual summary of grants to medical schools ranks The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine the top recipient of federal research dollars in the United States.

PNNL recognized for commercializing technology
Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have been recognized for transferring technologies that are improving inventory management, semiconductor materials and electronic flat panel displays.

New study could cut overtreatment
The numbers of women who receive adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer could be reduced by 30 to 40% if the results of a new molecular study are put into practice.

Candidate genes found which may play a role in cancer progressing from non-invasive to invasive
Scientists in America have made the first steps in identifying a group of genes which may be involved in the progression of breast cancer from non-invasive to invasive, the 3rd European Breast Cancer Conference in Barcelona heard today (Thursday 21 March).

Modest survival benefit from chemotherapy for patients with glioma brain tumours
Chemotherapy in addition to radiotherapy could have a modest survival benefit for the treatment of high-grade glioma, a severe form of brain cancer, conclude authors of a study in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

Keeping patients in touch with their lives and their treatments
A Welsh hospital is developing the use of a computer touch screen to record and assess details about patients, the side-effects of their treatments and their quality of life, the 3rd European Breast Cancer Conference in Barcelona hear on Friday 21 March.

Magnetism to its lowest terms
While an ideal infinite chain of atoms cannot sustain ferromagnetic order at nonzero temperature, an international team of physicists shows that the finite length of the chains and magnetic anisotropy barriers stabilize ferromagnetism at finite temperatures in monatomic cobalt chains.
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