Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 11, 2002
Tobacco industry strategies for influencing European community tobacco advertising legislation
A public-health article in this week's issue of THE LANCET highlights how the tobacco industry lobbied individual member states of the European Community to prevent the introduction of a total ban on tobacco advertising in 1998.

Classroom management linked to lesser teen alienation from school
To an extent never reported before, schools that have classrooms where students get along with each other, pay attention, and hand in assignments on time could be a key to reducing teenagers' risk for violence, substance abuse, suicide, and pregnancy.

First discovery of an immune system counter attack in the virus wars
In their endless war against the immune system, viruses rapidly evolve new evasive strategies.

Radar reveals five double asteroid systems near Earth
Binary asteroids appear to be common in Earth-crossing orbits, astronomers using Cornell University's Arecibo radar telescope report probably formed as a result of gravitational effects during close encounters with at least two of the inner planets, including Earth.

A map of 'protein space' could predict structure, function
Cornell University's Golan Yona has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Career Award to support his research in computational biology, aimed at developing a multi-dimensional map on which proteins would be classified by their structure and function.

Carbon dioxide/water emulsion found effective/remediating metal contaminants in waste
Modifying a technique already used to remove caffeine from coffee and undesirable agents from semiconductor wafers, a research team at the U.S.

The nanoscience of wood structure - Nature was there first
Xylan is the glue in wood that provides a smooth transition from the highly-crystalline cellulose to the glass-like lignin.

Support for colorectal cancer screening
Early results of a randomised controlled trial in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggest that a single flexible sigmoidoscopy screening programme offered at around age 60 years could lower the incidence and mortality of colorectal cancer.

Children as young as 5 have gender bias when it comes to picking a musical instrument
Gender-based choices seem to be so embedded that researchers have now shown that children as young as 5 exhibit stereotypical preferences when it comes to the musical instruments they pick to play.

Older patients who need high-risk surgery fare better in experienced hospitals
Going to hospitals experienced in certain high-risk surgeries can help save lives for elderly undergoing those procedures, a Dartmouth Medical School study confirmed.

Many junior doctors experience bullying
Many junior doctors in the United Kingdom experience bullying during training, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Injuries uncommon in youth football, Mayo Clinic study reports
A Mayo Clinic study of youth football showed that most injuries that occurred were mild, older players appeared to be at a higher risk and that no significant correlation exists between body weight and injury.

Nicorandil could improve outcome for angina patients
Results of a UK study in this week¡¦s issue of THE LANCET suggest that the antianginal drug nicorandil could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease associated with angina.

Bug vs. bug: scientists use microorganisms to target destructive termites
Government scientists are developing a new weapon against the Formosan subterranean termite, a highly destructive species that has caused millions of dollars in damage to houses and trees in the United States.

Industry explores renewable resources, such as lignin
At professional meetings worldwide, polymer chemists are organizing sessions to look at such renewable resources as starch; wood-derived cellulose, xylan, and lignin; chitin; and other carbohydrates.

Earth's warming trend is truly global
A team of Michigan and Canadian researchers has found that over the past half-century, the rocks of Earth's continental crust have warmed significantly, similar to the warming of the oceans, atmosphere and ice reported by other investigators last year.

Social insects could offer clues about genetic conflict
Two Rice University biologists believe social insects like ants and bees could provide clues to why some animals have developed a curious quality in which the genes of their parents vie in direct competition.

'Vigilant vector' could insert genes that sense, prevent heart attacks
A team of University of Florida researchers has used gene therapy to develop a tiny biological machine that could one day be injected into heart attack-prone patients to recognize and stop new heart attacks.

NIH and ES Cell International Pte. Ltd sign International Stem Cell Research Agreement
The National Institutes of Health and the ES Cell International Pte.

Researchers link gene with kidney stones, bone loss in patients who absorb too much calcium
A team of researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center has identified a set of genetic abnormalities that increase risk for kidney stones and could indicate increased risk for osteoporosis.

Cartilage made from stem cells tested in animals
The research lab that made headlines last year for turning fat cells into cartilage has taken the work a step further by successfully implanting the altered cells in mice.

Early promise for dementia drug
Encouraging short-term results of a randomised trial in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggest that the drug galantamine could offer therapeutic benefits to people with Alzheimer's disease with cerebrovascular disease and in those with probable vascular dementia.

Document destruction practices obliterate tobacco company defenses in critical Australian decision
With the landmark case in Australia, researchers from Northeastern University's Tobacco Products Liability Project offer thoughts, expertise on what the ruling means for other tobacco liability cases in the future.

Researchers project future shrinking biodiversity of Mexican species
The effect of Earth's changing climate -- due to warming from so-called greenhouse gases and other factors -- on natural ecosystems may be felt by species most at risk for reduced range or even extinction.

Sea level rise threatens marshes in Chesapeake and Delaware Bays
Chesapeake and Delaware Bays, the two largest estuaries on the east coast of the United States, are losing marshland to rising sea levels caused by greenhouse warming.

Understanding our ape 'cousins:' chimpanzee genetics may shed light on human diseases
The human brain shows strikingly different patterns of gene expression compared to the chimpanzee brain, a difference that isn't seen in other parts of the body like the liver and white blood cells, an international research team reports.

University of Pittsburgh transplant researchers present findings at international meeting
University of Pittsburgh researchers will present findings of studies at the 22nd Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation being held April 10 - 13 at the Hilton Washington and Towers in Washington, D.C.

Improving golf scores
As the Masters Golf Tournament officially tees off, researchers at Northeastern University have found that over the years, scores have declined and competition dramatically increased at the venerable competition, one of golf's four major tournaments.

Action needed to stop 'disease mongering'
A lot of money can be made from telling healthy people they're sick despite clear conflicts of interest.

Bye-bye rebooting? Researchers work to upgrade computer memory
A new high-speed, high-capacity computer memory technology could make rebooting your computer a thing of the past, and may allow PC users to transfer and download large files - such as digital movies - in a few seconds, rather than hours.

Genomic study breathes new life into asthma research
Research published in this month's Genome Biology has identified 149 genes that may be involved in the development of asthma.

Why heart transplant patients resume smoking revealed in University of Pittsburgh study
Nearly half of ex-smokers who receive heart transplants resume smoking at some point after their life-saving operation, and now researchers have good evidence to suggest why.

Early cardiovascular disease found in asymptomatic individuals
Individuals without symptoms of cardiovascular disease may already have early heart or blood vessel disease, according to researchers at the University of Minnesota's Rasmussen Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention.

Built-in 'failsafe' device blocks abnormal growth of new blood vessels
Some inhibitors of angiogenesis prevent new blood vessel growth by triggering a built-in

Researchers uncover brain patterns that differentiate humans from chimpanzees
A team of international scientists from Germany, the Netherlands and San Diego, California, may have shed light on why chimps and humans are so genetically similiar (nearly 99 percent of shared DNA sequences), and yet so mentally different.

Tomato ripening gene could make store tomatoes tastier
Scientists at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Inc., at Cornell University, and the U.S.D.A have discovered a gene that controls ripening in tomatoes.

Would cloning necessarily undermine human potential and sense of self?
In the April 12 issue of Science, Brown University philosopher Dan W.

Medicalising sex damages relationships
Overly medical approaches to sex ignore the social and interpersonal dynamics of relationships, argue researchers in this week's BMJ.

Genetic tests could define us all as patients
Genetic science could drive a new wave of medicalisation if genetics tests are accepted without appropriate evaluation, warn researchers in this week's BMJ.

Does direct to consumer drug advertising medicalise normal human conditions?
Does direct to consumer advertising of prescription drugs, currently allowed only in the United States and New Zealand, medicalise normal human conditions?
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