Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 16, 2002
Other highlights in the April 17 issue of JNCI
Other highlights include a study suggesting that natural sex hormones may be associated with breast cancer risk, a study suggesting that a recombinant diptheria toxin fusion protein may be a potential therapy for brain cancer, and a study suggesting that increased expression and activation of the interleukin-6/STAT3 signaling pathway may be associated with ovarian cancer.

Study of vision disorder leads to discovery of new family of ion channels
Efforts to understand the most common cause of vision loss in millions of elderly people have led to the discovery of an entirely new family of chloride ion channels that are found in animals from worms to humans.

Hopkins researchers test new molecular marker for prostate cancer
Hopkins cancer researchers have identified a new genetic culprit-with dietary links-in the initiation of prostate cancer.

Simple intervention improves quality of dialysis treatment
A new clinical trial demonstrates that identifying and overcoming three barriers greatly improves the quality of hemodialysis treatment, a finding that may help the 33,000 Americans now receiving suboptimal doses of hemodialysis.

New study shows ropinirole slows the loss of dopamine function in Parkinson's disease
Researchers at Emory University and a group of international collaborators, using positron emission tomography (PET) brain imaging, have determined that a relatively new drug slows the loss of dopamine function in early stages of Parkinson's disease (PD) compared with an older, more commonly used drug.

PNNL orders $24.5M supercomputer from Hewlett-Packard
DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Hewlett-Packard today announced that PNNL has ordered a $24.5 million HP Linux-based supercomputer that will allow researchers to apply computational science to answer fundamental questions such as how radioactive waste can be processed and stored, and how proteins interact and behave in order to model a living cell.

High levels of sex hormones doubles risk for breast cancer in postmenopausal women
Postmenopausal women with relatively high serum concentrations of estrogen and testosterone have about twice the risk of developing breast cancer as women with relatively low serum concentrations of these sex hormones.

Effectiveness of drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease in early, later stages measured
The use of different medications during early versus later stages of Parkinson's disease is critical to managing symptoms - and perhaps the progression - of the disease, according to a study presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.

Though rare, victims of lightning strike may suffer
As if being struck by lightning wasn't hard enough on a person, in rare cases, ongoing complications of the nervous system result in involuntary movement disorders.

Extensive research survey confirms life on Earth now being affected by global warming
A comprehensive summary has revealed, for the first time, the dramatic extent of disruptions now being experienced by Earth's species as a result of global warming.

Stem cell transplants may be effective for MS patients
There's a potential new treatment for people with severe cases of multiple sclerosis, according to research presented during the American Academy of Neurology's 54th Annual Meeting in Denver, Colo., April 13-20, 2002.

Problem-solving training helps moms of kids with cancer
A mother whose child is diagnosed with cancer can more easily handle the problems she faces if she receives training in problem-solving that is tailored to her needs, a new study indicates.

Does weather play a role in stroke?
Researchers have found an association between weather and the occurrence of stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA).

Massive weather study heads for the skies and roads of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas
One of the largest weather-related studies in U.S. history will track the nearly invisible swaths of moisture that fuel heavy rain across the southern Great Plains from Texas to Kansas.

Tamoxifen and estrogen have similar effects on the brain
A new study suggests that neither tamoxifen nor estrogen negatively affects brain chemistry in elderly women.

Anticancer drug reveals alternate means of inducing cell suicide
A new study suggests that the anti-inflammatory drug celecoxib may trigger cancer cell death through means other than thwarting COX-2 activity.

At 2 years, cocaine babies suffer cognitive development effects
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine researchers followed 415 cocaine-exposed infants born at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland to determine how prenatal cocaine exposure affects child developmental outcomes.

Angioplasty beats clot-busting drugs for most heart attack patients
Heart attack patients may be better off with balloon angioplasty to open blocked blood vessels than with clot-busting drugs, even if their hospital lacks a cardiac surgery program, according to a Johns Hopkins-led study.

Study finds acute measles supresses HIV replication
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health say replication of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is briefly suppressed during acute measles.

Researcher traces gene development in 'last common link'
A researcher studying the last common link between invertebrate and vertebrate animals has found a genetic change that separates the spineless from the backboned.

Keeping autoimmunity in check may depend on balance in the immune system
Scientists know that the potential to generate dangerous antibodies that attack our own cells and tissues - one of the defining characteristics of autoimmune disorders - exists in everyone.

$13 million grant to fund research into molecular targets for colorectal cancer
A team of Vanderbilt investigators has been awarded a highly competitive, $13 million Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant to fund an interdisciplinary program focused on colorectal cancer, the second leading cancer killer.

Improved ozone monitoring technology expected to improve smog forecasting
Knowing the concentration of ozone in the air above urban areas is a missing piece of important information for ozone pollution forecasters.

Moving from welfare to earning a family-sustaining wage takes longer than predicted
Welfare reform laws have made it extremely difficult for low-wage earners to support their families, according to a new study by Roberta Iversen, professor and associate dean in the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work.

Statin drugs may lower risk of Alzheimer's
Taking the cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, according to research presented during the American Academy of Neurology's 54th Annual Meeting in Denver, Colo., April 13-20, 2002.

Popular weed killer disrupts frogs' sexual development
The nation's top-selling weed killer, atrazine, disrupts the sexual development of frogs at concentrations 30 times lower than levels allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), raising concerns about heavy use of the herbicide on corn, soybeans and other crops in the Midwest and around the world.

Testosterone may reduce risk of stroke in men; Estrogen levels not related to stroke
Higher levels of testosterone are related to lower risk of stroke in men.

Beyond obesity: waist-to-hip ratio may be better predictor of stroke risk
Obesity, as measured by a person's body mass index, has been shown to be an important risk factor for overall mortality as well as coronary heart disease.

Sandia joins revolution in solid-state lighting
A revolution is quietly occurring that promises to change the way we light our homes, offices, and world.

Evidence does not support psychological treatments for epilepsy
Psychological interventions are often used in attempts to reduce seizure frequency, improve the quality of life and avoid side effects of drug therapies among patients with epilepsy.

Routine overnight EEG monitoring not warranted in autistic children
Though controversial, children with autistic syndrome may be subjected unnecessarily to overnight EEG testing for the identification of Landau-Kleffner syndrome (LKS), the deterioration of language ability associated with clinical or electrical seizure activity.

UCLA researchers develop novel approach to finding lost 911 callers
UCLA researchers have developed algorithms that will enable police to use the nation's wireless phone network to pinpoint the location of 911 callers.

Monsanto to share technologies with Danforth Center to support global cassava research
Monsanto Company announced today it is supporting a global effort to increase production and quality of cassava by granting the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center a royalty-free license to enabling technologies commonly used in agricultural biotechnology.

Causes of menstrual migraine explored
A new study into the causes of menstrual migraine may bring researchers one step closer to understanding the disease that affects millions of American women.

New study suggests that tamoxifen does not adversely impact brain chemistry
Surprising results from a new study may quell concerns about the safety of using tamoxifen to reduce breast cancer risk in elderly women, suggesting that both tamoxifen and estrogen have similar effects on the brain.

Green tea extract polyphenol may have a protective effect on Parkinson's Disease
Polyphenol, a potent antioxidant found in green tea, has already been shown to have protective effects on several disease processes, including some cancers and forms of heart disease.

Complex weather study to target summer storm forecasting
One of the largest weather-related studies in U.S. history will track the nearly invisible swaths of moisture that fuel heavy rain across the southern Great Plains from Texas to Kansas. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to