Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 18, 2002
Rare rocks offer a unique glimpse of the Earth's core
Rare grains of metal from California and Oregon are providing new clues about the origin of the Hawaiian Islands - and fueling old controversies about the evolution of the Earth's core.

New report explains ice-age mystery
University of California researchers have solved a longstanding mystery for scientists trying to understand how Earth's climate can quickly shift between cold and warm modes.

Amphibians and crippling parasites
In recent years, the frequency of malformed frogs, toads, salamanders and other amphibians found with missing limbs, extra limbs, and skin webbings has increased.

New post-genomic technique chronicles protein life cycles
Scientists have developed a new molecular-tagging technique to chronicle the development, movement and interactions of proteins as they do their work in living cells.

Still no effective treatment for post-lyme disease symptoms
While Lyme disease is usually cured with antibiotic treatment, some patients experience persistent fatigue and cognitive dysfunction.

Input from youth is crucial in promoting adolescent health
Programs aiming to promote adolescent health and development can gain much from including youth in an advisory capacity.

Ginkgo biloba slows cognitive decline in patients with multiple sclerosis
Ginkgo biloba, an over-the-counter herbal remedy used by many to boost mental awareness, has been shown in a medically supervised study to slow cognitive decline in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic, often disabling disease that attachks the central nervous system.

NIMH awards new grants in response to terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001
NIMH has awarded 4 new grants and 6 grants supplementing existing studies for research on mental health needs resulting from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Ten percent fatigue at work within one year
More than ten percent of healthy employees suffer from prolonged fatigue within one year.

Solving the COX conundrum
Cyclooxygenase (COX) is a pharmacologically important enzyme that has a role in blood clotting and inflammation.

New Science Press launches Proteins: From Sequence to Structure
New Science Press is pleased to announce the online publication of Proteins: From Sequence to Structure, a concise post-genomic account of the relationship between protein sequence and protein structure from the forthcoming Protein Structure and Function by Gregory Petsko and Dagmar Ringe, a new short authoritative text on the principles of protein structure and function.

Parental smoking around time of conception linked to reduction in male births
Couples who smoke around the time of conception could have a reduced chance of conceiving male offspring, suggest authors of a research letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

Scientists document water molecule movement across cell walls
Scientists have documented a ballet in which dancers cross the stage in a billionth of a second.

Reducing antiepileptics in VNS (TM) patients does not impair seizure control
Reducing the number of antiepileptic drugs used in combination with VNS (Vagus Nerve Stimulation) Therapy (TM) does not cause a

Gene mutation influences filtering of blood by kidneys
Researchers have uncovered new information about a gene that when mutated prevents the kidneys from filtering properly.

Post-genomic technique provides real-time, multiscale look at protein life cycles in living cells
Scientists have developed a new molecular-tagging technique to chronicle the development, movement and interactons of proteins as they do their work in living cells.

Selenium: an insidious and persistent toxin
In an article in the April issue of Aquatic Toxicology, a USDA Forest Service researcher warns that the impacts of selenium on freshwater fish populations may become more widespread as human disturbance increases -- and that long-term effects may be underestimated.

Marine researchers explore sediment highways
A European team of researchers has demonstrated that sediment is transported to the deep sea via canyons in the seabed.

Helium imaging detects emphysema changes in smallest airways of lung
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown for the first time that an experimental imaging technique can show changes caused by emphysema even in the smallest airways of the lung.

Rushing fireball developed its own form of sugar digestion
Microbiologists from Wageningen have discovered a strange form of digestion in an exotic microorganism.

New treatment option for children with malaria
Combination of the drugs artesunate and amodiaquine could be a new treatment option for children with malaria caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum, conclude authors of a fast-track study in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

Let them sleep!
Research has clarified what most parents already know about the sleep patterns of adolescents - they seem to have an unlimited capacity to sleep late on weekends.

UT Southwestern scientists prove certain proteins play unexpected roles in genetic transcription
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have proved that a group of proteins previously thought to have no role in turning genes on and off actually plays a part in that process, which is critical to both human development and understanding some diseases.

Stressed intestine can give rise to food allergy
The intestines of mice which have been subjected to stress, overreact to certain nutritional substances.

Superficial science - surface chemistry protects metals
A new $426,000 grant from the National Science Foundation will enable Kansas State University chemists to continue work on a protective process using an inexpensive method that reacts metal with phosphoric acid, resulting in a protective barrier of oxide-free, phosphate film.

Risk of heart problems among diabetic patients less than previously thought
Patients with type 2 diabetes are at lower risk of death and hospital admission for heart attack than patients with established coronary heart disease, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Highest sustained virologic response in treatment of Hepatitis C ever reported in prospective study
A combination treatment of Pegasys (peginterferon alfa-2a 40kd) a pegylated interferon, with ribavirin, an orally active anti-viral medication, has shown some of the most effective treatment rates yet for individuals with hepatitis C.

Short teenage boys earn less than tall teenage boys when they each grow up
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have found that a boy's height at age 16 is a significant determinant of his salary as an adult.

Brain cancer vaccine shows promising findings in early research at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center
An experimental vaccine for brain cancer has shown promising results in preliminary investigations at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center.

Call to action to tackle global health impact of child prostitution
Authors of a review article in this week's issue of THE LANCET are calling on health professionals to join forces with NGOs, governments, and UN agencies to establish an international campaign against child prostitution.

Newly published data show at-home dialysis therapy may benefit more patients
Results from the largest randomized controlled trial ever conducted among patients undergoing peritoneal dialysis (PD) demonstrate that PD, a flexible home-based dialysis therapy for people with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), may be a viable option for a greater range of patients and existing patients may be able to remain on therapy longer than would have been assumed from current practice guidelines.

Junior doctors need training to reduce prescribing errors
A qualitative UK study in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggests that prescribing errors in hospitals are a consequence of poor understanding of drug prescribing.

Surgery league tables could threaten access to care
Plans to publish details of the performance of individual surgeons could lead to a reluctance to treat riskier patients, according to a letter in this week's BMJ.

Protein research illustrates how drugs fight malaria, other diseases
Developing a clear understanding of how to exploit emerging information from genome research is the first step in developing effective, safe and affordable drugs to combat malaria and other diseases, a University of Washington chemistry professor says.

Long-term benefits found in two drugs for Parkinson's
Two drugs used to treat hallucinations in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) can not only reduce hallucinations, but may also lead to long-term benefits in these patients, according to a group of Emory University researchers.

Urgent action needed to improve maternal care in Latin America
Unnecessary caesarean section is known to increase health risks for both mother and infant, while routine episiotomy has no benefit.

Exposure to light and sleep pattern alteration
Each person's circadian rhythm, or biological clock, influences when we are tired, hungry, more or less sensitive to drugs and other stimuli, and even cues the secretion of hormones throughout each 24-hour period.

Cities in globalization - which are the most 'connected'?
Which are the world's most connected cities in terms of financial and business services - accountancy, advertising, banking and finance, insurance, law and management consultancy?

Development of dementia in Parkinson's patients
Independent of disease severity, as measured by signs of Parkinson's disease found on examination (including tremor, stiffness, slowness and gait impairment), mortality may be two to three times higher among Parkinson's disease patients who develop dementia than those who don't.

Drug reduces hallucinations and improves cognitive performance for Parkinson's patients
Significant cognitive impairment and hallucination are relatively common among advanced Parkinson's disease patients.

New evidence for organic compounds in deep space
The mysterious spectral bands in the infrared of interstellar gas clouds in deep space originate from organic compounds.

Surinamese language Trio demands honesty
The Leiden linguist Eithne Carlin has discovered that the Surinamese indigenous language Trio is particularly accurate with respect to the truth level of statements.

GPs need more training to help patients with depression
General practitioners may require more extensive training and support to acquire skills to help patients with depression, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

ORNL assisting in effort to make skies safer
A simple boarding pass could safeguard air travelers if an explosives detection system being developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Mass Spec Analytical is adopted.

Male starlings sing a song of reproductive fitness
For at least one of North America's most common birds, mating songs are more than just empty amorous enticement.

Audiovisual recording of oral consent for illiterate populations (p 1406)
Authors of a research letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET describe a novel procedure which uses audiovisual techniques for obtaining medical consent from illiterate people.

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Therapy (TM) more effective in epilepsy patients when used earlier
Vagus Nerve Stimulation Therapy (TM) offers a higher success rate in achieving seizure control among patients with pharmaco-resistant epilepsy when used earlier in the course of their condition, according to a study presented at a poster session at the 54th annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.

Researchers identify protein that overcomes leptin resistance
The identification of a protein that enables the body to overcome resistance to the hormone leptin could help scientists move one step closer to creating a drug therapy to help prevent and treat obesity.
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