Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 24, 2002
Young adults don't heed warning message of heart attack or stroke in family
A heart attack or stroke in a close family member should send a signal that one is at higher risk of suffering the same fate and provoke healthier, risk-reducing behaviors -- at least according to theory.

Narcolepsy more common in men, often originates in their 20s
A Mayo Clinic study reports that narcolepsy, a sleep disorder, is more common in men and originates in their 20s.

Glutathione depletion in chronic alcohol abuse makes lungs vulnerable to life-threatening diseases
Chronic alcohol abuse causes a profound deficiency of the antioxidant glutathione in the lungs, generating a marked susceptibility to serious lung diseases, according to research at Emory University School of Medicine and the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Salamanders change spots: Was it environmental stress?
Salamanders with unusual, asymmetrical spots have been found in a pond adjacent to an Ithaca, NY golf course.

Artificial organs
The man who grew a human ear on the back of a mouse may have brought the prospect of building an artificial liver a step closer.

New patient survey puts a human face on overcoming depression
The ability to fully engage in and enjoy family, personal and community activities is a critical milestone on the way to overcoming depression, according to the first survey to define treatment success through the eyes of people with depression.

Study highlights need for hepatitis C vaccine
A US study in this week's issue of THE LANCET highlights a high rate of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among injection-drug users, and that immunity against persistent HCV infection can be acquired.

Mirror fibers could create novel fabrics
MIT researchers have created high-performance mirrors in the shape of hair-like flexible fibers that could be woven into cloth or incorporated in paper.

Picky eaters rare among tropical insects
The long-held belief that more than ten percent of tropical insect species feed on a specific plant host is revised by a team reporting their findings from six years of research in Papua New Guinea in the April 25, 2002 edition of the journal Nature.

NIH-funded UCSD rheumatic diseases center to facilitate collaboration, speed discoveries
The UCSD School of Medicine has received a 5-year $3 million grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases for a Rheumatic Diseases Core Center (RDCC) designed to speed up the development of new diagnostic tools and therapies for the millions of individuals suffering from rheumatic diseases.

Staying human in the digital age
Technophiles and technophobes, futurists and Luddites will gather April 25-27 at the University of California, Davis, to consider

Green roofs cool for summer, environmentalist says
Green roofs composed of special infrastructure to support soil and plants are better than conventional roofs at insulating homes in winter and keeping them cool in summer, according to preliminary study results at the University of Toronto.

Virginia Tech study documents hypertension association with obesity and heavy alcohol consumption
Race and ethnicity, age, obesity, and heavy alcohol consumption are strongly associated with hypertension in both men and women over the age of 40, according to the results of a study by Virginia Tech researchers.

Navy's new 'gunk-o-lyzer'?
Ten years ago, John Reintjes watched as Navy ships took regular oil samples from their lubricating systems and sent them ashore to be analyzed.

Tropical scientists find fewer species than expected
An eight-year National Science Foundation-funded study of New Guinean rainforest plants and the insects that feed on them has yielded a new and dramatically lower estimate of the number of species on the planet.

MMP enzymes play key role in stability and breakdown of atherosclerotic plaques
An Emory University scientist who pioneered the hypothesis that enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play an important role in the structural failure that leads to heart attack and stroke will describe recent results of her research, including how plaques recruit circulating inflammatory cells and how MMP enzymes enable plaque formation.

Teen habitual smokers more receptive to cigarette ads, think they can quit anytime
Cigarette advertising has more influence on some adolescents than others, helping to predict which teens who try smoking will become habitual smokers, according to a new study.

UCR scientists developing process to convert wet bio-waste into energy
Scientists at the University of California, Riverside are developing a way of converting

Biodiversity crucial to Earth's ecosystems
For more than half a century, ecologists have been aware of the devastating effects of species loss within an ecosystem.

Triggers for sudden cardiac death differ by gender
Psychosocial stress is a more common trigger for sudden cardiac arrest than physical exertion for women, while the opposite is true for men, according to a study presented today at the American Heart Association's Asia Pacific Scientific Forum.

Firstborn: First risk for heart disease?
Being the firstborn child in a family may make a person more likely to develop coronary disease, according to a study presented today at the American Heart Association's Asia Pacific Scientific Forum.

Strange signals from breastfeeding
Childless women pick up unexpected signals from breastfeeding women and newborns.

Study shows digestive, liver woes cost nation $85.5 billion annually
Taken together, digestive diseases directly cost the United States an estimated $85.5 billion a year, according to a new study written by a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine faculty member and colleagues.

Bat sonar and anti-submarine warfare
Dolphins do it. Big brown bats do it. And sometime soon, the Office of Naval Research hopes its researchers will be able to do it too.

High-dose interferon beta-1b for multiple sclerosis patients
A study published in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggests that high-dose interferon beta-1b administered every other day is more effective than interferon beta-1a once a week for people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Alcohol-based disinfectant hand gels could increase infection in hospitals
Authors of a research letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggest that recently introduced disinfectant gels for hand hygiene are significantly less effective than rinses and could contribute to an increase in hospital-based infection.

New oral medication halts blindness in AIDS patients
A viral infection that robs AIDS patients of their sight can now be fought with a drug in pill form, allowing patients a better quality of life, say the authors of a recent paper in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Doctor-patient collaboration necessary to change unhealthy behavior
While evidence builds that tobacco use, obesity and lack of exercise contribute to the incidence of chronic illness and premature death, a new government report suggests that because patients pay attention to their doctor's advice, doctors should pay more attention to counseling their patients.

Mayo Clinic study finds radiosurgery is effective alternative to surgery
A Mayo Clinic study has found that radiosurgery on a rare, typically benign intracranial tumor, is an effective alternative to surgery.

Tired and angry? Both emotions may predict heart attacks
Anger and exhaustion may result in future heart attacks or sudden cardiac death, according to research presented today at the American Heart Association's Asia Pacific Scientific Forum.

Mercury ups heart disease risk
Finnish men with the highest concentrations of mercury in their hair also had the highest death rates from cardiovascular disease, congestive heart failure and stroke, according to a study presented today at the American Heart Association's Asia Pacific Scientific Forum.

Much ado about nanotubes
Physicists tell us that the world of ultra-small atomic tubular structures is soon going to revolutionize our lives in the form of micromachinery.

NATO picks promising pollution solution at NASA's Marshall Center for pilot study program
A project to treat groundwater and soil contamination has been added been added to a pilot program sponsored by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Link found between low birth weight and DNA from mothers
Using a set of data collected over 30 years and six generations of captive-bred monkeys, researchers have found the first evidence that low birth weight is linked to mitochrondial DNA.

Choline prevents liver failure in patients on IV nutrition
Research has shown that fatty liver, a condition associated with obesity, diabetes and heavy alcohol consumption, often leads to cirrhosis of the liver or liver failure.

Duke sports medicine helps keep Cincinnati Reds healthy
As the Cincinnati Reds march toward a possible World Series berth, work by the Duke Sports Performance Program during the past year could help players suffer fewer injuries during their grueling 162-game schedule.

Cancer center study shows state's workplace smoking laws are effective
Researchers at the Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Cancer Center report that California's legislation prohibiting cigarette smoking in indoor workplaces is proving effective at reducing the amount of exposure to secondhand smoke among adult workers.

Genetic 'bar codes' predict effect of statins
Searching for patterns of genetic variation, rather than a single variation, may be a more promising approach to predicting a person's response to cholesterol-lowering therapy, according to research presented today at the American Heart Association's Asia Pacific Scientific Forum.

Research yields new insights into molecular control of addiction
Scientists have provided new insights into how molecules may control addiction, memory formation, and brain plasicity.

Explorers in nanospace
While astrophysicists are figuring out the challenges of travel through outer space, CSIRO materials researchers are tackling a problem at the opposite end of the size scale - moving molecules through nanospace.

Research shows school system still 'old boys club'
The number of women in school and university leadership roles still lags far behind men, says a book edited by a University of Toronto education professor.

Kids getting a steady diet of fast food on the tube
Television commercials aired during children's shows now emphasize larger fast-food portions compared with Saturday morning ads in the 1970s, which focused mainly on sugary breakfast cereals, according to a study being presented at the American Heart Association's Asia Pacific Scientific Forum.

Best relativity test yet and detecting cervical cancer with light at upcoming meeting
Detecting anthrax with T-rays and a laser system that takes the twinkle out of sunlight are some of the stories to be featured at North America's largest conference on lasers, electro-optics, and quantum electronics.

Non-traditional roles may boost risk of heart disease and death
Househusbands and others whose work or social roles are outside the norm suffer more coronary heart disease and death from all causes, according to a new study presented today at the American Heart Association's Asia Pacific Scientific Forum.

More evidence of possible link between hearing loss and CVD
A new study shows an association between cardiovascular disease and age-related hearing loss - particularly in women who've had a heart attack, researchers report today at the American Heart Association's Asia Pacific Scientific Forum.

May media highlights: GEOLOGY and GSA TODAY
Topics include formation of Genovesa Island on the Galapagos Archipelago; comparison of lunar and South African rock samples formed by impact events; new evidence of very early animal life on Earth; impacts of industrial SO2 and other contaminants on trees' consumption of CO2; analysis of climate variability and ecosystem changes in North America; discussion of plate tectonics as a self-organized system; and evidence on the Black Sea-Mediterranean Sea reconnection that contradicts the Noah's Flood hypothesis.

Better decisions yield bigger oil dollars
Australia's national science agency, CSIRO, and UK's Bristol University have come up with a powerful new way to ease the difficulty and uncertainty of critical decisions in the oil industry.

UCLA models of star aging lead to discovery of oldest burned-out stars in the Milky Way
Working with models of the evolution of stars developed by astronomers at UCLA, scientists at the University of British Columbia have used NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to uncover the oldest burned-out stars in our Milky Way Galaxy.
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