Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 16, 2002
HIV vaccine research is 'best hope' for controlling AIDS pandemic
May 18th marks the Fifth Annual HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, which highlights research advances and the challenges of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and underscores why developing preventive HIV vaccines offers the best hope for controlling the AIDS pandemic.

Vitamin D may be crucial in preventing colon cancer
New studies by researchers at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute indicate that vitamin D protects against colon cancer by helping to detoxify cancer-triggering chemicals that are released during the digestion of high-fat foods.

Chemoembolisation offers survival benefit for peple with liver cancer
People with liver cancer that cannot be treated with surgical resection or transplantation could have an increased two-year survival if they are given chemoembolisation-a procedure in which blood supply to the tumour combined with the effect of chemotherapy inhibits cancer growth.

Three-D images shed light on first steps of RNA synthesis
The first three-dimensional images of the initiating form of the molecular machinery in bacteria that

Study suggests infants 'tune in' to familiar face groups
How good are you at recognizing the faces of monkeys?

USGS revises estimates of undiscovered oil & gas resources in NPRA
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists have completed a four-year re-assessment of the undiscovered oil and gas resources of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPRA).

6 corporations to vie for best practices award
The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMSĀ®) today announced six finalists that will compete for the 2002 Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences in Montreal.

The low-down on high blood pressure - more focus on prevention and treatment goals
Prevention, improving health habits and focusing on treatment goals are the cornerstone for future efforts to control hypertension - one of the nation's major health care burdens - according to an editorial in today's Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Associaiton.

Human activity raises level of sulfur gas that affects ozone layer, researchers say
The most abundant sulfur gas in the lowest layer of the Earth's atmosphere is carbonyl sulfide.

Mice could provide the key to growing human lungs for transplant
Scientists from Imperial College London have successfully directed mouse stem cells to turn into the type of cells needed for gas exchange in lungs, bringing the prospect of being able to regenerate damaged lung tissue, and even the creation of artificially grown lungs one step closer.

Latest California quake underscores reliability of U. of Colorado forecasting method
The magnitude 5.2 earthquake that occurred near Gilroy, Calif., on Monday was the fourth to have been correctly plotted on a forecast anomaly map developed by researchers at the University of Colorado's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, or CIRES.

The rise of the giant jurassic dinosaurs linked to explosive extraterrestrial collision
New research suggests that the rapid appearance and diversification of the great Jurassic dinosaurs was caused by the impact of a giant asteroid or comet at the end of the Triassic, 200 million years ago, causing the extinction of their competition.

American kids' poor food choices: Fewer than 15 percent eat recommended fruits and vegetables
Both with snacks and meals, the majority of America's two million elementary school-age kids are not getting a nutrient bang for their calorie buck because fewer than 15 percent eat the recommended five or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables.

Genetic discovery in fruit flies may open new avenues for understanding cancer growth in humans
A silencing gene called Sir2, long studied in yeast and worms, has a counterpart in fruit flies that plays a dynamic role in the genetic regulation of early development.

American Thoracic Society Journal news tips for May (second issue)
Journal newsworthy highlights include: researchers working with 30-month-old premature infants with hyaline membrane disease found that those with high keratinocyte growth factor concentration were protected against a serious neonatal problem; the pH of expired breath condensate offers a simple, noninvasive, inexpensive, and easily repeatable procedure to evaluate airway inflammatory processes; and the analysis of serial T cell antigen receptors could considerably improve the management of lung transplants.

One-off lesson improves teenagers' knowledge of emergency contraception
A single lesson on emergency contraception, given by a trained teacher, improves teenagers' knowledge of the correct time limits for using emergency contraception, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

PFI hospitals are not value for money
The government claims that using the private finance initiative (PFI) to build NHS hospitals offers value for money.

Buffalo neuroimaging researchers studying multiple sclerosis from inside human brain
Using advanced MRI brain imaging methods and tapping into one of the most powerful supercomputing systems in the world, University at Buffalo researchers in the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC) are providing insights into multiple sclerosis that never before were possible.

Special Fulbright awarded to Vanderbilt ethnomusicologist
With new support from the U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program, Vanderbilt ethnomusicologist Greg Barz will return to Uganda this summer to continue his study of the effective ways women's performance groups de-stigmatize HIV/AIDS, debunk myths and overcome taboos in areas where efforts based on traditional Western medical models have proved largely unsuccessful.

Grant will advance research of infection-fighting blood cells
A $5 million grant to Indiana University School of Medicine will enable researchers to probe the function of a blood-cell protein that bolsters the body's immune system yet is also thought to lead to certain diseases.

'Warm to the touch' gene found
A group of researchers from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF) have identified and cloned the first-known gene that makes skin cells able to sense warm temperatures.

Cosmic impacts implicated in both the rise and fall of dinosaurs
New abilities to detect layers of

Changes in rainfall patterns spur plant growth, carbon absorption across U.S.
A NASA-funded study finds that changing rainfall patterns over much of the United States in the last century have allowed plants to grow more vigorously and absorb more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

UCR scientists discover a novel adaptive antiviral defense mechanism in animals
Scientists at the University of California, Riverside have grabbed the cover of the May 17 issue of Science with research about

'Tangible aid' important to black women with low incomes
Black women living in predominantly low-income neighborhoods have better health when they have someone to help them on a regular basis, according to a new study.

New synthetic antithrombotic drug could reduce dvt risk after hip surgery
Two studies in this week's issue of THE LANCET highlight how a new class of synthetic antithrombotic drug could be more effective than conventional therapy in reducing the risk of potentially fatal blood clots associated with hip-replacement surgery.

Baby brains learn to 'tune in' faces, Science authors say
People tune their brains to the faces they see the most within the first year of life, hard-wiring a template against which to compare new visages.

From a single DNA strand, a tiny motor
They are still many years away, but infinitesimal molecular motors that could radically improve manufacturing and medicine just took a step closer to reality.

Researchers uncover biochemical connection between high-fat diets and increased colon-cancer risk
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have uncovered what could be a key clue in tracing the connection between high-fat diets and increased colon-cancer risk.

Impaired sodium excretion after stress contributes to hypertension in blacks
Some young, healthy blacks continue to retain sodium even after the stress that drove their blood pressure up is gone, a situation that keeps blood pressure and volume elevated for prolonged periods and puts them at risk for hypertension, researchers said.

Expert on business's vulnerability to terrorism to address Montreal convention
An MIT professor will speak about the danger that terrorism poses to the business supply chain at a meeting of The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMSĀ®) in Montreal on Monday, May 20.

Semiconducting material may have the right stuff to develop spintronic devices
A team of researchers led by University at Buffalo physicists reported today that they have created semiconducting materials that exhibit the key properties that are essential to the development of semiconductor spintronic devices.

Substantial increase in death rate after bypass surgery for people with anaemia
Anaemic patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery could have up to a five-fold increased risk of death in the days after surgery compared with patients who have normal haemoglobin concentrations, suggest authors of a research letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

UNC researchers show passengers boost risk of young driver accidents
Last year, a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study showed that the state's graduated driver licensing (GDL) system, which delays full driving privileges for the youngest drivers until they gain substantial behind-the-wheel experience, dramatically cut the number of crashes, injuries and deaths among such drivers.

New consent rules may threaten our health
Undue emphasis on patient consent and over-zealous application of guidelines on confidentiality would prejudice disease surveillance and seriously threaten the health of the general public, doctors report in this week's BMJ.
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