Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 21, 2002
Mechanics of bacterium's toxin being unraveled
Researchers are unraveling the mystery of what happens when a bacterium's toxin hits its cellular target.

Jefferson scientists find Cox-2 may play role in some brain tumors
Oncologists have shown for the first time that the enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), which is the target for the anti-arthritis drugs - and COX-2 inhibitors - Celebrex and Vioxx, is

Sepsis on the increase in U.S., according to Emory University and CDC study
The incidence of sepsis -- a severe, whole-body immune response to infection -- is increasing by an average of 16% a year in the U.S., according to research by investigators at Emory University School of Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

New guidelines for managing women with abnormal pap smears
Each year, approximately 3.5 million women in the United States have an abnormal Pap test that requires some form of further evaluation or treatment.

Columbia University receives $2.75 million for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease research
The Japanese trading firm Marubeni has given Columbia University $2.75 million to support research in age-related neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, using a technique that quantifies gene expression in brain tissue.

Secondhand smoke impairs lung function in women
Secondhand smoke causes decreased lung function in women, especially those with asthma, according to a study presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference in Atlanta on May 21.

Bacteria point the way to gold deposits
Can bacteria help find gold? A pilot survey of 11 soil profiles across gold mining regions in the Peoples Republic of China indicates that elevated spore counts of Bacillus cereus, a common soil bacterium, were detected in areas adjacent to underlying gold deposits.

Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons professor named 2002 Guggenheim Fellow
Dr. Rita Charon, professor of clinical medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons (P&S), has been awarded a 2002 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship for her work in the sciences and humanities.

World oil experts meet in Uppsala, Sweden, to discuss oil depletion
The likely impacts of depleting world oil supplies will be discussed by leading analysts at a three-day international workshop in Sweden organized by Uppsala University and the Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO) on 23-25 May.

More preventive tuberculosis treatment should reduce cases in non-US-born
More aggressive treatment of latent tuberculosis infections in non-U.S.-born residents in New York City could reduce the very high rate of the active disease in this population, according to an analysis of the disease during the last decade by researchers at Columbia University's College of Physicians & Surgeons and Mailman School of Public Health, the Public Health Research Institute, and the New York City Department of Health Tuberculosis Control Program.

Effexor (R) XR achieved long-term remission in 67 percent of recurring depression patients
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth (NYSE:WYE) announced that 67 percent of depression patients maintained remission of symptoms, a critical milestone on the way to recovering from their disease, after a year of therapy with the antidepressant Effexor (R) XR (venlafaxine HCl), according to data from a multicenter trial presented at the American Psychiatric Association's annual meeting.

Menopause dashes sex life
Women are likely to experience a dramatic loss of sexual function as a consequence of menopause, an Australian university study has concluded.

Ramoplanin beats antibiotic resistance by fighting the battle on its own terms
Penn researchers describe how ramoplanin, currently under Phase III clinical testing, works on the molecular level to disrupt the ability of bacteria to build cell walls.

Obesity and smoking increase asthma risk
Extremely overweight people and smokers are more likely to report having asthma than are their thinner, non-smoking counterparts, according to a study presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference in Atlanta on May 21.

Implantable pain pumps improve cancer patients' quality of life
An implantable pump that delivers pain medication in a slow-release fashion directly into the spinal fluid could greatly improve the pain relief, overall quality of life and survival for cancer patients living in pain, according to an international study completed at Johns Hopkins, the Medical College of Virginia and 25 other medical centers.

Images available: rarely seen 'Southern Lights' over Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station
Striking images of the Aurora Australis, the atmospheric phenomenon known familiarly as the Southern Lights, are available from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

First clinical data presented on latest technological advance in haemophilia a therapy
The first recombinant Factor VIII therapy for Haemophilia A prepared entirely without the use of human- or animal-derived additives was found to be bioequivalent to the current gold-standard recombinant therapy according to data presented today at the XXV International Congress of the World Federation of Hemophilia.

Jefferson scientists create first animal model of common type of leukemia
Researchers at Jefferson Medical College and the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University have developed the first animal model of the most common type of human leukemia.

Grandparent divorce weakens relationships with grandchildren
Grandparents who have experienced a divorce, particularly grandfathers, do not have as much contact with their grandchildren and take part in fewer shared activities, than those who do not divorce, says a Penn State researcher.

DNA testing identifies suspect bacteria in coral reef disease
Using molecular microbiology techniques, scientists are a significant step closer to understanding and identifying the deadly microbes responsible for the mysterious black band disease that is destroying the world's coral reef ecosystems.

Baxter introduces Baxject needleless transfer device at International Haemophilia Congress
Baxter BioScience launched today, at the World Federation of Haemophilia Congress, the BAXJECT needleless transfer device, a safer, faster and easier way to prepare haemophilia medication without the use of sharp needles or fear of accidental injury.

Cancer patients enrolled in clinical trials do better when they receive palliative care
Contrary to common wisdom, cancer treatment is not disrupted -- but may be enhanced -- when interventions designed to improve patients' physical, functional, emotional and social well-being are provided during clinical trials, according to a study by researchers at the UC Davis School of Medicine and Medical Center.

Stanford researchers establish link between creative genius and mental illness
For decades, scientists have known that eminently creative individuals have a much higher rate of manic depression, or bipolar disorder, than does the general population. 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