Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 23, 2002
Supportive spouse, family, friends contribute to 'successful aging'
Friends, family and positive experiences accumulate over a lifetime to help counteract the normal wear and tear of life, according to a new study in the May/June issue of Psychosomatic Medicine.

Meta-analysis of zinc supplementation shows positive growth effects for infants and children
In a meta-analysis of the effect of zinc supplementation on children's growth in countries around the world, Brown et al. found that, overall, zinc supplementation of infants and children produced positive growth responses in height and weight.

Study: Cognitive therapy at least as effective as drugs in treating severe depression
A new study indicates that cognitive therapy is at least as effective as medication for long-term treatment of severe depression, and it is less expensive.

Microwave imager probes universe 'first light' to answer cosmological questions
Astronomers operating from a remote plateau in the Chilean desert have produced the most detailed images ever made of the oldest light emitted by the universe, providing independent confirmation of controversial theories about the origin of matter and energy.

Mentally fatigued persons switch to automatic pilot
Mentally fatigued trial subjects search less systematically for solutions than fit colleagues.

Research shows older children, adolescents grew heavier in Brazil, China, U.S. over past 30 years
Over the past three decades, the percentage of older children and adolescents who were overweight tripled in Brazil and almost doubled in the United States, according to a new University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study.

Protein causes muscle wasting syndrome in mice
The Johns Hopkins researchers who first identified myostatin as a key restrictor of muscle growth in animals now report that excessive amounts of the protein in mice cause rapid and dramatic loss of both muscle and fat, without affecting appetite.

Nutritional value of enriched egg yolks as a weaning food for infants
Makrides et al. studied the nutritional value of including two different varieties of egg yolks as weaning foods for a group of breast-fed and formula-fed infants and found that egg yolks provided advantages to both groups, with no negative effects on cholesterol concentrations.

Counting semi-viable bacteria in cheese
The Wageningen researcher Christine Bunthof has developed a direct method for counting bacteria in dairy products.

Proposals to regulate cosmetic surgery will not protect the public
Government proposals for regulating cosmetic surgery in the United Kingdom would permit unqualified surgeons to remain in practice, according to an editorial in this week's BMJ.

Astronomers find Jupiter-like weather on brown dwarfs
For the first time, researchers have observed planet-like weather acting as a major influence on objects outside our solar system, scientists from UCLA and NASA report May 23.

Early revascularisation could substantialy reduce death within one year of heart attack
Authors of a Swedish study in this week's issue of THE LANCET conclude that early revascularisation-the restoration of coronary artery blood flow with balloon angioplasty or stenting-could substantially improve survival within the first year after a severe heart attack.

Continental Airlines wins INFORMS best practices award
The Continental Airlines technology that speeded recovery from the terrorist attack of September 11 resulted in the company's selection as winner of the Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences at the Hilton Montreal Bonaventure this week.

First primate archaeological dig uncovers new tool development links
A study of chimpanzees' use of hammers to open nuts in western Africa may provide fresh clues to how tools developed among human ancestors.

New research questions evidence for earliest life on earth
New geological and geothermal data call into question recent claims for fossil life on Earth greater than 3.8 billion years ago, say researchers from The George Washington University and the Swedish Museum of Natural History.

Path from chronic stress to heart disease clarified
The well-known link between stress and heart disease starts with stress and other factors that can lead to poor health habits, according to a new study.

Worms point the way on nerve disease
Research on a tiny worm is yielding clues about dystonia, a disabling neurological disease of humans.

Guidelines do not prevent deliberate self harm
Clinical guidelines do not reduce the rate of repeated self harm, and more research is needed on how to manage patients who deliberately harm themselves, suggest researchers from Bristol University in this week's BMJ.

Chimpanzee stone tool site excavated
West African chimpanzees use stones and branches as hammers to crack open different types of nuts.

Huge Antarctic icebergs break away near NSF research hub
Two new and very large icebergs broke away from the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica earlier this month in a natural

UCSD cognitive scientist Jeffrey Elman honored for his contributions
Renowned cognitive scientist Jeffrey Elman, Associate Dean of Social Sciences and a professor in the UCSD Department of Cognitive Science, has been selected as one of five inaugural fellows by the Cognitive Science Society.

The Extraordinary Human Life
Washington, D.C.- 23 May 2002- Our unique mental talents, intricate social communities, and reliance on symbolic communication stem from a history of adaptation to uncertainty and environmental risk in our ancestral world.

New amino acid discovered; Fundamental building block of life
Two teams of researchers from Ohio State University reported today that they had identified the 22nd genetically encoded amino acid, a discovery that is the biological equivalent of physicists finding a new fundamental particle or chemists discovering a new element.

Lonely people face higher risk of heart disease
Lonely people have a greater risk of heart disease, possibly due to differences in how their cardiovascular system reacts in times of stress rather than because of unhealthy behaviors, according to a new study published in the May/June issue of Psychosomatic Medicine.

UCR scientists report a new organic bistable material
Scientists at the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the University of California, Riverside report in the 24 May 2002 issue of the journal Science a new bistable material that is likely to be of enormous interest and benefit to the electronic industry as well as to the computer storage industry.

USC researchers suggest possible cause for kidney cancer
When faced with the challenge of treating patients with kidney cancer, doctors know that today?s chemotherapy offers little help.

Value of community treatment orders in doubt
Compulsory psychiatric treatment in the community is thought to reduce the use of health services by patients with mental health disorders.

Lasers coax large molecules to change their shape
Lasers are used to carry out functions ranging from reading a bar code label at the grocery store to shooting down enemy missiles in space.

Virtual robot outlines damaged heart muscle
In a joint project with the STW Technology Foundation, medical information technologists from Leiden have developed a virtual robot which meticulously scans the heart muscle using images of the heart.

Study highlights success of meningitis C vaccination programme among UK children
Authors of a research letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET report how the introduction of a recent vaccination campaign in the UK has substantially reduced the potential for group C meningococcal infection among children.

Archaeological journey reveals new information on chimpanzee stone tool technology
Using archaeological methods on a non-human species for the first time, an excavation of a chimpanzee stone tool site revealed new facets and confirmed others of chimpanzee behavior.

Rising expectations from new yeast study
Biologists have discovered a new cellular-level communications path in brewer's yeast that may have implications for pharmaceutical development.

NASA experts to bring commercial biotechnology space products to BIO 2002 conference in Toronto
News media are invited see the future today. Take a close-up look at products -- created by companies funding and flying experiments in space through NASA-industry partnerships.

Australian researchers locate heart attack genes
University of Melbourne researchers, along with doctors and scientists from eight Melbourne hospitals, have located three genes that make heart attack more likely.

'I think I can' helps shed pounds after giving birth
Overweight mothers who lose weight after the birth of their first child have a

Rubber bullets not safe for crowd control
A study in this week's issue of THE LANCET which highlights the injuries sustained by Arab demonstrators after clashes with Israeli forces in 2000 concludes that rubber bullets are not a safe form of ammunition for crowd control.

Burnout patients helped by comparisons with colleagues
People with burnout are more satisfied if they compare themselves with others.

Potassium-rich foods can help offset high salt diet contribution to osteoporosis
Eating potassium-rich foods such as bananas, tomatoes and orange juice can help prevent osteoporosis for postmenopausal women by decreasing calcium losses, according to a UCSF study.

Link between stress and heart disease may be premature
It has often been claimed that psychological stress is an important cause of heart disease, but a study in this week's BMJ shows that previous research may have been misleading.

Some patients with breast cancer face unacceptable delays
Some patients with breast cancer are waiting up to 12 weeks for diagnosis and treatment, despite the introduction of a two week wait initiative by the government, suggest researchers in this week's BMJ.

Emotional problems of children living in war zones not recognised
Health professionals need to be trained in the detection and treatment of the emotional disturbances associated with children's exposure to war zones and political violence, conclude authors of a study in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

Reactor reveals hidden life of rocks
Geologists at UC Davis are using neutron beams from a nuclear reactor to see inside rocks.

Whip cracking mystery explained
Although physicists have believed they understood why a whip cracks for about a century, it is only now that the last details have fallen into place.

Adopted children in Cameroon compensate for male power
One in three children in East Cameroon do not live with their own mothers but with an adoptive aunt.

UCSF health economists urge global AIDS fund to finance prevention first
Funding proven HIV prevention interventions in sub-Saharan Africa is 28 times more cost-effective than funding highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), even when HAART is priced extremely conservatively, according to UCSF researchers.

What a difference a decade makes
It turns out children are not just miniature adults, at least not when it comes to processing words.

At-home exercise helps caregivers care for themselves
An estimated 3.5 million American women care for demented spouses or parents at home, putting their own physical and emotional health at risk.

International study of children and adolescents reveals major trend toward overweight and obesity
Wang et al. used the same references across countries to examine trends of over- and underweight in older children and adolescents residing in the United States, Brazil, China, and Russia, finding that there is growing evidence of a major shift toward overweight and obesity in some of these societies.

Foreign DNA makes TB vaccine better
An experimental DNA vaccine against tuberculosis appears to be significantly improved by the addition of DNA from a completely unrelated organism, say researchers from the Corixa Corporation in Seattle.

Minor characters made medieval soap easier to follow
The complex stories about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table were well understood by medieval people.

New hearing test simulates noise of real world
A University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher has developed a hearing test that simulates the noisy real world, and the results could improve our understanding not only of hearing but also of developmental and learning disabilities among children.
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