Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 27, 2002
How consumers process information at heart of debate over labeling of genetically modified foods
One of the most controversial public policy issues surrounding genetically modified (GM) foods is whether food products containing ingredients from GM crops should be labeled so that consumers can make informed purchasing decisions, as consumer groups assert, or whether labels are ill-advised because GM foods are safe and mandatory labels could mislead consumers into believing otherwise, as the food industry argues.

Laparoscopy for colon cancer could offer long-term survival benefit over conventional surgery
A study in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggests that laparoscopy-assisted surgery to treat colon cancer could be more favourable than conventional open surgery, with the potential to reduce operative complications, hospital stay, and increase cancer-related survival in the longer term.

Continuous stitching method reduces pain for women with perineal damage after childbirth
Authors of a study in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggest that a simple, continuous stitching technique to repair tears to the perineum after vaginal delivery can prevent one woman in six from having pain ten days after childbirth.

New 'fuzzy' polymers could improve the performance of electronic brain implants
Electrodes implanted in the brain may one day enable the blind to see and the paralyzed to walk.

Integrated medical/substance abuse treatment increase odds patients continue treatment
Substance abusers given required medical care, integrated with substance abuse treatment are more likely to enter outpatient drug treatment programs upon completion of hospitalization than substance abusers who did not.

Gene therapy may offer release from sterile isolation for patients lacking immune systems
A new gene therapy method has turned the bone marrow of two young children from an

Bone marrow transplants may be improved due to the uncovering of a key mechanism
Weizmann Institute scientists have uncovered a key mechanism that enables stem cells to exit the bone marrow into the blood circulation of healthy donors, as well as patients suffering from leukemia, other malignancies and blood disorders.

Press invitation: Mysteries of the universe could be answered in the UK
Leading particle physicists will meet at Imperial College London 1-6 July 2002 to discuss the possibility of building a 'Neutrino Factory' to test the properties of particles that played a key role in the formation of the universe.

Walk-in centres perform well compared with general practice
NHS walk-in centres provide adequate and safe clinical care to a range of patients compared with general practice and NHS Direct, concludes a study in this week's BMJ.

Clemson researchers identify mental retardation gene
Clemson University and Greenwood Genetic Center researchers have found a link between a single gene and mental retardation.

Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute design gene-tipped tumor regressor 'smartbombs'
A group of researchers from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have demonstrated what, in principle, could be a new way of treating cancer and several other diseases where angiogenesis occurs.

Strong spiritual beliefs may help people recover from bereavement
People who profess stronger spiritual beliefs seem to resolve their grief more rapidly and completely after the death of a person close to them than those with no spiritual beliefs, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Possible gene for form of mental retardation, brain development identified
Researchers funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) have come one step closer to identifying one of the causes of previously unexplained mental retardation.

Reducing hypertension in the elderly leads to a significant reduction in the incidence of stroke
Results from the SCOPE study, examining the effect of antihypertensive treatment in elderly patients with mild hypertension, are presented for the first time today at the joint meeting of the International Society of Hypertension and the European Society of Hypertension, Prague.

Health recommendations from study on aspirin and lung cancer are premature
An epidemiological study published earlier this week in the British Journal of Cancer by NYU School of Medicine researchers shows an association between regular use of aspirin and reduced risk of a common type of lung cancer in women.

U. Va. scientists find new piece of gene expression puzzle
Scientists at the University of Virginia Health System have identified another step in the mysterious process of gene regulation -- what turns genes on or off, making them cause or suppress disease and other physical developments in humans.

Fluid forces within the body help invasive bacteria
A newly described form of bacterial movement explains how some bacteria can thrive within the body and cause such problems as urinary tract infection and infections on biomedical devices.

Complex gene-swapping spawns a form of lymphoma
HHMI researchers have identified how a form of lymphoma develops when large pieces of chromosomes swap locations.

Bleach-producing enzyme found to modulate blood vessel dilation during inflammation
An enzyme that stimulates the production of chlorine bleach in cells to kill bacteria and other invading pathogens also turns off a signal that regulates blood vessel dilation during inflammation, researchers at the UC Davis School of Medicine and Medical Center have found.

Organised students are more successful
Disorganised medical students are more likely to struggle and subsequently fail their end of year examinations, find researchers in this week's BMJ.

Lockout device for equipment with removable power cords
A frustrated technician from Jefferson Lab invents a safe, inexpensive lockout device.

Three studies released this week shed new light on eating nuts for good health
Three studies released this week give the term

Needle-exchange program found to reduce emergency room visits among intravenous drug users
Study found that a needle-exchange program in the New Haven, Connecticut area reduced emergency department use among high-risk injection drug users.

Laparoscopy for colon cancer could offer long-term survival benefit over conventional surgery
A study in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggests that laparoscopy-assisted surgery to treat colon cancer could be more favourable than conventional open surgery, with the potential to reduce operative complications, hospital stay, and increase cancer-related survival in the longer term.

Diabetes targets will be impractical in routine practice
Targets due to be set as part of the national service framework for diabetes in England and Wales will be impractical for use in routine clinical care, according to an article in this week's BMJ.

Venlafaxine XR, first SNRI studied for social anxiety disorder
People with social anxiety disorder (SAD), also known as social phobia, significantly reduced their fear, anxiety and related symptoms in four or six weeks of treatment with the extended release (XR) formulation of the antidepressant venlafaxine, the first available serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), according to data from two studies presented at the Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psychopharmacologicum meeting in Montreal.

CWRU/University Hospitals of Cleveland researchers investigate new cancer treatment
Biomedical engineers and physicians at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals of Cleveland have created an innovative drug delivery device, a biodegradable polymer rod smaller than the tip of a lead pencil, to help treat liver cancer.

New gene therapy protocol: First successful treatment for 'bubble babies'
A lifesaving protocol, developed by a team of Israeli and Italian researchers for the treatment of children born without immune systems, has wide ranging implications in the successful treatment of similar genetic diseases, such as Gaucher's and other diseases caused by enzyme deficiency.

Physicians report less professional satisfaction in treating substance-abusing patients
Based on a survey of primary care physicians, researchers at Boston University School of Medicine and Public Health, report that residents and faculty physicians find less satisfaction caring for patients with alcohol or drug problems than managing patients with hypertension.

Scientist wins award for high-pressure research
Yongjae Lee, a postdoctoral fellow in the Physics Department at the U.S.

Newer lung cancer treatments extend survival longer than traditional regimens
Patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer who are treated with regimens containing paclitaxel and carboplatin survive longer than patients treated with older cisplatin-based regimens or supportive care, a new study finds.

Personality disorders change over time
A research letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET challenges the widely held view that personality disorders do not change over a long period of time.

Should people with diabetes sleep with the lights on?
A research letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggests that night-time illumination could help prevent the onset of diabetic retinopathy, a condition which can result in severe visual impairment in people with diabetes.

Cocaine use linked to poor adherence to antiretroviral therapy in HIV patients
Researchers from the Montefiore Medical Center in New York City found that active cocaine use was the strongest predictor of poor adherence to antiretroviral drug regimens HIV-infected current and former cocaine users.
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