Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 01, 2002
Latest ice core may solve mystery of ancient volcanic eruptions
Ohio State University researchers have returned from an expedition in southeastern Alaska with the longest ice core ever drilled from a mountainous glacier.

Clues to the evolution of photosynthesis
Scientists at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) have completed the genomic sequence of a green-sulfur bacterium, Chlorobium tepidum, which provides important insights into the evolution and the mechanism of photosynthesis.

Annals of Internal Medicine, tip sheet, July 2, 2002
Highlights from this tip sheet include: 'USPSTF recommendations on using drugs to prevent breast cancer;' 'Annals of Internal Medicine Celebrates 75 years;' and 'Should blood enzyme levels for liver disease be changed?'

Breakthrough in creating bio-artificial organs at Hebrew University-Hadassah Dental School
Today people often must wait for months when they need an organ transplant.

Study sheds light on 'dark side' of the knee
As orthopedic surgeons come to appreciate the important role of the so-called

Study on suicide reveals faith, social ties as 'protective' for older African Americans
The strong religious faith and social support of older African Americans may be key factors in why they die by suicide far less often than whites, researchers report in the July 1 American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, in an issue devoted to understanding the causes of suicide among seniors.

ICSI: Is it really safe?
The absolute risk of having a baby with a serious congenital malformation or chromosomal abnormality as a result of using ICSI1 is small say experts, and a European conference hears about the risks and about new research aimed at avoiding them.

Fish-rich tribal diet linked with low leptin levels
In a study of neighboring African tribes, a tribe eating a fish-rich diet had lower levels of the hormone leptin than a tribe eating a primarily vegetarian diet, researchers report in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Wake Forest researchers find brain region 'exquisitely' sensitive to alcohol
Wake Forest University School of Medicine scientists are closing in on why drinking alcohol before bedtime paradoxically improves sleep that evening, but disrupts sleep during the early morning hours.

Geology and GSA Today media highlights for July
Newsworthy topics include a modern stromatolite-building protozoan in modern acid mine drainage systems may help explain the development of Precambrian iron-rich deposits and oxygenation of the early atmosphere; new GPS data suggests that the central Western Alps are undergoing extension that is not driven by the African-Eurasian convergence; evidence that pyroclastic flows contributed significantly to the ash cloud in the climactic eruption of Mt.

Efficient plastic nuggets key to agricultural plastic waste disposal
A process that would be a plastics recycler's nightmare may help farmers deal with the disposal of agricultural and domestic plastics by creating burnable, energy-efficient plastic nuggets, according to a Penn State agricultural engineer.

New computer model promises detailed picture of worldwide climate
Capping two years of research, a nationwide group of over 100 scientists has created a powerful new computer model of the Earth's climate.

Annals of Internal Medicine: 75 years of medical history
Weakened by illness, a postman entered a famous clinic one day in the summer of 1925.

Wake Forest investigator shows new way that alcohol affects brain
A Wake Forest University School of Medicine researcher today challenged a commonly accepted view on how alcohol acts in the brain in a plenary session presentation at the Research Society on Alcoholism meeting in San Francisco.

New research suggests drugs might help women at risk of breast cancer
Two drugs -- one already approved by the Food and Drug Administration and one pending approval -- appear to reduce women's chances of developing breast cancer, a new University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and RTI International study concludes.

Study confirms air pollution linked to slowed lung function growth in children
Kids growing up in smoggy areas again have been found to suffer the effects of pollution, especially acid vapor, according to findings from the University of Southern California-led Children's Health Study.

NIGMS energizes NMR research with world's biggest magnets
NIGMS announces support for four new custom-built 900 MHz magnets for nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy studies.

World's first study on surrogacy reveals high quality parenting and no problems
Fears about the impact of surrogacy on the well-being of children and families appear to be unfounded, according to findings from the world's first controlled, systematic investigation of surrogate families, researchers told the annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology on Monday 1 July.

PGD could save women from the agony of repeated miscarriages
Women who suffer repeated unexplained miscarriages can be helped to have babies if preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is carried out on their embryos before they are placed in the womb.

World-first study shows solo mothers choose donor insemination because they lack a partner
More than two-thirds of single women who choose to have a baby by donor insemination (DI) do so because they feel that they are running out of time to have a baby, according to a world-first study by researchers at the Family and Child Psychology Research Centre at City University, London, UK.

New research brain abnormalities appear early in psychoses
This new research study shows that abnormalities previously found in patients with long-term psychoses are present much earlier, perhaps even before symptoms develop.

Gastric bypass surgery for obesity may ease symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease
Morbidly obese people who undergo minimally invasive gastric bypass surgery to lose weight may also experience a reduction in their symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), according to a study in the July issue of the journal Surgical Endoscopy.

More than 10 million developed cancer in 2000
The burden of cancer is still increasing worldwide. In the year 2000, 5.3 million men and 4.7 million women developed a malignant tumour and altogether 6.2 million died from the disease.

Air pollutants in low-income housing, child-care centers
Low income homes have significantly higher rates of radon than higher income homes, and a significantly number of child-care centers have unsafe levels of radon, lead and mold according to new study at Cornell University.

The human immune system may limit future evolution
Scientists from Imperial College London have suggested why the human genome may possess far fewer genes than previously estimated before the human genome project was begun.

Sex-specific genes for depression
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have found evidence that men and women have different genes that anchor the roots of depression, a finding that could impact on the way doctors treat patients in the future.

Reproductive tourism: Italy faces 'womb drain' as ART becomes better in other European countries
Fertility experts meeting in Vienna are warning that Italy risks facing a

Marijuana receptor gene abnormality in schizophrenia
Researchers from Japan show that the gene encoding the marijuana (also known as cannabinoid) receptor have triplet repeats that are different in schizophrenic patients when compared to healthy controls.

NIH convenes panel to discuss symptom management in cancer
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Consensus Development Program will hold a State-of-the-Science Conference on Symptom Management in Cancer: Pain, Depression, and Fatigue, July 15-17 in the main auditorium of the William H.

SFVAMC study may revive old approach to high blood pressure therapy
A class of once-popular high blood pressure drugs, now used less frequently because of serious side effects, may be re-explored in light of San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center research.

July media highlights -- Geological Society of America Bulletin
The July issue of the GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA BULLETIN includes a number of potentially newsworthy items.

Heart disease is a pediatric problem: New guidelines point to lifestyle 'training' in childhood
Helping children visualize a

Researchers warn antipsychotic drug
Research from Duke University Medical Center suggests there might be a link between at least one drug used to treat schizophrenia and the onset of diabetes, a disease widely recognized as one of the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S.

Making sense of surveys; when to trust polls
Being able to understand and trust surveys is critical to Americans becoming informed citizens, but mass media often report surveys without the requisite practical guidance on the context of the results or how to interpret and evaluate them.

Acorda Therapeutics begins Phase 3 trials of Fampridine-SR for chronic spinal cord injury
Acorda Therapeutics has begun two phase 3 clinical studies to evaluate the safety and efficacy of its lead product, Fampridine-SR, in chronic spinal cord injury patients.

Gene linked to type 1 diabetes
This gene plays a dramatic role in diabetes among rats, and is also present in nearly identical form in humans.

Clonal human (hNT) neurons re-establish connection in rats with severe spinal cord injury
Specially treated human neurons derived from a tumor helped restore the function of severely injured spinal cords in rats, University of South Florida researchers say is a study released this week in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine.

New treatment for skeletal metastases
Norwegian and Swedish researchers have developed a new type of internal radiation therapy for cancer that has spread to skeletal tissue.

New witchweed-fighting method, presented by CIMMYT and Weizmann Institute scientist
Corn harvests on experimental plots and in farmers' fields in four East and Southern African countries have yielded striking results in long-term trials of an innovative witchweed-fighting technology developed by a Weizmann Institute scientist in collaboration with researchers at CIMMYT (the Spanish acronym for the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center).

Frozen 'lake' beneath Antarctica ideal to test sterile drilling techniques
UC Berkeley physicist Buford Price urges drilling into a frozen, permafrost lake under the ice near the South Pole as a prelude to drilling into subglacial lakes in Antarctica or into Mars polar caps.

Multiple births - their risks and how to prevent them
The continuing high rate of multiple pregnancies in assisted reproduction is a major medical, psychosocial and economic problem.

Common diabetes drug causes arteries to spasm, endangering heart
The oral medications most widely used to lower blood-sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes are likely to increase the risk of spasm of the coronary arteries, shows a study that focused on mice with a genetic defect that duplicates the actions of these drugs.
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