Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 18, 2002
Concern over rising rates of syphilis in England
Syphilis is on the increase again. In this week's BMJ, Lorraine Doherty and colleagues report on four recent outbreaks in England and discuss the public health measures needed to contain it.

Saint Louis University maps schools to help police in the event of Columbine-like violence
A new computer-based program developed at Saint Louis University could help police save lives when responding to a school shooting or other emergency.

Japanese shore crabs invade Penobscot Bay, Maine
Japanese shore crabs, square-shaped crustaceans that pose a direct threat to soft-shell (steamer) clams, mussels, and possibly lobsters, were discovered July 13, 2002, by Cornell University marine biologists in Owl's Head, Maine, in Penobscot Bay.

Los Alamos works on Romanian environmental site
Researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory are collaborating with scientists from the Romanian Institute of Nuclear Research to assist the Romanian government in establishing an effective shallow-land disposal site for the disposition of low- and intermediate-level radioactive wastes.

Enzyme could aid cancer fight
Scientists who have identified an enzyme which corrects gene mutations in humans, say it may play a significant role in reducing people's susceptibility to serious diseases such as haemophilia, cystic fibrosis and cancer.

Reduced breastfeeding in western countries makes major contribution to incidence of breast cancer
Small family size and short-duration or no breastfeeding in Western populations substantially increases the risk of breast cancer, conclude authors of a study in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

Therapy for mice with prion disease could offer benefit to human beings with CJD
Authors of a fast-track research letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET describe a therapeutic treatment which increased the survival time for mice with prion disease.

Women with a history of pregnancy complications should receive screening
Recent evidence suggests that women with a history of complications in pregnancy may be at increased risk of diabetes and heart disease in later life.

On eve of 12th anniversary of ADA, careers in science opening to disabled
Dr. Kent Cullers, the blind physicist who served as the model for the character in the movie

Temple and Fox Chase developing interactive program to assist prostate cancer patients
To empower prostrate cancer patients facing difficult and complex decisions, Temple University and Fox Chase Cancer Center, through a two-year grant from the National Cancer Insitute, are developing an interactive, computer-based program to provide patients with comprehensive information.

New metabolic 'switches' discovered
Researchers from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Duke University Medical Center have identified a new class of metabolic switches, called G proteins, in yeast, which if found to be conserved in humans, could lead to the development of new drugs for treating diseases including diabetes, alcoholism, and heart disease.

Mouse model mimics natural development of epilepsy
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have developed a mouse model of the genetic disorder tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC).

More frequent ivermectin treatment could reduce symptoms of disease responsible for river blindness
Authors of a study in this week's issue of THE LANCET propose that more frequent drug therapy with ivermectin could reduce symptoms of the parasitic disease onchocerciasis, which affects around 18 million people in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and can lead to river blindness.

Guyana establishes its first conservation concession
The Government of Guyana and Conservation International (CI) signed a Timber Sales Agreement (TSA) today, establishing the Upper Essequibo Conservation Concession.

Elderly do not plan for serious future illness
Elderly patients may be reluctant to make plans for the future, particularly for serious illness, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Science to publish UAF glaciologist findings
Glaciologists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute have used a laser measuring device to reveal that many Alaska glaciers are melting dramatically.

Scientists create new material with varying densities of gold nanoparticles
For the first time, scientists have created a material with a gradient of gold nanoparticles on a silica covered silicon surface using a molecular template.

Panel calls for greater attention to cancer patients' pain, depression, and fatigue
Health care professionals, caregivers, and patients all have an important role in symptom management throughout the course of cancer.

Researchers develop mouse model of Rett syndrome
By studying gene mutations in patients with the complex set of behavioral and neurological symptoms that accompany Rett syndrome, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Huda Zoghbi and her colleagues at Baylor College of Medicine have designed a mouse model that faithfully recapitulates the disease down to its distinctive hand-wringing behavior.

Gene may bias amygdala response to frightful faces
The amygdala, the brain structure known as the hub of fear, responds differently to pictures of scary faces, depending on which version of a gene one has inherited.

Researchers produce motor neurons from embryonic stem cells
Beginning with cultured mouse embryonic stem cells, HHMI researchers have administered a precise mix of chemical signals to coax the cells to differentiate into functioning motor neurons.

Study identifies protein in human brain development
Researchers have identified a protein that may help to explain why the brain's cerebral cortex is disproportionately larger in humans than in other species, a finding which appears in the July 19 issue of Science and adds an important piece to the developing

ACE inhibitor drug used to delay heart failure as effective in blacks as whites
A drug widely used to treat patients with heart failure is as effective for black patients as it is for white patients, according to researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Exercise can prevent falls in older people
A weekly exercise programme focusing on balance can prevent falls among older people living at home, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Adolescents with inattention problems more likely to smoke
Adolescents with symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHA)are more likely to experiment with smoking and become regular tobacco users, a study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Georgetown University indicates.

PPPL head Goldston named Lab Director of the Year
Rob Goldston, Director of the DOE Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), is a recipient of the 2002 Laboratory Director of the Year Award from the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC).
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