Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 25, 2002
Academic couples at same university are happier
Academic couples at same university are happier and report less stress than couples where one spouse works at a university and the other works elsewhere, a new CU study reports.

Prenatal zinc supplementation could impair childhood mental development
Authors of a study in this week's issue of THE LANCET caution that the provision of zinc supplementation to pregnant women in developing countries could impair the early mental development of their children.

Immune system component found common to both humans and worms
The innate immune system -- one of the most basic aspects of the overall immune response -- sets off the initial steps of the body's response to pathogens.

Drug targets brain circuits that drive appetite and body weight
The appetite suppressant drug D-fenfluramine activates brain pathways that regulate food intake and body weight, a new study reveals.

Scientist inspired by space flight as boy, now leads science research on International Space Station
As a boy, John Uri, enchanted with humans' first leap off the planet, built models of the first American rockets and spaceships.

New EC directive threatens life-saving trials
Europeans should wake up to the threat of a new European Directive, which will make many potentially life-saving studies performed in emergency medicine impossible, warn researchers in this week's BMJ.

ASU researcher puts recalled Firestone tires to good use
An Arizona State University researcher is making good use of some of the 14 million Firestone tires that were recalled two years ago.

Wine drinkers have healthier lifestyles
In addition to its associations with reduced cardiovascular risk, wine drinking is correlated with healthier overall dietary and lifestyle choices.

Researchers identify gene involved in autoimmune disease
Researchers have identified a gene that appears to be a critical factor in autoimmune disease, according to a study to be published in the July 26 issue of Science.

UK study suggests possible link between colorectal cancer and human growth hormone therapy
Authors of an observational study in this week's issue of THE LANCET highlight a possible link between human growth hormone therapy and an increased risk of colorectal cancer.

First ever census of jaguars completed
Using a methodology developed to count tigers half a world away, a team of scientists from the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society has completed the first-ever census of one of the world's most elusive big cats - the jaguar.

Nanoscale crystallography reveals hidden structural details
Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory and Michigan State University have just demonstrated a technique that allows them to decipher fine-level nanoscale structures.

Advance may lead to practical quantum computing
University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists have designed a semiconductor-based device that could bring quantum computing out of the gee-whiz world of scientific novelty and into the practical realm.

Risks and benefits of alcohol consumption vary with age as well as sex
The health benefits of alcohol only occur in middle aged and older people, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Arizona State University examines father-teen relationships with NIH grant
Is your teenager driving you to distraction, or is it the other way around?

Dietary whole grains may benefit in prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes
A study by McKeown et al. in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that high intakes of whole grains may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and CVD and may have particular benefits for overweight or obese individuals with diabetes.

Archaeologists uncover 3700-year-old 'magical' birth brick in Egypt
University of Pennsylvania Museum archaeologists have discovered a 3700-year-old

Annual study reveals 23 football players died during 2001 season
Eight young U.S. football players, including seven in high school and one playing in a Pop Warner league, died last year as a direct result of injuries suffered on the field, a new University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study shows.

Health and human rights
Two Health and Human Rights articles in this week's issue of THE LANCET discuss the co-ordination of United Nations (UN), governmental, and non-governmental organisation (NGO) in response to emergency situations, focusing specifically on the relief effort in Angola, where civil war had raged for over two decades until a ceasefire was agreed in April this year.

Smoke-free workplaces protect non-smokers and encourage smokers to quit
Smoke-free workplaces not only protect non-smokers from the dangers of passive smoking, they also encourage smokers to quit or to reduce consumption, concludes a study in this week's BMJ.

Longer delays associated with better survival
Patients who experience the longest delay in treatment are more likely to survive, despite the popular assumption that delay has a significant and harmful impact on survival, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Pufferfish DNA yields clues to human biology
An international research consortium led by the U.S. Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute (JGI) reported today on the draft sequencing, assembly, and analysis of the genome of the Japanese pufferfish Fugu rubripes.

Schizophrenia may be caused by an interaction of genes and viruses in glia cells
A report in the open access journal BMC Psychiatry presents a new hypothesis that may explain the causes of the psychiatric disease, schizophrenia.

Antarctic glacier may yield clues to global climate change
Antarctica's Lambert glacier will provide researchers with data -- garnered by remote sensing satellites -- to search for clues to predict global climate change.

Conjoined twins celebrate first birthday at UCLA's Mattel Children's Hospital
Conjoined twins Maria Teresa and Maria de Jesus Quiej-Alvarez will celebrate their first birthday this afternoon at a party with their mother, local relatives, medical staff and Healing the Children volunteers at UCLA's Mattel Children's Hospital.

More quality, not more weight, may make vehicles safer, U-M researcher says
A University of Michigan physicist and a research scientist are questioning the belief that bigger and heavier vehicles are automatically safer than other cars and trucks.

Researchers support early intervention for all children with reading difficulties
National experts in the field of reading and literacy have found research evidence that challenges federal policy for making children eligible to receive some special education services.

Pufferfish DNA yields clues to human biology
An international research consortium led by the U.S. Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute reported today (7/25) on the draft sequencing, assembly, and analysis of the genome of the Japanese pufferfish Fugu rubripes.

NIH funds botanical center in Iowa to study health effects of Echinacea and St. John's wort
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), today announced a 5-year, $6 million grant for the establishment of a research center based in Ames, Iowa to study two botanical dietary supplement ingredients, Echinacea and Hypericum (St.

New research supports the link between cooking and carcinogens
The first peer-reviewed study of acrylamide levels in common foods suggests that cooking potato products can produce dangerous levels of this suspected carcinogen.

Researchers identify brain pathway to explain how Fenfluramine causes weight loss
Scientists have identified the molecular pathway in the brain that helps explain how the once-popular diet drug d-Fenfluramine (d-FEN) works to promote weight loss, a discovery reported in the July 26 issue of Science that could provide an opportunity to develop a new anti-obesity treatment without d-FEN's cardiac side effects.

RPB science writers seminar in eye research to be held in Washington, DC Sept. 22-25
We are pleased to provide more details about RPB's 16th National Science Writers Seminar in Eye Research to be held in Washington, DC from Sept.

Strength increase in Asian southwest monsoon may be result of warming
A new study headed by a Colorado scientist indicates the Asian southwest monsoon, which affects the livelihood of millions of people, appears to have increased in intensity during the last four centuries, perhaps as a result of warming in the Northern Hemisphere.

Ulcer-causing bacteria use stomach inflammation to their advantage
The bacterium that causes stomach inflammation (gastritis), peptic ulcers and gastric cancer thrives in the human stomach by triggering changes in stomach cells and using those changes to its own advantage, say researchers in Sweden and at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Stock market swings help researchers understand extreme events in solar wind
Astrophysicists at the University of Warwick have applied data analysis methods used to model stock market fluctuations, to explore changes in the solar wind (the sun's expanding atmosphere).

Omega-3 fatty acids may prevent heart disease by improving arterial elasticity
Consuming omega-3 fatty acids, found in ocean fish,can improve systolic and pulse pressure and vascular resistance, effects that may reduce the risk of ischemic heart disease and adverse cardiac events.

Sweet success on the way to vaccine for ulcers, stomach cancer, reported in Science
A spoonful of sugar may help the medicine go down, but for the 50 percent of the global population whose stomachs contain the Helicobacter pylori bacteria, other sugars have less sweet implications.

Exercise therapy improves fibromyalgia
Prescribed graded aerobic exercise is a simple, cheap, and effective treatment for people with fibromyalgia (medically unexplained chronic muscular pain and joint tenderness), finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Soy protein in the diet produces health benefits, regardless of isoflavone content
Diets with high or low isoflavone content were compared in the context of their effects on risk for coronary artery disease, and both soy diets significantly improved the subjects' cholesterol profiles, indicating no major differences in isoflavone content in achieveing these beneficial effects.
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