Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 31, 2002
Framingham heart study finds strong link between overweight/obesity & risk for heart failure
According to a new study, excess body weight is strongly and independently associated with an increased risk of heart failure.

Treatment for behavioral disorders in children with autism
One of a newer class of anti-psychotic medications was successful and well tolerated for the treatment of serious behavioral disturbance associated with autistic disorder in children ages 5 to 17.

Ethical committee members have different views on how to evaluate clinical trials
Members of ethical committees, which decide whether or not to grant approval for phase two clinical trials, infrequently use systematic methods when weighing up the risks and benefits of a study, according to research published on Thursday 1 August in the Annals of Oncology, the journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology.

Bioinformatics: The quest for new drugs finds significant profits
Bioinformatics, a combination of information technology (IT) and biological sciences, is being recognized as a critical component of drug discovery by both pharmaceutical and pure IT companies.

What inspires yeast cells to divide?
Often in science a novel set of experiments comes along that forces researchers to abandon old models in exchange for new ones that better fit their observations.

USC researchers develop new way to measure cultural adaptation of youth
For immigrants settling in the United States, adapting to American values and culture can cause stresses for those in the U.S. from different cultures or those who are born to parents from other countries, and teen-agers under such stresses may become involved in risky behaviors such as smoking.

Sound unlocks the brain
Ultrasound beams could make it possible to treat brain disease with gene therapy--and there's no need to drill.

New gene discovered for male fertility in plants
A new gene shown to be essential for pollen production in flowering plants has been discovered by scientists at Penn State University.

The Lancet Neurology press release
Is mobile phone use a health risk? Mobile phone (

Energy Department awards $103 million for post-genomic research
Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham today announced five major research awards for post-genomic research.

Doubling of deaths from alcoholic liver disease - drug abuse during 1970s and 1980s may explain why
Middle-aged men could be at increased risk of death from liver disease, as a result of illicit intravenous drug use during the 1970s and 1980s, according to a study published today.

The underdog wins the day
Some might say it's brave, others just pure stupidity, to believe you can win a fight against a superior force.

Regulating human X chromosomes doesn't use same gene as in mouse
A gene thought to keep a single X chromosome turned on in mice plays no such role in humans, Johns Hopkins researchers report in the August issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics.

Ecologist's book on introduced species' destructiveness
A new book by Cornell ecologist David Pimentel,

Methamphetamine, cocaine abusers have different patterns of use
Studies show that methamphetamine abusers follow a pattern of usage that more closely resembles taking a medication rather than using a drug for pleasure whereas cocaine abusers are more likely to exhibit a

Atmospheric monitoring station dedicated in Darwin, Australia
The largest and most comprehensive DOE-funded climate data collection project ever undertaken has dedicated a new facility in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.

Volcanic hazard at proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository greater than previously thought
Research presented suggests a volcanic eruption might cause greater damage than previously thought to the proposed high-level nuclear waste storage facility beneath Yucca Mountain, Nevada.

Medication effective in treating children with autism
A team of researchers has found that the drug risperidone, considered effective in treating schizophrenia in adults, is safe for children and reduces severe behavioral symptoms in youths with autism, according to a study published in this week's (8/1) New England Journal of Medicine.

GM row delays food aid
Robert Mugabe's government in Zimbabwe is refusing to accept thousands of tonnes of maize from the US because some of it is genetically modified.

The prehistory of neotropical lowland forests
Panama City, Panama - Although they have persisted for tens of millions of years, neotropical lowland forests have changed greatly in extent and composition due to climatic variation and to human impacts.

UCSF orthopedic surgeons test artificial back disc
UCSF Medical Center orthopedic surgeons are investigating the effectiveness of an implant that may replace damaged lower back discs.

Generating genetic diversity in the nervous system
Scientists from Baylor College of Medicine (Texas, USA) and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (Cambridge, UK) have deciphered how neurons can synthesize a diverse range of proteins from a relatively limited number of genes - a discovery with important implications for understanding how complex neural circuitry is formed and maintained throughout our lives.

Substance found in sharks could lead to weight loss drug, research shows
A substance derived from dogfish sharks suppresses appetite and decreases body weight in rodents, making it a potential new, safe anti-obesity treatment, according to research conducted at Georgetown University and the University of Pennsylvania Schools of Medicine.

Teen drug use linked with later health problems
A long-term study has linked adolescent drug use with health problems in early adulthood.

Study pinpoints link between sleep apnea, high blood pressure
Proteomics, an emerging field of research that examines how proteins change the functions of cells, tissues an organs, has given scientists an important clue to understanding the connection between sleep apnea and high blood pressure.

New insight into how eyes become wired to the brain discovered by Salk, UT Southwestern scientists
A crucial piece of the puzzle into how the eye becomes wired to the brain has been revealed by scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., and UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Researchers measure Antarctic ice shelf tides from space for the first time
In efforts to determine how Antarctica is changing--whether due to natural or human-produced climate change--scientists use satellite and radar technologies to monitor the height and thickness of the continent's ice shelves.

The Lancet Oncology (TLO) and the Lancet Infectious Diseases (TLID)
This month's Oncology Leading Edge editorial discusses the difference between perception of risk and the actual risk by drawing upon two recent examples: breast cancer and the pill, and cannabis smoking and cancer risk.

Researchers discover new insight into a common signaling pathway
Scientists have identified a key regulatory mechanism in the TGF-ß pathway.

Research helps explain why perception of pleasure decreases with chronic cocaine use
Repeated starting and stopping of cocaine use decreases the brain's reward function and reduces the pleasurable effects of the drug.

Methadone treatment may improve completion of tuberculosis therapy in injection drug abusers
Researchers have found evidence that methadone treatment programs are effective platforms for providing tuberculosis preventive therapy to substance abusers.
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