Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 14, 2002
Scientists discover chemical switch that determines muscle fiber type
A multi-institutional team of scientists led by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have found a molecular switch in mice that can convert easily-fatigued

University of Florida engineers probe 'shape memory' alloy for better prostheses
UF researchers have built a nitinol device that can move the equivalent of more than 100 pounds.

Alcohol tolerance associated with family history
People with a family history of alcoholism may develop a tolerance that causes them to drink more to feel the same effects, according to a study conducted at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

New approach to malaria vaccine effective in mice
A new vaccine against the main toxin produced by malaria parasites can alleviate some of the most dangerous effects of the disease in mice.

New findings change understanding of adult stem cells
HHMI researchers have found neural stem cells in the peripheral nervous system of adult animals, where they were not believed to exist.

Children aren't hurt or helped by sharing bed with parents
Routine parent-child bedsharing before 6 years of age appears to have no major impact on a child's subsequent development or behavior -- for better or for worse, the first long-term study of the practice reveals.

Unraveling the genetics behind melanoma and colon cancer
Dr. Avri Ben-Ze'ev and colleagues have discovered that when a gene called Nr-CAM, which normally encodes a cell adhesion molecule in neuronal cells, is expressed at high levels in other cell types, it can help drive cancer progression.

Scientists use alfalfa plants to harvest nanoparticles of gold
Ordinary alfalfa plants are being used as miniature gold factories that one day could provide the nanotechnology industry with a continuous harvest of gold nanoparticles.

Alcoholics' impaired reaction to stress may impede mental tasks
New research shows a connection between the way alcoholics respond physically to stress and their difficulty remembering things or solving problems.

Oregon Research Institute scientist wins award for depression research
Oregon Research Institute scientist Peter M. Lewinsohn, Ph.D., has been named the 2002 recipient of the American Psychological Foundation Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in the Application of Psychology.

Major NCI study finds increased risk of cancer in long-term Hodgkin's survivors
An international study of more than 32,000 Hodgkin's disease patients has shown that long-term survivors of the disease have double the normal risk of developing a subsequent cancer later in life.

Deer flies a biting problem? Oddly, 'trolling' may be just the ticket
A University of Florida researcher has found a solution to those annoying and painful deer flies: a bright blue plastic flowerpot, covered with sticky material and suspended upside-down on a pole that entices and captures the pesky bugs.

Consuming more calories and fats may be associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer disease
Eating more calories and fats may contribute to an increased risk of Alzheimer disease (AD) in some people, according to an article in the August issue of The Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Managing anger, boosting activity helps substance abusers stick with treatment
Encouraging substance abusers to participate in more rewarding activities and manage their negative emotions early in treatment may improve their chances of success, new research suggests.

The Lancet neurology press release
Migraine is a very common neurological disorder affecting 15% of people from western populations.

Research reveals how cells protect against stress
New research has revealed that organisms as diverse as humans and plants share a common set of stress-protection maneuvers that are choreographed by the metabolic machinery in their cells.

Tolerance for alcohol associated with family history
People with a family history of alcoholism may develop a tolerance that causes them to drink more in order to feel the same effects, according to a recent study.

Ras gene causes cancer via different pathways in humans vs. mice
Researchers at the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center have found that a known cancer-causing gene, Ras, may exert its influence through very different pathways in humans than in mice, a finding that could offer tantalizing new targets for anti-cancer therapy.

Scientists use alfalfa plants to harvest nanoparticles of gold
Alfalfa plants are being used as miniature gold factories that could provide the nanotechnology industry with a continuous harvest of gold nanoparticles.

Promising vaccine may provide long-lasting protection against malaria
Researchers have developed a unique vaccine that destroys a deadly toxin produced by the parasite that causes malaria, which kills more than two million people each year.

Pivotal brain processor decreased in schizophrenia
Levels of a pivotal signal processor in the brain are reduced significantly in people with schizophrenia, a study by scientists at UC Irvine, Weill Cornell Medical College and Rockefeller University has found.

Ira Rubinoff honored by the Association for Tropical Biology
The Association for Tropical Biology honored Dr.Ira Rubinoff for

Evolution of language: FOXP2 and human uniqueness in religious perspective
A paper to be published in Nature (W. Enard et al.,

Study examines driver behavior and role of speed in crashes
With a vehicle crash rate exceeding the national average, metro Atlanta is the natural test bed for a new comprehensive study of driver behavior, the driving environment and the role of speed in crashes.

Physics tip sheet #25 - August 14, 2002
Highlights of this issue include models of urban growth that could aid policy-making, how leaf edges curl, a repeat of the bubble fusion experiment and pattern recognition as a new use for quantum computers.

Scientist says ostrich study confirms bird 'hands' unlike those of dinosaurs
To make an omelet, you need to break some eggs.

Protein transforms sedentary muscles into exercised muscles, researchers report
Researchers have discovered a second protein found in skeletal muscle that can transform sedentary muscles into energy-producing, exercised muscles.

Laser procedure effective in correcting nasal blockages associated with deviated septum
A new laser procedure that requires only local anesthetic is effective in treating nasal passageway obstructions associated with a deviated nasal septum, according to an article in the July-September issue of The Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Cost, availability of insurance and drugs top health care worries
Harvard School of Public Health poll finds Americans are growing dissatisfied with the cost and availability of health care coverage, but are more concerned about terrorism, the economy and homeland defense.

Injectable gel effective in treating head and neck cancer
An injectable gel combining cisplatin, a chemotherapy drug, and epinephrine is effective in treating cancers of the head and neck, according to a new study published in The Archives of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Flare-ups of chronic lung disease associated with specific bacterial strains, UB researchers find
University at Buffalo researchers have found an association between bacteria in the sputum of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and exacerbations of the disease, answering a long-standing question about the role of pathogens and COPD flare-ups.

Bacterial alterations source of persistent COPD lung infections
Clever bacteria populations may be changing just enough to keep ahead of patients' immune systems, causing a mysterious intensification of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) -- the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.

Of mice and men
Mice are the most commonly used experimental system to model human genetics and disease.

Time, trust key to successful teen-doctor relationship
Doctors willing to spend time and effort to build trust with their young patients will be rewarded with a more productive and long-lasting relationship, according to a new study.

New compound may immobilize AIDS virus, certain radionuclides
A compound that could potentially immobilize the AIDS virus or selectively extract radionuclides from nuclear wastes at various U.S.high-level storage sites has been developed by a researcher at Sandia National Laboratories who wasn't even looking for it.

High-speed network connection ties top universities to ORNL
Oak Ridge National Laboratory's new computer link to Atlanta is 200,000 times faster than the fastest dial-up connections typical of home computers and is expected to spur significant advances in science and economic development in the region and beyond.

Mice become first animals to produce other species' sperm
With pinhead-sized grafts of testicular tissue from newborn mammals, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have induced mice to produce fully functional sperm from evolutionarily distant species.

Interpersonal psychotherapy effective in treating binge-eating disorder
Group interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) is equally as effective as group cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for treating binge eating disorder, according to an article in the August issue of The Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Finding sheds new light into mysterious process of cell movement during development
Biologists at Vanderbilt and the University of Missouri have uncovered what could be a major clue into the mysterious molecular processes that direct cells to the correct locations within a developing embryo.

Stem cells found in adult peripheral nervous system
Scientists at the University of Michigan Medical School have found neural crest stem cells - primitive cells that generate the peripheral nervous system - in the gut of adult laboratory rats.

Having dry eye before LASIK surgery is a risk factor for severe dry eye after surgery
Having dry eye symptoms is a risk factor for developing more severe dry eye after undergoing laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) surgery, according to an article in the August issue of The Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

DNA may hold clues to Red Tide origins
Where do the Red Tides invading Texas coastal waters originate?
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