Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 22, 2002
Mayo Clinic Proceedings features primers on medical genomics
The August issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings features the first two parts of a series of primers on medical genomics.

Moulds increase severity of asthma
Severe asthma in adults may be associated with sensitivity to airborne moulds rather than pollens, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Whole grains reduce long-term risk of type 2 diabetes in men
Fung et al. found that middle-aged men who ate several servings of whole grains per day over a period of years had a substantially reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Plant chemicals benefit both health and home
Scientists are finding innovative ways to improve our lives with plant-based chemicals.

Women heart patients suffer lower quality of life than do men
Heart disease takes a greater toll on quality of life in women than it does in men, new research suggests.

Too many lungs rejected for transplantation, study shows
Nearly half of the donated lungs currently rejected for transplantation may actually be suitable, according to a preliminary study by scientists at Vanderbilt University and the University of California, San Francisco.

FINAL ALERT: RPB Science Writers Seminar in Eye Research to be held in Washington, DC Sept. 22-25
We are pleased to provide added details about RPB's 16th Biennial National Science Writers Seminar in Eye Research to be held in Washington, DC from Sept.

Gastrointestinal symptoms not linked to later autism
Children with autism are no more likely than children without autism to have had gastrointestinal disorders, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Scientists at TSRI receive $9.6 million to develop treatment for common cause of vision loss
A group of researchers at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), who recently discovered a potent inhibitor of angiogenesis, a process implicated in cancer and one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States, have been awarded a five-year, $9.6 million grant from the National Eye Institute to study this inhibitor further and develop ways to use it in patients with neovascular eye disease.

Children's body mass index predicts overweight or obesity in adulthood
Guo et al. used the new guidelines developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for children and adolescents to estimate the probability of subsequent overweight or obesity, based on Body Mass Index values from infancy to age 20.

Screening reduces mastectomy rates
The introduction of breast screening has brought about a reduction in mastectomy rates, despite recent suggestions that screening increases the number of mastectomies as a result of overdiagnosis, say researchers in this week's BMJ.

The case for a global development organisation
As the World Summit on Sustainable Development approaches in Johannesburg, South Africa, a Commentary in this week's issue by Lancet Editor Richard Horton argues the case for a new Global Development Organisation to be accountable for human development.

Are too many lungs not being considered for transplantation? (p 621)
Authors of a research letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggest that new scientific evidence is required to clarify the criteria for assessing potential lung donors.

HIV targets active genes in cells
HIV selectively inserts itself into active genes in the human genome, a finding that may help explain how HIV is able to reproduce itself so quickly inside cells.

Cardiac disease significantly more debilitating for women than for men, new study finds
Cardiac disease is a serious health risk for both men and women in the United States but the effects of such illness on quality of life factors is more detrimental for women than it is for men, according to a new study to be presented at the APA Annual Convention in Chicago.

Making cancer cells susceptible to therapeutic attack
A researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine is discovering how a gene known as E1A, found in a virus responsible for the common cold, renders tumor cells vulnerable to destruction.

Scientists identify gene variant associated with arrhythmia in African Americans
Scientists supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute have identified a gene variant that is associated with arrhythmia -- abnormal heart rhythm -- in African Americans.

A 'first' for Parkinson's disease sufferers
Pharmacists at Cardiff University's Welsh School of Pharmacy have created a Medicines Information Helpline for patients with Parkinson's disease, their carers and healthcare professionals.

Long-term avoidance of milk in children results in poor bone health
New Zealand children who were long-term

Gene variant increases risk of cardiac arrhythmia for African-Americans
HHMI researchers have identified a variant form of a gene found in the heart muscle of some African-Americans that increases the chances of developing a potential deadly heart condition called cardiac arrhythmia.

Short-term pain can mean long-term gain for osteoarthritis patients
Regular exercise can provide long-term pain relief for those who suffer from knee osteoarthritis, but getting these patients to start an exercise program can be difficult.

Gene could hold key to predicting, combating life-threatening abnormal heart growth
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have identified a gene they believe could predict risk for developing enlarged hearts and lead to treatments to control life-threatening heart growth.

World's largest rain forest national park created in Northern Amazon
The government of Brazil announced today the creation of the largest rain forest national park in the world.

Pregnancy hormone induces healthy blood vessels, Magee-Womens Research Institute scientists report
The pregnancy hormone relaxin induces a healthy physiological response in blood vessels, increasing dilation and benefiting blood pressure and kidney function, scientists at Magee-Womens Research Institute report in the American Journal of Physiology.

Some people of African descent more susceptible to heart condition, Science study suggests
A gene found in some people of African descent may slightly increase the chance that they will experience an irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia, which can be lethal in rare cases.

Ecstasy may be drug of choice for those trying to cope with lonelienss, study finds
Young people who feel socially isolated may turn to drug use to cope with their loneliness, and new research being presented at the APA Annual Convention indicates ecstasy may be the drug of choice to fulfill their needs.

Study of manatee virus could help fight human cervical cancer
A HARBOR BRANCH Oceanographic Institution Marine Mammal scientist is trying to determine why manatees are becoming susceptible to the same type of virus that causes cervical cancer in humans.

Not drinking cows' milk blamed for children's fractures
Children who avoid drinking cows' milk are twice as likely to fracture bones than their milk-drinking counterparts, say researchers at the University of Otago in New Zealand.

NASA scientist helps develop facility to study materials in out-of-this-world Space Station lab
As a young woman, Sharon Cobb became fascinated with materials when she watched molten metal being formed into huge shapes at a steel foundry in Birmingham, Ala., where her father worked.

Satellites show overall increases in antarctic sea ice cover
While recent studies have shown that on the whole Arctic sea ice has decreased since the late 1970s, satellite records of sea ice around Antarctica reveal an overall increase in the southern hemisphere ice over the same period.

Study finds Medicare overbilling may be caused by government's faulty reimbursement
In the midst of an ongoing crackdown on health care providers for allegedly overbilling federal health care programs, a study in the September 2002 Annals of Emergency Medicine finds the government's coding system used to determine physicians' Medicare payments is an unvalidated process prone to errors.

Instrument automates sampling of aerosols, provides more detailed data
Scientists studying a class of atmospheric pollutants known as aerosols now have a new tool at their disposal -- an instrument that automates the collection of air samples for analysis with sensitive ion chromatography equipment.

Procrastinators get poorer grades in college class, study finds
The worst procrastinators received significantly lower grades in a college course with many deadlines than did low or moderate-level procrastinators, a new study found.

Essential fatty acids in mother's diet affect infant's sleep patterns
Newborn infants whose mothers had higher plasma concentrations of n-3 fatty acid showed signs of more advanced neurological development as indicated by more mature sleep patterning.

Scientists confirm age of the oldest meteorite collision on Earth
A team of geologists has determined the age of the oldest known meteorite impact on Earth - a catastrophic event that generated massive shockwaves across the planet billions of years before a similar event helped wipe out the dinosaurs.

Ear thermometry not reliable for precise measurement of infants' body temperature
Authors of a systematic review in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggest that measuring infants' body temperature in the ear is not a reliable means of assessing precise body temperature.

Is government health policy based on evidence or assumption?
The overinterpretation of a few small scale studies, carried out up to 10 years ago, could end up being used to determine health policy because the findings fit in with the government's broader policy objectives, argue researchers in this week's BMJ.

A mane is a pain, but worth it for male lions
Male lions with the darkest and longest manes suffer from the African heat more than their blonder or shorter-maned compatriots, but when rival males threaten or females are checking out potential suitors, the dark and--to a lesser extent--shaggy fellows clean up.

Tissue engineers steering stem cells to produce bone, cartilage
Researchers have caused stem cells from adult goats to grow into tissue that resembles cartilage, a key step toward creating a minimally invasive procedure that may one day be used to repair injured knees, noses and other body parts.

Beryllium's cellular assault
Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory, seeking to better understand the pathology of Chronic Beryllium Disease are studying the fundamental properties of metal interaction with carboxylate molecules, carbon/oxygen structures that are common in the body, to better understand how metals, specifically beryllium in water solution, might attack human cells.

Vitamin E is important for early prevention of cardiovascular disease in middle-aged women
Healthy middle-aged women without overt cardiovascular disease were examined to determine the relationship between the women's antioxidant vitamin consumption and the presence of plaques in the common carotid arteries.

Study highlights need for UK childhood screening for amblyopia
Authors of a study in this week's issue of THE LANCET highlight how the risk of visual loss in the normal eye for individuals with one lazy eye (amblyopia) is greater than previously thought, strengthening the need for effective screening programmes to detect amblyopia in early childhood.

Compound from yeast shows promise in protecting against anthrax
A compound from baker's yeast, used to make bread rise, may one day help protect people against deadly anthrax infections, according to researchers.

Agronomy, crop and soil science societies to meet Nov. 10-14 in Indianapolis
The American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) will hold their Annual Meetings, Nov.

CWRU scientists reveal how magnesium works on ion channels important for regulating blood pressure
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University report in the August 22 issue of Nature how magnesium activates microscopic ion channels in the membrane of a cell.
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