Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 26, 2002
Lazy snakes! Pythons can be couch potatoes, too
A team of California researchers have studied factors associated with pythons digestion, assimilation and execretion of certain foods.

Sequence provides insights into a pathogen's virulence mechanism allowing for vaccine development
Scientists have analyzed the complete genome sequence of an emerging human pathogen, Streptococcus agalactiae (also known as group B streptococcus or

Combined kidney and bone marrow transplantation allows patients to discontinue anti-rejection drugs
An experimental treatment protocol involving combined kidney and bone marrow transplantation has enabled several patients to accept their transplanted kidney without immunosuppressive drugs, reports a researcher from Massachusetts General Hospital.

Men are faster than women. but does that mean bets should always be placed on colts?
Men are readily acknowledged as faster runners than women. Can the same assumption be made about gender in horses and dogs?

Detectors soon will be no match for NIST-tuned radar guns

Transplant patients from 40 years ago cause Pittsburgh doctors to take an about-face
In a radical departure from the standard way of treating transplant patients, doctors from the University of Pittsburgh have gone back to the future, so to speak, with the aim to get patients off all drugs.

Unique structures in molybdenum blue solutions reveal possible new solute state
For nearly 200 years, scientists have known that the elements molybdenum and oxygen can form various large molecules, which usually impart a unique blue color to aqueous solutions.

'Sorry, Charlie:' New news on the tuna
Researchers study the yellowfin tuna for insight into their thermal patterns.

Tomorrow's super robots may owe their mobility to a cockroach's legs today
The cockroach is an insect despised for its ubiquitousness, among other reasons.

Cell transplants look promising for stroke recovery
Using transplants of bone marrow cells improved the recovery from stroke in rat experiments, according to a study published in the August 27 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Drug improves survival in primary pulmonary hypertension patients
Long-term use of a vasodilator drug can significantly increase survival and improve quality of life in patients with primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH), according to the first multi-year study of the agent.

A unique hemoglobin may help the baby kangaroo's journey to the mother's pouch
A new study by an Australian research team has examined the embryonic-type hemoglobins from the wallaby that assist in help baby wallabies breathe on their own.

More hand transplants to be performed, predict experts at international congress
Although since the world's first hand transplant in 1998 there have been just 11 additional cases, results presented today at the XIX International Congress of The Transplantation Society indicate the procedure is likely to be performed more often.

NIEHS announces $20 million, three-center effort to pin-point environmental triggers of Parkinson's
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, a component of the National Institutes of Health, today announced five-year grants totaling $20 million for three centers to conduct research on the relationship between exposures to environmental agents and subsequent Parkinson's disease.

NIST team reports method to characterize new insulating materials for microelectronics
Researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology have announced that they have developed methods for characterizing key structural features of porous films being eyed as insulators for the ultrathin metal wires that will connect millions of devices on future microprocessors and increase processor speed.

Drinking through your pelvic region?
Most terrestrial amphibians acquire water by absorption across their skin rather than by oral drinking.

Emory to receive more than $6.5 million to study environmental risk factors for Parkinson's disease
Emory University will receive one of three 5-year grants totaling $20 million from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), a division of the National Institutes of Health, to study the relationship between exposures to environmental agents and Parkinson's disease (PD).

Hibernators may hold the key for better human organ preservation
Hibernating ground squirrels are commonly seen around the golf courses, lawns and prairies of the American Midwest.

Pythons can be couch potatoes, too
Gary Larson, creator of

Commerce's NIST details federal investigation of World Trade Center collapse
The World Trade Center disaster on Sept. 11, 2001, was the worst building failure in recorded history, killing some 2,800 people.

Of mice and men: Deaf mouse leads scientists to new human hearing loss gene
In a powerful demonstration of how animal research can help humans, a pair of scientific teams is reporting the discovery of defects in a deafness gene in mice that has led to the identification of similar genetic defects in people with hearing loss.

Blocking pathway overcomes tumor vessel resistance to radiation
Blocking a specific signalling pathway with drugs can make blood vessels more susceptible to the effects of radiation and improve tumor control, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center scientists have demonstrated.

Scientists prove how geckos stick, unlock secrets to making artificial gecko glue
A team of biologists and engineers has cracked the molecular secrets of the gecko's unsurpassed sticking power--opening the door for engineers to fabricate prototypes of synthetic gecko adhesive.

Researchers say 'frustrated magnets' hint at broader organizing principle in nature
If you have trouble getting organized, just think what Mother Nature has to do to keep things in line.

New predictor of heart disease risk found
Cardiovascular research is increasingly showing that a new predictor of heart disease risk, c-reactive protein, is just as important as monitoring cholesterol levels to prevent and treat heart disease and other ills, including stroke, sudden death and peripheral vascular disease.

Rutgers research shows caffeine may prevent skin cancer
Treating the skin with caffeine has been shown to prevent skin cancer in laboratory studies conducted in the Susan Lehman Cullman Laboratory for Cancer Research at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Strategies allow for drug-free transplants, report researchers at international congress
Results of three studies presented today at the International Congress of The Transplantation Society provide encouraging evidence that a patient's immune system can be fooled into accepting a transplanted organ without the need for anti-rejection drugs.

Mother (nature) knows best
The simple sunflower seed may hold the key to reducing hypertension and associated loss of cognitive ability, and preventing debilitating strokes.

Novel kidney transplant technique prevents rejection of donated organs
Johns Hopkins physicians report an extraordinarily high success rate for kidney transplants among patients traditionally considered ineligible for the surgery.

Landmark XENDOS study shows Xenical prevents or delays the development of type 2 diabetes
Roche announced today that the results of the 4 year landmark XENDOS study involving 3304 patients demonstrated that the weight loss medication Xenical can prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes.

Extinction rates of plants are higher than previously thought
Extinction rates of native California plants have been studied by three researchers who found that previously designed mathematical and computer models were biased because they left out the human element in their predictions, according to an article published in the August 20 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

NIST chemists define and refine properties of plastic microsystems
There may well be a plastic biochip in your future, thanks in part to NIST.

A message from nature to muskrats: 'Don't chill out'
Since muskrats forage underwater, they should exhibit traits that maximize their breath-hold capacity.

Combining Rb2 gene with radiation therapy quickens tumor cell death, Temple researchers find
Temple University researchers have found that when they treated tumor cells in which the tumor supressing gene Rb2 has been transplanted with gamma radiation, there was an increase of almost 50 percent in the ability of the cells to destroy themselves through apoptosis.

Why the hammerhead shark's head is in the shape it's in
Why the peculiar head shape of the hammerhead shark developed as it did has been the subject of much speculation.

Vitex reports parasite inactivation results at ISBT 2002
V.I. Technologies, Inc. (Vitex) (Nasdaq: VITX), a biotechnology company dedicated to developing products that improve the safety and availability of the transfusion blood supply by pathogen reduction or removal, reported today at ISBT 2002 that its INACTINETM technology was successful in eradicating the parasites that cause Chagas' Disease, malaria and babesiosis in red blood cells.

Inflammation reduced after just two weeks on statin drug
The cholesterol-lowering drug simvastatin reduces both cholesterol and an inflammation marker linked to heart disease within two weeks, according to a study in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

For elephants, it's not just their ears and trunk that make them unique on land
The elephant is the largest of all terrestrial mammals. Despite much versatility, some in the public do not realize that the elephant is also the only land-based mammal that can remain far below the surface of the water while snorkeling.

NYU medical center's cardiothoroacic surgeons announce unprecedented heart animation
NYU Medical Center's Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Stephen Colvin, MD, and Eugene Grossi, MD, Director of the Cardiac Surgical Research Laboratory announced today a major advance in medical animation technology with the creation of a three dimensional, animated beating heart. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to