Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 03, 2002
Free software predicts how and when steel beams will buckle
A free computer program developed by a Johns Hopkins civil engineering researcher allows designers of thin-walled structures, including buildings and bridges, to test their stability and safety before a single beam is put into place.

Professor develops strategies to control exotic plant species
Nearly 100 of the 1,400 non-native plants in the United States are causing significant ecological and economic problems.

Identifying individuals at risk for Alzheimer's disease
Researchers in Australia, USA, and Germany have studied a set of clinical and genetic markers that can facilitate the identification of individuals with relatively higher risk for Alzheimer's disease.

New initiative will assess disease control priorities in developing countries
The Disease Control Priorities Project (DCPP) is a new three-year effort launched today to assess disease control priorities and produce science-based analyses and resource materials to inform health policymaking in developing countries.

Sensing tanks, as well as cancer
What does remote sensing for camouflaged enemy ground vehicles have to do with breast cancer diagnosis?

Targeting enzymes that immortalize cancer cells: if you can't turn them off, round them up
Discovery of a clever trick that cancer cells use to make themselves immortal may lead to a way to stop their unchecked growth, according to scientists at the University of California, Berkeley.

American Thoracic Society Journal news tips for September--first issue
News highlights from the first journal issue for September include research showing that cat ownership is protective for children against asthma and that, continuing smokers, who were examined 11 years after the start of the Lung Health Study, showed lung function levels believed to represent moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Tagging the great white shark...and a few of his friends
What will some of the smartest dressed elephant seals, tuna fish, albatrosses, leatherback sea turtles, great white sharks, and other pelagic megafauna in the Pacific be wearing in the coming seasons?

Scientists develop atomic-scale memory
Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have created an atomic-scale memory using atoms of silicon in place of the 1s and 0s that computers use to store data.

New delivery system may change the age-old method of insulin delivery
Goodbye, vial and syringe: Innolet, a new delivery system may change the age-old method of insulin delivery.

Razing old dams solves some problems, creates new ones
Razing old dams may alleviate many wildlife headaches, but it also may create new problems, according to research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Concern about future health problems goes up in smoke
Knowing the long-term health benefits of quitting and the long-term harm of continued smoking may not be enough incentive for some smokers to kick the habit, according to a new study in the August issue of the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

Rutgers researcher finds brain connections may reorganize in Parkinson's disease
Researchers at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, have discovered critical clues that may explain why parts of the brain damaged by Parkinson's disease, specifically those that control sensory-guided movements, aren't repaired by dopamine replacement therapy.

Peer pressure matters in young adults' smoking decisions
The peer pressure that leads young people into bad habits like smoking may also be a factor in getting them to quit, suggests a new study examining the social influence on young smokers.

Study finds additional evidence for contamination of herbal supplement for prostate cancer
A chemical analysis of PC-SPES, a recently recalled herbal dietary supplement commonly used to treat advanced prostate cancer, has shown that the supplement was contaminated with the synthetic drugs warfarin, diethylstilbestrol and indomethacin.

Other highlights in the September 4 issue of JNCI
Other highlights include two studies that examine popular diet-cancer associations, a study that provides insight into how two natural compounds induce tumor-cell suicide, a study that examines the antiangiogenic effect of a macrophage activating factor, and a study showing that amplification of a specific gene can manifest as a particularly aggressive form of bladder cancer.

A genetic contribution to obsessive compulsive disorder
Researchers in Toronto, Canada, have just discovered a gene variant that contributes to the cause of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in a large group of sufferers.

Brain chemicals can thwart desire to smoke cigarettes
Giving smokers medication to mimic an increase in their brain's level of a substance called dopamine could help squelch their desire for cigarettes, according to a new study.

Can an aspirin a day keep atherosclerosis at bay?
Sure, low dose aspirin can prevent a second heart attack by thinning the blood, but researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have shown that aspirin can also prevent heart attacks and stroke through an entirely different mechanism.

Medical students don't receive enough training in helping patients quit smoking
Though tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States., medical schools are not doing enough to train medical students to help their patients quit smoking, a Wake Forest University School of Medicine research team reports in the Sept.

Information age will change doctors' role in healing
Even though more people are turning to the Internet for medical information, doctors will not lose their trusted status as society's

Mayo Clinic develops blood vessel cells from adult progenitor cells
Mayo Clinic scientists have shown for the first time that an adult stem cell variant circulating in adult human blood can be driven to form smooth muscle cells, which are key building blocks in blood vessel formation and also participate in coronary artery blockages.

Type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes are undetected in over one quarter of obese population
Over one quarter of obese people may have previously undetected or untreated type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes (impaired glucose tolerance, IGT) according to data presented today at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) meeting in Budapest, Hungary.

Mapping genes for schizophrenia in the South Pacific
Researchers at the Universities of California (Irvine), Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Mellon, and Belau National Hospital have completed a genome-wide search for schizophrenia genes using five large families from the Oceanic nation of Palau, Micronesia.

Study suggests a possible link between high-starch diet and pancreatic cancer
A diet high in starchy foods such as potatoes, rice and white bread may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer in women who are overweight and sedentary, according to a new study by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard School of Public Health researchers.

Leaner, meaner carriers
Ship hulls have to withstand incredible stress and strain, yet remain incredibly strong.

Cigarette tax hike could save millions of lives
A global policy change that discourages tobacco use could save more than 5 million smokers' lives at a reasonable cost, a new report on tobacco control policies estimates.

Collaboration to use proteomics to unravel mysteries of heart disease
Researchers from Duke University Medical Center; GeneProt, Inc., Geneva, Switzerland; and Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland have launched a collaboration to identify how the proteins produced by heart disease patients differ from those of healthy people.

PET/CT scanning now available at Fox Chase Cancer Center
Fox Chase Cancer Center is the only institution in the Greater Delaware Valley now offering patients the newest in imaging technology called PET/CT scanning.

For the first time, drug shows promise to help spit tobacco users quit
A Mayo Clinic pilot study shows bupropion, an antidepressant known to help smokers quit, could help spit tobacco users kick the habit too.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, September 2002
Story items include: Military - ORNL aims to cut gun barrel casualties; Chemistry - Guarding the nation's water supplies; Military - Combat ID targets enemy; Forensics - Invisible fingerprints.

Mass spectrometer weighs in as proteomics breakthrough
A faster, more thorough mass spectrometry method for identifying proteins may significantly advance the technology infrastructure required to comprehend the role proteins play in cellular function and disease development.

Nearly any employee may be willing to steal from their companies in some situations
A new study suggests that nearly any worker may be willing to steal from an employer under some circumstances -- unless the company makes clear that theft is unethical.

Sugar-based therapies could prevent damage from kidney failure
Targeting sugars that occur naturally in the body could protect the kidneys or other organs from damage associated with disease or injury, according to a Johns Hopkins study.

UT Southwestern researchers ID key protein for communication within central nervous system
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have identified one of the key proteins involved in the establishment of the central nervous system.
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