Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 18, 2002
'Sticky mittens' give babies a head start
Duke University psychologists have discovered that fitting infants with Velcro-covered

Tiny, magnetic spheres may help overcome gene therapy hurdle
In a July article in Molecular Therapy, UF researchers report attaching the adeno-associated virus, a widely used gene carrier, to the surface of tiny manufactured balls known as microspheres, each containing a miniscule particle of iron oxide.

UCSF begins distributing the first of its two embryonic stem cell lines
The University of California, San Francisco this week has begun distributing the first of its two human embryonic stem cell lines to academic researchers, increasing the opportunity for scientists around the world to study the therapeutic potential of the cells.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute's million dollar professors
Twenty scientists at research universities nationwide will get $1 million each from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to do something innovative to make science more engaging for undergraduates.

Study on job search behavior shows certain personality traits pay off
A new study confirms what some job seekers may suspect: The more effort people put into a job search, the more likely they are to find employment even in difficult economic times.

Ten schools receive funds to improve access to dental care, enroll minority/low income students
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has announced the names of 10 dental schools that will receive grants of up to $1.5 million through its

Will global warming improve crop production?
Winter temperatures are expected to increase; however, survival of perennial crops over the winter months requires the right climatic conditions, according to a study published in Agronomy Journal.

Device demonstration: Breakthrough technology teaches mathematics in Braille
Sally Mangold, Ph.D., a renowned Braille educator with over 30 years of teaching experience, will demonstrate the latest developments for the Speech Assisted Learning (SAL) system at the National Science Foundation (NSF) on September 26.

Researchers identify enzyme that turns on RNA
University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists report that they have found an enzyme that activates RNA, which could lead to new ways of regulating genetic information.

Compounds prevent alcohol's disruption of important developmental process
Two experimental compounds prevent one of the cellular events that is a likely contributor to fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), according to a new study supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

New study casts doubt on validity of standard earthquake-prediction model
A new study by Stanford University geophysicists is raising serious questions about a fundamental technique used to make long-range earthquake predictions.

Antipsychotic drug has few side effects in Alzheimer's patients
A drug used to help control psychotic behavior in people with schizophrenia holds promise for controlling similar symptoms in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests.

New study expands look at high-dose vitamin D with docetaxel for advanced prostate cancer patients
Based on promising data from a smaller study in Oregon, researchers today are launching a national, multicenter clinical trial using high-dose vitamin D in combination with docetaxel, a chemotherapy agent, for advanced prostate cancer patients.

Lombardi Cancer Center to enroll current and former smokers in nationwide clinical trial
Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown University is recruiting current and former smokers for a nationwide study that will compare two lung cancer screening methods--chest x-ray vs. spiral CT scan--to determine which, if either, is more effective in reducing lung cancer deaths.

Drs. Gerald DiBona and John Hall receive American Heart Association/Novartis award
Gerald DiBona, M.D., and John Hall, Ph.D., the winners of this year's Novartis Award for Hypertension Research, discovered two important mechanisms that link hypertension and subtle abnormalities of kidney function.

NIH awards grants for two new autism research centers
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced grants totaling $19 million to support the first two research centers of a major network of facilities to focus on the biomedical and behavioral aspects of autism.

Group offers guidelines on qualifications
At an unusual joint meeting July 31 the Society of Nuclear Medicine Technologist Section and the American Society of Radiologic Technologists began to address new demands on the technologist profession brought about by hybrid technologies.

New class of composite organic material could put the muscle in artificial body parts
A new class of all organic composites that change shape under an electric voltage may open the door for the manufacture of artificial muscles, smart skins, capacitors, and tiny drug pumps, according to Penn State researchers.

Alzheimer's disease may originate in the brain's white matter
The baffling origin of Alzheimer's disease has typically been placed in the brain's gray matter.

National Lung Screening Trial
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) today launched a new study to determine if screening people with either spiral computerized tomography (CT) or chest X-ray before they have symptoms can reduce deaths from lung cancer.

Green tea may fight allergies
Allergy sufferers may want to add green tea to their sniffle-fighting arsenal.

New UNC study: Teens with regular religious practices get into less trouble
U.S. teen-agers who say they engage in regular religious practices are significantly less likely than their peers to get into legal and other troubles that plague many adolescents, a new University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study shows.

American Society for Microbiology Journals tipsheet: September 2002
Highlights include: egg yolk a possible alternative to antibiotic treatment of ulcers, bacteria work with diet in heart disease, and chewing tobacco contaminated with bacteria.

Conflict places the mentally ill at risk of harm
Individuals with serious mental disorders have an increased chance of becoming victims of violence because their relationships with others are more likely to provoke conflict, according to a Penn State criminologist.

Washington University's Sarah C. R. Elgin is one of 20 'million dollar professors'
Sarah C. R. Elgin, Ph.D., professor of biology at Washington University in St.

Eavesdropping occurs among animals, finds evolutionary biologist
The degree of

Mayo Clinic Cancer Center receives SPORE grant for lymphoma cancer research from NCI
Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, in collaboration with the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at The University of Iowa in Iowa City, has received one of only two Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) grants from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for lymphoma research.

Living in a glass house: Ocean organism's novel dwelling helps Earth's atmosphere
Why live in a glass house? For diatoms -- tiny ocean-dwelling organisms that live in exquisitely ornate glass cases -- the benefit is enormous.

Space weather forecasting shifts into high gear
Over the next decade, forecasts of spectacular northern lights and other solar-generated events will become as commonplace as today's thunderstorm predictions, say scientists meeting this week in Boston to plan the first five years of accelerated space weather research.

UCLA seeks thousands of current and former smokers for landmark lung cancer screening trial
The NLST is the largest clinical trial ever funded by the National Cancer Institute for lung cancer screening.

Structure reveals details of cell's cargo-carriers
Using x-ray crystallography, Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have produced the first images of a large molecular complex that helps shape and load the small, bubble-like vesicles that transport newly formed proteins in the cell.

Stanford researchers teach old owls new tricks
Old dogs may be able to learn new tricks after all, according to recent findings in owls.

FDA approves Avapro for treatment of diabetic kidney disease in people with high blood pressure
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) and Sanofi-Synthelabo, Inc. (NYSE:SNY) announce that the U.S.

Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute discover how a plant times its flowering cycle
Two scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have described how a plant grown in their laboratory uses two sets of proteins to detect the seasons so that it can flower at the right time.

Lung cancer screening trial compares CT and standard x-ray
Emory University has been awarded a $5 million grant to participate in a multi-institutional investigation to study the best way to detect lung cancer in smokers, with an end goal of saving more lives following diagnosis of the disease.

Getting into the housing market
The past 20 years have seen the rapid development of a large home ownership market in Britain's cities.

If you booze, you lose: Even small amount of alcohol affects driving skills
For most drinkers, knowing when to say when occurs a lot quicker than they think.
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