Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 19, 2002
Possible new cancer therapy shrinks tumors in melanoma patients, Science authors report
A treatment that replaces most of the body's immune system with cancer fighting cells shrank the melanomas of some seriously ill patients, researchers report.

New role of genes in breast cancer
An Australian twin study has uncovered that high breast density, the strongest known risk factor for breast cancer, is genetically linked.

Heart size and function uncoupled by researchers
Researchers have identified two proteins that play fundamental roles in heart size and function and have genetically uncoupled them, a discovery the scientists hope will lead to better treatments for those with cardiovascular disease.

Laser lights new path for homeland security
In recent Army tests to be reported at an upcoming optics meeting, a new laser technique called LIBS instantly detected and identified various explosives.

Sucrose results in more weight gain than artificial sweetners in overweight individuals
Raben et al. found that overweight individuals who consumed sucrose-sweetened beverages during a 10-week study increased their energy intake, body weight, fat mass, and blood pressure, whereas individuals who consumed artificial sweeteners declined in these areas.

Urgent need for more research into prevalence of CJD
The first estimate of the number of people who are at increased risk of vCJD, but who have not developed symptoms, is published in this week's BMJ.

UCI establishes major carbon cycle research center
The UC Irvine Department of Earth System Science has established the first accelerator mass spectrometry center in the United States dedicated exclusively to research on the carbon cycle, a global process that provides vital information on pressing environmental concerns such as air pollution and global warming.

Researchers show new genetic mutation increases risk for colon cancer
A newly-identified genetic marker increases the risk for colorectal cancer approximately three-fold in individuals born with this mutation, according to a study published in the September 20 issue of Science.

Casket resurrects new vision of ancient Jerusalem
A burial casket bore a surprising discovery for University of Cincinnati professor Steven Fine.

Recruitment of 50,000 sisters of women with breast cancer
Breast Cancer

Researchers show why active mountains don't get taller
Active mountain ranges like the Olympic Mountains, Taiwan Central Range or the Southern Alps are still growing, but they are not getting any taller.

Hormone replacement therapy - reviewing the evidence
A rapid review article in this week's issue of The Lancet weighs up the current evidence for the health outcomes of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) use.

Lowering cancer risk in postmenopausal women
In an article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Harnack et al. found that better compliance with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans resulted in an overall reduced risk for cancer, although measures of physical activity and weight status may have influenced this outcome.

New approach to replacing immune cells shrink tumors in patients with melanoma
A new approach to cancer treatment that replaces a patient's immune system with cancer-fighting cells can lead to tumor shrinkage, according to a report, published by Science.

Married couples' at risk of same disease
Married couples are significantly more likely to suffer the same kind of disease, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Waist circumference as a predictor of cardiovascular risk
Waist circumference has been proposed as a simpler measurement than body mass index that also more accurately reflects body fat distribution.

Genentech tops Science survey of best biopharma employers
When Science asked life scientists around the world which pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies they most admire, Genentech was the clear stand-out, according to a survey in the 20 September issue of the journal, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Five-year-old girls with high cholesterol are more likely to be overweight at age twelve
Tershakovec et al., publishing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that normal-weight children may have abnormally high cholesterol, and that this condition predisposes young girls to the development of overweight and obesity later in childhood.

Advances in scientific discoveries in breast cancer
U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP), a leader in breast cancer research funding, to present recent developments and cutting-edge research during Era of Hope meeting.

New York executive, chemist receives award for fostering diversity
Chemist John R. Laing, Ph.D., of Xerox Corporation in Webster, N.Y., was honored Aug.

Researchers show why active mountains don't get taller
Active mountain ranges like the Olympic Mountains, Taiwan Central Range or the Southern Alps are still growing, but they are not getting any taller.

Advances in 'micro' RNA exploring process of life
Researchers at Oregon State University have made an important advance in the understanding of

UT Southwestern receives $2 million grant to purchase 30-ton superconducting magnet
The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $2 million grant to UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas for the purchase of a 30-ton, 800 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer that will add strength to the Department of Biochemistry's research programs.

Newly revealed hieroglyphs tell story of superpower conflict in the Maya world
Translation of recently unearthed hieroglyphic stairs on an ancient Maya pyramid in Guatemala provides dramatic evidence that two great Maya city-states and their allies were locked in a brutal superpower struggle that may have set the stage for the later collapse of the classic Maya civilization.

Gene that regulates development of heart cells identified, described by Penn researchers
Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have identified and described a small gene that regulates the delicate balance involved in the healthy growth and replication of heart muscle cells.

UCLA science profs awarded $1 million Howard Hughes Medical Institute grants
Two UCLA professors are among 20 professors nationally to be awarded $1 million grants by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to creatively improve undergraduate science teaching.

New arthritis drugs less likely to cause side effects
A new group of arthritis drugs recommended by NICE for patients at risk of gastrointestinal complications may be safer than traditional drugs, research in this week's BMJ suggests.

Study finds thicker storm clouds over warmer tropical waters, affect climate
Over warmer ocean waters, tropical storm clouds become thicker, more extensive and reflect more sunlight back into space than they do over cooler waters, NASA researchers report.

Viagra for alleviation of pulmonary hypertension?
Results of a preliminary study in this week's issue of The Lancet suggest that Viagra may have a future role in the treatment of pulmonary hypertension (increased blood pressure in the pulmonary artery), a severe and potentially fatal condition causing respiratory impairment.

UT Southwestern researchers find protein that both instigates, inhibits heart growth in mice
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have discovered a protein that regulates growth and development of the heart from its fetal stage to adulthood.

Patient race is a determinant in receiving coronary angiography referral
Study finds that patient race is a determining factor in receiving a referral for coronary angiography.

ORNL, USEC enter into $121 million R&D agreement
Oak Ridge National Laboratory and USEC Inc. have signed an agreement worth $121 million to develop and demonstrate a highly efficient uranium enrichment technology that could greatly reduce United States dependence on foreign energy sources.

Physical activity levels after weight loss differ between black and white women
In a study of white and black women who lost weight through dieting alone, Weinsier et al. found that most of the black women experienced a major decline in physical activity after weight loss that could predispose them to weight regain.

Breastfeeding does not protect against asthma and allergic diseases
A longitudinal study in this week's issue of The Lancet provides compelling evidence that breastfeeding does not protect against asthma and atopy in childhood and early adulthood--authors of the study suggest that breastfeeding may actually increase the risk of these diseases.

50 years of climate change -- and possible futures
A new study projects warming over the next 50 years, regardless of whether or not nations curb their greenhouse gas emissions soon.

Genetic mutation, most common in Ashkenazi Jews, more than doubles cancer risk
A genetic mutation, most often found in people descended from Ashkenazi Jews, can double or even triple the risk of colorectal cancer, according to new data from an international study published in the Sept.

NSF invites science journalists to workshop exploring microbial life on earth
Science journalists are invited to attend a Principal Investigator's Workshop for researchers exploring the diversity of microbial life on Earth at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Va., Sept.

International experts take aim at global reduction of Hib disease
Infectious disease specialists and health ambassadors from around the world will gather at an international conference entitled

People are unlikely to withdraw consent for genetic research
People are unlikely to withdraw consent for genetic research even when samples were taken many years ago, research in this week's BMJ suggests.

Researchers discover new risk factor for colon cancer
Studies in mice and humans have revealed that people who are carriers of the rare disease Bloom syndrome are at increased risk for developing colorectal cancer.

New drug may help recovering cocaine addicts, study shows
Nocaine, a new drug developed through Georgetown University Medical Center's Drug Discovery Program may help cocaine addicts withdraw from their habit in much the same way that methadone helps heroin addicts withdraw, according to a study conducted by Georgetown researchers, with colleagues at the University of Mississippi and the University of Texas.
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