Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 30, 2002
Scientists discover genetic defect responsible for microcephaly
An international team, led by researchers from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), has discovered the genetic cause for a rare form of microcephaly, a devastating brain disorder that has stricken infants among the Older Order Amish for nine generations.

FDA approves INSPRA™, an aldosterone blocker for the treatment of hypertension
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted marketing approval for Pharmacia's INSPRATM (eplerenone tablets), the first agent designed to selectively block aldosterone, for the treatment of high blood pressure.

Annals of Internal Medicine, tip sheet, October 1, 2002
A study of Medicare and other government records of 130,099 elderly heart attack patients found that those with kidney disease were at much higher risk for death than other elderly heart attack patients during the month following hospitalization.

Unusually small ozone hole attributed to strong upper level weather systems
Scientists from NASA and the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have confirmed the ozone hole over the Antarctic this September is not only much smaller than it was in 2000 and 2001, but has split into two separate

Clay sprays control HABS; disease may affect more than salmon
A Woods Hole Sea Grant research team is testing the use of clay to manage and control HABs while researchers in California report that a bacterium thought to only infect salmon may be more widespread than previously thought.

Los Alamos garners six pollution prevention awards from New Mexico
Five units of Los Alamos National Laboratory and the lab's primary subcontract company have won the New Mexico Green Zia Environmental Excellence Awards for their efforts in pollution prevention and environmental excellence.

New technique widens the lens on cancer, could lead to new therapies
UCSF scientists have developed a new technique for screening tumors that highlights the role of a non-genetic mechanism in cancer.

Molecular machine could develop drugs for bioweapons victims
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory have created the first computer model of a key part of the E-coli ribosome, a cellular structure responsible for the creation of proteins, that has applications in the development of new and powerful antibiotics for use in the treatment of illnesses caused by all pathogens, including a host of bioweapons agents.

Macrophages from human lymphoma patients cause mouse lymphoma in mice, UCSF study finds
UCSF researchers have found that macrophages when taken from HIV-infected lymphoma patients and injected into mice, induced aggressive mouse T-cell lymphomas in the mice.

GSA release 02-42: Oct. Geology & GSA Today media highlights
Boulder, Colo.--The Geological Society of America's October issue of Geology contains a number of potentially newsworthy items.

Cholesterol-lowering drugs safe and effective in children
The cholesterol-lowering drug, simvastatin, significantly reduced cholesterol levels in children with inherited high cholesterol, according to an international study published in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

New insight into fragile X syndrome: Scientists identify possible link to RNAi
New research published in the October 1 issue of Genes & Development reveals that RNA interference (RNAi), a recently discovered and powerful gene silencing mechanism found in plants, animals, and fungi, may also play a role in hereditary human disease.

Elderly getting left out of critical cancer research
Despite the median age of cancer patients reaching seventy years old, leading oncology experts from around the world say elderly patients are often excluded from important clinical trials and are not being offered the same treatment options as younger patients.

'Slice' scanner latest advance in early detection of heart disease
An advanced imaging technique - multislice spiral computed tomography (MSCT) - is a reliable, noninvasive way to detect blockages in the coronary arteries, according to a study in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Math and science partnership awards announced
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced 24 awards under the new Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program - an anticipated investment of $240 million over five years in projects to improve the achievement of K-12 students in science and mathematics.

Nutrition and exercise boost effectiveness of flu shot in older people
Current influenza vaccines are 50 to 60 percent effective in preventing illness in older people.

Novel form of vitamin D shown to grow bone
A novel form of vitamin D has been shown to grow bone in the lab and in experimental animals, a result that holds promise for the estimated 44 million Americans, mostly post-menopausal women, who suffer from or are at risk for the bone-wasting disease osteoporosis.

NSF awards $75.6M for plant genome research
The National Science Foundation today awarded a total of $75.6 million to support 23 collaborative research projects in plant genomics.

Scientists discover role for c-myc gene in tumor angiogenesis
The c-myc gene is commonly activated in a variety of human tumors.

Non-traditional tests may be dynamic duo in predicting heart problems
Partnering a blood test with an imaging scan may be a better gauge of whether blocked arteries are about to trigger a heart attack or stroke, researchers report in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

GSA release 02-43: Oct. GSA Bulletin media highlights
The October issue of the Geological Society of America Bulletin includes a number of potentially newsworthy items.

Researchers find 400% increase in pulling power if you drop glasses for contact lenses
There's more to the saying

Yale researchers shed light on B cells' involvement in autoimmune diseases like lupus
Using genetically altered mice, Yale researchers have generated a clearer picture of the origins of B cells and their involvement in autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.

Genetic findings in monkey herpes virus could aid research in human cancer
For the first time, scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have discovered similar gene activity profiles between a herpes virus that affects rhesus macaque monkeys and a human herpes virus linked to Kaposi's sarcoma.

Pill may prevent stent complication that re-blocks arteries
New research suggests that an experimental drug may hold the key to preventing restenosis, a common complication of the heart procedure called stenting, which uses tiny mesh tubes to prop open clogged arteries.

Experts highlight cardiovascular and drug interaction risks in elderly patients
Delegates attending the 7th International Conference on Geriatric Oncology reviewed data on the special treatment needs of elderly cancer patients.

NIH funding establishes a chimpanzee sanctuary
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced today the award of a contract to Chimp Haven, Inc., a private, non-profit organization, to establish and operate a chimpanzee sanctuary.

Indonesia launches nationwide program to protect newborns against hepatitis B
The Indonesian government this month begins an effort to ensure that every newborn is vaccinated against hepatitis B during the first seven days of life-even those 80 percent of babies born at home rather than in hospitals.
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