Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 10, 2002
NIGMS center grants will spice up chemical libraries
NIGMS announces support for two centers--one at Boston University and one at the University of Pittsburgh--that will develop new methods to generate combinatorial chemical libraries.

Supply of medical students may not meet future demand
The supply of medical students may not meet the demands of medical school expansion in the United Kingdom, according to an editorial in this week's BMJ.

Antibiotics not always beneficial for childhood ear infections
More children are treated in the U.S. with antibiotics for inflammation of the middle ear, or otitis media, than any other child health problem.

Astronomers discover the wake of a planet around a nearby star
An international team of astronomers today report the discovery of a huge distorted disk of cold dust surrounding Fomalhaut - one of the brightest stars in the sky.

Further evidence linking suicide risk to family history (p 1126)
A Danish study in this week's issue of THE LANCET provides further evidence linking a family history of psychiatric illness and suicide to increased suicide risk--the study also shows how a family history of suicide and psychiatric illness act independently and are not influenced by socio-economic factors.

$12 Million SPORE grant spurs head and neck cancer research
The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center has been awarded its fifth SPORE grant from the National Cancer Institute, a $12 million grant for head and neck cancer research.

Child health professionals still believe in 'teething'
Health professionals still attribute many major ills to infant teething, despite good evidence that teething is associated with, at most, minor and relatively infrequent symptoms, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Study to determine if infidelity among birds an attempt to avoid inbreeding, diversify genes
Molecular studies of socially monogamous birds have shown that broods often contain offspring resulting from extra-pair matings by one of the parents tending the nest.

M. D. Anderson breast cancer prevention study reaches three-year mark
If one step began the journey of a thousand miles, Mary Watson-Ellyson hopes the pill she's taken daily for the last three years possibly has started her on the road to breast cancer prevention--and peace of mind for women everywhere.

Hormones modify the type of proteins produced
Naturally occurring hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and cortisol play an important role in determining what kind of protein the cell makes in response to a genetic message, said researchers at Baylor College of Medicine.These steroid hormones are some of the things that change the protein that comes from a gene.

An 'AAAAAAAAA' battery? UF researchers make progress on tiny cell
UF researchers are making progress on a new approach: Batteries inspired by the emerging field of nanotechnology.

Childhood circumstances linked to health in later life
Poor social circumstances in adulthood have been known for some time to increase heart disease risk but less attention has been paid to earlier life circumstances.

Astronomers discover strong evidence for solar systems like ours
Astronomers report the first strong evidence for massive planets on wide orbits - like those of Saturn, Uranus and Neptune - around many stars.

Chestnuts used chemicals to dominate southern Appalachian forests
USDA Forest Service research confirms that chemicals in the leaves of the American chestnut suppress the growth of other trees and shrubs--and probably played a part in the species' past dominance of the southern Appalachian forest.

To detect cyberattacks, new software system developed at UB profiles 'normal' computer habits
An early version of a new software system developed by University at Buffalo researchers, detects cyberattacks while they are in progress by drawing highly personalized profiles of users, has proven successful 94 percent of the time in simulated attacks.

Bridge Medical shares expertise at Washington Patient Safety Conference
Bridge Board member/JCAHO award winner Gordon Sprenger, and two longtime Bridge customers, to share expertise at Partnership Symposium 2002, in Washington, DC, October 14-16, 2002.

Freedom in the conduct of science
In response to various social and political forces--in both developed and developing nations--that pose potential threats to the fundamental principle of universal freedom in the conduct of science, the International Council for Science (ICSU) will undertake a comprehensive review of the current global situation.

Lauder supports James nutrition and breast cancer study
Dr. Electra Paskett,an expert in cancer control and detection in The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, has received a $250,000 grant from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to continue her study into the relationship between diet and breast cancer.

ICSU to establish 'Science for Sustainable Development' programme
At its recent General Assembly in Rio de Janeiro, members of the International Council for Science (ICSU) gave the Executive Board a clear mandate to set an international research agenda for the future that focuses on science for sustainable development.

Bloodworm's way with copper likely provides paradigm for new materials
The first detection of a living organism that makes a copper-containing mineral structure as part of its skeleton is remarkable because the copper detected in the marine bloodworm's jaw tip would normally be toxic to an organism.

Over-diagnosis of liver failure after paracetamol poisoning?
Danish authors of a Research letter in this week's issue of The Lancet suggest that there is the potential for clinicians to mistakingly diagnose liver failure after moderate paracetamol poisoning by relying solely on the measurement of one diagnostic marker.

Understanding acetaminophen poisoning
A protein known as CAR (constitutive androstane receptor) has been shown to regulate liver toxicity caused by the common pain-reliever acetaminophen in studies that point the way to new treatment for poisoning with similar compounds, said scientists at Baylor College of Medicine.The work explains an important, but unexpected, component of acetaminophen toxicity and adds a new mechanism to the process.

Shadow proteins in thymus - Clues to how immune system works?
Researchers at Joslin Diabetes Center and Harvard Medical School have identified the function of a protein, dubbed aire, that is critical to helping immune cells learn to recognize--and avoid attacking--the far-flung organs and tissues of the body.

Larger blood reserves needed for ageing population
Larger reserves of blood will be needed as the population ages, predict researchers in this week's BMJ.

New study shows efficacy of gene therapy for Parkinson's disease
In this week's Science, researchers report on the effectiveness of a new gene therapy approach to Parkinson's Disease and the potential for this therapy to affect the overall progression of the disease itself.

Gene therapy success in the laboratory buoys hope for Parkinson's disease
Scientists at Jefferson Medical College have used gene therapy to reverse the progression of Parkinson's disease in rats.

UT Southwestern researcher, colleagues report drug therapy eases chronic depression
A team of scientists representing 12 collaborating health-care centers, including UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, have found that antidepressant therapy - specifically sertaline hydrochloride, or Zoloft - can enhance the lives of many chronically depressed patients.

Cancer survival rates higher than previously assumed
Conventional estimates for life expectancy after cancer diagnosis have been too pessimistic, suggests a study in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

Lancet readers to join WHO election debate
This week's issue heralds the start of The Lancet's coverage of the build-up to the election of a new Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO)-and Lancet readers are being invited to join the debate about who should be proposed as the next WHO leader.

Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association moves to Web-based rapid access weekly publication
The American Heart Association has launched Stroke ASAP, a rapid access publication that provides Internet publication ahead of print for journal articles from Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Mayo Clinic hosting national conference to help women fight their #1 killer
The Mayo Clinic Women's Heart Clinic is hosting a conference from Oct.

Atorvastatin shown to decrease heart disease and stroke (more follows)
A major European trial studying different blood pressure treatments and the effects of additional cholesterol lowering, announces today that it has stopped part of its trial earlier than expected because results collected already show a significant benefit to patients on one of its treatments.

Sex and genetics: Why birds are unfaithful to their partners
Matings between relatives have negative consequences for the offspring, a phenomenon known as inbreeding depression.

Disruption caused by job loss may affect entire family
The recent downturn in the nation's economy is aiding researchers in understanding and addressing the psychosocial ill-affects of joblessness on America's families. 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