Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 24, 2002
Experimental 'gene switch' increases lifespan with no ill effects
By experimentally switching genes off or on at specific stages in an animal's lifecycle, UCSF scientists have discovered that vigor and lifespan can be significantly extended with no side effects.

Visceral fat loss after dieting is not necessarily responsible for disease risk improvements
In a comparative study of the locations in which white and African American women lost body fat with dieting, Gower et al. found that both racial groups experienced significant improvements in blood lipids and insulin sensitivity from weight loss, regardless of the location of the fat loss.

Conference addresses America's future in nuclear engineering and research
The future of education in nuclear sciences and engineering brings a large contingent of experts to New York's Capital Region Monday, Oct.

Aggressive exercise program helps inner city, low-income disabled
Removing obstacles to exercise enables even the most unlikely individuals to get off the couch and see improvements in their fitness within months, according to a new study.

Untangling the web of tropical biodiversity
One of the world's largest and highest-quality set of observations on live tropical insects and their host plants has led researchers to reinterpret the structure of tropical insect communities.

14th EORTC - NCI - AACR Symposium
Three of the world's leading organisations - the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, the USA's National Cancer Institute and the American Association for Cancer Research are joining forces in Frankfurt from 19-22 November to provide a platform for presentation of the latest findings in drug research and development to around 2,000 international experts in the field.

New approach required for obtaining informed consent in less-developed countries
Authors of a research letter in this week's issue of The Lancet highlight the difficulty of obtaining valid consent from people in less-developed countries who are about to participate in medical research.

Livestock in salt marshes help farmers and geese
If livestock are allowed to graze in salt marshes in the Wadden Sea area, the vegetation remains in a good condition for the hundreds of thousands of Brent Geese which forage there en route to Siberia.

Study: Acidic surfaces on atmospheric aerosols greatly increase secondary aerosol formation
Atmospheric particles that become acidic through exposure to such pollutants as sulfuric acid can lead to vast increases in the formation of secondary organic aerosols, a new study indicates.

Patients with chronic illness not benefiting from advances in care
Many patients with chronic diseases are not benefiting from advances in care because of a lack of financial and staff resources, inadequate information systems, and doctors' heavy workload, argue US researchers in this week's BMJ.

Psychological, physical abuse equally harmful to health
Abuse by an intimate partner can have serious immediate and long-term health consequences for both men and women, according to a new, large-scale study.

OHSU researchers study healthy aging population
Oregon Health & Science University researchers are conducting a clinical trial involving the most elderly segment of the population.

PhD student filters water vapour information from satellite data
PhD student RĂ¼diger Lang has developed a method to obtain information about water vapour from satellite data not specifically measuring this.

Analysis finds drug improves odds of complete stroke recovery
A drug that protects the brain from injury during ischemic stroke can significantly increase the chance of complete recovery, researchers report in a meta-analysis published in today's rapid access issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Questionnaire identifies depressions in children
Developmental psychologist Jessica van Mulligen from the University of Nijmegen has compiled a questionnaire to detect depressions in children aged six to eight years.

Food expert says more tests needed before fried foods are tabled
A Purdue University foods and nutrition associate professor is one of the nation's experts invited to Chicago at the end of the month to discuss the discovery of a potential carcinogen in starchy, fried foods.

Worlds apart: Daughters immigrate to Israel and leave their mothers behind
The study,

Working in Britain survey - older workers, women
Older workers, and women, some of the most contented workers, are now much more critical of the conditions attached to their work and are particularly unhappy with their working hours, says the new 'Working in Britain' survey within the Future of Work Programme funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Combination of HIV/malaria increases complications during pregnancy
Women with a combined HIV/malaria infection more frequently experience complications during pregnancy than healthy women.

Physics news update 610
Nuclear submarines emit neutrinos that may have an impact on physics experiments; DNA in early Earth history may have been able to accumulate through a heat-repulsion process called thermophoresis; researchers have developed a non-contact technique for taking EEGs.

Coils slash death/disabilty from brain aneurysms
Preliminary results of a long-term study suggest that coils inserted into burst aneurysms in the brain decrease by 25 percent the risk of patient death and disability during the first year after the procedure, according to a report published in the October 26 issue of The Lancet.

New drug stops stroke damage to brain
A team of researchers has developed a promising new drug that, when given to animals, immediately stops brain damage caused by stroke.

Rutgers wins funds to create online index of moving brain images
Researchers at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, have been awarded $2 million by the National Science Foundation to develop an online index of moving images of a living, working brain.

Calcium-blocker drug slows artery clogging better than beta blocker
High blood pressure treatment with a calcium channel antagonist slowed progression of atherosclerosis, the disease process responsible for heart attacks and strokes, better than a beta blocker, according to a rapid track report posted online this week in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Endovascular coil superior to neurosurgery for treatment of brain haemorrhage
Results of a landmark international study in this week's issue of The Lancet provide compelling evidence for the use of a platinum coil transported through blood vessels--rather than conventional neurosurgery--to stop bleeding after brain haemorrhage.

Giving clot busters in arteries has some benefits
Injecting clot-busting drugs into an artery after stroke nearly doubled the rate of favorable outcomes and nearly halved the number of deaths compared to people who didn't get the drugs.

Butterfly restrains Darwin
In experiments with butterflies, evolutionary biologists from Leiden University have demonstrated that natural selection is not always the only factor which determines the appearance of an organism.

Promising new treatment preserves bone mass in mice; May help women and men with osteoporosis
A completely new type of therapy, using a unique class of synthetic compounds, may someday protect both men and women from the bone-weakening disease osteoporosis.

Science and Eppendorf award first annual prize in neurobiology
The winner of the 2002 international Prize in Neurobiology, awarded by the journal Science and Eppendorf, goes to Anjen Chenn.

Support teams required to facilitate participation of young adults with physical disabilities
Authors of a UK study in this week's issue of The Lancet highlight how multidisciplinary support teams provide the best opportunity for physically disabled people to participate in a range of activities in young adulthood--at no extra cost compared with the provision of conventional 'Ad Hoc' support services.

New drug may reverse bone loss without estrogen's side effects, Science study says
A synthetic compound called

Endovascular coils beat neurosurgery for treating brain haemorrhage
An international landmark clinical trial led by UK researchers has shown that patients who suffer a brain haemorrhage from a ruptured aneurysm have a significantly better chance of surviving without disability if they are treated through the blood vessels than if the aneurysm is clipped by surgery.

Scientists identify motor that powers parasitic cell invasion
The development of drugs to combat some of the world's most serious parasitic diseases is a step nearer with the discovery of a widely-shared gene that helps parasites to invade host cells.

Scientists produce the script for life
The human genome project has provided researchers with a growing list of genes--basically a cast of thousands of characters, running life inside the cell.

Computerised guidelines are no 'magic bullet'
Computerised guidelines do not improve care for patients with chronic diseases, and are unlikely ever to be the

NSF establishes center for biophotonics at UC Davis
Using lasers, light and radiant energy in biology and medicine is the aim of a major new collaborative center at the University of California, Davis.

Eating fish cuts risk of dementia
Elderly people who eat fish or seafood at least once a week are at lower risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Asian dust storm causes plankton to bloom in the North Pacific
In the spring of 2001, two robotic Carbon Explorer floats recorded the rapid growth of phytoplankton in the upper layers of the North Pacific Ocean after a passing storm had deposited iron-rich dust from the Gobi Desert.

Enzyme replacement therapy found to effectively treat patients with Fabry disease
An update of the Fabry Disease clinical trial at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and at 19 other centers, was presented this month at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics in Baltimore, Maryland by William Wilcox, M.D., Ph.D., a medical geneticist at Cedars-Sinai.

Aluminum shows strange behavior; research solves old mystery
Aluminum, one of nature's best conductors of electricity, may behave like a ceramic or a semiconductor in certain situations, according to an Ohio State University scientist and his colleagues.

Study predicts Amazon deforestation could affect climate in US
New mathematical simulations of climate behavior by Duke University researchers indicate that deforestation in the Amazon can cause a reduction of rainfall in the Midwestern United States and the Dakotas in the summer, when precipitation is most needed for agriculture.

Significantly lower physical activity levels in obese adolescents contribute to continued obesity
Ekelund, et al.found that metabolic rates and the number of calories expended during exercise were the same whether an adolescent was obese or normal weight; however, the obese adolescents were less active and sustained even moderate-intensity activities for shorter periods of time.

Study exposes dangers of snuff for smokers wanting to quit
As tobacco companies campaign to promote smokeless tobacco as a safer alternative to cigarettes, many smokers who take up snuff in an effort to quit instead end up using both products, warns a University of Florida researcher.

Needs of people dying of heart failure not being met
The needs of people dying of heart failure are not being met, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Walleye fishery threatened; Puerto Rico aquaculture, calling ALVIN on ocean bottom
Sea Grant News: Environmental estrogens may threaten Minnesota's walleye fishery; Puerto Rico is aiming for environmentally friendly aquaculture; Students in 49 states diving deep with Alvin to explore Pacific Ocean vents.

Multivitamins improve weight gain patterns during pregnancy in HIV-infected women from Tanzania
Villamor et al. studied a large group of pregnant, HIV positive women from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.They found that women who took multivitamins gained significantly more weight than women who did not.

'Twin sister' mechanism prevents formation of genetic mutations
Twenty thousand hits per day -- that's the average dose of damage sustained by the genes within each cell of our body.

New study promises safer hormone replacement therapy
Scientists in Arkansas have identified a synthetic estrogen-like compound that reverses bone loss in mice without affecting the reproductive system, as does conventional hormone replacement therapy.

Report examines use of antibiotics in agriculture
Antibiotics have been used against infectious diseases with great success and have been a part of agriculture for many years, but scientists have long recognized a down side.

Procedure to help Parkinson's disease could shed light on psychiatric disorder
French authors of a research letter in this week's issue of The Lancet describe how electrode stimulation of a specific part of the brain to alleviate symptoms of Parkinson's disease could also help in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Neurologist says stroke among neonates and children is severely under-recognized
There is a serious under-recognition of stroke in the neonate and child, and risk factors and appropriate treatment strategies remain largely unidentified, according to Donna Ferriero, MD, chief neurologist at the University of California-San Francisco Department of Neurology.

Methane bacteria possess pressure valve
Microbiologists from the University of Nijmegen have discovered that a methane-forming archaeabacterium sometimes deliberately allows hydrogen ions to leak out of its cell.
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