Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 09, 2002
Hemispherectomy ends seizures in many older children with rare seizure disorder
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center report that hemispherectomy - a procedure in which half the brain is removed -- may reduce or eliminate severe seizures even in older children with a rare congenital disorder associated with epilepsy.

Brain preserves ability to 'feel' and 'move' after spinal cord injury in one quadriplegic
Brain regions involved in movement and feeling appear to remain relatively healthy and active even years after the body has been paralyzed, according to research at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

New findings in unrelated donor transplants, Parkinson's disease
University of Minnesota researchers will present findings that demonstrate promise for unrelated donor transplant patients and sufferers of Parkinson's disease Monday, Dec.

Is there a common genetic link for depression and cardiovascular disease?
Depression is associated with elevated risk for cardiovascular disease, but the mechanisms of interaction are not elucidated.

How anti-racism advertising can backfire
People in two minds about their attitudes towards ethnic minority groups become more unfavourable when exposed to anti-racism advertising or arguments, according to new research sponsored by the ESRC.

Pittsburgh researchers discover genetic link between two juvenile onset renal diseases
Geneticists from the University of Pittsburgh have discovered four novel gene mutations in the uromodulin gene which are responsible for two heritable kidney diseases, medullary cystic kidney disease 2 and familial juvenile hyperuricemic nephopathy, proving the two diseases are actually the same condition.

Black and hispanic kids more likely to be insulin-resistant
Black and Hispanic children face higher risk than white children for insulin resistance-a stepping-stone to type 2 diabetes-regardless of whether they are heavy or thin, according to researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

More Sun-like stars may have planetary systems than currently thought
If David Weintraub and Jeff Bary are right, there may be a lot more planets circling stars like the sun than current models of star and planet formation predict.

Irrigation may produce arsenic-tainted rice in Bangladesh
The arsenic that has contaminated much of Bangladesh's drinking water supply is also getting into its rice, according to a new study.

'Designer' drug shows activity in leukemia
An experimental drug aimed precisely at a culprit genetic mutation has shown promising activity in a difficult-to-treat form of leukemia, say researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and their collaborators.

Aged Polish forest plots teach new ecosystem lessons
A little-known acreage of trees in Poland planted in the late-1960s has become a new teaching ground on biodiversity for a team of U.S. researchers.

Novel drug for multiple myeloma continues to show promise in early study
A first-in-class investigational drug for relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer of the bone marrow, continues to show promising results in a study of myeloma patients who have failed numerous other treatments, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists will report at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology in Philadelphia on Monday, Dec.

New theory unravels magnetic instability
Reconnection, the merging of magnetic field lines of opposite polarity near the surface of the sun, Earth and some black holes, is believed to be the root cause of many spectacular astronomical events such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections, but the reason for this is not well understood.

West Nile Virus capsid protein causes encephalitic inflammation by triggering cell suicide
The protein that forms the protective capsid surrounding the West Nile virus genetic material may contribute to the deadly inflammation associated with the virus.

Ancient sea creatures serve as natural thermometers for climate prediction
Three-hundred-million-year-old fossil creatures serve as

San Francisco VA Medical Center researchers find depression can cost jobs
Young people suffering from depression are more likely to lose their jobs or experience a decline in their incomes than those who are not depressed, according to a study by researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC).

DOE grant advances research into new markets for corn
The National Corn Growers Association, Archer Daniels Midland and the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will continue collaborating to explore new markets for corn with a $2.4 million research grant from DOE.

New drug combination may prevent dangerous complication of bone marrow transplantation
A three-drug therapy, which includes a novel medication called sirolimus, reduces graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in stem cell transplant patients more effectively and with less toxicity than traditional treatments, an ongoing clinical study by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists suggests.

Global pollution hot spots identified
Researchers at NCAR and other institutions have pinpointed the locations of high concentrations of air pollutants around the world by combining data from four satellite imaging systems.

UMass scientist identifies gene that governs obesity, physical activity, sex behaviors in mice
A team led by University of Massachusetts Amherst researcher Deborah J.

Waves in the atmosphere batter South Pole, shrink 2002 ozone hole
A greater number of large

Smart heat pipe efficiently cools laptops, permitting greater speed of operation
Laptops make laps hot, as users of mobile lightweight computers sometimes learn dramatically.

The weathermen of Mars
Researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of Arizona Lunar Planetary Laboratory, Tucson, Ariz., and Cornell University, Center for Radiophysics and Space Research, Ithaca, N.Y., have discovered further evidence for the possible existence of a changing, and perhaps predictable, Martian climate.

Americans deeply divided about use of genetic technologies in reproduction
Americans are both hopeful and fearful about the rapidly advancing power of scientists to manipulate human reproduction, a new survey shows.

Stung by success: Intensive farming may suppress pollinating bees
Intensive, industrial-scale farming may be damaging one of the very natural resources that successful crops require: pollinating bees.

Nutrition advice makes heart-healthy diet more satisfying
People who received dietary counseling to help them lower their cholesterol levels reported higher levels of satisfaction with their quality of life and health care than individuals who tried to lower their cholesterol in other ways, according to a new study.

Engineers work on their SUNTANS as they track waves and beaches
Stanford engineers are developing a sophsticated computer code called SUNTANS to monitor oil spills and wave movement in the ocean.

Are wildland fires fueling the greenhouse?
Wildland fires are taking tons of carbon out of storage and feeding it into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, a primary greenhouse gas.

Science picks--Leads, feeds and story seeds (December 2002)
Looking for hot science stories? This monthly compendium of USGS science information can help you cover the ongoing earth and natural science research and investigations at USGS--footage, photos and web links provided can enhance your story.

Institute for Safe Medication Practices to distribute Bridge 'Beyond Blame' documentary
Five years ago today,

Laser technology helps measure pollution from NYC buses
Atmospheric scientists used laser technology while riding in traffic behind New York City transit buses to find out exactly how much and what type of pollution different types of buses emit in their exhausts, and the results were surprising.

MIT team works toward energy-efficient Chinese homes
Inspired by a booming economy and new spending power, the people of China want the advantages that their Western counterparts have: more living space, more comfort and more amenities.

North Atlantic Oscillation part of the global picture
An especially cold winter in Europe, lots of snow in Scandinavia or lots of rain in the Mediterranean are all symptoms of what meteorologists call the North Atlantic Oscillation, but a group of Penn State researchers has gone beyond the symptoms to try to decipher the dynamics of this atmospheric pattern.

Antiepileptic drugs reduce seizure recurrence in patients with infection of central nervous system
As many as one in 10 people in developing countries are carriers of the pork tapeworm taenia solium.

Will climate change temper El Niño's tantrums?
El Niño typically brings flooding to some parts of the world and drought to others.

Ehealth for Europe
Sitting in a doctor's waiting room is not most people's idea of fun, so a recent conference in Bruges, Belgium, on Delivering eHealth across Europe, has good news for Europeans - visiting a doctor's surgery may become a rare event.

Newly-discovered role for Nf1 gene explains heart abnormalities associated with neurofibromatosis
While type 1 Neurofibromatosis (NF1) is primarily known to cause tumors of the nervous system, scientists were puzzled as to why patients with NF1 are also prone to cardiovascular problems such as hypertension and congenital heart disease.

Thalidomide-like compound shows early promise against multiple myeloma
A drug similar to thalidomide has been found to be promising with fewer side effects for treating patients with recurrent multiple myeloma, an incurable form of bone marrow cancer, according to early data from a clinical study led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers.

Cholesterol-lowering drug improves survival after heart transplant
Transplanted hearts stayed healthier in patients who took a cholesterol-lowering drug, according to an eight-year study reported in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Prospect of greenhouse gas reduction drives biofuels market
The market for biofuels is driven by the need for security of fuel supply and the recognition that greenhouse gas emissions are causing global warming.

Study correlates driving impairment with Parkinson's disease
A recent study has confirmed what medical professionals and loved ones of people with Parkinson's disease have long feared to be true - the likelihood of a driving mishap increases in direct correlation with Parkinson's disease progression.

Gene signature identifies leukemia patients who should avoid transplants
An international team of researchers led by scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston have used a gene test to identify certain patients with adult T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) who can be successfully treated with chemotherapy alone and should not be subjected to the rigors of bone marrow transplants.

Results of first chronic treatment study with oral EXANTA(TM) (ximelagatran)
New results from THRIVE III, the first chronic treatment study for EXANTA(TM) (ximelagatran), an oral direct thrombin inhibitor (Oral DTI), show that EXANTA treatment for 18 months following standard six month anticoagulation treatment is highly effective in prevention of recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE) after an initial deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and/or pulmonary embolism (PE).

Domestic violence often comes from men who repress emotions, feel threatened, study finds
A new study suggests that the way abusive men try to manage stress in their relationships and other parts of their lives may be associated with their violent outbursts.
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