Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 16, 2002
Annals of Internal Medicine, tip sheet, December 17, 2002
Issue highlights include: Survival in 1901 Boston smallpox epidemic was predicted by age, severity of disease, and vaccination status; Study finds echinacea had no effect on cold symptoms; and Liver failure in united states most often caused by drug reactions.

Novel gene therapy approach shows promise
Scientists at Vanderbilt University Medical Center have used a novel gene therapy strategy to repair a defective gene in cells.

Biodegradable gelatin particles show promise for delivering therapeutic genes
Researchers have successfully tested micro-sized gelatin particles that may deliver therapeutic genes to treat a type of kidney disease.

Wheezy? Brush up and bring your inhaler
Asthmatic adults and children have trouble with their air exchange and have a tendency to be mouth breathers, which when combined with asthma medications, such as corticosteriods, causes a low saliva flow.

Scientists find fully differentiated blood cells remain able to switch identity
Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have found a new wrinkle in the developmental biology dogma that cell differentiation occurs irreversibly as stem cells give rise to increasingly specialized types of offspring cells.

Alcohol, sodium sensitivity and blood pressure
Chronic heavy drinking is known to elevate blood pressure. Sodium sensitivity also tends to raise blood pressure.

Researchers uncover extreme lake -- and 3000-year-old microbes --in Mars-like antarctic environment
NSF-supported researchers drilling into Lake Vida, an Antarctic

Prenatal exposure to alcohol may cause temporal processing deficits
Children prenatally exposed to alcohol often demonstrate a wide range of neurobehavioral effects.

Purdue works to transform Ebola virus from killer to healer
By redesigning the shell of Ebola, Purdue University researchers have transformed the feared virus into a benevolent workhorse for gene therapy -- and as one of the first gene bearers that can be inhaled rather than injected, it might prove valuable in the fight against lung disease.

Stress and your teeth
Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? Too busy preparing for the holidays to listen to your body?

UT Southwestern scientists begin psychiatric research in world's second magnetic seizure laboratory
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas are using magnetic fields to treat diseases in the world's second laboratory dedicated to magnetic seizure therapy (MST) research.

Motherhood Lost: book challenges society to discuss miscarriage and stillbirth
After suffering the first of seven heartbreaking miscarriages in 1986, Rensselaer anthropology professor Linda Layne vowed to bring the subject of pregnancy loss to light.

Wistar-developed antibody shows promise against brain tumors in Drexel trial
A new treatment procedure for high-grade cancers of the brain, one of the most aggressive and deadliest forms of cancer, has shown promise in extending the survival time of patients participating in a clinical trial conducted at Drexel University College of Medicine.

Common cancer gene controls blood vessel growth
Scientists from the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins and Northwestern University have found a new target to squeeze off a tumor's blood supply.

New tongue reconstruction methods help patients with mouth cancer
Surgeons at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have developed new techniques for reconstructing the tongue during surgery for mouth cancer.

Patients' lives at risk from needless lung scans
It is commonplace for patients with Acute Lung Injury to be injected contrast material, before undergoing a CT scan of their lungs.

Wear sunglasses? You may have sensitive teeth
A new study, which appears in the November/December 2002 issue of General Dentistry, confirms that people with sensitivities to special senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch) also have sensitive teeth.

The time to prevent cardiovascular disease is now
With cardiovascular disease at epidemic proportions in the United States, it's time Americans adults - young and old - heed guidelines for preventing high cholesterol, says the president of the American Heart Association in an editorial in today's Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

IFDC innovative technology increases farmers' agricultural productivity, maintains resource base
IFDC has developed innovative technology, called Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM), which raises agricultural productivity level while maintaining the natural resource base.

Treating alcoholism is more complex than 'all or nothing'
An analytical method for evaluating alcoholism treatment suggests more ways to define success than strictly going cold turkey.

Researchers explain how the brain integrates head position and acoustics
The slightest turn of the head can significantly change the way a person or animal detects sound.

First genetic findings in children and adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorders
The present multicenter study aims to identify genes involved in the etiology of obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD).

Study suggests inflammatory protein is strongly associated with heart disease
Exercise-induced cardiac ischemia, or reduced blood flow to the heart, is associated with high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP)--a marker of inflammation--in people with coronary heart disease, according to a new study by researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC).

Designing a robot that can sense human emotion
A Vanderbilt roboticist and psychologist who have teamed up to create a kind of robot Friday, a personal assistant who can accurately sense the moods of its human bosses and respond appropriately, report the results of an experiment that validates their basic approach.

Smart polymers provide light-activated switch to turn enzymes on and off
University of Washington scientists have applied research in how proteins bind with different molecules to create a molecular switch to turn an enzyme on and off.

Further evidence that HRT does not protect against cardiovascular disease
Results of a UK randomised trial published on THE LANCET's website-
Researcher debates changing attitudes of Americans: historical, generational, or aging?
The beliefs and behavior of Americans have changed dramatically in the last several decades.

Curiosity is key personal growth in many spheres, including intimate relationships
It might have killed the cat, but a new study by psychologists at the University at Buffalo suggests that curiosity is very good for people.

Stemming the loss of precious wine
When you buy a bottle of wine, you are actually paying for more than a bottle.

Prize to Weizmann Institute professor for landmark work in stem cell transplantation
Prof. Yair Reisner of the Institute's Immunology Department was awarded the Daniele Chianelli Prize yesterday, commemorating his work of over 20 years on incompatible stem cell transplantation.

Antarctic ice seals life's fate
Researchers have discovered microbes packed deep in an ice-sealed, briny lake in Antarctica.

Gene responsible for anemia (type CDA-1) discovered
A combined effort between scientists at Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel, Tel Aviv University, and the Weizmann Institute of Science has led to the discovery of a gene responsible for a type of anemia primarily found in a number of Bedouin families.

Purdue research hints that birds could spread Ebola virus
A Purdue University research team has discovered that the outer protein shell of Ebola has a biochemical structure similar to several retroviruses carried by birds.

Signs of smoking linger longer in menthol smokers
Women who smoke menthol cigarettes retain chemical byproducts of nicotine longer than those using other kinds of cigarettes, a new study finds.

U-M bone marrow transplant expert receives Doris Duke Charitable Foundation award
James L.M. Ferrara, M.D., Director of the University of Michigan Health System's Bone Marrow Transplantation Program, has received the prestigious 2002 Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award in oncology.

UT Southwestern researchers say overdoses of acetaminophen cause most cases of acute liver failure
Unintentional acetaminophen overdose is the most common cause of acute liver failure in the United States, research from UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas shows.

Sandia 'be there now' hardware enhances long-distance collaborations
Interactive remote-visualization hardware that allows doctors to view and manipulate images, based on very large data sets as though standing in the same room, has been developed at Sandia National Laboratories.

Serotonergic dysfunction doesn't cause suicide
Serotonergic dysfunction is thought to be involved in the biological pathogenesis of suicide.

Zengen, Inc. announces novel approach to reduce organ rejection
Zengen's scientists have discovered a novel approach to reduce organ rejection based on the Company's proprietary research with alpha-Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone (a-MSH).

Fluid flow technology takes a cue from fast-swimming sharks
A study of airflow in pipes may help solve a mystery concerning the ears of fast-swimming sharks.

Light shed on vision and hearing disorders
The most common hereditary condition that affects both hearing and vision is Usher Syndrome (USH).

Dancing molecules on the make
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research have observed how rotating molecules can capture single metal atoms, forming non-covalent chemical bonds.

Binge drinking among Jewish and non-Jewish college students
Americans who frequently attend religious services have lower rates of alcohol use and misuse. 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