Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 02, 2003
Amazon wildfires contribute to carbon problem
More trees are dying following forest fires in the Amazon than was previously thought according to new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA).

Family history influences sexual behavior in black, Hispanic teens
Black teenagers, sons of men who became teenage fathers, were three times more likely to be sexually active compared with those whose fathers had not been teen dads, according to a new study.

Wetlands clean selenium from agricultural runoff
UC Berkeley researchers have found that man-made wetland ponds removed nearly 70 percent of the selenium in contaminated agricultural drainage water.

Cloned pigs behave like...pigs
Some people would like to clone their pets. A study at Texas A&M University indicates that cloning may not produce exact copies of pets or any other animals.

Hitchhiking rocks provide details of glacial melting in West Antarctic
The West Antarctic Ice Sheet has been melting and contributing water continuously to the ocean for the last 10,000 years and is likely to keep doing so, according to scientists who have gathered the most direct evidence yet that parts of the ice sheet are on a long-term, natural trajectory of melting.

World Health Organization anticancer initiatives - Where next?
The race to appoint the next head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has begun, but will cancer be a priority for the new Director General?

New study shows angioplasty more effective than clot busters in treating heart attack
Angioplasty offers a better prognosis than clot-dissolving medications for treating patients with the deadliest type of heart attack, report researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Angioplasty better than medical therapy after heart attack
US authors of a systematic review in this week's issue of THE LANCET conclude that angioplasty offers a better prognosis than medical therapy for people with a specific type of heart attack profile.

Breast feeding can relieve pain during medical procedures
Breast feeding during a painful procedure reduces the response to pain in newborn infants, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Nicotine - Worse than we thought?
Of the two

Providers need increased awareness of patients' 'self-treating' with supplements
A survey of more than 45,000 men and women suggests vitamin and mineral supplements are especially popular among certain groups of Americans, some of whom may be using them to self-treat health conditions.

Palm leaves act like flowers
Flowers of insect-pollinated plants attract visitors by visual and / or olfactory cues but sometimes, it appears, other organs may steal the scene.

Hospital discharge data can give clearer picture of gun injuries
Although gun-related injuries are an important public health problem in the United States, no comprehensive national system currently provides in-depth data on these injuries.

Does antibiotic use in animals contribute to antibiotic resistance levels in human beings?
Antibiotics are used therapeutically and prophylactically in animals, but their use as growth promoters in animal husbandry has recently come under fire, and there is growing concern over the transmission of resistant bacteria via the food chain.

Hopkins researchers find genetic cause for multi-system disorder
Faulty cell communication is at the root of a complex and rare disorder that affects many of the body's structures and systems, including the eyes, face, teeth, fingers and toes, a Hopkins-led research team has discovered.

Research finds life 1000 feet beneath ocean floor
A new study has discovered an abundance of microbial life deep beneath the ocean floor in ancient basalt, in research that once more expands the realm of seemingly hostile or remote environments in which living organisms can thrive.

Men with diabetes father smaller babies
Children born to fathers with diabetes weigh less than other children, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Surface treatments could make ready-to-eat products safer
A new product called acidified calcium sulfate is showing promise as a way to kill Listeria monocytogenes and keep lunch meats and frankfurters safer for consumers.

Drug advertising in medical journals can be misleading
Spanish authors of a study in this week's issue of THE LANCET highlight how drug advertising in medical journals can be inaccurate and potentially misleading to clinicians.

Pitt research shows early lead exposure may be a significant cause of juvenile delinquency
Children exposed to lead have significantly greater odds of developing delinquent behavior, according to a University of Pittsburgh researcher.

What are 3-D spider webs for?
In an article published in the January 2003 issue of Ecology Letters, researchers led by a team at Cornell University report that three-dimensional spider webs are associated with a dramatic decrease in predation by mud-dauber wasps, major worldwide predators of spiders.

Concerns over drug industry creation of new diseases
Drug companies are sponsoring creation of a new medical disorder known as female sexual dysfunction in order to build markets for drugs among women, despite controversy surrounding the medicalisation of sexual problems, finds an article in this week's BMJ.

'Dark energy' dominates the universe
A Dartmouth researcher is building a case for a

Expressing strong concern at human cloning reports, AAAS cautions against overreaction
The world's largest general scientific organization, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), today expressed great concern about recent reports of the first cloned human baby, urging policymakers and the public to treat such claims skeptically until confirmed scientific evidence is in hand.

National Science Foundation advisory committee on environmental research and education
Recommendations for the National Science Foundation (NSF)'s next decade of environmental research and education programs, prepared by NSF's Advisory Committee for Environmental Research and Education, will be released on January 8, 2003, in the report entitled Complex Environmental Systems: Synthesis for Earth, Life, and Society in the 21st Century.

Scholar develops new system for overlooked wares of ancient Greece
Up till now, a small minority of pottery from the earliest Mycenaean civilization has gotten nearly all the attention.

Report shows benefits of combining vitamin D with Taxotere, for advanced prostate cancer
The combination of vitamin D and chemotherapy agent Taxotere has shown to be effective in treating advanced prostate cancer.

One in five GPs in England want to quit
The proportion of general practitioners intending to quit direct patient care within the next five years has risen from 14% in 1998 to 22% in 2001, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Stem cells may offer hope for tissue regeneration after heart attack
Two research letters in this week's issue of THE LANCET provide preliminary evidence that bone-marrow stem-cell transplantation could regenerate damaged cells in the heart after myocardial infarction (heart attack).

Study finds many patients wait more than an hour for emergency care
The first regional study on emergency department waiting times indicates they are longer in poorer neighborhoods where resources are scarce.

Stem cell research boosted by five new grants at NIAMS
Five new grants funded by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) at the National Institutes of Health will boost NIAMS' investment in stem cell research.

Designing safer handguns could prevent many unintentional shooting
Two studies in the January 2003 Annals of Emergency Medicine explore the causes of unintentional shootings in the United States and the preventive measures that may help end the deaths and disabilities they cause each year, particularly among children.

Smokers, binge drinkers aren't getting physicians' advice
About 2 million smokers and 2 million binge drinkers who visited their doctors for a routine checkup in 1996-1997 did not get any advice on quitting smoking or using alcohol, a new study estimates.

Task force issues new diet counseling recommendations
Just in time for New Year's resolutions to kick in, a health care task force convened by the U.S.

Patients complain more about paperwork than care
Patients complain more often about paperwork and billing concerns than the quality of their health care to their health care providers, even though quality related problems are just as common as administrative issues, a new study suggests.

First study to show the potential for effective prevention of migraine with an AT1 receptor blocker
New results, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), show the positive effect of a novel treatment in reducing the frequency of severe headaches in adults suffering from migraines.

Occasional lack of health insurance results in less preventive care
People with even short breaks in their health insurance coverage are less likely to seek crucial preventive care, according to a new study.

Evidence for orangutan culture
An international collaboration of primatologists has gleaned evidence from decades of observations of orangutans that the apes show behaviors that are culturally based.
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