Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 06, 2003
Risk of sexually abused children becoming adult abusers lower than once thought
Authors of a UK study in this week's issue of The Lancet suggest that most male victims of child sexual abuse do not abuse children later in life-however there are specific factors that increase the chances of sexually abused children becoming abusers.

SRS research highlights from the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker Symposium
The fourth Red-Cockaded Woodpecker Symposium held last week in Savannah, GA, brought together most of the individuals, organizations and agencies involved in the conservation, recovery, and management of the red-cockaded woodpecker.

IU research examines gender differences in excuses for failure
Women have less tolerance than men when it comes to rationalizing things like a poor test performance according to just published research by Indiana University social psychologist Edward Hirt, who studied gender differences in the concept of self-handicapping.

Taste receptor cells share common pathway
Although sweet, bitter and umami (monosodium glutamate) tastes are different, HHMI researchers are finding that information about each of these tastes is transmitted from the various taste receptors via a common intracellular signaling pathway.

Police, not social workers, should protect children from criminal abuse
Following Lord Laming's report on the life and death of Victoria Climbie, paediatricians experienced in managing life threatening abuse suggest in this week's BMJ that police, rather than social workers, should take responsibility for protecting children from criminal abuse.

Obesity not a personal failing, but a battle against biology
Leptin discoverer Jeffrey M. Friedman, M.D., Ph.D., argues in a

Certified professionals to serve as technical service providers under Farm Bill 2002
Certified professionals are eligible to serve as Technical Service Providers for farm conservation programs under a Memorandum of Understanding signed in Washington, D.C., by the U.S.

New genetic 'fishing net' harvests elusive autism gene
Duke University Medical Center researchers have developed a new statistical genetic

Stanford studies online self-management for people with chronic diseases
People who have been diagnosed with heart disease, lung disease or type-II diabetes are invited to join a six-week Stanford University Medical Center study that teaches self-management skills.

Discovery of iron-acquisition pathway suggests new treatments for drug-resistant Staph. infections
University of Chicago researchers have discovered how Staphylococcus aureus, a common cause of life-threatening infections, acquires iron from its host's red blood cells, a critical step in causing disease.

Research sheds light on why protein-rich diets aid weight loss
As nutrition experts debate the ideal combination of protein, carbohydrates and fat that people should eat, new research explains for the first time how and why a moderately high protein diet may be the best for losing weight.

Modified zebrafish may point the way toward T cell leukemia genes, aid in drug development
Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Children's Hospital Boston, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and other institutions report they have created a zebrafish model that will help scientists pinpoint genes that accelerate or delay the spread of T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a disease responsible for 400 deaths - about half of them, children - in the United States each year.

Preventive Medicine 2003 to feature research findings, plenary sessions on disease prevention
New research findings and state-of-the-art presentations and symposiums on disease prevention and health promotion highlight the program for Preventive Medicine 2003.

They're healthier: With fewer parasites, invaders gain competitive edge over native species
Invasive species -- second only to habitat destruction in threatening biodiversity -- have far fewer parasites and less illness to contend with than their native competitors, according to two new studies in the Feb.

'Sticky' DNA crystals promise new way to process information
The selective

3-D images show how Alzheimer's engulfs brain
UCLA and University of Queensland (Australia) neuroscientists using a powerful new imaging analysis technique have created the first three-dimensional video maps showing how Alzheimer's disease systematically engulfs the brains of living patients.

Synthesized molecule holds promise as antitumor agent
Amphidinolides, a family of natural compounds that have shown promise as powerful antitumor agents, pose problems for cancer researchers because they are found in only minute amounts, and only in microscopic marine flatworms that live off the coasts of Japan and the U.S.

Scientists solve chaotic heartbeat mystery
A team of scientists headed by UMBI's Jonathan Lederer in Baltimore have discovered that a mutation in a protein in heart cells causes a condition called LQT4 in which heartbeats act chaotically and healthy people can die suddenly.

Legal and ethical concerns over prenatal diagnosis
Hospital genetics units occasionally receive requests from women for prenatal tests for Huntington's disease when their male partners are at risk but do not want to know their genetic status for the disease.

Nitrogen may increase Bt levels in corn
Scientists at the USDA-ARS, Jamie Whitten, Delta States Research Center in Stoneville, MS, have found that Bt concentrations in young corn plants are directly influenced by the amount of nitrogen fertilizer applied at planting.

UCSF study suggests novel factor could contribute to adult obesity
UCSF researchers have identified a novel physiological process that may contribute to obesity in middle-aged mice.

Cell transplantation could restore cardiac function after heart attack
French authors of a research letter in this week's issue of The Lancet describe the preliminary success of transplanting muscle stem-cells from the thigh to the heart to restore damaged cardiac tissue after heart attack.

Newly developed tool aids study of Fragile X syndrome
A newly developed tool that allows researchers to study strands of messenger RNA that bind to a specific protein has lifted a layer of mystery involving a common symptom of Fragile X syndrome, report scientists from four institutions, including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Use public funds to test jet lag drug, say researchers
The hormone melatonin has long been used to prevent and treat jet lag, but in many countries it cannot be sold because it is not licensed.

URI chemical oceanographer analyzes the effects of pH on coastal marine phytoplankton
In an article in a recent issue of the scientific journal Marine Ecology Progress Series, URI Graduate School of Oceanography marine scientist Dr.

New images from space spotlight regional pollution
Two new visualizations of satellite data captured and processed in January show heavy pollution from China and Southeast Asia blowing out over the Pacific Ocean and pollution plumes from bush fires in Australia.

Jacuzzi danger?
Jacuzzi's could be dangerous for people with high blood pressure or for individuals with renal disease requiring dialysis, suggest authors of a letter in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Increasing access to care could reverse disparities, study suggests
Providing frail elderly African Americans with comprehensive health care may improve their health status and decrease mortality rates to levels in line with those of their white counterparts, according to a study by researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC).

Genetically modified crops in India produced greater yields, reduced pesticide use, new study finds
Results of farm trials in India showed that the average yields for genetically modified cotton crops were 80 percent greater than non-bioengineered crops.

Could one less cookie a day help the fight against fat?
Eating 100 fewer calories a day--roughly three bites of a fast-food hamburger--could prevent the 1.8 to 2.0 pounds that the average person gains per year, according to new estimates by James Hill and colleagues.

Popular Science outlines need for long-term studies and more regulation in A.R.T.
In an article in its March issue (on newsstands February 11), Popular Science magazine describes the need for long-term studies and more regulation in assisted reproductive technology (ART).

Lowered immunity puts older coronary bypass patients at higher risk for cognitive decline
Older patients with lowered immunity to certain common bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract are more likely than younger patients to suffer cognitive decline after coronary artery bypass surgery, according to a new analysis by Duke University Medical Center researchers.

First-ever photo of wild Siberian tiger taken in China
A remote camera clicked the first known photograph of a wild Siberian or Amur tiger in northern China last week, providing strong evidence that tigers are crossing from the Russian Far East to repopulate previous tiger strongholds, the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced today.

Destination discovery: Unleashing your research potential
Beating the odds in an increasingly competitive world of sponsored projects, crafting successful strategies for the advancement of research and scholarly projects, cashing in on cross-disciplinary and multi-institutional collaboration, and incubating imagination through to industry--these are the critical foci of this major statewide research symposium to be held March 6 and 7 at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

'No justification' for routine heart-beat test at start of labour
A routine test which has been used over the past two decades to electronically monitor the heart-beat of a baby at the start of labour is probably no better than intermittent monitoring with a stethoscope, conclude authors of a study in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Communicating with young people who are seriously ill is difficult
Young people who are seriously ill can feel unable to participate in consultations and parents may be reluctant to communicate openly with their children.

Hormone therapy could help prevent pre-term births
Injections of a progesterone-type hormone may be able to prevent more than a third of pre-term births in women with a history of giving birth early, reported Paul J.

Insect antibiotics - Resistance is futile!
Researchers at University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have discovered that Cecropin A, a member of a family of antibiotic proteins produced by insects, may kill bacteria and avoid resistance by entering bacterial cells and taking control of their genetic machinery.

Science picks -- leads, feeds and story seeds (February 2003)
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. 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