Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 17, 2003
Rich, poor, the wait is the same
A new study in CMAJ reports that Canada's health system does a good job of providing equitable service in terms of waiting times for elective surgery.

Brief exposure to Mandarin can help American infants learn Chinese
Researchers have found a way to reverse what appears to be a universal decline in foreign language speech perception that begins toward the end of the first year of life.

Antarctic animals are under threat from illegal fishing
Animals in the oceans surrounding Antarctica are under increasing threat.

Symposium highlights industrial-strength math
The numerous uses of numbers in a variety of industrial settings will be examined at

Findings reported in February Archives of Neurology provide new insights on Alzheimer's disease
The February 2003 issue of the Archives of Neurology, one of the Journal of the American Medical Association/Archives publications, features a series of research findings providing new insights on possible risk and protective factors regarding Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Leatherback sea turtles careening towards extinction
Today, at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting, scientists made an impassioned appeal for international cooperation to save leatherback sea turtles from extinction.

The human eye can self-correct some optical faults
A neurobiology study at Cornell University suggests that internal parts of the eye indeed can compensate for less-than-perfect conditions in other parts -- either developmentally (during the lifetime of one individual) or genetically (over many generations).

Mapping the brain
Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have developed computerized atlases and associated tools for visualizing and analyzing the brain.

Women with rheumatoid arthritis have marked risk for heart attack
Women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have a higher risk of heart attack compared with those without arthritis, according to a study in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Infants may offer clues to language development
You may not know it, but you took a course in linguistics as a baby.

Science champion William T. Golden makes historic $5.25 million gift to AAAS
William T. Golden, a pivotal figure in the history of American science policy, has donated an unprecedented $5.25 million to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)--the most generous gift ever bestowed upon the world's largest general scientific society since its inception in 1848.

Annals of Internal Medicine, tip sheet, February 18, 2003
Annals of Internal Medicine is published by the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM).

Unique fleet of underwater vehicles to gather elusive environmental data
A fleet of miniature underwater vehicles being developed by Virginia Tech researcher Dan Stilwell will enable scientists to gather environmental data off the coast of Virginia and in the Chesapeake Bay.

North to discuss psychiatric effects of terrorism at AAAS
Carol S. North, M.D., professor of psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Pavlov's flies: Researchers identify fruit fly memory mutants
By teaching fruit flies to avoid an odor and isolating mutant flies that can't remember their lessons, researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have identified dozens of genes required for long-term memory.

Parents of large families may be at higher heart risk
Parenting large families may increase heart disease risk, according to data from two large British studies published in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Ecological effects of climate change include human epidemics
The link between climate and cholera, a serious health problem in many parts of the world, has become stronger in recent decades, according to a University of Michigan scientist who takes an ecological approach to understanding disease patterns.

Chromatin structure: More folding, more complexity than expected
New molecular technologies, some driven by the work of a researcher at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, are exposing unexpectedly high levels of DNA folding and complex protein-rich assemblages within the nucleus of cells that he says

Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository
A Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientist, who is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council, on Tuesday will give a progress report on the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository at the 2003 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The Arctic oscillation: A key to this winter's cold--and a warmer planet
Why has the Arctic warmed so dramatically in recent years?

Can carbon sequestration solve global warming?
The U.S. Government is spending millions of dollars to research the feasibility of stuffing carbon dioxide into coal seams and fields of briny water deep beneath the Earth.

A rainforest in Denver? Kirk Johnson debuts new findings on city's natural history
Local celebrity-scientist Kirk Johnson, of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (DMNS) will give a topical lecture discussing his surprising discovery of a 64.1-million-year-old rainforest that grew in the Denver Basin, following the demise of dinosaurs.

Leaving hospital AMA
Stephen Hwang and colleagues report on their study that indicates patients who leave hospital against medical advice (AMA) will likely be back, and soon.

Tariffs and farm subsidies deny health and affluence
To fend off starvation and prevent children in underdeveloped countries from becoming malnourished, industrialized nations must tear up their import tariffs, open their markets to agricultural goods and stop farm subsidies, says a Cornell food policy expert at the AAAS convention in Denver.

[Mis]understanding village abandonments
Empty and abandoned, the well-preserved ancient dwellings of Pueblo people give the impression of a suddenly vanished society.

Predicting the birth of big babies
A study in the latest CMAJ reporst that plasma glucose concentrations in pregnant women -- an indicator of gestational diabetes -- do not necessarily lead to the delivery of a large-for-gestational-age babies.

Gene appears to play important important role in controlling the growth of colorectal cancer cells
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have found that a recently discovered gene plays an essential role in mediating apoptosis, or cell death, in colorectal cancer cells.

More health care doesn't mean better health care for medicare patients
Medicare enrollees in some U.S. regions receive twice as much care as similar patients in other regions, but whether the additional care results in improved quality or health outcomes is not known.

Outpatient setting very safe for skin cancer surgery
Mohs micrographic surgery, a common technique used to remove skin cancers, is very safe when performed in an outpatient setting, according to a study published in the Feb.

The nucleus: Not just a bag of chromosomes
Educators and scientists should discard the idea that a cell's nucleus is just a bag of chromosomes, according to Johns Hopkins' cell biologist Kathy Wilson, Ph.D.

Study examines chemical safety across United States, effects on population
Eighteen years after a leak at a chemical plant in Bhopal, India killed thousands of people on Dec.

There's no business like snow business
Snow flakes may be the world's most innovative seasonal marketing campaign.

Clopidogrel reduces death, stroke, heart attack now and later
The blood thinner clopidogrel, when used with aspirin, reduced the risk of subsequent heart attack, stroke and death in people who came to the emergency department with new or increasing chest pain or a heart attack, according to a report in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Scientist pursues role of possible new cell type
A cell type with the potential for making the four major types of human tissue has been found in the stomach and small intestine by a Medical College of Georgia researcher.

If you think your work-out is tough enough, it probably is
The intensity of physical activity needed to reduce the risk of heart disease depends on individual fitness levels, according to a study in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

New monsoon forecasting method could increase crop yields
A recently devised method for forecasting monsoon-season weather in Bangladesh could improve agricultural production in south Asia and equatorial Africa, according to a climate researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
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