Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 20, 2003
Higher risks for women with diabetes using HRT
Women with diabetes who use hormone replacement therapy are at an increased risk of death from all causes and heart disease, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Aircraft technology helps diagnose artificial hip, knee problems
To assess the wear and tear on jet engine parts, mechanics run the aircraft's lubricating fluid through a magnetic device to separate out engine debris.

Alcohol researchers identify a genetic basis of pain response
A common genetic variant influences individual responses and adaptation to pain and other stressful stimuli and may underlie vulnerability to many psychiatric and other complex diseases, reports David Goldman, M.D., Chief, Laboratory of Neurogenetics, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and colleagues at NIAAA and the University of Michigan.

Link found between spontaneous abortion and heart disease
For the first time, a specific link has been found between spontaneous abortion and risk of heart disease in later life, according to researchers in this week's BMJ.

Studies show bidis and smoking products are no safer than conventional cigarettes
Studies published over the past several months disprove claims that products such as additive-free cigarettes, bidis, and novel cigarette-like devices are less toxic than conventional cigarettes.

Researchers will no longer be 'snowed' in predicting future avalanches
The recent deaths of 14 Canadian skiers in two separate snow avalanches in British Columbia have increased attention on safety issues, but some U.S. scientists are turning their focus elsewhere - to studying the properties of snow stability that could lead to more accurate means of predicting avalanche events.

Scientists develop 'super peptide' that kills Candida albicans
Zengen, Inc. has developed a 'super' peptide that kills Candida albicans, the fungus responsible for nearly all yeast infections, including vaginitis.

Researcher explores tumors' survival strategy
Dr. Kouros Motamed is studying endothelial cells where they live, in the complex environment that provides, not only support and structure, but regulation and direction.

Parental smoking, behaviors, and attitudes may be associated with adolescent smoking
A parent who quits smoking may lower the risk of his or her adolescent starting to smoke, according to a study by NIDA-supported researchers from Arizona State University and Indiana University.

Call for longer-term use of antidepressants
Authors of a UK study in this week's issue of The Lancet highlight how longer-term use of antidepressants--by a year or more in addition to standard 4-6 month treatment--could substantially reduce the risk of relapse for people with depressive disorders.

Selegiline hydrochloride may help smokers quit
NIDA-supported researchers from Yale University Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center (TTURC) have found more evidence that monoamine oxidase-B (MAO-B) inhibitors may be an effective treatment for nicotine addiction.

Can't stand the pain? Your genes may be to blame
A tiny variation in a single gene may help explain why some people can withstand pain -- or other physical or emotional stress -- better than others, researchers report.

Execution: An unwanted side-effect
This week's Lancet editorial speaks out strongly against the recent St Louis federal appeals court decision that Charles Laverner Singleton -on death row since 1979 for the murder of a shop clerk- should receive antipsychotic treatment to make him well enough for execution.

Both antidepressant therapy and counseling may help smokers achieve short-term abstinence
A study to determine whether counseling increases the efficacy of antidepressants in smoking cessation programs found that such combination therapy did not add benefit to antidepressant therapy.

Women catching up to men in lung cancer deaths: Gender equality?
In many countries, including the United States, women's death rates from lung cancer have been catching up to the rates for men.

Fly mutation suggests link to human brain disease
The finding of a new genetic mutation that prompts adult fruit flies to develop symptoms similar to Alzheimer's disease may have human implications.

Political leaders to speak at major conference in Northern Ireland
Leading politicians and academics will debate the record of devolution in Northern Ireland and its prospects for the future at a major conference organised by the Economic and Social Research Council in early March.

Health crisis in Iraq
The impact of war on the health of Iraq's people is the focus of a ten-page special report in this week's issue of the Lancet.

Johns Hopkins uses IBM technology in heart disease research
Johns Hopkins University researchers are using IBM technology to discover how genes and proteins can influence heart disease.

Natural anti-inflammatory agent may shield brain from stroke damage
Stroke patients with higher levels of a natural anti-inflammatory chemical called interleukin-10 (IL-10) in their blood suffer less brain damage after a stroke, according to a study published in today's rapid access issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Call for longer-term use of antidepressants
Authors of a UK study in this week's issue of the Lancet highlight how longer-term use of antidepressants-by a year or more in addition to standard 4-6 month treatment-could substantially reduce the risk of relapse for people with depressive disorders.

New molecular self-assembly technique may mimic how cells assemble themselves
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Sheffield report in the Feb.

NIH study will test best ways to lower risk of heart disease in adults with type 2 diabetes
A major new study will test the best approaches to lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Quitting smoking offers benefits; unsuccessful attempts may change view of health risk
Researchers have found that smokers who succeeded in quitting reported less stress and did not experience increases in negative moods.

Work not a 'haven' from home
Even though more and more women became employed in the past three decades, they did not increasingly look to work as a haven, according to Jill Kiecolt, professor of sociology, whose studies of more than two decades of surveys of adults in the United States discovered a number of myths about work satisfaction.

New treatment option for heroin addiction
An alternative drug therapy to methadone for the treatment of heroin addiction is proposed by Swedish authors of a study in this week's issue of the Lancet.

Too much coffee during pregnancy risks stillbirth
Pregnant women who drink eight or more cups of coffee a day run more than twice the risk of stillbirth compared with women who do not drink coffee, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Rutgers' Tanzanian fossil reshuffles the deck on early human ancestry
The fossilized jaw of a 1.8 million-year-old human ancestor (hominid) from Tanzania may just be one of the five best specimens out of about 50 known to represent the earliest members of the genus Homo.

OHSU scientists locate, characterize key hormone involved in appetite control
OHSU researchers and other collaborators have studied the impacts of a hormone found in the stomach and the brain that increases appetite.

New study to test ways to lower heart disease risk in adults with type 2 diabetes
The Diabetes Research Centre at St. Michael's Hospital is one of 70 clinics in the United States and Canada to take part in the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD).

First population study of GM mosquitoes highlights difficulties facing malaria control technique
The first laboratory population study of genetically modified mosquitoes identifies issues that need to be faced in the task of turning mosquitoes from disease carriers into disease fighters.

Doctors may omit information when copying letters to patients
From April 2004, patients will receive copies of all correspondence between clinicians working in the NHS as a matter of course.

More frequent rest breaks could reduce industrial accidents
Increasing the frequency of short rest-breaks for factory workers who operate machinery could substantially reduce their risk of industrial accidents, suggest authors of a research letter in this week's issue of the Lancet.

Trade union structures and strategies must change if membership and influence are really to return
Britain's trade unions need to re-think their structures and strategies if they are to meet the challenges of change both globally and in the workplace, according to new research funded by the ESRC.

Backstage with a command performer
Since the late 1970s, the genes for making immunoglobulin, a family of blood proteins that compose the antibodies, sufficed to explain the B cell's vast oeuvre.

Elevated homocysteine in heart patients linked with higher stroke risk
Elevated levels of the amino acid homocysteine may be significantly associated with an increased risk of stroke in people who already have coronary heart disease, researchers report in today's rapid access issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

The Fifth World Archaeological Congress Convening for the first time in North America
For the first time in North America the only worldwide representative organization in archaeology will bring an estimated 1,000 archaeologists, native people and international scholars to Washington, D.C. for the Fifth World Archaeological Congress (WAC-5) at the Catholic University of America June 21 - 26, 2003.

Surprising results for Ugandan HIV intervention trial
Results of a study in this week's issue of the Lancet show how interventions to promote safer sex and the control of sexually transmitted diseases did not reduce the incidence of HIV infection in an area of rural Uganda.

Squirrels' evolutionary 'family tree' reveals major influence of climate, geology
The first-ever genetic delineation of nearly all existing squirrel groups suggests not only some surprising branchings in the squirrels' family tree.
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