Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 24, 2003
Repeal of estate tax to increase tax burden and widen wealth gap
The federal government's most effective tool for reducing wealth inequality is the estate tax, but the tax is being phased out so that by 2010, the government will no longer collect taxes on the estates of the rich.

Birth control pill may provide relief for PMS
The physical and emotional symptoms associated with a woman's menstrual cycle, commonly referred to as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), were significantly reduced in women taking the combination of drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol contained in the oral contraceptive Yasmin, as reported in a study published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine.

Evidence acquits Clovis people of ancient killings, archaeologists say
Archaeologists have uncovered another piece of evidence that seems to exonerate some of the earliest humans in North American of charges of exterminating 35 genera of Pleistocene epoch mammals.

Drug tested for HIV prevention in Baltimore
As effective vaccines against HIV remain elusive, Johns Hopkins researchers have completed the first tests to see if a drug already used to treat HIV infection might one day be used to prevent sexual and blood-borne transmission of the virus that causes AIDS.

Drug strongly reduces risk of heart failure in children after cardiac surgery
Infants and young children with heart defects benefited from a drug they received shortly after cardiac surgery.

ACE inhibitor drug reduces heart failure in high-risk patients
The drug ramipril significantly reduced the onset of debilitating and often-fatal heart failure in a large group of high-risk patients, researchers report in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Tiny computing machine fueled by DNA
Fifty years after the discovery of the structure of DNA, a new use has been found for this celebrated molecule: fuel for molecular computation systems.

Progesterone regulates male behavior toward infants
In an unexpected discovery, a team led by Northwestern University scientists has become the first to show that progesterone, a hormone usually associated with female reproduction and maternal behavior, plays a key role in regulating male aggression toward infants in mice.

X-Rays yield mechanism of Alzheimer's drug
A team of Weizmann scientists has gained new insight into the effects of a newly approved drug, rivastigmine, in treating Alzheimer's disease, a debilitating brain disease causing memory loss in around 10% of the elderly.

American College of Preventive Medicine weighs in against 'fad' diets for weight loss
The American College of Preventive Medicine, the nation's premier organization of physicians specializing in disease prevention and health promotion, releases a position statement opposing popular fad diets as a means for losing weight.

NMR - The movie
Ten construction workers will often get a job done faster than one.

Variety of casual acquaintances affects success and health
Knowing many kinds of people in many social contexts improves one's chance of getting a good job, developing a range of cultural interests, feeling in control of one's life and feeling healthy.

Teasing apart the molecules of life
Fifty years after James Watson and Francis Crick's publication of the structure of DNA, research in the latest issue of the Journal of Biology shows how scientists can now measure the forces needed to tear the DNA double helix apart.

Hundreds of highly branched molecules unite in a giant self-assembled liquid crystal lattice
Uniting hundreds of thousands of atoms, a supramolecular structure created by scientists at the University of Pennsylvania and University of Sheffield is one of the most complex ever made via self-assembly, where molecules organize themselves into larger structures.

Dyslexic children`s brains operate more like those of normal readers following training
For the first time, researchers have shown that the brains of dyslexic children can be rewired - after undergoing intensive remediation training - to function more like those found in normal readers.

Harder working transistors through automated FPGA compiling
An elderly, low-clockrate Field Programmable Gate Array matched the performance of a state-of-the-art workstation on a standard task when programmed using new compiling tools being developed at USC's Information Sciences Institute.

Keeping tabs on teens may curb alcohol use and risks
Adolescents whose parents closely monitor their activities are less likely to use alcohol or to be in risky situations involving alcohol, suggests new research published in the American Journal of Health Behavior.

The common cold coughs up $40 billion annual price tag
Catching a cold isn't cheap. A new study reports that the cost of the common cold to the U.S. economy is $40 billion a year - substantially more than other conditions such as asthma, heart failure and emphysema.

Smoking, drinking at school may be contagious for teens
Teens are more likely to share smoking and drinking habits with their peers when they attend schools with a relatively large number of students who use tobacco or alcohol, according to a new study.

Scientists find 'stem cells' in human breast cancer
Of all the neoplastic cells in human breast cancers, only a small minority - perhaps as few as one in 100 - appear to be capable of forming new malignant tumors, according to new research using human breast cancer tissue.

OHSU launches gene therapy trial for macular degeneration
OHSU researchers have kicked off a gene therapy clinical trial aimed at treating patients with age-related macular degeneration.

Gene variant discovery could save blood in surgery
Bleeding after cardiac surgery is a major problem, using up to 20 percent of the nation's blood supply.

Low dose warfarin prevents recurrence of blood clots-- NHLBI stops study
A study of long-term, low-dose warfarin to prevent the recurrence of the blood clotting disorders deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism resulted in such a high degree of benefit to the patients - without significant adverse effects - that the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health has stopped the study early.

2 US doctors stop blood clot drug study early because better results seem clear
Doctors have curtailed a multi-center national study of treatment for blood clots early since an interim analysis of patient data indicated a proposed new treatment was clearly superior to the standard practice.

Surveys find chronic conditions a widespread concern
Surveys conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health show a majority of physicians, policy makers, and the public are concerned that the nation's health care system does not address the needs of people with chronic medical conditions.

Argonne researchers create powerful stem cells from blood
The particularly powerful - and very scarce - flexible forms of stem cells needed for medical research and treatment may now be both plentiful and simple to produce, with a new technology developed at the U.S.

Hormones, sand & terrorism
Story ideas from NOAA'S Sea Grant Program: 1) Bovine hormone could provide boost to tilapia aquaculture; 2)Researchers forecast best beach nourishment sand dredging sites; 3) New book contends no avenue is more open to terrorism than American seaports. 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