Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 27, 2003
Media Advisory 2 - 2003 EGS-AGU-EUG Joint Assembly
Some 9-10,000 Earth and space scientists will assemble for the largest meeting of its type ever held in Europe, 7-11 April.

Scientists get first close look at stardust
For the first time, scientists have identified and analyzed single grains of silicate stardust in the laboratory.

Downward trend in UK deaths from CJD
Trends in mortality in the UK from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) are outlined in a research letter in this week's issue of The Lancet.

WWII discovery may counter bioterrorists
A biochemical discovery during World War II might be an effective response against today's threat of bioterrorism, particularly the use of poison gases.

Time to go beyond cholesterol, MUHC cardiologists suggest
Cardiologists from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) suggest that there is a better way to determine risk of heart disease than measuring cholesterol.

Scientists at Scripps Research Institute address mysteries of ozone in the human body
In what is a first for biology, a team of investigators at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) is reporting that the human body makes ozone.

Vitamin D can prevent fractures in older people
Vitamin D supplements reduce fractures in men and women aged over 65 living in the general community, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Mobile phones could be allowed in some parts of hospitals
The use of mobile phones in hospitals is not as hazardous as believed and they could be allowed in selected areas, say doctors at the John Radcliffe Hospital in this week's BMJ.

Syndromic surveillance for bioterrorism following World Trade Center attack
This report describes the operational and maintenance aspects of conducting syndromic surveillance for bioterrorism and demonstrates the limitations of drop-in systems that rely on manual data collection.

Screening test can help identify cancer survivors at risk for emotional distress
A relatively brief screening test can give caregivers a good indication of which cancer survivors are emotionally distressed and may benefit from further psychological evaluation, according to new research by a team of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators.

Father's genes may play a role in timing of birth
A father's genes may play a role in the timing of birth and in the risk of repeating a prolonged pregnancy, suggest researchers in this week's BMJ.

Stanford research points to chance as cause of genetic diseases in Ashkenazi Jews
A population of Jewish people known as the Ashkenazi Jews have an unusually high risk of several genetic diseases, and up until now, no one has understood why.

Int'l study highlights priorities for halving global burden of cardiovascular disease
Authors of a study in this week's issue of the Lancet describe the major personal and public-health factors that should be addressed which could lead to a halving of the global health burden of cardiovascular disease.

NSF chooses alternative method to refuel its main Antarctic research station
The cumulative effects of at least two years of unusual ice conditions in McMurdo Sound are keeping a fuel tanker from reaching the pier at the National Science Foundation's (NSF) McMurdo Station, where it normally would deliver the fuel to keep the U.S.

New poll shows dramatic rise in Americans' 'DNA I.Q.'
A new Harris poll released today shows that the

Researchers pinpoint cause of inherited form of heart failure
Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have discovered how an inherited disorder triggers heart failure by disrupting the flow of calcium in heart muscle cells.

Apolipoproteins better than cholesterol for predicting cardiovascular disease?
Authors of a review in this week's issue of The Lancet outline how the measurement of lipid molecules called apolipoproteins could be more reliable indicators of cardiovascular disease than the measurement of LDL ('bad') cholesterol.

Should mobile phones be allowed in hospitals?
Researchers from Imperial College London are calling for a review of the ban on mobile phone use in UK hospitals, in today's Lancet.

Media may facilitate suicidal acts
The media should be more aware of their potential influence on suicide, according to several letters in this week's BMJ.

Infertility and cancer linked to late stage repair defects
Dr. Winfried Edelmann and colleagues at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Bronx, NY), National Institutes of Health, (Research Triangle Park,NC), and Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (La Jolla, CA), have identified a role for Exonuclease 1 (Exo1) in preventing cancer and infertility.

UC Riverside scientists isolate microorganisms that break down a toxic pesticide
Scientists at the University of California, Riverside report that they have isolated microorganisms capable of degrading endosulfan, a chlorinated insecticide widely used all over the world and is currently registered to control insects and mites on 60 U.S. crops.

Dartmouth Medical School geneticists discover new role for antisense RNA
Dartmouth Medical School geneticists studying the biological clock have opened yet another window into the role of an unusual form of RNA known as antisense that blocks the messages of protein-encoding genes.

Rutgers researcher advances understanding of attention deficit disorder and schizophrenia
At Rutgers, magnetic imaging (EEG and fMRI) is being used to paint a revealing picture of the brain's activities as it reacts to real-world events.

Scientists identify same gene in mice, humans leading to heart failure
A rare genetic mutation that causes heart failure and premature death in people in their teens and 20s acts through the same mechanisms found in lab mice, reports an international team of scientists including two from the University of Toronto.

Structural engineer named dean of UCSD Jacobs School
Frieder Seible, an internationally acclaimed expert in bridge design, structural systems and earthquake engineering, has been appointed, pending the approval of the University of California Board of Regents, Dean of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Jacobs School of Engineering, Chancellor Robert C.

Contributions to German-Japanese cooperation
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft/German Research Foundation (DFG) is awarding the Eugen and Ilse Seibold Prizes for the Promotion of Science and Understanding between Germany and Japan for the fourth time this year.

A new way to compare human and other primate genomes
Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and DOE's Joint Genome Institute have devised a new way to compare the genomes of humans and other closely related primates.

Ethnic bias in leading medical journals
'There is widespread systematic bias in medical journals against diseases that dominate the least-developed regions of the world', comments Lancet Editor Richard Horton in a Commentary in this week's issue of the journal.

FDA approves Watson's Oxytrol TM, first and only transdermal therapy for overactive bladder
Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE: WPI), announced today that the U.S.

Int'l study highlights priorities for halving global burden of cardiovascular disease
Authors of a study in this week's issue of The Lancet describe the major personal and public-health factors that should be addressed which could lead to a halving of the global health burden of cardiovascular disease.

Time to lift the ban on mobile phones in hospital?
Authors of a letter in this week's issue of The Lancet propose that the current ban on the use of mobile telephones in UK hospitals is unjustified.

Mutant protein linked to heart failure
A rare case of familial heart failure has shown that a loss of calcium regulation in heart cells may directly cause this hereditary form of the disease.
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