Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 26, 2003
Improved molecular beacons show promise for cancer detection, rapid viral diagnosis
Diagnosing cancer may one day involve introducing

Humongous fungus a new kind of individual
The world's biggest fungus, discovered in Oregon's Blue Mountains in 2001, is challenging traditional notions of what constitutes an individual.

Bonds strengthened on mechanically linked molecules
A Virginia Tech graduate student has improved upon the bonds that control various shapes of mechanically- linked molecules and has created a less bulky structure that might provide a means for drug delivery within the body -- a molecular capsule.

Rare blood disease shown to be a form of treatable cancer
In the process of figuring out why an anti-cancer drug is effective in treating patients with a rare blood disorder known as hypereosinophilic syndrome, or HES, researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have shown that the condition may in fact be a form of cancer.

New water treatment process could help cities cut sludge disposal costs
An innovative technique has been proposed for treating and purifying wastewater, which could spare budget-strapped municipalities some of the expense of handling the sludge that remains after treatment.

Astronomical archive produced by 2Mass telescope project now available online
The vast archive of images and data resulting from the Two Micron All-Sky Survey (2Mass), the most thorough, high-resolution survey of the sky, has been completed.

Italian research reveals a new twist in the battle of the sexes
New research from Italy reveals how hard mother nature tries to compensate male foetuses and newborns for their fragility by using favourable reproductive conditions to give them a much bigger than expected head start over females.

Screening technique streamlines search for anticancer drugs
Researchers have developed a new strategy to identify chemical compounds that are active only in the presence of certain cancer-causing genes and proteins.

Scientists debate meaning of 40-million-year-old primate fossils in Nature
Expert calls new primate fossils

Leadership styles help platoons perform well in simulated combat situations
Two styles of leadership - rewarding performance and building identification for the mission -- used in combination are good predictors of simulated Army platoon unit performances during times of high stress and uncertainty, according to a study on leadership styles and performance.

NIST, international team develop materials data exchange language
Diplomats may need translators to follow U.N. debates and parents may be clueless as to the language that their teenagers speak, but thanks to a NIST-led international team, materials scientists and engineers no longer have a communication problem that has been troubling them for years.

Sea Grant News & Notes for March 26, 2003
Sea Grant research news include New Oregon Sea Grant fecal test may track source of non-point source pollution; Great Lakes facing record low water levels; and Sea Grant Media Office closing.

Email gives the game away
Terrorists or criminal gangs could give themselves away via email - even if they're only discussing the weather.

New biological sensors for detecting blood glucose developed by Hebrew University, U.S. Scientists
Research conducted by scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the U.S.

Researchers model evolution of influenza virus
As health agencies around the world race to pinpoint the cause of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), researchers are reporting success in developing a new theoretical model that shows how the pressure exerted by the immune response of an infected population can drive evolution of influenza virus.

Researchers discover new breast cancer gene
Scientists at Tularik Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRK) and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have discovered a new gene that is expressed at abnormally high levels in nearly 50% of the breast cancer specimens they examined.

Mayo first to launch new enzyme-based cardiovascular risk assessment test
Mayo Medical Laboratories, the international reference laboratory for Mayo Clinic, announced today that it is the first to offer the PLACTM test.

OXiGENE awarded US patent for vascular targeting technology
OXiGENE, Inc., a Massachusetts biopharmaceutical company, has been granted a U.S. patent covering methods of targeting and destroying abnormal blood vessels that proliferate in diseases such as cancer and macular degeneration.

New study shows drivers using cell phones twice as likely to cause rear-end collisions
Drivers talking on cell phones are nearly twice as likely as other drivers involved in crashes to have rear-end collisions, according to a new University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study.

Mothers' psychological symptoms influence which children go to the doctor
Children whose mothers are the most depressed, anxious, and report high levels of psychosomatic symptom are twice as likely to be taken to a doctor when they complain of a stomach ache or abdominal pain than are children whose mothers report the least amount of such mental stress.

NIDA to host two-day neuroscience symposium
The National Institute on Drug Abuse is hosting a symposium,

Economist says trading life for identity is key to the 'logic' of suicide terrorism
Suicide terrorism seems to many to defy logic. Economists find the idea particularly hard to understand in the context of economic theories that are usually based on ideas of self interest: surely self interest must preclude self killing?

Study finds opioids offer significant reduction in nerve-damage pain
Attempting to resolve a long-standing controversy, UCSF researchers have shown that people suffering from chronic pain due to nervous system damage - known as neuropathic pain -- improved significantly after an eight-week course of the morphine-like medication levorphanol.

Reducing the number of walk-in patients won't help solve emergency department overcrowding: Study
On any given day, hospitals divert ambulances as much as 40 per cent of the time due to overcrowding in their emergency departments - but reducing the volume of walk-in patients with minor illnesses will not alleviate the problem, says a new study by University of Toronto researchers.

New proteomic techniques reveal workings of bacteria linked to cystic fibrosis
Researchers have identified a cell signaling system that may help the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa establish itself in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients.

NIST device helps ensure gunlock performance
A number of states have enacted safety laws to help gun owners reduce the chance of accidental shootings or inappropriate use of their firearms.

Studies of rare blood syndrome yield novel route to cancer
By carefully studying why a rare blood disorder responds to the anti-cancer drug Gleevec, Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers and their colleagues have discovered an entirely new mechanism that generates cancer-causing genes.

Researchers spy stellar bull's eye
In the early months of 2002, astronomers scanning the sky saw something highly unusual -- and they still don't know exactly what it is.

Sonography is more accurate imaging test for detecting breast cancer in young women
Results of a new study show that breast sonography is more accurate than mammography in symptomatic women 45 years old or younger, and may be an appropriate initial imaging test in investigating these women.

St. Jude researchers decipher structure, activity of enzyme key to biochemical pathways of life
Scientists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have discovered how a single enzyme called E1 performs a rapid-fire, three-part chemical makeover of a protein that helps control some of the most fundamental biochemical processes of the human cell.

Fossil teeth reveal oldest bushbabies, lorises
A small collection of teeth and jaw fragments sifted from the Egyptian desert has provided the earliest fossil evidence for one of the three major lines of primates.

Fuel cell starting materials are industrially available
Polymers required to manufacture the proton exchange membrane portion of fuel cells are unique -- but they are available.

Needle and thread molecules connecting materials in new ways
Virginia Tech chemistry professor H.W. Gibson and his students have been able to take advantage of self assembly to create new chemical structures from mechanically-linked molecules.

Highlights of American Chemical Society's national meeting in New Orleans
More than 8,500 presentations on cutting-edge scientific research are on the agenda for the 225th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, March 23-27 in New Orleans.

Smoking could speed up lung cancer
Nicotine in cigarette smoke may boost the growth of existing tumours as well as triggering lung cancer.

Program wins first Youth Development Award from Grant Foundation
The University-Assisted Community School Program, developed by the Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania, has won the first Youth Development Award from the William T.

New species of earliest-known salamanders found in China
For more than three years, scientists from the University of Chicago and Peking University in Beijing have been collecting thousands of salamander fossils, many of which preserve the entire skeleton and impressions of soft tissues, from seven excavation sites in Mongolia and China.

Low-income black smokers light up to relieve stress
Low-income black smokers in New Orleans and Memphis say that smoking helps them deal with stress, according to a new study.

Oregon Research Institute brings research results into clinical practice
Oregon Research Institute (ORI) scientists are throwing open their doors to bridge the gap between research and practice by sponsoring the first annual Research to Practice Conference at ORI in Eugene on Friday, April 11, 2003.
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