Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 31, 2003
Accident in animal lab raises questions about a chemical used in some plastics
A sudden increase in chromosome abnormalities in a mouse colony has raised questions about the safe level of exposure for bisphenol A, a chemical used to make some common plastics and resins.

Effecting change in prescribing patterns
Researchers reporting in this issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal say an intervention program designed to help eliminate inappropriate prescribing of benzodiazepines had no effect on prescribing patterns.

Emory scientists present alternative for surgical biventricular resynchronization
A team of Emory researchers has successfully employed an innovative alternative technique for biventricular resynchronization that can be performed in patients with severe congestive heart failure (CHF) who have not been able to find help through biventricular resynchronization therapy in the past, due to technical difficulties.

Getting a handle on sensitive cycles
Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg have now described a new model of how cells constantly monitor their exposure to estrogen.

Component in plastic bottles found to cause abnormal pregnancies in mice
New evidence suggests environmental exposure to BPA, a compound used in the manufacutre of plastic bottles, may cause chromosomally abnormal pregnancies.

Biological and chemical agents in terrorism examined at AAN Annual Meeting
The neurological effects of bioterrorism and the history of biological warfare will be examined at the American Academy of Neurology 55th Annual Meeting taking place this week in Honolulu.

Researchers say deadly twist key to sickle cell disease
Patients with sickle cell disease have mutant haemoglobin proteins that form deadly long, stiff fibres inside red blood cells.

Natural approach to cleaning up toxic freeway runoff urged
UCLA researchers are taking a natural approach to preventing storm-water runoff from washing thousands of pounds of pollutants into the ocean each time it rains.

Vegetation essential to balancing climate models
Scientists at MIT trying to create accurate models of climate change in the southern portion of the Sahara desert found that including a realistic component of vegetation growth and decay was absolutely essential.

Finding ways to best help older Americans
What works for the aging population, why does it work, and with whom does it work best?

CRESTOR gets more patients to LDL-C goal than current lipid-lowering therapy
Researchers at this year's American College of Cardiology congress announced today that AstraZeneca's new statin, CRESTOR (rosuvastatin) 10mg significantly improves patients' chances of achieving their European and US NCEP ATP III guideline goals for LDL-cholesterol ('bad' cholesterol) - a key target for the management of cardiovascular disease - compared to 10mg of atorvastatin.[1]

Parkinson's implant improves quality of life long term
Using an electrical brain stimulator can improve the quality of life for Parkinson's disease patients long term, according to research presented during the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting in Honolulu, March 29-April 5, 2003.

Defect of cilia-assembly protein could cause most common genetic cause of kidney failure
A protein responsible for the assembly of cell cilia - the hair-like projections from cells - may cause polycystic kidney disease, the most common genetic cause of kidney failure, according to a new study at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

ACP: People with diabetes need to know two numbers
People with diabetes need to know two numbers: their blood sugar number and blood pressure numbers, said the American College of Physicians (ACP) in new guidelines issued in Annals of Internal Medicine today.

New Cincinnati Children's study reveals heart abnormalities in obese children
A new Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center study suggests that certain abnormalities of the heart are more common in obese children than in children of normal weight.

Emory study finds depression has negative impact on CABG outcome
Clinical depression can have a significant impact on how people function physically in their daily lives following coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG).

DAF most helpful for stutterers with atypical auditory anatomy
Researchers in New Orleans have identified a subset of stutterers that may benefit most from delayed auditory feedback, a technique by which the original acoustic speech signal is artificially modified and then fed back via headphones.

Diabetic women gain significant health benefits from eating fish
Eating fish regularly reduced the risk of heart disease in diabetic women by as much as 64 percent, according to study reported in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

West Nile Virus can cause polio-like symptoms
More evidence shows that West Nile virus can cause a polio-like syndrome with paralysis and impaired breathing.

Univ. of Pittsburgh receives $6.3M NIH grant to study oral health disparities in Appalachia
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, in cooperation with West Virginia University's School of Dentistry, have received a 7 year, $6.3 million grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research to determine factors that contribute to oral health disparities in Appalachia.

New immune-boosting cancer treatment shows promise
The first clinical trials of a new type of cancer treatment that releases the

Immunization may prove therapeutic for prion diseases
Researchers at NYU School of Medicine have found that immunization prolongs the incubation period for prion diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and may have therapeutic value for other neurodegenerative illness such as Alzheimer's disease.

Cholesterol lowering drug effective in treating most common form of multiple sclerosis
Simvastatin, a cholesterol-lowering drug, has shown promise in treating the most common form of multiple sclerosis (MS), according to researchers from Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix.

Vitamin C transforms mouse stem cells into heart muscle cells
Vitamin C helped convert mouse embryonic stem cells growing in the laboratory to heart muscle cells, researchers report today's rapid track publication of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

GSA cordilleran section meets this week in Puerto Vallarta
Geoscientists from around the globe are gathering this week in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, for the 99th annual meeting of the Geological Society of America Cordilleran Section.

Drug reduces deaths and hospital stays in heart attack patients with heart failure
A drug that blocks a heart-harming hormone can significantly reduce the risk of death and hospitalization in heart attack patients who have heart failure, with minimal side effects, a new international study released today shows.

Stem cell research
University of Chicago geneticist Bruce Lahn predicts that the debate over stem cell research will give way to the benefits of this yet untapped scientific resource.

Depression has negative impact on coronary artery bypass surgery outcome
Clinical depression can have a significant impact on how people function physically in their daily lives following coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG).

Carnegie Mellon to host first American Open in robot soccer, and Honda's ASIMO humanoid robot
More than 150 researchers from North and South America and their autonomous, soccer-playing robots will meet at Carnegie Mellon University from April 30-May 4 to compete in the International RoboCup Federation's First American Open.

Cells use patch to heal tears, avoid destruction and disease
Most cells in the body rapidly repair many tears to their delicate surface that result from everyday use, trauma or disease, says a Medical College of Georgia researcher.

Training the ethical doctor
A study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that medical students' ethical skills levelled out over the course of their studies at a lower threshold of development than expected for their age group.

Fetal heart diagnosis doesn't always predict survival
New research from University of Michigan pediatric cardiologists who studied the survival rate of fetuses diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) found that in utero diagnosis does not always help a baby's survival.

NSAIDS may offer protection against Alzheimer's disease
Researchers have found evidence that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen, may exert a protective effect against the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Ultra-simple desktop device slows light to a crawl at room temperature
Though Einstein put his foot down and demanded that nothing can move faster than light, a new device developed at the University of Rochester may let you outpace a beam by putting your foot down on the gas pedal.

Doctors prescribing fewer unnecessary antibiotics that promote bacterial resistance
There is good news and bad news about the war against antibiotic resistance in the United States, according to a study by researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC).

Immune response depends on key molecule: Research
In a new study published in the April 1, 2003 issue of Genes and Development, scientists at University Health Network's Advanced Medical Discovery Institute (AMDI)/Ontario Cancer Institute (OCI) have shown that a molecule called caspase-8 plays a key role in the immune system response, by controlling how T-cells are activated to respond to infections.

West Nile Virus cases analyzed for prevalence and symptoms
Researchers from Chicago have identified focal neurological deficits as a major group of presenting symptoms among patients with West Nile Virus infection, which became epidemic in the United States in 2002.

Annals of Internal Medicine, tip sheet, April 1, 2003
This press release contains two highlighted articles:

Stem cells contribute to tissue regeneration in mice with ALS
Researchers have shown that bone marrow-derived stem cells contribute to the regeneration of central nervous system, cardiac and skeletal muscle in mice with an animal version of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Prions offer nanotech building tool
The same characteristics that make misfolded proteins known as prions such a pernicious medical threat in neurodegenerative diseases may offer a construction toolkit for manufacturing nanoscale electrical circuits.

Folic acid-iron supplements reduce risk of low birth weight
A study, conducted in rural Nepal found that multiple vitamin supplements during pregnancy may not be any more effective in reducing the risk of low birth weight babies than folic acid-iron supplements.

Oxygen level on buttocks detects pelvic blood flow problems
A noninvasive, inexpensive technique quickly and accurately detects circulation problems in the pelvic region, according to a report in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
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