Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 02, 2003
AAAS analyzes federal R&D 2004 budget
How will non-defense agencies cope with limited R&D funds, and how will the 2004 budget affect R&D for health and general science?

Immigrant status, country of origin reveal important differences in smoking prevalence
Statistics concerning immigrant status and country of origin can reveal important health behavior differences that are often obscured by broad racial/ethnic categories used in national-level health surveys.

Competition among Medicare health plans not a cure-all
Competition among private-sector Medicare health plans may be a useful tool to reconfigure care delivery but is unlikely to generate the savings necessary to help the program withstand the retirement of the baby-boom generation, according to a Health Affairs Web-exclusive article posted today.

Dartmouth researchers find new imaging method may lower risks for abdominal aortic aneurysms
In an article published in the April issue of the Journal of Vascular Surgery, Dr.

UCR researchers' discovery of electrostatic spin topples century-old theory
UC Riverside researchers Anders Wistrom and Armik Khachatourian have identified a new physical phenomenon, electrostatic rotation, that, in the absence of friction, leads to spin.

Study of history indicates Iraqi war will last 2-10 months
A statistical analysis of key factors in wars fought over the past nearly 200 years indicates that the Iraqi war will last 2 to 10 months, according to a Penn State political scientist.

Penn study: One in four Philadelphia households faces extreme difficulty finding affordable housing
Fully one-quarter of households in Philadelphia are fighting a losing battle in their quest to find affordable housing.

UGA invention leads to FDA-approved pharmaceutical
People with a disease called chronic dry eye will have access to a new treatment this spring.

Statins could reduce risk of cardiovascular disease
The benefit of statins to prevent cardiovascular disease could extend to people receiving therapy for high blood pressure, conclude authors of an international study published in The Lancet this week.

New data for CRESTOR® from stellar trial presented at ACC annual scientific session
New Phase III data presented today at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) 52nd Annual Scientific Session show that AstraZeneca's investigational lipid-lowering medication CRESTOR® (rosuvastatin calcium) reduced LDL or

Speedy elephants use a biomechanical trick to 'run' like Groucho
A study published in the April 3 issue of Nature solves a longstanding mystery about elephant speeds by clocking the animals at 15 miles per hour.

Fears grow over 'mad elk disease'
The death of three hunters in North American from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is likely to raise fears that people are contracting the fatal brain disorder from deer.

Heart disease in women, radioactive cigarettes, innovative stents among convention topics
Describing new technologies, new approaches to treatment, and new discoveries in the genesis and diagnosis of heart disease, researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center will make numerous presentations at the annual scientific session of the American College of Cardiology in Chicago, Mar.

In a noisy world, how can the senses project and receive information at the same time?
The answer may be found in the simple male crickets, which sing for hours at loud sound pressure levels in order to attract females.

Coots can count
Coots, the Rodney Dangerfields of the bird world, just might start to get some respect as a result of a new study showing that these common marsh birds are able to recognize and count their own eggs, even in the presence of eggs laid by other birds.

New report that evaluates renewable energy resources on public lands available
As part of efforts to advance the President's National Energy Policy, the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management and the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory announce the availability of a new report that identifies and evaluates renewable energy resources on public lands.

As harmful as osteoporosis but less well known - New research better explains sarcopenia
A mechanism is newly revealed which may explain why IL-6 is a strong risk factor for disability in muscle function.

St. Jude counseling program reduces likelihood that children who survive cancer will use tobacco
A counseling program developed at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is the first of its kind to show success in reducing future intentions to use tobacco among pre-adolescents and adolescents who survived cancer.

Can we halt the deadly SARS?
As concern grows over the continuing spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, the key question is whether the disease can be contained, which is still uncertain.

Mandatory reporting of seizures can have negative impact
Requiring doctors to report their patients' seizures to the state can lead patients to withhold information from their doctors and can harm the doctor-patient relationship, according to research presented during the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting in Honolulu, March 29-April 5, 2003.

Peering inside a blood vessel
Concerned that a patient is suffering from a blocked blood vessel, a doctor might snake a catheter through the blood vessel system to the blocked artery, inject a contrast agent and take X-ray images of the site.

Fruit consumption related to increased risk of Parkinson's?
Researchers in Honolulu have found a correlation between high fruit and fruit drink consumption and risk of Parkinson's disease.

Scientists identify protein channel that mediates body's ability to feel frigid temperatures
A group of researchers from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF) have identified and isolated a novel protein that mediates the body's ability to sense cold through the skin.

St. Jude develops vaccine against potential pandemic influenza virus H5N1 using reverse genetics
Scientists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital announced today the development of a vaccine against H5N1, a new lethal influenza virus that triggered the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a pandemic alert in February 2003.

New research tool allows perimenopausal women to assess their ovulation status
The Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN)a multisite, multiethnic, longitudinal study of midlife women, provides an objective assessment of presumed ovulatory status as participants proceed toward menopause.

Same gene found to cause mental retardation in children, neurodegenerative condition in older males
Researchers have recently discovered a progressive neurodegenerative condition -- resulting in tremor, balance problems, and dementia -- which may affect as many as one in 3,000 men.

VA increasing flu immunization rate
As a study in this week's New England Journal of Medicine further documents the substantial benefits of influenza vaccinations for the elderly, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has dramatically increased flu immunization among its patients.

NIDA to host two-day conference in September
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) will host a two-day conference,

New data show Lp-PLA2 and CRP associated with incidence of coronary heart disease
Late-breaking data presented today at the American College of Cardiology's 52nd Annual Scientific Session show that both lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) and high-sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hs-CRP) are independently associated with the incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD).

Cosmic chemistry in interstellar clouds points to galactic wind of low-energy cosmic rays
The chemistry inside interstellar hydrogen clouds can tell scientists a lot about conditions in the galaxy.

Drug slows progression of moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease
A drug that quashes the activity of a key brain chemical is the first effective treatment for patients in the later stages of Alzheimer's disease, according to the results of a large multi-center clinical study published in the April 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Internet rising as preferred traffic info source
If you still prefer getting your traffic reports from radio or TV, you may be showing your age.

Sandia researchers partner with SFO, others to develop facility-protection system
Building on the success of a program first employed at Washington, D.C.'s Metro subway system, researchers at the Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories in California are working with San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to test operational capabilities and new detection systems that will protect against chemical or biological terrorist threats.

The new role of S&T leaders
How can science answer the big questions we face today, and what is the role of the scientist in forming public policy?

Dinosaur cannibal unearthed in Madagascar
The exotic island of Madagascar, situated off the southeast coast of Africa, was a dangerous place to live 65 million to 70 million years ago.

Study provides new insights into the functional neuroanatomy of motor imagery
A new study using fMRI allows scientists to study brain activity during explicit mental operations.

Beyond 'pi in the sky'
For most of us, ''inflation'' is a term that comes up only in conversations about the economy or flat tires.

Cerebral palsy symptoms improve with botulinum toxin
Children with cerebral palsy show long-term improvement through treatment with botulinum toxin, according to research presented during the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting in Honolulu, March 29-April 5, 2003.

IBM to help CERN build massive data grid
IBM and CERN are collaborating to create a massive data-management system built on Grid computing.

Broccoli could fight cancer
Eating raw broccoli releases a potent anti-carcinogenic chemical, say American researchers.

Poor health keeps elderly from seeking preventive care
Poor physical health and disabilities may keep older HMO patients from seeking preventive care like mammograms and flu shots and changing unhealthy behaviors like smoking, according to a new study.

Exanta - pivitol data from largest ever phase III stroke prevention trial announced at ACC
Results from the SPORTIF III* study demonstrate that ExantaTM (ximelagatran), the first in a new class of oral direct thrombin inhibitor (Oral DTI), has potential to be an effective and convenient replacement for warfarin in the prevention of stroke and systemic embolic events (SEE) in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), without the warfarin limitations of drug interactions, the need for coagulation monitoring and dose titration.

Study finds drug can cut chance of a heart attack by more than a third
Results from the ASCOT (Anglo Scandinavian Cardiac Outcome Trial) study have shown that patients receiving the cholesterol controlling drug, atorvastatin, are more than a third less likely to have heart attacks, and more than a quarter less likely to suffer from strokes. 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