Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 10, 2003
EHelp donates RoboDemo software worth $75,000 at retail to UC San Diego
eHelp Corporation, the makers of RoboHelp, and University of California, San Diego (USCD) announced today a $75,000 donation in retail value of eHelp's RoboDemo eLearning Edition software to the university through the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology [Cal-(IT)²].

DNA sequence of chromosome 7 decoded
Scientists at The Hospital for Sick Children (HSC) have compiled the complete DNA sequence of human chromosome 7 and decoded nearly all of the genes on this medically important portion of the human genome.

Childhood overweight linked to severe obesity as an adult
Childhood overweight is associated with a significantly higher risk of severe obesity in adulthood, according to a recent study.

Flipper as Rambo: Dolphins can be great naval security tools
Relying on security in wartime can come from a variety of sources - even the flippers of dolphins as they continue to demonstrate in Iraqi waters.

GlaxoSmithKline Drug Discovery and Development Research Grant Program 2003
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will award $500,000 in grants for innovative HIV/AIDS drug research in recognition of the need to produce new alternatives and hope in the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

No justification for laparoscopic adhesiolysis to relieve abdominal pain
Authors of a study in this week's issue of The Lancet provide evidence that laparoscopic adhesiolysis cannot be recommended as a treatment for adhesions in patients with chronic abdominal pain.

MGH/BWH study identifies Alzheimer's associated changes in the eye
A research team led by investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital has discovered that amyloid-beta the protein that forms plaques in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease, can also be detected in the lens of the human eye.

Astronomers stretch 'celestial yardstick' to new lengths
Astronomers'

Antibodies can halve risk of transplant rejection
Giving interleukin-2 receptor antibodies to patients after a kidney transplant can halve the risk of rejection, concludes a study in this week's BMJ.

Nanotubes of gallium nitride, not carbon, prove optically active; potential use as sensors
As scientists rush to exploit new nano-structures to build electronic circuits and sub-microscopic sensors, they also are trying to make the building blocks more versatile.

Images of war raise ethical concerns
Graphic media images of Iraqi civilian casualties raise questions about the boundaries of media ethics and, more importantly, medical ethics, according to an editorial in this week's BMJ.

Women with pre-eclampsia at higher risk of later blood clots
Women with pre-eclampsia have a small but significantly higher risk of subsequent blood clotting (venous thromboembolism) compared with women diagnosed as having other common obstetrical diseases, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Seeking comfort from the cold
Scientists at the University of Arizona have discovered a critical cold-tolerance gene in Arabidopsis.

Retinal abnormalities and AMD associated with hypertension and pulse pressure
Retinal abnormalities in older people without diabetes are related to hypertension.

Proteomics research aids cancer diagnosis and treatment
A new technique may allow physicians to monitor patients' responses to molecularly targeted drugs, according to researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Food and Drug Administration.

Eye clinics ideal for screening elderly patients for depression, other conditions
The results of a pilot study, appearing in the April issue of Ophthalmology, show screening elderly patients in an outpatient ophthalmic clinic may be an effective way to screen for dementia, depression and functional impairment.

Failures in primate cloning may signal impossibility of human reproductive cloning
Fundamental flaws in embryonic development may make therapeutic cloning of nonhuman primates difficult, and reproductive cloning of primates - nonhuman and human alike - impossible, a team of researchers from the Pittsburgh Development Center reports in this week's issue of the journal Science.

'Healing After Suicide Conference' slated for April 26
Grief after someone completes suicide is more complex than if the person had died by other means.

Why Britain's gay, lesbian and bisexual Muslims need dedicated support groups
Scarcity of support groups for Britain's gay, lesbian and other non-heterosexual Muslims is highlighted in a new report sponsored by the Economic & Social Research Council which gives unique insight into the religious and social pressures on their lives.

Clitoral surgery could impair sexual function for people with intersex conditions
UK researchers highlight in this week's issue of The Lancet how clitoral-reduction surgery for infants born with intersex conditions could have a substantial negative impact on sexual functioning in adulthood.

Have medical journals helped to justify war?
Medical journals may have played an important part in providing the political justification for attacking Iraq, argues a public health expert in this week's BMJ.

Difficulties with primate cloning: A religious comment
A brief article by Gerald Schatten et al. (

Migraine sufferers may not be receiving most effective treatment
The majority of people who suffer from migraine headaches, characterized as painful, disabling and recurring headaches, may not be receiving the most effective treatments, according to a study published this month in Headache.

Aerosol cyclosporine spray improves lung function in transplant patients, say researchers
An aerosol form of the anti-rejection drug cyclosporine, which is inhaled directly into the lungs, allows for improved lung function in lung transplant patients, according to a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center study presented today at an international meeting.

Children in military families: Tips for parents and teachers
At present, over 250,000 men and women are away from home on active military duty--stationed at various points around the globe.

Desert sandstorms add dangers for pilots
As the war continues in Iraq, helicopter and fighter pilots face dangers of experiencing disorientation during landings in areas prone to sandstorms.

Poor pain pump designs increase patient risk: University of Toronto study
Designs of patient-controlled pain pumps that do not take into account human interaction with the equipment pose a serious threat to patient safety, University of Toronto researchers say.

UCLA biologists elucidate fertilization process
UCLA biologists report the first experimental test on the role of small-scale physics as it influences the interactions between sperm and egg, and the consequences for fertilization, at the annual conference of the Association for Chemoreception Sciences in Sarasota, FL, April 10.

Brain-damage threat from invasive assessment of heart-valve stenosis
Authors of a study in this week's issue of The Lancet warn against the widespread use of catheterisation to assess the extent of aortic-valve stenosis as this invasive procedure could increase the risk of cerebral blood clotting and brain damage.

Experimental 'coffee cocktail' tested as way to limit stroke damage
An experimental drug delivering the potency of two cups of strong coffee and a mixed drink has been shown to limit stroke-induced brain damage in animals.

Skinny galaxy has supermassive black hole at core, just like bulging galaxies
When astronomers see a spiral galaxy without a central bulge, they assume it has no supermassive black hole at the core.

Widespread cannibalism may have caused prehistoric prion disease epidemics, Science study suggests
Human flesh may have been a fairly regular menu item for our prehistoric ancestors, according to researchers.

Age, degree of refractive error increase chances for LASIK retreatments
Having an initial LASIK correction for high nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, and being older than 40 years of age, increase the chances of needing LASIK retreatments.

Prescription exercise is effective
Advising patients in general practice on exercise (known as the green prescription programme) is effective in increasing physical activity and improving quality of life over 12 months, without evidence of adverse effects, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Avon Foundation-AACR launch new international scholar awards
Promising young breast cancer researchers will be offered an opportunity to continue their research in a prominent U.S. cancer research laboratory under a new award program co-sponsored by the American Association for Cancer Research and the Avon Foundation.

Researchers find protein mechanism for potential atherosclerosis development
Inactivating a protein that helps regulate the proliferation of vascular cells increases the chance of developing atherosclerosis, a major cause of heart disease, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have discovered.
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