Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 15, 2003
University of Toronto team designs twist on software
University of Toronto researchers have created software that will enable users to twist, bend, push and pull shapes in two and three dimensions.

Common thyroid cancer gene mutation found
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have found that a single genetic mistake causes about two-thirds of papillary thyroid cancers.

Brauman to receive Gibbs Medal for achievements in chemistry
The Chicago Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS) has awarded the 2003 J.

Yellowstone wolves, grizzlies and moose 'dysfunctional' study says
A recent study by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) appearing in the journal Biological Conservation warns that a proposal to remove grizzly bears and wolves living in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) from the Endangered Species List is premature, because neither species may be fully recovered.

Researchers develop new plastic recycling process
Plastics are everywhere these days, but current recycling techniques allow only a very limited portion to be reclaimed after initial use.

Early use of universal forms boosts informed consent among ICU patients
Asking permission at the first opportunity rather than when it becomes urgent can nearly double the consent rate for most of the invasive procedures performed in the ICU setting.

DU cast shadow over peace in Iraq
During the Gulf war in 1991 and in the course of the current Iraqi conflict, the US and British troops fired thousands of shells tipped with depleted uranium (DU).

Fall, winter affect investment decisions, say researchers
People who suffer from the 'winter blues' stick to safer investments in the fall but take bigger risks with their money in the winter, researchers find.

Nanometer-thick clay may yield groundbreaking technology
An ultrathin film containing 1-nanometer thick clay particles has been created for the first time, an accomplishment that may yield new materials and devices for medicine, electronics and engineering, according to Purdue University and Belgian scientists.

Cloned pigs differ from originals in looks and behavior
New research at North Carolina State University's College of Veterinary Medicine indicates that cloned pigs can have the same degree of variability in physical appearance and behavior as normally bred animals.

Duke heads $37 million trial of exercise for heart failure
A new $37 million trial could determine definitively whether a tailored exercise program can help heart failure patients live longer.

Scientists returning to field of eerie thermal spires
The bizarre Lost City hydrothermal vent field discovered a little more than two years ago surprised scientists with vents that are the tallest ever seen - the one that's 18 stories dwarfs most vents at other sites by at least 100 feet.

New research dispels popular myth that a bully's words will never hurt you
Research by a psychologist at the University of Warwick into bullying at Secondary Schools dispels the well-known saying

Genetic blueprint for Q fever bacterium unveiled
The genetic blueprint of yet another important disease-causing microbe, the bacterium Coxiella burnetii, has been deciphered and analyzed.

Estrogen patch compared to pill minimizes cardiovascular risk factor in postmenopausal women
Administering estrogen replacement therapy via a skin patch rather than a pill minimizes a cardiovascular risk factor in postmenopausal women, according to researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Decision tool benefits women considering adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer
Women with breast cancer who are considering treatment with adjuvant chemotherapy may benefit in decision making from the use of a formal decision aid, according to a study in the April 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The study found that the addition of a decision aid to a doctor's consultation improved patients' knowledge about their disease and increased their satisfaction with the decision-making process.

Alcohol not always linked to risky choices, study shows
A common assumption that alcohol intoxication always causes people to make risky decisions may not be correct, says a University of Toronto researcher.

Obesity in Costa Rican children 'alarming,' likely future health burden
A new study on the prevalence of obesity and overweight in rural and urban schoolchildren ages 7-12 in Costa Rica concludes that the current situation there is

Study reveals staph infection risk
A study by a Michigan State University physician finds that people undergoing dialysis, as well as those with HIV and others with compromised immune systems, are much more susceptible to deadly staph infections than the general population.

Pediatricians need to talk more about skin cancer prevention
Pediatricians need to give their patients more information about skin cancer prevention and sun protection, according to a recent study from The University of Texas M.

Increased heart mortality rates linked to lower state subsidies of uninsured in New Jersey
The Introduction of market-based competition to New Jersey's hospitals and the state's reduction in subsidies for uninsured medical care have been linked to an increase in mortality rates there.

Other highlights of the April 16 JNCI
Other highlights in the April 16 issue of JNCI include a study of follow-up rates in patients with bladder cancer, a study of a gene expression test for pleural mesothelioma, a clinical trial of bestatin for stage I small-cell lung cancer, a study of apoptosis in colon cancer cells, and a study of a gene mutation in papillary thyroid cancer.

Study questions interval for screening sigmoidoscopy
A new study suggests that screening sigmoidoscopy is associated with a long-term reduction in the incidence of colorectal cancers for up to 16 years--a finding that suggests that the currently recommended screening interval of 5 years may be too aggressive.

Gene variation in immune system cells lowers heart disease risk
A serendipitous spin-off of HIV/AIDS research, scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and colleagues have found strong evidence that a genetic variation affecting immune system cells protects against heart disease.

Girls prefer wider screens
Microsoft has found that women who navigate around 3D computers for a living - such as designers, trainee pilots or architects - tend to be about 20 per cent slower than men when working out where they are in a computer-generated world. 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