Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 17, 2003
Counselling can increase fruit and vegetable intake
Behavioural counselling can increase consumption of fruit and vegetables among deprived adults, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Salk News: Researchers find obesity receptor
A cellular receptor that balances the accumulation of fat and fat burning in the body may be a new target for anti-obesity and cholesterol-fighting drugs, according to a Salk Institute study.

Roads pave the way for weed invasions
Improved roads in wilderness areas spread more invasive weeds than primitive roads, while roadless areas act as refuges for native species against invasions, according to two studies from the University of California, Davis.

Study highlights value of nurses for identifying adverse drug reactions
Authors of a research letter in this week's issue of The Lancet highlight the important role that nurses can play in detecting adverse drug reactions (ADR).

Patient information can encourage or limit choice
Patients have a right to information about their care. Good patient information should describe what will happen, explain why, and highlight possible choices with risks and benefits.

Novel method identifies 'hidden' genes
MiRNAs--a class of regulatory genes found in humans--long went undetected by traditional gene hunting methods because they do not code for proteins, the benchmark typically used to define genes within a genome.

ChemisTREE Earth Day celebration in the nation's capital
The American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, will begin Earth Day celebrations on Monday, April 21, 2003, 11 a.m.- 1 p.m., as part of the Capital Children's Museum annual Earth Day program.

Japanese research builds foundation for more versatile catalysts that mimic enzymes
Research to be published this week in the journal Science by a group of Japanese researchers moves chemical engineers closer to a long-sought goal of mimicking the activity of natural enzymes with zeolites, porous structures used as catalysts to promote a wide range of chemical reactions.

An unexplored genomic terrain in a handful of dirt
HHMI researchers have literally unearthed a treasure trove of genomic information from 10 newly identified viruses found in the monkey pit at the Bronx Zoo and other locations.

ARC licenses breakthrough ceramic coating technology to local company
Alberta Research Council (ARC) has signed an agreement to license a breakthrough composite ceramic coating technology to International Polymers Canada (IPC), of Edmonton.

Fast changing gene drives species split
A gene that stops different species of fruit flies from interbreeding is evolving faster than other genes, according to researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the University of Cambridge in England.

White noise delays auditory organization in brain
Exposure to continuous white noises sabotages the development of the auditory region of the brain.

Sloppy repair helps TB bug resist drugs
Shoddy work by a DNA-repair enzyme allows tuberculosis-causing bacteria to develop antibiotic resistance, scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) have discovered.

Scientists identify molecular link between estrogen receptors and invasive growth in breast cancer
Emory University and Winship Cancer Institute Scientists have discovered a link between estrogen receptors -- the molecules that bind the estrogen hormone to cells -- and invasive growth of breast cancer.

Report urges Congress to increase medical research
The Task Force for Aging Research Funding today released its annual report urging Congress to act on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget put forth by the Bush Administration.

Molecular machine shuffles beads on a DNA string
Yards of DNA are packed into cells by wrapping the DNA around proteins called nucleosomes.

When the rain is mainly not on the Plains: Farming, water and sprawl
A new study suggests that agriculture can successfully coexist with continuing population growth and urban sprawl in some areas of the Great Plains.

Impact of antisocial lifestyle 'has been neglected'
Evidence suggests that an antisocial lifestyle is linked to illness, injury, and premature death, yet while links between deprivation and health have been widely studied, links between antisocial lifestyle and health have been neglected, according to two experts in this week's BMJ.

DFG sets up twelve new research training groups
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) has decided to establish twelve new research training groups (Graduiertenkollegs).

Rice uses buckyballs to reinvent 'antibiotic of last resort'
Rice University chemists hope a new variant of vancomycin that contains buckyballs could become the world's first targeted antibiotic, creating a new line of defense against bioweapons like anthrax.

Emerging stronger from the China crisis
This week's Lancet Editorial comments on how China can learn from mistakes made in its handling of the SARS crisis-especially in relation to the increasing prevalence of HIV/AIDS.

Continental roots go deep, but not as deep as some people thought
Earth is the only known planet with an active surface, where the rigid lithosphere floats atop a hot and slowly convecting mantle.

Toxic molecule may provide key for developing vaccine against degenerative diseases
UC Irvine researchers have discovered an important similarity in the causes of cell degeneration and death in diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's, type II diabetes and CJD, suggesting that a single therapy could combat these different ailments.

New drugs restore immune response blocked by hepatitis C virus in human cells
A new generation of drugs restores the immune response blocked by the hepatitis C virus, reducing the virus to nearly undetectable levels in a matter of days, according to researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and UT Medical Branch at Galveston.

Dartmouth engineers closer to mass-producing therapeutic proteins
Dartmouth engineers are one step closer to mass-producing therapeutic proteins desperately needed by today's pharmaceutical industry.

Laughing gas - A fashionable recreational drug?
New Zealand authors of a research letter in this week's issue of The Lancet report how laughing gas may be a popular recreational drug among young people.

Process triggered by some anti-cancer drugs causes tumors in mice, study finds
It is well known that cancers frequently are caused by genetic mutations.

High blood pressure in pregnancy increases risk of later heart disease
Women who have high blood pressure (hypertension) during pregnancy have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease in later life, concludes a study in this week's BMJ.

Key to hepatitis virus persistence found
Scientists at two Texas universities have discovered how hepatitis C virus thwarts immune system efforts to eliminate it.

Study suggests link between Down's syndrome and neural-tube defects
Authors of a study in this week's issue of The Lancet highlight how infants born within families who have a high risk of neural-tube defects (NTD) could also be at an increased risk of Down's syndrome and vice versa, suggesting an association between Down's syndrome and NTD.
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