Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 05, 2003
Rensselaer awarded NY state funding for alcohol/substance abuse education
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has received $10,000 from The New York State Department of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) toward the university's continuing efforts to prevent alcohol abuse on campus and in the surrounding community.

Recall of skin conditions that increase risk of smallpox vacccine complications
A new study finds that standard screening questions do not identify all individuals who should be excluded from receiving the smallpox vaccine because of certain pre-existing skin problems.

Pelvic arterial embolization offers alternative to hysterectomy for treatment of postpartum bleeding
Results of a recent study show that pelvic arterial embolization can be used safely and effectively to treat uncontrollable postpartum bleeding with little or no long-term side effects, says Michael Tal, MD, assistant professor and director of research in the section of interventional radiology at Yale University School of Medicine and an author of the study.

Study tests new way to administer 'the pill' to eliminate monthly periods
Given a choice, many women would probably opt out of the monthly cramping, bloating, bleeding and general discomfort that accompanies menstruation.

Workshop to focus on X-ray diffraction method that reveals nature of drug-substrate interactions
A new, more powerful method of determining the details of molecular structure will be the topic of an international workshop to be held May 12-17 at the University at Buffalo.

Puerto Rican migrants to NYC engage in riskier drug use
Puerto Rican injection drug users who move to New York City are more likely to engage in risky drug behaviors than other users in the city, according to new research.

A solar mini-eclipse on May 7, 2003
On May 7, 2003, Mercury, the innermost planet in the solar system, will pass in front of the Sun as a small dark disk.

Government's marriage promotion policies likely to fall short
Government policies that promote marriage as a way to boost disadvantaged women out of poverty and off welfare are likely to have mixed results at best, according to a new national study.

When predators attack (each other)
Lesson one: don't steal a bear's dinner. Last week, a wolverine - a ferocious member of the weasel family able to kill a caribou - learned this the hard way, according to a team of researchers from the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

Without enzyme catalyst, slowest known biological reaction takes 1 trillion years
Study led by University of North Carolina scientist reports world's slowest biological reaction in absence of enzyme -- 1 trillion years.

Team jams bacteria 'talk' to boost bio-product yields
In studies vital to the field of industrial biotechnology, scientists at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute are learning what E.coli bacteria are 'talking' about.

Potential for future development of B-cell based therapy for Lupus
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, have for the first time described how Staphylococcus aureus infection inactivates the immune system through the production of a protein which causes healthy B cells to commit suicide.

U of MN study probes use of antiepileptic drugs in nursing homes
More than 10 percent of residents in nursing homes are taking antiepileptic drugs, though only 5 or 6 percent suffer from epilepsy.

Study suggests differences in CT readings at oncology centers vs. general hospitals may impact RVUs
Preliminary results of a recent study suggest that CT readings at oncology centers are more time-consuming, complex, and have many more findings than readings at general hospitals, says Eric vanSonnenberg, MD, chief of radiology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, and an author of the study.

Brain tumour experts from the MNI in Washington DC to mark Brain Tumor Action Week
Dr. Rolando Del Maestro, Clinical Director of the Brain Tumour Research Centre at the Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill University and Mrs.

Scientists to probe giant storm clusters across Mid-Western states
From the air and the ground, scientists this spring and summer will examine some of the world's largest thunderstorm complexes, behemoths that can spread hurricane-force wind and torrential rain for hundreds of miles across the U.S.

Calcification process in aortic valves is responsible for blockages
Bone-like cells similar to the cells found in the skeleton calcify in the heart's aortic valve and are responsible for the blockages that lead to the need for open-heart surgery to replace the aortic valve for tens of thousands of Americans, according to researchers at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University.

MR imaging and new contrast agent effective in diagnosing testicular cancer spread
MR imaging plus a new contrast agent (ferumoxtran-10, Combidex) is dramatically better than current techniques in determining if testicular cancer has spread, a new study indicates.

JGI and Diversa Corp. announce large-scale microbial sequencing collaboration
The U.S. Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute (JGI) and Diversa Corporation (Nasdaq: DVSA) today announced a collaboration to discover and sequence novel microbial genomes found in a diverse range of unique habitats.

March of Dimes awards $250,000 prize to pioneers in genetic research
Two pioneering scientists, whose discoveries about hormones and their genetic messengers led to the development of new drugs for cancer and metabolic disease, have been awarded this year's March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology.

New research findings on pulmonary and critical care medicine at American Thoracic Society meeting
New research findings and state-of-the-art sessions related to pulmonary disorders and critical care medicine will be featured during ATS 2003-- Seattle, the American Thoracic Society's 99th International Conference scheduled for May 16 to 21 at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle.

Child health costs similar for behavioral compared to physical disorders
Children with behavioral disorders incur similar overall health care costs to children with physical disorders, said researchers from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania.

Cardiac surgeons prove decreased mortality with off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting
NYU Medical Center's cardiac surgeons Eugene Grossi, MD, and Aubrey Galloway, MD, announced new study findings demonstrating significantly lowered mortality, stroke, and overall risk of complications using off-pump coronary artery by-pass grafting (OPCAB) in high-risk patients.

Use of medication to treat pediatric insomnia is common, study finds
Although guidelines do not exist for the use of medication to treat pediatric sleep disorders, about 75 percent of pediatricians surveyed had recommended some type of medication for that purpose within the previous six months.

Radiology procedure eases pain of uterine fibroids without adversely affecting fertility
Interventional radiology procedures are effective in treating uterine fibroids in patients who have symptoms of the disease without causing infertility or premature menopause, a new study shows.

Stanford study determines cost-effectiveness of lung cancer diagnostic tools
A promising imaging system called FDG-PET is a cost-effective way to diagnose lung cancer if used selectively, said researchers at the Stanford University Medical Center and Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System.

All foods can fit
People eating a mixed diet of lower-fat and high-fat foods consume more vitamins and minerals than those who stick to only lower-fat foods or high-fat foods, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

For early Lyme disease, 10 days of therapy are as good as 20
A study of 180 people diagnosed with early, uncomplicated Lyme disease (a rash without joint or nerve symptoms) found that a 10-day course of the antibiotic doxycycline was as effective as a 20-day course.

Study looks at the pros and cons of voice recognition
Voice recognition dramatically decreases the turnaround time for radiology reports -- referring physicians are often getting results the same day their patients have the radiologic examinations -- but technical problems with these systems are reducing some radiologists to typing rather than dictating those reports, a new study shows.

Home environment can be hazardous to children's health
Two new studies by researchers at Cincinnati Children' Hospital Medical Center find that the home is the single most common location for children in the United States to be injured.

Racial, economic disparities seen in kids' vision care
Kids who wear eyeglasses may get teased for having

Cultural sensitivity important to designing clinical trials for African-Americans
Duke University Medical Center researchers say that clinical trials that promote behavior modification to prevent cardiovascular disease may challenge African-Americans' ethnic identity, making the trials less effective in this group than in non-African-American groups.

Patients not told about risks and benefits of radiology procedures
Emergency room physicians are woefully undereducated about radiation doses used in diagnostic CT scans and, therefore, are not providing patients with the information they need to make an informed decision about care, a new study shows.

Annals of Internal Medicine, tip sheet, May 6, 2003
Highlights for this issue include: For early lyme disease, 10 days of antibiotics are as effective as 20 days; and Study finds that many people can't accurately recall if they or family members had 2 skin diseases that contraindicate smallpox vaccination.

What makes a difference in Mom's life? Whether it's a boy or a girl
Researchers found that an unmarried mother is 42 percent more likely to marry the father if the child is a boy.

Older latinos grappling with high rates of vision loss
Visual impairment afflicts older Latinos more than those from other ethnic or racial groups, according to the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study, the largest comprehensive study ever undertaken to identify eye problems in the Latino population.

Abramson fellow receives award from Society for Pediatric Research
Christina M. Coughlin, MD, PhD, a research fellow in the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute and a pediatric hematology-oncology fellow at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, has received the Fellow Basic Research Award for 2003 from the Society for Pediatric Research.

Poorly controlled diabetes could lead to dementia in the elderly
Poorly controlled diabetes seems to cause cognitive problems in the elderly, a new study reports.

Exercise may contribute to improved breast cancer survival
When breast cancer patients undergo intense treatment, their heart and lung capacity is compromised, yet little is known about how safe exercise is for breast cancer survivors--until now, thanks to a groundbreaking University of Alberta study.

Pregnant African American teens need more calcium for healthy fetal bone development
A study of pregnant African American teens in Baltimore, Md.

Bleeding disorder tied to defect in cellular transport mechanism
Defects in a cargo receptor that shuttles proteins from one place to another within the cell lie at the root of a rare bleeding disorder, according to a study published in the June issue of the journal Nature Genetics.

Army ants have defied evolution for 100 million years
The common scientific belief has been that army ants originated separately on several continents over millions of years, but a Cornell University entomologist has discovered that these ants come from the same point of origin; since the reign of the dinosaurs about 100 million years ago, army ants have not changed a bit.

Male pregnancy in seahorses may affect formation of new species
Male pregnancy in seahorses may do more than reverse traditional gender roles.

Smaller ultrasound-guided biopsy needle is safe, effective, way to biopsy suspected breast cancer
A 14-gauge tru-cut needle biopsy, guided by real-time ultrasound, offers an easy, inexpensive, and fast way to accurately biopsy suspected breast cancer, a new study shows.

New MR-guided breast biopsy method is feasible and effective
MR-guided breast biopsy with a 14-gauge stainless steel core biopsy needle is both feasible and effective, when used with an MR-compatible coaxial device, a new study shows.

How 9/11 changed us: First-ever quantitative research documents the before and after effect
If a goal of terrorism is to make victims feel less in control of their own destinies, the attacks of Sept.

ESA sets the date for Mars Express launch
Just before midnight on 2 June (23:45 local time, 19:45 CET) a Soyuz rocket operated by Starsem will lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, and Mars Express will be on its way.

MR imaging proves useful in diagnosing some testicular problems
If sonography has ambiguous results, MR imaging can help clarify the results and possibly avoid biopsy or surgery for patients who are having testicular problems, a new study shows.

Anthropologist pleads for fewer humans, more saved species
Ask Jeffrey McKee whether the planet would be a better place without humans and he'll qualify his answer:

Cedars-Sinai plays key role in investigation of Iressa
The Food and Drug Administration announced approval today for Iressa, a new drug that shrinks tumors in about 10 percent of patients whose lung cancer has progressed despite two prior rounds of standard chemotherapy.

Purdue biologists crystallize technique to expand protein research
Purdue University scientists have managed to crystallize a particularly troublesome type of protein, one that dissolves only in fat, an accomplishment that could overcome a 20-year hurdle in fighting a wide range of diseases.

Hyperglycemia may increase risk of eye disorder in premature infants
Premature infants with hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, may be at an increased risk in the first month of life for retinal detachment and blindness, say researchers from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.
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