Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 06, 2003
Science picks-leads, feeds and story seeds (May 2003)
Looking for hot science stories? This monthly compendium of USGS science information can help you cover the ongoing earth and natural science research and investigations at USGS--footage, photos and web links provided can enhance your story.

Study confirms nursing shortage affects patient satisfaction
A study released by Press Ganey Associates, Inc. confirms fears that the nursing shortage has an impact on patient satisfaction.

Results of first major study of SARS show early hospital admission key to tackling epidemic
Research by UK epidemiologists and scientists from Hong Kong reports results of the first major epidemiological study about severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

Shell endows £0.5m chair in sustainable development in energy at Imperial College London
Shell International Exploration and Production B.V. today announced a £500,000 endowment to fund the establishment of a Shell Chair in Sustainable Development in Energy at Imperial College London.

New pacemakers for children & infants, sudden cardiac death
More than 100 sessions and new studies on topics such as gene therapy, sleep apnea, syncope (loss of consciousness) during driving, sudden cardiac death and pacemakers in children and infants are among highlights.

Modified adenovirus offers new approach to treating aggressive brain tumors
Researchers have created a modified adenovirus that more readily attaches to brain tumor cells, thereby infecting them and causing antitumor effects.

Capsule with microscopic camera provides better look
A new capsule that contains a microscopic camera and transmitter can create better pictures of the small bowel than standard x-ray procedures can, a new study shows.

'Virtual reality room' shows potential to aid construction scheduling, reduce costs
Penn State engineers have developed software for use with an immersive projection display (IPD) that allows construction managers to enter and interact with the contents of a full-scale, nuclear power plant room that exists only in cyberspace in order to determine the best step-by-step installation sequence for piping assemblies, valves and other equipment.

Doctors focus on pupil size for safety of laser vision correction
Exactly how a person's eyes respond to low levels of light is even more crucial than doctors have thought in deciding who is and who isn't a good candidate to have laser vision correction surgery.

Americans pay more for health care but receive less in return
A new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health finds that Americans spend considerably more money on health care services than any other industrialized nation, but do not receive more services for their health care dollars.

Insulin-degrading enzyme may affect risk of Alzheimer's disease
Low levels of an enzyme that degrades insulin could increase the risk for Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study in mice by doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Estimated fatality rate for Hong Kong SARS higher than previously thought
An international team of researchers has estimated that the fatality rate for SARS is considerably higher than some early estimates.

Diabetes complications blur the vision of many latinos
As type 2 diabetes hits growing numbers of the nation's burgeoning Latino population, diabetic retinopathy is stealing the precious eyesight of almost one in 10 adult Latinos.

CT should replace plain film radiography in diagnosing cervical spine trauma
Results of a recent study show that imaging suspected cervical spine trauma with CT is better, faster, and now cheaper than plain film radiography.

Study discovers key to baby-like skin
Researchers at the Skin Sciences Institute of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have discovered that vernix -- the white, cheesy substance that coats infants for weeks before they are born, then is wiped off and discarded immediately after birth -- may be the key to baby-like skin, and they're working on a synthetic equivalent for preemies.

Dr. David Spiegel, to speak on the role of Hypnosis and Group Support in Medical Care
On Tuesday, May 6, from 12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m., the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine will host a lecture, titled

Arsenic in New England wells more widespread than thought
Arsenic in the water of private wells in New England is more widespread than previously thought and its threat to residents may be growing because of increasing private well use, according to a new study by the U.S.

Roads pave the way for weed invasions
While it is well-established that roads can help spread invasive weeds, one new study shows that improved roads are worse than primitive ones, while another suggests that roadless areas act as refuges for native species against invasions.

Survey finds U.S. has high rate of mental illness, low rate of treatment compared to other countries
The United States has a higher prevalence and lower treatment rate of serious mental illness than a number of other developed countries, according to a study published in a special edition on international health care in the May/June issue of the policy journal Health Affairs.

Site of 17th-century Indian chief Powhatan's principal village
Archaeologists have identified the location of a 17th-century American Indian settlement on Virginia's York River that may represent the village of Werowocomoco - the principal residence of the Virginia Algonquian chief Powhatan from 1607 - 1609.

Johns Hopkins researchers devise methods to evaluate disaster drills
Researchers at Johns Hopkins and Loma Linda universities have published what is believed to be the first peer-reviewed set of standards for planning and evaluating disaster drills anywhere in the world.

Good News: Cognitive decline after bypass surgery mostly temporary and reversible
More than two thirds of patients who undergo coronary artery bypass surgery may experience problems with their ability to think, remember and learn, and are slower at tasks like writing and drawing immediately following surgery than they were before surgery.

Brookhaven Lab physicist William Willis wins the 2003 W.K.H. Panofsky Prize
William Willis, a senior physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, has won the American Physical Society's (APS) 2003 W.K.H.

CT-guided interventional procedures
CT-guided interventional procedures offer highly accurate and conservative therapies for patients with back pain, decreasing the need for pain medications and delaying the need for surgical treatment, according to a recent study.

Scientist helps solve peacock problems
Peafowl, historically valued for their iridescent blue-green beauty, have become intolerable nuisances in some parts of California.

The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners hosts 18th Annual Conference
More than 300 expert faculty presentations and state-of-the-art workshops will update attendees on current, practical, clinically-oriented practice information as well as legislative, policy, and practice issues.

MR should be considered for breast screening of high risk women
MR imaging can find breast cancers that mammography has missed and should be considered for screening high-risk women, a new study suggests.

Kids who get prescription asthma drugs visit ER less often
An ounce of prevention may really be worth a pound of cure for children with asthma, a new study shows.

Troubling news about sea otter deaths
A new UC Davis analysis finds that adult sea otters in California in 1998-2001 died in unusually high numbers from newly recognized diseases and in geographic clusters -- all of which suggest that their coastal environment may be so substantially altered that the species could be in jeopardy.

New research says better social skills not nicotine patches help smokers quit
New research by psychologists at the University of Warwick into why people smoke reveals that neurotic smokers and introverts find it hardest to kick the habit and says that carefully tailored treatment, including training to enhance social skills and counselling, could help smokers give up.

Canadian Pacific Railway's streamlined RR scheduling wins Tech World Series
Canadian Pacific Railway's innovative approach to cutting the Gordian Knot of railroad scheduling has won the 2003 Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

Brookhaven Lab and NREL win Technology Transfer Award
Toshifumi Sugama of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and Keith Gawlik of DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have jointly won a 2003 Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer.

Columbia professor receives 2003 National Golden Apple for Teaching Excellence
Dickson Despommier, Ph.D., professor of environmental health sciences at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health (MSPH) and professor of microbiology at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, has been named the 2003 winner of the American Medical Student Association's (AMSA) National Golden Apple for Teaching Excellence award.

Smart virus eliminates brain cancer in animal experiments
A research team led by The University of Texas M.

CT in the emergency room: Are CT examinations overused?
Is CT overused in the emergency room to diagnose abdominal pain?

DuPont launches high-tech medical fabrics to enhance protection for healthcare professionals
DuPont today introduced an innovative medical fabric -- DuPont Suprel -- born from a revolutionary composite technology that provides both levels of protection and comfort for healthcare professionals

Study suggests bipolar disorder may cause progressive brain damage
A study by researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center indicates that people with bipolar disorder may suffer progressive brain damage.

Columbia investigators win 2003 Gairdner International Award for research
Two Columbia University researchers, Dr. Richard Axel and Dr. Wayne A.

Other highlights of the May 7 JNCI
Other highlights in the May 7 issue of JNCI include a study of osteosarcoma and gene mutations, a study of thymidylate synthase inhibition, and a commentary on the development of investigational radiation modifiers.

Biomarker combination associated with prostate cancer recurrence
A new analytic tool has enabled researchers to identify a biomarker combination that is associated with prostate cancer progression.

Whole body PET proves accurate in detecting breast cancer spread
Whole body 18FDG-PET is a more accurate test than CT for locating cancer spread in breast cancer patients, a new study shows.

Gene newly identified by Columbia researchers may improve hair removal
Researchers at Columbia University have identified a new gene that encodes an adhesion protein crucial for hair growth.

PET scans are superior to CT scans
Results of a recent study show that 18FDG-PET studies are very accurate in detecting colon cancer spread and should be used for the staging or restaging of patients with this disease, says Simin Dadparvar, MD, associate professor of radiology at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia and an author of the study.

Scientists to probe giant storm clusters across midwest
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.
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