Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 07, 2003
NPR's 'Living on Earth' series launches new segments on environmental research
Starting the week of May 9, NPR's environment program,

Protein folding hits a speed limit
To carry out their functions, proteins must first fold into particular structures.

Early cancer screening
A DNA-based test using early cell mutation is being developed to detect cancer.

Pressure combined with heat reduces prion infectivity in processed meats
The combination of temperature and very high pressure in the preparation of processed meats such as hot dogs and salami may effectively reduce the presence of infective prions while retaining the taste, texture, and look of these meats, according to a study appearing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition dated May 5, 2003.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution scientists respond to Buzzards Bay oil spill
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists from diverse disciplines have responded to the April 27 spill of nearly 15,000 gallons of No.

Parents who kick the habit also help their kids
Researchers have found that parents who quit smoking before their child reaches third grade will significantly reduce their child's odds of becoming a smoker by the time their senior year of high school rolls around.

Transition to mental health carveouts disrupts care for most fragile
States transition to mental health 'carveouts' to save money, but without incentives to improve care patients could suffer.

A new remote control system for base stations increases the range of mobile phones
Smart, self monitoring base stations ensure our mobile phones work better and further afield.

CT colonography method reduces radiation risk
Results of a recent study reconfirm previously published data, suggesting that CT colonography (CTC) can be performed with decreased radiography exposure to patients, says Michael Zalis, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital and lead author of the study.

Researchers making cell phones user-friendly for people with disabilities
Individuals with disabilities are missing out on wireless communication opportunities because of usability problems.

Success of chemotherapy tied to genetics
Researchers at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research of the Sir Mortimer B.

Gene enhances prefrontal function at a price
Studies of a gene that affects how efficiently the brain's frontal lobes process information are revealing some untidy consequences of a tiny variation in its molecular structure and how it may increase susceptibility to schizophrenia.

Nominations now being accepted for a major award in cancer prevention research
The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation (CRPF) announce that nominations are now being accepted for a major international Award in recognition of outstanding cancer prevention research.

UI researchers discover new cause of muscular dystrophies
In muscle building, exercise causes tears in muscle membrane and the healing process produces an increased amount of healthy muscle.

Evidence for potassium as misisng heat source in planetary cores
There's a small problem with Earth's magnetic field: It should not have existed, as Earth's rock record indicates it has, for the past 3.5 billion years.

New study in rats matches genetic influences and cognitive impairment
A study in rats matching the activity of 146 genes with brain aging and impaired learning and memory produces a new picture of brain aging and cognitive impairment.

MR accurate in detecting residual disease following lumpectomy
Some breast cancer patients who undergo a lumpectomy should then be considered for an MR examination because MR is an accurate way to look for any disease left in the breast, two new studies show.

Alternative method for colon cancer screening is more comfortable for patients
CT colonography (CTC), combined with a low residue and hydration-controlled diet, but without cathartic cleansing, is showing promise as a potential tool to detect colon cancer early, preliminary results of a study show.

Barium studies should be first step in diagnosing complications from reflux disease surgery
Barium studies should be the first line of defense in diagnosing problems that can occur following surgery for reflux disease, a new study shows.

Diffusion-weighted MR imaging accurately detects stroke
Diffusion-weighted MR imaging is an accurate way to detect whether a patient has had a stroke--even 24 hours after the patient's initial symptoms began, a new study shows.

Colonoscopy far more cost-effective against colon cancer than promising Cox II drugs, study predicts
A new study gives Americans over 50 one more reason not to put off having a colonoscopy to check for colon cancer and its forerunners.

Newly discovered mutations possibly linked to breast cancer
In a study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, a researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago has identified two previously unknown mutations that cause excessive estrogen production in men -- and may be linked to certain kinds of breast cancer.

Lessons from lives of 37 Texas murderers show different paths to death row
Murder often begins at a terrifyingly young age. It is an awful journey -- frequently launched by physical and sexual violence, bullying and neglect-- that terminated in 1997 with the execution of 37 men convicted of murder in Texas.

MR technique shows brains of Alzheimer's patients similar to immature brains in children
A new MR imaging technique used to study white matter in the brain has found something intriguing--the brains of Alzheimer's patients show some of the same signs as the immature brains of children.

Genetic regulator of lifespan identified
Researchers at Harvard Medical School have discovered that a gene in yeast is a key regulator of lifespan.

Engineered proteins will lead to 'synthetic biology'
Duke University Medical Center biochemists have developed a computational method to design proteins that can specifically detect a wide array of chemicals from TNT to brain chemicals involved in neurological disorders.

Interventional procedures effectively treat complications from bypass surgery
Obese patients who have complications following gastric bypass surgery may avoid a second, oftentimes risky, surgery if interventional radiology procedures can be performed to treat these complications, a new study shows.

ALife experiments show how complex functions can evolve
If the evolution of complex organisms were a road trip, then the simple country drives are what get you there.

Study supports the use of general radiologists during off hours
A general radiologist can be a good, first line of defense in the evaluation of emergency CT scans during off hours, when neuroradiologists are unavailable, a recent study shows.

Artificial life experiments show how complex functions can evolve
If the evolution of complex organisms were a road trip, then the simple country drives are what get you there.

UCR scientists modify existing chemical scrubber to environmentally friendly, all-natural filter
Marc Deshusses, associate professor in the department of chemical and environmental engineering, and his postdoctoral researcher, David Gabriel, report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they have modified an existing full-scale chemical scrubber at the Orange County Sanitation District, California, to a biological trickling filter.

Whole body MR imaging could replace bone scans in cancer patients
Whole body MR is superior to bone scans in determining how far cancer has spread into the bone marrow and bones, a new study shows.

Muscle-repair defect underlies two muscular dystrophies
HHMI researchers have found that a protein defective in two types of muscular dystrophy also appears to be important in repairing damaged muscle.

Are aliens hiding their messages?
Scientists have long puzzled over why, if we are not alone in this Universe, have we never heard from an extraterrestrial civilisation?

Breakthrough in fight against infection misery
Scientists at Cardiff University, in Wales, UK, have made a breakthrough in a 30-year battle to solve a medical problem, which causes pain and misery for millions of people around the world, and costs health services many millions of dollars.

Dartmouth researchers find two circadian clocks in the same plant tissue
Dartmouth researchers have found evidence of two circadian clocks working within the same tissue of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, a flowering plant often used in genetic studies.

UNC physician says patient, doctor education improves health outcomes
Improving how doctors discuss health issues with patients and boosting patients' understanding of what ails them could do at least as much to combat illnesses across the nation as new wonder drugs and innovative medical procedures.

Results from Space Station experiment
First results have been announced from one of the most promising experiments on the International Space Station.
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