Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 08, 2003
A man for all seasons
Authors reflect on the scientific contributions of Lyman Briggs, soil scientist, aviation pioneer, and Manhattan Project architect in a Soil Science Society of America Journal article.

Retinal prosthesis trial completes first phase of testing
Researchers from USC and Second Sight, LLC, are reporting on the initial results of their groundbreaking, FDA-approved feasibility trial of an intraocular retinal prosthesis that appears to be able to restore some degree of sight to the blind.

NMSU researcher tallies cost for silvery minnow habitat
A New Mexico State University scientist's new economic analysis of the cost to keep the Rio Grande flowing for the endangered silvery minnow found that Albuquerque residents and some central New Mexico agricultural users do suffer, while other water users downstream benefit.

Extreme heat effective in treating some kidney cancers
Image-guided radiofrequency ablation -- using heat to destroy cancers -- can preserve kidney function and avoid kidney dialysis for patients with solid renal tumors who are not surgical candidates, a new study indicates.

Radiofrequency ablation effective in treating advanced lung cancer
Radiofrequency ablation can ease pain, slow tumor growth, and even destroy tumors in patients with advanced lung cancer, a new study shows.

Lung damage from SARS could be from immune response to infection
Results of a three-week follow-up study of 75 people with SARS from the Amoy Garden housing block in Hong Kong provide a new insight into the progression of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

UIC Study identifies possible predictor of tamoxifen resistance
A UIC researcher has identified a protein that may help predict which patients will respond to tamoxifen, a drug used to treat certain kinds of breast cancer.

Overuse of stroke prevention surgery drops, but 1 in 10 still inappropriate
The overuse of surgery to clear blocked arteries to the brain as a way to prevent stroke appears to have decreased significantly during the past decades, yet one in ten surgeries were still considered to be inappropriate.

Genetic reconnaissance identifies new colon cancer genes
In a study that realizes the promise of the investment in the Human Genome Project, Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have combed through a catalog of all known tyrosine kinase enzymes to identify new gene mutations that occur in a significant fraction of colon cancers.

New Jersey Institute of Technology physicist uncovers new information about plutonium
A team of researchers at New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rutgers University and Los Alamos National Laboratories, conducted a study to see how plutonium, a potentially dangerous metal, reacts to heat, a natural condition of storage over time.

Conventional and new-generation antipsychotics may have similar neurological side-effects
Authors of a systematic review of antipsychotic drugs in this week's issue of The Lancet highlight how the better side-effect profile of new-generation drugs may not be as substantial as previously thought when compared with conventional antipsychotics.

'Frontiers In Bioinformatics' symposium to be held by UB Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics
World-class scientists in the fields of bioinformatics, structural genomics and proteomics will gather next month at a symposium presented by the University at Buffalo Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics to discuss the cutting-edge science essential for advancements in genetic analysis and drug discovery in the post-genomic era.

Radiofrequency ablation shows promise as safe, effective way to destroy lung tumors
Radiofrequency ablation -- using heat to treat cancers - offers some lung cancer patients an alternative to extensive surgery, additional chemotherapy or radiation therapy, a new study shows.

Study recommends 50% reduction in CT radiation dose based on patient size and weight
Results of a recent study show that the image quality of abdominal CT scans for certain cases is acceptable even when the radiation dose is reduced by 50 percent, says Mannudeep K.

Study blows smoke on cigarette tax opposition by African-Americans
Many African-Americans support cigarette tax increases and reject arguments that higher prices are racially unfair, even though low-income smokers would take the hardest financial hits, a new study reports.

2003 ASM Communications Award goes to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporters
Two journalists from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel have been named the recipients of the American Society for Microbiology 2003 Public Communication Award.

Agents of mass destruction found in USA
Recent news about US intentions to weaken a treaty for global tobacco control is discussed in this week's editorial.

MDCT shows promise in detecting urinary tract cancers
Multidetector CT is faster and much more accurate than excretory urography in detecting urinary tract cancers and other urinary tract diseases, a new study suggests.

Clue to prion formation found, offers step toward treating puzzling diseases
Prions--their existence is intriguing and their links to disease are unsettling.

May Geology media highlights
The Geological Society of America's May issue of Geology contains a number of newsworthy items.

Diabetes therapies and liquid memory may develop from micro fluid research, Science researchers say
Polymer solutions pulsing through miniaturized plumbing may control implanted drug delivery devices and provide memory for liquid computers, according to a new study.

Clinical study reports findings of combination therapy with DOXIL®
Results from a new study evaluating the combination of DOXIL® (doxorubicin HCl liposome injection), vincristine and a reduced-dose dexamethasone, known as DVd, in patients with multiple myeloma were published in the November 15, 2002 issue of the journal Cancer.

ORNL instrument can help keep U.S. military planes in air
Using an instrument and technology developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, mechanics can know in seconds if a fuel pump of a military transport plane like the C-141 Starlifter is excessively worn and could fail.

Scientists at UCSB link brain plaques in Alzheimer's disease to eye disease
Scientists at the Center for the Study of Macular Degeneration at the Neuroscience Research Institute of the University of California, Santa Barbara have found a link between the brain plaques that form in Alzheimer's disease and the deposits in the retina that are associated with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

A fiery debate about volcanoes
In a debate in the pages of Science magazine, geochemist Don DePaolo and geodynamicist Michael Manga of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Berkeley defend the view that deep mantle plumes underly Earth's major hotspots, against arguments from recent seismological findings that would seem to suggest otherwise.

Mammograms read by specialists save patients' time and money
Results of a recent study show that breast-imaging specialists are more efficient than general radiologists at reading mammograms, says Martha Mainiero, MD, of Brown Medical School and Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI, and lead author of the study.

Variants of SARS virus gives clues to origin of infection
A genetic study of the SARS virus fast-tracked for publication on the Lancet's website-
Greenhouse gas might green up the desert
A group of scientists headed by Prof. Dan Yakir of the Weizmann Institute found that Yatir forest, planted near the Negev Desert 35 years ago, is expanding at an unexpected rate.

Controlling cell adhesion: Researchers report first evidence of 'catch bonds'
An article published this week in the journal Nature provides the first experimental evidence for an unusual molecular bonding mechanism that could explain how certain cells adhere to surfaces such as blood vessel walls under conditions of mechanical stress.

Nanoprobe to be developed for a 'Fantastic Voyage' in the human body
A UC Irvine research team has received a five-year, $1.4 million National Institutes of Health grant to develop a microscopic probe for detecting and treating pre-cancerous and malignant tumors in humans.

Systematic analysis of gene family uncovers new therapeutic targets for colon cancer
Investigators from the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and Howard Hughes Medical Institute have completed what is believed to be the first systematic analysis of a disease-related gene family.

Golden years after a medical career?
Results of Indiana University School of Medicine study of retired physicians and spouses shows you can successfully retire, especially if you retire young.

Spiritual well-being could lessen despair in terminally ill people
US research published in this week's issue of The Lancet suggests that feelings of deep despair and a desire to hasten death among terminally ill people can be tempered by strong feelings of spiritual well-being.

Schepens Eye Research Institute scientists at ARVO
More than 25 scientists from Schepens Eye Research Institute will present their research at the Annual Meeting of ARVO, the American Association for Research in Vision and Opthalmology in Fort Lauderdale from May 5 to May 8.

May GSA Bulletin media highlights
The May issue of the Geological Society of America Bulletin includes a number of potentially newsworthy items.

Meteorites rained on Earth after massive asteroid breakup
Using fossil meteorites and ancient limestone unearthed throughout southern Sweden, marine geologists at Rice University have discovered that a colossal collision in the asteroid belt some 500 million years ago led to intense meteorite strikes over the Earth's surface.

Research suggests a new method to protect groundwater quality
University of Nebraska researchers investigated a promising option for corn producers in environmentally sensitive areas.

Monoclonal antibody may reduce need for steroids in children with Crohn's disease
A monoclonal antibody shows promising results in treating children with Crohn's disease (CD), a painful inflammation of the digestive tract, according to a multi-center study conducted at five medical centers.

Society for Conservation Biology to hold 17th Annual Meeting in Duluth June 28-July 2
An international gathering of more than 1,200 biologists will convene this summer in Duluth, Minn., to discuss interactions between land and water curing the 17th annual Society for Conservation Biology meeting June 28 through July 2.
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