Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 19, 2003
Cleaning up contaminated soil, groundwater
Geologists are helping scientists better understand how to keep contaminants from reaching groundwater during the clean up process.

Snoring may increase risk of learning problems in some children
Some children who snore may be at increased risk of learning problems, according to a study presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference.

OHSU scientists look for methods to improve vaccinations for smallpox and other infectious diseases
Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University are looking for ways to improve the smallpox vaccine and other vaccines that a large portion of the public cannot receive.

Stagnant air pollution increases risk of death from breathing problems
Air pollution that sits over a city without being blown away by the wind increases the risk of death from breathing problems, according to a study presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference.

Public duped by media over vaccine, says report
Over half the British public wrongly believed that medical science was split down the middle about the safety of the Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine according to research from Cardiff University, UK.

New climate model predicts greater 21st century warming
For the first time, scientists have incorporated multiple human and natural factors into a climate projection model.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet May 20, 2003
Highlights include: Heart stents have only modest benefits over balloon angioplasty; unwanted treatment is a medical

Brain tangles associated with Alzheimer's also occur in normal aging
Accumulation of neurofibrillary tau tangles not only causes the memory loss that occurs in Alzheimer's disease but also may be responsible for the memory deficits seen in normal aging and in some cases of mild cognitive impairment, a study from Northwestern University and the University of Miami has found.

Systems tool new resource to aid groundwater cleanup
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed a comprehensive new tool that will provide federal and state regulators with some of the critical information they need to help protect people, the environment and the Columbia River near the Hanford Site in Washington state.

Hopkins researchers find potential new treatment for children with chronic hepatitis C
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and five other institutions have found that a drug recently approved for adults with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) also may be a safe and effective treatment for children with the disease.

People only slightly more likely to die after episodes of stagnant air
People are only slightly more likely to die of respiratory and cardiovascular problems when the weather becomes more stagnant.

Scientists image soft tissues with new x-ray technique
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, in collaboration with researchers at Rush Medical College, have demonstrated the effectiveness of a novel x-ray imaging technology to visualize soft tissues of the human foot that are not visible with conventional x-rays.

North Carolina Civic Index nation's first to measure civic vitality on statewide level
The results of a new North Carolina study released today (May 19) provide the first analysis of youth and adult civic engagement on a statewide level.

Phage therapy could remove foodborne disease from livestock
A bacteria-killing virus found in the feces of some sheep could help remove the dangerous foodborne bacteria Escherichia coli O157:H7 from livestock.

Designer molecules - engineering a better approach to HIV treatment
Ravi Kane, assistant professor of chemical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is designing brand-new molecules that may one day fend off an HIV infection.

Electronic markets win out over traditional dealing
Trading through dealers on the London Stock Exchange could be obsolete in less than three years, according to new research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

DASH diet acts through diuretic effect to lower blood pressure
A diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products might act as a natural diuretic that could help many people reduce blood pressure without the use of medication, according to a report in today's rapid access issue of Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Researchers find potential drug screening target for epidemic dengue virus
Researchers at Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School have located a vulnerable pocket in the protein that coats the dengue virus, a potentially deadly mosquito-transmitted disease that has been reported in the United States and is commonly found in developing countries.

ORNL researchers expect big things from nanostructures
Arrays of nanofibers able to deliver genetic material to cells quickly and efficiently have researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory excited about potential applications for drug delivery, gene therapy, crop engineering and environmental monitoring.

Linezolid improves survival rate in patients with hospital-acquired pneumonia
A study comparing two drugs regularly used to treat a common type of drug-resistant hospital-acquired pneumonia found that patients taking linezolid were twice as likely to survive as those taking vancomycin.

New cause identified for incurable muscle condition
Researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and the Mayo Clinic have discovered a novel genetic mutation that leads to a debilitating muscle condition known as myasthenia.

New herpes treatment from common herb
A new anti-herpes agent derived from a common herb effectively treats and prevents the disease in animals.

Call for entries: Science Journalism Awards
If you have written or produced a science story within the past year for a US publication, broadcast, or online media outlet, you are encouraged to submit an entry to the 2003 AAAS Science Journalism Awards by August 1, 2003.

Researchers gather at Smith College for science 'boot camps'
Because of the rapidly expanding usefulness of microbiology in uncovering scientific and medical solutions, established scientists and other professionals are gathering at Smith College for intensive two-week workshops where they can learn the basic tools and approaches of molecular biology.

Many Americans think an HIV/AIDS vaccine already exists
Many Americans wrongly believe that a preventive vaccine for HIV/AIDS has already been developed, according to surveys recently conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Past abuse is related to poor mental health in HIV-positive women
Women with HIV who are young, in poor physical health, in conflict with others, and who have been physically abused by a partner in the past are at greater risk for developing mental health and drug abuse problems, according to a new study.

Mayo Clinic researchers discover significant link between head injury and Parkinson's disease
Mayo Clinic researchers have found that those who have experienced a head injury are four times more likely to develop Parkinson's disease than those who have never suffered a head injury.

Study shows ulcerative colitis patients achieve remission with probiotic composition VSL#3
Researchers reported study results today that demonstrated treatment with the highly concentrated probiotic preparation, VSL#3(TM), achieved a combined induced remission and/or response rate of 86 percent in patients with active mild to moderate ulcerative colitis who were not responding to conventional therapy.

Vera Kettnaker receives NSF CAREER Award
Most senior citizens prefer to live independently for as long as possible.

Mercury in packaged whale meat across Japan may be a major health problem
Dangerous levels of mercury appear to be present in whale, dolphin and porpoise meat sold widely as food in Japan, according to a study by Japanese scientists.

Twenty U.S. high school students reach finals for International Chemistry Olympiad team
Twenty of the nation's top high school chemistry students, representing 14 states, will compete for a spot on the U.S. team in the 35th annual International Chemistry Olympiad in Athens, Greece, July 5-14.

Age may play role in recovery following sports-related concussions
Does age play a role in how long it takes for an athlete to recover from concussion?

Scientists predict swift end to vCJD epidemic
As few as 40 people over the next 80 years could die from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) as a consequence of eating BSE infected meat.

U. of Colorado scientists discover four new kingdoms of life
University of Colorado at Boulder researchers have discovered four new kingdoms of life in the high alpine environment of Colorado, findings that have potential applications in the fields of agriculture and global change.

Virus researchers close in on the secret life of DNA
Z-DNA, a long-known but still mysterious alternate configuration of DNA, is involved in cellular defenses against viral attack according to the results of a series of experiments linking Z-DNA binding proteins with lethality in pox viruses.

Racism and quality of life of older people
The impact of racism should be properly considered when attempts are made to measure the quality of life of older people among Britain's ethnic minorities, according to a report on new research sponsored by the Economic & Social Research Council.

Drug-resistant cancer outwitted by chemical flank attack
The drug Gleevec, which has been touted in some circles as a miraculous silver bullet against some forms of leukemia, can still fail in patients who develop mutations that cause the drug to lose effectiveness.

'Visionary Anatomies' symposium
The National Library of Medicine will present gifted speakers from diverse disciplines to discuss the art and science of anatomy from the 1500s to present, June 12, 2003, 2:00-8:00 p.m., on the NIH campus, Bethesda, MD.

An enzyme puts the 'good' in good cholesterol
An oxidation-fighting enzyme called paraoxonase (PON1) can significantly reduce the risk of heart attacks, according to research reported in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

U of MN study finds ear problems decrease over time following ear tube placement
Problems associated with chronic otitis media with effusion (OME, inflammation of the middle ear) decrease annually after placement of ear tubes to relieve the symptoms of OME, according to an article in the May issue of The Archives of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

ESMO Summer Educational Conference, ESEC
This 'one-step educational experience' will focus on conventional medical oncology such as gynecological and colorectal tumors, as well as emerging fields like psycho-oncology and quality-of-life.

UCLA researchers study popular arthritis drugs
A new UCLA and Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System study demonstrates that a popular class of arthritis drugs is not as cost-effective as common painkillers in treating chronic arthritis in an average patient.

Landmark antidepressant analysis demonstrated significant efficacy of Effexor®/Effexor XR
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth (NYSE:WYE), announced today that a landmark analysis of studies comparing antidepressant treatments demonstrated that significantly more patients achieved remission (virtual elimination) of their depression symptoms, and resolution of both emotional and physical symptoms, when treated with EFFEXOR/EFFEXOR XR (venlafaxine HCl) than with commonly used selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or placebo. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to