Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 29, 2003
Researchers challenge belief of how macrophage activity is controlled by biochemical brake pedal
A team of investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has challenged a currently held belief about how immune system cells called macrophages control their biochemical activity after being stimulated by signaling proteins called cytokines.

Use of nicotine inhalers could reduce rates of smoking-related illnesses
A study at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Novel drugs for the treamtment of diabetes
A new approach to providing medication for adult diabetics (type 2 diabetes) that is not dependent on insulin has been developed by a doctoral student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

New results force scientists to rethink single-molecule wires
Single-molecule switches have the potential to shrink computing circuits dramatically, but new results from the Arizona State University lab that first described how to wire a single molecule between gold contacts now show that laboratory-standard wired molecules have an unavoidable tendency to

DuPont researchers receive award for improving chemical safety
A team of researchers at DuPont corporate headquarters, based in Wilmington, Del., will be honored June 9 by the American Chemical Society for designing a manufacturing process that eliminates the need to transport and store the hazardous chemical methyl isocyanate.

UCSF HIV experts question observed therapy in poor nations
A team of HIV researchers at UCSF recommend against establishing directly observed therapy (DOT) as the model for the provision of HIV medications in resource poor countries.

3-D map of local space shows sun lies in middle of hole piercing galactic plane
The first detailed map of space within about 1,000 light years of Earth places the solar system in the middle of a large hole that pierces the plane of the galaxy, perhaps left by an exploding star one or two million years ago that punched holes through the top and bottom of the galactic disk.

Study says government counts of tigers in India are inaccurate
A method used by India's government to count tigers for the past 30-plus years has produced largely inaccurate data, resulting in poor conservation practices, according to a study led by the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), published in the latest issue of the journal Animal Conservation.

RHESSI detection implies gamma-ray bursts driven by strong magnetic fields
Gamma-ray bursts, the largest explosions in the universe, have been intensely studied for years, yet astronomers still know little about these short-lived flashes.

Antibiotic resistance could increase rates of UK gonorrhoea infection
Authors of a research letter in this week's issue of The Lancet are calling for UK gonorrhoea treatment guidelines to be revised in light of new evidence showing a steep increase in antibiotic resistance.

Sex after cancer
Sex after cancer? It's just not happening for thousands of couples, and neither doctors nor patients are talking about it.

Equine cloning may shed light on human cancer causes
The same chemistry that led to the successful cloning of a mule at the University of Idaho this month also may shed new light on the causes of specific cancers in humans.

Jefferson scientists uncover HIV escape route from drugs and vaccines
Virologists at Jefferson Medical College may have discovered a new way by which HIV, the AIDS virus, can evade both anti-viral drugs and vaccines.

Project pairs coal with fuel cells to create cleaner, more efficient power
Ohio University engineers are leading one of the first comprehensive efforts to examine how fuel cell technology could pave the way for cleaner coal-fired power plants.

Probiotic protection against eczema could extend from infancy to childhood
A follow-up study in this week's issue of The Lancet highlights how probiotics given to pregnant women and babies around the time of childbirth could protect children from atopic eczema for up to four years--two years longer than previously reported.

Moderation appears key to sustaining an exercise program
While an intensive exercise regimen has been shown to yield the most health benefits in overweight sedentary adults, Duke University Medical Center researchers have found that when given their choice, these adults apparently tend to gravitate toward a moderate exercise program approximately equivalent to 11 miles of brisk walking or jogging each week.

'Virtual biopsy' - A new way to look at cancer
Scientists are using new imaging technology to help them perform

Kefir may bolster lactose tolerance in intolerant people
For lactose intolerant adults, drinking fermented milk either eliminated or drastically reduced symptoms related to lactose intolerance.

New vaccine against flu, other diseases, developed at Hebrew University
A group of researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has developed an effective new method for administering vaccines against influenza and other diseases through nasal drops or sprays.

Forum to look at whether schools should expect more of poor children
Whether a more demanding math and science curriculum and raised expectations could benefit students in poor and underprivileged areas will be the topic of a June 2 and 3 forum in Washington, DC, sponsored by the Education Policy Center at Michigan State University.

Seaweed uses chemical warfare to fight microbes
Scientists have discovered that seaweeds defend themselves from specific pathogens with naturally occurring antibiotics.

Yeast genomes reveal new sites of gene control
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have begun unraveling the network of genes and proteins that regulate the lives of cells.

Chatfield, Minn., teacher wins regional award
Mary Jane Christopherson, a chemistry teacher at Chosen Valley High School in Chatfield, Minn., is being honored with the Great Lakes Regional High School Chemistry Teaching Award from the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

African Americans concern about the environment equal to or greater that of whites
Contrary to commonly held assumptions, African Americans are as concerned as white Americans - and in some cases more so - about environmental issues.

Electrical switching in single molecules connected to weak bonding
New findings suggest that random on-off current fluctuations observed in single molecule switches are due to the breaking of bonds between the molecules and the gold electrode, rather than changes in the molecules themselves.

UNC HIV-AIDS screening, prevention method could become national model for cutting illness
Earlier and more accurate diagnosis of acute infection with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is not only possible but also practical -- by pooling blood samples from people being screened for HIV and conducting nucleic acid tests on those grouped specimens.

Why have sex? The answer is not as simple as we thought
Theories abound as to why organisms favour sexual reproduction, but testing these has been notoriously difficult.

New approach to treating vascular disorders wins prize for Hebrew University researcher
A novel approach to development of drugs that treat vascular disorders without the disadvantageous effects of existing medications has won a Kaye Innovation Award for a researcher at the Hebrew University School of Pharmacy.

Double research boost for tissue engineering community
The UK Department of Trade and Industry has recently awarded two biomaterial research projects to a consortium comprising the University of Brighton (School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences), the National Physical Laboratory and Queen Mary College, University of London.

Accurate milk enzyme measurement may cut cheese processing cost
A new method to accurately measure quantities of a cheese-ripening enzyme in milk could reduce the time and cost of producing cheese, according to a report by Purdue University researchers.

University of Idaho, Utah State University team first to clone equine
A University of Idaho - Utah State University Team announced the successful cloning of the first horse family member, a mule.

St. Paul chemist receives award for developing reflective films inspired by nature
Andrew J. Ouderkirk of 3M in St. Paul, Minn., will be honored May 31 by the American Chemical Society for inventing reflective films used in everything from computer displays to architectural lighting.

Electron nanodiffraction technique offers atomic resolution imaging
A new imaging technique that uses electron diffraction waves to improve both image resolution and sensitivity to small structures has been developed by scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Study offers hope for first new melanoma treatment in decades
A new study by Penn State College of Medicine researchers reveals for the first time one of the mechanisms by which malignant melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, grows and spreads.

Emory's CancerQuest wins top Web award from Scientific American
CancerQuest, a Web site developed at Emory University devoted to giving cancer patients tools to learn practical, scientific knowledge about their illness, has received a 2003 Sci/Tech Web Award from
Varicocele treatment does not improve male fertility
Authors of a systematic review in this week's issue of The Lancet highlight how a common treatment for impaired male fertility may well be ineffective.

Type 2 diabetes linked to prenatal diabetic environment?
A preliminary study in this week's issue of The Lancet suggests that offspring of mothers with type 1 diabetes could be at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in adult life--even in the absence of inherited type 1 or type 2 diabetic disease.

3-D imaging inside living organism, using quantum dots
Live-tissue fluorescence imaging with nanocrystal quantum dots has been demonstrated in a mouse's circulatory system by researchers at Cornell University and a nanocrystal manufacturer, Quantum Dots Corp.

Stanford researchers identify best hours for shut-eye when sleep must be limited
People getting a minimal amount of sleep do better if they go to bed early in the morning rather than late at night, suggests Stanford University Medical Center research.

9/11 has led to greater prudence in engineering design
Engineering professors Thomas O'Rourke and Linda Nozick, and Arthur Lembo, research associate in crop and soil sciences, have analyzed the damage to utilities in the 9/11 attack.

A more challenging summit than Everest
In the week celebrating the 50th anniversary of the conquest of Everest, this week's editorial points to a more challenging summit-the gathering of G8 leaders in Evian-les-Bains, France-to address the plight of an estimated billion people who live in countries ravaged by civil war.
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