Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 19, 2003
Stroke risk: Could it start in the womb?
Malnourished pregnant women generations ago may account for today's increased stroke risk in certain parts of Britain and the United States, according to a study in today's rapid access issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Low birthweight link to diabetes may be due to decreased formation of blood vessels
A common condition that leads to low birthweight babies may predispose infants to diabetes by denying cells in the pancreas access to the chemical signals they need to mature.

July 4 fireworks: Why they're brighter than ever
One of the oldest forms of chemistry -- fireworks -- today burns more spectacularly than ever because metal fuels have replaced the charcoal, starches and gums of the past, explains chemist John A.

Journal announces scientific releases
The American Society of Hematology (ASH) and editors of the scientific journal, Blood, are pleased to announce the first-ever availability of regular scientific releases, one to two every month, beginning July 2003.

Abramson Cancer Center and Wistar Institute sponsor 'First International Melanoma Research Meeting'
More than 300 international experts in cancer research will attend the first-ever International Melanoma Research Congress, taking place in Philadelphia.

Chemoembolization helps patients with liver cancer live longer
Chemoembolization, a minimally invasive procedure that delivers chemotherapy directly to a tumor and cuts off its blood supply, is helping people with liver cancer survive beyond the six-month average with other treatments.

Researchers find new way to trigger self-destruction of certain cancer cells
Investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have discovered a previously unrecognized way that certain types of cancer cells can be forced to activate a self-destruction program called apoptosis.

Actonel® provides low incidence of vertebral fracture in osteoporosis patients through 7 years
In a long-term clinical trial of Actonel® (risedronate sodium tablets), a low incidence of new vertebral fractures was maintained over 7 years of treatment.

Consumers endorse researchers' enhancements to lower-quality beef
When it comes to beef, shoppers want low prices, little visible fat and good color and cuts at the store.

UCLA physicists create nanoscale sensor
UCLA physicists have created a first-of-its-kind nanoscale sensor using a single molecule more than 1,000 times smaller than the thickness of a human hair, as reported in the June 24 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Androgens increase strength, but not muscle quality
Men who take supplemental androgens-the male hormone testosterone or similar medications-increase their strength by adding muscle mass, but androgens alone do not pack more might into the muscles.

Powerful 'conveyer belts' drive sun's 11-year cycle, new evidence suggests
NASA and university astronomers have found evidence the 11-year sunspot cycle is driven in part by a giant conveyor belt-like, circulating current within the Sun.

Response to new faces varies by temperament, tied to brain activity
A key area in the brains of people who displayed an inhibited temperament as toddlers shows a greater response to new faces than does the same brain area in adults who were uninhibited early in life, according to a study by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital.

Cancer conference in Edinburgh leads the way towards better medical care
The international medical community is demonstrating its determination to serve cancer patients in the best possible way at a conference of Europe's leading society for medical oncologists.

Planners don't understand how real families live
Policies like the London Plan, which are designed to shape the cities of the future, are based on outdated assumptions about the way people live and work, according to research funded by the Economic & Social Research Council.

Many patients are not satisfied with electroconvulsive therapy
Around 11,000 people receive electroconvulsive therapy in England each year, yet controversy exists as to whether treatment is beneficial and whether patients are satisfied with it.

Radiofrequency, chemotherapy prove effective duo in destroying tumors
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) combined with chemotherapy is currently being used to treat malignant liver tumors at a Boston hospital on the basis of results from a new study appearing in the July issue of the journal Radiology.

New treatment approach may help patients with eczema
For patients with eczema, applying fluticasone propionate cream twice a week, alongside daily emollient treatment, significantly reduces the risk of relapse, say researchers in this week's BMJ.

Missing link detected in insulin mechanism
Along the multifaceted insulin pathway, Dartmouth Medical School biochemists have found a missing link that may spark the connection for glucose to move into cells.

Neural transplantation for Parkinson's disease: the challenge
Despite continued research and development of drugs for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, disorders such as Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, are poorly treated.

Born shy, always shy? Temperamental differences may last throughout life, brain study suggests
Whether a person avoids novelty or embraces it may depend in part on brain differences that have existed from infancy, according to new research.

No evidence that family physicians have a lower success rate treating depression
A statement by Dr. Ronald Kessler, Ph.D, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, regarding the results of a June 16 Journal of American Medical Association article entitled 'The Epidemiology of Major Depressive Disorder.'

Key regulatory enzyme is a molecular 'octopus'
After seven years of work, researchers have succeeded in deducing the three-dimensional structure of an elusive and complex protein enzyme that is central to regulating the body's largest family of receptors.

Guidelines on SARS should be refined
Current World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for diagnosing suspected SARS may not be sufficiently sensitive in assessing patients before admission to hospital, suggest researchers from Hong Kong in this week's BMJ.

Cooperation between unrelated male lizards adds a new wrinkle to evolutionary theory
Most examples of cooperative behavior in animals involve cooperation between genetically related individuals, which is explained by the theory of

Mental disorders in postconflict communities
People who experience violence associated with armed conflict have a range of mental disorders, suggest researchers from the Netherlands in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Heart hormones inhibit growth of pancreatic cancer cells in laboratory, USF/VA study finds
For the first time, hormones made by the heart have been shown to dramatically decrease human pancreatic cells grown in a laboratory.

Data show bone mineral density explains only small portion of nonvertebral fracture risk reduction
A new analysis showed that increases in bone mineral density (BMD) only accounted for 6 to 12 percent of the reduction in non-vertebral fracture risk that resulted from osteoporosis treatment over three years in postmenopausal women.

Men who have sex with men could worsen China's HIV-1 epidemic
Researchers from China and the USA suggest in this week's issue of The Lancet that men who have unprotected sex with men might worsen China's emerging HIV-1 epidemic because they form a sexual bridge between men and women.

East Syracuse, N.Y., teacher wins top award for teaching chemistry
Sally B. Mitchell, a chemistry teacher at East Syracuse-Minoa Central High School in East Syracuse, N.Y., received the Northeast Regional High School Chemistry Teacher Award from the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, during the Society's Northeast regional meeting, June 16-18, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Researchers view protein's structural changes in real time
Dramatic structural changes that take place inside a protein in less than a billionth of a second have been filmed in high resolution with X-ray crystallography, enabling scientists to view them like a movie.

Combination chemotherapy best option for treating relapsed ovarian cancer
Results of a European study in this week's issue of The Lancet suggest that combination treatment with paclitaxel and platinum-based chemotherapy could result in a modest but important survival benefit for women with relapsing ovarian cancer compared with women treated with platinum-based chemotherapy alone.

Social programs may provide hidden 'spillover' benefits, study finds
Social-welfare programs may help many more people than previously thought, new research indicates.

Brain aneurysms successfully treated without open surgery
Radiologists are using a nonsurgical procedure to isolate and block weakened cerebral blood vessels that are in danger of rupture, helping patients avert stroke or even death.

West Nile virus warning system from climate data
Cornell University's Northeast Regional Climate Center and Department of Entomology will collect climate data this summer in areas where disease-carrying mosquitoes are found, to develop a system that predicts when, where and under which conditions mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus can either thrive or die.

Gynaecologists could have important role in identifying sexual abuse in their patients
European research in this week's issue of The Lancet highlights how gynaecologists could have an important role in identifying women who have experienced sexual, physical, and emotional abuse.

Pulsating chemistry
Researchers at the Fritz-Haber Institute in Berlin have recently discovered chemical-thermal-mechanical oscillations that show, indirectly, the rate of certain reactions.

A first look at the doughnut around a giant black hole
Using the ESO VLT Interferometer, a team of European astronomers has succeeded for the first time in resolving structures in the torus believed to surround the supermassive black hole inside the prototype AGN, the galaxy NGC 1068.

Image-guided suite of the future brings precision to minimally invasive procedure
Minimally invasive treatment of disease, a revolutionary alternative to larger surgical incisions and longer recovery times, is undergoing its own transformation.

Concern over uncontrolled use of HIV drugs
Uncontrolled use of antiretroviral drugs in developing countries could accelerate HIV resistance, warn researchers in this week's BMJ.

Half of HIV patients choose alternative medicine
UCLA researchers found that half of HIV-infected Americans use alternative medicine to supplement or replace antiretroviral drugs.

U-M study examines age vs. menopause effects of bone health
Treating all middle-aged women with identical bone-protection therapies risks viewing aging and menopause as interchangeable conditions.
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