Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 15, 2003
Rutgers scientists post a genetic road map to sources of disease
Geneticist Tara Matise and colleagues have produced a map that will help pinpoint the genes linked to such serious diseases as diabetes, high blood pressure and schizophrenia.

Researchers zero in on new drug combination strategy
Researchers at Whitehead Institute have developed a systematic approach to the discovery of novel combination drugs, a method they used to identify several new pairings with significant therapeutic promise, including a new combination that kills an infectious, drug-resistant strain of the yeast Candida albicans while leaving human cells unharmed.

New way of treating elderly patients with delirium defies conventional medical wisdom
Many older adults become delirious when they are hospitalized. A new way of treating them, developed by Saint Louis University geriatricians, does not use physical restraints and turns to medication only as a last resort.

Depression in African-American men may be barrier to high blood pressure control
A study from The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing concludes depression may sabotage efforts to control high blood pressure in urban, African-American men.

Polymorphisms may contribute to variations in PSA levels
Polymorphisms in the promoter region of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) gene may contribute to individual variations in PSA levels, according to a study in the July 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Identification of these polymorphims may improve the sensitivity of PSA testing for prostate cancer, the study suggests.

Yale researchers identify two types of childhood reading disability
Yale researchers have, for the first time, identified two types of reading disability: a primarily inherent type with higher cognitive ability (poor readers who compensate for disability), and a more environmentally influenced type with lower cognitive skills and attendance at more disadvantaged schools (persistently poor readers).

Anti-HIV statisticians win $1.125 million NIH Merit Award
In the battle to control the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), medical researchers rely on support from many non-medical disciplines.

Diabetes and heart failure patients often treated with diabetes medications considered unsafe
In a national study of diabetic patients hospitalized with heart failure, researchers from Yale University and Denver Health Medical Center found that more than a quarter are treated with diabetes medications not considered safe by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Missile defense strategy not feasible against potential threats, shows APS study
Intercepting missiles while their rockets are still burning would not be an effective approach for defending the U.S. against attacks by an important type of enemy missile.

Comprehensive scientific review confirms the safety of black cohosh for menopausal women
A report in the current issue of Menopause: Journal of the North American Menopause Society provides a reassurance of the safety of black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) as a treatment for women experiencing menopausal symptoms.

First descriptions of Indiana bat maternity roosts in the southern US
In the June 30 issue of Southeastern Naturalist, USDA Forest Service (FS) and Tennessee Technological University (TTU) researchers provide the first descriptions of Indiana bat maternity habitat in the southeastern United States.

Cardiologists advance search for routine vaccine to prevent heart attacks and strokes
Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis. Measles, mumps, rubella. Atherosclerosis? Cedars-Sinai cardiologists and their colleagues in Sweden are leading a quest for a vaccine that one day could become part of routine childhood immunization programs.

Microbubbles can image blood vessel growth in tumors
Imagine being able to quickly detect and diagnose blood vessel growth in cancerous tumors, and even predict how fast the tumors might metastasize or spread.

Hot topics at XVI INQUA Congress
Earth is entering a time of unusually warm climate. Significant and potentially rapid environmental changes could pose major challenges for human habitation.

Australian cyber soldiers to boost British defence forces
An Australian team is poised to send agents with all the human frailties into Britain's armed forces to improve their performance in both peacekeeping and combat situations.

Genetics a factor in PSA levels
Genetics causes some men to test higher on the blood test for prostate cancer - even when they don't have the disease - report researchers from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and colleagues in the July 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

An aspirin a day keeps Staphylococcus aureus away
In the July 15 issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation, Ambrose Cheung and colleagues at Dartmouth School of Medicine in New Hampshire, USA, report that salicylic acid (SAL), the major metabolite of aspirin, downregulates two Staphylococcus aureus genes key to this organism's pathogenesis.

Inflammation blocks impact of heart healthy diets for some
Results of a Johns Hopkins study suggest that natural chemicals released in the body as a result of chronic inflammation may underpin the failure of low-fat, so-called heart healthy diets to actually reduce cholesterol and heart disease risk in some people.

Attitudes to cannabis are more tolerant
People are becoming more tolerant of the use of cannabis, but there are still clear limits to what is acceptable in the area of illegal drug-taking, according to new research funded by the ESRC.

Ibuprofen, Aspirin may reduce woman's risk of developing breast cancer
New research suggests that regular ibuprofen use may cut a woman's risk of developing breast cancer in half.

Stem cells found to home toward the injured liver
In the July 15 issue of the JCI, a collaborative research team led by Tsvee Lapidot and colleagues at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, further our understanding of how hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) home to injured liver tissue and contribute to tissue repair.

Emory scientists find anti-tumor compounds in magnolia cones
A team of scientists at Emory University School of Medicine has discovered that seed cones from magnolia trees contain substances that inhibit the growth of new blood vessels.

'Video Doctor,' personalized feedback device, is always in
She's warm, friendly, empathetic, nonjudgmental, respectful and collaborative. She's everything you wanted in a doctor.

Blood tests identify patients on dialysis at high risk for death from cardiovascular disease
A study, led by a cardiologist at the University of Maryland Medical Center, concludes that routine blood tests given to people suspected of having a heart attack make it possible, for the first time, for doctors to gauge the risk of heart disease in patients on dialysis who do not have cardiac symptoms.

Study suggests HPV16 can skirt the immune system
Human papillomavirus 16 (HPV16), the virus responsible for approximately half of all cervical cancers, appears to be better at dodging the immune system than other HPV types, according to a large study of HIV-positive women in the July 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The findings may help explain why HPV16 plays such a major role in causing cervical cancer in the general population.

Icebound Antarctic telescope delivers first neutrino sky map
A novel telescope that uses the Antarctic ice sheet as its window to the cosmos has produced the first map of the high-energy neutrino sky.

Newly invented Endometrial Function Test (EFT®) solves the puzzle of unexplained infertility
A Yale researcher who invented a test to determine whether a woman's endometrium (uterine lining) is healthy and ready for embryo implantation has identified two new biochemical markers that improve assessment of the endometrium.

Preventing stray chemicals in food, pharmaceutical and industrial products
While legislation requires the food, pharmaceutical and other industries to stick within clear chemical limits, even a few milligrams of a rogue chemical can count a product out.

Yale researcher discovers 'brain temperature tunnel'
Yale researcher M. Marc Abreu, M.D., has identified an area of the brain he calls the brain temperature tunnel, which transmits brain temperature to an area of skin and has the potential to prevent death from heat stroke and hypothermia, and detect infectious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

UC Riverside is part of new initiative to share patented research on agriculture
UC Riverside is joining 13 other institutions and foundations in an effort aimed to simplify the management and sharing of their intellectual property and facilitate access to each other's current and future patented agricultural technologies.

UCSD researchers find brain overgrowth during first year of life in autism
Small head circumference at birth, followed by a sudden and excessive increase in head circumference during the first year of life, has been linked to development of autism by researchers at UCSD School of Medicine and Children's Hospital and Health Center, San Diego.

Obese mice provide clues to a natural system that puts brakes on obesity
A gene that gets switched on only in the fat cells of obese mice may be a key to preventing obesity in humans, according to new research at The Rockefeller University in New York City and the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.

Rethinking how the brain sees visual features
Brain scientists will have to rethink the current theory of how the visual processing region of the brain is organized to analyze basic information about the geometry of the environment, according to Duke neurobiologists.

Epitope plays a key role in the development of rheumatoid arthritis
In the July 15 issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation, Nobuchika Yamamoto and colleagues from the Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Company in Japan, provide important new evidence indicating a role for the extracellular matrix protein osteopontin in the pathogenesis of inflammatory arthritis and associated joint destruction.

Other highlights of the July 16 JNCI
intake may increase the risk of breast cancer, a study showing that gynecologic surgeries may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer, a study finding that overexpression of a protein involved in inflammation is associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer, and a commentary questioning the use of positron emission tomography as an alternative to sentinel lymph node biopsy in women with breast cancer.

Black holes and galaxies -- Missing link discovered in our own backyard
By studying >120,000 nearby galaxies observed as part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, a team of German and American astronomers has demonstrated that the growth of supermassive black holes is closely linked with the birth of new stars in their host galaxies.
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