Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 17, 2003
Study suggests interplay of gene, stress can predict depression
An international team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, King's College London and the University of Outage in New Zealand found that variations in a gene that regulates chemical messengers in the brain could predict who was likely to develop depression after stressful life events.

Hubble tracks down a galaxy cluster's dark matter
Using the powerful trick of gravitational lensing, a European and American team of astronomers have constructed an extensive 'mass map' of one of the most massive structures in our Universe.

Hubble tracks down a galaxy cluster's dark matter
Using the powerful trick of gravitational lensing, a European and American team of astronomers have constructed an extensive 'mass map' of one of the most massive structures in our Universe.

Protein holds promise as new diabetes drug target
Scientists at the pharmaceutical company Hoffman-La Roche have discovered a chemical compound that activates the glucokinase enzyme and that could lead to a new medication for type 2 diabetes.

Young children main priority for prevention of blinding trachoma
Targeting antibiotics at young children and improving hygiene are key to eradicating a potentially blinding bacterial infection that affects around 150 million people worldwide, according to authors of a study in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Satellites will join search for source of Ebola virus
Microscopes are not the only tools available to study disease.

New location of deep convection may exist in North Atlantic
Deep convection, or mixing, of ocean waters in the North Atlantic, widely thought to occur in only the Labrador Sea and the Mediterranean, may occur in a third location first proposed nearly 100 years ago by the explorer and oceanographer Fridtjof Nansen.

New marine protected area to safeguard world's largest fish
Conservation International announced today the signing of an agreement to create a new marine protected area in Southern Belize, which will help to protect the world's only predictable gathering site of the whale shark, the planet's largest fish.

Infant girls in India twice as likely to die as boys
In India, infant girls are twice as likely to die as boys because girls are regarded and treated less favourably.

Mayo clinic proceedings study supports shorter waiting period for driving privileges after a seizure
Drivers in Arizona who got behind the wheel three months after a seizure did not have more seizure-related crashes compared with those who waited one year before driving, say researchers in the July issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

UK study underlines safety of contraceptive pill for non-smokers
Latest findings from a UK study established 35 years ago to assess the health outcomes for women using the contraceptive pill during the 1970s and 1980s are published in this week's issue of The Lancet.

How much should athletes drink during exercise?
Exercisers must be warned that the overconsumption of fluid (either water or sports drinks) before, during, or after exercise is unnecessary and can have a potentially fatal outcome, says a sports medicine expert in this week's BMJ.

Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology
This week's tips include studies showing: viral genomes in mineral water may not cause infections in humans; bacteria may cause Crohn's disease; and plasterboard composition may effect mold growth.

Collaborative grant to Rutgers and Rep. of Georgia for salmonella research
U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) today announced a cooperative research anti-terrorism grant of $100,000 to a team of scientists from Rutgers University and the former Soviet Republic of Georgia to work on the development of a treatment against drug-resistant salmonella bacteria.

Homeland security highlights ACS scientific meeting in New York Sept. 7-11
Numerous research papers on homeland security, including protection of the food supply, safeguarding chemical plants and detection of chemical and biological warfare agents, will be presented at the American Chemical Society's 226th national meeting in New York City Sept.

Diet researcher asks how now lemur chow?
It was a dramatic demonstration when former Duke Primate Center technician Jennifer Campbell mounded two piles of lemur food -- one large, one much smaller -- on a table a few years ago.

Plea to lower age for mammography screening in the UK
Two leading UK cancer experts are calling for the entry age for mammographic screening for breast cancer to be reduced from 50 to 47 years for women in the UK.

Research methodology could mask association between high fat intake and breast cancer
Imprecise methods of assessing dietary intake could be potentially obscuring a link between increased fat intake and breast cancer, suggest authors of a research letter in this week's issue of The Lancet.

WHO 2003-2008: A programme of quiet thunder takes shape
This week's editorial looks ahead to the future of WHO as Dr J W Lee is poised to take over as leader of the only global health agency from Gro Harlem Brundtland on July 21.

UF study: Online dating virtually irresistible to some married folks
Oh, what a tangled Web is weaved as rapidly growing numbers of married people sneak into Internet chat rooms for romantic or sexual thrills they think they aren't getting from their spouses, a new University of Florida study finds.

Changes in deep brain tissue signal an increased risk for strokes
Changes in the brain's white matter, a common occurrence among the elderly, increase a person's risk of having multiple strokes, according to a report in today's rapid access issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Hydrogen-fueled cars not best way to cut pollution, greenhouse gases and oil dependency
From President George Bush on down, politicians have been pushing research on clean-burning hydrogen.

Aspirin could reduce the risk of deadly infections
Adding to the long list of the benefits of aspirin, researchers have found that it is responsible for reducing toxic bacteria associated with serious infections.

Farewell to the Earth and the Moon - ESA's Mars Express successfully tests its instruments
A unique view of our home planet and its natural satellite - the Moon - is one of the first data sets coming from ESA's Mars Express.

UK must tackle mental health needs of refugee children
More than a quarter of refugee children living in the UK have significant psychological disturbance, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Concern over clinical value of new mood disorder drugs
Recent changes to the classification of psychiatric disorders are encouraging pharmaceutical companies to develop new drugs that are of questionable clinical value, argue researchers in this week's BMJ.

SOHO resumes full operation
ESA/NASA's solar watchdog, SOHO, is back to full operation after its predicted 9-day-long high-gain antenna blackout.

UCLA researchers release profile of proposition 36-eligible drug offenders
In the first release of findings from an evaluation of California's Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act, UCLA researchers report that the law enacted by voters as Proposition 36 placed more than 30,000 drug offenders in treatment during its first year - more than half in treatment for the first time.

Anti-inflammatory drugs lower risk of Alzheimer's
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, claim researchers in this week's BMJ.

Scientists with Hawaii ocean mixing experiment
Scientists from six institutions, including Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, are closing the gap in deciphering one of the most puzzling aspects of the world's oceans.

Gene more than doubles risk of depression following life stresses
Among people who suffered multiple stressful life events over 5 years, 43 percent with a stress-sensitive version of a gene developed depression, compared to only 17 percent with a protective version of the gene, say researchers.

R. John Collier, PH.D wins Bristol-Myers Squibb Infectious Disease Research Award
R. John Collier, Ph.D., Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard Medical School, was named winner of the Thirteenth Annual Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Infectious Diseases Research for his major contributions to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which bacteria cause disease.

UCLA study explores droughts in Canadian prairies
Canada's Saskachewan River system, which recently experienced its worse drought in 134 years, may be prone to more prolonged and severe droughts than previously thought, suggests a new UCLA study.

Ames Laboratory gets $1.8 million for catalysis research
Ames Laboratory has received $1.8 million to fund innovative work on a new generation of highly selective and efficient heterogeneous catalysts.

New approach to gene knockouts reveals the 'master planners' of the skeleton
Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers are moving closer to understanding how the global pattern of the skeleton of mammals is formed during development.

Research suggests how steroids cause diabetes and hypertension; liver plays critical role
Steroids called glucocorticoids are critical for treating diseases such as asthma, arthritis and pain syndromes, but they also can trigger diabetes and hypertension.
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