Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 29, 2003
Thymus transplant might save babies born without immune systems
Babies destined to die because they were born without a thymus -- the organ that generates immune cells -- can be given lifesaving tissue normally discarded during cardiac surgery on other infants, researchers have found.

Job stress may be missing link between workplace exercise and heart risk
Several researchers have suggested that employees whose jobs require a lot of physical activity face a greater risk for heart disease, but investigators from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California and colleagues may have found the reason behind it: job stress.

Respiratory manifestations may be secondary to inflammation in cystic fibrosis patients
A new study provides additional evidence that the persistent and excessive inflammation in the lungs of CF patients involves a failure of the mechanisms that control the inflammatory response.

Salt controls size of DNA structures, could improve gene therapy
Researchers have found they can control the size of densely packed DNA structures by changing the salt concentration in solutions containing DNA.

Stanford researchers weigh risks vs. benefits of self-referred body scanning
Sophisticated body scanning technology has led to a proliferation of businesses enabling anyone with cash to acquire detailed images depicting their innermost anatomical workings.

World's largest astronomical CCD camera installed on Palomar Observatory telescope
A telescope at Palomar Observatory in California has been outfitted with a new camera known as QUEST designed and built by scientists at Indiana and Yale universities.

Can female adult obesity be stopped at birth?
Researchers demonstrate how levels of a specific neuropeptide - NPY - can pre-determine appetite and body weight gain patterns.

Law enforcement makes retailers shape up, but kids still smoke
Enforcing laws that limit tobacco sales to minors may boost the number of retailers who won't sell to kids, but has minimal effect on youth smoking, a new study suggests.

In men chronically exposed to magnetic fields, no disruptions of melatonin exists
A new study offers direction for those examining the illnesses of those working or living near large electrical facilities.

Computer tool yields higher self-reports of key HIV risk behaviors by Zimbabwean women
A computer and headphone self-interviewing system yielded higher self-reports of several key HIV risks behaviors and was the preferred interview method by Zimbabwean women in Africa, according to a study by UCSF researchers.

New technique lowers CT radiation dose for children
A new technique allows radiologists to lower the radiation dose that computed tomography (CT) delivers by tailoring the dose based on a child's size, according to a study appearing in the August issue of the journal Radiology.

UCF bolsters research in partnership buildings
As part of an ongoing goal to become America's leading partnership university, the University of Central Florida will launch construction of its Partnership II building this month.

American Academy of Ophthalmology announces new award, its highest honor
Beginning this year, the American Academy of Ophthalmology's Board of Trustees will bestow its highest award, the Laureate Award, on those individuals who have made the most significant contributions to the science of ophthalmology.

Immune system drug may increase availability of liver transplants
Animal research at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has found that a drug already approved by the FDA for testing in people might one day dramatically expand the number of livers useable for human transplantation.

Hamburger disease drug put to the test
A research study, testing a new treatment for hamburger disease, was launched at The Montreal Children's Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC).

Fears of second-hand smoke confirmed
New study confirms the fears of many in a work and social environment that exposure to second-hand smoke can lead to a deadly and debilitating disease.

UC Riverside study shows glaciers once existed near Los Angeles
Small glaciers once existed in southernmost California, near Los Angeles, during the last glacial period and in the early part of the present interglacial.

Zimbabwean women value diaphragm as clandestine method to possibly prevent HIV
Almost half of Zimbabwean women in a UCSF study say that the ability to use a diaphragm clandestinely was very or extremely important--a number that rises to 80 percent if their partners have other sexual partners or if getting their partners to use condoms is difficult.

Anthrax research might provide more time for treatment
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., have been awarded new federal grant money to develop experimental compounds that may someday extend the period during which a person exposed to anthrax can be treated successfully.

APS awards more than $33,000 to its 2003 undergraduate research fellows
12 national undergraduate winners participate in summer fellowships experiences at established research laboratories.

Swimming can contribute to rebuilding bone strength
New health strategies possible from the first study to report the relative effects of weight-bearing and non-weight-bearing exercises on bone mechanical properties.

Destruction of ozone layer is slowing after worldwide ban on CFC release
The rate at which ozone is being destroyed in the upper stratosphere is slowing, and the levels of ozone-destroying chlorine in that layer of the atmosphere have peaked and are going down -- the first clear evidence that a worldwide reduction in chlorofluorocarbon pollution is having the desired effect, according to a new study.

College smokers report feeling 'invulnerable' to tobacco's effects
Many young smokers think they are at least as healthy as nonsmokers and other smokers their age, and are not worried about the health effects of tobacco, according to a new survey of community college students published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

Titania nanotubes make supersensitive hydrogen sensors
Titania nanotubes are 1500 times better than the next best material for sensing hydrogen and may be one of the first examples of materials properties changing dramatically when crossing the border between real world sizes and nanoscopic dimensions, according to a Penn State materials scientist.

Physician assistants, nurses and family physicians more likely to care for underserved, study says
A first-time look at who is providing health care to the neediest populations in California and Washington states reveals that physician assistants, nurses and family physicians are more likely than others in primary care to serve the underserved.

Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences to offer forum
The Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences will sponsor a scholarly forum open to both members and non-members of The Gerontological Society of America for recent scientific articles to be discussed and debated.

Study identifies trends in self-referred imaging
Self-referred imaging centers, where people with no health-related symptoms can have imaging exams performed without a doctor's recommendation or prescription, are popping up across the United States, with the highest concentration in areas populated by wealthy and highly educated people, according to a study appearing in the August issue of the journal Radiology.

New theory of cell death proposed in UCSB Alzheimer's research
Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, currently affects four million Americans -- a number expected to increase to 14 million by the year 2050.
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