Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 07, 2003
The key in the catalyst
A USC team may have found a better way to create acetic acid, used in aspirin, cosmetics and other essential products.

Short gaps between pregnancies linked to complications
Women with a very short interval between pregnancies are at an increased risk of complications such as premature birth, neonatal death, and low birth weight, say researchers in this week's BMJ.

Home visits from community health workers spur blood pressure reduction
As little as one home visit by a community health worker, as part of a community/academic health center program, may be enough to encourage someone with high blood pressure to take measures to lower it, a Johns Hopkins study demonstrates.

Protein profile predicts prognosis for lung cancer
Researchers at Vanderbilt have identified a distinct pattern of expression of 15 proteins in lung cancers that can predict a poor prognosis or a good prognosis.

Nominations sought for professorship by the American Association for Cancer Research
The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) announces that nominations are now being accepting for the 2004 AACR-National Foundation for Cancer Research Professorship in Basic Cancer Research.

Search beneath lawns provides insight into backyard biodiversity
Lawn mowing and maintenance can make homeowners' summer free time disappear, but what do these practices do to the tiny creatures that live beneath the lawn and help to process nutrients and organic materials?

Researchers identify new cause of genomic instability
Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers sifting through the indispensable machinery that senses and fixes broken DNA have discovered a new culprit that can induce instability in the genome and thereby set the stage for cancer to develop.

APA's Annual Convention in Toronto
APA's annual convention will be occurring August 7-10 in Toronto, Canada.

Some autistic children make remarkable progress with intensive behavioral program, study suggests
A new study provides confirmation that some young autistic children can make remarkable progress when they participate in a specially designed intensive behavioral intervention program.

Prescribing heroin can help treatment resistant addicts
Supervised prescription of a combination of methadone plus heroin is feasible, safe, and effective in reducing the many physical, mental, and social problems of heroin addicts, according to Dutch researchers in this week's BMJ.

University of Iowa examines role of faith-based groups in helping ex-offenders
Nearly 500,000 people annually are released from prison in the United States.

Cross-species mating may be evolutionarily important and lead to rapid change, say IUB researchers
A study of sunflower species that began 15 years ago shows that the sudden mixing and matching of different species' genes can create genetic super-combinations that are considerably more advantageous to the survival and reproduction of their owners than the gene combinations their parents possess.

Sun exposure seems to reduce risk of multiple sclerosis
Higher sun exposure during childhood and early adolescence is associated with a reduced risk of multiple sclerosis, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Researchers create the world's fastest detailed computer simulations of the Internet
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have created the fastest detailed computer simulations of computer networks ever constructed --simulating networks containing more than 5 million network elements.

Substantial increase in breast cancer risk from combination hormone replacement therapy
A study in this week's issue of THE LANCET involving over a million women in the UK provides strong evidence that use of combination (progestagen-oestrogen) hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is associated with a substantially greater risk of breast cancer than oestrogen-only therapy.

Creation of new neurons critical to antidepressant action in mice
Blocking the formation of neurons in the hippocampus blocks the behavioral effects of antidepressants in mice, say researchers.

System failure at heart of child abuse case disasters
System failure lies at the heart of the current crisis surrounding cases of suspected child abuse, argues a retired paediatrician in this week's BMJ.

Main regulator of membrane trafficking not what researchers once thought, scientists discover
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have identified a main regulator of the system that controls membrane trafficking, debunking what scientists for a decade had thought controlled this process.

Nominations sought for AACR scientific awards and lectureships
The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the nation's largest and oldest professional society of basic, translational, and clinical cancer research scientists, announces that nominations are now being accepting for awards that recognize outstanding achievement in cancer research.

Summit agrees to improve coordination of global Earth observation
High-level delegates from 30 countries and 22 international organisations agreed at the Earth Observation Summit held last Thursday in Washington to improve cooperation on Earth observation and to remove barriers to the exchange of information between countries and organisations.

UCLA study examines origins of fatigue in breast cancer survivors
Persistent fatigue in breast cancer survivors might be associated with a chronic inflammatory process involving T cells, according to a new UCLA study published Aug.6 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Gene therapy prolongs survival, slows disease progression in ALS mice
Scientists at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, report in the August 8 issue of Science that a novel gene therapy approach prolonged survival and slowed disease progression in mice with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Meningococcal C vaccine could increase relapse for children with kidney disease
Withholding meningococcal vaccine could be the best strategy for children with the kidney disorder nephrotic syndrome, according to authors of a research letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

UNC studies identify key genes involved in blood vessel development
New research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has identified two genes that play key roles in regulating blood vessel development, angiogenesis.

Hot Interconnects conference Aug. 20-22 at Stanford
The 11th annual Hot Interconnects conference, held this year from August 20-22 in Stanford, CA, brings together the designers and architects of high-performance networking systems, networking chips, and networking software at the top university, industry, and venture capital firms.

Dual discoveries in genetic processing improve accuracy of genome information
University of Connecticut Health Center geneticists have made a two-fold discovery in gene recoding that will significantly increase understanding of the information in genome sequences and could prove to be a knowledge expressway scientists need for unraveling nervous system disorders such as Parkinson Disease and epilepsy.

Salk news: gene therapy for Lou Gehrig's disease
A unique gene therapy method postpones the symptoms and nearly doubles the life span in a mouse animal model of Lou Gehrig's disease, a research team led by the Salk Institute has found.

Infectious disease study findings presented by University of Pittsburgh scientists
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center report important findings about the potentially deadly parvovirus infection during pregnancy and impaired fertility resulting from even mild pelvic inflammatory disease during a meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology taking place Aug.

Open Access Initiative from Oxford Journals
Oxford University Press is initiating an Open Access experiment with one of its flagship journals, Nucleic Acids Research, recently listed by ISI as one of the top ten 'hottest' journals of the decade in biology and biochemistry .

Scientists demonstrate new method for discovering cancer gene function
Using a new approach for dissecting the complicated interactions among many genes, scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have discovered how a common cancer gene works in tandem with another gene to spur the unchecked growth of cells.

NASA ozone satellite improves snowstorm forecasts
Scientists added ozone measurements from a NASA satellite into computer weather forecast models and improved several factors in a forecast of a major winter snowstorm that hit the United States in 2000.

Sexy, violent TV shows reduce recall of ad brands, U-M study shows
Advertising on television shows with violent or sexual content is bad business, a new University of Michigan study confirms.

Gene therapy delays death in mouse with symptoms of Lou Gehrig's disease
It's not a cure, but a novel form of gene therapy has delayed symptoms and almost doubled life expectancy in mice with the equivalent of Lou Gehrig's disease, a team from the Salk Institute and Johns Hopkins reports in the Aug.

Oestrogen-replacement therapy from skin patches not associated with venous blood clots
French authors of a study in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggest that oestrogen replacement therapy (ERT) given by skin patches or gel rather than orally may cause fewer venous blood clots (a recognised side-effect of ERT).

Measles on the rise as vaccinations fall in the UK, Science study reports
Outbreaks of measles in England and Wales have increased following a decline in infant vaccinations against the viral disease.

Geological tool helps scientists map the interior of the ocean
A new application of a decades-old technique to study Earth's interior is allowing scientists
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