Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 14, 2003
Rush studying the role of intra abdominal fat in coronary artery disease risk in women
Researchers at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center are following middle-aged women from the Southside of Chicago to determine if the location of the fat in their bodies affects their risk for coronary artery disease.

NYU opens city's only motion capture studio
New York City's only laboratory dedicated to research in motion capture - a cutting edge technique used to facilitate the study of animation and human movement - was recently opened at NYU through its Center for Advanced Technology (CAT).

Infections linked to mental decline in elderly
Infection by several common viruses can significantly increase the risk of dementia in the elderly with cardiovascular disease, according to a report in today's rapid access issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Stem cell defects are key to Hirschsprung's disease
Scientists at the University of Michigan Medical School have identified defective stem cells as the key to a serious, sometimes life-threatening, intestinal disorder called Hirschsprung's disease, which affects one in 5,000 newborn infants.

Researchers one step closer to Holy Grail of neurobiology
Research by Rockefeller University scientists is the first to give a rigorous definition of what is meant by arousal, considered to be at the base of all emotionally laden behaviors.

Sickness records can predict employee deaths
Employees who take long spells of sick leave more than once in two years are at a higher risk of death than their colleagues with no such absence, conclude researchers in this week's BMJ.

Tufts High-energy physicists help build 6,000-ton detector for DOE's neutrino research
A team of Tufts University physicists has built a vital component of a 6,000-ton underground detector in northern Minnesota that will determine the mass scale of subatomic particles called neutrinos.

Sandia team develops cognitive machines
Over the past five years a team led by Sandia cognitive psychologist Chris Forsythe has been developing cognitive machines that accurately infer user intent, remember experiences with users and allow users to call upon simulated experts to help them analyze situations and make decisions.

Livermore lab collaboration seeking nature of neutrinos
Using a 6,000-ton detector, scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory today will begin gathering data on neutrinos as part of the Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search, (MINOS).

Elites in Eastern Europe are ambivalent to EU enlargement
Local elites in post-communist accession countries have a limited knowledge of the EU and were not engaged in the accession process, according to new research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Nitrous oxide record sheds light on glacial carbon dioxide
A 106,000 year long record of nitrous oxide concentrations and a shorter record of nitrogen and oxygen isotopes show that both marine and terrestrial nitrous oxide production increased in unison and effectively by the same proportional amount during the end of the last glacial period, according to Penn State researchers.

The genetic complexities of sensation-seeking behavior in alcoholic men
Researchers know that sensation-seeking behavior is prevalent among men with a particular subtype of alcoholism.

With supercooling and the right geometry, 'warm' glaciers can trap and transport silt
A riddle that has long baffled geologists -- how some glaciers trap and transport silt -- is explained by a team of geologists in the Aug.

Smoking causes half the tuberculosis deaths in Indian men
Half the male tuberculosis deaths in India are caused by smoking, and three quarters of the smokers who become ill with tuberculosis (TB) would not have done so if they had not smoked.

Findings in frog oocytes may help study of chromosome physiology
Researchers studying the nuclei of frog oocytes in early stages of meiosis -- the cell division that gives rise to germ cells -- have found that two key proteins remain apart at a crucial time before condensation occurs.

Drug that mimics vitamin D hormone may boost effectiveness of prostate cancer treatment
A drug designed to mimic the effects of Vitamin D hormone may be able to boost the effectiveness of radiation treatment for prostate cancer, report researchers from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in the current on-line edition of the British Journal of Cancer.

Extended, progressive physical therapy aids stroke survivors' mobility
Stroke survivors who received therapist-supervised, progressive therapy after completing in-hospital rehabilitation significantly improved their endurance, balance and walking ability, according to a small study reported in today's rapid access issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Almost half of all faculty on Institutional Review Boards have ties to industry
Medical school faculty members who serve on Institutional Review Boards have extensive research experience and knowledge, yet close to half also serve as consultants to industry, a situation that could lead to potential conflicts of interest, according to a new study in the journal Academic Medicine.

Did rats spread SARS in Amoy Gardens?
A hypothesis in this week's issue of THE LANCET proposes that roof rats could have been responsible for the spread of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in Hong Kong's Amoy Gardens apartment block where over 300 people were infected with the SARS virus earlier this year.

Stem-cell defect underlies common genetic disorder
Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have found that Hirschsprung disease, one of the most common genetic disorders, is caused by a defect that blocks neural stem cells from forming nerves that control the lower intestine.

Long-term decline of coral reef ecosystems reported
An article in the August 15 issue of the journal Science warns against the human exploitation of coral reef ecosystems around the world, noting that these

How a nightcap may hinder rather than help your sleep
Many alcoholics have sleep problems while actively drinking and also after they've stopped drinking.

Research: Coral reefs' decline actually began centuries ago
Global warming and pollution are among the modern-day threats commonly blamed for decline of coral reefs, but new research shows the downfall of those resplendent and diverse signatures of tropical oceans actually may have begun centuries ago.

Historical coral reef declines featured in this week's Science
No coral reef system in the world can be considered pristine, concludes an exhaustive historical analysis of human exploitation of reef ecosystems in the August 15 issue of the journal Science.

Jury still out over risks of heading a soccer ball
Heading the ball in soccer is unlikely to cause brain injury but head to head collisions might, says a leading sports physician in this week's BMJ.

UI Researchers urge advances in meth abuse treatment
People who use or abuse methamphetamine, or meth, do not necessarily need specialized treatment but do need more time in intensive outpatient or residential drug treatment than currently occurs.

Scientists at TSRI create new strain of yeast with 21-amino acid genetic code
A team of investigators at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and its Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology in La Jolla, California is introducing revolutionary changes into the genetic code of organisms like yeast that allow these cellular factories to mass produce proteins with unnatural amino acids.

Modifier gene controls severity of neurological disease in mice
University of Michigan scientists have discovered a gene that turns a chronic inherited neurological disorder - which produces tremor and muscle weakness in laboratory mice - into a lethal disease that paralyzes and kills them within a few weeks of birth.

Smoking causes half the tuberculosis deaths in Indian men
An international study in this week's issue of THE LANCET shows that smokers in India are four times as likely as non-smokers to die of tuberculosis.

Interstitial cystitis study finds limited benefit in two oral drugs
A National Institutes of Health study found that two commonly available oral drugs provided limited benefit to patients with interstitial cystitis, a bladder condition.

Delaying chemotherapy could be best option for certain type of non-hodgkin lymphoma
Delaying chemotherapy until symptoms develop for patients with asymptomatic advanced low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma is confirmed as an appropriate strategy authors of a UK study in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

Educational attainment may predict drinking outcomes following alcohol treatment
Previous literature has shown that alcohol use may hinder educational achievements.

Researchers find a pattern in evolution of lizard groups
Biologists at Washington University in St. Louis have proposed a general pattern among groups in the timing of evolutionary diversification.

Hopkins is first US institution to obtain powerful genotyping system
Ahead of other U.S. academic institutions, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and its McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine have pooled resources to obtain a commercial system capable of processing hundreds of DNA samples and determining up to 600,000 genotypes a day.

Development of hair depends on development of the hair channel
There's more to a building than the materials that comprise it; equally important is the foundation that underlies and supports the main structure.

MINOS detector ready to take first data
Today sees the start of data collection on the Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search (MINOS) detector, situated in the Soudan iron mine, Minnesota, USA.

Microbe from depths takes life to hottest known limit
It may be small, its habitat harsh, but a newly discovered single-celled microbe leads the hottest existence known to science.

Alcohol, automobiles and youth
Underage drinking and driving continue to cause significant numbers of injury and death.

Twins have lower risk of suicide than general population
Twins have a lower risk of suicide compared with the general population, concludes a study in this week's BMJ.

Increased prevalence of diabetes - not all bad news
Research published in this week's issue of THE LANCET illustrates how a steady increase in the prevalence of diabetes in a Danish population has not been accompanied by an increase in incidence (new cases) of the disease, as deaths from diabetes have actually fallen over the past decade.

Hope for South Africa - at last
This week's editorial urges the South African Government to implement new recommendations to provide antiretroviral treatment to tackle the country's grave HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Taking painkillers during pregnancy increases risk of miscarriage
Women who take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or aspirin during pregnancy increase their risk of miscarriage by 80 per cent, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Purdue instrument to fashion custom-made proteomics chips
Purdue University scientists are developing an instrument that can fabricate custom-made biochips for protein analysis, offering a potentially powerful new tool for drug development and basic medical research.
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