Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 15, 2003
Victoria Hale of Institute for OneWorld Health Named Fellow by International Women's Forum
The Institute for OneWorld Health, the first nonprofit pharmaceutical company in the United States, today announced that CEO Victoria Hale, Ph.D., has been named a Leadership Foundation Fellow for 2003-2004.

Bacterial relationships revealed
Rather than keeping their genes in the family, bacteria often exchange genetic material with totally unrelated species.

National lab trains U. S. customs agents against WMD
Scientists at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will train U.S.

New technology helps fire managers anticipate smoke problems
BlueSkyRAINS is a technology that allows fire professionals and ordinary citizens to coordinate outdoor activities around fire operations.

A cheap and easy way to treat Parkinson disease
In the September 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, a team of researchers, led by Serge Przedborski, at Columbia University in New York, have demonstrated that infusion of D-beta-hydroxybutyrate (DbetaHB) to mice suffering from Parkinson disease restored impaired brain function and protected against neurodegeneration and motor skill abnormalities.

Powerful new method helps reveal genetic basis of cancer
Researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have developed one of the most sensitive, comprehensive, and robust methods that now exists for profiling the genetic basis of cancer and other diseases.

Tight rules, police presence may limit use of Vancouver's new drug injection facility
In a study released early online by the Canadian Medical Association Journal, researchers conclude that Health Canada guidelines and possible police surveillance may end up scaring away the very people North America's first sanctioned safer injecting facility is intended to help.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet, September 16, 2003
Highlights include: Chinese herbal weight-loss products caused liver damage in Japan; Blood pressure pills protect against hip fracture but protection disappears after pills are stopped; and, Consensus group develops 18 criteria for clinical guidelines.

Sick Kids researchers identify cancer stem cell for brain tumours
A research team at The Hospital for Sick Children (HSC) and the University of Toronto (U of T), led by Dr.

BMPs and bone loss: Get it through your noggin
A study in the September 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, by Etsuko Abe and colleagues at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York has revealed that the balance between the expression of the bone-building protein BMP, and the BMP inhibitor noggin, plays a crucial role in regulating bone formation and loss.

U of T scientists among world's top young innovators
Two researchers at the University of Toronto have been named among the top 100 young innovators in their fields by the highly respected Technology Review magazine, citing their innovative work in technology as having a profound impact on the world.

Consumer-driven health care research findings released
Preliminary research at the University of Minnesota has indicated that consumer-driven plans may have higher employer premium payments.

Diabetes drug may be new tool in treating breast cancer
Researchers at Georgetown University's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center have decoded the step-by-step process by which a class of popular anti-diabetes drugs inhibits cancerous tumor growth.

Report finds 'no convincing evidence' that psychological debriefing reduces incidence of PTSD
A new report in Psychological Science in the Public Interest, a journal of the American Psychological Society, examining the current body of research on the efficacy of psychological debriefing found

Sphingosine kinase inhibitors may hold key to halting growth of some tumors
Penn State College of Medicine researchers have identified compounds that could wipe out an enzyme responsible for tumor growth.

Experimental cancer drugs may halt events that lead to cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure
The events that lead to cardiac hypertrophy, the enlargement of heart muscle cells, may be stopped by histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, a class of therapeutic agents currently under development as cancer drugs.

World Parks Congress focuses on wildlife health issues
Held once every 10 years, this year's World Parks Congress will tackle key issues that affect both conservation and development--including the movement of diseases between wildlife, humans and their livestock.

NSF awards extend middleware development efforts in testing, portals and instrumentation
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $9 million to support 20 projects as part of its ongoing NSF Middleware Initiative (NMI).

Chest 2003 registration open to media
Press registration is now underway for CHEST 2003, the annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians.

Some forms of cancer behave in an unexpected way
Investigators at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) suggest that tumor size may not be an accurate method of predicting lymph node involvement and disease progression in some breast cancers.

T cell lifespan during HIV infection
Scientists have long held the prevailing view that during HIV infection the depletion of T cells is the result of direct HIV virus-mediated killing.

Study evaluates Abacavir, Lamivudine and Efavirenz versus Zidovudine, Lamivudine and Efavirenz
A treatment regimen of Ziagen® (abacavir sulfate) (ABC), Epivir® (lamivudine) (3TC) and efavirenz (EFV) has been shown to be non-inferior to the often prescribed regimen of Retrovir® (zidovudine) (ZDV) and 3TC and EFV in a large Phase III clinical trial comparing virologic response in treatment-naïve HIV+ adults.

Learning skills greatly limits stress for family caregivers, says Stanford study
Interventional skill-building programs ease the depression, anxiety and anger common among family caregivers coping with a loved one who has dementia, say Stanford University Medical Center researchers.

Changing the face of biology
Modular design in living systems and decision-making at the cellular level are the themes of two new grants, totaling more than $31 million over 5 years, awarded this month to research teams at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

UGA researchers find caffeine reduces muscle pain during exercise
The researchers' latest study, published in the August issue of the Journal of Pain, found that caffeine reduced thigh muscle pain during cycling exercise.

Stem cells delivered into back of eye hold promise for people with retinitis pigmentosa
A team of researchers from The Scripps Research Institute was able to preserve visual function in mice that were genetically predisposed to developing a profound degenerative disease that destroys their retinas.

Researchers learn certain enzyme inhibitors may help in cancer therapy following initial procedures
Certain enzyme inhibitors may slow tumor formation within weeks and could lead to treatments that retard or prevent recurrences of cancers, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have discovered.

'Shifty-eyed' monkeys offer window into brain's social reflexes
Neurobiologists at Duke University Medical Center have found the strongest evidence yet that monkeys show the same keen

Heart may heal with help from oxygen-sensitive genes, new study suggests
Researchers have uncovered a mechanism that the heart may use to repair tissue damaged during a heart attack.

On the horizon of glucose monitoring: A review
Doctors recommend that diabetics who take insulin check their blood glucose levels four times a day.

Controlling the internal clock in darkness
Circadian rhythms are common to most plants and animal species, and the underlying internal clocks share many of the same molecular building blocks.

Cranberry component linked to reduced stroke damage
Every 45 seconds, someone in America experiences a stroke. This week, researchers announced that compounds in cranberry may potentially offer a way to reduce stroke damage.

Another US airport travel hazard - dirty hands
Results of a new survey announced today at the 43rd Annual Interscience Conference of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) show that many people still aren't washing their hands in public places, exposing others to the risk of infection, despite recent outbreaks of infectious diseases.

Study shows melatonin supplements may make standing a hazard for the cardiovascular-challenged
For insomniacs and jet-lagged travelers, melatonin supplements may enable a good night's sleep.

This mummy has four feet, few bones and a new home
Archaeologist at the University of Washington's Burke Museum had no idea what they would learn when they sent the museum's Egyptian mummy to under go a CT scan as the first step in a conservation process.

Ductile intermetallic compounds discovered
Although intermetallic compounds possess chemical, physical, electrical, magnetic, and mechanical properties that are often superior to ordinary metals, their potential has gone untapped because they are typically quite brittle at room temperature.

Synthesis of cage-like silica structure easier and cheaper
A tailored, cage-like silica structure, developed by Penn State researchers, is easier and less expensive to make than previous materials and is tunable in size.

Tufts scientist named 'one of world's 100 top young innovators' by Technology Review Magazine
Tufts University's Krishna Kumar has been named one of the world's 100 Top Young Innovators by Technology Review, MIT's magazine that covers emerging technologies on the verge of commercialization.

Overlooking racism may lead to undiagnosed mental health disorders
Mental health professionals may be missing at least five novel mental health problems because the impact of racism is not considered when determining mental health, a new report suggests.

Study reveals why silicon crystals lose their 'edge'
Physicists have discovered a mechanism that forces sharp edges on the surface of a silicon crystal to become rounded, and have described this rounding in detail for the first time.

NASA'S Chandra X-ray observatory marks four years of discovery firsts
Launched in 1999, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory promised to be one of the world's most powerful tools to better understand the structure and evolution of the universe -- and it has lived up to expectations.

Old drug works new tricks for iron overload heart disease
Researchers at the University of Toronto and Toronto General Hospital have made a discovery that could prevent damage to the heart, pancreas and pituitary gland from excess iron with a simple pill.

HIV seen as less threatening in era of new treatments
Improved treatments for HIV may be lulling people into a false sense of security about their risks of infection and transmission, according to a review of recent research.
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