Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 16, 2003
Breast feeding may not protect against obesity
Breast feeding does not protect against overweight and obesity, according to two studies in this week's BMJ.

Georgetown University receives $6.5 million grant to enhance emergency preparedness in Washington
A team from Georgetown University Medical Center and MedStar Health has been awarded a $6.5 million research grant by NIH's National Library of Medicine to create a unique emergency preparedness system rooted in advanced information technology.

Every week is 'Earth Science Week' at NASA
While mid-October has been designated Earth Science Week around the world, every week is Earth Science Week at NASA.

UCSD scientists explain and improve upon 'enigmatic' probability formula
Scientists at UC San Diego have developed a new version of the breakthrough probability formula that helped the Allies crack Germany's Enigma code in World War II.

Down and dirty: Airborne ozone can alter forest soil
Researchers at Michigan Technological University and the North Central Research Station of the USDA Forest Service have discovered that ozone can reduce soil carbon formation--a measure of the amount of organic matter being added to the soil.

Anaemia treatment could worsen cancer prognosis
Results of a European study in this week's issue of The Lancet cast doubt over the value of treating anaemia with erythropoietin (epoetin beta) among patients who have cancer.

Cellular fat sensor slows heart disease
A cellular sensor of dietary fats slows the development of lesions that lead to heart disease, a Salk Institute study has found.

Genetic basis for gender differences in the liver
Scientists at the University of Michigan Medical School have identified two genes responsible for an important, yet often overlooked difference between the sexes -- the liver.

Substantial survival increase after highly active antiretroviral therapy for HIV-1 infection
Research published in this week's issue of The Lancet highlights the substantial increased survival for people with HIV-1 since the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in 1997.

Virginia Tech researchers work to help prevent balcony and deck collapses
Most decks do not collapse strictly from being crowded but because they were not properly built in the first place.

Use of statins may prevent breast cancer, say University of Pittsburgh researchers
Cholesterol-lowering medications may help to prevent breast cancer in older women, according to study findings published by University of Pittsburgh researchers in the October issue of the Journal of Women's Health.

Light and nano: quantum mechanics vs. classical optics
New research in the Oct. 17 issue of Science provides a practical design tool for researchers building nanoscale optical devices.

Aortic aneurysm death risk hinges on choice of surgeon, study finds
For patients whose aortas are threatening to burst, surgery can be a lifesaver.

Northwestern named Udall Center for Parkinson's Disease Research
Northwestern University has received $5.5 million award from the National Institute for Neurological Diseases and Stroke to establish a Morris K.

Unfaithful songbirds increase offspring fitness
Max Planck scientists show that female promiscuity can reduce the negative consequences of inbreeding in socially monogamous birds.

Iressa news backgrounder
It is a drug suffused in promise, a next-generation therapy that has shown glimmers of powerful potential.

Children are happy with toys or candy at Halloween
Children are just as likely to choose a small toy as candy when offered both on Halloween, according to a Yale study.

Helical piezoelectric 'nanosprings' could be actuators & transducers in nanosystems
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a new class of nanometer-scale structures that spontaneously form helical shapes from long ribbon-like single crystals of zinc oxide (ZnO).

Fox Chase Cancer Center oncologist studies treatment decision making & doctor-patient communication
Treatment decision-making is often challenging for patients diagnosed with cancer.

New material breakthrough: Super-hard graphite cracks diamond
It is hard to imagine that graphite, the soft

Do overseas recruitment schemes fuel health inequalities?
Schemes to recruit doctors from developing countries risk damaging their fragile health systems, warns a senior doctor in this week's BMJ.

Ghost crab fossils haunt area beaches
More than 500 remnants of prehistory--fossilized ghost crabs--have been found in the sand between Melbourne Beach and Satellite Beach, Fla.

UCSF vascular surgeons develop new technique to repair aortic arch aneurysm
A novel treatment developed by UCSF vascular surgeons has been used in a first-of-its-kind operation to repair a life-threatening aneurysm in the patient's aortic arch, which carries blood from the heart.

Daycare will not reduce child poverty
Providing daycare facilities for poor families may not reduce child poverty - a key government objective, say researchers in this week's BMJ.

Proteins enable HIV to override cell's defenses
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have identified a complex series of proteins that enable HIV to bypass the natural defenses of human cells and replicate.

Duke researchers discover power behind molecular motors
After having demonstrated how

Hispanics face high rates of unstable health care coverage, low rates of preventive care
Nearly half of Hispanics under age 65 and two-thirds of working-age Hispanics with low incomes were uninsured for all or part of the year in 2000, according to a new analysis by The Commonwealth Fund.

Effective treatment for diabetes depends on the underlying cause
A study in this week's issue of The Lancet suggests that the underlying cause of diabetes is important in determining how well diabetic patients respond to drug therapy.

Stevens wins award for Best Online University in the Nation
Stevens Institute of Technology's online university, WebCampus.Stevens, has won the nation's top award for best

Fox Chase Cancer Center named best place to work in the US for academia researchers
Fox Chase Cancer Center has ranked #1 in The Scientist magazine's

Return to space for Spanish ESA astronaut
On 18 October the Soyuz TMA-3 spacecraft launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 11:37 local time, 07:37 CEST, will be carrying the European Space Agency astronaut Pedro Duque to the International Space Station (ISS) on Soyuz flight 7S, accompanied by the two members of ISS Expedition 8 crew.

Loss of nerve cells may link constipation with achalasia of the oesophagus
Patients who have difficulty swallowing food may also be more likely to suffer from constipation, according to a preliminary study published this week in BMC Gastroenterology.

'Timeless' gene found to play key role as timekeeper in mammals
In 1998, scientists found the mammalian version of a gene, known as timeless, which in flies is crucial for the biological clock.

New medicines at risk from biodiversity loss
In a letter published in the October 17th issue of Science, three scientists warn that biodiversity loss could have devastating consequences for drug discovery and the development of new medicines.

Bull mastodons in deadly combat; sound and fury from silent bones
The American mastodon, a massive, tusk-bearing relative of elephants, inhabited much of North America until its extinction just 10,000 years ago.

Workplace rewards tall people with money, respect, UF study shows
Short people may be short-changed when it comes to salary, status and respect, according to a University of Florida study that found tall people earn considerably more money throughout their lives.

Device will give infantry soldiers bird's eye view of battlefield
Georgia Tech Research Institute engineers are developing a novel way for infantry units to see past obstacles on the battlefield.

Unusual form of memory loss often confused for Alzheimer's disease
Over 4 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease. Its high prevalence may lead people to believe that dementia is always due to Alzheimer's disease and that memory loss is a feature of all dementias.
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