Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 20, 2003
Welcome alternative to warfarin for people at high risk of stroke
Results of an international study in this week's issue of THE LANCET provide strong evidence that the oral direct thrombin-inhibitor ximelagatran could be a safe and effective alternative to warfarin in reducing stroke among people with atrial fibrillation.

Investigational drug brings new hope to kidney cancer patients
Preliminary phase-II trial results demonstrate significant short-term benefit for patients with advanced kidney cancer from an investigational drug.

1700 Japan tsunami linked to massive North American quake
An international team of scientists reports new evidence that an earthquake of magnitude 9 struck the northwestern United States and southwestern Canada three centuries ago.

Sun avoidance will not reduce cancer
Avoiding the sun is not the best strategy for reducing overall rates of cancer, claims a senior doctor in a letter to this week's BMJ.

Breast cancer susceptibility genes play role in DNA repair
The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes were first linked to hereditary breast cancer in the early 1990s, but the biological function of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 proteins has remained elusive.

Understanding how lymph nodes respond to infection may redefine how immune system functions
Duke University Medical Center researchers may have solved the mystery of why lymph nodes swell when the body fights infection.

Scientists report on promising new approaches to induce cancer cell suicide
In cancer, the normal process by which cells die is defective.

U of T team makes 'movie stars' of atoms
Chemists at the University of Toronto have captured atom-scale images of the melting process-revealing the first images of the transition of a solid into a liquid at the timescale of femtoseconds, or millionths of a billionth of a second.

High-tech analysis of vineyard soil
Soil water content information obtained from ground penetrating radar, or GPR, can be extremely useful for guiding many environmental, engineering, and agricultural applications, such as in wine making, says a scientist who contributed to a review of the current state-of-the-art methods for determining soil water content with GPR.

Emory scientists find marker for long-term immunity
Scientists at the Emory Vaccine Center and The Scripps Research Institute have found a way to identify which of the T cells generated after a viral infection can persist and confer protective immunity.

Bayer and Onyx announce new data on dual mechanism of action of BAY 43-9006
Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corporation and Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today new preclinical data on the proposed anti-tumor activity of the investigational drug BAY 43-9006, indicating that the novel signal transduction inhibitor exhibits a dual mechanism of action targeting both cell proliferation and angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels to support cancer cell growth).

Children's genetic factors determine HIV progression according to UCSD study
In the largest study ever of HIV-infected children, UCSD researchers have demonstrated that a child's individual genetic factors are an important determinant of disease progression and cognitive impairment associated with HIV.

Symposium on scientific misconduct
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and the DFG Ombudsman have, for the first time, invited the ombudsman committees of universities and non-university research institutions to exchange experiences and ideas.

The beginning of the end of flagella
A new protein discovery sheds light on how chemical information is transported within cells.

Three molecular-targeted compounds show promise against cancers
Early clinical studies show that a new generation of drugs that target signaling pathways -- the internal channels through which cancer cell growth is controlled -- and the body's own production of tumor-suppressing proteins hold promise for the treatment of a variety of tumors.

Hassle-free stroke prevention offered by new drug, Stanford researcher says
A large-scale trial of a new drug for preventing stroke suggests that it is as effective as the standard drug, Coumadin, and is more convenient for patients to take.

Hearing problems may be programmed at birth
Hearing loss in adulthood may be programmed at birth, and short people may be particularly susceptible, say researchers from Sweden in this week's BMJ.

Brain's 'master molecule' produces same behavior in mice from three different psychostimulant drugs
A mouse study reported by Rockefeller University researchers in this week's Science magazine shows that three drugs, each acting on a different chemical transmitter in the brain, all produce the same schizophrenia-like symptoms by acting on a single

Calcium channel involved in coronary artery relaxation
A genetically engineered mouse initially designed to explore muscle repair mechanisms instead helped University of Iowa scientists understand how a certain type of calcium channel helps coronary arteries to relax.

Researchers design and build first artificial protein
Using sophisticated computer algorithms running on standard desktop computers, Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have designed and constructed a novel functional protein that is not found in nature.

GlaxoSmithKline Drug Discovery and Development Research Grant Program 2003
Five researchers have been awarded 2003 GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Drug Discovery and Development Research Grants for their efforts to develop new pharmaceutical strategies to combat HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Tree root life controls CO2 absorption
A new study indicates that the potential for soils to soak up atmospheric carbon dioxide is strongly affected by how long roots live.

Helping teachers use keys to vocabulary building
Research shows that a large vocabulary is vital to reading comprehension and communication ability.

Protein involved in cell division now found key to cell growth
A research team at The University of Texas M. D.

Key feature of HeartMate II heart assist device developed at University of Pittsburgh
The HeartMate II, a new left ventricular assist system implanted for the first time in the United States by surgeons at the Texas Heart Institute, uses a sophisticated control system developed by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine that senses when to increase or decrease the rate of blood flow.

Stop to smell the flowers - But do it before they're pollinated
A recent Purdue University study has uncovered the processes responsible for shutting down scent production in certain flowers once they've been pollinated - a finding that may help the horticulture industry enhance floral scent.

A new hypothesis on the origin of 'junk' DNA
The explosion of

Effect of breast feeding on blood pressure may be overestimated
Previous research may have overestimated the beneficial effects of breast feeding on blood pressure in later life, say researchers in this week's BMJ.

Binghamton University, RPI and Infotonics Center team up to form national packaging power
An alliance between Binghamton University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the Infotonics Technology Center will help speed the commercialization of next-generation microsystems by focusing on electronics packaging research.

Grant to help UCF design national model for industrial engineering education
Hoping to make its industrial engineering program a model for universities throughout the country, the University of Central Florida will use a $951,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to train students to use state-of-the-art technology and take leadership roles in corporate America.

Laboratory studies show a natural protein analog may fix insulin-making cells isolated from pancreas
Laboratory research conducted at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has shown that GLP-1 not only stimulates the insulin-making capacity of islet cells in the pancreas, but that the compound actually makes new insulin, increases the growth of new islet cells and prevents overworked islets from dying prematurely.

Mars landers create opportunity for Web-linked sundials around the world
Woodruff Sullivan, a University of Washington astronomy professor, is teaming up with television personality Bill Nye,

DNA used to create self-assembling nano transistor
Scientists at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have harnessed the power of DNA to create a self-assembling nanoscale transistor, the building block of electronics.

NIST/University of Colorado researchers create Bose-Einstein 'super molecule'
A super-cold collection of molecules behaving in perfect unison has been created for the first time from a sea of

New evidence says Earth's greatest extinction caused by ancient meteorite
Long before the dinosaurs ever lived, the planet experienced a mass extinction so severe it killed 90 percent of life on Earth, and researchers at the University of Rochester think they've identified the unlikely culprit.

Calcium channels control coronary artery relaxation
Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have discovered that a specific type of calcium channel -- a pore-like protein that nestles in the cell membrane and controls the flow of calcium into the cell -- regulates the relaxation of coronary arteries.

Mental health of asylum seekers deteriorates with longer detention
US authors of a research letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET highlight how prolonged detention has a substantial negative impact on the mental health of asylum seekers.

Caloric sweetener use grows worldwide; soft drinks are chief culprit, study shows
Use of caloric sweeteners, including sugar, has grown markedly around the world over the past 40 years, according to a new University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study.

Brain-imaging study sheds more light on underlying cause of attention-deficit hyperactivity syndrome
Results of a US study in this week's issue of THE LANCET provide details of the underlying physical causes of attention-deficit hyperactivity syndrome, with reductions in size of some brain areas and an increase in grey matter proportions being characteristic of children with the disorder.

New technology will speed genome sequencing
Almost 150 different genomes have been sequenced to date, including the human genome.

Experimental drugs show promise in halting brain tumors
Researchers at the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center have shown that four new and experimental drugs can strongly inhibit the growth of deadly brain tumors in animals, and they expect these promising results to hold true in humans, as well.

Photochemistry research could lead to cleaner environment, new sensors
Alistair Lees spends much of his research time hoping to see the light.
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