Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 25, 2003
Societal Implications of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Workshop
A workshop on Societal Implications of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology will be held December 3-5, 2003, at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Virginia.

MRI helps radiologists predict future memory decline
For the first time, researchers have used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study brain changes that precede memory decline.

Inconsistent guidelines lead to wide variation in chaperone use during Pap smears, U-M study finds
A study by doctors at the University of Michigan Health System found three-quarters of family physicians surveyed said they routinely use a nurse or medical assistant as chaperone during Pap smears.

Emory and CDC scientists explore why most breastfed infants of HIV-positive mothers resist infection
Although prolonged breastfeeding is well known to be a major route of transmission of HIV infection to infants and is estimated to cause one-third to one-half of new infant HIV-1 infections worldwide, the majority of breastfed infants with HIV-positive mothers remain uninfected, even after months of exposure.

Only one more case of vCJD in Ireland - probably
Only one further person from the Republic of Ireland (ROI) is likely to die from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) as a consequence of eating BSE infected meat, say scientists.

Magnesium sulfate to mothers just prior to delivery of preterm babies may improve outcomes
Women who are given intravenous magnesium sulfate just before the birth of a very preterm baby may reduce the infant's risk of neurosensory impairments such as cerebral palsy, though this finding needs to be confirmed in other studies before it becomes standard practice, according to an article in the November 26 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Purefecta (TM) drinking water purifier from Pall and Kinetico removes pathogens...
An estimated seven million people become sick and more than 1,000 die in the U.S. each year from disease-causing microbes in water.

Lab tests can reveal how patients respond to Gleevec
An international team of researchers has concluded that lab testing can reveal ahead of time just how well patients with certain gastrointestinal cancers will respond to therapy with the drug Gleevec, according to study results published in the December 1, 2003, Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Scientists discover how brain draws and re-draws picture of world
Children usually spill if trying to drink from a full cup, but adults rarely do.

Study questions benefits of costly schizophrenia drug
A study at 17 Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals comparing an older, pennies-a-day schizophrenia drug with a newer, far more expensive one found little advantage to the high-ticket drug.

Global wetlands surveyed from space
Dotted across varied regions of our planet are the waterlogged landscapes known as wetlands.

Warfarin effective for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation
The blood thinner warfarin can be safely and effectively used to prevent stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation, according to an article in the November 26 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Nanotech instruments allow first direct observations of RNA 'proofreading'
When Ralph Waldo Emerson said that nature pardons no mistakes, he wasn't thinking about RNA polymerase (RNAP) - the versatile enzyme that copies genes from DNA onto strands of RNA, which then serve as templates for all of the proteins that make life possible.

Squirrel invasion sows seeds of change for future forests
As squirrels gather nuts for winter, they also plant the seeds of future forests - but the different ways squirrel species hoard nuts, coupled with changes in squirrel populations, may significantly alter the course of forest regeneration, according to a Purdue University study.

Planning ahead to gain control over final years of life
A new book, :

Inflammation of placental membranes may be risk factor for cerebral palsy
In an article in the November 26 JAMA, researchers found that chorioamnionitis, or inflammation of the placental membranes, is associated with a four-fold increased risk of cerebral palsy among term and near term infants.

Six reporters reach the 'pinnacle of excellence'
A multimedia account of an expedition to Antarctica, a view of Hong Kong at the height of the SARS health crisis, a program that brings gravity waves to life, and an article that illustrates how politics can derail scientific research, are among the entries named to win the 2003 AAAS Science Journalism Awards.

Regionalizing some surgical procedures would not result in unreasonable travel burdens on patients
Limiting certain high-risk surgery procedures to hospitals that perform high numbers of these operations could be implemented without making patients travel much farther, according to a new study in the November 26 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Cytokine signal shuts down hyperactive T cells
Unlike similar proteins, cytokine IL-27, may actually suppress CD4+ T cells, the 'helper' T cells that orchestrate the immune system's response to infections.

UCF research could help airport security screeners become more efficient
With a $210,000 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration, UCF researchers are studying different learning techniques to understand how to best train people to pick out guns, knives and other threatening objects as they pass through airport X-ray machines.

Brain's 'daydream' network offers detection for Alzheimer's diagnosis
Researchers tracking the ebb and flow of cognitive function in the human brain have discovered surprising differences in the ability of younger and older adults to shut down a brain network normally active during periods of passive daydreaming.

Elderly women over-screened for cancers with little measurable benefit
Elderly women are receiving a large number of mammograms and Pap smears with limited scientific evidence of advantage, researchers from Duke University Medical Center have reported.

'Europe lands on Mars' - media event at ESA/ESOC
ESA's Mars Express probe is scheduled to arrive at Mars at Christmas : the Beagle 2 lander is expected to touch down on the surface of the Red Planet during the night of 24 to 25 December.

Digital imaging system helps bakery produce perfect buns
The perfect bun: That's one of the goals of an automated product-inspection prototype under development by Georgia Institute of Technology researchers working with Flowers Bakery.

UCLA teams with Drew to provide cancer care
Leading-edge experimental cancer treatments will be provided to an underserved, minority patient population in South Central Los Angeles under a new partnership between UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center and Charles R.

Green and sustainable chemistry
The first international conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry was held in Tokyo in March.

Global halt to major greenhouse gas growth
The greenhouse gas, methane, has stopped growing in the global background atmosphere and could begin to decrease, CSIRO researchers announced today.

Protein-hungry cells 'go fishing,' report Purdue biologists
Using high-resolution X-ray crystallography a team has determined the structure and surprising behavior of a protein receptor complex, or

Researchers reveal early steps in clone development
Despite widely publicized reports about the sheep, Dolly and Polly, cloning is still not considered successful in the scientific community.

A new technique detects earliest signs of Alzheimer's in healthy people
Using a new technique to measure the volume of the brain, NYU School of Medicine researchers were able to identify healthy individuals who would later develop memory impairment, a symptom associated with a high risk for future Alzheimer's disease.

Treatment options expand for patients with neuropathic pain
Treatment options for people who suffer from severe pain caused by damage to nerves have expanded dramatically in just the past five years, say scientists and physicians who have published the first-ever guidelines for treating such pain.

Brain activity abnormal in children with delayed speech
Children with unusually delayed speech tend to listen with the right side of the brain rather than the left side of the brain.

Diversity: What people, grain sorghum have in common
Diverse. To society, that means racial, ethnic and cultural differences.

Taking cues from Mother Nature to foil cyber attacks
Taking their cues from Mother Nature and biodiversity, computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of New Mexico are collaborating on a National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported project to study
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