Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 04, 2003
Moderate alcohol use may be associated with brain shrinkage
Consuming low to moderate amounts of alcohol may be linked to decreased brain size in middle-aged adults, according to a new study published in today's rapid access issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Moderate alcohol consumption linked to brain shrinkage
Low to moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a decrease in the brain size of middle-aged adults, according to a study by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and other institutions.

Yeast model yields insights into Parkinson's disease
Scientists who developed the first yeast model of Parkinson's disease (PD) have been able to describe the mechanisms of an important gene's role in the disease.

Yeast helps researchers better understand Parkinson's mystery
Scientists know that in patients with Parkinson's disease, certain proteins in the brain form clusters that somehow contribute to cell death and, eventually, lead to the onset of the disease's debilitating symptoms.

Latest knowledge on plant cell-wall biology in new book
The wall to a plant cell is no longer just a biological bulwark.

The evolving management of migraine
Preventing migraines can be more a more effective treatment strategy than treating pain once the migraine process has begun.

Changing one gene launches new fly species
By replacing a single gene in fruit flies, evolutionary biologists were able to observe the first steps in the origin of a new species.

2nd opinion from major center leads to better breast cancer detection, treatment changes
Women with breast cancer who seek a second opinion on their mammograms from experienced specialists at a major cancer center frequently get a new plan for their care, a new study shows.

Tracking air pollutants
Nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide and aerosols, major contributors to atmospheric pollution, do not respect national borders.

Population surveys - A new 'gold standard' for estimating true incidence of HIV/AIDS?
Authors of an article in this week's issue of The Lancet suggest that the conventional method for estimating the size of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in high-prevalence countries may be improved by newly available information from household surveys.

Zooming in on a proton packed with surprises
The structure of the proton is under the microscope at the U.S.

World-wide multicast of RSNA image interpretation session
The Radiological Society of North America, Northwestern University, Video Furnace, Prous Science, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, and the Metropolitan Research and Education Network, in collaboration with advanced digital networks around the world today multicast the Sunday Image Interpretation session during the annual RSNA conference.

New understanding of insulin's complexities needed to conquer diabetes
Major advances in signal-transduction research have contributed greatly to understanding the complexities of insulin action, which, when disrupted, can lead to diabetes and other health problems.

UC Riverside researchers publish paper on botulism detection system
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have developed a device that speeds the detection of a virulent strain of botulism neurotoxin from hours or days to minutes, making treatment or vaccination more effective.

Pittsburgh researchers engineer and successfully test SARS corona vaccine in animal model
Research by scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH) in collaboration with colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta has shown that an adenoviral-based vaccine can induce SARS-coronavirus (SARS-CoV)-specific T-cell and virus-neutralizing antibody responses.

NYAS and Nature Publishing Group join forces
The Nature Publishing Group, publishers of the world-renowned journal Nature, has joined forces with the New York Academy of Sciences, the prestigious international scientific society founded in 1817.

Brain area identified that weighs rewards
By studying how monkeys choose to look at lighted targets for juice rewards, neurobiologists have identified a still-mysterious region of the cerebral cortex as an area that judges the value of rewards, and adjusts that value as circumstances change.

Mandel School researchers receive $700,000 for study to promote well-being of adopted children
Two researchers from Case Western Reserve University's Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences have received a $700,000, four-year grant to help ensure that adopted children get the proper services to overcome developmental and social/emotional problems.

C-myc causes hormones to lose control in recurrent prostate cancer
Current treatment for progressed prostate cancer is withdrawal of the hormone androgen.

More doubts over value of defibrillators
Use of defibrillators by police and fire fighters to emergency calls shows only a modest benefit, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

It's never too late to start exercising and losing weight , Joslin study shows
There's good news on the research front for those who want to shed some pounds and get in shape this holiday season.

Study reviews discussion of medical errors at hospital conferences
Doctors participating in internal medicine hospital conferences designed to review adverse medical events do not often discuss related medical errors, according to a study led by researchers from the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC).

New guidelines set standard on test to diagnose acid reflux, heartburn and other diseases
New consensus guidelines will help to set the standards for physicians using esophageal manometry to accurately identify esophageal diseases such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, heartburn, problems with swallowing or non-heart related chest pain coming from the esophagus.

'CAT-scan'-like seismic study of earthquake zone helps set the stage for fault drilling project
In a first-of-its-kind study, seismologists have used tiny

Some breast cancer patients may benefit from endocrine therapy alone
The estrogen receptor status of breast cancer may help to predict which patients will benefit from chemotherapy treatment, say researchers at The University of Texas M.

Patients and doctors lack knowledge about adrenaline injections
Patients and general practitioners lack knowledge of how and when to use devices to inject adrenaline after anaphylaxis (severe allergic reactions), finds a study in this week's BMJ.

McGill Centre for Intellectual Property Policy receives $3 million SSHRC Grant
Professor Gold formed the IPMG as a research group comprised of experts in law, economics, management, political science and philosophy.

National survey reveals continuing decline in science and engineering doctoral degrees
A nationwide survey reports the number of research doctoral degrees in all fields earned by students attending U.S. universities declined by 2 percent last year, dipping under 40,000, which marks the first time in nine years doctorates fell below that threshold.

Researchers use crippled poliovirus to attack brain cancer
In a daring yet successful experiment to cure deadly brain tumors, researchers have combined the cancer-killing properties of poliovirus together with a harmless genetic coding element from the common cold.

Animal model shows early promise for SARS vaccine
U.S. authors of a research letter in this week's issue of The Lancet highlight preliminary findings which could mark an important step in the development of a human vaccine for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

Protein that predicts tamoxifen resistance is identified
Researchers at the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center have identified a protein that breast cancer tumors over-produce when they become resistant to the drug tamoxifen.

A new hope for heavy metal contaminated soils
First global gene expression analysis elucidates the molecular inventory of naturally selected plant heavy metal hyperaccumulation and tolerance.

Hungary and the Czech Republic sign ECS agreements with ESA
Hungary and the Czech Republic recently signed European Cooperating State agreements with ESA.

Infants could benefit from early ultrasound screening for hip dysplasia
Ultrasound imaging could be a useful screening tool to help detect hip dysplasia in early infancy, conclude authors of a German study in this week's issue of The Lancet.

No rationale for giving penicillin for a sore throat
Most children should not be given penicillin for a sore throat, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

HPV testing could be future strategy for primary screening for cervical cancer
Authors of a UK study in this week's issue of The Lancet propose a new approach for cervical cancer screening.

Progress, promise in space-based earthquake research
Nearly 10 years after Los Angeles was shaken by the devastating, magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquake, scientists at NASA and other institutions say maturing space-based technologies, new ground-based techniques and more complex computer models are rapidly advancing our understanding of earthquakes and earthquake processes.

Outstanding UCLA undergraduates present research
More than 30 UCLA undergraduates presented original research at the annual Southern California Conference for Undergraduate Research on topics ranging from prenatal effects of alcohol to Jews and the Spanish Inquisition.

Mast cells to blame for allergic diarrhea
While exposure to food allergens is often associated with diarrhea in humans, knowledge of the cell types and mediators involved in the process is still limited.

Easily paralyzed flies provide clues to neurodegeneration
A researcher has been studying a raft of fly mutants that, when exposed to minor temperature change, become completely paralyzed.

Imaging children with ADHD
Children with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have significantly altered levels of important neurotransmitters in the frontal region of the brain, according to a study from the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences to be presented at the American Medical Association Advances in Neurology Media Briefing in New York Dec.

Regulatory T cells keep graft-versus-host disease in check
Large numbers of immunoregulatory CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells can induce tolerance to donor tissue and control the development of GVHD following transplantation.

Scientists develop a novel strategy to help prevent transplant rejection
A study led by Imperial College London has shown for the first time it is possible to help prevent organ rejection using a novel strategy that redirects the body's immune response instead of suppressing it.

New report reveals long standing problems in NHS research strategy
Health services research is still not making its full contribution to improvements in patient care, according to a new report from The Health Foundation and the Nuffield Trust, summarised in this week's BMJ.

UCLA studies experimental cancer drug
Men with high-risk prostate cancer who are candidates for surgery are being sought to test a molecularly targeted experimental drug that may interrupt the signal that is driving their cancer and keep the disease from recurring.

Call for outright smoking ban in UK
This week's Lancet editorial comments on the current debate about smoking in public places, and goes further by calling for a total UK ban on cigarettes in order to tackle the impacts of tobacco-related illness and mortality.

Smoke-free laws do not harm charitable bingo profits, study finds
A new economic analysis finds that smoke-free laws do not reduce profits from charitable bingo parlors, contrary to claims made by groups opposing smoking restrictions.

New breast scanner can detect early signs of cancer
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have developed a new breast scanner that is designed to detect subtle changes in breast cells before a lump can be felt by hand or seen with X-ray mammography.

Full body scan: Imaging project offers view inside Earth
Like doctors taking a sonogram of a human body, Princeton geoscientists have captured images of the interior of the Earth and revealed structures that help explain how the planet changes and ages.
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