Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 10, 2003
Northwestern receives $10 million for cancer prevention trials
Northwestern University has been named one of six leading research institutions to conduct early-phase cancer prevention clinical trials.

Emotional stress contributes to oral health problems
Anxiety disorders, which include phobias, panic attacks, generalized anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD), are serious conditions that have oral health implications such as dental caries, periodontal disease, and bruxism, but can be treated with a variety of methods, according to a report published in the November/December 2003 issue of General Dentistry, the clinical, peer-reviewed journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).

Emory researchers develop model to track the evolution of emerging infectious diseases
A novel mathematical model developed at Emory University now gives public health leaders another tool to assess the risk of new infectious disease emergence that emphasizes the potentially perilous role of pathogen evolution.

The 4th European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC-4)
The European Breast Cancer Conference is the only forum in Europe that involves all the major players in breast cancer.

Mouse embryonic germ cells and male gametes created in the lab
A pair of achievements in the laboratory offer new tools for better understanding how gametes (reproductive cells) form, and may offer insights to help scientists

Many parents, teens unaware of an 'optional' but valuable vaccine
Should older children and teenagers receive a vaccination against a rare but deadly infectious disease?

Visit dentist before radiation therapy to prevent oral problems
More than one million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer each year, and about 40 percent will develop serious mouth problems as the result of head and neck radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

E-mail 'cluster bombs' a disaster waiting to happen, computer scientists say
Internet users can be blind-sided by e-mail

UCSD physicists see solar electrons, auroras associated with recent geomagnetic storms
Using an orbiting camera designed to block the light from the sun and stars, an international team of solar physicists has been able for the first time to directly image clouds of electrons surrounding Earth that travel from the sun during periods of solar flare activity.

Purdue's self-assembled 'nanorings' could boost computer memory
A Purdue University chemist has found a way to create tiny magnetic rings from particles made of cobalt.

Sport hunting hits evolutionary traits in bighorn sheep
Trophy hunting is driving down the horn size of big horn sheep--an evolutionary response caused by killing the largest rams before they reach their breeding peak, according to research produced in part at the University of Alberta.

Acclaimed Carnegie Mellon psychologist honored for groundbreaking research
Sheldon Cohen, the Robert E. Doherty Professor of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, has won the American Psychological Association's prestigious Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award for 2004.

Rainfall controls cascade mountains' erosion and bedrock uplift patters
The pattern of rainfall in the Washington Cascades strongly affects long-term erosion rates in the mountain range and may cause bedrock to be pulled up towards the Earth's surface faster in some places than others, according to a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded study published in this week's issue of the journal Nature.

Gas Hydrates - Will they be considered in the future global energy mix?
For the first time, an international research program involving the Department of the Interior's U.S.

Improved estimates of population extinction risk (Harding and McNamara)
An important application of theoretical ecology is in estimation of species extinction risk.

Researchers engineer mouse embryonic stem cells to form sperm cell precursors
For the first time, researchers using laboratory techniques alone and no animal hosts have isolated sex-cell precursors from mouse embryos, coaxed the cells into a sperm-like form, used them to fertilize mouse eggs, and ultimately formed early-stage embryos.

NCAR scientists investigate air above Antarctica
Four scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) are studying the chemistry of sulfur and nitrogen in the air above Antarctica.

Automated analysis of bee behavior may yield better robots
A new computer vision system for automated analysis of animal movement — honey bee activities, in particular — is expected to accelerate animal behavior research, which also has implications for biologically inspired design of robots and computers.

Scientists surprised at persistence of nitrate from dated experiment
An agricultural experiment concluded nearly 30 years ago is still influencing concentrations of nitrate in ground water and stream flow draining from a 74-acre field in western Iowa, according to study published in the Journal of Environmental Quality.

Combination, order of anti-HIV drugs make a difference in first-time recipients
How anti-HIV drugs are combined and the order in which they are given are important factors to consider when designing treatment strategies for patients new to antiretroviral therapy, says a new study funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the National Institutes of Health.

NJIT doing its part to bridge the digital divide
New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is doing its part to bridge the digital divide between the West and the developing world: students in 14 sub-Saharan African countries are benefiting from NJIT courses without leaving their continent, thanks to NJIT's collaboration with the African Virtual University (AVU).

Satellites spy deaths in rain forests (Clark et al.)
The world's tropical rain forests are under increasing threats from clearing.

New weapon to combat resistant bacteria
The problem of hospital infection, severe disease caused by antibiotic-resistant staphylococcus bacteria, entails major costs and great suffering.

Plant sex protein identified at UC Riverside
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have identified a protein that helps guide sperm to egg in flowering lily plants, a significant step forward in the field of plant reproduction.

Emergency cardiac monitoring strategy tested in ambulances
A new UCSF-designed strategy for hastening treatment for heart attack victims is being tested in a mountainous California county where drive times to hospitals are often long.

One combination of AIDS drugs appears better for starting treatment
One specific combination of anti-HIV drugs appears to be more effective for initiating therapy than other drug combinations tested in a large multi-institutional study.

Starting dose of Lexapro™ as effective as optimally dosed Zoloft® in the treatment of depression
A clinical study showed that LexaproTM is as effective and well tolerated as Zoloft®.

Mouth sores: Common complaints of students
Students have a high prevalence of canker sores or cold sores yet the sores seemed to appear less frequently after graduation when stress levels were lower, according to a report that appears in the November/December 2003 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry's (AGD) clinical, peer-reviewed journal.

Improved guidance systems for missiles will reduce collateral damage
The collateral damage caused by carpet bombing has compelled the U.S. military to develop more precise air-to-surface missiles.

Study details challenges to U.S. soybean industry
The regional distribution of soybean production and processing capacity has shifted dramatically during the last decade.

A little stress may be good for you
Studies report that red wine and dark chocolate in moderation can be good for you.

Symbiotic fungi promote invasion into diverse plant communities (Rudgers et al.)
Populations of several European passerines that winter south of the Sahara have undergone a marked decline.

First animal model for pancreatic cancer may lead to early detection of disease
A new discovery may revolutionize the detection and treatment of ductal pancreatic cancer.

Virginia earthquake not a fluke in the seismically active Southeast
At 3:59 p.m. on Dec. 9, central Virginia experienced an earthquake that registered at 4.5 on the Richter scale.

Symbiotic fungi promote invasion into diverse plant communities (Rudgers et al.)
The biodiversity of a community can affect its functional properties, including productiveness or ability to resist invasion by exotic species.

'Survival sex' and substance abuse may hinder HIV prevention efforts
Some individuals who know they are HIV-positive are engaging in high-risk behavior that could transmit their infection, according to a study in the January 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Planet-formation model indicates Earthlike planets might be common
New modeling of planet formation near a sun finds that each of 44 simulations produced one to four Earthlike planets, including 11 so-called

Study of erosion and precipitation in the Himalayas presents surprising findings scholars say
Scientists have found that, despite a vast difference in precipitation between the north and south sides of the Himalaya Mountains, rates of erosion are indistinguishable across these mountains.

Chimp genome assembled
NHGRI-funded sequencers release chimp genome assembly and chimp-human sequence alignment to the worldwide research community.
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