Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 11, 2003
Map of genes in plant root yields new tool for exploring tissue development
Researchers have created the first detailed map of when and where some 22,000 genes are expressed in each cell of the growing root of the small flowering plant Arabidopsis.

Scientists say new mercury rules could mean continued risk for loons
Researchers from the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and other organizations conducting an ongoing study of common loons in the Adirondacks, say that the newly proposed regulations on mercury emissions could adversely affect these beloved birds, known for their haunting yodel-like calls.

Mechanical support could increase survival of children requiring heart transplantation
Fewer children should die while waiting for a heart transplant if they are given mechanical heart support before transplantation, conclude authors of a UK study in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Study suggests driving restrictions are not necessary for users of methadone, buprenorphine and LAAM
An Australian study in the December issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence indicates simulated driving performance did not differ among the opiate treatment subjects or between opiate treatment subjects and controls.

New Mathematics Institute launched to tackle global problems
An international Institute of Mathematical Sciences to foster the application of mathematics to understanding and tackling emerging scientific problems is announced today by Imperial College London.

Electrical stimulation in patients with paralysis and spinal cord injury
The current issue of the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development (JRRD), a publication of Rehabilitation Research and Development, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), includes articles discussing the impact of functional electrical stimulation on patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) and muscle weakness.

Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology
Journal highlights include: Identified gene may contribute to salmonella in eggs, Different bacteria cause disease in grapes/almonds, Scientists identify cause of limp lobsters, and Triclosan: The next new drug?

2nd Annual CDB Symposium: Developmental Remodeling (March 29 - 31, 2004; Kobe, Japan)
This symposium will cover a broad range of subjects relating to the plasticity of biological systems.

Reading ability and ADHD affected by same genes
Twin and family studies suggest that dyslexia, and ADHD may co-occur because of common genetic underpinnings.

Combining various magnetic resonance imaging techniques may help improve breast cancer detection
Researchers at Johns Hopkins say that combining various types of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging techniques more accurately sorts cancers from benign masses in breast tissues than any single imaging techniques.

NIH consensus panel confirms effectiveness of total knee replacement
A panel charged with reviewing all of the available evidence on total knee replacement (TKR) today found that for persons suffering from intractable and persistent knee pain and disability, TKR surgery is a safe and cost-effective therapy that restores mobility and alleviates discomfort.

Use of antivirals by HIV-infected persons reduced their ability to infect partners
The introduction and widespread use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) for HIV-infected persons in San Francisco in the late 1990s reduced their risks of infecting partners by 60 percent, according to a study conducted by researchers from the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) and UCSF.

Governing commons still a struggle, but fight not without hope, according to new report
Thirty-five years after biologist Garrett Hardin issued his prophetic essay,

Synthetic progestin damages, estrogen protects blood vessels in animal model
Synthetic progestins may be the major cause of harmful side effects reported with hormone replacement therapy, a novel imaging study by University of South Florida researchers found.

Changes needed to reduce migrant farm worker exposure to pesticides
Despite federal guidelines to protect migrant farm workers and their families from pesticide exposure, these chemicals still pose an important health risk that won't be reduced without several changes, according to researchers from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in the current issue of The Lancet.

Call for Entries: The 2004 Wistar Institute Science Journalism Award
The newly established Wistar Institute Science Journalism Award aims to honor the most insightful and enterprising reporting on the basic biomedical sciences during the award year.

Security duties damage soldiers' mental health
Security duties in Northern Ireland may be damaging to soldiers' mental health, say researchers in this week's BMJ.

Ability to smell food regulated by enzyme's interaction with RNA interference pathway
Recent studies at the University of Utah suggest new ways of regulating the behaviors that allow us to smell food, learn, and remember.With the help of a tiny worm.

Space and security policy in Europe
A study on

Oral fluid testing proves comparative accuracy to urinalysis in detecting drug use
A study in the December issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence indicates that the use of oral fluid analysis may be an effective alternative to urinalysis in detecting drug use in detecting opiate or methadone use.

Are Gulf war veterans getting better?
Gulf war veterans still have considerably poorer health than other military personnel, but the health gap has narrowed slightly, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Wanted: Help through the jungle of hospital care
The compassionate side of patient care in hospital-or rather the lack of it-is discussed in this week's editorial.

Scientists decode DNA of bacterium that cleans up uranium contamination and generates electricity
Department of Energy-funded researchers have decoded and analyzed the genome of a bacterium with the potential to bioremediate radioactive metals and generate electricity.

Joslin announces first international affiliate in Bahrain
Joslin Diabetes Center and the Gulf Diabetes Specialists Center in Bahrain have signed a five-year agreement to establish a state-of-the-art treatment center to provide specialty care for people with diabetes.

Chemical gradient steers nerve growth in spinal cord
A research team at the University of Chicago has discovered a crucial signaling pathway that guides nerves within the spinal cord as they grow toward the brain during development.

New risk factor for heart disease identified
Physicians can now identify overweight people at very high risk of developing heart disease, thanks to research published this week in BMC Cardiovascular Disorders.

Avoid bad memories: Targeting genes and drugs
Aversive experiences are memorized more forcefully than pleasant ones, inducing behavioral adaptation but may also lead to behavioral impairments.

Early promise for treatment of Ebola
Preliminary findings of an animal study in this week's issue of The Lancet suggest that scientists have taken an important step towards a possible treatment strategy for the deadly Ebola virus.

Mayo Clinic develops new technology to improve diagnosis of arm and hand injuries and disease
Mayo Clinic today announced it has developed a series of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) devices that make it easier to diagnose injuries and diseases that affect wrists, forearms, elbows, hands and fingers.

OXiGENE launches significant expansion of its R&D program in ophthalmology
Investigators at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have used an investigational drug to significantly improve the vision of a patient with the debilitating eye disease myopic macular degeneration.

Drug shows promise for Ebola virus treatment in primates
Scientists at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases report the first successful drug treatment of monkeys infected with the deadly Ebola virus, which causes hemorrhagic fever that kills up to 80 percent of infected humans.

Scientists decipher genome of bacterium that remediates uranium contamination, generates electricity
Shining new light on the molecular secrets behind a microbe's capability to generate electricity and to help clean up radioactive contamination, scientists have deciphered and analyzed the genome of Geobacter sulfurreducens.

Endocrine Society to host audioconference on testosterone therapy for elderly men
The Endocrine Society, the world's largest and oldest professional organization of endocrinologists, will host an audioconference to review the recent Institute of Medicine (IOM) report,

Leibniz Prizewinners 2004
The Joint Committee of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) today named the prizewinners of the DFG's Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Programme for 2004.

School controversy explored
The controversial issue of choice, school performance and market economics in UK secondary education is the focus of a new book by a team of Cardiff University experts.

With nature's help, a better vision system for smart weapons
The next generation of smart weapons may

Scientists discover connection between obesity and diabetes
Scientists with the Eleanor Roosevelt Institute at the University of Denver have made a revolutionary discovery that for the first time establishes a biochemical connection between obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.

DFG to establish seven new Clinical Research Units
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation - DFG) approved the establishment of seven new Clinical Research Units at a session of the relevant Grants Committee held on 5 December 2003.

Online bladder cancer information often outdated
A new study by researchers at the University of Michigan Health System found 32 percent of Web sites about bladder cancer contained inaccurate or outdated information.

Natural plant oil does not improve eczema
Borage oil (sold as starflower oil in chemists and health food shops) does not improve symptoms of eczema, despite some studies suggesting a dose related benefit, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Nature and nurture in temperament
Finnish children were followed from childhood to adulthood over 14 years to determine whether the childhood environment and dopamine receptor gene (DRD4) polymorphism predicted the novelty seeking (NS) temperament.

Children and pensioners endure heavy burden of caring
More children and pensioners act as informal carers for family or friends with chronic illness than previously thought, and many of these are not in good health themselves, according to a study in this week's BMJ.

Cleaning and revitalising polluted land
Contaminated and polluted land is one of Europe's major environmental problems.

Hebrew University, German and British researchers develop means to help stress sufferers
Try as we may to suppress memories of highly stressful experiences, they nevertheless come back to bother us - even causing attacks of intense fear or other undesirable behavioral impairments.

Researchers probe how microbes speed up acid production at mining sites
Microbes are everywhere, but when they are in mined soils, they react with the mineral pyrite to speed up acidification of mine run-off water.

New method of identifying and isolating stem cells developed
Researchers at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at The Rockefeller University have discovered a new method to track and isolate elusive stem cells.

Did Crohn's disease evolve with the advent of refrigerators?
Authors of a hypothesis article in this week's issue of The Lancet propose that the emergence of Crohn's disease in the second half of the 20th century-the same time that domestic refrigerators became widely available-is no coincidence.

Scientists identify molecular step that causes intoxication
Scientists at UCSF's Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center have identified a single brain protein that can account for most of the intoxicating effects of alcohol.

UC Davis students try weightless science
Four University of California, Davis, students got a taste of weightlessness when they took their experiments aboard a NASA aircraft that simulates zero-gravity conditions for 25 seconds at a time.
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