Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 06, 2004
Magnetars, the most magnetic stars known, more common than previously thought
Observations of explosions from an ultra-powerful magnetic neutron star playing hide-and-seek with astronomers suggest that these exotic objects called magnetars -- capable of stripping a credit card clean 100,000 miles away -- are far more common than previously thought.

Changes in shape of single protein plays key role in the spread of cancer cells
The discovery of how a protein called vinculin undergoes exquisitely precise changes in its shape is helping to answer some major questions about the life of cells, the development of tissues and organs and the spread of cancer from one part of the body to another.

'Camera pill' promising for diagnosis of small bowel disease
An ingestible video camera that produces digital images of the small intestine can

National survey finds U.S. public enthusiastic about cancer screening
The public is committed to cancer screening, even with false-positive results or the possibility that testing could lead to unnecessary treatment, according to a study in the January 7 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Chagas' disease: virulence factor identified
Chagas' disease affects over 18 million people in Latin America.

Friendships play key role in suicidal thoughts of girls, but not boys
Relationships with friends play a significant role in whether teenage girls think about suicide, but have little impact on suicidal thoughts among boys, according to a new nationwide study.

Scientists find new way to store hydrogen fuel
University of Chicago scientists have proposed a new method for storing hydrogen fuel in this week's online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Family members say dying patients need better end-of-life emotional and medical support
Many people dying in hospitals or nursing homes have unmet needs for pain relief, physician communication, emotional support, and being treated with respect, according to a study in the January 7 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Aspirin use may be associated with increased risk of pancreatic cancer
Regular aspirin use for 20 years or more may be associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer in women, the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, according to a study in the January 7 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

American Lung Association calls on governors and legislatures to stand up for public health
While there were bright spots in 2003, the American Lung Association State of Tobacco Control 2003 report card clearly shows that most states are not taking the necessary measures to protect children and adults from the deadly effects of tobacco smoke.

Active smoking associated with increased risk of breast cancer
Active smoking appears to play a larger role in the development of breast cancer than previously thought, according to a study in the January 7 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Trials on hormone therapy and hypertension treatment change practice, medication usage of patients
Recent results from clinical trials on hormone therapy and treating hypertension have changed the way physicians prescribe and the way patients use certain medications, according to two studies in the January 7 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Too fast, too furious: A galaxy's fatal plunge
Using several telescopes including NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers have captured the untimely demise of a galaxy that was once like our Milky Way.

New drug combination might be more effective pain reliever
The nutritional supplement, glucosamine, boosts the pain relieving power of ibuprofen, according to a new study by Temple University researchers in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (JPET).

Other highlights in the January 7 issue of JNCI
Other highlights of the January 7 issue of JNCI include a meta-analysis of consolidation therapy for acute myeloid leukemia, a study of the effects of imatinib on neuroblastoma cells, and a study of the risks of rare uterine tumors associated with tamoxifen use.

National survey finds U.S. public enthusiastic about cancer screening
The public is committed to cancer screening, even with false-positive results or the possibility that testing could lead to unnecessary treatment, according to a Dartmouth Medical School (DMS) study in the January 7 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Study by UCSD gives new insight into how anthrax bacteria can evade a host's immune response
Biologists at the University of California, San Diego have determined how toxin produced by anthrax bacteria blocks a person's normal immune response, a discovery that could lead to new treatments for anthrax infection.

BRCA mutations do not increase risk of colorectal cancer
People with mutations in BRCA genes or a family history of breast cancer now have one less thing to worry about.

Aeroplanes would be safer if cockpits were more human-friendly, says new study
Aircraft could achieve an even higher level of safety if cockpit designers took more of the psychological characteristics of pilots into account, according to researchers publishing a new study today.

Researchers develop first integrated silicon circuit with nanotube transistors
In an important milestone in nanosciences and nanoengineering, researchers at UC Berkeley and Stanford have created the first working, integrated silicon circuit that successfully incorporates carbon nanotubes in its design.

50-year-old magnetic mystery solved; quantum structure obeys classical physics
Ohio State University physicists and their colleagues have demonstrated for the first time a type of magnetic behavior that was predicted to exist more than 50 years ago.

Largest multistate study finds end-of-life care still 'woefully inadequate'
In a national study on end-of-life care in the United States, Brown University researchers find the physical and emotional needs of the dying continue to be unmet, particularly for those who die in institutions.

Araucariaceae of New-Caledonia: endemic species in danger
New Caledonia harbours 45% of species of the family Araucariaceae, belonging to the conifers, recorded in the world, divided between the two genera Araucaria (columnar pines) and Agathis (kaoris).

January GEOLOGY and GSA TODAY media highlights
Topics include: new synthesis of the clathrate gun hypothesis, continental slope failure, and climate change; recent insights into the Three Sisters magmatic intrusion (central Oregon); and elimination of the

Drop in hormone therapy use shows physicians heed clinical trial findings, Stanford researchers say
The dramatic drop in prescriptions for postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy after the risks of long-term estrogen/progestin use were announced suggests physicians respond more readily to new clinical evidence than previously observed, say researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Wright State biologist studies birds to learn how our stomachs convey thoughts of hunger
A research biologist at Wright State University is studying rhythmic cycles in birds to learn if we have a physiological clock in our stomach that determines when we get hungry.

FarSounder, URI researcher develop first sonar for marine navigation, obstacle avoidance
FarSounder, Inc. and a URI researcher have begun commercial production of the first 3D forward-looking sonar designed as an aid to marine navigation.

BRCA mutations not associated with colorectal cancer risk, studies suggest
Two studies in the January 7 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggest that mutations in the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 are not associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer.
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