Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 13, 2004
Scientists restore crucial myelin in brains of mice
Scientists for the first time have restored a crucial substance known as myelin in a widespread area of an animal's brain, opening the door toward new ways to improve treatment of an assortment of

LSU professors receive National Science Foundation grants
Wireless networks of tiny sensors may someday help health-care professionals monitor patients or provide emergency response teams with valuable information on disaster areas.

Mayo Clinic researches ways to better treat patients with heart defects
In studies appearing in the January issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Mayo Clinic researchers report on procedures that were successful in closing an opening in the heart that fails to completely close after birth in approximately one-fourth of the United States population.

The Lions of Tsavo: Exploring the Legacy of Africa's Notorious Man-eaters
A new book by Field Museum zoologist Bruce Patterson combines historic infamy with scientific scrutiny for a fresh view on lion behavior and ecology.

Farming gets contentious on the rural-urban fringe
Only 10 years ago, agricultural land dominated the Elburn, Illinois, countryside as it had since the 1830s.

NIEHS and UNC to collaborate on registry of 20,000 subjects
Scientists at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, N.C., one of the National Institutes of Health, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are collaborating on a registry that will eventually include 20,000 patients at various UNC medical facilities and will allow researchers to better study the relationship between environmental exposures, genetic susceptibility, and human disease.

Researchers develop model to help control West Nile outbreak
A University of Alberta researcher has developed the first model to predict risk of West Nile virus in North America--a tool that could help prevent the infectious disease from becoming an outbreak.

Patient outcomes are better indicator than patient volume for selecting hospitals for VLBW babies
Using a direct quality indicator, such as a survival rate, may be more effective than using an indirect quality indicator, such as patient volume, when selecting hospitals for care of a very low birth weight infant, according to a study in the January 14 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

OHSU-led research examines role of copper, iron in diseases
For years, scientists have worked to pinpoint why the short-circuit of copper metabolism in human cells leads to two deadly neurodegenerative disorders known as Wilson's and Menkes diseases.

From neighborhoods to globe, NASA looks at land
Satellites and computers are getting so good, that now they can help study human activity on scales as local as ones own neighborhood, and may answer questions concerning how local conditions affect global processes, like water and energy cycles.

Keck Foundation grant launches interdisciplinary brain research at Illinois
A pioneering interdisciplinary research initiative that will combine neuroscience, chemistry and materials science in an effort to find new treatments for brain diseases and damage is being launched at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a $1.2 million grant from the W.M.

Study suggests more cancer patients receiving aggressive care at end of life
A growing number of cancer patients are receiving aggressive treatments when they are near death, according to a study led by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Sediment samples suggest how plants would fare in hotter, drier future
Sediment samples dating back thousands of years and taken from under the deep water of West Olaf Lake in Minnesota have revealed an unexpected climate indicator that can be factored into future projections.

Mars on Earth?
A team of scientists from LSU, NASA, the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and other research organizations has discovered an area of Earth that is shockingly similar to the surface of Mars.

Gene-disabling techniques simplified by Stanford team
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have devised a new way of halting gene expression that is both fast and cheap enough to make the technique practical for widespread use.

Stanford University Program on Energy and Sustainable Development receives grant from BP
The BP Foundation has awarded a three-year, $1.95 million grant to Stanford University for a broad research program on modern energy markets.

Gene may be key to evolution of larger human brain
Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have identified a gene that appears to have played a role in the expansion of the human brain's cerebral cortex -- a hallmark of the evolution of humans from other primates.

Hospital volume may not be best criteria for selecting hospital for coronary bypass surgery
For coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG), hospital procedural volume is only modestly associated with outcomes and therefore may not be an adequate quality indicator, according to a study in the January 14 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Dietary supplements containing ephedra and caffeine may cause heart problems
A single dose of a dietary supplement containing ephedra and caffeine can increase blood pressure and cause changes that have the potential to affect heart rhythms, according to a new study in the January 14 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

AGA launches Obesity and Nutrition Education Initiative
The AGA announced today the launch of an Obesity and Nutrition Education Initiative.

Chemical outlook positive for U.S., Canada, Asia-Pacific; modest for Europe
Chemical sales and production in the U.S., Canada and the Asia-Pacific region should continue to grow in 2004, according to a special report in this week's issue of Chemical & Engineering News. Europe, however, still seems to be lagging behind with only modest increases anticipated, while Latin America should expect a turnaround.

Predicting progression of common cancers
New results based on a genomics approach reveal similarities between the molecular programs in normal wound healing and tumor progression and metastasis and suggest that a wound-like phenotype is a general risk factor for metastasis and aggressive behavior in many of the most common cancers.

Wound-healing genes influence cancer progression, say Stanford researchers
Genes that help wounds heal are most often the
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