Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 22, 2004
Ultrasound-guided liposomes boost imaging, target drug/gene therapy
One of the newest tools in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease and stroke combines a 40-year-old imaging technique and liposomes, little globules of soluble fats and water that circulate naturally throughout the bloodstream.

A blood test may reveal systemic factors that relate to periodontal disease, especially in men
A blood test is often given during a medical checkup to reveal indicators of general health conditions.

First ever guide to the care of women with disabilities now available
While the health care community has grown more sensitive to the health needs of the disabled, very little information is available to guide their competent care.

Cosmic rays are not the cause of climate change, scientists say
Eleven Earth and space scientists say that a recent paper attributing most climate change on Earth to cosmic rays is incorrect and based on questionable methodology.

Heart patients want more information from their doctors
Both men and women in a recent study of heart patients said they wanted more information from the health professionals who treated them, but it was the men who said they received more of it.

Enrollment in cancer trials not linked to better health outcomes
The widely held view that people with cancer who participate in clinical trials have better treatment outcomes is disputed by US authors of a study in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

Study calls for end to age thresholds for prenatal genetic testing
US research in this week's issue of THE LANCET challenges the health policies common in many countries in relation to maternal age and prenatal testing for chromosomal abnormalities such as Down's syndrome.

Babies conceived with medical assistance face high risk at birth
Babies born following medically assisted reproduction face a much higher risk of problems at birth and death during delivery, compared with babies conceived naturally, say researchers in this week's BMJ - though the outcome for twins is better.

Postnatal depression: A personal view
This week's issue heralds the arrival of an occasional feature written by patients under the banner Personal account.

Researchers develop computer application to 'read' medical literature, find data relationships
Until recently, researchers and their assistants spent countless hours poring over seemingly endless volumes of journals and scientific literature for information pertinent to their studies in fields such as cancer, AIDS, pediatrics and cardiology.

Doubling of steroid before severe asthma attack ineffective
Recommendations to double inhaled steroids at the start of asthma attacks are challenged by research findings in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

Multiple sclerosis not as progressive or disabling as once thought
In the most comprehensive study of how multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms change over time, Mayo Clinic researchers have found that less than half of patients studied developed worsening disability within 10 years.

Scientists grow neurons using nanostructures
Scientists at Northwestern University have designed synthetic molecules that promote neuron growth and also discourage the formation of the scar that is often linked to paralysis after spinal cord injury.

Award-winning research affirms use of hypnosis in eliminating pain
Helen Crawford knows from previous research that some people can use hypnosis to eliminate or ameliorate pain.

Small-molecule inhibitors of anthrax lethal factor identified
A team of scientists from the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) and other institutions has identified several compounds that block the activity of lethal factor, a key anthrax protein.

U. Chicago study overturns conclusion of historic human genome data
University of Chicago researchers have discovered there is extensive gene

Pew report finds GM insects may offer benefits, but clear regulatory oversight is lacking
Researchers are using biotechnology to develop genetically modified insects for a wide variety of purposes, including fighting insect-borne diseases like malaria and controlling destructive insect agricultural pests, but the federal government lacks a clear regulatory framework for reviewing environmental safety and other issues associated with GM insects, according to Bugs in the System?

Rice and M. D. Anderson establish Center for Computational Cancer Research
Rice University and The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center are teaming up to apply high-level computer science toward the understanding, treatment and prevention of cancer.

New research technique provides clues into cell growth
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have developed a new probe that allows them to watch protein activity in living cells.

Many men would rather cope with STDs than use condoms
Some men may not be willing to use condoms regularly even after seeking treatment for a sexually transmitted infection and acknowledging their protective value, according to a new survey of low-income African-American clinic patients.

Black Americans: U-M study documents differences within the community, part 2
Nearly one out of three African Americans report that they have been unfairly stopped, searched and physically abused or threatened by the police, according to findings from a new University of Michigan study.

UF research adds to evidence that unborn children hear 'melody' of speech
In a series of unique experiments on a pregnant ewe designed to record exactly what sounds reach the fetal ear, UF research has bolstered previous findings suggesting that human fetuses likely hear mostly low-frequency rather than high-frequency sounds.

Hospital star ratings are misleading the public
The Government's star rating system for hospitals is misleading the public, say researchers in this week's BMJ, who found that seriously ill adults fared just as well in trusts with zero stars as in three star hospitals.

Conservation International & Starbucks expand partnership, launch Verde Ventures loan program
Starbucks Coffee Company and Conservation International (CI) today announced a $2.5 million direct loan by Starbucks to help capitalize CI's newly launched Verde Ventures fund.

WCS receives $8M grant from Moore Foundation to protect Amazon-Andes landscapes
The New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society announced that it has received a grant of nearly $8 million from the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation to protect more than 85,000 square miles of habitat in tropical South America.

Avian influenza: The threat looms
The potential threat of avian influenza is discussed in this week's editorial.

Desktop computers to counsel users to make better decisions
Soon your desktop computer could warn you when you're talking too much at a meeting, if scientists at Sandia National Laboratories' Advanced Concepts Group have their way.

Black Americans: U-M study documents differences within the community, part 1
A University of Michigan study of more than 6,000 African American, Afro-Caribbean and non-Hispanic white adults---the first known study to include a national probability sample of Blacks of Caribbean ancestry---shows strikingly different patterns of prevalence of major mental and physical disorders within the U.S.

One type of carbon so resilient it skews carbon cycle calculations
Scientists interested in the Earth's carbon cycle - something that must be understood to assess the ongoing effects of carbon dioxide created by human actions, such as driving cars - have a new problem.

Book explores how to break software security
Just a year after publishing the best-selling How to Break Software: A Practical Guide to Testing, Florida Tech Professor Dr.

Do cancer patients in clinical trials have better outcomes than non-participants?
Some oncologists contend that cancer patients who enroll in trials experience better outcomes than non-participants - a benefit known as a

Earthquakes kill thousands in 2003
According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), 2003 closed as the deadliest year for earthquakes since 1990, 25 times more fatal than 2002; 43,819 deaths have been reported for the past year, as confirmed by the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
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