Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 24, 2004
Common epilepsy treatment to be used for bulimia nervosa
The University of Minnesota's Neuroscience Research Group received nearly $300,000 from the National Institutes of Health to study the effectiveness of a common epilepsy therapy in treating bulimia nervosa.

Ethical review of research in developing countries needed
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that developing countries need to more thoroughly review the research ethics of studies being conducted in their country, but sponsored by other, more developed countries.

International critical care doctors release first-ever guidelines for sepsis
The first clinical guidelines for the treatment of patients with severe sepsis were unveiled today at the 33rd Annual Critical Care Congress of the Society for Critical Care Medicine.

The ecological equivalent of Ellis Island: from ancestry to biodiversity
Steve Hubbell's book claimed many patterns in nature could be explained by the theory that all species are equivalent in competition for resources.

Exploring small RNA function
2'-O-methyl RNA oligonucleotides can block small RNA activity--providing a tool to determine their biological functions.

Sophisticated silencing strategies
RNA-mediated silencing pathways have diversified in unique ways. This study elucidates the specific functions of some of the key regulators in development, chromatin structure, and pathogen defense.

Study shows positive results for novel, patient-controlled transdermal system (PCTS)...
A study evaluating a novel, patient-controlled, needle-free system for delivering pain medication to post-operative patients through the skin found that those who were on the patient-controlled transdermal system (PCTS) withdrew from pain treatment less often because of inadequate pain control versus placebo.

WHOI chosen one of top 10 places for postdocs to work
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is one of the ten best places to work for postdoctoral researchers, according to a recent survey of readers of the magazine The Scientist.

Anti-epilepsy drug, topiramate, effective at preventing migraine headaches
Among patients with migraine headache, the antiepileptic drug topiramate appears effective in preventing migraine attacks and for reducing the use of rescue medication for headaches, according to a study in the February 25 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Combination therapy does not appear to benefit cardiac patients before heart catheter procedure
Patients with acute myocardial infarction (MI - heart attack) who are referred for percutaneous coronary intervention (such as angioplasty and stent placement in the coronary artery) do not have a reduction in the amount of damaged heart tissue when administered two drugs compared with a single drug to restore blood flow, according to a study in the February 25 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Icahn invests in the future of medicine
The Mount Sinai Medical Center today announced that foundations funded by Carl C.

Risk of infection higher for piercing ear cartilage than lobe piercing
Ear cartilage piercing is inherently more risky than lobe piercing, according to a report in the February 25 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that looks at an outbreak of infection with the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa, among customers of a commercial piercing business in Oregon.

Thawing subarctic permafrost increases greenhouse gas emissions
The permafrost in the bogs of subarctic Sweden is undergoing dramatic changes.

Just how much water do we really need? The answer may depend on our age
Just how much water does each of us really need?

UCSB discovery may accelerate new treatment for global health problem
The University of California, Santa Barbara announced today that it has donated all rights to a patent that covers the novel use of an established class of cardiovascular medicines as a potential new drug against a global parasitic disease.

Home blood pressure monitoring helps patients manage hypertensive drug treatments
Patients who monitored their blood pressure at home were able to decrease blood pressure medication and slightly lower their costs, according to a study in the February 25 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

New Seascape initiative stretches from Costa Rica to Ecuador and protects key marine habitats
In one of the most ambitious marine conservation initiatives in the western hemisphere, four Latin American nations, the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, the United Nations Foundation (UN Foundation), Conservation International (CI) and others are consolidating a marine protected area that stretches from Costa Rica to Ecuador and helps safeguard some of the world's richest marine habitats and dozens of endangered species.

Cell cycle research earns biologist Virginia's top scientist award
To gain a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms that control cell growth and division, Virginia Tech biology professor John Tyson and his colleagues build mathematical models of interacting genes and proteins and solve the equations on their computers.

Antibiotic provides promise in treatment of spinal cord injuries
Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and Children's Hospital Boston (CHB) have found that a commonly prescribed antibiotic could be used to help prevent paralysis and other long-term functional deficits associated with a partial spinal cord injury (SCI).

St. Jude/Mayo Clinic study finds direct link between CBP gene and lymphoma
Inactivation of the gene CBP in certain immature white blood cells of mice causes lymphoma, a type of cancer also found in humans.

Coexistence of identical competitors: an old doctrine challenged
An illustrious ecological principle states that no two identical species may coexist: eventually all but one will drift to extinction.

Patent for snow-penetrating radar
A concept for a snow-penetrating radar device has been patented by researchers at UC Davis' Advanced Highway Maintenance and Construction Technology (AHMCT) research center.

Can we keep the cap on transgene escape?
Molecular strategies are being developed to impede escapes of transgenes from transgenic crops into wild relatives, which might become invasive upon acquiring transgenic traits such as resistance to pests or herbicides.

Asia's bear-sized catfish are disappearing
One of the world's largest freshwater fish, an Asian catfish as big as a bear, may disappear in the near future, warns a UC Davis conservation biologist from his research base in Cambodia.

Insights gained from molecular modeling may lead to better insecticides
One of the most damaging crop pests, the corn earworm, may be outwitting efforts to control it by making structural changes in a single metabolic protein, but new insights uncovered by molecular modeling could pave the way for more efficient insecticides, say researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

DOE issues Arizona Public Service Alternative Fuel (hydrogen) Pilot Plant Design report
DOE has issued a report on the design of a hydrogen fuel pilot plant in Arizona.

Scientists raise caution about effects of HRT on hearing
A small pilot study suggests that women who undergo hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) may run the risk of diminished hearing.

Smoking in movies returns to 1950s levels
Today's movie actors are lighting up as much as their 1950s counterparts, according to researchers who say cigarettes made a dramatic return to the silver screen in the past decade.

Study shows women's medication use higher than expected
Women's use of all medications--including herbal supplements--is higher than anticipated, and they're unlikely to tell their health care providers about the medications they take, according to a University of Minnesota researcher.

UC Santa Barbara donates discovery to OneWorld Health that may speed disease treatment
The University of California, Santa Barbara announced today that it has donated all rights to a patent that covers the novel use of an established class of cardiovascular medicines as a potential new drug against a global parasitic disease.

Atmospheric water clusters provide evidence of global warming
Researchers at Hamilton College have identified several methods for successfully determining the structures and thermodynamic values for the formation of atmospheric water clusters, which scientists have speculated may accelerate global warming. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to