Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 22, 2004
Step towards building tiny, molecular motors achieved by Hebrew University, UCLA scientists
A step towards building tiny motors on the scale of a molecule has been demonstrated by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).

Ohio State wetlands professor wins prestigious Water Prize
Years of studying wetland behavior have paid off for Ohio State University professor Bill Mitsch, who today became co-recipient of the prestigious 2004 Stockholm Water Prize.

Study offers new model for breast cancer
A team in the lab of scientist Robert Weinberg at Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research has successfully grafted human breast tissue into the mammary glands of mice.

Collagen level can impact risk of incontinence and prolapse in women
Decreased collagen levels might make some women more susceptible to pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence, according to a new study by physicians at Temple University School of Medicine and Temple University Hospital.

Activity of calcium-handling gene appears to prevent cardiac arrhythmias
Activation of a gene already shown to correct heart failure by improving calcium metabolism in the heart muscle may also help prevent arrhythmias, sometimes-dangerous disturbances in heart rhythm, according to a study from the Massachusetts General Hospital Cardiovascular Research Center.

Mount Sinai to offer NearVision CK
Mount Sinai Medical Center becomes one of the first medical centers in the country to offer NearVision CK (Conductive Keratoplasty) to treat presbyopia, addressing the primary vision concern of every adult over the age of 40.

Paula Apsell, Madeleine Nash, and Kevin Krajick win AGU journalism awards
Paula Apsell, Executive Producer of the WGBH/PBS program NOVA; Madeleine Nash of Time; and freelance writer Kevin Krajick have won the American Geophysical Union's 2004 science journalism awards.

Ascraeus Mons in 3D
This 3D image shows a portion of the southern flank of Ascraeus Mons, the northernmost volcano of the Tharsis volcano group.

'His is lighter than mine'
When a subject lifts a heavy box, and sees someone else lifting an object, the subject thinks the other person's box is lighter than it really is.

UCSD wins Pentagon funding for ad-hoc wireless networking technology for battlefield environments
Engineers at UC San Diego will lead a six-university effort to enable troops to set up mobile communications networks on the battlefield, using lightweight wireless equipment during commando raids and in other hostile and rapidly changing environments.

New insight into how tumors evade the immune system
A new research study sheds light on how cancer cells manage to evade the immune system despite the presence of tumor-specific immune cells.

New study highlights misunderstanding surrounding risks and benefits of tamoxifen
Use of tamoxifen by high risk women is low due to both failure of doctors to offer it and patients' refusal to accept it, according to the results of a new study led by researchers at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

For some gorillas, local kin may mean local peace
Scientists studying the western gorilla observed peaceful interactions among neighboring social groups, in contrast to the aggressive male behavior well documented in mountain gorillas.

Researchers confirm novel form of the Rett syndrome protein
Adrian Bird and Skirmantas Kriaucionis of the University of Edinburgh have discovered a novel form of the protein MeCP2.

Envisat fishes up facts behind Chilean giant squid invasion
Masses of large ocean-going squid have inundated the shores of Southern Chile, alarming local fishermen who fear these carnivorous invaders could threaten fish stocks.

MGH study details brain changes in autism, language disorder
Using advanced imaging technology, a research team based at Massachusetts General Hospital has identified specific portions of the brain's white matter that are abnormally large in children with autism and developmental language disorder.

Too much sleep can lead to restless nights
Don't hit the snooze alarm too many times: Too many hours in bed can cause as many sleep problems as too few, according to a new study.

Ribozyme package effective against hepatitis B virus
Penn State College of Medicine researchers have developed a tiny package that searches for and destroys up to 80 percent of hepatitis B virus in the livers of mice.

Exposure to homeless people increases sympathetic public attitudes
Most people living in cities have seen or been approached by homeless people asking for food or money, leading many city governments to pass laws restricting or prohibiting panhandling.

Geoenvironmental researchers to join Technium
Cardiff University's Wales Geoenvironmental Research Park (GRP) is to become the first occupant of a new Technium for Sustainable Technologies, using its expertise to create new hi-tech companies to tackle environmental problems in Wales and around the world.

Antibiotics within 4 hours of arrival at hospital better for pneumonia patients
Giving older patients antibiotics within four hours of their arrival at a hospital for treatment of pneumonia reduces the length of hospital stay, and may reduce the chances of dying, according to an article in the March 22 issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Failure of DNA repair mechanism precedes final stage of deadly leukemia, new Penn study shows
Medical researchers at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania have discovered that the last stage of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), a deadly blood cancer, is preceded by the unique blocking action of a blood cell's normal cycle of DNA production and repair.

UCSD pharmacologists collaborate on new approach to drug design
French and American researchers have developed a unique approach to drug design where an important neuron-signaling enzyme called acetylcholinesterase (AChE) acts as a microscopic vessel filled with reactant chemicals, to create its own, tailored therapeutic agent.

Univ. of Pittsburgh to lead international trial for vocal cord paralysis and paresis
University of Pittsburgh researcher have designed and are now participating in a large multi-site prospective clinical trial to gauge the effectiveness of calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA) injections in patients with vocal cord paralysis, atrophy or paresis; CaHA is an FDA approved implant composed of calcium phosphate.

Tigers: Big cats need cat food
Scientists from the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and their collaborators from the US Geological Survey's wildlife research center in Maryland have developed a model that shows a solid quantitative relationship between tiger numbers and the amount of prey available to these highly endangered big cats.

UK industry is the loser from parallel trade in pharmaceuticals
The shipment of bona fide pharmaceutical drugs into Britain from Europe may cost the UK pharmaceutical industry more than £770million a year.

Study finds little effects in patients who take prescription drugs and dietary supplements
While the use of dietary supplements is common in patients who also take prescription medications, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found most potential drug-dietary supplement interactions were not serious.

Researchers discover an alternate form for the disease gene associated with Rett syndrome
Researchers at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children and their collaborators have identified a new form of the protein MECP2 which regulates the complex expression of Rett syndrome and other neurological disorders including autism, childhood schizophrenia and some forms of mental retardation.

Buy high, sell low: Emotions turn economic decisions on their head, says Carnegie Mellon study
Seemingly incidental emotions can influence the prices at which individuals buy and sell goods, according to a study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University.

Office Depot partners with Conservation Organizations to incorporate science into paper procurement
Office Depot, the world's leading reseller of paper, today announced a five-year, $2.2 million strategy to develop the standards and tools needed to advance the company's forest and biodiversity conservation policies.

Researchers identify a new form of disease gene associated with Rett syndrome
Scientists at The Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids), the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and the University of Toronto (U of T) have identified an alternate form of the disease gene and protein for the neurodevelopmental condition Rett syndrome.

Researchers identify the pattern of gene-expression changes for tuberculosis in a living host
Researchers at the Center for Biomedical Inventions at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have identified the genetic changes that Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes tuberculosis, undergoes during infection of a living host.

Sandia combustion researchers successfully measure particulate emissions on board diesel vehicle
Using a unique laser-based, soot heating technique, a team led by researchers at Sandia National Laboratories' Combustion Research Facility (CRF) has demonstrated the ability to measure

When it comes to allergies, Americans don't make the grade
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America's (AAFA) first National Allergy Awareness Test released today, allergy sufferers scored average to failing grades in the areas of awareness, triggers, symptoms, prevention, and treatment.

New guidelines for cerebral palsy recommend early neuroimaging tests
The American Academy of Neurology and the Child Neurology Society are recommending early neuroimaging tests on children with suspected cerebral palsy as well as early screening for related disorders in new practice guidelines published in the March 23 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Smoking linked to accelerated cognitive decline in the elderly
Smoking speeds up cognitive decline in the elderly, according to a large, multi-center study published in the March 23 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Highway of WIMPs may solve cosmic mystery
WIMPs speeding at 670,000 mph on a

Fetal lungs provide a signal initiating labor, UT Southwestern researchers find
A protein released from the lungs of a developing mouse fetus initiates a cascade of chemical events leading to the mother's initiation of labor.

Details of an unusual type Ia supernova
By measuring polarized light from an unusual exploding star, an international team of astrophysicists and astronomers has worked out the first detailed picture of a Type Ia supernova and the distinctive star system in which it exploded.

Excess body weight linked to formation of uric acid kidney stones, UT Southwestern researchers find
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have found that the more overweight a person is the more at risk he or she is for forming uric acid kidney stones.

Achievement, testing, equality to highlight educational researchers 85th annual meeting
To stimulate thinking and share solutions on education's most pressing questions--ranging from issues of academic achievement to urban education and validity of test results--education researchers will gather next month at the 85th annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

Inhibitors prevent aggresome formation associated with some forms of ALS
Mutations in the cytoplasmic metalloenzyme Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) proteins cause about 20% of familial Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and aggresome-like structures formed by mutant SOD1 are associated with the disease.

Presidential election campaign platforms impact the stock market
Each fluctuation in public opinion about candidates George W. Bush and Al Gore during the 2000 presidential election led to corresponding changes in equity prices of firms aligned with the two candidates, according to a new study by a Brown University economist Brian G.

Insight into alcohol-nicotine interaction might lead to new quitting method
In tests on human volunteers, Duke University Medical Center researchers have found that even small amounts of alcohol boost the pleasurable effects of nicotine, inducing people to smoke more when drinking alcoholic beverages.

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may help stroke patients get well
Patients who are taking statins, the cholesterol-lowering drugs, before they suffer a stroke leave hospital in a better state, according to research published in BMC Medicine this week.

New tumor suppressor may play important role in deadly brain tumors
Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital have identified a new tumor suppressor gene that appears to be inactivated in gliomas, a deadly form of brain tumor.

New data on ant adaptability within their environment
By examining the worker castes in colonies of the ant, Pheidole morrisi, researchers have found new evidence that ants alter the organization of their colonies in different environments.

Moderate amounts of alcohol may help prevent death from CVD in men with hypertension
Light to moderate alcohol consumption may reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease (CVD) in men with high blood pressure, according to an article in the March 22 issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Mild noise damage can be detected by cells in the inner ear
Scientists report evidence that the delicate sensory hair cells of the inner ear might react to being damaged by triggering calcium signals in surrounding tissues.
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