Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 06, 2004
Carnegie Mellon interactive-video DVD helps teens avoid sexually transmitted diseases
Sexually active teenage girls who viewed an interactive sex education DVD created by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University were more likely to become abstinent than girls who did not see the DVD, according to a study of 300 adolescent girls in the Pittsburgh area.

Paleontologists use computer to 'morph' deformed fossils back to their original shapes
It's bad enough that fossils, buried deep in layers of rock for thousands or millions of years, may be damaged or missing pieces, but what really challenges paleontologists, according to University at Buffalo researchers, is the amount of deformation that most fossils exhibit.

'Knock out' rose receives Texas superstar and earthkind designation
It has been called the perfect landscape shrub. Virtually disease-free, Knock Out rose has received the Texas Superstar and EarthKind designations by horticultural experts at Texas A&M University.

'Crystal engineering' helps scientists solve 3-D protein structures
A new crystallography technique is helping scientists solve the three-dimensional structures of some important biological molecules, including a key plague protein.

Immediate mammogram reading may decrease stress associated with abnormal results
Women who receive the results of their screening mammograms immediately after their examination have less stress and anxiety compared with women who have to wait several days for their test results, according to a study in the April 7 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Surprisingly, however, an educational intervention that taught skills to cope with anxiety was not associated with decreased anxiety among a similar group of women.

Gaining health while giving back to the community
Older adults who volunteer in troubled urban schools not only improve the educational experience of children, but realize meaningful improvements in their own mental and physical health, say researchers at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.

Milky Way past was more turbulent than previously known
A team of astronomers from Denmark, Switzerland and Sweden has achieved a major breakthrough in our understanding of the Milky Way, the galaxy in which we live.

Older people recover from disabling events at higher rate than previously thought
Approximately four out of every five newly-disabled older people regain the ability to live independently within 6 months of their disability episode, a higher recovery rate than previously reported, according to a study by Yale University School of Medicine researchers.

Annual bioethics forum to explore genetic testing
The numerous ethical dilemmas posed by the emergence of new abilities to conduct genetic tests for disease and predisposition to disease will be the focus of the Third Annual International Bioethics Forum on April 22-23.

Warning to preserve 'unique' red squirrel from extinction
A scientific study has found that red squirrels found in Cumbria, North West England, are genetically unique in Europe but unless extra conservation measures are taken they risk being wiped out by the invading American grey squirrel, say researchers from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Oil exploitation in Ecuador's Amazon basin produces a 'public health emergency'
Exploring for oil and extracting it from the Amazon region of northeastern Ecuador has boosted the country's income over the last several decades, but it has also resulted in a

Europe, Canada ahead of US in creating family-friendly policies
American families with children would be stunned if they knew what kind of social policies and support 10 Western European nations and Canada offer their working families, say the authors of a new book.

Creativity, aging, and health meeting
Alzheimer's disease robs people of their verbal skills but it can also release abilities to draw, paint, or sculpt, according to Bruce L.

Study evaluates various strategies for diagnosis and treatment of sore throat
A comparison of various guidelines and strategies for treatment of sore throat provides information that may help optimize use of diagnostic tests and reduce unnecessary use of antibiotics, according to a study in the April 7 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Here there be data: Mapping the landscape of science
In ancient maps of the world, expanses of unknown territory might hold a warning to would-be explorers: Here there be monsters.

Changes in ovaries could indicate higher risk of ovarian cancer
Currently, no accurate test for the early detection of ovarian cancer exists.

Gene with key role in replicating pox viruses also halts inflammation
Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying vaccinia virus, a close relative of smallpox, have determined that a gene necessary for virus replication also has a key role in turning off inflammation, a crucial anti-viral immune response of host cells.

Partnership will boost maritime research
A new partnership between Cardiff University, UK, and the Nippon Foundation of Japan will boost international maritime research and lead to improved safety at sea.

End of life ICU use may require re-evaluation according to University of Pittsburgh study
More than 20 percent of terminally ill patients die in intensive care, according to a University of Pittsburgh-led study in Critical Care Medicine, although most Americans say they would prefer a low-tech approach to death.

Computer modeling fibrillation in the canine heart
The heart of mankind's best friend, the dog, holds secrets that could improve the health of humans, according to Cornell University, Gene Network Sciences Inc.

SOHO sees its 750th comet
On 22 March 2004, the ESA/NASA SOHO solar observatory spacecraft discovered its 750th comet since its launch in December 1995.

Received truth turned on end in cancer research
It has long been the accepted view of cancer researchers that there is a difference between the mechanism behind the development of leukemias, on the one hand, and solid tumors on the other.

Other highlights in the April 7 JNCI
Other highlights of the April 7 JNCI include a study that finds no association between aspirin use and pancreatic cancer mortality; a study that concludes that insulin production may be associated with colorectal cancer risk; a study examining the estrogen receptor status of contralateral breast tumors in relation to the status of the primary tumor; and a study examining the rate of change in PSA levels after salvage hormonal therapy.

Researchers probe link between nanotechnology and health
Nanotechnology, a science devoted to engineering things that are unimaginably small, may pose a health hazard and should be investigated further, warns a University of Rochester scientist and worldwide expert in the field, who received a $5.5 million grant to conduct such research.

Animal model, new grant, propel UB researchers forward in search for tinnitus treatment
A novel rat behavioral model of tinnitus that will allow researchers to study this debilitating condition in a manner never before possible and to test potential treatments has been developed by researchers with the University at Buffalo's Center for Hearing & Deafness.

Loggerhead sea turtles nesting earlier due to warmer ocean temperatures
Loggerhead sea turtles along Florida's Atlantic coast are laying their eggs about 10 days earlier than they did 15 years ago, a change that a University of Central Florida researcher believes was caused by global warming.

Exposure to famine associated with increased breast cancer risk
Women who experienced a short but severe decrease in their food intake during the 1944-1945 Dutch famine have an increased risk of breast cancer compared with women whose caloric intake was not as greatly affected, according to a study in the April 7 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Web-based education limited by publishers' restrictions
Publishers rather than course directors could end up determining the core content of medical web-based courses, according to an article published this week in BMC Medical Education.

Preventing another Columbine: Youth violence prevention conference
Tragedies like the Columbine school shooting have highlighted the problem of violent acts committed by adolescents and young adults.

SOS Rx: National medication safety group organized
The nation's oldest consumer organization announced the launch of SOS Rx, a unique coalition that is bringing everyone to the table -- patients, advocates, providers, and industry -- to produce real changes in the health care system.

A new 3-D animated map of our cosmic hometown
A new, three-dimensional map of our closest cosmic neighbourhood shows how our nearest neighbour stars are distributed today, how fast they moves, and in which direction.

Intensive diabetes management yields positive results, according to Pittsburgh project
Increasing diabetes awareness and integrating a multi-faceted, approach to improve patient care and education, results in significantly improved patient outcomes, according to a report in the April issue of Clinical Diabetes, a publication of the American Diabetes Association.

Stevens Technology Confidence Index again trends upward
Stevens Institute of Technology has released its third Technology Confidence Index report, via its executive research and analysis unit, the Global Technology Confidence Indicators (GTCI).

Human Rights Act fails to help deprived community, says report
A new report from Cardiff Law School highlights the very limited impact of the Human Rights Act in helping a deprived South Wales Valleys community.

Ejaculation frequency not related to increased risk of prostate cancer
Ejaculation frequency, a measure of sexual activity, is not associated with a higher risk for prostate cancer, according to a study in the April 7 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

UCR study says second-hand smoke affects healing
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have found that breathing

Hopkins' young researchers honored for their contributions
For students, residents and postdoctoral fellows at Johns Hopkins, conducting research is an opportunity to learn -- not just things they don't know, but things the world doesn't know.

Biosensor-regulated gene therapy reduces heart attack damage in mice
A novel gene therapy that responds specifically to oxygen-starved heart muscle may protect against further injury following a heart attack, a study by University of South Florida cardiovascular researchers found.

Hormone linked to obesity plays positive role in fertility & possibly male arousal
Researchers in the University of Warwick's Department of Biological Sciences have found that a hormone associated with obesity is actually also very active in the male genitals where it plays a key role in male fertility and may even influence the erection response in male sexual arousal.

Cell research uncovers intriguing clues to 'Trojan horse' gene in HIV infection
Researchers are probing details of how HIV commandeers genes in infected cells to disguise itself from the immune system.

Home-based program effective in treating minor depression in chronically ill older adults
A home-based program that includes social and physical activity significantly reduces symptoms of depression in older adults who are chronically ill and have minor depression, according to a study in the April 7 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
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