Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 11, 2004
Landmark conference for United Nations on human cloning and stem cell research
The Genetics Policy Institute (GPI) will host a landmark event for delegates of the United Nations focusing on the science of reproductive and therapeutic cloning.

Landmark, pivotal Phase IIb/III trial of biotoxin for cancer pain begins
Investigators involved in the pivotal clinical trial of TectinTM enrolled and dosed the first of up to 150 patients that will participate in the study.

Tackling medical schools' informal curriculum
Medical educators report on their efforts to change the informal curriculum of a medical school--the affect that students' interactions with peers, faculty, and others in the academic medical center, has on their qualities as future physicians, their values, and how they interact with others.

Great wall of China seen from space
ESA's Proba satellite here shows a winding segment of the 7240-km long Great Wall of China situated just northeast of Beijing.

Muscle-derived cells and gene therapy may cure for post-prostatectomy erectile dysfunction
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh will present results of three studies that show that gene therapy and injections of muscle-derived cells may be effective treatments for post-prostatectomy erectile dysfunction (ED).

'Cardiofunk' mutation: Probable source of congenital heart defects
The human heart confounds logic by starting to beat before it is fully formed -- a developmental oddity shared by all vertebrate hearts.

The remarkable Red Rectangle: A stairway to heaven?
Astronomers may not have observed the fabled 'Stairway to Heaven,' but they have photographed something almost as intriguing: ladder-like structures surrounding a dying star.

Hospital gowns' benefits outweigh costs in intensive care unit
Requiring hospital workers and patient families to wear protective gowns when they visit patients with a drug-resistant bacteria provides infection control benefits that significantly outweigh gown costs, according to a new study led by Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Vaccine reduces racial disparity in incidence of childhood pneumonia and meningitis
A vaccine that was distributed beginning in 2000 has reduced the incidence of childhood pneumonia and meningitis and has helped to decrease the excess incidence among black Americans, according to a study in the May 12 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Want to help your kids with homework? Take it easy, studies suggest
What can parents do to help children doing poorly in school?

IEEE-USA cites concern about rules on Access BPL systems in FCC filing
In a filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last week, IEEE-USA raised concerns about proposed FCC rules on Access Broadband over Power Line (BPL) systems.

High school grads from immigrant families succeed
UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute researchers find high school graduates from immigrant families succeed in college at similar rates as American-born peers with similar economic and ethnic backgrounds.

New study: Small, frequent doses of caffeine best strategy for staying awake
Caffeine is the world's most widely-used stimulant yet, scientists still do not know exactly how it staves off sleep.

Argonne reactor pioneer wins international prize
Retired Argonne National Laboratory engineer Leonard J. Koch will be awarded the Global Energy International Prize by Russian President Vladimir Putin in Russia this June.

Research points to potential obesity treatment
In 1999, Miles Brennan (Eleanor Roosevelt Institute at the University of Denver) and Ute Hochgeschewender (Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation) announced their finding that melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) regulates the balance of fat storage and metabolism.

Zebrafish model human development and disease
Among the model systems for studying development, the zebrafish has become prized because its transparent embryo develops outside the mother's body.

Regeneration of injured muscle from adult stem cells
Skeletal muscle has a remarkable capacity to regenerate following exercise or injury.

Louisiana Tech celebrates final plans for $8.2 million biomed building
The new biomedical engineering building, one of the few approved in the state's recent capital outlay budget, has received approval at $6.3 million; 22,000 square feet were added to original plans, bringing the total to 52,000 square feet and the price tag to $8.2 million.

Mother lode of jaguars discovered in Bolivia park
Bolivia's sprawling Kaa-Iya Gran Chaco National Park, known for some of the world's highest densities of ticks, may now lay claim to another superlative: more jaguars than any protected area on earth.

XMM-Newton detects X-ray 'solar cycle' in distant star
For years, astronomers have wondered whether stars similar to the Sun go through periodic cycles of enhanced X-ray activity, like those often causing troubles to telephone and power lines here on Earth.

Mimicking humpback whale flippers may improve airplane wing design
Wind tunnel tests of scale-model humpback whale flippers have revealed that the scalloped, bumpy flipper is a more efficient wing design than is currently used by the aeronautics industry on airplanes.

International experts discuss latest research on vitamin E & health
More than 40 interdisciplinary researchers from Europe and Asia will gather in Boston from May 22-24 for the first major conference in 15 years devoted to the latest research on the impact and function of vitamin E on human health.

Variation of gene associated with decreased risk of heart attack and stroke
Individuals who have a variation of the COX-2 gene have an associated lower risk for a heart attack or stroke, according to a study in the May 12 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

E-Health is no threat to GP's
GPs need not be overly worried when their patients look to the internet for information, according to research at the University of York.

New UNC research finds high rate of chlamydia in U.S. young adults
More than one in 25 young adults in the United States is infected with the organism that causes the sexually transmitted disease known as chlamydia, according to the latest results from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a continuing University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill investigation.

Parents' heart attack or stroke raises risk in their middle-aged children
A study published in the May 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association provides the strongest evidence yet that cardiovascular disease in parents -- particularly at an early age -- is a major predictor of their children having a heart attack or stroke in middle age.

Botox helps ease symptoms of enlarged prostate according to Univ. of Pittsburgh study
Injections of botulinum toxin A (botox) into the prostate are a promising treatment for the millions of men who have benign prostatic hyperplasia, a condition commonly referred to as enlarged prostate, according to a study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taiwan.

Childhood conduct problems may predict depression among young adults
Preadolescents who reported high levels of conduct problems were nearly four times as likely to have experienced an episode of depression in early adulthood than were children who reported low rates of conduct problems, according to a new University of Washington study.

22-amino acid bacterium created by Scripps scientists
A team of investigators at The Scripps Research Institute and its Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology in La Jolla, California has modified a form of the bacterium Escherichia coli to use a 22-amino acid genetic code.

$5 million NIH contract to fund development of pediatric heart assist device
Penn State researchers recently were awarded a $5 million contract from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health to develop a pediatric heart assist device.

Prevalence of chlamydia high among young adults in U.S.
Approximately 4 percent of young adults in the U.S. have chlamydial infection, with substantial racial/ethnic disparities present in the prevalence, according to a study in the May 12 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Two water testing methods could prove useful in predicting effects of global climate change
Ohio State University geologists and their colleagues have used two water-testing methods together for the first time to help a Gulf Coast tourist community manage its water supply.

Small, frequent doses of caffeine best strategy for staying awake
People who take small amounts of caffeine regularly during the day may be able to avoid falling asleep and perform well on cognitive tests without affecting their nighttime sleep habits.

Penn researchers describe newly found dinosaur of the Montana coastline
Through the cycads and gingkoes of the floodplains, not far from the Sundance Sea, strode the 50-foot-long Suuwassea, a plant-eating dinosaur with a whip-like tail and an anomalous second hole in its skull destined to puzzle paleontologists in 150 million years.

Promoting the brain image bank
The dream of saving and sharing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data is quickly becoming a reality, according to Dartmouth researchers who run the fMRI Data Center, which archives and distributes the raw data from studies that track brain activity using fMRI.

Three Harvard Medical School endowed chairs named simultaneously in sleep medicine
Harvard Medical School (HMS) is taking steps to dramatically advance the field of Sleep Medicine through the simultaneous establishment of three endowed chairs all devoted to this emerging critical field of medicine.

Fat fighting undermined by over active eating pacemaker
Warwick University researchers have for the first time detailed how specific neurons in the brain control hunger.

Some married couples will do better by lowering expectations, study finds
For some newlywed couples, it may be better to expect difficult times rather than anticipate a rosy future of wedded bliss, according to a new study.

'Good guy' blood cells are now suspects in heart disease, diabetes
A team of researchers has opened a new frontier for platelets: They believe the platelet is the pivotal link between inflammation, heart disease and stroke - and may even be a key cell in the body that promotes diabetic complications, the origin of which remains unknown.

Smokers welcome help in quitting when offered at clinic visits
According to a study just published in Preventive Medicine, 68 percent of smokers who were offered free cessation treatment at their regular clinics took advantage of the invitation.

Institute for OneWorld Health CEO advocates focus first on developing world markets
New biotech processes are poised to change the economics of manufacturing drugs, creating the potential for delivering both affordable medicines to patients in the developing world and laying the foundation for new markets, according to Victoria Hale, Ph.D., CEO of the Institute for OneWorld Health.

In step toward ultrasmall radio, UF team demonstrates on-chip antenna
University of Florida electrical engineers have installed a radio antenna less than one-tenth of an inch long on a computer chip and demonstrated that it can send and receive signals across a room.

Orange, tangerine peels could be better than drugs for lowering cholesterol
A compound found in the peels of citrus fruit has the potential to lower cholesterol more effectively than some prescription drugs, and without side effects, according to a study by U.S. and Canadian researchers.

First Fermilab LHC magnet leaves Illinois, bound for Geneva
Officials of the U.S. Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, near Chicago, and of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN, in Geneva, announced today (Tuesday) the shipment of an advanced superconducting magnet from Fermilab to CERN.
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