Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 26, 2004
'Dissecting sleep' by studying the strange phenomenon of cataplexy
Measuring brain cell activity in dogs with a genetic form of narcolepsy, neurobiologists Jerome Siegel and his colleagues have presented evidence that wakefulness is maintained by the activity of neurons triggered by the neurotransmitter histamine.

New theory suggests people are attracted to religion for 16 reasons
People are not drawn to religion just because of a fear of death or any other single reason, according to a new comprehensive, psychological theory of religion.

Uppsala scientists behind acclaimed health site
The health site PQL, which has been tested by Swedish Broadcasting Corporation, among others, has been shown to have a clear effect on health.

Nanoparticles illuminate brain tumors for days under MRI
Scientists at Oregon Health & Science University and the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center are demonstrating some of the world's first clinical applications for nanometer-size particles in the brain by showing that an iron oxide nanoparticle, ferumoxtran-10, can outline not only brain tumors under magnetic resonance imaging, but also other lesions in the brain that may otherwise have gone unnoticed.

MIT studies terrorism's impact on supply chain
Why are some companies much better than others at dealing with sudden supply chain disruptions?

U-M scientists use 21st-century technology to probe secrets of M. tuberculosis
U-M microbiologists have created a virtual model of the human immune system that runs

Discovery of tiny microbes in ancient Greenland glacier may define limits for life on Earth
The discovery of millions of micro-microbes surviving in a 120,000-year-old ice sample taken from 3,000 meters below the surface of the Greenland glacier will be announced by Penn State University scientists on 26 May 2004 at the General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The search for a safer smallpox vaccine: New data released on promising candidate
When used as an aerosolized weapon, smallpox could be controlled by a new vaccine under study at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, according to new data.

Antibiotics alter GI tract microbes and increase lung sensitivity to allergens
Research from the University of Michigan Medical School indicates that antibiotic-induced changes in microbes in the digestive tract can affect how the immune system responds to common allergens in the lungs.

Birds use herbs to protect their nests
Researchers from Ohio Wesleyan University suggest that some birds may select nesting material with antimicrobial agents to protect their young from harmful bacteria.

Weight loss drug Xenical® effective and safe in overweight teenagers
The weight loss medication Xenical® (orlistat) has been shown to be significantly more effective than lifestyle changes alone in managing weight in overweight adolescents, according to new study results presented today at the 13th European Congress on Obesity (ECO), Prague, Czech Republic.

Long Island Breast Cancer Study data: Aspirin helps protect some women against breast cancer
Aspirin might help protect many women against breast cancer, a new study by Columbia and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers concludes.

Small, cold, & hungry: Ultra-small microbes from 120,000-year-old glacier ice sample
The discovery of millions of micro-microbes surviving in a 120,000-year-old ice sample taken from 3,000 meters below the surface of the Greenland glacier will be announced by Penn State University scientists on 26 May 2004 at the General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in New Orleans, Louisiana.

CHF creates traveling exhibition celebrating women in chemistry
The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) has just completed a new traveling exhibition that presents the rich history of women chemists and their contributions to everyday life.

Some positive findings in new study on cocaine exposed children
A study suggests that prenatal cocaine exposure was not associated with lower full scale IQ scores, or verbal or performance IQ scores at age 4 years.

Leroy Hood to receive 2004 Biotechnology Heritage Award
The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) and the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) will present the 6th Annual Biotechnology Heritage Award to Leroy Hood, one of the world's leading scientists in molecular biotechnology and genomics and one of the first advocates of the Human Genome Project.

African-Americans respond poorly to hepatitis C treatment
African-Americans have a significantly lower response rate to treatment for chronic hepatitis C than non-Hispanic whites, according to a new study led by Duke University Medical Center researchers.

Remembrance of smells past
Smells trigger memories but can memories trigger smell, and what does this imply for the way memories are stored?

U.S. livestock industry hurt by devastating disease
A disease caused by tall fescue, one of the most common cool-season pasture grasses in the U.S., is taking a costly toll on livestock, including both cattle and horses.

VA/UCLA researchers pinpoint role of histamines in waking
A study by scientists with the Veterans Affairs' Neurobiology Research Laboratory and UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute shows that brain cells containing the chemical histamine are critical for waking.

How odors help make multimodal memories
Neurobiologists have long puzzled over the neural machinery by which a memory integrates recall of sights, smells, tastes, and sounds.

New data demonstrates that Benicar(R) and Benicar HCT (TM) achieve JNC 7 blood pressure goals
New data from two different clinical studies demonstrated that patients with hypertension can achieve more aggressive blood pressure goal rates using antihypertensive therapies BENICAR® (olmesartan medoxomil) or BENICAR HCTTM (olmesartan medoxomil/hydrochlorothiazide).

Does antibiotic use contribute to allergies?
Researchers at the University of Michigan suggests that antibiotic use may help promote the development of certain respiratory allergies, a finding that could help explain the increase in certain types of allergies and asthma in the 20th century.

Shortened chromosomes linked to early stages of cancer development
Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center say they have evidence that abnormally short telomeres - the end-caps on chromosomes that normally preserve genetic integrity -appear to play a role in the early development of many types of cancer.

Parkinson's caregivers at risk for deteriorating health
A study by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University's Parkinson Center of Oregon found that people caring for spouses with Parkinson's disease, either at home or in a care facility, are at heightened risk for deteriorating health and well-being, as well significantly increased strain.

Chemical Industry Conference
On Tuesday, 22 June 2004, the Joseph Priestley Society of the Chemical Heritage Foundation will host the First Annual Chemical Industry Conference, a full day of presentations by and for industry leaders.

New surgical device for long bone repair reduces X-ray exposure
When surgeons set a long bone such as the femur, a titanium nail is inserted into the marrow cavity.

Gene linked to alcoholism
Alcoholism tends to run in families, suggesting that addiction, at least in part, has an underlying genetic cause.

Don't laugh -- research shows comedy gives candidates serious boost
Candidates can improve their popularity among a key segment of voters by appearing on late-night comedy shows.

Molecular image of genotoxin reveals how bacteria damage human DNA
The three-dimensional structure of a DNA-damaging, bacterial toxin has been visualized by scientists at Rockefeller University.

Minimally invasive treatment for varicose and spider veins
Doctors at Northwestern Memorial Hospital are now offering these patients a relatively new treatment option called Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT), which is an alternative to surgical stripping (removal) of the greater saphenous vein - the main vein that runs the length of the inner leg.

Heritage Day 2004, June 17
At Heritage Day we celebrate and honor excellence and achievement in the chemical and molecular sciences.

Thick marine beds of siderite suggest early high carbon dioxide in atmosphere
Carbon dioxide and oxygen, not methane, were prevalent in the Earth's atmosphere more than 1.8 billion years ago as shown by the absence of siderite in ancient soils but the abundance of the mineral in ocean sediments from that time, according to a Penn State geochemist.

Unexpected similarities between raindrops and proteins
Raindrops and proteins seem to have a lot in common.

Chemical Heritage Foundation receives rare early texts valued at $10 million
The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) has received the most important private collection of rare chemical texts in the world.
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