Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 28, 2004
Hopkins to found first center for comprehensive study of epigenetics
With a $5 million, five-year federal grant, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is establishing what is believed to be the first university-based research center devoted to studying epigenetics, an effort that will set the stage for learning as much about our epigenetics as the Human Genome Project taught about the sequence of building blocks that make up our genes.

Carnegie Mellon U. imaging study reveals sex-based differences that persist as mice enter adulthood
Using advanced imaging technology, Carnegie Mellon University scientists have conducted the first systematic examination of developmental and sex-associated changes in adolescent and adult mouse brains to reveal fundamental, persistent differences in key brain structures, such as those important for emotions, learning, and memory.

Germans must research the history of reproductive medicine during the Nazi era
Researching the history of reproductive medicine during the Nazi era is still taboo, a leading German professor will tell the 20th annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology today (Monday 28 June).

Leaves of the khat plant harbour a key to improving men's fertility
A chemical that occurs naturally in the leaves of an African plant could boost men's fertility, researchers told the 20th annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology on Monday 28 June.

Alternative hormone-blocker reduces side effects in prostate cancer patients
An alternative way of blocking androgen activity in prostate cancer patients produces fewer side effects and may be a better choice than standard hormone therapy for some patients.

Gene chip technology will lead to quick and accurate genetic testing for cystic fibrosis
A single genetic test that is capable of detecting all mutations involved in the development of cystic fibrosis could be just a few years away, the 20th annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology heard on Monday 28 June.

Lack of insurance coverage, cost cited as reasons for not seeking mental health services
Insurance coverage problems and costs supplant stigma as the number one obstacle to accessing mental health services according to a survey commissioned by the American Psychological Association.

Posttraumatic stress disorder linked with poor health
Women with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) report having more illnesses and poorer health than women with depression alone, according to an article in the June 28 issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Oxford Journals takes bold step towards free access to research
Oxford Journals, a Division of Oxford University Press (OUP), announced today that its flagship journal Nucleic Acids Research (NAR) is to move to a full 'Open Access' (OA) publishing model from January 2005.

World Heart Federation makes global plea to tackle CVD
Every country should develop a policy on cardiovascular disease prevention, an international expert panel recommends in a World Heart Federation report.

Repeat angioplasty, stenting significantly increases Medicare costs
Repeating balloon angioplasty and/or stenting procedures to open narrowed arteries in elderly patients may add more than $700 million a year to Medicare expenses, according to a report in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Measuring blood sugar with a wave of the arm
People with diabetes could soon be waving goodbye to the pain and hassle of needles, thanks to a new under-skin sensor that monitors blood sugar levels with a simple wave of the arm.

Scientists call for better protection for coral reefs
The International Society for Reef Studies has launched an ambitious program to communicate the results of scientific research in order to improve policies and practices impacting on coral reef conservation around the world.

$6 million appropriation to focus Sandia research on drinking water desalination, removal of arsenic
Research in the areas of desalination and removal of arsenic in water will step up at the National Nuclear Security Administration's Sandia National Laboratories over the next few years, the result of a $6 million allocation in the FY2004 federal Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill.

The first domesticated donkey was born in Africa
An international team of researchers, with the participation of Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain) professor, Jordi Jordana, has published in Science magazine the results of their investigation into the origins of the domesticated donkey.

UCLA scientists discover obesity disrupts appetite hormone
UCLA scientists have discovered that lean people experience a huge nighttime surge of ghrelin -- the hormone that stimulates hunger - but obese people do not.

Dietary supplement containing plant extract appears to reduce some hangover symptoms
Individuals who took a dietary supplement containing extracts of Opuntia ficus indica, a type of prickly pear cactus, before consuming alcohol, had reduced symptoms of alcohol hangover compared to individuals who drank but took placebo, according to an article in the June 28 issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Countdown to Saturn orbit insertion
Cassini-Huygens, the joint NASA/ESA/ASI space mission, is due to enter Saturn's orbit during the early hours of Thursday 1st July 2004.

Innovative efforts target epigenetics, molecular imaging
The National Human Genome Research Institute selects Harvard and Johns Hopkins medical schools as sites for two new Centers for Excellence in Genomic Science.

Graduate student enrollment and post-docs reach new peaks in science and engineering
The National Science Foundation (NSF) reports that more students than ever were enrolled in science and engineering (S&E) graduate programs in fall 2002.

Clemson researcher places hope on pushy photons
Using a laser to push cells around may reduce heart problems and detect cancer at the cellular level.

Endometriosis: Could angiostatic therapy be the new treatment of the future?
Chemicals that inhibit the development of new blood vessels could prove to be a new way of treating endometriosis, according to research from The Netherlands and the USA presented today (Monday 28 June) at the 20th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

Four NASA Marshall Space Flight Center employees honored by AIAA
Four employees of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., have been recognized by the Alabama-Mississippi Section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics for their contributions to science, aerospace engineering and technical management.

Md., N.J., Tenn., Texas students named to US Chemistry Olympiad team
Four of the nation's top high school chemistry students will represent the United States in the 36th annual International Chemistry Olympiad in Kiel, Germany, July 18-27.

DOE scientists sample the skies
This summer, scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) will take to the skies above Western Pennsylvania for one month to sample the air for aerosol pollutants and evaluate their effects on Earth's climate.

Darifenacin substantially improves quality of life for people with overactive bladder symptoms
Darifenacin significantly improves important emotional, physical and social limitations associated with overactive bladder symptoms.

PROactive investigates effect of ACTOS® (pioglitazone HCl) on cardiovascular disease progression
In the July 2004 issue of Diabetes Care, researchers published the study design and baseline characteristics of patients enrolled in the landmark PROspective PioglitAzone Clinical Trial In MacroVascular Events Study (PROactive).

In young women, depression can mean literal heartbreak
Young women with a history of depression are twice as likely to have the metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms that raise the risk of heart disease, according to a new study.

PGD should be allowed in Germany: study reveals demand for a change in the law
Current legislation on preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) in Germany is out of step with the attitudes of Germans and should be changed, researchers told a news briefing at the 20th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology on Monday 28 June.

Purdue yeast makes ethanol from agricultural waste more effectively
A strain of yeast developed at Purdue University more effectively makes ethanol from agricultural residues that would otherwise be discarded or used as animal feed, and the first license for the yeast has been issued to the biotechnology company Iogen Corp.

Earliest evidence of hereditary genetic disorder discovered by Hebrew University researchers
The discovery of what is believed to be the oldest evidence yet found of a human hereditary genetic disorder has been announced by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Knee osteoarthritis patients and drug treatments
Many older patients with knee osteoarthritis prefer treatments with lower risks of adverse side effects, even if those treatments were not the most effective, according to an article in the June 28 issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

A third of embryo donation families plan to tell children of their origins
The world's first study of families in which babies have been born from donated embryos has revealed that only a third of parents planned to tell their children about their origins.

Blood pressure too high? You probably have cholesterol problems, too
People who have high blood pressure are highly likely to also have untreated or insufficiently treated cholesterol problems that significantly increase their risk for heart attack and stroke, according to findings of a Mayo Clinic-led study published this week in Archives of Internal Medicine.

Boston cardiologist takes Circulation helm
Boston cardiologist Joseph Loscalzo, M.D., Ph.D., assumes the position of editor-in-chief of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association as of July 1.

Women with diabetes face higher risk of artery disease from hormones
Postmenopausal hormone therapy can promote cardiovascular disease in women with diabetes or pre-diabetes (abnormal fasting glucose), according to a report in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Mice with hyperactive Wnt10b gene eat all they want, but have half the body fat of normal mice
Genetically engineered mice, created at the University of Michigan Medical School, are living every dieter's dream.

ASU plays role in making spacecraft more autonomous
NASA's ambitious project to make its spacecraft more autonomous includes software algorithms developed by Arizona State University planetary scientists.

Treat the cancer, but take care to protect the heart, cancer cardiologists warn
Cancer treatments, including the most commonly used chemotherapy agents as well as the newest biologic and targeted therapy drugs, can harm a patient's heart, sometimes fatally - but many physicians do not adequately monitor their patients for such damage or manage their care to minimize it.

Taking superconductors to new heights
AMES, Iowa - At the U. S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, a basic research effort to enhance the properties of magnesium diboride, MgB2, superconductors by doping them with carbon atoms has doubled the magnetic field the material can withstand.

Patients pick safety over effectiveness when choosing treatment for knee arthritis
When given a choice, many older patients with knee osteoarthritis are willing to forgo potential treatment effectiveness for a lower risk of side effects, even if the safer option doesn't work as well as other medications, Yale researchers report.

Soccer may be the crying game but historian reveals male tears were for centuries a class issue
Soccer is highly emotional, and as England's dreams of winning Euro 2004 died last Friday, players and fans may well have spilt a few tears of anguish.

RSV can increase the risk of asthma, UT Southwestern researchers find
A viral respiratory infection common in children increases the risk of developing asthma, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have reported.

High protein diet may be bad for women trying to conceive
A moderately high protein diet could reduce a woman's chances of becoming pregnant, according to new research presented at the 20th annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology on Monday 28 June.
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