Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 01, 2004
Digital evolution reveals the many ways to get to diversity
In finding an answer to

ALL survivors bear genetic damage from life-saving chemotherapy
Children who undergo chemotherapy and survive acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) endure a 200-fold increase in the frequency of somatic mutations in their DNA, researchers from the University of Vermont Medical School reported in the July 1 issue of the journal Cancer Research.

That's not my hand! How the brain can be fooled into feeling a fake limb
Scientists have made the first recordings of the human brain's awareness of its own body, using the illusion of a strategically-placed rubber hand to trick the brain.

Searing heat, little package
Engineers have created a miniature hotplate that can reach temperatures above 1100°C (2012°F), self-contained within a

Cassini-Huygens enters orbit around the ringed planet
After a seven-year cruise through the Solar System, the joint NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini-Huygens spacecraft last night successfully entered orbit around Saturn.

3D MDCT can replace conventional angiography of extremities
Three-dimensional MDCT angiography can be used in place of conventional angiography to image the extremities in nearly any case where conventional angiography is indicated, a new study suggests.

Notices for runway closures, other restrictions confuse pilots, UCF study shows
To help prevent crashes and make flying more efficient for pilots and passengers, University of Central Florida researchers have suggested improvements to how notices about runway closures, beacon outages and other temporary, flight-related issues are presented to pilots.

ORNL adds three R&D 100s to DOE lab-leading total
Researchers and engineers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have won three R&D 100 Awards, pushing their national lab-leading total to 119 since the awards began in 1963.

Cancer patient, heal thyself
Anti-cancer immune cells are found in cancer patients, but fail to reject tumors.

Investigating digital images
Dartmouth researchers have developed a mathematical technique to tell the difference between a

Thirteen football players died during 2003 season, none from heatstroke, study shows
For the second year in a row, researchers found no deaths due to heatstroke among young U.S. football players during the 2003 season, a new University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study shows.

Dark matter and dark energy may be different aspects of a single unknown force
Vanderbilt physicist Robert J. Scherrer has come up with a model that could cut the mystery of dark matter and dark energy in half by explaining them as two aspects of a single unknown force.

16-MDCT shows promise in detecting coronary artery atherosclerosis
16-MDCT is showing promise in detecting coronary artery atherosclerosis and could, in the near future, serve as an alternative to electron beam CT, a technique that is effective but not widely available, a new study shows.

Despite legislation, prompt payment for radiology services 'elusive goal' in New Jersey
Medical providers in New Jersey are continuing to experience payment delays even after the state has implemented prompt payment laws, a situation that could have relevance across the U.S., says a new study published in the July 2004 issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR).

Expertise helps preserve famous Victorian steamship
Experts from Cardiff University, UK, are helping to win a race against time and the elements to preserve a famous Victorian steamship, which is rapidly corroding.

Pitt to establish center that will use viruses to trace nervous system circuitry
The University of Pittsburgh has received a five-year $4.6 million grant from the National Center for Research Resources of the National Institutes of Health to establish a Center for Neuroanatomy with Neurotropic Viruses.

Countries need greater support and less stringent conditions if global fund goals are to be met
The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) will today publish interim findings relating to how the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is being implemented in four African countries.

Study of women with ovarian cancer suggests potential screening tool
Study shows clear presence of biomarker in patients with ovarian cancer.

July 2004 Ophthalmology journal
Studies from the July 2004 issue of Ophthalmology, the clinical journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, are now available.

MRI more accurate for prenatal cleft lip and palate than sonography
Fetal MRI allows more detailed and conclusive prenatal evaluation of the upper lip than sonography alone, allowing for better diagnosis of cleft lip and palate in fetuses, according to researchers from Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Children's Hospital in Boston, MA.

Physicists reveal flaw in EU Constitution
As Britain prepares to make its mind up over the proposed European Constitution, Physics World reveals new research by physicists in Poland that claims the most controversial aspect of the new constitution, the voting rules at the EU Council of Ministers, are fatally flawed and will give some countries unfair clout in the decision-making process.

American Thoracic Society Journal news tips for July 2004 (first issue)
Newsworthy scientific highlights include studies showing that: contrary to the commonly held belief that asthma in children frequently disappears during adolescence, almost 60 percent of the children with asthma during the pre-pubertal period keep experiencing wheezing episodes for four years after puberty; and Japanese investigators, using a whole blood assay that features new antigens, have developed a highly accurate new diagnostic test to detect tuberculosis infection.

Study determines the optimal time for bone marrow transplant in patients with blood disorder
Bone marrow transplant, the only cure for patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), is a life-saving procedure but carries with it many risks and potential side effects.

Significant drop in blood pressure may forecast dementia in the elderly
A significant drop in systolic blood pressure may forewarn of Alzheimer's disease and dementia in some elderly people, according to a study reported in today's Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Cancer gene MYC emerging as key research target
The gene MYC is the most overexpressed oncogene in human cancers.

False or pirated antimalarial drugs freely obtainable in Cameroon
Medical drug falsification mainly concerns those which are in high demand, such as antimalarials in African regions where malaria is endemic.

Better information needed about herb-drug interactions
Doctors and patients should beware of possible interactions of St John's wort with conventional drugs, but better information is needed to guide clinical practice, say researchers in this week's BMJ.

Severe depression associated with greater number of nerve cells in thalamus region of brain
Individuals who suffer from severe depression have more nerve cells in the part of the brain that controls emotion, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have found.

Vacuum assisted deliveries are safe alternative to forceps
Vacuum assisted deliveries are a safe alternative to forceps deliveries, despite a warning by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1998 that vacuum assisted deliveries may result in fatal complications, say researchers in this week's BMJ.

Make a splash for public health this summer
The CDC, the National Consumers League and others have partnered in a Healthy Pools Campaign to promote proper chlorination of swimming pools, good sanitation practices and suitable personal hygiene in and around swimming pools.

Origins of blood vessel cells
Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine have discovered how the body makes the cells that line its blood vessels, work that could someday lead to dramatic new treatments for vascular problems ranging from stroke to diabetes.

Adverse drug reactions are a huge burden on NHS
Adverse drug reactions account for 1 in 16 hospital admissions and cost the NHS £466m a year, according to a study in this week's BMJ.

MDCT angiography safe and effective for imaging children
MDCT angiography is a safe and effective alternative to conventional angiography in imaging pediatric patients suspected of having blocked arteries in the hand, arm, thigh and leg, a new study shows.

'Over the moon' at Saturn
UK scientists involved in the Cassini space mission were 'over the Moon' after the spacecraft's 100,000 km per hour white knuckle ride courtesy of Saturn's gravity which successfully completed the critical manoeuvre to place Cassini in orbit around the ringed planet.

Hubble studies sequences of star formation in neighbouring galaxy
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captures the iridescent tapestry of star birth in a neighbouring galaxy in this panoramic view of glowing gas, dark dust clouds, and young, hot stars.

AIDS: A single-tablet generic tritherapy
Combination therapy with three generic antiretroviral drugs in a single tablet has been validated for the first time in an open clinical study in a developing country.

PAF-way to bone loss
Many postmenopausal women suffer from osteoporosis, a debilitating disease caused by increased bone re-absorption.

A pregnant pause for unexpected interactions
Approximately 1--3% of all couples experience recurrent pregnancy loss. In the July 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers from Harvard School of Public Health, using a pregnancy loss mouse model, have found an unexpected link between the reproductive hormone secretion system and the immune system.

Surprising finding could lead to new treatment for cystic fibrosis
The surprising finding that people with cystic fibrosis (CF) produce too little airway mucus - rather than too much, as it commonly believed - could lead to more effective treatments for the genetic disorder, say researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Microscopy scans show how brain cells process energy
A laser-based microscopy technique may have settled a long-standing debate among neuroscientists about how brain cells process energy, say Cornell biophysicists whose confirmation of the controversial

July GEOLOGY and GSA TODAY media highlights
The July issue of GEOLOGY covers a wide variety of potentially newsworthy subjects.

Gerontology researchers urge scrutiny of anti-aging treatments
Consumers must be afforded better protection against interventions falsely claiming to reverse or retard the aging process, according to an article published by legal and medical professionals in the June issue of The Gerontologist (Vol.

Every mammal has its own pneumocyst parasite
The developing AIDS epidemic over the past 20 years has renewed interest for studying the parasitic fungus, Pneumocystis, responsible for an opportunist mycosis which infects humans.

NARAC expands its reach
In a boost for homeland security, the National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center (NARAC) will soon be able to track and predict the movement of chemical and biological agents and other hazardous material indoors as well as outdoors.

National Parkinson Foundation designates UNC as 'Center of Excellence'
The National Parkinson Foundation has designated the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as an NPF Center of Excellence.

How DNA repair machinery is a 'Two-Way Street'
Biochemists at Duke University Medical Center have discovered key components that enable the cell's DNA repair machinery to adeptly launch its action in either direction along a DNA strand to strip out faulty DNA.

Study identifies promising treatment for kidney cancers
A study of patients with kidney cancer has shown that radiofrequency ablation, a minimally invasive, kidney-sparing procedure, can be a successful treatment option for patients whose cancer has not spread beyond the kidney, report researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

The key to cell motility
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have described the regulatory mechanism of an important human protein called Rac.

A new twist on fiber optics
By twisting fiber optic strands into helical shapes, researchers have created unique structures that can precisely filter, polarize or scatter light.
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