Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 15, 2004
Marijuana ingredient inhibits VEGF pathway required for brain tumor blood vessels
Cannabinoids, the active ingredients in marijuana, restrict the sprouting of blood vessels to brain tumors by inhibiting the expression of genes needed for the production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).

US economy slows as global consumer debt rises
The U.S. Presidential candidates George Bush and John Kerry promise very different economic policies.

Protective gene may enhance vaccine responses
Researchers have discovered the first

Genes can influence both alcohol consumption and dependence
Alcohol consumption and alcohol dependence are closely related, but the causes of susceptibility to the two may be different.

Nicotine patch helps teens cut cigarette use, Stanford and Packard researchers learn
Nicotine patches may work as well for teens trying to kick the smoking habit as they do for adults, say researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital.

Last of known genes identified in complex obesity syndrome
By comparing three different species' genomes and adding some good old-fashioned genetic analysis, scientists have uncovered the identity of the last of eight genes known to contribute to Bardet-Biedl syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by a combination of some otherwise common problems, including obesity, learning difficulties, diabetes and asthma.

Infant rats eagerly accept high concentrations of alcohol upon first exposure
Early exposure to alcohol is believed to enhance the risk of alcohol use and/or abuse later in life.

Prions act as stepping stones in evolution
When a protein misfolds, the results can be disastrous. An incorrect change in the molecule's shape can lead to diseases including Alzheimer's and Huntington's.

Hopkins scientists use blood proteins to detect ovarian cancer
Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers have designed a blood test to detect ovarian cancer using three proteins found in common in the blood of women with the disease.

Immune vaccine followed by chemotherapy slows incurable brain tumors, lengthens survival
A type of malignant, incurable brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme grows quickly, spreads rapidly and usually takes the lives of its victims within months of diagnosis.

Alcohol-use and depression among pregnant and postpartum women
Alcohol-use disorders and depression commonly coexist. A new study examines co-occurring alcohol-use and depression symptoms among pregnant and postpartum women.

COPD patients with most severe form more likely to harbor pneumocystis in their lungs
While smoking may be the most common cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), severity of COPD could be influenced by a common organism, Pneumocystis jiroveci, that can colonize in lungs without causing outward symptoms, suggests results of a University of Pittsburgh study published in August 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, a journal of the American Thoracic Society.

Topiramate: a potential new medication for treating alcoholism
Few medications to treat alcoholism exist. New research shows that a drug called topiramate can reduce self-reported drinking.

Nicotine therapy works as well for teens as adults but not as well for women as for men
Smoking may be on the rise again, especially among adolescents and young adults.

Ovarian cancer sheds tumor suppression with loss of estrogen receptor
An important receptor for estrogen in ovarian cells has been shown to suppress tumor growth, according to a new study published in the August 15 issue of the journal Cancer Research. When ovarian tumors develop, however, the number of these receptors--known as estrogen receptor beta diminishes, encouraging these tumors to advance toward malignancy and metastasis.
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