Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 19, 2004
Innovative 'ceramic-on-metal' hip replacements to undergo clinical trials
A new type of artificial hip, more robust and longer lasting than conventional artificial joints, is to undergo clinical trials and could be available for patients within five years.

First solid evidence that the study of music promotes intellectual development
The idea that studying music improves the intellect is not a new one, but at last there is incontrovertible evidence from a study conducted out of the University of Toronto.

Study of obscure Amazon tribe sheds new light on how language affects perception
Members of the Pirah√£ tribe use a

Call for full enquiry into role of medical staff at Abu Ghraib
A Health and Human Rights article in this week's issue of The Lancet highlights how US Army medical personnel at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison ignored medical ethics and human rights standards and were complicit with human rights abuses of Iraqi prisoners.

E-mail consultations could improve health care delivery claim researchers
Greater use of e-mail consultations could be beneficial to patients according to research from Imperial College London and the University of Edinburgh.

Study suggests statins reduce cardiovascular risk for people with type 2 diabetes
Results of a randomised trial in this week's issue of The Lancet suggest that people with type 2 diabetes could benefit from cholesterol-lowering therapy with statins to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease--even when they do not have high cholesterol concentrations.

New study identifies additional genetic mutations in SIDS babies
A new study has identified mutations in genes pertinent to the autonomic nervous system among babies who died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) that might explain why they died.

Muscles are smarter than you think
Scientists at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia, and the University of Aarhus, Denmark, have discovered the mechanism by which acidity helps prevent muscle fatigue.

Departments of Homeland Security, Energy launch new test centers at the INEEL
The INEEL will be home to a test center that enhances security of computer-controlled systems in this country.

Illustrated guidebook published for Chinese biomedical scientists and students
Of the half million students from foreign countries studying in the United States, the largest proportion originate from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

Counting foxes before the last tally-ho
Number of foxes remains constant despite culling. As the government promises an imminent ban on hunting, researchers have produced the first scientifically-based population estimate for foxes living in Britain.

Cooking on a comet...?
One of the ingenious instruments on board Rosetta is designed to 'smell' the comet for different substances, analysing samples that have been 'cooked' in a set of miniature ovens.

'Hot' surgical techniques could increase postoperative haemorrhage after tonsillectomy
The postoperative haemorrhage rate in tonsillectomies which use 'hot techniques' such as diathermy and coblation to stop bleeding could be over three times greater than operations which use cold steel techniques, conclude authors of a study in this week's issue of The Lancet.

COX2 inhibitor could offer benefits over other anti-inflammatories for osteoarthritis
Results of an international multi-centre study in this week's issue of The Lancet suggest that the COX2 inhibitor lumiracoxib could be an effective treatment for osteoarthritis--its use was associated with an 80% reduction in gastric complications compared with other conventional anti-inflammatory drugs.

Study suggests cell-cycle triggers might be cancer drug targets
In an experiment that appears to refute current theory, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists have found that removing three key proteins believed essential to cell division and growth had little impact on normal tissue development of a mouse embryo.

Scientists reinvent DNA as template to produce organic molecules
By piggybacking small organic molecules onto short strands of DNA, chemists at Harvard University have developed an innovative new method of using DNA as a blueprint not for proteins but for collections of complex synthetic molecules.

Improved nutrition could reduce malaria burden worldwide
A new report from researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that a large percentage of child deaths related to malaria are attributable to undernutrition and deficiencies of vitamin A, zinc, iron and folate.

Current child care debate must be placed in larger societal context
New theoretical perspective on the current child care controversy prioritizes role of government policy, family and workplace.

Passenger screening advised to cut risk of importing drug-resistant malaria to Africa
Imported resistance has rendered ineffective the two affordable malaria drugs which have been the mainstay of malaria treatment in Africa for forty years, according to experts writing today in the journal Science.

ACPM to host web-based conference on low carbohydrate diets and adolescents
The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) will host a web-based conference to present the latest evidence-based information on the key elements of a healthy diet for adolescents.

Researchers put gingko on trial for treatment of dementia
Researchers in London are to explore the effectiveness of gingko, a complementary medicine traditionally used to treat circulatory problems, as a treatment for early dementia.

Babies' deaths could not be averted, say experts
A major study of all 137 newborn babies who died in Scotland during a two-year period reveals that the majority had brain damage which occurred during the pregnancy.

Publishing surgeons' performance remains controversial
Later this year, the performance of individual surgeons in the UK will be made publicly available, but the move remains controversial.

New vaccine is an important step forward
The new five-in-one vaccine is an important step forward in the United Kingdom's vaccination programme, say child health experts in this week's BMJ.

Failure to publish research kills patients
Failing to disclose the results of clinical trials kills patients and wastes money, and government regulation is needed to put a stop to it, argues Sir Iain Chalmers in a letter to this week's BMJ.

Imported fitness
Max Planck Researcher in Cologne, Germany, haved unraveled the mechanism of resistance to fungal infection in Barley.

Mouse model of rare disease offers clues to aging and cancer development
Scientists have developed the first mouse model of a rare disease in which people age rapidly and start developing cancers and other diseases associated with the elderly when they are only about 30 years old.

Heartless worms hold clues to cardiac arrhythmias, sudden death
Vanderbilt researchers used the worm C. elegans to identify novel protein regulators of a potassium channel involved in the rhythmic heartbeat.

Invaders that did no harm?
One of the first environmental impact studies ever, the Smithsonian Institution's 1910 Panama Biological Survey provided baseline data for Panama Canal construction.

Do moles provide the answer for cost effective drainage?
Cranfield University's Centre for Sports Surfaces, together with TurfTrax Ground Management Systems Ltd, has won a £62.5K research grant from the Football Foundation to undertake research into alternative pitch drainage methods for winter sports pitches on heavy clay soils.

Plumbing trees' plumbing reveals their engineering skill
Taking advantage of a unique labyrinth of Texas caves festooned with tree roots, Duke University biologists have given trees the most exacting root-to-twig physical of their circulatory system yet.

Chemical engineers discover filtration system to help biotech industry
Chemical engineers at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) have developed a new filtration system to enable scientists and engineers to separate and purify two different kinds of proteins having relatively close molecular weight.

Restoring sweetgrass to the South Carolina lowcountry
Sweetgrass baskets have been an important source of income for the Gullah community around Charleston for over a century.

Evidence for the impact of climate change on deep-sea biodiversity
An extensive climate anomaly, which occurred in the Eastern Mediterranean, caused a significant deep-sea biodiversity change, according to the work of Danovaro, Dell'Anno and Pusceddu in the September issue of Ecology Letters.
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