Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 27, 2004
Wildlife Conservation Society hosts public symposium on human-wildlife diseases
Working with wildlife health experts from around the world, WCS will host a one-day symposium on Sept.

Marijuana use could cause tubal pregnancies
Marijuana use may increase the risk of ectopic (tubal) pregnancies, researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center reported this week.

Tracing genes, biologists show lizard migration is traced to Florida
A new study headed by biologists at Washington University in St.

Agronomy, crop, and soil science societies to meet Oct. 31 to Nov. 4 in Seattle
Over 300 scientific sessions, 75 symposia, and 2,800+ research papers/posters will be presented as more than 4,000 delegates from 100 countries gather to attend the Annual Meetings of the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) Oct.

Big cities and small towns bear similar risks of gun death
Americans in small towns are statistically as likely to die from gunfire as people in major cities, according to Penn epidemiologists, with one key distinction.

Atacama rover helps NASA learn to search for life on Mars
A dedicated team of NASA-funded scientists led by Carnegie Mellon University is spending the next four weeks in northern Chile's Atacama Desert.

Vietnam veterans had higher death rates after discharge than other veterans
Vietnam veterans had higher death rates in the first five years after discharge than veterans who did not serve in Vietnam, according to a 30-year follow-up study published in the September 27 issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

An important step toward molecular electronics
Silicon microelectronics has undergone relentless miniaturization during the past 30 years, leading to dramatic improvements in computational capacity and speed.

Mental health problems in assisted living residents higher than expected
The first large scale comparative study of the mental health of assisted living residents has found a higher rate than expected of a range of mental health problems in this rapidly growing population.

Study finds cognitive behavior therapy more effective than sleeping pills for treating insomnia
A study by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has found cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is more effective than sleeping pills in treating chronic sleep-onset insomnia.

Study: Blacks significantly less likely to undergo prostate cancer screening
Although black men in the United States are more likely than white men to be diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer and have a two-fold greater risk of dying from it, they are significantly less likely to be screened for prostate cancer, according to a Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital study.

DMS offers guidance on educational research
Dartmouth Medical School educators offer models of support structures for educational research and address some future challenges medical schools will face in the October issue of Academic Medicine.

Exercise test predicts heart events in high risk asymptomatic men
Among men without heart disease but who have significant cardiac risk factors, a poor performance on an exercise treadmill test is associated with more than doubling of the risk for a heart attack or other coronary heart disease event, according to a report in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Punching the timeclock of life
Is human longevity programmed? Does the majority of a population age and die prematurely to make way for a few better-adapted individuals?

Civil servants at lower pay grades have increased risk of diabetes
London civil servants at the lower end of the employment scale and with lower social position were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those at higher employment levels, according to an article in the September 27 issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Controversial 'beating heart' method proves better than standard procedure
Patients needing second-time or

Drug-resistant bacteria increasingly causing infections in healthy people
An emerging form of so-called

Few women eligible for taking medication for breast cancer prevention
A survey conducted in primary care practices showed that a small proportion of women are eligible for discussions about use of tamoxifen to prevent cancer, and of those women, the proportion of breast cancers that would be prevented is also small, according to an article in the September 27 issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Prostate cancer treatment leads to impairments
Treatment for prostate cancer leads to significant five-year declines in sexual and urinary function, according to a new study.

Wisconsin scientists develop quick botox test
Scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed a pair of rapid-fire tests for botulinum toxin, a feat that could underpin new technologies to thwart bioterrorism and spur the development of agents to blunt the toxic action of the world's most poisonous substance.

Evidence builds for potential new cancer drug target
In a paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Temple University researchers report that one of the functions of the c-myb gene, which leukemia cells depend on for proliferation, is the formation of white blood cells.

New research on stems cells from fat focus of international meeting in Pittsburgh Oct. 4-5
Researchers from around the world are gathering in Pittsburgh Oct.

Preclinical safety study shows adipose-derived stem cells improve heart function after heart attack
MacroPore Biosurgery has shown that adipose (fat) tissue-derived regenerative cells improved heart function following myocardial infarction in a large-animal preclinical safety study.

New system would vastly improve heart defibrillation
When it comes to affairs of the heart, love taps are preferred over love jolts.

Study: Tamoxifen not likely to prevent many breast cancers in at-risk women
Research has shown that the drug tamoxifen citrate not only helps prevent recurrence of breast cancer, but it also can keep the deadly disease from occurring in the first place in some women.

Conference at UH opens doors for new scientists, engineers
A new generation of scientists and engineers will converge on campus as the University of Houston hosts the Fourth Annual Houston-Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Conference October 1-3.

Publishers and authors file suit against Treasury Department
Calling the Treasury Department's continued attempts to exert control over publishing activities involving information and literature from countries under US trade embargo a violation of the essential right of all Americans to learn about the world, a coalition including leading publishers and authors associations filed suit today against Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in federal court in New York.

Doh! New format could store all of Homer's life on one optical disk
Physicists at Imperial College London are developing a new optical disk with so much storage capacity that every episode of The Simpsons made could fit on just one.

Elderly African American men less likely to undergo prostate cancer screening
Elderly African American men are less likely to get tested for prostate cancer than elderly white men, according to an article in the September 27 issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Targeting heavy drinkers at hospital emergency departments could reduce future alcohol consumption
Referring heavy drinkers for counselling at the time they attend hospital emergency departments for alcohol-related health problems could be an effective way of reducing subsequent alcohol consumption, suggest authors of a UK study published online by The Lancet. Such intervention could also lead to fewer subsequent hospital visits.

Blacks and Hispanics were less likely than whites to receive care in outpatient settings
In a snapshot of the health care system, researchers found that blacks and Hispanics were less likely than whites to receive care in outpatient settings.

DNA barcode finds four new bird species
The task of identifying Earth's estimated 10 million species has daunted biologists for centuries - fewer than two million have been named.

Pregnancy is a risk factor for restless legs syndrome
Pregnant women are at higher risk for the occurrence or worsening of restless legs syndrome (RLS), a movement disorder that affects up to 10 percent of the general population, according to a study reported in the September 28 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Indiana University, EPA to study airborne PCBs
The elevated PCB levels in U.S. lakes and rivers that led to hundreds of U.S.

Molecular switch found that allows cancer cells to become mobile
Researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center have figured out a key molecular step by which a cancer cell can unhook itself from the mesh weave of other cancer cells in a tumor, and move away to a different part of the body - the process, known as metastasis, that makes cancer so dangerous.

Trial lawyers and lawsuits -- research shows public doesn't get the whole truth
What the public usually hears about trial lawyers and civil lawsuits is distorted, say researchers who spent five years studying news reports versus reality.

Group therapy does not improve survival In early-stage breast cancer patients
A new study from the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO) shows that cognitive-existential group therapy (CEGT), a psychosocial intervention designed to improve the mood and attitude of patients with breast cancer, does not improve survival of women with early-stage disease.

Simple interventions for accident and emergency patients could help reduce excessive drinking
Doctors and researchers have discovered that it is possible to reduce excessive drinking among Accident & Emergency (A&E) casualties through simple interventions such as offering appointments with alcohol health workers.

Newly identified master gene key in baby's first breath
Researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have identified a master gene that controls the first breath a newborn infant takes.

Study finds chemotherapy helps women with localized ovarian cancer
A new study finds chemotherapy improves survival and reduces the risk of recurrence in women with stage I ovarian cancer (cancer that has not spread beyond the ovary).

Veterans with Gulf War syndrome have damage in specific, primitive portion of nervous system
UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas researchers have uncovered damage in a specific, primitive portion of the nervous systems of veterans suffering from Gulf War syndrome.

New study shows diabetes patients prefer prefilled NovoLog(R) Mix 70/30 FlexPen(R) disposable pen
In the current issue of Diabetes Care, study results find the NovoLog Mix 70/30 FlexPen was rated higher than prior treatments for type 2 diabetes patients.

Blood alternative reduces risk of disease
In the US today, the risk of acquiring HIV through a blood transfusion has been reduced to almost 1 in 900,000 (1).

The mouse that soared
Astronomers have used an X-ray image to make the first detailed study of the behavior of high-energy particles around a fast moving pulsar.

USAID, Conservation International & Starbucks launch Conservation Coffee Alliance in Central America
Seeking to improve the livelihoods of small-scale coffee farmers while conserving the environment, the United States Government, working through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) joined forces with Conservation International (CI) and Starbucks Coffee Company to create the Conservation Coffee Alliance.

NSF awards NJIT physicist Dale Gary $832,927 to study radio waves
Solar physicists want to know more about the sun's magnetic fields because they are cited as the cause behind potentially damaging outbursts such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections.

Chronic opiate use may raise vulnerability to stress
Chronic use of opiate drugs may alter brain neurons to make animal brains more sensitive to stress, according to a new study.

Researchers devise potent new tools to curb ivory poaching
Despite a long-standing international ban on ivory trade, African elephants continue to be killed in large numbers for their prized tusks.

Midwest thunderstorm study points toward better forecasts
Newly documented small-scale circulations within squall lines produce damaging straight-line winds and up to 20% of all U.S. tornadoes, according to a Midwest field study organized by the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Future of cosmetic neurology debated
While one purpose of medicine is to improve the quality of life of individuals who are sick, should medical knowledge be extended to enhance the lives of those who are already healthy?

A test case for DNA barcodes to identify species
Can a single gene be used to identify all different animal species?

The case for safer injection facilities
Authors of a new study in CMAJ report fewer publicly-discarded syringes and less public injection drug use in one Vancouver area, one year after the city opened North America's first medically supervised safer injecting facility for illicit injection drug users.

HHMI, NIBIB/NIH to invest up to $35 million in interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering are joining forces to provide start-up funds and sustaining support for graduate training programs that integrate the biomedical sciences with the physical sciences and engineering.

Hidden diversity: DNA 'barcoding' reveals a common butterfly is actually 10 different species
A common butterfly, Astraptes fulgerator, found in a variety of habitats from the southern United States to northern Argentina, is actually comprised of at least 10 separate species, according Penn researchers.
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