Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 21, 2004
Further evidence showing treatment benefits of beta interferon for MS
Results of a European study in this week's issue of The Lancet provide further evidence that patients with early symptoms of multiple sclerosis given a weekly injection with interferon beta are less likely to progress to full clinical disease after two years follow-up.

ENCODE consortium publishes scientific strategy
An NHGRI-organized international research consortium describes its strategy for building a

Early reports of thrombosis after insertion of drug-eluting stents
Authors of a research letter in this week's issue of The Lancet highlight how the use of drug-eluting stents (DES) may carry a risk of subsequent thrombosis if stenting is accompanied by a withdrawal of antiplatelet therapy.

Researchers monitor progression of Parkinson's disease by studying molecular changes in brain
Researchers reported in the October issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine on a study that measured the molecular changes in the brains of Parkinson's disease patients over a 7.5-year time span that began during the early stages of the disease.

Molecule that helps DNA replicate may make good target for cancer therapy
A small protein that plays a couple of key roles in DNA replication may make a good target for cancer therapy.

Aiding decision making for Baby Charlotte and Baby Luke
An editorial in this week's issue of The Lancet discusses the complex issues surrounding decisions to withhold medical treatment for profoundly ill patients, recently highlighted by the UK cases of 11-month-old Charlotte Wyatt and 9-month-old Luke Winston-Jones.

Physicists transfer information between matter and light; advancing quantum communications
A team of physicists at the Georgia Institute of Technology has taken a significant step toward the development of quantum communications systems by successfully transferring quantum information from two different groups of atoms onto a single photon.

IDSA offers policy Rx for influenza vaccine shortage
In the midst of the current national shortage of influenza vaccine, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) today renewed its call for Congress and the Administration to implement innovative public policy geared toward removing financial disincentives that have caused pharmaceutical companies to leave the vaccine market.

Significant pain relief following gastric bypass surgery
Over 18 months, researchers at University Hospitals of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University studied the frequency and prevalence of musculoskeletal (MSK) complaints in obese patients before and after undergoing gastric bypass surgery.

Techniques for making Barbie dolls can improve health care
Bowing to crushing increases in the cost of delivering medical services to Americans, the troubled health care system will begin to adopt operations research and other techniques that have proven successful in the relatively unfashionable manufacturing sector, predicts a leading expert.

One-third of all physician assistants work in hospitals
More than one-third of all physician assistants (PAs) reported their primary work setting is a hospital, according to the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) 2004 Annual Physician Assistant Census Report.

Research on electronic waste, venom-resistant squirrels featured at Sacramento ACS meeting
Disposing of waste from consumer electronics, proteins that make some squirrels resistant to snake venom and new perspectives on teaching chemistry are among some of the topics highlighting the 39th Western regional meeting of the American Chemical Society, to be held Oct.

Clues to improving TB treatment
Details gleaned from the crystal structure of a protein found in tuberculosis bacteria suggest that the protein can be disabled when it binds to certain other molecules.

Pediatricians need more training on environmental health
Doctors and nurses need more environmental health training to prevent, recognize, and treat diseases caused by environmental exposures, according to a new study funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

The cancer patient's journey: An uphill climb
Europe's leading cancer charity and the first cancer survivor ever to reach the summit of Mount Everest have teamed up to help others get the best help possible in the fight against cancer.

Turbulence in Saturn's atmosphere
This turbulent boundary between two latitudinal bands in Saturn's atmosphere curls repeatedly along its edge in this NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini-Huygens image.

OHSU study: Bacterial switching mechanism key to survival
A discovery at Oregon Health & Science University is giving researchers detailed, visual clues into how gram-positive bacteria, including those that cause life-threatening diseases, can stay alive in adverse environmental conditions.

Arthur Galston to receive distinguished alumni award from University of Illinois
The University of Illinois will be bestow the 2004 College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Alumni Achievement Award on Arthur Galston, Eaton Professor Emeritus of Botany in the Department of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology and professor emeritus in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies of Yale University.

Discovery of two-dimensional fabric denotes dawn of new materials era
Researchers at The University of Manchester and Chernogolovka, Russia have discovered the world's first single-atom-thick fabric, which reveals the existence of a new class of materials and may lead to computers made from a single molecule.

Biopharmaceutical manufacturing efficiencies signal reduced healthcare costs
Cost reductions associated with advances in large-scale biopharmaceutical manufacturing will play a role in reducing healthcare costs, according to a new industry joint publication by ASM Press, the book publishing division of the American Society for Microbiology, and BioPlan Associates.

Latin America shows rapid rise in published science and engineering articles
The number of science and engineering (S&E) articles credited to Latin American authors almost tripled in the 13-year period from 1998-2001, significantly outpacing authors of other developing regions in the world.

ESA looking for more European women to volunteer for WISE bed-rest study in Toulouse next year
In preparation for the Women International Space Simulation for Exploration (WISE) study, which starts on 22 February next year, an official call for candidates to participate as test subjects was issued on 3 August.

Ancient sea spider fossils discovered in volcanic ash
Volcanic ash that encased and preserved sea life in the Silurian age 425 million years ago near Herefordshire, UK has yielded fossils of an ancient sea spider, or pycnogonid, one of the most unusual types of arthropod in the seas today.

Tabletop DNA test laboratory
British scientists have developed a tabletop DNA test laboratory that can cut the diagnosis of disease and infection from hours to 30 minutes.

How can we combat MRSA?
The attitude towards MRSA in the United Kingdom is a case of shutting the gate after the horse has bolted, argues a doctor in a letter to this week's BMJ.

Study is looking at ways to help stroke survivors regain lost motor skills
Researchers are conducting a groundbreaking new study that may help stroke patients regain greater use of their hands or arms through treatment with electrical stimulation.

Teenage hormone therapy to reduce adult height of tall girls linked to reduced fertility
Research from Australia in this week's issue of The Lancet suggests that tall girls given oestrogen therapy in adolescence to reduce adult height are more likely to experience later fertility problems than the general population.

Molecular mechanism sheds light on neurodegenerative diseases
Neurodegenerative diseases exhibit loss of nerve function in different ways, from memory lapses to uncontrollable muscular movements, but it is now believed that these diseases share many common molecular mechanisms.

Mouse study: 'Critical' Down syndrome region isn't
After five years of work, Johns Hopkins researchers report that a particular genetic region long assumed to be a critical factor in Down syndrome isn't nearly as important as once thought.

Eyetech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announces macugen data on treating macular degeneration
Eyetech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: EYET) today announced that the treatment effect with the investigational drug Macugen (pegaptanib sodium injection) extends for two years in patients with neovascular or wet, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), who are at risk of losing their vision.

Z's $61.7 million refurbishment to advance fusion machine's capabilities
Sandia National Laboratories' Z machine, which last year emitted neutrons to enter the race to provide the world virtually unlimited electricity from, essentially, seawater, has received approval from the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to proceed with a $61.7 million refurbishment.

UF scientist: 'Brain' in a dish acts as autopilot, living computer
A University of Florida scientist has grown a living

Strong Earth tides can trigger earthquakes, UCLA scientists report
Earthquakes can be triggered by the Earth's tides, UCLA scientists confirmed Oct.

Schizophrenia risk higher in children of older fathers
Children of older fathers are more likely to develop schizophrenia in later life, concludes new research published on
Misconceptions about sexual violence common among South African youth
Misconceptions about sexual violence and the risk of HIV infection and AIDS are common among South African youth, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Strong-flavored onions show promise for fighting cancer
Strong-flavored onions can be harsh on your social life, but they're potentially great for fighting cancer.

New fiber optic sensors increase range
Researchers in Virginia Tech's Center for Center for Photonics Technology are on their way to solving a problem that is limiting the range and number of sensors used to safeguard civil and industrial infrastructure.

New DNA repair enzyme makes mistakes to save lives of cells
A new enzyme described by University of Pittsburgh researchers has the exceptional ability to bypass damaged spots in DNA sequence caused by a cell's normal wear and tear and is believed to play a key role in saving the life of a cell by permitting DNA replication even after discovering of an error in the sequence that it corrects with a new mistake.

Mitochondrial mutation linked to blood pressure and cholesterol problems
Researchers at Yale and Syracuse Universities found the first direct evidence for a mutation in mitochondrial DNA that directly affects blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Are yeast cells bringing us a step closer in treating obesity?
For the first time, researchers from the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) connected with the Catholic University of Leuven have shown clearly that receptors in yeast cells detect and react to nutrients in the cell.

Single genetic defect links many risk factors for heart disease and stroke
For the first time, researchers have demonstrated that a single change in a person's DNA can contribute to a range of life-shortening risk factors, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other metabolic disorders.

Sleep apnoea increases risks in general anaesthesia
Patients with obstructive sleep apnoea are at high risk of developing complications when having surgery under general anaesthesia, say researchers in this week's BMJ.

New genomic method can identify disease-causing genes
A novel computational method to detect disease-causing genes accurately and rapidly was announced by Roche scientists in the October 22 issue of Science.

Parkinson's patients get bilateral benefits with unilateral brain stim
Implanting electrical stimulators on just one side of a patient's brain can alleviate symptoms on both sides of the body, boosting patient care and potentially reducing the risk of surgery.
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