Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 11, 2004
Burning anxiety: New treatment targets smokers with panic disorder
The 2.4 million Americans who have panic disorders not only smoke at a disproportionately high rate--about 40 percent vs.

Can poor countries help rich countries contain drug costs?
Rich countries could follow the lead of poor countries and adopt a more systematic way of selecting medicines for reimbursement, according to a paper in this week's BMJ.

Encouraging results from vaccine trial to reduce cervical cancer
A randomised trial in this week's issue of The Lancet shows how a vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV) infection could potentially reduce the global incidence of cervical cancer.

Reduced fish stocks linked to increased bushmeat trade, wildlife declines in W. Africa
Declining fish stocks are fuelling a multibillion-dollar bushmeat trade in West Africa.

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research focuses on early mechanisms
A $1 million grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases will fund research at Virginia Tech to identify the cell-level mechanisms that start Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive and fatal muscle weakness disease that occurs in approximately one in 3,500 males.

Extinction in ocean's mud presages key ecological changes
The loss of seemingly inconsequential animal species in the marine benthos - the top 6 inches or so of mud and sediment on the floors of the world's oceans - is giving scientists a new look ahead at the consequences of the steady decline of the world's biological diversity.

HPV vaccine shown effective at reducing cancer-causing infections
A vaccine that could reduce cervical cancer rates by 75 percent is safe and 95 percent effective, according to a study of 1,113 women in North America and Brazil.

Water makes a splash
A team of scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley, has shown that the energy required to

Researchers discover molecular timekeeper in bone development
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have discovered a protein (HDAC4) that controls an early and significant step in the exquisitely timed process of bone formation.

Declining fish supply linked to wildlife consumption in West Africa, Science study reports
The authors of a 30-year study suggest that declines in fish supply in Ghana can lead to regional increases in the hunting, trade and human consumption of wildlife in this West African nation.

Trading places nanostyle
Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California at Berkeley have good news for the burgeoning nanotechnology industry.

Common antidepressant may affect youth's bone development
A common class of drugs prescribed to children with depression may have an adverse effect on bone growth, according to a study published online in the journal Endocrinology by researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Acetaminophen shows positive in vivo cardioprotective effects in heart attack, arrhythmia
Researchers measured actual infarct size after a simulated heart attack to test in vivo cardioprotection from acetaminophen.

Experiment confirms existence of new electronic state in superconductors
The existence of a new electronic state in superconductors, materials that can carry an electric current without resistance, has been confirmed experimentally.

Affluent countries should embrace 'kangaroo' care
A simple technique used to care for premature babies in poor countries is a safe and effective alternative to incubator care and should be encouraged in wealthy countries too, say researchers in this week's BMJ.

By impounding iron, FHC foils cell suicide, fuels inflammation
Researchers have found a way to manipulate programmed cell death, a normal process that goes awry in chronic inflammatory disorders, cancer and other diseases.

Rethinking new therapies for Crohn's disease at U.Va.
In a Perspective article in the Nov. 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr.

Automated scans let scientists track drugs' broad effects on cells
Bringing an unprecedented level of automation to microscopy, scientists at Harvard University have developed a powerful new method of visualizing drugs' multifaceted impact on cells.

University of Utah vision researchers identify genetic cause of rare eye disease in Utah family
Vision researchers at the University of Utah's John A. Moran Eye Center have discovered a gene mutation responsible for causing a rare disease in four generations of a single Utah family.

Marine sponge leads researchers to immune system regulator
A Japanese brewery, an Okinawan sea sponge and some clever detective work have enabled an international research team to solve a biological mystery, and the solution suggests a novel way to boost the body's defenses against cancer.

Uncoupling proteins in human heart
Results of a study in this week's issue of The Lancet suggest that respiratory uncoupling and reduced substrate availability might lead to energy deficiency in heart failure.

Generic anti-inflammatory causes significantly fewer GI complications than branded medications
People in search of pain relief who take the generic anti-inflammatory etodolac suffer 60 percent fewer gastrointestinal complications than those who take similar drugs, according to researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and the Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Theorists tackle astronomer's mysterious 'baby' planet
In June, researchers from the University of Rochester announced they had located a potential planet around another star so young that it defied theorists' explanations.

Media update: GSA underscores hottest meeting topics
The Gerontological Society of America will host its 2004 Annual Scientific Meeting in Washington, DC from November 19-23 at the Marriott Wardman Park and Omni Shoreham Hotels.

Order of species loss has important biodiversity consequences, grassland study reveals
In a study that mimicked the natural order of species loss in a grassland ecosystem, researchers found that declining biodiversity greatly reduced resistance to invasive species and that the presence of even small numbers of rare species had profound functional effects.

HPV vaccine shown to 'substantially' reduce cervical cancer
An international clinical trial directed by Dr. Diane Harper of Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) and Dartmouth Medical School has shown extremely promising results for a vaccine against the most common causes of cervical cancer.

HIV 'higher than expected' among London's drug users
Levels of hepatitis C virus and HIV among injecting drug users in London are higher than expected, according to a study published online by the BMJ today.

Poor communities should decide their own priorities for aid
Allowing poor communities to decide their own health priorities avoids inappropriate aid, says a senior doctor in a letter to this week's BMJ.

Hepatitis C at epidemic levels among young injectors in London
Levels of hepatitis C among young injecting drug users across London are reaching epidemic levels report researchers from Imperial College London, the Health Protection Agency and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

New software improves database security
Penn State researchers have developed software that more quickly and efficiently ensures that databases don't release unauthorized information.

Lessons learned from complex emergencies
The first of a series of articles looking at public health in complex emergencies (such as famine, population movement arising from civil conflicts and associated health problems) is published in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Researchers are studying photodynamic therapy
As the scientific community is seeking alternatives to antibiotic treatment, periodontal researchers found that photodynamic therapy (PDT) is advantageous for suppressing anaerobic bacteria that lead to periodontal diseases according to a recent study in the Journal of Periodontology.

In a tiny squid, bacterial toxin governs organ development
In a tiny Pacific Ocean squid, a toxic molecule that causes whooping cough and gonorrhea in humans has been found to be a critical catalyst for organ development.

New study links low fish supply to increased bushmeat hunting
Low fish supply in the West African nation of Ghana, which once had a thriving fishing industry, has led to increased illegal hunting of wild game, or bushmeat, according to a new study led by a UC Berkeley researcher.

UCSD researchers find effective treatment for unusual fever syndrom caused by cold exposure
Remember when Grandma used to say 'don't go out in the cold; you'll get sick'?

Joslin and Stanford researchers find key clues to muscle regeneration
Scientists at Stanford University and Joslin Diabetes Center are providing new insights into how muscle cells regenerate -- leading to powerful tools to help scientists better understand diseases such as muscular dystrophy.

Martian moon Phobos in detail
These images, taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, are Europe's highest-resolution pictures so far of the Martian moon Phobos.

Saturn's ring waves
This false-colour image of two density waves in Saturn's A ring was taken by the NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini-Huygens spacecraft at a distance of 6.8 million kilometres from Saturn.

33-year hunt for proof of spin current now over, announced in Science
In a paper published online today in Science, a group of researchers led by David Awschalom, a professor of physics and electrical and computer engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara, reports the observation of the spin Hall effect.
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