Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 28, 2004
Tobacco-company-sponsored parties with free cigarettes may encourage students to start smoking
A widespread tobacco industry marketing strategy - sponsoring social events and giving out free cigarettes at bars, clubs, and college parties - is reaching students and may be encouraging them to take up smoking.

New technique for tracking gene regulators
Finding out where gene-regulator proteins bind to DNA and identifying the genes they regulate just got a step easier thanks to a new technique developed by scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Major advance made in transparent electronics
Researchers at Oregon State University and Hewlett Packard have reported their first example of an entirely new class of materials which could be used to make transparent transistors that are inexpensive, stable, and environmentally benign.

Vollum Institute discovery may unlock human genome
An Oregon Health & Science University-led development of a technique for identifying control elements that drive the expression of genes in brain cells could unleash the disease-fighting potential of the much-hailed human genome.

Study suggests obesity has lesser financial impact on African-Americans
Obesity may impose a smaller healthcare cost on African-Americans than other demographic groups, according to a study led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) that found spending on obesity-related problems becomes progressively higher as adults grow older.

Mayo Clinic finds restless legs syndrome in children linked to family history, iron deficiency
A new Mayo Clinic study has for the first time established rates of restless legs syndrome in children, finding that almost 6 percent of children seen in Mayo's sleep clinic have the disease.

Cervical cancer treatment depends on patient age
Elderly women with cervical cancer face double jeopardy. Not only does their advanced age decrease chances of survival, it also decreases the likelihood that they'll be given the most aggressive treatments for their disease, according to a study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

New signaling step for key player in Crohn's Disease
This week, researchers report new findings that elucidate the role of NOD2, a key molecular player in Crohn's Disease, in the cellular signaling pathways that control inflammatory responses.

'From the Sidelines' describes the making of a scientific revolution
A new book by Lotte Streisinger provides an insider's view of the emergence of the field known as molecular biology.

Bound for destruction
Shigeo Hayashi (Group Director, Laboratory for Morphogenetic Signaling) and colleagues at the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology (Kobe, Japan) have identified the means by which unstimulated cells protect the Notch receptor from activation.

UCLA-VA study names India dietary staple as potential Alzheimer's weapon
A dietary staple of India, where Alzheimer's disease rates are reportedly among the world's lowest, holds potential as a weapon in the fight against the disease, according to a new UCLA-Veterans Affairs study.

Evidence that human brain evolution was a special event
Genes that control the size and complexity of the brain have undergone much more rapid evolution in humans than in non-human primates or other mammals, according to a new study by Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers.

Pfizer's antifungal medicine VFEND® receives FDA approval
Pfizer Inc announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of its extended-spectrum antifungal VFEND® (voriconazole; IV for injection, tablets, and oral suspension) for the treatment of candidemia in nonneutropenic patients (those without low white blood cell counts) and the following Candida infections: disseminated (deep tissue) infections in skin and infections in abdomen, kidney, bladder wall, and wounds.

UT Southwestern researchers find calcium intake contributing factor in formation of kidney stones
Individuals with either calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate kidney stones should not take extra calcium on their own as suggested by previous research, but should check with their doctors to determine the dietary guidelines that work best for them, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have found.

Geologist comments on Oregon's tsunami hazard
Residents of the Pacific Northwest should not view Sunday's tsunami diaster in southeast Asia as a distant event, according to a University of Oregon geoscientist.

Triple-drug therapy promising against African HIV subtype
Triple-drug antiretroviral regimens that are widely used in the United States and Europe against one HIV-1 subtype appear to be effective in South African patients infected with a different HIV-1 subtype who also have tuberculosis (TB) or Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), according to a study published in the Feb.1 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, now available online.

Animal experiments more stressful than previously recognized
Mice, rabbits, rats, beagles, geese, and other animals all show measurable physiological stress responses to routine laboratory procedures that have been up until now viewed as relatively benign.

Growth of common skin cancer blocked in gene-switch mice
Dr. Andrzej Dlugosz and colleagues at the University of Michigan and the National Cancer Institute have examined the functions of the Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway in basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of cancer, and have uncovered a subset of tumor cells that are resistant to inhibition of the Hh pathway.

OHSU researcher says FDA could broaden access to results of clinical drug trials
Oregon Health & Science University researcher calls for U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to share more information provided by pharmaceutical companies regarding their clinical drug trials.

Highlights of January Journal of the American Dietetic Association
The January 2005 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association contains research articles including a study on the top dietary sources of caffeine and the use of dietary supplements for children with chronic diseases such as cystic fibrosis.

Special JAMA commentary on lessons learned from troubles with COX-2 inhibitors
One of the nation's leading cardiovascular medical researchers has issued a call for less aggressive direct-to-consumer advertising and better safety assurances of medications in a special article posted online today by JAMA because of its relevance to the recent withdrawals and warning labels on the pain-relieving drugs known as COX-2 inhibitors.

Federal/private partners launch resource for diabetic kidney disease gene studies
The largest single collection of biosamples and data is now available for research on the genetic causes of kidney disease in type 1 diabetes.

Ants' 'genetic engineering' leads to species interdependency
Findings reported this week reveal how an evolutionary innovation involving the sharing of genes between two ant species has given rise to a deep-seated dependency between them for the survival of both species populations.

University of Chicago researchers discovered that humans are a 'privileged' evolutionary lineage
The genes that regulate brain development and function evolved much more rapidly in humans than in nonhuman primates and other mammals because of natural selection processes unique to the human lineage.

Antarctic iced over when greenhouse gases - not ocean currents - shifted, study suggests
A longstanding theory that provides much of the basis for our understanding of climate change - that the mile-thick ice sheet covering Antarctica developed because of a shift in ocean currents millions of years ago - has been challenged by Purdue University scientists.
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