Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 13, 2005
Heart patients treated by non-cardiologists less likely to receive medications
Patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) are less likely to be discharged from the hospital with a prescription for an ACE inhibitor and other recommended medications if they are treated by a non-cardiologist, according to a study written by pharmacists at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and published January 15 in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy.

New rights to access, but for most transparency is still as clear as mud
Two weeks after new public access rules came in under the UK Freedom of Information Act, precisely what is meant by transparency is still not clear or easily understood, according to leading academics and experts at the launch of the ESRC Public Services Programme at the British Academy.

Organic molecules transport strongest spectral signature of interplanetary dust particles
Carbon and silicate grains in interplanetary dust particles are helping scientists solve a 40-year-old astronomical mystery.

Research identifies promising route for treating age-related hearing loss
Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have discovered that deletion of a specific gene permits the proliferation of new hair cells in the cochlea of the inner ear -- a finding that offers promise for treatment of age-related hearing loss.

Study finds disparity in land protection
A study of the earth's 13 biomes compares the location of parks and other protected lands to the extent of habitat loss and finds that some of the most altered biomes are also the least protected.

Dusting for clues: Gemini discovers evidence for recent planet-forming collisions around nearby star
Astronomers using the Gemini South 8-meter telescope in Chile have observed new details in the dusty disk surrounding the nearby star Beta Pictoris which show that a large collision between planetary-sized bodies may have occurred there as recently as the past few decades.

First search in stellar graveyard yields two possible planets
Astronomers have obtained the first results of a search for extrasolar planets in an unlikely place--the stellar graveyard.

The Lancet calls for the creation of a world institute for risk evaluation
A commentary in this week's issue of The Lancet is calling for the creation of a new organisation to measure and prioritise all major global threats to human survival.

Northwestern Memorial chosen to be featured in first-ever mini-med school TV airing on PBS
A chance for television viewers to spend a half-hour learning from two of the world's leading surgeons is the concept behind Mini-Med School TV, which debuts nationally on PBS in 2005.

Women In Government report on eliminating cervical cancer
Women In Government today presented the findings from its first report on states' progress to eliminate cervical cancer - a disease that is almost always preventable with the most-advanced screening technologies.

Rebuilding spiral galaxies
Based on a large set of observations made in particular with several instruments on ESO's Very Large Telescope, a team of astronomers concluded that roughly half of the present-day stars were formed 8,000 million to 4,000 million years ago, mostly in episodic burst of intense star formation occurring in Luminous Infrared Galaxies.

Researchers discover carriers of astronomical 2175 extinction line in presolar grains
A collaborative team of researchers has discovered what turns the lights out from space.

Number of adults with high blood pressure set to soar by 2025
The proportion of the world's adult population with high blood pressure is predicted to increase from a quarter to a third by 2025, totalling over one billion, conclude authors of a study published in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Sardines may prevent toxic gas eruptions off the California and African coasts
Milky, turquoise-colored

New figures highlight trends in drug and alcohol misuse
New figures published by Dr Foster in this week's BMJ outline drug and alcohol related harm in the population of England.

USC/Norris oncologists test new front-line therapy for pancreatic cancer
USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center oncologists are testing the effectiveness of a new drug against pancreatic cancer in a phase II clinical trial sponsored by the NCI.

Researchers map genome of deadly fungus
Following a long-term collaborative effort, scientists at Saint Louis University and other institutions have deciphered the genomes of two strains of a fungus that can lead to brain swelling and death in those with compromised immune systems.

UCSD medical researchers discover molecular pathway that turns a juvenile heart into an adult heart
Researchers UCSD School of Medicine have discovered the molecular sequence of events in mice that turn a juvenile heart into an adult heart capable of responding to increased workloads.

Clam embryo study shows pollutant mixture adversely affects nerve cell development
A scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) has published the results of an EPA-funded clam embryo study that supports her hypothesis that, when combined, the pollutants bromoform, chloroform, and tetrachloroethylene--a chemical cocktail known as BCE--can act synergistically to alter a key regulator in nerve cell development.

How to avoid the health risks of Hajj
Later this month, millions of Muslims around the world will journey to Mecca for Hajj.

New network of gastrointestinal immune cells discovered
A previously unknown network of immune cells has been discovered in the mammalian gastrointestinal system.

Albatross study provides new information vital to their conservation
Albatrosses are the world's most threatened family of birds. New research offers the first hope of identifying migration and feeding patterns to reduce their unnecessary slaughter by long-line fisheries.

Research turning up the heat on fowl bacteria
Finding how the fowl-borne bacteria Campylobacter jejuni makes at least a million Americans miserable for a week each year is on the plates of two Medical College of Georgia microbiologists.

MGH researchers find way of regenerating cells key to hearing
Selectively turning off a protein that controls the growth and division of cells could allow regeneration of the inner ear's hair cells, which convert sound vibrations into nerve impulses.

UCSD, CENIC partner on first US campus production 10 gigabit ethernet broadband connection
The Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California announced today that the first production 10 gigabit Ethernet campus connection in the United States was installed from the University of California, San Diego to CENIC's high-performance backbone network, CalREN.

Surprising study reveals how cancer-causing protein activates
In a study published in Science, Brown Medical School and Rhode Island Hospital researchers show that STAT3, a cause of breast and prostate cancers, is turned on inside cells not one, but two, ways.

More efficient ways of managing patient flow may benefit Los Angeles County/USC hospital
A team of engineers takes a unique, top-to-bottom look at ways to improve patient flow in one of the nation's largest public hospitals.

Measurements at CERN help to re-evaluate the element of life
Geneva, 13 January 2005. Results from experiments at CERN and the Jyväskylä Accelerator Laboratory in Finland, reported in Nature today, cast new light on the primary reaction that creates carbon in stars.

Marijuana associated with same respiratory symptoms as tobacco
Smoking marijuana is associated with increased risk of many of the same symptoms as smoking cigarettes--chronic bronchitis, coughing on most days, phlegm production, shortness of breath, and wheezing, according to a Yale study.

Spying on black-hole eating habits with LISA
As big fish eat little fish in the Earth's vast oceans, so too do supermassive black holes gorge on smaller black holes and neutron stars.

Alliance for Taxpayer Access asks NIH 'Who really owns publicly-funded medical research?'
In a letter sent Tuesday to National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director, Dr.

Researchers to put changing public services under the microscope
Public services are to be put under the microscope in ESRC-funded research aimed at understanding the key ongoing problems involved in providing essential facilities such as health and education, as opposed to 'currently fashionable pre-occupations'.

Exposed: Tobacco industrys' efforts to cast doubt
The strategies used by the tobacco industry to counteract research linking tobacco smoke to cancer-causing mutations in a gene called p53 are detailed in a study published online (Friday January 14, 2005) in The Lancet.

Study identifies predictors of HIV drug resistance in patients beginning triple therapy
The best method for preventing HIV patients from developing drug resistance is a careful, dedicated adherence to their prescribed drug regimen, according to a long-term, large-scale study presented today in New York City at the American Medical Association Media Briefing, HIV/AIDS, The Drug Resistance Epidemic.

NJIT hosts robotics competition for Newark middle schools
New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) hosts a robotics competition, sponsored by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology), in which 20 middle-school teams from Newark will compete.

Why does species diversity vary so much?
The diversity of life varies predictably with climate and is greatest where it is warm and wet (the humid tropics).

January-February GSA Bulletin media highlights
The January-February issue of the Geological Society of America Bulletin includes a number of potentially newsworthy items.

Clusters of aluminum atoms found to have properties of other elements reveal a new form of chemistry
A research team has discovered clusters of aluminum atoms that have chemical properties similar to single atoms of metallic and nonmetallic elements when they react with iodine.

Anti-seizure drugs slow aging in worms
A class of anti-seizure medications slows the rate of aging in roundworms, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

OHSU-led study finds advantages to iron nanoparticles for environmental clean up
Researchers at Oregon Health & Sciences University have discovered that at least one type of nano-sized iron may be useful in cleaning up carbon tetrachloride contamination in groundwater.

LSU researcher solves ancient astronomy mystery
An ancient mystery may have been solved by LSU Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy Bradley E.

Researchers identify the link between heart failure and weight loss
Congestive heart failure is associated with elevated levels of angiotensin II in the blood (which causes vessel contraction and high blood pressure) in addition to muscle wasting.

The simple truth: Animal development not as complicated as it seems
Shedding light upon evolution, a University of Houston professor studying cell lineages found surprising simplicity in the logic of animal development.

Scientists decipher genome of fungus that can cause life-threatening infections
Researchers have deciphered the genomes of two closely related strains of Cryptococcus neoformans, a fungus whose importance as a human pathogen has risen in parallel with the HIV/AIDS worldwide epidemic and the increased use of immunosuppressive therapies.

Enzyme allows B cells to resist death, leading to leukemia
It is believed that in the early stages of disease, B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) results from an undefined defect in the programmed signals that trigger normal B cell death (apoptosis).

Expedition to second undersea canyon will study differences in ocean crust construction
The second Duke University-led expedition since 1999 to a deep underwater canyon will take geologists to another place in the eastern Pacific Ocean where new sea floor was forged out of volcanic lava within the past several million years.

The exhorbitant price of unmanaged shrimp farming
An article in the current issue of the Journal of Coastal Research describes water quality experiments in the Rio Chone estuary in Ecuador by University of Rhode Island oceanographers Diana Stram and Chris Kincaid and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oceanographer Dan Campbell to assess the extent of water quality degradation in this ecologically sensitive area.

A site for sore eyes: New target for allergies found under the eyelid
Scientists have found a protein in the eye which plays a critical role in how an allergic response develops over a 24-hour period.

New insight into link between homocysteine and stroke
People with high concentrations of homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood, may have an increased risk of stroke, suggests a study published in this week's issue of The Lancet.
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