Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (October 2001)

Science news and science current events archive October, 2001.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from October 2001

Yale researchers develop first vaccine for West Nile virus tested successfully in animal model of the disease
Yale scientists have successfully immunized mice against West Nile virus, raising the possibility of developing a vaccine for humans against the potentially fatal, mosquito-borne infection.

Organic Letters' impact factor speaks volumes
Organic Letters, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, is one of the top 10 journals in organic chemistry, according to the 2000 Institute for Scientific Information Journal Citation Reports.

Global Nursing Partnerships conference addresses international nursing shortage
International nursing experts and healthcare planners from around the globe will meet at The Carter Center in Atlanta to tackle the global nursing workforce crisis. The conference is the first ever global invitational forum involving representatives from both governments and nursing associations, including government chief nursing officers, national and international nursing association leaders, and human resource directors/health planners.Representatives from more than 50 countries will attend. Former President Jimmy Carter and Archbishop Desmond Tutu will speak.

New data shows rapid and sustained weight loss with Xenical
New data just presented at NAASO shows that the weight loss drug Xenical produces rapid and sustained weight loss - 4 kilogram loss seen in the first 4 weeks, and over 80% of patients losing at least five percent of their body weight in the first three months. This amount of loss has been shown to clinically improve patients' health. An immediate weight loss like this motivates patients to stay on their weight loss programme.

First oral drug proven effective in treating primary pulmonary hypertension
A first-of-its kind oral drug has been shown to successfully treat primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH), according to the results of a multi-center trial led by UCSD School of Medicine pulmonary specialists. Not only does the drug, bosentan, reverse the deadly consequences of PPH, which affects thousands of people, but also greatly improves patients' quality of life.

Does prescribing heroin to heroin addicts work?
Researchers from Switzerland report, in this week's Lancet, success with a controversial heroin-assisted treatment programme for chronically addicted heroin addicts who failed to respond to traditional treatments.

Good auto quality ratings motivate consumers to take better care of their cars, says O.R. study
Consumers take better care of their autos if they initially believe the cars are of better quality, according to a study published in a journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMSĀ®).

Sandia-developed removable adhesive bonds and detaches with temperature changes -- New approach to epoxy adhesive relies on reversible chemistry
A Sandia National Laboratories research team has develope d a removable epoxy adhesive that makes bonding and detaching parts a matter of temperature change.

NSF funds Expresso project, a bioinformatics collaboration
A multidisciplinary team of bioinformatics researchers from Virginia Tech are doing work to further design and implement Expresso -- a sophisticated computational system for the design of microarray experiments and analysis of the results. Microarrays (sometimes called DNA chips) are an approach to studying simultaneously the expression of hundreds or thousands of genes in a given organism.

NSF initiates massive effort to rebuild teaching leadership in science and mathematics
The National Science Foundation has launched a $100 million initiative to regenerate leadership in teaching and research in mathematics, science and technology by establishing Centers for Learning and Teaching throughout the country.

High resolution houseflies, encouraging news for commercial-scale fusion at plasma physics meeting
New insights into solar mysteries, the latest advances in nuclear fusion research--physicists will announce the latest breakthroughs in the science of plasmas, or collections of charged particles such as those which make up the Sun.

A celebration of chemistry and art - public events in Washington, DC glass...watercolors...and chemistry. These are highlights of the nationwide 2001 National Chemistry Week celebration, November 4-10, coordinated by the American Chemical Society and its 189 local sections. The celebration is an opportunity for children of all ages to have fun learning about chemistry and art.

Statement by Dr. Colwell on Nobel Prizes in Science and NSF onnection
I am so pleased to congratulate this year's Nobel laureates in science for their much-deserved recognition.

Purdue expert takes computer security to congressional committee
Purdue University computer security expert Eugene Spafford testified before a congressional committee today (Wednesday, 10/10) about issues needed to secure information from threats of terrorism.

Regulation of host responses by a bacterial peptide
Helicobacter pylori, like many other pathogenic bacteria, secrete antibiotic substances that give it a competitive advantage over other species for growth in its host's tissues. One such antibiotic is a peptide termed HP (2-20), a relative of the antibacterial protein cecropin, which is expressed by eukaryotes as diverse as flies and mammals.

Study focuses on maternal cocaine use, infant development
In a new study underway at the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions, researchers are examining the cumulative effect of a number of risk factors associated with mothers' cocaine use on their infants' mental development.

Diversity of species triumphs
A new data analysis has dealt a blow to arguments that the link between species diversity and productivity in ecosystems could be due to experimental artifact.

Cheaper antibiotics effective for uncomplicated sinusitis, study finds
New research shows some older, cheaper antibiotics are just as effective in treating acute, uncomplicated sinusitis as are newer, more expensive drugs.

How America responds
terrorist attacks have had a significant impact on Americans' sense of personal safety and these heightened fears are linked to their economic expectations and behavior. The findings in this report were drawn from a special survey---conducted by the University of Michigan Institute forSocial Research.

By-passing traditional problems with a heart-lung machine to save the limbs of cancer patients
Cutting off the blood supply to a limb affected by a soft tissue sarcoma and linking it to a hear-lung machine before giving high doses of chemotherapy can save the limbs of patients.

Old drug shows promise for helping treat advanced lung cancer
Combining standard chemotherapy treatment with a drug once used to treat parasitic infections may give new hope to patients with lung cancer. Researchers at Ohio State University found that small doses of the drug suramin enhanced the effectiveness of standard chemotherapy drugs used to treat patients with advanced forms of lung cancer.

Treadmill machines can injure small children, warns researcher at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Add treadmill machines to the list of home exercise equipment that can pose dangers to little fingers. Plastic surgeons at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia reported on 12 children who suffered hand injuries from the belt of a moving treadmill.

Women faculty in science and engineering
The University of Michigan has received a five-year, $3.7 million award from the National Science Foundation to improve the opportunities for tenure-track women faculty in science and engineering fields.

Herbal oils may enhance insulin sensitivity and lower blood pressure in diabetic rats
Research at Georgetown University Medical Center has found that a combination of naturally occurring edible oils may be effective in treating Type II diabetes. These findings were presented at the American College of Nutrition's annual meeting October 6 and 7 in Orlando, Fla.

Scientists uncover the exact mode of action of five antibiotic drugs
Researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science and Germany's Max-Planck Society have discovered how five antibiotic drugs function by binding to the bacterial ribosome - the cell's

NYU holds forum on air quality in NYC following World Trade Center disaster
On Thursday, October 18, NYU School of Medicine will hold a community forum at NYU School of Law in Washington Square to discuss a wide range of environmental health issues relating to the World Trade Center disaster. Researchers from the leading institutions in New York and New Jersey who are analyzing air, dust, and other materials at ground zero and surrounding communities, and in areas north of the disaster will speak about their findings so far and their plans for studies in the coming months.

Virginia Tech student's discoveries can help prevent water-borne diseases
When air bubbles are released in a 'burp' during the water treatment process, pathogens and other particles can escape removal, it has been discovered.

MGH surgeon leads national burn and trauma research effort
The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) has awarded a consortium of investigators a $6.7 million grant to investigate factors that may control recovery from traumatic injury, with the ultimate aim of developing improved treatment strategies. Leading this project is Ronald G. Tompkins, MD, ScD, director of the Sumner Redstone Burn Center at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and chief of the MGH Trauma Service.

Mars Odyssey satellite provides link for Rover in 2003
Late Tuesday night the Mars Odyssey spacecraft went into orbit around Mars. The small robotic spacecraft will be the key communications link for the Mars Exploration Rover mission in 2003. Cornell University's professor of astronomy Steven Squyres has a leading role in both NASA's Odyssey and the Rover missions.

New pathfinder approach with radioactive tracer reduces surgical trauma in breast cancer patients
A new technique designed to restrict lymph gland or node removal to cases in which the cancer has drained to from the breast to the first node in which cancer spreads was outlined at ECCO-11, the European Cancer conference, in Lisbon today. The technique will reduce unnecessary surgical trauma in breast cancer patients.

Anthrax - Trail of terror
As reports are continuing to emerge of new anthrax attacks, New Scientist can reveal that the anthrax used in the attacks is not a strain that Iraq or the former Soviet Union used in mass produced anthrax. In fact, it is either the same strain the US military used to make anthrax weapons in the 1960s, or close to it.

FDG PET detects thyroid cancer better than conventional imaging
FDG PET detected recurrent cancer 50% more often than did conventional imaging in persons suffering from thyroid cancer who had indications that their cancer had recurred, according to results of a study published in the October issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine. As a result of the FDG PET scan, clinical management for almost 80% of the patients was changed

Fewer than half of British employees work 'regular jobs'
New research from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Future of Work Programme examines the number of British employees with 'non-standard' jobs and the implications of non-standard working on union recognition.

Researchers discover secrets of Anthrax's killer toxin
Researchers announced today key features of how anthrax toxin destroys cells. In two papers in the journal Nature, investigators identify how one part of the toxin gets into cells and how another part turns off one of the cell's major internal switches. The studies also show how at least one molecule can prevent the toxin from destroying cells. Though still in the laboratory stage, these discoveries offer new ways to investigate potential anthrax treatments.

UC Berkeley expert on insect flight receives prestigious MacArthur 'genius' award
A UC Berkeley professor's fruitfly-watching trip to Kauai was interrupted this week when the MarArthur Foundation called to inform him he'd been elevated to the ranks of genius. Michael H. Dickinson, 38, professor of integrative biology and one of the world's experts on the aerodynamics of flying insects, is one of 23 new fellows announced Oct. 24 by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Study links childhood obesity to maternal well-being
A Children's Hospital Medical Center of Cincinnati study to be presented on Monday, October 8, shows that if efforts to prevent childhood obesity are to be successful, the well-being of mothers needs to be addressed. The study shows that both maternal depression and maternal obesity affect the amount of time their preschool children watch television. Excessive TV watching has been linked to childhood obesity.

The brain's halves cooperate to help us remember events, giving 'lefty family' members better episodic memory
Does coming from a family full of

A third of baby boomers plan to work beyond retirement
About one-third the leading edge of the baby boom generation is planning a post-retirement career, about one-third are considering more education, and about two thirds consider traveling and volunteering as important, finds researchers at Cornell University.

Lunch-table discussion leads to more than $100 million economic impact
In 1986, University of Houston researchers sitting at a lunch table discussed what kind of new science could be done in the vacuum of space. Fifteen years later, their efforts have led to an orbiting laboratory, technologies with potential markets in the billions of dollars per year, a plan to transmit solar power from the Moon to the Earth, and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic benefit to Houston.

Excess iron intake increases risk of intestinal infections, study suggests
Researchers here believe that an overdose of iron in the nation's diet could be rendering thousands of otherwise healthy people prone to intestinal infection. In a laboratory study, the researchers found that human intestinal cells with excess iron were more susceptible to attack by bacteria that cause infection of the small intestine.

Psychologists identify best aggression-prevention programs in schools
In one of the first studies ever to compare existing school-based aggression prevention programs across the nation, researchers from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia found that targeting programs to kindergarten and young elementary school students, focusing on aggression in girls as well as boys, and conducting programs in naturalistic settings like playgrounds are key factors in the success of aggression prevention in schools.

Tourette's, other tic disorders far more common than once thought
One out of four students in special-education classes has a tic-related disorder like Tourette syndrome, and the rate of Tourette's among students in the general population is 50 to 75 times higher than has been traditionally thought by doctors, according to physicians who say that the disorder is actually quite common, usually with mild symptoms. Severe cases like those portrayed on TV are just the

Yale gastroenterologist and collegues receive $1 million grant to study infectious diseases in developing countries
Henry J. Binder, M.D., professor of medicine and of cellular and molecular physiology in the Yale School of Medicine, and collaborators, are recipients of a Wellcome Trust and Burroughs Wellcome Fund research award to study diarrheal diseases.

Alcohol, interpersonal violence, and Mexican American women
  • The development and consequences of alcohol abuse or dependence (ADA) differ for men and women.
  • Women who report sexual abuse or assault during their childhood or life history are particularly vulnerable to later ADA.
  • Elements of ADA may also differ by culture.
  • Mexican American women who report assault by someone other than a partner are more likely than those not assaulted to develop ADA.

Opitcal coherent and ultrafast science
The development of the basic scientific advances and applications that will transform society in the next two decades---in areas as diverse as nanotechnology, nuclear science and medicine---received a boost recently when the National Science Foundation announced the establishment of a Physics Frontier Center at the University of Michigan. The project is funded with $15 million over a five-year period.

Speech melody controls alternation of speakers
Dr Johanneke Caspers, an NWO-funded linguistics researcher, has observed how speakers of Dutch use speech melody to indicate that they wish to continue speaking during a conversation. Melodic cues prove especially important when the sentence structure suggests that they have in fact finished speaking.

HFES honors 2001 awardees at 45th Annual Meeting
At a ceremony and banquet during its 45th Annual Meeting on October 10, 2001, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society recognized significant contributions to the field.

World poverty is far worse than standard measures indicate
The problem of world poverty is far worse than is indicated by standard measures of the quality of life, such as GNP per capita and the United Nations' Human Development Index (HDI). Indeed, measures of the true wealth of nations reveal that something like a third of the world's population have become even poorer over the past three decades. And in a cruel paradox, it may well be that contemporary economic development is unsustainable in poor countries because it is sustainable in rich countries.

Shortcomings of pediatric clinical trials one of hot topics at AAPS Annual Meeting
ARLINGTON, Va. - October 11, 2001 - Scientists from academia, industry, government and other research institutions worldwide will gather at the Colorado Convention Center Oct. 21-25 for the 2001 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS):

TMC125 demonstrates strong antiviral effect in HIV
Data presented today at the 8th European Conference on Clinical Aspects and Treatment of HIV Infection (ECCATH) demonstrate an average reduction in the amount of HIV in patients' plasma (viral load) of 99% after one week of treatment using Tibotec-Virco's novel, new candidate drug TMC125, a potent non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to