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Science Updates Archive 4

For today's breaking news please see Today's Health and Bioscience News. For more Science Updates please see our Science Updates Archives

Carnivorous Sponge - The discovery of crustacean-crunching sponge in the shallows of the Mediterranean Sea has surprised marine biologists and confused taxonomists.

Women, Hormones & Heart Disease - A new study, the largest of its kind ever conducted, confirms the cardiovascular benefits of hormone replacement therapy in post-menopausal women.

Tide Turns for Biotoxins - Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute have succeeded in synthesizing the complex marine neurotoxin associated with the notorious "red tide". In addition to leading to improved methods for dealing with "red tide" phenomenon, this research could lead to a wealth of biological and medical applications, the researchers say.

Spina Bifida Cause Discovered - Scientists from the National Institutes of Health have announced the discovery of a basic metabolic defect which could explain the development of spina bifida and other neural tube defects.

New Prenatal Genetic Screen - A sophisticated new genetic screening technique allows early prenatal diagnosis of a common form of hydrocephalus, report English researchers.

TB or not TB - The discovery in 1944 of streptomycin, a drug which effectively cured tuberculosis, was greeted with tremendous enthusiasm and hope that the disease could be eradicated. Now 50 years later, public health authorities are pessimistic about the growing increase in tuberculosis cases throughout the world.

Asthma On The Rise - The incidence of asthma is increasing at an alarming rate, mostly as a side effect of poverty, according to leading experts.

Crocodile Blood - What do you get when you cross a crocodile with a human? No, not an attorney, but an experiment which provides clues about the evolution of hemoglobin and which may lead to useful blood substitutes.

Earth And Water - When the earth quakes, water also moves. Recent studies shed new light on how, why and where underground water moves.

Earthquake Lessons - Can earthquake-proof buildings really be built? Researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey and the California Institute of Technology are busier than ever trying to determine why buildings collapse during earthquakes.

Earthquake Science - Southern California, which one year ago suffered a catastrophic series of earthquakes and aftershocks, is likely to experience more of the same and possibly even worse, according to several new studies.

Natural Immunity to HIV - The discovery of a small group of Gambian women with an apparent immunity to HIV infection could have large implications for the development of an AIDS vaccine.

HIV Dynamics - The AIDS virus mounts an aggressive attack on the human immune system from the moment it enters the bloodstream according to several new studies. The new data is changing the way researchers look at HIV infection and AIDS pathogenesis.

Renegade Antibodies - The discovery of high levels of renegade antibodies in the blood of heart attack victims sheds new light on the role of immunological factors in the development of heart attacks, according to a new Finnish study.

New Job for DNA - DNA, already quite a busy molecule, can also be employed in the business of breaking apart molecules, report researchers from the Scripps Research Institute.

The Smell of Wealth - A North Carolina State University scientist has developed a simple method for processing animal waste which may lead to productive uses for some of the 500 million tons of poultry and livestock waste produced in the United States each year.

Feed a Protein, Starve a Tumor - Two novel compounds that selectively inhibit tumor induced blood vessel proliferation while leaving other tissues alone could offer a new approach to inhibiting the spread of cancer, according to a new study by researchers at the Scripps Research Institute.

Top 94 - It would not be difficult to list 94 important stories from the world of science research for the past year. The pace of research in most areas continues to increase, meaning that the amount of new information has become a virtual flood. However, in the interest of brevity and prevention of data overload, here is a quick review of some of the top science stories in 1994.

Molecule of the Year - The envelope please...and the Science magazine 'Molecule of the Year' award goes to...the enzymes that repair damaged DNA.

NAS Standards - The National Academy of Sciences has at last released its draft guidelines for K-12 science education standards.

Israeli Program Target Shy Science Teens - A novel education program now being tested in Israel appears effective in reducing "science-shyness" among high school students not normally inclined to pursue science studies.

Chocolate Engineering - Food researchers have developed a modified chocolate that is less fattening and easier to manufacture, according to a report at the annual meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

New AIDS Front Opened - The key discovery of the three dimensional structure of a key enzyme in the human immunodeficiency virus should open the door to a whole new area of AIDS research.

New Herpes, AIDS Cancer Link - The discovery of a possible new herpes virus may help explain why some AIDS patients develop a rare form of cancer called Kaposi's sarcoma.

In Vitro Boon to CF Parents - A collaborative effort by medical geneticists and fertility specialists has allowed an infertile couple, both carriers of the same cystic fibrosis gene mutation, to have a healthy baby boy.

Telomerase-The End of Cancer? - A single enzyme, telomerase, appears to be responsible for the unchecked growth of cells seen in human cancers, report researchers from the University of Texas. The finding could offer researchers an entirely new approach to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Protochicken - Every breed of domestic chicken that ever lived can be traced to a single subspecies of red junglefowl native to Thailand, according to mitochondrial DNA evidence discovered by Japanese researchers.

AAAS Source Guide - The American Association for the Advancement of Science has released a new book of resources available to science educators (K-12).

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