Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 06, 2009
Wonderful cheese is all in the culture
An international research team led by Newcastle University has identified a new line of bacteria they believe add flavor to some of the world's most exclusive cheeses.

Serious doubts about reaching target of eliminating measles in Europe by 2010
A study of measles data from 32 European countries has revealed more than 12,000 cases of the disease in a two-year period (2006-07), mostly in non-vaccinated or incompletely vaccinated children.

Festschrift Issue honoring Judah Folkman, M.D., in Lymphatic Research and Biology
Dedicated to the memory and scientific accomplishments of Dr. Judah Folkman, who pioneered the fields of angiogenesis and vasculogenesis and shed light on the link between blood supply and neoplastic disease, the newly released special double issue (Vol.

Deep brain stimulation treatment for advanced Parkinson's disease patients provides benefits
Patients with advanced Parkinson's disease who received deep brain stimulation treatment had more improvement in movement skills and quality of life after six months than patients who received other medical therapy, but also had a higher risk of a serious adverse events, according to a study in the January 7 issue of JAMA.

Hormone important in recognizing familiar faces
Oxytocin, a hormone involved in child-birth and breast-feeding, helps people recognize familiar faces, according to new research in the Jan.

Genetic mutation causes familial susceptibility for degenerative brain disease
Mutation of a gene that helps proteins migrate in and out of the cell's genetic command center -- the nucleus -- puts some families at higher risk for the degenerative brain disease acute necrotizing encephalopathy.

Popular and respected cell transplantation journal goes 'open-access'
Cell Transplantation -- the Regenerative Medicine Journal, the number two journal in the field of transplantation, has become an

NASA's Fermi telescope unveils a dozen new pulsars
NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has discovered 12 new gamma-ray-only pulsars and has detected gamma-ray pulses from 18 others.

NASA's Swift shows active galaxies are different near and far
An ongoing X-ray survey undertaken by NASA's Swift spacecraft is revealing differences between nearby active galaxies and those located about halfway across the universe.

Black holes lead galaxy growth, new research shows
Peering deep into the early universe, astronomers may have solved a longstanding cosmic chicken-and-egg problem -- which forms first -- galaxies or the black holes at their cores?

Approved drugs restore sensitivity to appetite suppressant fat hormone
A new study in the Jan. 7 issue of Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication, helps to explain why obese people and animals fail to respond to leptin, a hormone produced by fat that signals the brain to stop eating.

UT Southwestern University Hospital's transplant program recognized for increasing organ donor rates
The surgical transplant team at UT Southwestern University Hospital has garnered twin awards for its successful efforts to increase organ donation rates.

Health-monitoring technology helps seniors live at home longer, MU researchers find
University of Missouri researchers are using sensors, computers and communication systems, along with supportive health care services to monitor the health of older adults who are living at home.

Smoking during pregnancy fosters aggression in children
Women who smoke during pregnancy risk delivering aggressive kids according to a new Canada-Netherlands study published in the journal Development and Psychopathology.

U of T physicists squeeze light to quantum limit
A team of U of T physicists has demonstrated a way to squeeze light to the fundamental quantum limit, a finding that has potential applications for high-precision measurement, next generation atomic clocks, novel quantum computing and our most fundamental understanding of the universe.

Interpretation time for screening digital mammograms: Is it efficient?
Digital mammograms take longer to interpret than film-screen mammograms, according to a study performed at the University of Texas M.D.

Most babies with uncomplicated febrile seizures can avoid spinal tap
Do babies with febrile seizures need spinal taps? The largest study to date suggests that most can be spared these painful procedures -- if the seizure is uncomplicated and if the baby is well-appearing.

Jefferson Lab begins awarding contracts for construction of $310 million upgrade
The US Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility has awarded three contracts as part of a $310 million upgrade project that will provide an international community of physicists with a cutting-edge facility for studying the basic building blocks of the visible universe.

MAQUET opens North America's first VARIOP prefabricated operating suite system
MAQUET Inc., a subsidiary of the Swedish-based Getinge Group and one of the oldest and largest surgical equipment companies in the world, has announced that it has completed North America's first installation of its advanced, prefabricated VARIOP operating room system in Spartanburg, S.C.

NC State researchers find new bartonella species that infects humans
Researchers at North Carolina State University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have produced the first link between a species of bacteria most commonly found in sheep and human illness.

Obesity: Reviving the promise of leptin
The 1995 discovery of leptin, an appetite-suppressing hormone, generated great hopes for an effective obesity drug.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The following articles are featured in the Jan. 7 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience:

Young adults need to make more time for healthy meals
In a study published in the January 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers observed that while young adults enjoy and value time spent eating with others, 35 percent of males and 42 percent of females reported lacking time to sit down and eat a meal.

Astronomers use gamma-ray burst to probe star formation in the early universe
The brilliant afterglow of a powerful gamma-ray burst (GRB) has enabled astronomers to probe the star-forming environment of a distant galaxy, resulting in the first detection of molecular gas in a GRB host galaxy.

New infant formula safety advice could prevent infant suffering
Wheat-based infant follow-on formulas are better reconstituted with fruit juice and should be stored in the fridge at 4 degrees C to prevent growth of meningitis bacteria, according to recent research.

NYU scientists discover dangerous new method for bacterial toxin transfer
Scientists have discovered a new way for bacteria to transfer toxic genes to unrelated bacterial species, a finding that raises the unsettling possibility that bacterial swapping of toxins and other disease-aiding factors may be more common than previously imagined.

Studies offer guide as protein interaction mapping comes of age
During the past 20 years, researchers have identified thousands of cell protein interactions with the goal of developing a comprehensive catalogue known as the interactome.

Four, three, two, one . . . pterosaurs have lift off
Pterosaurs have long suffered an identity crisis. Pop culture heedlessly -- and wrongly -- lumps these extinct flying lizards in with dinosaurs.

Vision problems prompt older drivers to put down the keys
With 30 million drivers in the US aged 65 and over, we count on older Americans to recognize when they can no longer drive safely and decide that it's time to stay off the road.

Argonne scientists reach milestone in accelerator upgrade project
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have successfully stopped and then reaccelerated a stable ion through a newly constructed charge-breeder, bringing the CAlifornium Rare Isotope Breeder Upgrade Project closer to completion.

Old gastrointestinal drug slows aging, McGill researchers say
Recent animal studies have shown that an 80-year-old drug once used to treat gastrointestinal disorders can reverse the progression of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases.

'Scrawny' gene keeps stem cells healthy
Stem cells are the body's primal cells, retaining the youthful ability to develop into more specialized types of cells over many cycles of cell division.

News from the January 2009 Journal of the American Dietetic Association
The January issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association features research studies focusing on everyday eating habits of consumers.

A protein that protects against Alzheimer's?
Research on the mechanisms involved in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, stroke, dementia, Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis, to name a few, has taken a step forward thanks to the work of researchers who have successfully demonstrated the protective and reparative role of apolipoprotein D, or ApoD, in neurodegenerative diseases.

Traditional risk assessment tools do not accurately predict coronary heart disease
The Framingham and National Cholesterol Education Program tools do not accurately predict coronary heart disease, according to a study performed at the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn.

Study yields clues about the evolution of epilepsy
Two children have a seizure. One child never has another seizure.

Physical activity may not be key to obesity epidemic
A recent international study fails to support the common belief that the number of calories burned in physical activity is a key factor in rising rates of obesity.

On a high-fat diet, protective gene variant becomes bad actor
New evidence in mice bolsters the notion that a version of a gene earlier shown to protect lean people against weight gain and insulin resistance can have the opposite effect in those who eat a high-fat diet and are heavier, reveals a report in the Jan.

Angina: New drug gets right to the heart of the problem
A compound designed to prevent chest pains in heart patients has shown promising results in animal studies, say scientists.

UCLA assessment technique lets scientists see brain aging before symptoms appear
UCLA scientists have used innovative brain-scan technology developed at UCLA, along with patient-specific information on Alzheimer's disease risk, to help diagnose brain aging, often before symptoms appear.

Chronic Care Model helps improve people's health and care
Over 1,500 US and international medical practices --

Finalists announced in the Elsevier Grand Challenge
Elsevier, a leading global healthcare and scientific publisher, has announced the four finalists chosen in the Elsevier Grand Challenge, a competition inviting researchers to prototype tools dealing with the ever-increasing amount of online life sciences information.

UCSF-Tanzania get $7.5M from Gates Foundation for partnership to train African health workers
UCSF has received a $7.5 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to partner with a Tanzanian health sciences university to help address Africa's urgent need for health care workers.

UN fails miserably to protect innocent citizens in conflict zones
As the conflict in Gaza rages, an editorial published online first and in this week's edition of the Lancet criticizes the United Nations for failing to protect innocent people in conflict zones, and for not holding accountable governments who break international law.

Big, old mice spread hantavirus
University of Utah researchers dusted wild deer mice with fluorescent pink, blue, green, yellow and orange talcum powders to show which rodents most often fought or mated with others and thus were most likely to spread deadly hantavirus.

American Mathematical Society 2009 prizes and awards
The American Mathematical Society is presenting several prizes at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Washington, D.C., on Jan.

Implantable defibrillators lower risk of death in older heart patients
Implantable cardioverter defibrillators can improve survival in patients with heart damage -- even those in their 70s -- according to research reported in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Gamma-ray burst offers first peek at a young galaxy's star factory
Astronomers combining data from NASA's Swift satellite, the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, and other facilities have, for the first time, identified gas molecules in the host galaxy of a gamma-ray burst.

Wii Fit a promising tool for all ages
A Kansas State University researcher thinks games like Nintendo's Wii Fit can help promote physical rather than sedentary activities for people of all ages.

International experts weigh-in on harmful algal blooms
An international group of scientists is linking nutrient pollution in the world's coastal seas to an increased number of harmful algal blooms reported in recent years.

Abundance of ladybugs in olive orchards is an indicator of health and sustainability
A study from the CSIC and the University of Granada determines that morphospecies of Coccinellidae could be adopted as a rapid and useful tool for evaluating the impacts of non-organic vs. organic management regimes in olive orchards.

Protein's essential role in repairing damaged cells revealed
University of Michigan researchers have discovered that a key protein in cells plays a critical role in not one, but two processes affecting the development of cancer.

Factor has pivotal role in obesity, metabolic syndrome
COUP-TFII, a protein known to play a role in development and the formation of organs is also an important factor in the control of obesity and diabetes, said researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in a report that appears in the current issue of the journal Cell Metabolism.

Biologist finds plant polymerases IV and V are really variants of Polymerase II
It's a little like finding out that Superman is actually Clark Kent.

Mixing oil and water: COST explores sustainable links in energy and water management
COST is organizing an invitation-only exploratory workshop in Brussels, from Jan.

Cassiopeia A comes alive across time and space
Two new efforts have taken a famous supernova remnant from the static to the dynamic.

Study helps explain connection between sleep apnea, stroke and death
Obstructive sleep apnea decreases blood flow to the brain, elevates blood pressure within the brain and eventually harms the brain's ability to modulate these changes and prevent damage to itself.

MR arthrography is more accurate than MR in diagnosing shoulder tears
MR arthrography of the shoulder allows physicians to better identify tears and provides patients with an accurate diagnosis to determine whether or not surgery is needed, according to a study performed at Neuroskeletal Imaging in Merritt Island, Fla.

Deaths from lung cancer could be reduced by better policies to control indoor radon
About 1,100 people each year die in the UK from lung cancer related to indoor radon, but current government protection policies focus mainly on the small number of homes with high radon levels and neglect the 95 percent of radon-related deaths caused by lower levels of radon, according to a study published on today.

Nicotine gum effective for gradual smoking reduction and cessation
Nicotine gum is not just effective for smokers who wish to quit abruptly.

New rainforest mapping technology gets huge support
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has awarded Gregory Asner, of Carnegie's Department of Global Ecology, a $5.2 million grant to advance rainforest monitoring using High-fidelity Imaging Spectroscopy.

3T MRI can detect wrist ligament tears, possibly eliminating need for invasive arthroscopy
MRI of the wrist at 3T is an effective way to detect wrist ligament tears and in some cases can avoid unnecessary surgery, according to a study performed at Neuroskeletal Imaging in Merritt Island, Florida. 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