Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 18, 2009
How meningitis bacteria attack the brain
A specific protein on the surface of a common bacterial pathogen allows the bacteria to leave the bloodstream and enter the brain, initiating the deadly infection known as meningitis.

New US study to evaluate the long-term physical and emotional effects of Parkinson's disease
The Davis Phinney Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people with Parkinson's disease, has awarded four research centers with support to conduct a landmark study on the long-term changes in quality of life and mobility that occur in people with PD.

When R&D takes a lot of bottle
As companies create new bottles for brands of beer, they need to calculate the cost of sorting their trendy bottles from the rest on the market in the recycling process.

How schools, parents can work together for successful kids
It is widely understood that, ideally, schools and parents should work together to ensure that children can succeed as students and citizens.

Landmark survey highlights needs of unpaid caregivers of people with diabetes
The Hormone Foundation, the public education affiliate of the Endocrine Society, in collaboration with the National Alliance for Caregiving, today released key findings from a first-of-its-kind survey aimed at better understanding the daily needs and struggles of unpaid caregivers of people with diabetes.

Watching over the water system
After a big earthquake, it's key to keep the water system afloat.

They're alive! Megacities breathe, consume energy, excrete wastes and pollute
A scientific trend to view the world's biggest cities as analogous to living, breathing organisms is fostering a deep new understanding of how poor air quality in megacities can harm residents, people living far downwind and also play a major role in global climate change.

More than 1/3 of homeowners in foreclosure suffer from major depression, Penn study shows
The nation's home foreclosure epidemic may be taking its toll on Americans' health as well as their wallets.

Milk is safe, even encouraged, for some children after treatment for milk allergy
Some children with a history of severe milk allergy can safely drink milk and consume other dairy products every day, according to research led by the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and published in the Aug.

LA BioMed investigator honored for research and teaching
Carlos E. Donayre, M.D., has been elected to distinguished fellow status of the Society for Vascular Surgery.

PNNL scientists present research findings on hydrogen fuel storage system
In the quest to reinvent energy systems such as hydrogen fuel cells that don't rely on fossil fuels, chemistry plays a large role.

Computer scientist named 1 of 2009's 'Top 35' researchers by MIT's Technology Review magazine
Jeffrey Bigham, assistant professor of computer science at the University of Rochester has been named one of the top 35 researchers in the world under the age of 35 by Technology Review, MIT's magazine on science and technology.

American Chemical Society Weekly PressPac -- Aug. 12, 2009
This issue of the American Chemical Society News Service Weekly Press Package is a special edition with selections from scientific presentations scheduled for the ACS' 238th National Meeting in Washington D.C.

Marshfield Clinic saves Medicare millions while improving quality of care
Marshfield Clinic has improved the quality of health care it delivers to patients while decreasing health-care costs in the third performance year of a five-year Medicare demonstration project, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced today.

Barrow researcher awarded $275,000
The National Institutes of Health has awarded a scientist at the Barrow Neurological Institute at St.

Palliative care intervention provides some benefits for patients with advanced cancer
Patients with advanced cancer who received a palliative care intervention focused on addressing physical and psychosocial issues and care coordination that was provided at the same time as cancer treatment reported improved quality of life and mood but did not experience a significant change in the number of days in the hospital or the severity of their symptoms compared to patients who received usual care, according to a study in the Aug.

Elsevier Global Medical News launches H1N1 channel
An H1N1 influenza channel has been added to the Elsevier Global Medical News wire service division of the International Medical News Group.

When it comes to our weather, there's still much to learn
Everybody watches the weather. Whether it's to track a major storm or to learn if record heat will continue into the weekend, we make following the weather a part of our daily routine.

Scientists' strategic reading of research enhanced by digital tools
Allen H. Renear and Carole L. Palmer, professors of library and information science at Illinois, say that as techniques originally designed to organize and share scientific data are integrated into scientific publishing, scientists' long-standing practice of reading

WCS study on birds and streams included in federal guidelines to safeguard waterways
The results of a Wildlife Conservation Society study that rapidly measures stream habitat have been adopted by a government agency working with private landowners to restore waterways throughout the US.

Study examines adverse events associated with human papillomavirus vaccine
An analysis of the adverse events reported following distribution of quadrivalent human papillomavirus recombinant vaccine since 2006 indicates that adverse event rates were consistent with pre-licensing data and expected background rates of other vaccines, with the exception of a higher proportion of reports of fainting and blood clots, according to a study in the Aug.

Caltech researchers pinpoint neurons that control obesity in fruit flies
A team of scientists from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have pinpointed two groups of neurons in fruit fly brains that have the ability to sense and manipulate the fly's fat stores in much the same way as do neurons in the mammalian brain.

Low-dose estrogen shown safe and effective for metastatic breast cancer
When estrogen-lowering drugs no longer control metastatic breast cancer, the opposite strategy might work.

IU discovers stone tools, rare animal bones -- clues to Caribbean's earliest inhabitants
A prehistoric water-filled cave in the Dominican Republic has become a

Fine-tuning an anti-cancer drug
Biochemists at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen, in collaboration with researchers from San Diego-based Nereus Pharmaceuticals, have illuminated a reaction pathway that blocks the action of proteasomes, vital intracellular waste-processing plants.

Mutation in renin gene linked to inherited kidney disease
A mutation in a gene that helps regulate high blood pressure is a cause of inherited kidney disease, according to a new study by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Charles University in Prague and colleagues.

Death rate decreases following hospitalization for heart attack
From 1995 to 2006, hospital 30-day death rates decreased significantly for Medicare patients hospitalized for a heart attack, as did the variation in the rate between hospitals, according to a study in the Aug.

Scrubbing sulfur
The US Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has developed a reusable organic liquid that can pull harmful gases such as carbon dioxide or sulfur dioxide out of industrial emissions from power plants.

Doctor-pharmacist partnership reduces hospitalization for heart failure
Collaborative medication management between doctors and pharmacists cut the heart failure hospitalization rate by nearly half.

Nuclear fusion research key to advancing computer chips
Researchers are adapting the same methods used in fusion-energy research to create extremely thin plasma beams for a new class of

Elevated arginase levels contribute to vascular eye disease such as diabetic retinopathy
Elevated levels of the enzyme arginase contribute to vascular eye damage and Medical College of Georgia researchers say therapies to normalize its levels could halt progression of potentially blinding diseases such as diabetic retinopathy.

Palliative care intervention for patients with advanced cancer provides quality of life benefits
Patients with advanced cancer who received a palliative care intervention focused on addressing physical and psychosocial issues and care coordination that was provided at the same time as cancer treatment reported improved quality of life and mood but did not experience a significant change in the number of days in the hospital or the severity of their symptoms compared to patients who received usual care, according to a study in the Aug.

Blood pressure medication to treat multiple sclerosis?
Conventional blood pressure medication can treat inflammation in an animal model mimicking multiple sclerosis (MS).

Evidence-based guideline 'Incontinent Urostomy' published
The European Association of Urology Nurses presented their

Scripps Research, UCSD, and University of Oslo team ties genetic variations to brain size
Using advanced brain imaging and genomics technologies, an international team of researchers co-led by Scripps Research Institute scientists has shown for the first time that natural variations in a specific gene influence brain structure.

Retirees' health-care benefits at risk, study warns
A nearly two-decade trend that is stripping away employer-provided health-care benefits for retirees in private business will likely continue and could soon hit an even deeper pool of government retirees.

Study shows bilinguals are unable to 'turn off' a language completely
With a vast majority of the world speaking more than one language, it is no wonder that psychologists are interested in its effect on cognitive functioning.

Ibuprofen is as effective as acetaminophen with codeine to treat pain in children with arm fractures
Children with arm fractures fared as well with ibuprofen to control their pain as acetaminophen with codeine, according to a new study by researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and Children's Research Institute.

Innovative spout will increase maple production up to 90 percent
An innovative spout for maple syrup tapping developed by researchers at the University of Vermont will increase sap production by 50 to 90 percent per tree.

Whole grain cereals, popcorn rich in antioxidants, not just fiber, new research concludes
In a first-of-its kind study, scientists reported that snack foods like popcorn and many popular breakfast cereals contain surprisingly large amounts of healthful antioxidant substances called polyphenols.

NASA's TRMM satellite sees wide-eyed Hurricane Bill strengthening
The TRMM satellite noticed a wide-eyed Hurricane Bill's rainfall is intensifying indicating he's getting stronger.

In vitro fertilization less successful with alternative fertility treatments
The common belief is that it won't hurt to try alternative fertility treatments before reverting to in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Fatigue related to radiotherapy may be caused by inflammation
Patients who experience fatigue during radiotherapy for breast or prostate cancer may be reacting to activation of the proinflammatory cytokine network, a known inflammatory pathway, according to a report in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Neural pathway missing in tone-deaf people
Nerve fibers that link perception and motor regions of the brain are disconnected in tone-deaf people, according to new research in the Aug.

Key feature of immune system survived in humans, other primates for 60 million years
A new study has concluded that one key part of the immune system, the ability of vitamin D to regulate anti-bactericidal proteins, is so important that is has been conserved through almost 60 million years of evolution and is shared only by primates, including humans -- but no other known animal species.

Tobacco plants yield the first vaccine for the dreaded 'cruise ship virus'
Scientists have used a new vaccine production technology to develop a vaccine for norovirus, a dreaded cause of diarrhea and vomiting that may be the second most common viral infection in the United States after the flu.

How mercury becomes toxic in the environment
Naturally occurring organic matter in water and sediment appears to play a key role in helping microbes convert tiny particles of mercury in the environment into a form that is dangerous to most living creatures.

NIH researchers identify key factor that stimulates brain cancer cells to spread
Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have found that the activity of a protein in brain cells helps stimulate the spread of an aggressive brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).

Evolutionarily preserved mechanism governs use of genes
Researchers at Uppsala University have found that the protein coding parts of a gene are packed in special nucleosomes.

Renewable energies will benefit US workers
Expansion of renewable energies should appreciably improve the health status of the 700,000 US workers employed in the energy sector, according to a commentary by Medical College of Wisconsin researchers, in Milwaukee.

Social networking study reveals threat to Tasmanian devils
A new study into the social networks of Tasmanian devils may help prevent the further spread of an extinction-threatening disease.

The greenhouse gas that saved the world
A newly formed Earth was warmed by a weak young sun, a sun too weak to keep water fluid on Earth.

Scientists make first discovery using revolutionary long wavelength demonstrator array
Scientists from NRL's Space Science and Remote Sensing Divisions, in collaboration with researchers from the University of New Mexico and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory located in Socorro, N.M., have generated the first scientific results from the Long Wavelength Demonstrator Array.

Study: Personality traits associated with stress and worry can be hazardous to your health
Personality traits associated with chronic worrying can lead to earlier death, at least in part because these people are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, according to research from Purdue University.

Vet scientists' work on diagnostic, intervention tools for h1n1 helps human health lab, too
If some day you are tested for the H1N1 virus without the painful prick of a needle, thank a pig -- and a team of Kansas State University researchers and their collaborators who are connecting animal and human health.

2 software tools that improve identification of cancer biomarkers earn certification
Two new software programs that improve the process of identifying cancer biomarkers from gene expression data earned silver-level compatibility certification from the the NIH/National Cancer Institute's cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid, also known as caBIG.

Overall antibiotic prescription rates for respiratory tract infections decreasing
From 1995 to 2006 the rate of antibiotic prescriptions for acute respiratory tract infections decreased significantly, attributable in part to a decline in ambulatory visits for ear infections in young children, according to a study in the Aug.

New method for gene expression experiments a kin to watercolor painting in water
Like oil and water, two water-based liquids can mingle without mixing in a new University of Michigan technology developed for biological experiments.

Scientists help explain effects of ancient Chinese herbal formulas on heart health
New research at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston suggests that ancient Chinese herbal formulas used primarily for cardiovascular indications including heart disease may produce large amounts of artery-widening nitric oxide.

Anti-T cell globulin reduces incidence of acute and chronic GVHD in transplant patients
Giving patients undergoing blood stem cell transplantation from an unrelated donor, standard graft-versus-host-disease prophylaxis in combination with anti-T cell globulin, prevents both acute and chronic GVHD compared with standard treatment alone, without compromising survival or increasing relapse, notes an article published online first and in the September edition of the Lancet Oncology.

Open wide and say 'zap'
A group of researchers in Australia and Taiwan has developed a new way to analyze the health of human teeth using lasers.

At last -- a quick and accurate way of diagnosing endometriosis
A quick and accurate test for endometriosis that does not require surgery has been developed by researchers from Australia, Jordan and Belgium, according to new research published online on Wednesday, Aug.

Technology Review names Carnegie Mellon's Treuille as a top young innovator
Adrien Treuille, an assistant professor of computer science and robotics at Carnegie Mellon University who specializes in real-time computer simulation techniques, has been recognized by Technology Review magazine as one of the world's top 35 innovators under the age of 35.

New study finds links between video-game playing and health risks in adults
While video gaming is perceived as a pastime for children and young adults, the average age of US players is 35.

UC Davis Tahoe report says Asian clam invasion is growing fast
Released today, UC Davis' annual Lake Tahoe health report describes a spreading Asian clam population that could put sharp shells and rotting algae on the spectacular mountain lake's popular beaches, possibly aid an invasion of quagga and zebra mussels, and even affect lake clarity and ecology.

A chemist's discovery breathes new life into the old South
A little-known discovery in 1932 by Georgia chemist Charles Holmes Herty engendered the pulp and paper industry in the southeastern United States. 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