Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 28, 2011
Six new genetic variants linked to type 2 diabetes discovered in South Asians
An international team of researchers led by Imperial College London has identified six new genetic variants associated with type-2 diabetes in South Asians.

New skin test determines age of wild animals to help control nuisance animals
A new skin test can determine the age of wild animals while they are still alive, providing information needed to control population explosions among nuisance animals, according to a report here today at the 242nd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

Primary results of the ARISTOTLE trial
A large-scale trial finds that apixaban, a new anticoagulant drug, is superior to the standard drug warfarin for preventing stroke and systemic embolism in patients with atrial fibrillation.

School support for ADHD children may be missing the mark
New research from the University of Montreal shows that inattention, rather than hyperactivity, is the most important indicator when it comes to finishing a high school education.

Free radicals crucial to suppressing appetite
Obesity is growing at alarming rates worldwide, and the biggest culprit is overeating.

International study reveals substantial underuse of effective low-cost drug treatments for heart disease and stroke (The PURE Study)
A global study reveals that inexpensive drug treatments for cardiovascular disease that have been proven to save lives are substantially underused worldwide.

Controlling cells' environments: A step toward building much-needed tissues and organs
With stem cells so fickle and indecisive that they make Shakespeare's Hamlet pale by comparison, scientists today described an advance in encouraging stem cells to make decisions about their fate.

Effects of dalcetrapib on vascular function
Results of the Phase IIb dal-VESSEL study show that dalcetrapib, an investigational molecule which acts on cholesteryl ester transfer protein, did not impair endothelial function (as indicated by flow-mediated dilatation) or increase blood pressure, and was generally well tolerated in patients with or at risk of coronary heart disease.

Anger predicts long-term mortality in patients with myocardial infarction
Anger and stress are linked to a negative prognosis in patients with myocardial infarction, according to the results of a ten-year study carried out by the Institute of Clinical Physiology in Pisa, Italy.

Results of Spanish National Heart Transplant Registry
Postoperative outcomes of severe heart failure patients bridged with short-term VADs to urgent heart transplantation are significantly worse than those of patients bridged with conventional support, recent data of the Spanish National Heart Transplant Registry suggest.

Patients are living longer with ICDs, but pacing impacts survival rates
The adverse effect of right ventricular pacing on implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) patient survival is sustained long-term; however, the impact appears to be mitigated by cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), based on a scientific poster being presented at the European society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress Aug.

Job strain and overtime predict heart disease and mortality
A study presented today at the ESC Congress 2011 by Finnish researchers, showed that high job demands coupled with low job control to meet these demands, refer to a

The first nuclear power plants for settlements on the moon and Mars
The first nuclear power plant being considered for production of electricity for manned or unmanned bases on the Moon, Mars and other planets may really look like it came from outer space, according to a leader of the project who spoke here today at the 242nd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

Fat around the heart boosts heart-attack risk
Pericardial thickness was significantly correlated with coronary arterial remodeling and non calcified plaque -- related to acute coronary syndrome in a Japanese study presented at the ESC Congress 2011 by Dr.

Remedies for science's shortage of superheroes
One of the most serious personnel shortages in the global science and engineering workforce -- numbering more than 20 million in the United States alone -- involves a scarcity of real-life versions of Superman, Superwoman and other superheroes and superheroines with charm, charisma, people skills and communication skills.

Statins reduce deaths from infection and respiratory illness, 8 years on from trial
The death rate among patients prescribed a statin in a major trial that ended in 2003 is still lower than those given a placebo, even though most participants in both groups have been taking statins ever since.

Tackling mysteries about carbon, possible oil formation and more deep inside Earth
How do diamonds the size of potatoes shoot up at 40 miles per hour from their birthplace 100 miles below Earth's surface?

Apixaban superior to warfarin for preventing stroke, reducing bleeding and saving lives
A large-scale trial finds that apixaban, a new anticoagulant drug, is superior to the standard drug warfarin for preventing stroke and systemic embolism in patients with atrial fibrillation.

Results from the 17-country PURE study
There is great under-use of proven therapies for the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, according to results presented today from the PURE (Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiological) study.

Research from Everest: Can leucine help burn fat and spare muscle tissue during exercise?
Research on Mt. Everest climbers is adding to the evidence that an amino acid called leucine -- found in foods, dietary supplements, energy bars and other products -- may help people burn fat during periods of food restriction, such as climbing at high altitude, while keeping their muscle tissue.

Filling the pantry for the first voyages to the Red Planet
A green thumb and a little flair as a gourmet chef may be among the key skills for the first men and women who travel to the Red Planet later this century, according to a scientist who reported here today at the 242nd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

'Smelling' heart failure
A German team has developed a completely new non-invasive method to identify heart failure.

'The Dish' finds a 'diamond planet'
Astronomers using

Inhibition of microRNAs can stimulate the growth of new blood vessels
A specific inhibitor of the small regulatory RNA-molecule

Little plant tells big stories
An international collaboration of researchers, including biologists at the University of Utah, compared genetic data from 19 different strains of a humble plant called Arabidopsis thaliana.

In cell culture, like real estate, the neighborhood matters
Ever since scientists first began growing human cells in lab dishes in 1952, they have focused on improving the chemical soup that feeds the cells and helps regulate their growth.

The genome of mesopolyploid crop Brassica rapa sheds new light on the study of genome evolution
The Institute of Vegetables and Flowers Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science, Oil Crops Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and BGI, the world's largest genomics organization, announced today that they were among the research organizations comprising the Brassica rapa Genome Sequencing Project Consortium that completed the genome sequence and analysis of the mesopolyploid crop B. rapa, a Chinese cabbage.

Colchicine proves 'safe and effective' in the prevention of recurrent pericarditis
Colchicine, when given in addition to conventional therapy, was more effective than placebo in reducing the incidence of recurrence and the persistence of symptoms of pericarditis in a randomized controlled trial.

Hollywood screenwriters and scientists: More than an artistic collaboration
In this International Year of Chemistry (IYC), writers and producers for the most popular crime and science-related television shows and movies are putting out an all-points bulletin for scientists to advise them on the accuracy of their plots and to even give them story ideas.

Stanford researchers invent sutureless method for joining blood vessels
Reconnecting severed blood vessels is mostly done the same way today -- with sutures -- as it was 100 years ago, when the French surgeon Alexis Carrel won a Nobel Prize for advancing the technique.

Beating heart problems: How a combined group therapy helps depressed cardiac patients
Researchers from the Heart Research Centre in Melbourne, Australia, have demonstrated the benefits of the eight-week

MitraClip Therapy demonstrates benefits for heart failure patients
Results of an observational study presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) meeting today in Paris demonstrate that the percutaneous catheter-based MitraClip treatment improves symptoms and promotes reverse left ventricular (LV) remodeling in patients with mitral regurgitation (MR), who do not respond to cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT).

Hair-cell-derived patient-specific heart cells for disease modeling and drug screening
Hair follicle keratinocytes offer a simple and accessible route to generate patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells, iPSCs, with minimum inconvenience for the patients, shows study presented at the ESC Congress 2011 today.

Going with the flow
Most cells rely on structural tethers to position chromosomes in preparation for cell division.

Friend and foe: Nitrogen pollution's little-known environmental and human health threats
Billions of people owe their lives to nitrogen fertilizers -- a pillar of the fabled Green Revolution in agriculture that averted global famine in the 20th century -- but few are aware that nitrogen pollution from fertilizers and other sources has become a major environmental problem that threatens human health and welfare in multiple ways, a scientist said here today at the American Chemical Society's (ACS) 242nd National Meeting & Exposition.

New research validates clinical importance of leukemia stem cells
Research published today focuses on patients and shows that acute myeloid leukemia (AML) contains rare cells with stem cell properties, called leukemia stem cells (LSC), that are better at predicting clinical outcome than the majority of AML cells, showing for the first time that LSCs are significant not just in experimental models but also in patients.

New genome sequence could improve important agricultural crops
An international team of scientists, funded in the UK by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), has sequenced the genome of a Chinese cabbage variety of a plant called Brassica rapa, a close relative of oilseed rape.

NIH-funded researchers discover genetic link to mesothelioma
Scientists have found that individuals who carry a mutation in a gene called BAP1 are susceptible to developing two forms of cancer -- mesothelioma, and melanoma of the eye.

Nano-thermometers show first temperature response differences within living cells
Using a modern version of open-wide-and-keep-this-under-your-tongue, scientists today reported taking the temperature of individual cells in the human body, and finding for the first time that temperatures inside do not adhere to the familiar 98.6 degree Fahrenheit norm.

Research offers new way to target shape-shifting proteins
A molecule which can stop the formation of long protein strands, known as amyloid fibrils, that cause joint pain in kidney dialysis patients has been identified by researchers at the University of Leeds.

The Homburg Cream and Sugar study
The Homburg Cream and Sugar study was designed to determine whether the measurement of postprandial triglyceride in addition to the assessment of glucose tolerance and traditional risk factors might improve the prediction of cardiovascular events.

New roles emerge for non-coding RNAs in directing embryonic development
Scientists at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have discovered that a mysterious class of large RNAs plays a central role in embryonic development, contrary to the dogma that proteins alone are the master regulators of this process.

Huge gaps in use of simple, cheap and proven drugs worldwide, say McMaster researchers
A global study in 17 countries led by McMaster University researchers has found too few patients are using drugs proven to give significant benefits in warding off a heart attack or stroke.

Impact of clinical and echocardiographic response to cardiac resynchronization therapy
The echocardiographic response (reduction of left ventricular end-systolic volume) evaluated at 6 months follow-up, demonstrated to be a better predictor of long-term mortality than improvement in clinical status in a large population of CRT patients.
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