Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 27, 2011
Analysis does not support genetic test before use of anti-clotting drug
Although the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended that a certain type of genetic testing (for the genotype CYP2C19) be considered before prescribing the drug clopidogrel to identify individuals who may be less responsive to the medication, a review and analysis of previous studies did not find an overall significant association between the CYP2C19 genotype and cardiovascular events, according to a study in the Dec.

Perception of inappropriate care frequent among ICU workers
A survey of nurses and physicians in intensive care units (ICUs) in Europe and Israel indicated that the perception of inappropriate care, such as excess intensity of care for a patient, was common, and that these perceptions were associated with inadequate decision sharing, communication and job autonomy, according to a study in the Dec.

Neuralstem's NSI-189 trial in major depressive disorder receives FDA approval to advance to Phase Ib
Neuralstem's NSI-189 Neuroregenerative drug advances to Phase Ib in a major depressive disorder trial.

Political biodiversity workshops at the University of Copenhagen
As the Danish EU presidency begins, University of Copenhagen will host two workshops preceding the formation of UN's Panel for Biodiversity IPBES (Intergovernmental Panel for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services).

Frogs use calls to find mates with matching chromosomes, University of Missouri researchers find
When it comes to love songs, female tree frogs are pretty picky.

Badwater Basin: Death Valley microbe thrives there
Nevada, the

A new theory emerges for where some fish became 4-limbed creatures
A small fish crawling on stumpy limbs from a shrinking desert pond is an icon of can-do spirit, emblematic of a leading theory for the evolutionary transition between fish and amphibians.

Beneficial or not beneficial: that is the question for IL-1 inhibition in atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis is one of the major causes of heart attack and stroke.

Weather deserves medal for clean air during 2008 Olympics
New research suggests that China's impressive feat of cutting Beijing's pollution up to 50 percent for the 2008 Summer Olympics had some help from Mother Nature.

Having epilepsy is not linked to committing violent crime
Despite current public and expert opinion to the contrary, having the neurological condition epilepsy is not directly associated with an increased risk of committing violent crime.

Toasting the chemistry of champagne: New Year's Eve video from the American Chemical Society
Just in time for those New Year's Eve toasts, which might include a farewell to the International Year of Chemistry, the world's largest scientific society today posted online a video on the chemistry of champagne.

To children (but not adults) a rose by any other name is still a rose
Two vital parts of mentally organizing the world are classification, or the understanding that similar things belong in the same category; and induction, an educated guess about a thing's properties if it's in a certain category.

Collaborative effort uncovers DNA duplications that may be responsible for genomic-based diseases
An important part of saving a species is often understanding its DNA.

Association of cognitive function in adolescence and subsequent risk of subdural hematoma
Anna Nordström and Peter Nordström of Umeå University, Sweden report their analysis of a prospective nationwide cohort of 440,742 Swedish men in this week's PLoS Medicine, finding that reduced cognitive function in young adulthood was associated with increased risk of subdural hematoma later in life, whereas a higher level of education and physical fitness were associated with a decreased risk.

Targeted blocking of cell death prevents fatal condition septic shock
By blocking necroptosis, Peter Vandenabeele and his colleagues from from VIB-UGent were able to protect mice against the lethal condition sepsis, showing the central role of the molecule RIPK in this condition.

Tests for biomarker may help determine diagnosis of heart attack within hours
For patients admitted to an emergency department with chest pain, use of a contemporary or highly sensitive test for levels of troponin I may help rule-out a diagnosis of heart attack, while changes in the measured levels of this biomarker at three hours after admission may be useful to confirm a diagnosis of heart attack, according to a study in the Dec.

How obesity alters the brain area involved in body weight control
The number of people who are obese is rapidly increasing, and drugs designed to treat obesity have shown limited efficacy.

More information on trial site investigators needed
Despite the importance of site investigators to the success of multi-center clinical trials, inadequate public information is available about their recruitment performance.

JCI online early table of contents: Dec. 27, 2011
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for papers to be published Dec.

Oxidative DNA damage repair
Oxidative stress damages DNA. Researchers in the Vetsuisse Faculty have now decoded the mechanism that repairs DNA damaged in this way.

Time for a change?
Time can stand still, or at least look the same from year to year, two calendar reform advocates say.

Another potential obstacle to developing an HIV vaccine
The STEP clinical trial of a candidate HIV vaccine was halted after interim analysis indicated the vaccine did not work.

Childhood hypersensitivity linked to OCD
Professor Reuven Dar of Tel Aviv University has established a direct correlation between sensory processing and ritualistic behaviors in children.

Unhealthy eating: a new form of occupational hazard?
The poor diet of shift workers should be considered a new occupational health hazard, according to an editorial published in this month's PLoS Medicine.

Elderly can be as fast as young in some brain tasks, study shows
Both children and the elderly have slower response times when they have to make quick decisions in some settings.

Mutation in gene that's critical for human development linked to arrhythmia
The biologic and genetic mechanisms controlling the formation and function of the cardiac conduction system (CCS) are not well understood, but new research with mice shows that altered function of a gene called Tbx3 interferes with the development of the CCS and causes lethal arrhythmias.

Scripps Research scientists discover a brain cell malfunction in schizophrenia
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have discovered that DNA stays too tightly wound in certain brain cells of schizophrenic subjects.

Irikaitz archaeological site -- host to a 25,000-year-old pendant
The recent discovery of a pendant at the Irikaitz archaeological site in Zestoa has given rise to intense debate: it may be as old as 25,000 years, which would make it the oldest found to date at open-air excavations throughout the whole of the Iberian Peninsula.

President Obama and leading GOP presidential candidate support health research
Research!America's new national voter education initiative, Your Candidates-Your Health, features responses from President Obama and Republican Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on important health research and prevention issues.

Children don't give words special power to categorize their world
New research challenges the conventional thinking that young children use language just as adults do to help classify and understand objects in the world around them.

Planetary Exploration Begins at Home
Where on Earth is it like Mars? How were the Apollo astronauts trained to be geologists on the Moon?

Members of small monkey groups more likely to fight
Small monkey groups may win territorial disputes against larger groups because some members of larger, invading groups avoid aggressive encounters.
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