Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 30, 2014
Anti-gout medication colchicine helps patients with recurrent pericarditis
A medication traditionally used to treat gout is also effective at treating recurrent pericarditis, an inflammation of the sac-like covering around the heart, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's 63rd Annual Scientific Session.

Blood test helps predict heart attack risk for patients with chest pain
Patients presenting to the emergency department with an undetectable level of the blood biomarker high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T, and whose ECGs show no sign of restricted blood flow, have a minimal risk of heart attack within 30 days, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's 63rd Annual Scientific Session.

Heat-conducting polymer cools hot electronic devices at 200 degrees C
By harnessing an electropolymerization process to produce aligned arrays of polymer nanofibers, researchers have developed a thermal interface material able to conduct heat 20 times better than the original polymer.

Primary cardiovascular disease prevention is leaving the office
Early results from HeartBeat Connections, a telemedicine program supported by the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, suggest effective primary prevention for cardiovascular disease may be achieved with a team-based approach that integrates office visits with supplemental phone coaching.

Scripps Florida scientists offer 'best practices' nutrition measurement for researchers
Scientists from the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute have developed what amounts to a best practices guide to the most accurate way of measuring fruit fly food consumption.

Researchers uncover secrets of a mollusk's unique bioceramic armor
MIT researchers uncover the secrets behind a marine creature's defensive armor -- one that is exceptionally tough, yet optically clear.

Head-to-head study favors balloon-expandable transcatheter heart valves
A first-ever randomized head-to-head comparison of two devices commonly used to treat the age-related disease aortic stenosis finds balloon-expandable transcatheter valves result in more successful procedures and relieve symptoms more frequently than self-expanding valves, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's 63rd Annual Scientific Session.

Meeting climate targets may require reducing meat and dairy consumption
Greenhouse gas emissions from food production may threaten the United Nations climate target of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, according to research at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.

Darapladib falls short in chronic coronary heart disease
The novel inflammation inhibitor darapladib showed no primary-endpoint advantage over placebo in patients with chronic coronary heart disease treated with a high level of background care, although it did suggest possible benefits for more specific coronary artery-related endpoints, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's 63rd Annual Scientific Session.

The Atlantic Ocean dances with the sun and volcanoes
Natural fluctuations in the ocean temperature in the North Atlantic have a significant impact on the climate in the northern hemisphere.

Post-approval study of transcatheter pulmonary valve completes 1 year
The first post-FDA approval study of a non-surgically implanted replacement pulmonary valve showed strong short- and mid-term results for the device in a small sample of patients with certain congenital heart defects, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's 63rd Annual Scientific Session.

A new approach to Huntington's disease?
Tweaking a specific cell type's ability to absorb potassium in the brain improved walking and prolonged survival in a mouse model of Huntington's disease, reports a University of California Los Angeles study published March 30 in the online edition of Nature Neuroscience.

Earth's dynamic interior
Seeking to better understand the composition of the lowermost part of Earth's mantle, a team of Arizona State University researchers has developed new simulations that depict the dynamics of deep Earth.

Higher risks without cardio benefits halt study of aleglitazar
The phase III AleCardio trial was ended early when patients with type 2 diabetes and recent acute coronary syndrome who were treated with aleglitazar showed higher rates of heart failure, kidney events and gastrointestinal bleeding with no offsetting cardiovascular benefits, according to data presented at the American College of Cardiology's 63rd Annual Scientific Session.

Genetic mutations warn of skin cancer risk
In a study published in Nature Genetics, researchers have discovered that mutations in a specific gene are responsible for a hereditary form of skin cancer.

Erasing a genetic mutation
An MIT team reverses a liver disorder in mice by correcting a mutated gene.

Quality of life for couples can be improved despite PVD (vulvar vestibulitis)
Spouses who regulate their emotions together in a satisfactory manner are more fulfilled sexually, psychologically, and relationally, among couples in which the woman has provoked vestibulodynia (PVD), also known as 'vulvar vestibulitis.'

Effect of important air pollutants may be absent from key precipitation observations
Pioneering new research from the University of Exeter could have a major impact on climate and environmental science by drastically transforming the perceived reliability of key observations of precipitation, which includes rain, sleet and snow.

New study confirms benefits of treating heart attack patients with a cheap drug
One dose of the drug metoprolol, if given to heart attack patients early -- during ambulance transit to hospital -- can significantly improve the contractile strength of the heart muscle.

Evolocumab safely drops LDL cholesterol well below statin-only baseline
The monoclonal antibody evolocumab produced highly significant reductions in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, the

Study compares heart valve systems
Among patients undergoing aortic valve replacement using a catheter tube, a comparison of two types of heart valve technologies, balloon-expandable or self-expandable valve systems, found a greater rate of device success with the balloon-expandable valve, according to a JAMA study released online to coincide with presentation at the 2014 American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions.

Renal denervation patient registry finds low rate of adverse events
Patients with uncontrolled high blood pressure treated with renal denervation had low rates of adverse events and significant lowering of blood pressure at six months, according to a registry-based study presented at the American College of Cardiology's 63rd Annual Scientific Session.

Medication does not reduce risk of recurrent CV events among patients with diabetes
Use of the drug aleglitazar, which has shown the ability to lower glucose levels and have favorable effects on cholesterol, did not reduce the risk of cardiovascular death, heart attack or stroke among patients with type 2 diabetes and recent heart attack or unstable angina, according to a JAMA study released online to coincide with presentation at the 2014 American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions.

Researchers identify new protein markers that may improve understanding of heart disease
Researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Murray, Utah, have discovered that elevated levels of two recently identified proteins in the body are inflammatory markers and indicators of the presence of cardiovascular disease.

Genetic markers may predict when people with heart disease are likely to have a heart attack
Researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City have identified a biological process that may help physicians predict when someone with heart disease is likely to have a heart attack in the near future.

Cardiac resynchronization improves survival in heart failure patients
Patients in mild heart failure who receive a specialized pacemaker known as cardiac resynchronization therapy with a defibrillator may live longer than those implanted with a traditional implantable cardioverter defibrillator, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's 63rd Annual Scientific Session.

New study finds strong link between obesity and 'carb breakdown' gene
Researchers at King's College London and Imperial College London have discovered that people with fewer copies of a gene coding for a carb-digesting enzyme may be at higher risk of obesity.

Evolocumab superior to ezetimibe in lowering LDL cholesterol
Evolocumab, an injected form of a class of drugs called PCSK9 inhibitors that lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, also known as LDL-C or 'bad cholesterol,' outperformed ezetimibe with few side effects in patients unable to take statins, according to research from GAUSS-2 presented at the American College of Cardiology's 63rd Annual Scientific Session.

New gel to promote bone growth on implants used in surgical procedures
A research group at Uppsala University, Sweden has developed a new responsive coating for implants used in surgery to improve their integration into bone and to prevent rejection.

Scientists pinpoint why we miss subtle visual changes, and why it keeps us sane
Ever notice how Harry Potter's T-shirt abruptly changes from a crewneck to a henley shirt in 'The Order of the Phoenix,' or how in 'Pretty Woman,' Julia Roberts' croissant inexplicably morphs into a pancake?

Adults with inherited high cholesterol are underdiagnosed and undertreated
An estimated 1 in 500 people worldwide suffer from familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH), an inherited condition of extremely high cholesterol that is associated with premature heart disease and death.
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