Body

Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have identified two drugs that mimic many of the physiological effects of exercise. The drugs increase the ability of cells to burn fat and are the first compounds that have been shown to enhance exercise endurance.

LA JOLLA, CA — Trying to reap the health benefits of exercise? Forget treadmills and spin classes, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies may have found a way around the sweat and pain. They identified two signaling pathways that are activated in response to exercise and converge to dramatically increase endurance.

It's not just bomb-sniffing dogs; animals everywhere rely on their sense of smell. Now, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Rockefeller University researchers show just how important olfaction is, proving that fruit flies with a normal sense of smell have a survival advantage over those that don't. The findings, to appear in the July 31 advance online issue of Current Biology, may be useful in controlling insect populations and reducing insect-borne disease.

Two new studies examine the use of the nucleoside polymerase inhibitor, R1626, to the standard therapy for hepatitis C. The reports appear in the August issue of Hepatology, a journal published by John Wiley & Sons on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). The articles are available online at Wiley Interscience (www.interscience.wiley.com).

The antiviral drug, valganciclovir, can lower the levels of Epstein-Barr virus in children with liver transplants, according to a new study. About half of young transplant recipients with detectable levels of the virus in their blood responded to a long course of the therapy, with 60 percent maintaining their response when they stopped taking the drug. These findings are in the August issue of Liver Transplantation, a journal by John Wiley & Sons.

INDIANAPOLIS -- The decision to undergo surgery can be particularly difficult and confusing for older adults. In a study published in the July 2008 issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Richard M. Frankel, Ph.D., of the Indiana University School of Medicine, and colleagues report that older patients and their surgeons do not communicate effectively when exploring surgical treatment options.

Increasingly acidic conditions in the ocean—brought on as a direct result of rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere—could spell trouble for the earliest stages of marine life, according to a new report in the August 5th issue of Current Biology, a publication of Cell Press. Levels of acidification predicted by the year 2100 could slash the fertilization success of sea urchins by an estimated 25 percent, the study shows.

Quebec, Canada – July 30, 2008 – For many years, there have been competition concerns regarding how retail gasoline prices are set in the U.S. and Canada. Consumers have complained about the perceived uniformity of retail gas prices and the perception that retailers raise their prices at the same time. A new study in Economic Inquiry shows that to a large extent, gas stations do set prices to match a small number of other gas stations. However, these stations are not necessarily the closest in distance.

A blood test currently used as the gold standard for monitoring people already under care for diabetes may have far wider use in identifying millions with undetected diabetes, a team led by a Johns Hopkins physician suggests.

The hemoglobin A1c test (HbA1c), based on a blood sample, is widely used to keep tabs on how well confirmed diabetics keep their blood sugar, or glucose, in check by showing how much glucose red blood cells have been exposed to for the past 120 days, the average lifespan of these cells.

From nursery rhymes to Shakespearian sonnets, alliterations have always been an important aspect of poetry whether as an interesting aesthetic touch or just as something fun to read. But a recent study suggests that this literary technique is useful not only for poetry but also for memory.