- Screening for C-reactive protein as a cardiovascular risk factor may not help, because the protein typically occurs with traditional risk factors, such as smoking, high blood pressure and obesity.
Archives of Internal Medicine, October 10
- Losing consciousness on falling asleep results not because parts of the brain are shutting down but because the connections among different areas cease.
Science, September 30
- The Hall effect, the sideways deflection of electrons by a magnetic field, can also occur in phonons—or vibrations in a crystal lattice—even though phonons are not charged. The deflection showed up as a slight temperature variation across a sample.
Physical Review Letters, October 4
- A gene called vSEPS1v underlies inflammation. Ordinarily, the gene helps to clear out a cell's faulty proteins, but individuals who had an impaired vSEPS1v variant suffered from higher levels of inflammation.
Nature Genetics online, October 9
This article was originally published with the title "Brief Points" in Scientific American 293, 6, 36 (December 2005)