Online registry leads to research studies

Interested in volunteering for a medical research study? Find an appropriate match through, the nation’s first disease-neutral volunteer recruitment registry. is a free, secure online way for volunteers to connect with researchers who are conducting studies on health and disease topics. Individuals self-register as potential volunteers for local studies based on their health profile and preferences. Once registered, volunteers are notified electronically by the registry when they are a possible match for a study. Personal information is protected until individuals authorize the release of their contact information for a specific study.

ResearchMatch is the product of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards Consortium, a national network of 46 medical research institutions funded by the National Institutes of Health. The Scripps Translational Science Institute is participating in the ResearchMatch registry.

Discriminating bees

Honeybees can discriminate between food at different temperatures, an ability that may assist them in locating the warm, sugar-rich nectar or high-protein pollen.

The work builds on a previous UCSD study showing that bumblebees returning to nests with higher-quality pollen were warmer than bees that collected pollen with less protein. Training bees to stick out their tongues in return for a sugary reward when the team touched a warm surface to a bee’s antenna, the researchers found that bees could learn to identify warmth with food. Next, they tested whether the bees could learn to associate temperature differences with a food reward and discovered that this was also the case.

This enhanced ability to distinguish warmer temperature differences could be an advantage for gathering nectar in many flowers. For example, the temperature in the centers of daffodils can be up to 8 degrees Celsius warmer than outside the blossoms.

The finding appeared in the Journal of Experimental Biology (

Feeding/fasting cycles

When you eat may be just as vital to your health as what you eat. Experiments in mice, conducted at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, revealed that the daily waxing and waning of thousands of genes in the liver is mostly controlled by food intake and not by the body’s circadian clock as previously thought. The findings could explain why shift workers are unusually prone to metabolic syndrome, diabetes, high cholesterol levels and obesity.

In the Salk experiment, gene expression in the liver was monitored in normal and clock-deficient mice that were put on strictly controlled feeding and fasting schedules. The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (