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Research round-up

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Breeding a better vector

By | August 7, 2000

DNA shuffling (also called molecular breeding) generates variation by random fragmentation of a cloned gene followed by reassembly of the fragments in a self-priming polymerase reaction. The result is a recombination of overlapping fragments that have different mutations or come from different, naturally occurring homologous genes. In the August Nature Genetics Soong et al apply this technique to a pool of six different murine leukemia virus envelope sequences to derive a new virus that can,

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Profiles of metastasis

By | August 7, 2000

DNA microarray analysis of metastatic cells reveals a new player, and an expression profile characteristic of reduced motility and invasive ability.

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The two chromosomes of cholera

By | August 7, 2000

suggests that the bacterium's second chromosome may have started life as a megaplasmid.

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Better evaluation of health risks associated with cell phones is necessary.

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Esophageal adenocarcinoma

August 3, 2000

Reflux-promoting drugs may raise risk for esophageal adenocarcinoma.

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Smoking and diabetes

August 3, 2000

NEW YORK, August 2 (Praxis Press) Ethnic and lifestyle factors may play a role in the relationship of cigarette smoking and the development of type 2 diabetes. Nakanishi and colleagues studied the association of smoking and the development of impaired fasting blood-glucose and type 2 diabetes in 1,266 middle-aged Japanese men. The relative risks of developing impaired fasting glucose and type 2 diabetes increased with the number of cigarettes smoked per day. Compared with never-smokers, men who

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NEW YORK, August 2 (Praxis Press) At least 40 cases of hepatic steatosis and lactic acidosis have been reported in HIV-infected patients taking zidovudine and didanosine, but this syndrome has only rarely been reported in patients taking stavudine. Miller and colleagues reported four cases of hepatic steatosis, lactic acidosis, and myopathy in HIV-infected patients taking stavudine as part of a multidrug antiretroviral regimen. All patients had marked lactic acidosis, elevated levels of alanine

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Diagnosing MS

August 2, 2000

Most patients with probable MS will progress rapidly to definite MS.

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Family history screen

August 2, 2000

NEW YORK, July 31 (Praxis Press) Family history of mental illness is a risk for many disorders. Brief screens such as the Family History Screen (FHS) to collect lifetime family psychiatric history are useful in clinical practice. However, their validity compared to other methods has not been fully established. Weissman and colleagues assessed the performance of the FHS in relation to the best estimate (BE) diagnosis as a standard. They analyzed data on the validity against the BE diagnosis based

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Management of obesity

August 2, 2000

NEW YORK, Aug 1 (Praxis Press) The way in which physicians recognize and manage obesity is unknown. To estimate national patterns of office-based, obesity-related practices and to determine the independent predictors of these practices, Stafford and colleagues performed serial cross-sectional surveys of 55,858 adult physician office visits. The researchers assessed reporting of obesity at office visits and physician counseling for weight loss, exercise, and diet among patients identified as obes

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