Research round-up

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launches first paper

By | July 20, 2000

's first peer reviewed and accepted paper is published this week.

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Rice - the prequel

By | July 20, 2000

Researchers hoping to decipher the first complete genome sequence of a plant fear the lengthy clusters of repeated transposon sequences present in many plant genomes. But in the July issue of Genome Research, Mao et al. report promising news for the international consortium tackling the rice genome (Genome Res. 2000, 10:982-990). After sequencing 73,000 DNA fragments distributed through the rice genome (a total of nearly 50 Mb), Mao et al. find that less than 10% of the sequences contain transpo

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Simulated fly segmentation

By | July 19, 2000

A compendium of expression profiles from mutant yeast strains allows function to be attributed to uncharacterized genes and leads to the identification of a drug target.

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Mad meiosis

By | July 18, 2000

Mad2p is a budding yeast protein that helps to delay progression through mitosis until errors in chromosome attachment to the mitotic spindle are corrected. In the 14 July Science Shonn et al. find that this spindle checkpoint is also required during meiosis (Science 2000, 289:300-303). Cells without Mad2p show increased chromosome segregation errors during budding yeast meiosis I, when homologs separate, but appear normal during meiosis II, when sister chromatids separate. Meiosis I may fare le

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Sequence of a plant pathogen

By | July 17, 2000

In the 13 July Nature a Brazilian sequencing consortium reports the first public sequence of a free-living plant pathogen (Nature 2000, 406:151-159). The bacterium, Xyella fastidiosa, grows in the water-conducting xylem of citrus plants and causes chlorosis (yellowing) and premature production of small, tough fruit. The sequence reveals a metabolism focussed on carbohydrate consumption and extensive biosynthetic capability to compensate for the scarcity of biological small molecules in the xylem

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A list of lists for yeast

By | July 14, 2000

The function of an uncharacterized gene can sometimes be determined by mutating the gene and using a phenotypic assay But sometimes a convenient phenotype does not exist for a given cellular function. Hughes et al. suggest in the July 7 Cell that expression profiles can be used instead (Cell 2000, 102:109-126). Rather than measuring expression profiles as conditions change (e.g., at different points in the cell cycle, Hughes et al. keep the culture conditions constant and measure the profiles of

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Hopping along DNA

By | July 14, 2000

The rate at which electrons and holes move along DNA is sufficient to prevent strand-cleavage reactions, but too slow to make DNA a useful molecular wire.

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Of ozone holes and Triffids

By | July 14, 2000

Depletion of stratospheric ozone increases the amount of ultraviolet-B (UV-B) irradiation experienced on Earth. Now Ries et al. report in the 6 July Nature that increased UV-B exposure can reduce the genomic stability of plants (Nature 2000, 406:98-101). They use a reporter gene inserted as a tandem or inverted repeat as a probe to detect 1.7-fold to 14-fold increases in homologous recombination after increasing UV-B levels. The plant germline is protected from UV-B for much of its life, and yet

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NEW YORK, July 7 (Praxis Press) Prompt treatment of heart attacks is crucial to the survival of the patient. Two important treatments that require trained emergency medical personnel and need to be administered as quickly as possible are drugs to dissolve clots (thrombolytic agents) and defibrillation and other methods to control heart arrhythmias. Rapid access to emergency medical care is a problem in many communities and even when the decision is made to seek medical care, most patients in the

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Endocarditis prophylaxis

July 10, 2000

NEW YORK, July 6 (Praxis Press) The current American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines for antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent infectious endocarditis (IE), recommend echocardiography to determine IE risk in patients with suspected valvular lesions. Based on AHA clinical and echocardiography criteria, a retrospective survey classified patients who underwent outpatient transthoracic echocardiography into three risk categories (high, moderate, negligible) and evaluated to check if physician recomme

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