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Research round-up

Most Recent

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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Lowering CAD risk

July 10, 2000

NEW YORK, July 6 (Praxis Press) Lifestyle-related risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD) include smoking, being overweight, lack of exercise and poor diet. Investigators from the Nurses Health Study, which involved 84 129 women, looked at the impact of these risk factors considered together. Each risk factor independently and significantly predicted risk, but many were correlated. Only 3% of the women studied had none of the risk factors, and their relative risk of coronary events was 0.

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MI treatment

July 10, 2000

Gender differences in treatment for myocardial infarction don't change outcome.

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NEW YORK, July 6 (Praxis Press) Oral contraceptive (OC) use has been inconsistently associated with several adverse cardiovascular events. To assess whether OC use is associated with ischemic stroke, a recent study analyzed results of 16 observational studies identified in a review of the published literature from January 1960 through November 1999. Summary risk estimates indicated that current use of OCs, including newer low-estrogen preparations, was associated with a significantly increased r

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New York, July 5, 2000 (Praxis Press) Aspirin's antithrombotic effects have made it part of the first-line therapy in the primary prevention of coronary artery disease (CAD), and self-medication is widespread. The potential risk of serious bleeding, however, requires selective prescription. In a recent randomized-controlled trial, Meade et al determined that low-dose aspirin therapy of 75 mg daily did not significantly affect the risk of CAD in patients with higher blood pressure (over 145 mm H

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