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Cod origins

By | September 24, 2001

Identifying the population origins of individual fish is important in assisting the policing of fishing waters and the tracking down of poachers. In the September 20 Nature, Einar Nielsen and colleagues from the Danish Institute for Fisheries Research describe a simple approach using microsatellite markers to assign individual Atlantic cod fish (Gadas morhua) to their original population (Nature 2001, 413:272).They studied three cod populations; from the North Sea, the Baltic Sea, and the northe

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Long term memory signals

By | September 24, 2001

The neural activity signaled by calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV plays an important role in maintaining long-term memories.

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New pathway to understanding circadian rhythms

By | September 24, 2001

The mechanism that keeps track of time in our body is based on a perpetual secretion of clock proteins in a 24-hour feedback loop. But the signaling molecules that control this clock are largely unknown. In September 21 Science Julie Williams and colleagues from Howard Hughes Medical Institute, show that that the protein produced by Drosophila version of the neurofibromatosis-1 (Nf1) gene controls the circadian machinery via the Ras/MAPK signaling pathway.Williams et al. studied Drosophila with

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Novel protein controlling bacterial tryptophan production

By | September 21, 2001

Many bacterial species recognize the amino acid tryptophan and its transfer RNA as a regulatory signal responsible for tryptophan biosynthesis. In September 14 Science, Angela Valbuzzi and Charles Yanofsky from the Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University determined that, in addition to sensing the amount of tryptophan present, Bacillus subtilis also has a mechanism for detecting the concentration of tryptophan-specific tRNA.Valbuzzi & Yanofsky discovered that if the amount of

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Of hippopotami and whales

By | September 21, 2001

New Eocene fossils discovered in Pakistan suggest that whales evolved from hippopotamuses.

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Staphylococcus

By | September 21, 2001

Although many gene-inactivation technologies have been applied to bacterial genetics, the potential for using antisense technology has not been extensively explored. In the September 21 Science, Yindo Ji and colleagues from GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, describe a comprehensive genomic analysis of the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus using a regulated antisense strategy (Science 2001, 293:2266-2269).They used an adapted tetracycline-dependent (tet) regulatory

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Tumor-growing role for endothelial growth factor

By | September 21, 2001

Malignant cells secrete vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) that then binds to specific receptors on endothelial cells to induce tumor angiogenesis. In September 15 Blood, Rizwan Masood and colleagues from Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California show that VEGF has an additional role in tumor development because it is also a direct growth factor for many tumor cells.Working on tumor cell lines in vitro, Masood et al. found that several tumor types (Kaposi's sarcomas

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Agrin therapy

By | September 20, 2001

Gene therapy with a mini-agrin transgene rescues muscular dystrophy in mice lacking a functional lama2 gene.

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Surgeons have the gall to operate across the Atlantic

By | September 20, 2001

Surgeons in New York remove the gall bladder of a woman in hospital in Strasbourg, with the aid of a robot.

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Validation of gene therapy for heart failure

By | September 20, 2001

Heart failure is characterised by contractile dysfunction caused by a decreased sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA2a) activity. In September 18 Circulation, Federica del Monte and colleagues from Massachusetts General Hospital show that gene transfer of SERCA2a can improve survival and the energy potential in failing hearts.del Monte et al. tested the effects of adenoviral cardiac gene transfer of SERCA2a on survival, left ventricular (LV) volumes and metabolism in a rat model of heart fa

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