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Aging liver

By | September 12, 2001

In the September 11 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Shelley Cao and colleagues from the University of California, Riverside, report the use of microarray analysis to investigate gene profiles associated with aging (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:10630-10635).They compared the expression of 11,000 genes in mRNA samples from the livers of young (7 months) and old (27 months) mice. The expression of 20 known genes increased with age and 26 decreased; these included genes associate

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An antibody that blows up platelets

By | September 12, 2001

independent platelet fragmentation via the induction of reactive oxygen species.

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Metastatic medulloblastoma

By | September 11, 2001

Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain cancer in children. In the Advanced Online Publication of Nature Genetics, Tobey MacDonald and colleagues from the Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC, report the use of oligonucleotide expression profiling (Affymetrix G110 cancer arrays) to define a set of genes that are prognostic for medulloblastoma metastasis (DOI:10.1038/ng731).They analysed 23 primary medulloblastomas that were either metastatic (M+) or non-metastatic (M0) a

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PAR-4 is essential for clotting

By | September 11, 2001

The thrombin PAR-4 receptor found on platelets may be an important target in the treatment of thrombosis.

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Modelling tumor growth should include normal cells

By | September 10, 2001

Mechanisms of tumorigenesis and novel cancer therapies have been investigated in cultured mutant cells, genetically engineered to develop tumors, but the behaviour of these cells in a normal tissue environment remains almost completely unknown. In September 1 Journal of Clinical Investigation, Youyan Zhang and colleagues from Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, show that normal cells can strongly modulate the growth of mutant populations in vivo and this effect should be taken i

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Primitive actin identified in bacteria

By | September 10, 2001

MreB can self assemble into microfilament-like structures and is closely associated with the bacterial cell membrane.

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Spanish flu

By | September 10, 2001

The Spanish influenza virus pandemic of 1918 killed more than 20 million people worldwide. In September 7 Science, Mark Gibbs and colleagues from the Australian National University in Canberra propose that the pandemic was the result of a recombination between swine-lineage and human-lineage viral strains (Science 2001, 293:1842-1845).They analysed sequences of the hemagglutinin (HA) gene from 30 H1-subtype influenza isolates, using the sister-scanning method and a maximum likelihood method. The

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An innovative approach to vaccination against tumors

By | September 7, 2001

Antigen-specific cancer immunotherapy and anti-angiogenesis represent two attractive mechanisms that could be of use in the treatment of cancer. In September 1 Journal of Clinical Investigation, Wen-Fang Cheng and colleagues from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine show an innovative vaccination approach that combines both mechanisms and suggest this is likely generate a potent antitumor effect. Cheng et al. engineered a fusion gene encoding a known viral tumor antigen (HPV-16 E7), linke

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ethical populist

By | September 7, 2001

discusses how he sees the future of electronic biomedical publishing.

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Ink4a

By | September 7, 2001

The CDKN2A (INK4a/ARF) locus encodes two distinct cell cycle inhibitors, p16Ink4a and p19ARF, both of which have been implicated in tumorigenesis. In the September 6 Nature, two independent groups report the generation of knockout mice specifically lacking p16Ink4a. Surprisingly, mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) lacking p16Ink4a were normal in terms of growth characteristics, senescence phenotypes and resistance to oncogenic Ras-induced transformation.These observations are in contrast to resu

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