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Strep genomics

By | April 3, 2002

Group A Streptococcus (GAS) infection by serotype M18 strains causes acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and can lead to pediatric heart disease. In the April 2 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, James Smoot and colleagues at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases report the genome sequence of a GAS strain (MGAS8232) isolated from a patient with ARF (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2002, 99:4668-4673).Smoot et al. compared the 1.9 Mb genome with a closely related strain (the M1 s

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Where do jaws come from?

By | April 3, 2002

The origin of the vertebrate jaw is something of a mystery. In the March 28 Nature, Martin Cohn from the University of Reading suggests that Hox gene expression may be at the origin of jaw evolution (Nature 2002, 416:386-387).In jawed vertebrates (gnathostomes) the jaw and pharyngeal skeleton is derived from migrating cranial neural crest cells. Cohn studied the lamprey, a primitive jawless fish related to gnathostomes, in which the branchial arch is also neural-crest-derived. He cloned lamprey

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Linkage analysis in yeast

By | April 2, 2002

In a paper published on March 28 in Sciencexpress, Rachel Brem and colleagues describe how linkage analysis and gene expression profiling can be combined to dissect transcriptional regulatory networks in the budding yeast, Saccharomycescerevisiae (DOI:10.1126/science.1069516).Brem et al. crossed two yeast strains; a laboratory strain BY and a wild isolate RM from an Italian vineyard. Microarray analysis revealed 1528 genes expressed differentially between the two parent strains. They then used a

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Plant defense dissected

By | April 2, 2002

Calmodulin interacts with the protein MLO to control the defense mechanism against mildew in barley.

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Senescence tale

By | April 2, 2002

Replicative senescence is associated with telomere shortening and the loss from the ends of chromosomes of about 100 bp per population doubling. In March 19 Science, Jan Karlseder and colleagues at Rockefeller University claim that the state of the ends, rather than telomere loss, determines the induction of senescence (Science 2002, 295:2446-2449).Karlseder et al. studied primary human fibroblasts expressing TRF2, a sequence-specific DNA-binding protein that binds to telomeric repeats. TRF2 ove

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Divine DNA repair

By | March 28, 2002

The Artemis protein cuts away damaged DNA to enable the strands to be rejoined.

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MicroRNAs

By | March 28, 2002

Large families of RNA molecules of 21-22 nucleotides, called microRNAs, have been found in a number of species. In an Advanced Online Publication from Nature Genetics, Eric Lai from the University of California at Berkeley, describes a family of microRNAs in Drosophila (Nat Genet 2002, DOI:10.1038/ng865).He found that 11 Drosophila microRNAs are complementary to the K-box motif (cUGUGAUa), Brd box (AGCUUUA) and GY box (uGUCUUCC) motifs present in the 3' untranslated regions (UTRs) of several bas

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Biomarker for Alzheimer's disease

By | March 27, 2002

efflux may be used as a measure of brain amyloid load in Alzheimer's disease.

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Cesar Milstein dies

By | March 27, 2002

sar Milstein, who pioneered monoclonal antibody technology, has died.

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Small genomes are still shrinking

By | March 27, 2002

genome is still shrinking toward a minimum set of genes necessary for its symbiotic lifestyle.

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