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Idle sensations

By | March 15, 2002

The development of rhythmic forms of movement such as crawling and breathing is dependant on groups of pattern generating neurons in the central nervous system, but the sensory inputs involved remain unclear. In March 14 Nature, Maximiliano Suster and Michael Bate from University of Cambridge, UK, show that sensory transmission is not required for the development of a central circuit that is adequate for producing rhythmic movements.Suster and Bate engineered Drosophila embryos and larvae that h

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Missing methyl chloride found

By | March 15, 2002

Measuring halides emitted from tropical ferns could explain the observed shortfall in these ozone-depleting compounds.

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ATM splicing defect

By | March 14, 2002

Individuals with mutations in the ATM gene develop ataxia-telangiectasia, a neurodegenrative disorder characterized by immunological defects and cancer predisposition. In an Advanced Online Publication from Nature Genetics, Franco Pagani and colleagues describe a new kind of ATM mutation that leads to an unusual splicing defect (Nat Genet 2002, DOI:10.1038/ng858).The mutant ATM allele contains a four-nucleotide deletion (GTAA) within intron 20. This deletion results in the inclusion of a 65 nucl

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Blood test for lung cancer

By | March 14, 2002

Pleiotrophin may be an effective marker for small cell lung cancer, and for measuring the response to therapy.

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Twin survival

By | March 14, 2002

It is generally thought that losses of twin embryos in very early pregnancy are high, with figures that suggest that for every liveborn twin pair a further 10-12 twin pregnancies end up as a singleton birth. But, in March 14 Nature, Stephen Tong and colleagues from Monash University, Victoria, Australia, show that the presence of one embryo does not affect at all the intra uterine development of its twin.Tong et al. used ultrasound to identify and follow-up 48 pregnant women who had double-ovula

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Bacterial offender in parasitic infection

By | March 13, 2002

bacteria in filarial parasites have a major role in the corneal pathology of river blindness.

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Overcoming immune ignorance

By | March 13, 2002

CD137 signaling induces a CTL response leading to the regression of established tumors.

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Take your PIC

By | March 13, 2002

Analysis of differentiation-dependent transcription reveals that the pre-initiation complex (PIC) can assemble before chromatin remodeling.

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Biotech blues

By | March 12, 2002

The departure for Singapore of 'Dolly scientist' Alan Colman has raised questions about the viability of British biotechnology.

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Drought resistance gene

By | March 12, 2002

Under drought conditions organisms including nematodes, can enter a state of suspended animation known as anhydrobiosis. This process enables nematodes to survive until rehydration but the precise molecular control mechanisms remain unclear. In March 7 Nature, John Browne and colleagues from National University of Ireland Maynooth, describe a plant desiccation gene that is also found in a nematode.Browne et al. identified a strongly induced 675 base transcript in the anhydrobiotic nematode Aphel

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