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Discovery of a schizophrenia gene

By | March 21, 2001

A genetic variant in a putative ion channel gene co-segregates with inherited catatonic schizophrenia in an extensive pedigree.

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Juicy transgenics

By | March 21, 2001

Citrus trees have a long juvenile phase (6-20 years) that delays their reproductive development. In the March Nature Biotechnology, Pena et al. report genetic experiments that accelerated the citrus flowering time (Nature Biotechnology 2001, 19:263-267). They produced transgenic juvenile orange trees that constitutively express Arabidopsis LEAFY (LFY) or APETALA1 (AP1) genes driven by the cauliflower mosaic virus promoter. Both of these flowering genes could shorten the juvenile phase and promo

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MBL and the risk of infections in children

By | March 20, 2001

The risk for acute respiratory tract infection is higher in children with a mannose-binding lectin deficiency genotype.

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Mimicking memory repression

By | March 20, 2001

A recent study demonstrates a way to test the brain's ability to suppress unwanted memories.

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On display

By | March 20, 2001

Molecular reagents that bind to specific proteins with high affinity are valuable tools in the endeavour to understand protein function. In the Early Edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Wilson et al. describe how a method based on mRNA display can be used to identify ligands with higher affinity than those selected using the phage display technique. The new technique generates polypeptides that are linked via a puromycin moiety to their encoding mRNAs. Wilson et al. demons

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Evidence for an infectious cause for leukaemia

By | March 19, 2001

6-fold after unusual mixing of rural and urban populations during World War II adds to the evidence for infection as a cause of childhood leukaemia.

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Histone codes

By | March 19, 2001

The histone code hypothesis posits that distinct combinations of histone modifications can recruit chromatin-modifying enzymes and exert epigenetic control over heterochromatin assembly. In the March 15 ScienceXpress, Nakayama et al. describe a role for histone methylation in heterochromatin assembly in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. The Clr4 protein methylated lysine 9 of histone H3 (H3Lys9) preferentially within heterochromatin-associated regions. H3Lys9 methylation led to the r

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New neurons are involved in memory formation

By | March 19, 2001

Newly generated neurons in the adult brain are involved in at least one form of memory.

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strain differences influence host responses

By | March 19, 2001

Patients with chronic gastritis produced by Helicobacter pylori are at risk of duodenal and gastric ulceration and gastric cancer. The majority of H. pylori-colonized individuals remain asymptomatic, however, and the mechanism of this resistance is not fully understood. A study published in the March issue of Journal of Clinical Investigation shows that genetic differences between strains of Helicobacter pylori influence host inflammatory responses (J Clin Invest 2001, 107:611-620). Dawn Israel

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Can NK cells maintain the remission of MS?

By | March 16, 2001

Natural killer cells from multiple sclerosis patients in remission have properties resembling those of NK type 2 cells, which can favour functional deviation of T cells toward Th2 and prohibit autoimmune effector T cells.

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