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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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A new paradigm for cancer treatment

By | September 19, 2001

Anti-angiogenic therapy alone can suppress the growth of established tumors but it can also potentiate the effects of radiation and chemotherapy through unknown mechanisms. In September Nature Medicine Rakesh Jain from Harvard Medical School suggests that anti-angiogenic therapy can also 'normalize' tumor vasculature before its destruction and this mechanism could be exploited to improve the anti-tumor effects of radio- and chemotherapy (Nat Med 2001, 7:987-989).Jain observed that the tumor vasc

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How ephrins wire the brain in reverse

By | September 19, 2001

Ephrins guide developing axons in the brain and are capable of reverse signaling.

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Dendritic and T cells keep in touch

By | September 18, 2001

In the absence of antigen, dendritic cells still interact with T cells to induce cytokine gene expression and maintain protective immunity.

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Genomic mountains

By | September 18, 2001

One of the challenges for microarray analysis is making sense of the mountains of data that this technology can generate. In the September 14 Science, Stuart Kim and colleagues from Stanford University show how three-dimensional maps can be used to navigate microarray data (Science 2001, 293:2087-2092).They established a compendium of gene expression profiles for the Caenorhabditis elegans genome using data from 553 microarray experiments. They created topological maps in which distance defines

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Leeches give bite to arthritis care

By | September 18, 2001

The once-reviled leech, recently lauded for its potential in preventing repeat heart attacks, could also have a role to play in the treatment of pain and inflammation. In the October Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases Gustav Dobos and colleagues at the Essen-Mitte Clinic, Germany, used leech therapy to treat a number of patients with chronic arthritis (Ann Rheum Dis 2001, 60:986).They studied 16 patients with an average age of 68 years who had suffered persistent knee pain for more than six months

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Neural stem transplant may stir gut wall

By | September 18, 2001

Neural stem cells survive within the pyloric wall following transplantation, possibly by responding to the enteric neurotrophin GDNF.

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GM corn field studies endorse safety

By | September 17, 2001

derived toxins has a negligible impact on monarch larvae populations.

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New era for the European Bioinformatics Institute

By | September 17, 2001

Janet Thornton takes over as head of the EBI and outlines her vision of the development of the field of bioinformatics.

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Predictable

By | September 17, 2001

If clinicians could predict how a cancer patient would respond to specific chemotherapeutic drugs, they would be able to choose an individualized treatment protocol with greater chances of success and minimized side effects. In the September 11 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Jane Staunton and colleagues from the Whitehead Institute, Cambridge, Massachusetts describe a genomic approach for predicting chemosensitivity (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:10787-10792).They measured th

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