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Anti-viral role of natural small RNAs

By | July 31, 2001

A common processing machinery generates small RNAs that mediate both RNA interference and endogenous gene regulation.

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CpG receptors

By | July 31, 2001

Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are important for vertebrate recognition of pathogen-associated molecular forms. The receptor TLR9 is involved in the recognition of bacterial DNA by virtue of its unmethylated CpG dinucleotides. In the July 31 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Bauer et al. show that human TLR9 (hTLR9) confers responsiveness to CpG-DNA and differs from its mouse homologue (mTLR9) in CpG motif recognition (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:9237-9242). Immunostimulatory CpG

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Sinorhizobium meliloti

By | July 31, 2001

The sequencing of the genome of the bacteria involved in the rhizhobial symbiosis with alfalfa may help improve crop yields.

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Imprinted inactivation

By | July 30, 2001

The eed (embryonic ectoderm development) gene is a member of the mouse Polycomb group (Pc-G) and is required for early gastrulation. In the Advance Online issue of Nature Genetics, Jianbo Wang and colleagues from the University of North Carolina define a role for eed in X chromosome inactivation. They analysed trophoblast giant cells in eed-null embryonic deciduas and found developmental defects in eed-null females but not in male embryos. To investigate the role of paternal X inactivation, Wang

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Respiratory syncytial virus cover-up

By | July 30, 2001

The respiratory syncytial virus has a G glycoprotein similar to the leukocyte chemoattractant Fkn that can facilitate infection and modify the host immune response.

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The cyclical nature of potential new antibiotics

By | July 30, 2001

Modified cyclical peptides can form pores in lipid bilayers and could be valuable as broad specificity antibiotics.

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Indirectly regulating nitric oxide

By | July 27, 2001

The structure of the enzyme DDAH that controls levels of arginine derivates offers the basis for designing selective indirect inhibitors of NO.

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Miscarriages explained by gene variation

By | July 27, 2001

Women who suffer recurrent miscarriages may be carrying a variation in a gene involved in blood vessel function.

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Proteome chips

By | July 27, 2001

In the July 26 ScienceXpress, Heng Zhu and colleagues from Yale University describe the construction of a proteome microarray containing approximately 80% of all yeast proteins (ScienceXpress 2001, 10.1126/science.1062191). They built a high-quality collection of 5800 yeast open reading frames (ORFs), representing 93.5% of all yeast genes. Each ORF was fused to a glutathione-S-transferase (GST)-HisX6 tag and expressed in yeast under the inducible GAL1 promoter. Proteins were spotted at high spat

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Haematopoietic cell gene therapy with foamy viruses

By | July 26, 2001

Transfer of therapeutic genes into haematopoietic stem cells can potentially cure blood disorders such as X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency. But human stem cells are relatively intractable to the available viral vectors. In August Blood, George Vassilopoulos and colleagues from University of Washington, Seattle, describe a new vector system based on foamy viruses from the spumavirus family that can be used for gene transfer into murine haematopoietic stem cells.Foamy viruses are nonpatho

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