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Covering the life sciences inside and out

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Muscle profiles

By | October 1, 2001

Different skeletal myofibre types are known to express distinct muscle myosin isoforms. In the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Porter et al., from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA, describe a genomics approach to exploring the molecular signatures underlying skeletal muscle biology (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 10.1073/pnas.211257298).They used high-density oligonucleotide arrays (from Affymetrix) to measure gene expression profiles in the ext

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Organ development signals from the vasculature

By | October 1, 2001

Blood vessels are an essential, but largely passive infrastructure for organ development, supplying metabolic provisions to the dividing cells. But, in September 28 on line Science, Eckhard Lammert and colleagues from Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard University, show that during pancreatic organogenesis blood vessels not only provide metabolic provisions but also offer inductive signals for organ development.Lammert et al. performed cell culture experiments with embryonic mouse tissue an

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Cells whisper

By | September 28, 2001

Cells respond within a millisecond to changes in membrane voltage, emitting sounds whilst they fulfil their function.

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Intronic sequences

By | September 28, 2001

We are far from understanding all the rules that govern the process of RNA splicing and defining the sequence information that governs intron definition. In the September 25 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Lee Lim and Christopher Burge at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA, describe a computational approach for investigating intron splicing (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:11193-11198).They chose transcripts from five eukaryote genomes (Saccharomyces cerev

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Chemical behind exercise 'lift' discovered

By | September 27, 2001

The mystery over the antidepressant effects of physical activity may have finally been solved.

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Negative regulator of B cell function

By | September 27, 2001

A newly identified Btk-interacting protein, IBtk, binds to the PH domain of Btk and downregulates Btk function in B cells.

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Study points to new genetic model for disease

By | September 27, 2001

Biedel syndrome, a classically Mendelian genetic disease is triallelic.

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Viral discovery

By | September 27, 2001

The isolation of novel viral genomes from serum or plasma samples presents a significant technical challenge. In the September 25 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Tobias Allander and colleagues at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, USA, describe a sensitive method for identifying viruses in serum samples (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:11609-11614).The method is based on the fact that viral genomes are generally protected from DNase degradation

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A link between Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease

By | September 26, 2001

The proteins associated with Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease interact to enhance each other's distinct degenerative effects

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Minos in mammals

By | September 26, 2001

Transposon-based technology for insertional mutagenesis of the genome has been widely used in Drosophila and could be adapted for genomic analysis in mammals. Minos is a mobile element of the Tc1/mariner superfamily isolated from Drosophila hydrei. In the September 25 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Zagoraiou et al. report the use of Minos transposons in mouse tissues (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:11474-11478).They generated two transgenic mouse lines: one expressing the Mino

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