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More roles for vitamin C

By | May 2, 2002

Ascorbic-acid transporter Slc23a1 and vitamin C are essential for maintaining brain integrity and perinatal survival.

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Turning rats into robots

By | May 2, 2002

Laboratory animals can be trained to perform simple tasks in response to external cues (such as specific noises) or rewards (such as food). In the May 2 Nature, Sanjiv Talwar and colleagues describe a learning procedure based on brain microstimulation rather than external cues (Nature 2002, 417:37-38).Talwar et al. implanted stimulating electrodes in the medial forebrain bundle (MFB) or the somatosensory cortical, to mimic rewards or cues, respectively. They strapped a remote-control microstimul

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2002 National Academy Fellows

By | May 1, 2002

The US National Academy of Sciences today announced the election of 72 new members.

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How to attract sperm

By | May 1, 2002

Chemical signals play a crucial role in the communication between sperm and egg that facilitates fertilization, but the identity of the signaling molecules involved remains unclear. In May 15 Journal of Experimental Biology, Jeffrey Riffell and colleagues from University of California, Los Angeles, show that the amino acid L-tryptophan is necessary and sufficient to promote recruitment of sperm to the surface of eggs in red abalone (Haliotis rufescens).Riffell et al. investigated the behavioral

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Mexican study confirms GM contamination of maize

By | May 1, 2002

Mexican researchers are set to publish evidence supporting the hotly disputed claims of GM contamination of the Mexican maize crop.

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Phagocytic programme

By | May 1, 2002

Phagocytosis, the gobbling up of invading pathogens by professional phagocytes, is critical for innate immunity. In the 30 April Early Edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Scott Kobayashi and researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, MT, describe a study of the gene expression changes induced by phagocytosis (DOI: 10.1073/pnas.010123497).Kobayashi et al. used oligonucleotide microarrays to monitor the

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Bee behavior

By | April 30, 2002

The insect foraging (for) gene encodes a cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) that affects foraging behavior. In Drosophila two different for alleles have been found, and the two alleles affect food-searching behavior under different ecological conditions. In the April 26 Science, Ben-Shahar et al. describe changes in for expression during bee development (Science 2002, 296:741-744).They studied the honeybee (Apis mellifera), which undergoes an age-related developmental switch from hive wor

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Grass genomics

By | April 30, 2002

Comparative genomics provides a powerful approach to identifying conserved non-coding sequences that regulate gene transcription. In the April 30 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nicholas Kaplinsky and colleagues report the use of cross-species genomic DNA comparison to isolate conserved non-coding sequences in grass genomes (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2002, 99:6147-6151).Kaplinsky et al. compared the genomic sequences of rice and maize, two domesticated species in the Poaceae family

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T cells heal skin

By | April 30, 2002

Resident T cell receptor-bearing dendritic epidermal T cells have a role in speeding up wound repair.

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Neural cells from cord blood

By | April 29, 2002

Cord blood cells are easily available and preserved, and they could potentially serve as a routine starting material for isolation and expansion of cells for allogenic as well as authologous transplantations. But their potential to form human neural cells was unknown. In 15 May Journal of Cell Science, L. Buzanska and colleagues from Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, show for the first time that cells derived from human cord blood can achieve neuronal and glial features in vitro (J Cell Sci 20

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