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Modelling tumor growth should include normal cells

By | September 10, 2001

Mechanisms of tumorigenesis and novel cancer therapies have been investigated in cultured mutant cells, genetically engineered to develop tumors, but the behaviour of these cells in a normal tissue environment remains almost completely unknown. In September 1 Journal of Clinical Investigation, Youyan Zhang and colleagues from Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, show that normal cells can strongly modulate the growth of mutant populations in vivo and this effect should be taken i

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Primitive actin identified in bacteria

By | September 10, 2001

MreB can self assemble into microfilament-like structures and is closely associated with the bacterial cell membrane.

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Spanish flu

By | September 10, 2001

The Spanish influenza virus pandemic of 1918 killed more than 20 million people worldwide. In September 7 Science, Mark Gibbs and colleagues from the Australian National University in Canberra propose that the pandemic was the result of a recombination between swine-lineage and human-lineage viral strains (Science 2001, 293:1842-1845).They analysed sequences of the hemagglutinin (HA) gene from 30 H1-subtype influenza isolates, using the sister-scanning method and a maximum likelihood method. The

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An innovative approach to vaccination against tumors

By | September 7, 2001

Antigen-specific cancer immunotherapy and anti-angiogenesis represent two attractive mechanisms that could be of use in the treatment of cancer. In September 1 Journal of Clinical Investigation, Wen-Fang Cheng and colleagues from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine show an innovative vaccination approach that combines both mechanisms and suggest this is likely generate a potent antitumor effect. Cheng et al. engineered a fusion gene encoding a known viral tumor antigen (HPV-16 E7), linke

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ethical populist

By | September 7, 2001

discusses how he sees the future of electronic biomedical publishing.

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Ink4a

By | September 7, 2001

The CDKN2A (INK4a/ARF) locus encodes two distinct cell cycle inhibitors, p16Ink4a and p19ARF, both of which have been implicated in tumorigenesis. In the September 6 Nature, two independent groups report the generation of knockout mice specifically lacking p16Ink4a. Surprisingly, mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) lacking p16Ink4a were normal in terms of growth characteristics, senescence phenotypes and resistance to oncogenic Ras-induced transformation.These observations are in contrast to resu

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PLoS plans to publish its own journals

By | September 7, 2001

Thousands of scientists from around the world have signed up in support of the Public Library of Science call for free online access to all scientific journals. But will this support translate into action?

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Hepatitis virus G inhibits HIV replication

By | September 6, 2001

Infection with hepatitis G virus improves survival in patients infected with HIV probably by directly influencing HIV replication.

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Mitochondrial inheritance

By | September 6, 2001

In September 6 Nature, Sofia Berlin and Hans Ellegren from Uppsala University, Sweden, examine the controversial clonal inheritance theory for vertebrate mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) by following co-inheritance of a female-specific nuclear DNA marker (Nature 2001, 413:37-38).They examined the avian W chromosome, most of which is non-recombining and therefore clonally transmitted by females. A polymorphic (CA)n repeat, NVHfp49, on the W chromosome of 53 female peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) an

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stem cells to become blood

By | September 6, 2001

The potential of embryonic stem cells to develop into a wide variety of tissues and organs has been established, but it remains unclear how this can be achieved in practice. In 4 September Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dan Kaufman and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison show for the first time how undifferentiated human embryonic stem cells (ES) can be cultured to become blood cells.Kaufman et al. cultured ES in flasks containing murine bone marrow cell line S17

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