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CNS neurons from neural stem cells

By | April 15, 2002

Neurons from the central nervous system (CNS) can regenerate, but little is known about the potential of adult neural stem cells to develop into functional nervous cells. In April 15 online Nature Neuroscience, Hong-jun Song and colleagues from the Salk Institute, La Jolla, California, show that neural stem cells derived from adult tissues retain the potential to differentiate into cells with properties similar to that of mature CNS neurons.Song et al. established an in vitro co-culture system t

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Monkey business

By | April 12, 2002

Differences in gene expression levels might be sufficient to account for the behavioural and cognitive functions that distinguish us from monkeys. In the April 12 Science, Wolfgang Enard and colleagues address this issue by studying the transcriptome and proteome in human and chimpanzee tissues (Science 2002, 296:340-343).Enard et al. compared mRNA levels in the brains and livers of six humans, six chimps (Pan troglodytes) and two orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) using oligonucleotide microarrays rep

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Nucleating autoimmunity

By | April 12, 2002

An IgG/DNA complex activates B cells and provokes autoimmune responses.

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The ABC of spinal recovery

By | April 12, 2002

Bacterial chondroitinase ABC promotes functional recovery after spinal cord injury in rats.

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Caterpillars chew over plant defenses

By | April 11, 2002

A salivary enzyme is a key weapon in the evolutionary arms race between plants and animals.

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Male mutations

By | April 11, 2002

Men are thought to have a higher mutation rate than women and the male-to-female mutation ratio (the 'alpha' value) in primates has been estimated at around 4-6. This estimation has recently been challenged, and it has been suggested that the alpha ratio may be as low as 1.7. In the April 11 Nature, Kateryna Makova and Wen-Hsiung Li provide evidence supporting the higher estimates (Nature 2002, 416:624-626).Makova & Li sequenced over 10 kilobases of genomic DNA from a non-coding region of th

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Controlling protein folding

By | April 10, 2002

The mechanism by which a linear sequence of amino acids controls the folding of a protein into its unique three-dimensional structure remains incompletely understood. In April 8 online Nature Structural Biology, Christian Wigley and colleagues from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, show that a protein sequence can encode the native structure by disfavouring the formation of a misfolded structure.Wigley et al. observed that a proline residue in the center of the third trans

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Fate is genetic

By | April 10, 2002

The single-cell resolution (the sequence of mechanisms that establish cell lineages and cell fates during metazoan development) is a major aspect of animal development, but the specific genes involved remain unclear. In April 1 Development, Scott Cameron and colleagues from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas show that PAG-3, a Zn-finger transcription factor, determines neuroblast fate in Caenorhabditis elegans and is essential for development of the erythroid and megakaryocy

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Zooming in on micrometastases

By | April 10, 2002

Researchers have developed an optimized procedure for analyzing the genome and transcriptome of single tumour cells.

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Cloning like rabbits

By | April 9, 2002

French scientists have succeeded in generating cloned rabbits by nuclear transfer.

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