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New global fund open for business

By | January 31, 2002

The new Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is now open to funding proposals. Its 'unique strategy' must have an early impact

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Plant pathogen genome

By | January 31, 2002

reveals clues about its pathogenicity.

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Tolerization receptors

By | January 31, 2002

T suppressor cells alter certain antigen presenting cell activities thought to be central to the prevention of autoimmune diseases, allergies, transplant rejection and immune-deficiency disorders, but the molecular basis that underlies this mechanism remains unclear. In January 28 online Nature Immunology, Chih-Chao Chang and colleagues from Columbia University, New York, show that the immunoglobulin-like transcript 3 (ILT3) and ILT4 inhibitory receptors have an important role in the tolerizatio

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Transgenic frogs

By | January 31, 2002

The binary Gal4–UAS system has been used to drive the tissue-specific expression of transgenes in a number of animal models. In the February 5 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Katharine Hartley and colleagues at the Wellcome/CRC Institute Cambridge, UK, report application of the Gal4–UAS system to create transgenic Xenopus (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2002, 99:1377-1382).The authors generated Xenopus lines expressing constructs for the 'activator', the yeast trans

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Microbe warning over contact lens solutions

By | January 30, 2002

Acanthamoeba is a leading cause of eye infection on contact lens wearers, particularly in people that use soft lenses. It can cause keratis of the eye and may eventually lead to blindness. In the British Journal of Ophthalmology, K. Hiti and colleagues, from the University of Vienna, Austria, tested the ability of three types of cleaning solutions for soft contact lenses to kill the single-cell organism Acanthamoeba (Br J Ophthalmol 2002, 86:144-146).The organism has two distinct life stages: tr

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Antioxidants could prevent type 1 diabetes

By | January 29, 2002

The antioxidant metalloporphyrin-based superoxide dismutase can prevent or delay the onset of the autoimmune cascade in diabetes.

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Endocytosis controller

By | January 29, 2002

Endocytosis and degradation of the membrane receptors in the lysosome controls the activation of intracellular signaling pathways, but the mechanisms that control the endocytosis itself are largely unknown. In January 25 Cell, Thomas Lloyd and colleagues from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, US show that hepatocyte growth factor regulates endosome membrane invagination and tyrosine kinase receptor (TKR) signaling in Drosophila.Lloyd et al. performed electron microscopy studies on mutant fly

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Mitochondrial mutations

By | January 29, 2002

Mutations in the mitochondrial genome have been associated with several genetic diseases. In an Advanced Online Publication of Nature Genetics, Robert McFarland and colleagues from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne describe an unusual family with a homoplasmic mitochondrial mutation (involving all copies of the mitochondrial genome) (Nat Genet 2002, DOI:10.1038/ng819).McFarland et al. examined a woman who had had ten pregnancies with four different partners, all of which resulted in offsprin

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Hammering melanoma

By | January 28, 2002

Survivin is an inhibitor of apoptosis that is involved in tissue development and early reports have suggested that it may have a role in the survival of cancer cells. In January 15 Journal of Clinical Investigation, Marzia Pennati and colleagues from Istituto Nazionale per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori, Milan, Italy show that ribozyme-mediated attenuation of survivin expression increased the susceptibility of melanoma cells to cisplatin-induced apoptosis.Pennati et al. developed a strategy for

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Lung taps

By | January 28, 2002

The control of water flow across cell membranes is important for normal lung function, but the molecular mechanisms of water permeability at this level are incompletely defined. In January 22 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Landon King and colleagues from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, show that aquaporins (AQP) are proteins that control the vascular permeability in the lung, and have a role in human pulmonary physiology.King et al. intravenously injected 3 liters

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