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Prime Minister champions science

By | May 24, 2002

Tony Blair discussed the importance of science to society at The Royal Society yesterday.

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The time messenger

By | May 24, 2002

Most of the physiological and behavioral processes in mammals exhibit a daily rhythm, maintained by a central 'clock' in the brain, but the molecules that connect the brain clock with the body remain unknown. In 23 May Nature, Michelle Cheng and colleagues from University of California, Irvine, show that prokineticin 2, a cysteine-rich secreted protein, functions as an output molecule from the suprachiasmatic nucleus to the rest of the body.Cheng et al. studied mice under dark and light conditio

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US genome sequencing priorities decided

By | May 24, 2002

The chicken genome will be among the next to be sequenced, and so will that of humanity's closest relative.

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Manipulating mosquitoes and malaria

By | May 23, 2002

Malaria kills up to 2.7 million people a year and the death toll is predicted to double in the next two decades. In the 23 May Nature, Junitsu Ito and colleagues describe a transgenic strategy to halt malaria by regulating transmission by mosquitoes of the Plasmodium parasites that cause the disease(Nature 2002, 417:452-455).Ito et al. used the carboxypeptidase (CP) promoter that is activated by a blood meal, and CP signal sequences that direct protein secretion into the midgut lumen, to drive e

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Mechanisms of natural selection

By | May 23, 2002

Considerable debate still exists bout the precise nature of the mechanisms involved in the process of natural selection. In 23 May Nature, Patrik Nosil and colleagues from Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada, show that divergent selection for host adaptation, and not genetic drift, has promoted the parallel evolution of sexual isolation in the walking-stick insect Timema cristinae (Nature 2002, 417:440-443).Nosil et al. studied populations of T. cristinae from eight study sites in the Santa

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A proven role for methylation

By | May 22, 2002

A clear example of cell-type-specific gene regulation by cytosine methylation has been described in epithelial cells.

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Early determination of B cell fate

By | May 22, 2002

Antibody responses by B cells become more specific over time in a process known as 'affinity maturation', but the role of antibody affinity for antigens in controlling B lymphocyte selection remains unclear. In 20 May Nature Immunology, Tien-An Yang Shih and colleagues from Rockefeller University, New York, show that strict selection for high-affinity B cell clones is imposed at an early stage of the T cell-dependent immune response in vivo (Nat Immunol 2002, DOI: 10.1038/ni803).Shih et al. comp

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Making science global

By | May 22, 2002

From Friday, researchers in over 100 developing nations will have low-cost Internet access to more than 2,000 biomedical journals under a major WHO initiative.

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Toll road to mast cell activation

By | May 22, 2002

Direct activation of mast cells via Toll-like receptors 2 or 4 by respective microligands contributes to innate and allergic immune responses.

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New source of liver cells

By | May 21, 2002

Until recently, it was believed that hepatocytes could only be derived from cells of endodermal origin and their progenitors. But, in 15 May Journal of Clinical Investigation, Robert Schwartz and colleagues from University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA, show that adult bone marrow stem cells can differentiate in vitro to cells exhibiting hepatocyte phenotype and function (J Clin Invest 2002, 109:1291-1302).Schwartz et al. cultured bone marrow-derived human, murine and rat multipotent adult prog

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