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The MLL leukemia

By | December 5, 2001

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia with mixed-lineage leukemia gene (MLL) translocations has a particularly poor prognosis, but it is not clear if host-related factors or tumor-intrinsic biological differences are responsible for these poor survival rates. In December 3 on line Nature Genetics, Scott Armstrong and colleagues from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, show that acute leukemia with MLL translocations has a gene expression profile that identifies them as a unique, new type

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Genes repressed by GDNF

By | December 4, 2001

The genes down-regulated by the glial cell-line-derived neurotrophic factor may account for the factor's inhibition of neurite growth.

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Global health and bioterror meeting

By | December 4, 2001

Increased research spending on the agents of bioterrorism could have huge spin offs for the developing world.

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HIV entry and membrane lipid rafts

By | December 4, 2001

Cholesterol lowering drugs could be used to disrupt the cell entry mechanism of many intracellular pathogens.

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Pro-apoptotic influenza protein

By | December 4, 2001

Severe influenza infections can kill, particularly neonates and the elderly, but despite this little is known about the viral proteins involved in pathogenicity. In December Nature Medicine, Weisan Chen and colleagues from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, US, describe a novel influenza A virus mitochondrial protein that induces cell death in host immune cells sent to destroy the influenza virus.Chen et al. searched for alternative peptides encoded by influenza

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New lipid-lowering drugs

By | December 3, 2001

Drugs such as statins can reduce high plasma levels of the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol that is a significant risk factor for atherosclerosis. In December Nature Medicine Thierry Grand-Perret and colleagues from GlaxoSmithKline, France showed that compounds that bind directly to the sterol regulating protein SCAP, could lower cholesterol levels via a mechanism other than that employed by the statins.Grand-Perret et al. administered SCAP ligands to hyperlipidemic hamsters and found t

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The missing link

By | December 3, 2001

The increasing prevalence of asthma in industrialized societies may be a consequence of improved hygiene levels and a reduction in the incidence in infections such as tuberculosis and hepatitis A. But, the molecular mechanisms that would help to explain these theories remain elusive. In November 28 Nature Immunology Jennifer McIntire and colleagues from Stanford University, Stanford, US show that Tim1 gene on chromosome 5q may explain the inverse relationship between hepatitis A virus (HAV) infe

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Wood genomics

By | December 3, 2001

Transcript profiling identifies groups of genes associated with different developmental stages during the formation of wood in trees.

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Bacteriolytic therapy for cancer

By | November 30, 2001

Tumors often do not respond to chemotherapy because they contain large poorly vascularized areas that limit the efficacy of radiation and chemotherapeutic drugs. In November 27 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences early edition, Long Dang and colleagues from The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine show that administration of anaerobic bacteria in addition to chemotherapy can efficiently destroy large tumors.Dang et al. created a strain of anaerobic bacteria (Clostridium novyi-NT) lacking

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Transgene transfer

By | November 30, 2001

The use of genetically-modified crops has generated concern about the safety of transgenic plants and about the potential for gene flow to related wild species. In the November 29 Nature, David Quist and Ignacio Chapela from the University of California, Berkeley report evidence for the presence of introgressed transgenic DNA in maize plants grown in the remote Mexican mountains of Oaxaca (Nature 2001, 414:541-543).They collected cobs of native landraces of maize from different locations in the

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