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Biomarkers are better monitors for environmental pollution

By | May 25, 2001

Blood and urine biomarkers of renal dysfunction and DNA damage can be used to detect environmental exposure to pollutants and measure their biological effect before overt disease develops.

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Mammalian RNAi

By | May 25, 2001

The RNA interference (RNAi) technique has been used to disrupt gene function in a range of model organisms, but its use in mammalian cells has been problematic. RNAi involves the ribonuclease-III-catalysed digestion of specific double-stranded RNA into 21-22 nucleotide small interfering RNA (siRNA) species. In the May 24 Nature, Elbashir et al. report the application of RNAi in cultured mammalian cells (Nature 2001, 411:494-498). They designed 21-nucleotide siRNA duplexes, with symmetric two-nuc

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Marker for MS progression

By | May 25, 2001

Endothelial cell dysfunction may contribute to the progress of multiple sclerosis (MS) but directly measuring the extent of damage to this layer of cells has been difficult. In May Neurology, Alireza Minagar and colleagues from the University of Miami report that the level of endothelial cells release microparticles (EMP) expressing CD31 in the blood is a potential marker for endothelial damage and progression of MS.Minagar et al developed a flow cytometric assay and measured levels of two class

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Breast cancer mouse

By | May 24, 2001

In mice, null mutations of the breast cancer susceptibility gene Brca1 result in embryonic lethality. In the May 15 Genes & Development, Ludwig et al. describe the generation of a mutant mouse that expresses a truncated Brca1 protein that mimics mutations found in human breast cancer patients (Genes & Development 2001, 15:1188-1193). They used a two-step 'knock-in' targeting strategy to insert a stop codon in Brca1 exon 11. The genetic background of the mice determined the extent of embr

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Association of viral genomic DNA with heart graft loss

By | May 23, 2001

Identification of viral DNA in the myocardium of paediatric transplant recipients is predictive of adverse clinical events, including coronary vasculopathy.

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Gene found that could increase susceptibility to autism

By | May 23, 2001

A gene has been identified that could influence susceptibility to autism in humans.

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in chicks

By | May 23, 2001

Overexpression of the c-myc oncogene induces multistaged neoplastic progression leading to B-cell lymphomas in the bursa of Fabricius. In the May 22 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Neiman et al. describe the use of microarray analysis to define the genetic networks important for myc-induced lymphomagenesis (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:6378-6383). The authors created a customized cDNA microarray containing over 2,200 genes associated with the immune system - details can be fo

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Cytokine secretion linked to emotional and cognitive disturbances

By | May 22, 2001

Positive correlations were found between cytokine secretion and endotoxin-induced anxiety, depressed mood and decreases in memory performance.

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Gene linked to Crohn's disease

By | May 22, 2001

Two independent research teams in Europe and the US have identified a defective gene that increases susceptibility to Crohn's disease.

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Mannose binding lectin gene influences severity of liver disease

By | May 22, 2001

An independent genetic factor, the mannose binding lectin gene influences liver disease severity in cystic fibrosis patients.

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