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Metal hearts undergo trials

By | January 31, 2001

Regulators have given permission for a US biotechnology company to implant metal hearts in a handful of critically ill patients.

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Overuse of drugs for ovarian stimulation questioned

By | January 31, 2001

Fertility experts have called for IVF clinics to limit the use of drugs to stimulate the production of eggs.

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Accelerating new drug development

By | January 30, 2001

US FDA user fees may have accelerated new drug development but a recent survey suggests difficulties in obtaining volunteers for human clinical trials still slow progress.

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Impotent B cells

By | January 30, 2001

In chronic lymphocytic leukaemia the non-malignant B cells do not mature to produce IgG and IgA because of an interaction with CD30+ T cells.In patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia antibody production by B cells is severely impaired and this is associated with increased susceptibility to bacterial infections. The mechanisms behind the immune defects have remained elusive. In the February issue of Nature Immunology, researchers from Cornell University, New York, show how leukaemia cells in

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Stimulatory sonic hedgehog

By | January 30, 2001

Current bone marrow transplant treatment of cancer patients does not include agents to amplify the number of repopulating stem cells. A step closer to developing an appropriate drug has been made by Mickie Bhatia and colleagues from the John P. Robarts Research Institute, London, Canada who report in the February issue of Nature Immunology how the sonic hedgehog protein is involved in the regulation of the human stem cell pool.Their research indicates that the cytokine-induced proliferation of p

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Transcriptional targets

By | January 30, 2001

In the January 25 Nature, Iyer et al. describe an elegant technique to identify transcriptional target genes throughout the genome (Nature 2001, 409:533-538). They combined chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) with microarray analysis (DNA chips) to probe individual protein-genome interactions. The technique involved cross-linking, immunoprecipitation, PCR amplification and fluorescent labeling, followed by hybridization to microarrarys containing genomic DNA. They searched the yeast genome fo

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Depleted uranium: key reports awaited

By | January 29, 2001

Forthcoming WHO and UNEP reports won't answer the question of whether DU weapons have an impact on human health. There's still plenty of research needed, say UN agencies.

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Goldfish calculus

By | January 29, 2001

The concept that neurons can perform calculations and store information temporarily by exciting each other in a reciprocal way has been around for some time, but has been difficult to test experimentally. A team from the New York University School of Medicine presents evidence in the February issue of Nature Neuroscience, that may help to prove this intriguing hypothesis.Aksay and colleagues worked on a group of neurons in the brainstem of goldfish that are involved in controlling eye movements.

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New treatment for diabetics undergoes trial

By | January 29, 2001

A treatment that could mean the end of daily insulin injections for diabetics is about to undergo trials in the UK.

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Sir silencing

By | January 26, 2001

Chromatin silencing depends on passage through the S-phase of the cell cycle and was widely believed to depend on DNA replication. In two papers in the January 26 Science, Kirchmaier and Rine and Li et al. challenge this dogma by reporting that the establishment of transcriptional silencing can occur in the absence of replication (Science 2001, 291:646-650; Science 2001, 291:650-653). Both groups used an ingenious genetic trick, involving site-specific recombination, to generate non-replicating

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