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Musical Twins

By | March 12, 2001

A study of mono- and dizygotic twins indicates that there is a strong genetic contribution to musical pitch perception.

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Protein folding

By | March 12, 2001

Under specific conditions globular proteins can assume a structure resembling amyloid and prion aggregates.

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genotype influences chemotherapy results

By | March 9, 2001

Oxidative stress has been implicated in the metabolism of chemotherapy drugs. The mechanisms have been linked to the genes that encode glutathione S-transferase (GST) which are critical in protection against oxidative stress.In March Journal of Clinical Oncology Stella Davies and colleagues demonstrate that presence or absence of GST genes may influence the outcome of treatment for childhood acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).Davies et al genotyped the GST isoenzyme genes GSTT1 and GSTM1 in 306 child

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Hormone therapy without the complications

By | March 9, 2001

Using synthetic molecules that mimic the sex hormones, it may be possible to promote the survival of osteoblasts without the complications associated with hormone replacement therapy.

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Wiring up

By | March 9, 2001

In March 8 Nature Philip Leighton and colleagues describe a large-scale screen for molecules that guide axons during the development of the nervous system in mice (Nature 2001, 410:174-179). They developed a gene-trap screening method that incorporates elements of the 'secretory trap' technique combined with an axonal marker (placental alkaline phosphatase) whose translation is driven by an IRES (internal ribosome entry site).The method enabled the generation of a large number of mouse lines wit

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Clues to how prions cross the species barrier

By | March 8, 2001

A hybrid prion, created by fusing together prions from two distantly related yeast species, can adopt two distinct shapes and infect both yeast species.

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Making sense of antisense

By | March 8, 2001

The yeast Candida albicans is the major pathogen causing human fungal infections. C. albicans is not amenable to functional genomic strategies used for other micro-organisms, because of mating difficulties, its diploid nature and the lack of random insertional mutagenesis methods.In March Nature Biotechnology Marianne De Backer and colleagues describe an approach to overcoming these limitations, in order to perform a genome-wide screen for gene function (Nature Biotechnology 2001, 19:235-241). T

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Sex hormone receptors on mast cells

By | March 8, 2001

A role for ovarian hormones has been suspected in airway inflammation but the cellular target for such action is not known. In a study published in March Thorax, Zhaoa and colleagues from the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, and the University of Medical Sciences, Changchun, China, provide evidence that mast cells can be a target for sex hormones in the airways.Using immunohistochemistry, Zhaoa et al examined inflammatory nasal polyp tissues from 47 subjects and found that only mast cells

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Finding virus-infected cells

By | March 7, 2001

CD8+ T cells can detect CMV-infected cells, even though CMV interferes with MHC class I antigen presentation.

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New molecules that may yield a cure for stroke

By | March 7, 2001

In cerebral stroke an interruption of blood flow to the brain causes neuronal death. Several molecules have emerged in recent years as potentially protective for hypoxic neurons and may be of use in the treatment of stroke. In March Nature Medicine two groups report the identification of different proteins having these protective properties.Takao Sakai and colleagues from Lund University in Sweden studied plasma fibronectin-deficient adult mice using Cre-loxP conditional gene-knockout technology

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