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Genomic workout in Parkinson disease

By | November 14, 2001

Idiopathic Parkinson disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative condition in which the involvement of genes and the environment is still controversial. Two papers in November 14 JAMA from Duke University Medical Center, Durham, US suggest that the parkin gene is important in early-onset PD and that multiple genetic factors are important in the development of late-onset PD. Scott et al. performed a complete genomic screening in 174 families (870 individuals) with multiple individuals diagnosed as having

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Retinal neurons transplanted form the iris

By | November 14, 2001

Iris tissue in the adult rat eye can generate photoreceptor specific cells, which may be used for retinal transplants.

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Translation defects

By | November 14, 2001

Mutations in two different subunits of the translation initiation factor eIF2B are found in patients with a severe neurological disorder.

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Ancient introns

By | November 13, 2001

The origins of introns and their evolutionary role remain unclear. In the November 6 Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Alexei Fedorov and colleagues describe the use of a computer program, called INTRONMAP to present evidence for the existence of ancient introns (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:13177-13182).They used the program to map intron positions onto homologous genes encoding proteins for which the three-dimensional structure is known. They applied the program to 665 nonredu

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Too much oxygen kills stem cells

By | November 13, 2001

Oxygen levels used in standard cell culture apparatus could slow growth and trigger an alternate developmental pathway.

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Barcode screening

By | November 12, 2001

An international project is replacing each yeast open reading frame (ORF) with a drug-resistance cassette containing two 20-mer oligonucleotide 'barcodes' that can be used as hybridization tags for each gene. In the November 8 Sciencexpress, Siew Loon Ooi and colleagues describe the use of this resource to screen for mutants defective in nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) (10.1126/science.1065672).They used a transformation-based plasmid-repair assay to screen for NHEJ activity. They prepared hapl

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Neurons need cholesterol to establish contacts

By | November 12, 2001

Cholesterol secreted by glial cells in complex with apolipoprotein E promotes neuronal synapse development.

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Global fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria

By | November 9, 2001

An international conference calls for substantially increased funding to undertake basic research and start to fight the scourge of AIDS in the developing world.

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NSAIDs tackle Alzheimer's disease

By | November 9, 2001

A subset of NSAIDs have a direct action on the mechanism of amyloid plaque production in the brain independently of COX activity.

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The anorexic hormone

By | November 9, 2001

Oleylethanolamide (OEA) is a natural analogue of the endogenous cannabinoid anandamide that is suspected to have a role in cellular signaling. But, in 8 November Nature, F. Rodriguez de Fonseca and colleagues from Complutense University, Madrid, Spain and University of California at Irvine, US show that the main role of OEA is as a significant lipid mediator in the peripheral regulation of feeding.Using rats Rodriguez de Fonseca et al. found that food deprivation markedly reduced OEA biosynthesi

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