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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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Uniparental disomy in ES cells

By | March 7, 2001

Homozygous mutant cells can be generated from embryonic stem (ES) cells with a single insertion of a drug-resistance marker by increasing the concentration of the selection drug. In the March Nature Genetics, Lefebvre et al. report analysis of the mechanism governing this loss of heterozygosity (LOH) (Nature Genetics 2001, 27:257-258). They used an ES cell line resulting from a cross between two different inbred mouse 129 substrains which could be distinguished by single sequence-length polymorp

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BAG-1 can predict survival from breast cancer

By | March 6, 2001

There is preliminary evidence that women with malignant breast tumours that contain high levels of the protein BAG-1 have a longer survival time.

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Chemokines may be used in metastasis

By | March 6, 2001

Chemokines and their receptors help guide tumour cells to their targets.

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Hyper-IgM syndrome dissected

By | March 6, 2001

B, can explain the hyper-IgM syndrome associated with ectodermal dysplasia.

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knockouts and Rett syndrome

By | March 6, 2001

Mice lacking the transcriptional repressor Mecp2 have symptoms resembling the neurological disorder Rett syndrome.

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