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Can NK cells maintain the remission of MS?

By | March 16, 2001

Natural killer cells from multiple sclerosis patients in remission have properties resembling those of NK type 2 cells, which can favour functional deviation of T cells toward Th2 and prohibit autoimmune effector T cells.

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Fungal sexual cycle

By | March 16, 2001

The availability of the complete genome of the pathogenic fungus Candida albicans enables a thorough investigation of its biology. In the 13 March Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Tzung et al describe a comparison of the C. albicans genome with that of the related yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, in an attempt to identify genes that are specifically involved in the sexual cycle, namely, in the processes of meiosis and sporulation (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:3249-3253).By scree

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How plants cope with the damaging effects of UV radiation

By | March 16, 2001

Because of their dependence on sunlight for photosynthesis, plants are also exposed to the DNA-damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. In the 15 March Genes & Development, Roman Ulm of the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel and co-workers report on how plants cope with genotoxic stresses, such as UV radiation (Genes Dev 2001, 15:699-709). Ulm et al identified a mutation in Arabidopsis thaliana, mkp1, that results in hypersensitivity to the DNA-damaging agent MMS (methyl methanesul

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Postnatal steroid treatment increases neuro-developmental impairment

By | March 16, 2001

Postnatal administration of corticosteroids for treatment and prevention of chronic lung disease such as bronchopulmonary dysplasia is a widespread practice and to date there have been no adequate analyses of long-term adverse effects. According to a meta-analysis just published in BMC Pediatrics, postnatal steroid treatment is associated with dramatic increases in neuro-developmental impairment and steroid use to prevent or treat bronchopulmonary dysplasia should be abandoned (BMC Pediatrics 20

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Budding interactome

By | March 15, 2001

Functional genomics aims to turn genomic information into a comprehensive understanding of the workings of the cell at the molecular level. It is assumed that extensive knowledge of the interactions between proteins will contribute significantly to this goal. In the Early Edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Ito et al. describe the results of a comprehensive high-throughput screen to identify all the protein-protein interactions (the 'interactome') in the budding yeast S

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Enterococcus faecium

By | March 15, 2001

Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREF) causes an infection common in US hospitals and is resistant to all commercially available antibiotics. Hospital outbreaks are rare in Europe, although VREF carriage among healthy individuals and livestock is common. A study from the National Institute of Public Health, Bilthoven, Netherlands, published in the online version of the Lancet on 13 March, suggests that genetic screening of E. faecium carriers could help eradicate this infection (Lancet

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Structure of a biological propeller

By | March 15, 2001

explains how bacteria can switch between 'running' and 'tumbling' motions.

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Caretakers and gatekeepers

By | March 14, 2001

Cellular gatekeepers include the proteins that regulate cell cycle progression in response to DNA damage, and the DNA repair pathways function as genomic caretakers. The p53 and ATM (ataxia-telangiectasia-mutated) proteins behave as cellular gatekeepers, whereas the non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) DNA repair machinery acts as a genomic caretaker. NHEJ factors include Ku70, Ku80 and the DNA-PK enzyme, plus XXRC4 and DNA Ligase IV (Lig4), which function in ligation.In 6 March Proceedings of the

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Multiprotein DNA/MVA vaccine for AIDS

By | March 14, 2001

DNA priming followed by a recombinant modified vaccinia Ankara (rMVA) booster has controlled a highly pathogenic immunodeficiency virus challenge in a rhesus macaque model.

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Neuron survival is not enough

By | March 14, 2001

Parkinson's disease is associated with the loss of dopamine neurons in the caudate and putamen nuclei of the brain. Several groups have tried to slow down the neuron loss by transplanting embryonic precursors of dopaminergic cells and obtained some promising results. In the 8 March issue of New England Journal of Medicine a team from University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, published the first double-blind placebo controlled study of the transplant therapy (N Engl J Med 2001, 344:710-7

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