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Chaperones for virulent bacterial proteins

By | October 29, 2001

The type III bacterial chaperones protect the harmful proteins produced by pathogenic bacteria until they are delivered across membranes into the host cell. In October 29 on line Nature Structural Biology, Yu Luo and colleagues from University of British Columbia, Canada report the structures of three type III chaperones, providing important details about the function of the proteins and the mechanisms employed to modulate the virulence of invasive bacteria.Luo et al. reported the crystal struct

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Switching on genes with GeneSwitch

By | October 29, 2001

Fruitfly biologists have developed some elaborate genetic tricks to express transgenes in a spatially restricted manner. The bipartite GAL4/UAS system exploits the yeast GAL4 transcriptional activator and the upstream activating sequence (UAS) to which it binds to drive transgene expression. In the October 23 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Thomas Osterwalder and colleagues at Yale University describe an enhanced conditional, tissue-specific expression system that can take advan

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Fast protein translation to release memories

By | October 26, 2001

The maps of electrical brain activity taken during the making of memories are well established, but how those memories are stored and subsequently released remains unclear. In 23 October Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Christy Job and James Eberwine from University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine show how neuronal dendrites use a fast translation mechanism for protein manufacture in a part of the brain devoted to making and storing memories.Job & Eberwine used multiphoton

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Lining-up Listeria genomes

By | October 26, 2001

Listeriosis is caused by the ingestion of pathogenic Listeria monocytogenes in contaminated food. In the October 26 Science, Glaser et al. report a comparative analysis of Listeria genomes aimed at identifying virulence genes (Science 2001, 294:849-852).They sequenced the genomes of two Listeria strains; pathogenic L. monocytogenes EGD-e and a non-virulent species L. innocua.L. monocytogenes contains a single circular chromosome of 2.9 Mb, while L. innocua has a 3 Mb chromosome and an 80 kb plas

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A comment from Genome Biology

By | October 25, 2001

Sixteenth century prayer, attributed to Thomas Nashe

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Anthrax evildoers revealed

By | October 25, 2001

New work has identified the cellular receptor for anthrax toxin and resolved the crystal structure of a component of the toxin.

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Salmonella

By | October 25, 2001

There are about 16 million cases of typhoid fever throughout the world each year. In the October 25 Nature, Parkhill et al. report the complete genome sequence of the pathogenic culprit, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi CT18 (Nature 2001, 413:848-852). The drug-resistant strain has a genome of 4.8 Mb containing over two hundred pseudogenes, some of which correspond to virulence genes in Salmonella typhimurium.In the same issue of Nature, McClelland et al. report the sequence of the Salmonella e

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Eliminating research fraud

By | October 24, 2001

The Committee on Publication Ethics calls for the establishment of a medical research watchdog.

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Lucky Luke

By | October 24, 2001

It is believed that the evangelist Luke was born in Antioch in Syria and died in Thebes, Greece, around 150 C.E (AD). His body was transported to Constantinople (Turkey) in 338 C.E. and later transfered to Padua, Italy. In the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Cristiano Vernesi and colleagues at the University of Ferrara, Italy, describe experiments to verify the origins of the Padua body (doi/10.1073/pnas.211540498).They followed strict guidelines to isolate

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Pregnancy, p53 and breast cancer risk

By | October 24, 2001

The age at which a woman becomes pregnant could influence whether she subsequently develops breast cancer.

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