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MAP kinase safeguards plants

By | March 4, 2002

MAP kinase signaling is involved in plant innate immunity, conferring resistance to bacterial and fungal pathogens.

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Shape of a chromodomain

By | March 4, 2002

The structure of the HP1 chromodomain shows how it recognizes methylated histone tails.

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Cloned mice are obese

By | March 1, 2002

Cloning using somatic cells has potentially important clinical and therapeutic applications, but the long-term effects of cloning on the offspring of these animals remains unknown. In March Nature Medicine, Kellie Tamashiro and colleagues from University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Ohio, USA, show that cloned mice have an obese phenotype, but that this is not transmitted to their offspring.Tamashiro et al. examined cloned mice of different background strains (B6C3F1, B6D2F1) and used spec

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Good taste

By | March 1, 2002

The ability to taste gives animals a means to assess the identity and quality of potential food substances. In an Advanced Online Publication from Nature, Greg Nelson and colleagues at the University of California at San Diego describe characterization of the mammalian amino-acid taste receptor (Nature 2002, DOI 10.1038/nature726).They employed an expression screening strategy, expressing putative G-protein-coupled receptors in human cells and assaying for stimulus-induced changes in intracellul

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Telomeres and Fanconi's anemia

By | March 1, 2002

Telomere breakage and replicative shortening account for telomere shortening in Fanconi 's anemia.

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By | February 28, 2002

Patients infected with HIV have highly variable CD8+ CTL responses despite the high number of circulating CD8+ T cells, an observation that remains poorly understood. In March Journal of Immunology Mohammed Garba and colleagues from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA, show that the failure of CD8+ T cell responses can be the result of an active HIV regulatory process mediated by secretion of TGF-β1, rather than the absence of CD8+ cells.Garba et al. used flow cytometric methods

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Dodo genetics

By | February 28, 2002

The dodo (originally Didus ineptus and renamed Raphus cucullatus) is a mysterious, now extinct, bird that has been difficult to position in evolutionary trees. In the March 1 Science, Beth Shapiro and colleagues at the University of Oxford, UK, report a genetic analysis of the evolutionary history of the dodo (Science 2002, 295:1683).Shapiro et al. examined DNA sequences amplified from the mitochondrial genomes of 37 species of pigeons and doves, including the dodo and the another flightless bir

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French revolution

By | February 28, 2002

Plans to elevate the status of France's biotechnology sector have won support from within the industry.

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Extracellular DNA

By | February 27, 2002

Bacteria can organize into structured communities, called biofilms, that protect them from antibiotics and from immune attack by the host. The biofilms are embedded in a matrix containing a complex mixture of macromolecules including exopolysaccharides and proteins. In the February 22 Science, Cynthia Whitchurch and colleagues reported that extracellular DNA is a major component of the biofilms of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Science 2002, 295:1487).Whitchurch et al. demonstrated that adding DNase I

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Long-term risks of chemotherapy

By | February 27, 2002

Chemotherapy can generate new cancerous growths and may carry significant cardiovascular risks.

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