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Gene discovery by stringent annotation

By | March 5, 2001

In the March Nature Genetics, Gopal et al. describe a two-step approach to identify novel genes by combining stringent annotation with broad gene-prediction techniques (Nature Genetics 2001, 27:337-340). The first step involves identification of potential exons using the GENSCAN gene-finding program. In the second step, predicted genes are compared with all available gene and protein sequences, including expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from other organisms, at the protein level (in all six transl

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Role of the ATM protein in neurogenesis

By | March 5, 2001

Ataxia telangiectasia (AT) is a recessive childhood disease caused by mutations in the ATM (AT-mutated) gene. The hallmark of the disease is progressive neurodegeneration that eventually affects all areas of the brain. It is known that the ATM protein initiates a cascade of signalling events that leads to cell-cycle arrest and DNA repair in response to ionising radiation. Its role in the nervous system is not clear.In the 1 March Genes & Development, researchers led by Carrolee Barlow of the

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Two populations of memory T cells

By | March 5, 2001

T cells injected into mice suggests that there are two discrete populations of memory T cells.

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A marker for asymptomatic glaucoma

By | March 2, 2001

Endothelial leukocyte adhesion molecule-1 is consistently present on the trabecular meshwork cells in the outflow pathways of eyes with glaucomas of diverse etiology.

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Delivering drugs via the brain

By | March 2, 2001

brain barrier.

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Plants cope better without telomerase

By | March 2, 2001

Mice lacking telomerase exhibit reduced fertility and severe developmental defects after a few generations. In the March 2 Science, Riha et al. report the effects of telomere shortening in Arabidopsis thaliana (Science 2001, 291:1797-1800). Homozygous telomerase-deficient plants displayed progressive telomere shortening (250-500 base pairs per generation). Defects in vegetative organs and reproductive systems did not appear before the sixth generation (reduced leaf size and symmetry), however. T

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A possible blood test for prion infection

By | March 1, 2001

A significant decrease in erythroid differentiation-related factor (EDRF) RNA can be detected in the blood of animals infected with a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy.

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Anaphylactic shock from a self-peptide

By | March 1, 2001

Anaphylactic shock is normally triggered by foreign antigens but a self-antigen can trigger it in a mouse model, presumably because the antigen is not expressed in the thymus.

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more than just a problem with chloride ions

By | March 1, 2001

ion transport in cystic fibrosis has important implications for treatment of this debilitating condition.

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Early breast cancer detection

By | February 28, 2001

Early detection is critical for the clinical management of breast cancer. In the February 27 Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Martin et al. describe a highly sensitive blood-based assay to detect and classify solid tumours (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:2646-2651). The high-throughput assay involves a two-step approach, combining differential display with cDNA microarrays. Martin et al. analysed blood samples from 26 breast cancer patients for the expression of 12 breast can

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