News & Opinion

Covering the life sciences inside and out

Most Recent

The hidden transcriptome

By | May 7, 2002

Analysis of the human transcriptome is often limited to annotated sequences. In the May 3 Science, Philipp Kapranov and colleagues at Affymetrix Inc., California provide evidence for many undiscovered transcribed sequences from human chromosomes 21 and 22 (Science 2002, 296:916-919).Most microarray transcriptome analysis is based on annotated exon sequences. Kapranov et al. took an empirical approach and constructed microarrays containing 25-mer oligonucleotides spaced uniformly every 35 base-pa

0 Comments

Astrocytes teach stem cells to become neurons

By | May 3, 2002

Astrocytes make up nearly half of the total number of brain cells, providing structural, metabolic and tropic support for neurons, but they were considered to play no active part in stem cell differentiation. In May 2 Nature, Hongjun Song and colleagues from The Salk Institute, La Jolla, California, show for the first time that adult astrocytes can induce neurogenesis by instructing the stem cells to adopt a neuronal fate (Nature 2002, 417:39-44).Song et al. used cell culture systems and investi

0 Comments

HIV's preferences

By | May 3, 2002

HIV infection induces the loss of immunological control of HIV replication but the mechanism involved in altering HIV-specific CD4+ T-cell responses remains unresolved. In May 2 Nature, Daniel Douek and colleagues from National Institutes of Health, Maryland, USA show that the virus replicates unchecked because HIV preferentially infects HIV-specific CD4+ T cells (Nature 2002, 417:95-98).Douek et al. observed that HIV-specific memory CD4+ T cells in infected individuals contain more HIV viral DN

0 Comments

Stress and alcohol

By | May 3, 2002

Alcoholism is a complex disorder with contributions from both genetic factors and environmental factors, such as stress. In the May 3 Science, Inge Sillaber and colleagues report the use of a genetic model to investigate stress-induced alcohol drinking in mice (Science 2002, 296:931-933).Sillaber et al. studied mice lacking the Crhr1 gene, encoding the receptor for corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), which has been implicated in stress-induced psychiatric disorders including alcoholism. Mutan

0 Comments

More roles for vitamin C

By | May 2, 2002

Ascorbic-acid transporter Slc23a1 and vitamin C are essential for maintaining brain integrity and perinatal survival.

0 Comments

Turning rats into robots

By | May 2, 2002

Laboratory animals can be trained to perform simple tasks in response to external cues (such as specific noises) or rewards (such as food). In the May 2 Nature, Sanjiv Talwar and colleagues describe a learning procedure based on brain microstimulation rather than external cues (Nature 2002, 417:37-38).Talwar et al. implanted stimulating electrodes in the medial forebrain bundle (MFB) or the somatosensory cortical, to mimic rewards or cues, respectively. They strapped a remote-control microstimul

0 Comments

2002 National Academy Fellows

By | May 1, 2002

The US National Academy of Sciences today announced the election of 72 new members.

0 Comments

How to attract sperm

By | May 1, 2002

Chemical signals play a crucial role in the communication between sperm and egg that facilitates fertilization, but the identity of the signaling molecules involved remains unclear. In May 15 Journal of Experimental Biology, Jeffrey Riffell and colleagues from University of California, Los Angeles, show that the amino acid L-tryptophan is necessary and sufficient to promote recruitment of sperm to the surface of eggs in red abalone (Haliotis rufescens).Riffell et al. investigated the behavioral

0 Comments

Mexican study confirms GM contamination of maize

By | May 1, 2002

Mexican researchers are set to publish evidence supporting the hotly disputed claims of GM contamination of the Mexican maize crop.

0 Comments

Phagocytic programme

By | May 1, 2002

Phagocytosis, the gobbling up of invading pathogens by professional phagocytes, is critical for innate immunity. In the 30 April Early Edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Scott Kobayashi and researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, MT, describe a study of the gene expression changes induced by phagocytosis (DOI: 10.1073/pnas.010123497).Kobayashi et al. used oligonucleotide microarrays to monitor the

0 Comments

Popular Now

  1. First In Vivo Function Found for Animal Circular RNA
  2. Your Body Is Teeming with Weed Receptors
    Features Your Body Is Teeming with Weed Receptors

    And the same endocannabinoid system that translates marijuana's buzz-inducing compounds into a high plays crucial roles in health and disease outside the brain.

  3. Opinion: We Need a Replacement for Beall’s List
  4. Doctors’ Advice to Finish Antibiotics Overlooks Resistance
AAAS