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A proven role for methylation

By | May 22, 2002

A clear example of cell-type-specific gene regulation by cytosine methylation has been described in epithelial cells.

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Early determination of B cell fate

By | May 22, 2002

Antibody responses by B cells become more specific over time in a process known as 'affinity maturation', but the role of antibody affinity for antigens in controlling B lymphocyte selection remains unclear. In 20 May Nature Immunology, Tien-An Yang Shih and colleagues from Rockefeller University, New York, show that strict selection for high-affinity B cell clones is imposed at an early stage of the T cell-dependent immune response in vivo (Nat Immunol 2002, DOI: 10.1038/ni803).Shih et al. comp

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Making science global

By | May 22, 2002

From Friday, researchers in over 100 developing nations will have low-cost Internet access to more than 2,000 biomedical journals under a major WHO initiative.

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Toll road to mast cell activation

By | May 22, 2002

Direct activation of mast cells via Toll-like receptors 2 or 4 by respective microligands contributes to innate and allergic immune responses.

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New source of liver cells

By | May 21, 2002

Until recently, it was believed that hepatocytes could only be derived from cells of endodermal origin and their progenitors. But, in 15 May Journal of Clinical Investigation, Robert Schwartz and colleagues from University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA, show that adult bone marrow stem cells can differentiate in vitro to cells exhibiting hepatocyte phenotype and function (J Clin Invest 2002, 109:1291-1302).Schwartz et al. cultured bone marrow-derived human, murine and rat multipotent adult prog

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Sex determination in fish

By | May 21, 2002

Genetic analysis of medaka fish has identified a gene on the Y chromosome that is required for male development.

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Stephen Jay Gould dies

By | May 21, 2002

Controversial evolutionary biologist succumbs to cancer he had battled for 20 years.

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Trypsin protection

By | May 20, 2002

The Paneth cells (secretory epithelial cells) of the human small intestine protect against pathogenic microbial infection through the release of antibiotic polypeptides, such as defensins, but the precise identity of the mediators involved in this process remains unclear. In May 20 Nature Immunology, Dipankar Ghosh and colleagues from The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio, show that the trypsin of Paneth cells is the enzyme responsible for processing human defensin-5 (HD5), stored as a propeptid

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Virus-induced RNA silencing

By | May 20, 2002

RNA silencing processes result in the sequence-specific degradation of RNA and effective post-transcriptional gene silencing. In the May 17 Science, Hongwei Li and colleagues from the University of California, Riverside report that Flock House Virus (FHV) is both an initiator and a target of RNA silencing (Science 2002, 296:1319-1321).Li et al. observed that B2 gene of FHV resembles a plant virus gene encoding a silencing suppressor. Expression of the FHV B2 protein in plants prevented RNA silen

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Bacterial ancestors

By | May 17, 2002

Analysis of ribosomal RNA sequences in bacteria suggests that the earliest organisms were not hyperthermophiles.

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