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Thalidomide to be tested for use against lung cancer

By | January 26, 2001

Research into the efficacy of Thalidomide as a treatment for small cell lung cancer, which is backed by the Cancer Research Campaign (CRC), will be carried out on a total of 30 patients in London and Leeds, UK. Patients will receive one 100 mg tablet of the drug every night for two years alongside traditional chemotherapy.Thalidomide seems to work by stabilising blood flow around tumours, thereby allowing better supply of the chemotherapy agents to the cancerous cells. It then goes on to prevent

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The weakest link

By | January 26, 2001

No single genetic cause links inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer.

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Ephrin-B3 protein linked to mirror-movement disorder

By | January 25, 2001

Researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center found that mice lacking the protein ephrin-B3 showed signs of a rare condition known as mirror-movement disorder.The main symptom of the disease is an involuntary symmetrical movement of the limbs so, for example, when the right hand is moved the left involuntarily moves with it.Previous research has suggested that mirror movement is caused by defects in the corticospinal tract, and ephrins are known to regulate nerve growth wi

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Killer genome

By | January 25, 2001

O157:H7 is the unassuming name of a deadly strain of Escherichia coli that has been killing thousands of people every year, ever since the first outbreak was caused by contaminated hamburgers in 1982. In the January 25 Nature Perna et al. describe the sequencing of the entire genome of this killer bug in search of clues to its pathogenesis (Nature 2001, 409:529-533). Comparison with the genome of non-pathogenic laboratory E. coli strain K-12 revealed 1,387 new genes, which are organized into dis

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Mother nurture

By | January 25, 2001

Genomic imprinting is characterized by epigenetic regulation of mRNA expression from a single parental allele. The two parental alleles of imprinted genes are differentially methylated. The mouse gene Peg3 is imprinted and has been shown to control the maternal nurturing of newborn pups in mice. In the January Genomics, Murphy et al. show that the human homolog of Peg3 is also imprinted (Genomics 2001, 71:110-117). They identified a CpG island (CpG islands are much more frequent around imprinted

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Weapons lab to develop Celera's new supercomputer

By | January 25, 2001

that's what's in Craig Venter's mind. Sandia, the US nuclear weapons lab, will make the first step towards his dream, along with Celera and Compaq.

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Genetic link for psoriasis

By | January 24, 2001

Susceptibility loci at chromosomes 6p21 (PSORS1) and 1p have been identified for patients suffering from psoriasis.

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Taming horses

By | January 24, 2001

The importance of the domestication of horses to human civilisations is undisputed. But there are conflicting hypotheses about the origins of tamed horses; the 'restricted origin' hypothesis postulates selective breeding of a few founding lineages followed by distribution, while the 'multiple origins hypothesis' suggests independent recruitment of a large number of founders over an extended time period and geographical location. In the January 19 Science, Vila et al. describe genetic analysis t

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mainly because of the studies of one researcher. Susan Mayor assesses the evidence.

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Anticipation of epileptic seizures

By | January 23, 2001

Epileptic seizures may be predicted by analysing the non-linear changes in the patient's electroencephalogram.

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