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Anatomy and actions of microscopic agents of terror

By | November 1, 2001

A primer describing the fundamental biology and basis of toxicity of five of the organisms most likely to be used as bioweapons.

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Autocrine loops

By | November 1, 2001

Misregulation of autocrine signalling loops may contribute to cancer phenotypes. In November Nature Genetics, Thomas Graeber and David Eisenberg of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the University of California, Los Angeles describe a computer-based strategy to identify receptor-ligand pairs and autocrine loops in large datasets (Nat Gen 2001, 29:295-300).They compiled a Database of Ligand-Receptor Partners (DLRP) that is based on the published literature and contains 452 ligand-receptor p

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Identification of key cells in tumor growth

By | November 1, 2001

Recruitment of VEGF-responsive bone marrow-derived precursors is necessary and sufficient for tumor angiogenesis and growth.

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Ulcer healing with local gene therapy

By | November 1, 2001

The mechanism of gastroduodenal ulcer healing involves angiogenesis but the exact roles of molecules such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and angiopoietin-1 (Ang1) in this process remain unclear. In November Gastroenterology, Michael Jones and colleagues from University of California, Irvine, California show that gene therapy with a single local injection of naked DNA encoding VEGF and angiopoietin-1 can accelerate ulcer healing.Jones et al. induced ulcers in rats and then injected

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Chemotactic blockbuster

By | October 31, 2001

Dictyostelium discoideum cells display a strong chemotactic response to cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cAMP), mediated by a cell surface receptor and G protein-linked signaling pathway. In October 26 Science, Masahiro Ueda and colleagues from Osaka University, Japan, show the first real-time images of how single fluorescent-labeled cAMP molecules bind to their receptors on living Dictyostelium amoebae.Ueda et al. used an objective-type total internal reflection fluorescence microscope to

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Large libraries

By | October 31, 2001

Libraries containing as many as nine trillion different peptide sequences can be used to select numerous high-affinity RNA-binding peptides.

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Vitamin heart protection role revealed

By | October 31, 2001

Vitamin C could protect against heart disease by reducing apoptosis in vascular epithelial cells.

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Dendritic defence

By | October 30, 2001

Dendritic cells (DCs) are stalwarts of the immune response, activating both the innate and acquired immune systems. In the October 26 Science Qian Huang and colleagues at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research describe the use of oligonucleotide microarrays to examine how DCs respond to different pathogens (Science 2001, 294:870-875).They exposed human monocyte-derived DCs to Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli), fungi (Candida albicans) or an RNA virus (influenza virus), and then

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Fugu genome rough draft completed

By | October 30, 2001

The announcement of the completion of the sequencing of the puffer fish genome will help analysis of the human genome.

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Insurance companies announce genetic testing halt

By | October 30, 2001

A five-year moratorium on the use of genetic test results in the calculation of insurance premiums has provided some much needed breathing space.

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