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Dodo genetics

By | February 28, 2002

The dodo (originally Didus ineptus and renamed Raphus cucullatus) is a mysterious, now extinct, bird that has been difficult to position in evolutionary trees. In the March 1 Science, Beth Shapiro and colleagues at the University of Oxford, UK, report a genetic analysis of the evolutionary history of the dodo (Science 2002, 295:1683).Shapiro et al. examined DNA sequences amplified from the mitochondrial genomes of 37 species of pigeons and doves, including the dodo and the another flightless bir

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French revolution

By | February 28, 2002

Plans to elevate the status of France's biotechnology sector have won support from within the industry.

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Extracellular DNA

By | February 27, 2002

Bacteria can organize into structured communities, called biofilms, that protect them from antibiotics and from immune attack by the host. The biofilms are embedded in a matrix containing a complex mixture of macromolecules including exopolysaccharides and proteins. In the February 22 Science, Cynthia Whitchurch and colleagues reported that extracellular DNA is a major component of the biofilms of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Science 2002, 295:1487).Whitchurch et al. demonstrated that adding DNase I

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Long-term risks of chemotherapy

By | February 27, 2002

Chemotherapy can generate new cancerous growths and may carry significant cardiovascular risks.

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Designer leaves

By | February 26, 2002

The shape of a leaf can be controlled by modulation of cell division on the flanks of young leaf primordia.

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Mouse mutagenesis

By | February 26, 2002

Large-scale mutagenesis projects using the chemical mutagen ethylnitrosurea (ENU) are being developed to help with the functional annotation of the mouse genome. In an Advanced Online Publication in Nature Genetics, Emma Coghill and colleagues describe a gene-driven approach to find mutant mice (Nat Genet 2002, DOI:10.1038/ng847).Coghill et al. screened over 2,000 samples contained within an archive of DNA and sperm from the UK ENU mutagenesis program. They screened the archives for four genes u

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Histone modification in heterochromatin

By | February 25, 2002

The spatial organization of pericentric chromatin is established by histone acetylation and methylation, and involves an RNA component.

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Kidneys shaped

By | February 25, 2002

Polycystin-1 C-terminal fragment triggers branching morphogenesis and migration of tubular kidney epithelial cells.

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Resistance to antiangiogenic cancer therapy

By | February 25, 2002

Angiogenesis inhibitors are potent anticancer drugs thought to lack acquired drug resistance problems because they target the normal endothelial cells of the tumor vasculature. But, in February 22 Science, Joanne Yu and colleagues from University of Toronto, Canada, show that p53 loss in tumor cells confers a resistance to hypoxia that might reduce the efficacy of antiangiogenic therapy.Yu et al. compared the response to antiangiogenetic therapy of tumors derived from paired isogenic p53-/- and

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Copy cat

By | February 22, 2002

A whole menagerie of animals (including sheep, mice, cattle, goats and pigs) have been cloned by transfer of nuclear genetic material into an enucleated cell. Now, in an Advanced Online Publication from Nature,Taeyoung Shin and colleagues demonstrate that cats (Felis domesticus) can be cloned too (Nature 2002, DOI: 10.1038/nature723).Shin et al. isolated fibroblasts from the oral mucosa of an adult male cat or primary cumulus cell cultures and fused them with enucleated cat ova; they then implan

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