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More please, Mr Brown

By | April 18, 2002

Two new reports press the UK government to inject cash into science research to attract the best recruits.

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Feminizing frogs

By | April 17, 2002

Low levels of weed killer run-off cause changes in amphibian sexual characteristics.

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Vitamin D's immune role

By | April 17, 2002

Vitamin D receptor knockout mice show normal myelopoiesis but abnormal T lymphocyte responses.

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Astrobiology chief Blumberg resigns

By | April 16, 2002

Nobel laureate grew $20 million-a-year NASA Astrobiology Institute from the ground up since becoming first-ever director in 1999.

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Mitochondrial DNA homoplasmy

By | April 16, 2002

Somatic point mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) have been linked to aging and cancer. Each cell contains a large number of mtDNA molecules, so any mutation requires a process of clonal expansion in order to reach homoplasmy (close to 100%) and to exert a phenotypic influence. In the April 16 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Ekaterina Nekhaeva and colleagues document the frequency of mtDNA mutations in human tissues (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2002, 99:5521-5526).They employed a

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Short hairpins to silence genes

By | April 16, 2002

and mammalian cells

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African cows

By | April 15, 2002

In the April 12 Science, Olivier Hanotte and colleagues describe efforts to define the genetic history of African cattle pastoralism, their origins and migrations (Science 2002, 296:336-339).Hanotte et al. performed a continent-wide sampling of indigenous African cattle including 50 populations from 23 countries. They analyzed cow samples using 15 autosomal microsatellite markers to calculate principal component values and to construct interpolation maps. Hanotte et al. present extensive statist

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Axon molecule mediates immune response

By | April 15, 2002

Neuropilin-1 mediates interactions between dendritic and T cells essential for initiation of primary immune responses.

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CNS neurons from neural stem cells

By | April 15, 2002

Neurons from the central nervous system (CNS) can regenerate, but little is known about the potential of adult neural stem cells to develop into functional nervous cells. In April 15 online Nature Neuroscience, Hong-jun Song and colleagues from the Salk Institute, La Jolla, California, show that neural stem cells derived from adult tissues retain the potential to differentiate into cells with properties similar to that of mature CNS neurons.Song et al. established an in vitro co-culture system t

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Monkey business

By | April 12, 2002

Differences in gene expression levels might be sufficient to account for the behavioural and cognitive functions that distinguish us from monkeys. In the April 12 Science, Wolfgang Enard and colleagues address this issue by studying the transcriptome and proteome in human and chimpanzee tissues (Science 2002, 296:340-343).Enard et al. compared mRNA levels in the brains and livers of six humans, six chimps (Pan troglodytes) and two orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) using oligonucleotide microarrays rep

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