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Insulin mimetics foil obesity

By | February 6, 2002

Obesity is on the increase in industrialized countries and is a serious risk factor for diabetes and cardiovascular disorders, but effective pharmaceutical treatments for obesity remain elusive. In February Nature Medicine, Ellen Air and colleagues from University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, show that small molecule insulin mimetics can reduce food intake and body weight and prevent development of obesity in an animal model.Air et al. found the central intracerebroventri

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Mammalian gene 'knock-down'

By | February 6, 2002

The use of RNAi (also known as double-stranded RNA-dependent post-transcriptional gene silencing) is revolutionizing genetic analysis in cellular systems. In the February 5 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Patrick Paddison and colleagues at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory describe a technique using long double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), of around 500 nt, to 'knock-down' gene expression in mammalian cell lines (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2002, 99:1443-1448).They found that expression of

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Mucus hypoxia promotes infection in cystic fibrosis

By | February 6, 2002

infection of the airways.

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The death of Max Perutz

By | February 6, 2002

The Nobel prizewinner and eminent biologist Max Perutz has died.

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Blood vessels grow from adult bone marrow

By | February 5, 2002

Adult bone marrow stem cells can develop into endothelial cells and contribute to neoangiogenesis.

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Immunosuppressive drug protects against cancer

By | February 5, 2002

Treatment with rapamycin reduces primary and metastatic tumor growth.

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Is corporate funding steering research institutions off track?

By | February 5, 2002

As a senior researcher defends his involvement with both Enron and ImClone, we assess the conflicts of interest that can attend corporate funding of research.

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The riddle of the pharynx

By | February 5, 2002

The pharynx of Caenorhabditis elegans is a neuromuscular organ responsible for pumping food in from the environment and for initiating digestion. Organogenesis of the pharynx involves complex patterning and morphogenesis events, and the differentiation of distinct precursor cells. In the February 1 Science, Gaudet and Mango from the University of Utah report a genomic analysis of the role of the PHA-4 protein, a homologue of the forkhead box A (FoxA/HNF3) transcription factor involved in pharyng

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Breast cancer prognosis

By | February 4, 2002

No-one really understands why some women with breast cancer respond well to chemotherapy while others do not, or how to predict an individual patient's chances of survival. In the January 31 Nature, Laura van't Veer and colleagues describe a gene-expression profiling study of breast tumors (Nature 2002, 415:530-536).They chose around 100 primary breast cancers (with and without metastases or BRCA1 mutations) and looked at the relative expression levels of 25,000 genes. They used a three-step sup

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Growth factor receptor signals intestinal tumor development

By | February 4, 2002

Epidermal growth factor receptor (Egfr) is an important molecule in the development of many organs, but its role in cancerous growth remains unclear. In January 29 online Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Reade Roberts and colleagues from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, US, show that Egfr signaling is required for development of intestinal tumors in mice.Roberts et al. used the hypomorphic Egfrwa2 allele to examine the impact of impaired Egfr signaling on the ApcMin mouse model

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