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Radiation risks

By | February 11, 2002

In the February 8 Science, Yuri Dubrova and colleagues reported a study of the genetic risk of ionizing radiation to humans (Science 2002, 295:1037). They studied blood samples from 40 three-generation families living near the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site in Kazakhstan; they looked at eight hypervariable minisatellite probes and compared mutation rates with matched control samples.Dubrova et al., found a statistically significant 1.8-fold increase in the mutation rate of the exposed populatio

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Biofilm binding genes

By | February 8, 2002

A key step in the development of bacterial biofilms — complex structures resistant to many common antibiotics — is adhesion to the substrate. This process has important implications for the implantation of medical devices, but the genotypic differences between attached and planktonic cells remains unclear. In February 5 online Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Karen Otto and Thomas Silhavy from Princeton University, USA describe the genetic mechanism used by Escherichi

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Migraine headache mechanisms

By | February 8, 2002

Intrinsic brain activity triggers the changes that eventually lead to the development of a migraine.

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Phototrophs at sea

By | February 8, 2002

Genomic analysis reveals the richness and diversity of marine ecosystems.

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Eukaryotic origins

By | February 7, 2002

In the February 5 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Hyman Hartman and Alexei Fedorov describe the use of a genomic approach to investigate the relationship between Eukarya, Archaea and Bacteria (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2002, 99:1429-1425).They defined a set of several hundred 'eukaryotic signature proteins' (ESPs) that have no homologs in Archaea or Bacteria. The 347 ESPs include cytoplasmic proteins, internal signaling proteins and nuclear proteins. Hartman and Fedorov used their

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A new initiative aims to establish a global network to increase access to academic and research publications.

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Vaccines at work

By | February 7, 2002

T cells in the course of a viral infection shows very early activation by relatively few antigen presenting cells.

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Will Cancer Research UK make a difference?

By | February 7, 2002

The launch this week of Cancer Research UK has been dubbed the biggest shake-up in cancer research for 50 years.

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Better safety checks needed on GM foods

By | February 6, 2002

A Royal Society report calls for more consistent safety checks on GM foods but some think it doesn't go far enough.

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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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