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Telomere capping

By | December 13, 2001

Telomeres protect the ends of chromosomes and prevent chromosomal end-to-end fusions. The DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) has been implicated in DNA repair and telomere maintenance. In the December 18 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, David Gilley and colleagues at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report the use of knockout mice to examine the function of the DNA-PK catalytic subunit (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:15084-15088).Analysis of fibroblast and primary cu

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Bugs in flies

By | December 12, 2001

The mechanisms underlying the innate immune system are highly conserved from flies to mammals. In the December 18 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Phil Irving and colleagues describe a genome-wide screen for genes induced in Drosophila following infection with bacteria or fungi (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:15119-15124).They performed oligonucleotide-array gene-profiling analysis on material from flies inoculated with Gram-negative or Gram-positive bacteria or with the fungi B

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T-cell loss in HIV explained

By | December 12, 2001

not a decrease in T cell production.

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Defective axonal transport in Alzheimer's disease

By | December 11, 2001

The normal function of amyloid precursor protein, involved in Alzheimer's disease, is to transport cellular materials along the axons.

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Regulating adeno-associated virus

By | December 11, 2001

Adeno-associated virus is an attractive vector for gene therapy as it is non-pathogenic and integrates into a specific site in the human genome. In the December 11 Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Toni Cathomen and colleagues, at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California describe a genetic screen for cellular proteins that can bind to a viral DNA sequence important for replication and integration (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2001 10.1073/pnas.261567

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Stroke risk factor steps into the limelight

By | December 11, 2001

Blood triglyceride levels could be an important indicator of an individual's risk of having a stroke.

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With Pals like these

By | December 11, 2001

Asymptomatic nasopharyngeal carriers of Streptococcus pneumoniae can be a reservoir for severe pneumonia in children and the elderly, but there is no treatment regime that can specifically reduce the number of pneumococci without affecting the normal indigenous mucosal flora. In December 7 Science, Jutta Loeffler and colleagues from The Rockefeller University, New York, show that seconds after contact, a purified pneumococcal bacteriophage lytic enzyme (Pal) is able to kill common pneumococci, i

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Amplifying the signal

By | December 10, 2001

Non-invasive imaging of reporter gene expression offers a powerful tool for monitoring spatial and temporal expression in live animals (or people). One limitation of such techniques is the low expression of genes driven by tissue-specific promoters. In the December 4 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Iyer et al. describe using a two-step transcriptional amplification (TSTA) approach to amplify the signal for non-invasive detection (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:14595-14600).They

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Key to 'wasting syndrome'

By | December 10, 2001

inhibits transcription of the albumin gene and could lead to cachexia.

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What the public really, really wants

By | December 10, 2001

The healthcare priorities expressed by the British public differ significantly from those of the biomedical community.

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