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Nuclear reprogramming in cloned cows

By | February 7, 2001

Telomere length shortens upon culture of fibroblast cells in vitro. But what happens to chromosomal ends and telomerase activity when nuclei from these aged cells are used to clone animals by somatic nuclear transfer? In the January 30 Proceedings of the National Academy of Science Betts et al. report on telomeres and telomerase activity in early and late-passage donor fibroblasts and recipient cloned bovine embryos (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:1077-1082). Despite the reduction in telomere l

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Oesophageal histology without a biopsy

By | February 7, 2001

and can be 97% sensitive and 92% specific for diagnosing specialised intestinal metaplasia.

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Concerns over mental health risk of smoking cannabis

By | February 6, 2001

Claims that cannabis is harmless have been disputed in a report that suggests the drug is becoming more powerful and could lead to long-term health damage.

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Gut genomics

By | February 6, 2001

The human intestine is home to numerous populations of microorganisms, but we know little about how the gut microflora influence our physiology. As described in the February 2 Science, Hooper et al. took a genomics approach to investigate the affect of resident bacteria on host gene expression in the gut (Science 2001, 291:881-884). The authors infected germ-free mice with the common gut bacterium Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron and measured host transcriptional responses using microarray analysis.

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PP1 treatment for strokes

By | February 6, 2001

PP1 suppression of Src tyrosine kinases can prevent the neuronal damage in strokes by influencing brain vessel permeability.The only established treatment for acute ischaemic stroke is thrombolysis, but this is associated with the risk of severe, sometimes life threatening haemorrhage. In the February issue of Nature Medicine researchers from The Scripps Research Institute in California suggest a potential new treatment for stroke.Tissue ischaemia results in an overproduction of vascular endothe

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Putting an end to chromosome stability

By | February 6, 2001

The ends of vertebrate chromosomes are protected by telomeric structures containing several kilobases of short repeated sequences (TTAGGG). In the January Molecular and Cellular Biology Kilburn et al. describe their investigation of the effect of telomeric repeats inserted at defined intrachromosomal locations (Mol Cell Biol 2001, 21:126-135). They used site-specific recombination to place an 800 nucleotide fragment from a functional vertebrate telomere repeat, in either orientation, within a sp

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Risk factors for allergy to honeybee stings

By | February 6, 2001

Raised baseline serum concentrations of mast-cell tryptase and mastocytosis are potential risk factors for severe allergic reactions to Hymenoptera venom.Anaphylactic reactions to honeybee and wasp stings (Hymenoptera stings) are common and vary in severity for reasons that are not clear. Systemic anaphylactic reactions are often accompanied by a temporary rise in tryptase concentrations that lasts for several hours. In 3 February Lancet Dagmar Ludolph-Hauser and colleagues from Ludwig-Maximilia

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WHO calls for $20m for research on DU

By | February 6, 2001

Epidemiology is the weak leak in understanding depleted uranium, says the World Health Organisation, while offering to plug the gap.

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Can mouthwash stop malaria?

By | February 2, 2001

Triclosan, a common ingredient of mouthwashes, inhibits the growth of Plasmodium falciparum in vitro and P. berghei in a mouse model. Resistance is rapidly developing to the few remaining anti-malarial drugs and thus new therapies are urgently needed. In the February Nature Medicine, researchers from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, India, investigate the commonly used antibiotic Triclosan as an effective treatment for malaria.Namita and Avadhesha Suriola found that an i

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Gas6 blockade stops fatal thrombosis

By | February 2, 2001

Gas6 is a platelet-response amplifier that, if inhibited, protects from thrombosis without inducing bleeding. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a common condition that can be fatal if fractions of the clot break off and lodge in the arteries of the lungs. Heparin, warfarin and aspirin prevent clot formation but may induce bleeding.In the February Nature Medicine researchers from the Centre for Transgene technology and Gene Therapy at Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology, Belgium, de

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