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but protection possible in four days

By | March 30, 2001

As the UK government considers a limited foot-and-mouth disease vaccination programme, there's evidence that the current vaccines aren't perfect but high doses could help stop transmission.

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Dying without mitochondrial gene expression

By | March 30, 2001

Dysfunction of the mitochondrial respiratory chain is involved in diabetes, heart failure, neurodegeneration and aging. In the March 27 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Wang et al. described experiments to determine the effect of loss of the mitochondrial transcription factor A (Tfam) gene on cell death (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:4038-4043). Tissue-specific knockout of the murine Tfam gene, which regulates transcription of mitochondrial DNA, caused mitoc

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Plants put up the 'occupied' sign

By | March 30, 2001

Tobacco plants emit chemical signals in response to caterpillar attack. Ovipositing moths exploit these signals to reduce competition for their offspring.

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Clonality of hemangioma cells

By | March 29, 2001

Hemangioma, a common tumour of infancy, is a benign vascular neoplasm of unknown aetiology. Most are small lesions, but about 10% can expand rapidly and can be life threatening. The nature of the primary defect responsible for the abnormal endothelial proliferation is unknown. In the 15 March Journal of Clinical Investigation, Eileen Boye and colleagues from Harvard Medical School show that hemangiomas are caused by clonal expansion of vascular endothelial cells.Boye et al isolated abnormal endo

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Coloured language

By | March 29, 2001

Some people perceive colours when they see letters or numbers. A study sheds light on this unusual phenomenon.

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Dendritic cells sample gut bacteria

By | March 29, 2001

Bacteria expressing invasion genes can penetrate the intestinal epithelial barrier only through cells located in Peyer's patches. But after oral administration Salmonella typhimurium bacteria deficient in invasion genes are still able to reach the spleen by an as yet unknown invasion route. In April Nature Immunology, researchers from the University of Milano-Bicocca report a mechanism that may be exploited by bacteria to spread throughout the body.Maria Rescigno and colleagues infected murine i

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Brain wiring

By | March 28, 2001

Critically important sensory surfaces, such as the fingertips, are allocated more cortical brain space. Research into the development of sensory appendages in moles helps explain how cortical magnification arises.

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CDC screen

By | March 28, 2001

Classic screens for genes that regulate the cell division cycle (CDC genes) in yeast have searched for temperature-sensitive mutants with a loss-of-function phenotype. In the March 27 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Stevenson et al describe an alternative approach to identifying novel CDC genes (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:3946-3951). They screened for genes whose overexpression affects cell-cycle progression. They used a Saccharomyces cerevisiae expression library under the

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Water bug genome

By | March 28, 2001

Caulobacter crescentus is a Gram-negative bacterium that exhibits cell differentiation, asymmetric division and cordinated cell-cycle progression. In the March 27 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Nierman et al. report the complete genome sequence of C. crescentus (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:4136-4141). The sequence was assembled by whole-genome random sequencing. The single C. crescentus chromosome contains about 4 megabases of DNA and encodes 3,767 genes. Cell-cycle pro

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NHS pays damages to hepatitis victims

By | March 27, 2001

The National Health Service faces a substantial compensation bill from patients who contracted hepatitis C from infected blood supplies.

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