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Covering the life sciences inside and out

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Gene for DiGeorge syndrome

By | February 27, 2001

DiGeorge syndrome (DGS; also known as Velo-cardio-facial syndrome) is associated with hemizygous deletion of a region of human chromosome 22q11, causing a range of abnormalities including cardiovascular defects, hypoplasia of the thymus and parathyroid gland, and craniofacial abnormalities.Three research groups have identified the TBX1 gene, a member of the T-box family of transcription factors, as a key determinant of the DGS phenotype. Merscher et al. (Cell 2001, 104:619-629) and Lindsay et al

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Houston aims to become biotechnology center

By | February 27, 2001

In a bid to rival San Diego and Boston as a centre for biomedical research and technology transfer, Houston has just announced the $633 million, 64-acre Southeast Texas Biotechnology Park.

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The dynamics of interacting populations

By | February 27, 2001

An experimental model shows how the strength of the interaction between a prey and a specialist predator affects the population dynamics of the system.

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A therapeutic target for Alzheimer's disease

By | February 26, 2001

peptide, which makes up the characteristic brain plaques of Alzheimer's disease, is not secreted by neurons from mice that lack the BACE1 secretase.

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Call for reintroduction of single vaccines for mumps, measles and rubella

By | February 26, 2001

A UK survey on the use of the combined mumps, measles and rubella (MMR) vaccine reveals that four out of 10 GPs would like to see single vaccines available as an alternative.

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cancer mutations influence gene expression

By | February 26, 2001

express different groups of genes, suggesting that a heritable mutation influences the gene-expression profile of the cancer.

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Paris, profit and potential

By | February 26, 2001

A UNESCO meeting in Paris last week discussed the potential of electronic publishing in science. There have been some strong movements in biomedical publishing in the past five years but nothing like the seismic shift that's needed, concludes physicist Paul Ginsparg.

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The rewards of a good joke

By | February 26, 2001

Separate systems in the brain underlie the cognitive processing of different types of joke, whereas the pleasurable effect associated with 'getting' a joke involves shared circuitry known to process rewards.

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Editing the immune system

By | February 23, 2001

B lymphocytes that produce antibodies recognizing self antigens are tolerized by a process of clonal selection, which involves clonal deletion, anergy and a gene-recombination event called receptor editing. In the February 23 Science, Casellas et al. describe a model mouse system for investigating the importance of receptor editing (Science 2001, 291:1541-1544). They generated a polymorphic immunoglobulin kappa allele by replacing the mouse kappa constant (mCkappa) region with the human sequenc

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Germany's biotechnology industry takes off

By | February 23, 2001

The German government has just announced a $425 million, three-year genome research funding program. This type of government support, and the revision of federal laws are promoting a growth spurt in the German biotechnology industry.

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