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Sinorhizobium meliloti

By | July 31, 2001

The sequencing of the genome of the bacteria involved in the rhizhobial symbiosis with alfalfa may help improve crop yields.

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Imprinted inactivation

By | July 30, 2001

The eed (embryonic ectoderm development) gene is a member of the mouse Polycomb group (Pc-G) and is required for early gastrulation. In the Advance Online issue of Nature Genetics, Jianbo Wang and colleagues from the University of North Carolina define a role for eed in X chromosome inactivation. They analysed trophoblast giant cells in eed-null embryonic deciduas and found developmental defects in eed-null females but not in male embryos. To investigate the role of paternal X inactivation, Wang

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Respiratory syncytial virus cover-up

By | July 30, 2001

The respiratory syncytial virus has a G glycoprotein similar to the leukocyte chemoattractant Fkn that can facilitate infection and modify the host immune response.

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The cyclical nature of potential new antibiotics

By | July 30, 2001

Modified cyclical peptides can form pores in lipid bilayers and could be valuable as broad specificity antibiotics.

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Indirectly regulating nitric oxide

By | July 27, 2001

The structure of the enzyme DDAH that controls levels of arginine derivates offers the basis for designing selective indirect inhibitors of NO.

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Miscarriages explained by gene variation

By | July 27, 2001

Women who suffer recurrent miscarriages may be carrying a variation in a gene involved in blood vessel function.

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Proteome chips

By | July 27, 2001

In the July 26 ScienceXpress, Heng Zhu and colleagues from Yale University describe the construction of a proteome microarray containing approximately 80% of all yeast proteins (ScienceXpress 2001, 10.1126/science.1062191). They built a high-quality collection of 5800 yeast open reading frames (ORFs), representing 93.5% of all yeast genes. Each ORF was fused to a glutathione-S-transferase (GST)-HisX6 tag and expressed in yeast under the inducible GAL1 promoter. Proteins were spotted at high spat

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Haematopoietic cell gene therapy with foamy viruses

By | July 26, 2001

Transfer of therapeutic genes into haematopoietic stem cells can potentially cure blood disorders such as X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency. But human stem cells are relatively intractable to the available viral vectors. In August Blood, George Vassilopoulos and colleagues from University of Washington, Seattle, describe a new vector system based on foamy viruses from the spumavirus family that can be used for gene transfer into murine haematopoietic stem cells.Foamy viruses are nonpatho

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Neuroferritinopathy

By | July 26, 2001

In the Advance Online issue of Nature Genetics, Andrew Curtis and colleagues from the Institute of Human Genetics in Newcastle, UK, describe a new genetic disease that they have named 'neuroferritinopathy'. The neurological disease is characterized by adult-onset degeneration of the basal ganglia and extrapyramidal dysfunction. Affected individuals live within a 40km radius of the home of the earliest founder, a member of a local family from Cumbria, UK. Curtis et al. performed linkage analysis

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Real-time study provides insight into human pain process

By | July 26, 2001

Observation of the brain's biochemical response to chronic pain is enabling the natural painkilling mechanisms of the body to be understood in greater detail.

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