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Two ACEs in the pack

September 28, 2000

A genomics-based approach has uncovered the first human homologue of ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme).

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Chromodomains bind RNA

By | September 27, 2000

Male flies compensate for having a single X chromosome by doubling the single X chromosome's level of expression. This increase is mediated by MOF, a histone H4 acetyltransferase. MOF, along with other proteins and an RNA called roX2, binds to the male X chromosome. In the 21 September Nature Akhtar et al. find that MOF and another dosage compensation protein called MSL-3 use their chromodomains to bind to roX2 and thus to the male X (Nature 2000, 407:405-409). Other chromodomain proteins, which

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Dietary fat restriction in infancy could prevent the development of coronary heart disease in adulthood.

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A gene has been discovered that could make people with defective copies three times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

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Silencing splicing

By | September 27, 2000

Many sequences found within mammalian introns closely resemble the specific 5' and 3' splice site consensus signals that regulate exon splicing. It is unclear how the real splice sites are selected from these frequent pseudosites. In the September Molecular and Cellular Biology, Fairbrother and Chasin identified intronic splicing silencers using a genetic screen (Mol Cell Biol 2000, 20:6816-6825). They selected human genomic sequences that could disrupt splicing when inserted into the central ex

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Israeli biotech - a child with great promise

By | September 26, 2000

The Israeli biotech industry is still in its infancy but heavy investment, an aggressive technology sector and a supportive academic community should ensure some big growth spurts.

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PCR for flu surveillance

September 26, 2000

Historically, influenza outbreaks have been tracked by clinical findings and serology, and characterized by culture. In a study published in the latest issue of the British Medical Journal, Carman and colleagues compared the relative speed and sensitivity of three flu surveillance assays: serology, culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Samples were collected from the nose and throat of 168 patients within a mean 5.3 days after the onset of flu symptoms; 112 patients were subsequently con

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Hungry yeast live longer

By | September 25, 2000

Caloric restriction (CR) is known to extend life-span in many species, and is thought to work by slowing metabolism and thus the generation of toxic reactive oxygen species. In the 22 September Science Lin et al. report that yeast also grow longer under conditions of CR (Science 2000, 289:2126-2128). Yeast on low-glucose plates, or with a defect in the glucose-activated protein kinase A (PKA) pathway, divide for more generations before senescing. The histone deacetylase and silencing protein Sir

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Many cloned mice

By | September 25, 2000

The nuclei used in cloning may not go through all the changes that normally reset a gamete nucleus, and thus there have been fears of premature aging and shortened telomeres (an age-related phenomenon) in cloned animals. Indeed, shortened telomeres have been seen in cloned sheep, although the reverse is true for cloned cows. Now in the 21 September Nature Wakayama et al. report that mice reiteratively cloned for up to six generations show no signs of premature aging or shortening of telomeres (N

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SNPs pair up in asthma pharmacogenetics

By | September 25, 2000

Combinations of SNPs within the beta2-adrenergic receptor gene affect the response to asthma drugs.

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