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MMR is not linked with autism

By | February 12, 2001

A new study concludes that MMR is not linked to autism because the incidence of autism continued to increase among boys from 1988 to 1993 while the MMR vaccine coverage in the UK was virtually constant.

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Complete mitochondrial genome sequences of two extinct birds

By | February 9, 2001

The first complete mitochondrial genome sequence of an extinct species is reported.

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An encyclopaedia of mouse genes

By | February 8, 2001

An international consortium of scientists aiming to sequence every transcript encoded by the mouse genome has analysed 21,076 so far.Estimates of the number of genes in the mammalian genome range from 30,000 to 200,000. The problem is one of identifying which of the sequences in the billions of base pairs that make up the genome actually code for protein. Instead of sequencing all 109 bp in the mouse genome, an international consortium of scientists has been sequencing a large bank of cDNAs prep

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Speciation induced by a bacterial symbiont?

By | February 8, 2001

The cytoplasmic symbiotic bacteria Wolbachia could induce host speciation in insects.

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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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