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'Economy class syndrome' still not proved after new study

By | May 11, 2001

As many as 10% of passengers on long-haul flights may have deep vein thrombosis (DVT) of the calf, claim the authors of a paper in 12 May Lancet. But the study design is criticised and the findings called into question by experts writing in the same issue.Scurr et al studied 231 passengers over 50 years of age making long-haul flights of at least eight hours and returning within six weeks and who had no history of DVT. Half wore surgical compression stockings while half travelled normally. Withi

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Death by MAO

By | May 11, 2001

Neuronal apoptosis plays a critical role in the development of the nervous system and in neurodegenerative disease. In the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, De Zutter and Davis report a study of pro-apoptotic, neuronal gene expression and the identification of monoamine oxidase (MAO) as a death-inducing gene. They used the well-studied neuronal pheochromocytoma PC12 model, which undergoes apoptosis when deprived of neurotrophic growth factor (NGF). The authors

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Evolution of mammalian brains

By | May 11, 2001

Despite huge variations in brain size, mammalian groups are characterised by relatively constant brain proportions.

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Carcinogen selection

By | May 10, 2001

A recent hypothesis suggests that the type of genetic instability in cancers is the result of Darwinian selection pressures exerted by specific carcinogens. In the May 8 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Bardelli et al. describe experiments to test whether chromosomal instability (CIN) is induced by bulky-adduct-forming agents, whereas microsatellite instability is selected by methylating agents (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:5770-5775). They used a variant colorectal cell line,

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Infection suppresses tumour neovascularization

By | May 10, 2001

blocked neoplastic growth in immunocompromised mice by strong suppression of tumour angiogenesis.

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Tolerance is age dependent

By | May 10, 2001

Activating a subset of myelin basic protein (MBP)-specific T cells that have escaped tolerance induces autoimmune encephalomyelitis in mice. This is considered a disease model for multiple sclerosis. Escaping tolerance is believed to result from sequestration of MBP within immune-privileged sites that allow only limited lymphocyte trafficking. In the April Immunity Eric Huseby and colleagues from University of Washington, Seattle show that escaping tolerance is also an age dependent mechanism.Hu

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New genetic vaccines using self-replicative RNA

By | May 9, 2001

Self-replicative RNA vaccines are capable of protecting mice against influenza A, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and a tick-borne encephalitis virus.

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Rules for receptor trafficking in the brain

By | May 9, 2001

AMPA-type glutamate synaptic receptors (AMPA-Rs) mediate a wide variety of excitatory synaptic transmissions in the brain. The mechanism by which these receptors maintain a long-term synaptic efficacy are not fully understood. In the 4 May Cell Song-Hai Shi and colleagues at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York show that AMPA-Rs in hippocampus use a number of delivery mechanisms to stabilize long-term changes in synaptic efficacy.Most hippocamic AMPA-Rs are hetero-oligomers composed of GluR1/

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Integrating genomics and proteomics

By | May 8, 2001

Large-scale methods for gene profiling or protein quantification are the focus of genomic and proteomic studies. But new approaches are needed to integrate these data sets and create biological models that can predict cellular behaviour. In the May 4 Science, Ideker and colleagues, at the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, describe an integrated approach to create a model of cellular metabolic pathways (Science 2001, 292:929-934). Their approach is based on four steps: defining all the ge

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Mouse control

By | May 8, 2001

Eleven days after Celera revealed its mouse sequence, the publicly-funded consortium claims to be there as well.

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