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After the (draft) sequence

By | April 18, 2001

Now that the dust has settled after publication of the human genome sequence, Sydney Brenner assesses the first draft.

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Fibroblast clocks

By | April 18, 2001

Mammalian circadian clocks are regulated by a series of interacting positive and negative transcription-translation feedback loops in the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). In the April 13 Science, Yagita et al. describe an in vitro model system that resembles the molecular oscillator in the SCN (Science 2001, 292:278-281). Cultured fibroblasts exhibit cycling circadian gene expression when stimulated with the vasocontracting peptide endothelin-1. Endothelin-1 induced cycling phases of

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Gastric trefoil peptides work on the night shift

By | April 18, 2001

Trefoil peptide TFF2 secretion has a circadian rhythm with highest concentrations detected during the night sleep, suggesting repair of gastric mucosa occurs at this time.

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genome exposed

By | April 18, 2001

contains 1,752 predicted protein-encoding genes, more than 40 of them identified as putative virulence-associated genes.

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Form of cholesterol 'pivotal' in heart disease

By | April 17, 2001

Blood levels of a specific form of cholesterol are directly related to the severity of heart disease.

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Hypervirulent knockout

By | April 17, 2001

Most studies of parasite virulence have focused on identifying genes whose loss causes decreased virulence or infectivity. In the April 13 Science, Cunningham et al. report the characterization of two genes in the protozoan parasite Leishmania, mutation of which causes hypervirulence (Science 2001, 292:285-287). Stephen Beverley and colleagues at Washington University demonstrate that Leishmania mutants lacking the genes for pteridine reductase 1 (PTR1) or biopterin transporter BT1 exhibit incre

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Is a toxic gas protecting the liver?

By | April 17, 2001

The liver is the primary organ involved in heme detoxification under disease conditions, but its self-protective mechanisms against toxic compounds are unknown. In the April Gastroenterology Takanori Kyokane and colleagues from Nagoya University School of Medicine, Nagoya, suggest that carbon monoxide (CO), the gaseous product of heme oxygenase (HO), may have a protective role against hepatobiliary dysfunction caused by heme overloading under sepsis and stress conditions.Kyokane et al perfused l

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Multigene family encoding malarial variance

By | April 17, 2001

may help explain how this malarial parasite maintains a chronic infection.

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Shear stress

By | April 17, 2001

The vascular endothelium is remarkably versatile in its ability to respond to both soluble chemical stimuli and mechanical stimuli. In the April 10 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Garcia-Cardena et al. report the results of a high-throughput genome-wide analysis of gene modulation by biomechanical activation (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:4478-4485). They used cDNA arrays to examine the effects of biomechnical forces on gene expression in cultured monolayers of human umbilical

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Cannabinoids and appetite

By | April 12, 2001

Mice in which the gene for the cannabinoid receptor has been knocked out eat less than normal.

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