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Why did the chicken cross the DNA?

By | December 6, 2000

Advances in transgenics and drug production are foreseen using chicken eggs, says the Roslin Institute. But why chickens?

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E. coli

By | December 5, 2000

In the December Nature Biotechnology Selinger et al. use an Escherichia coli oligonucleotide array with 30-base-pair resolution to detect antisense transcripts, new open reading frames (ORFs), and transcription starts and stops (Nat Biotechnol 2000, 18:1262-1268). The 295,936 elements of the array do not come without their problems. The sheer size and complexity of the array means that there is a huge amount of cross hybridization detected by missense probes. But the use of many probes within th

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Old flies oxidize

By | December 5, 2000

In the December 5 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Zou et al. find that only some of the processes of aging in the fly can be explained by increased oxidative stress (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2000, 97:13726-13731). Zou et al. analyze expression profiles of both aging flies and young flies exposed to the free-radical generator paraquat, using microarrays of approximately 8000 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) that cover 30-40% of the Drosophila genome. Of these ESTs, 43 are upregulated

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Oxygen transport rate linked to plasma cholesterol levels

By | December 5, 2000

Measurements of the oxygen transport rate could provide an alternative to cardiac stress tests.

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Banking on genes

By | December 4, 2000

Various high-profile genetic projects around the world are pushing the barriers of research. But are they trespassing on human rights?

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Everything binds everything

By | December 4, 2000

In the December Nature Biotechnology Schwikowski et al. combine the large-scale two-hybrid analyses of Uetz et al. and Ito et al. with other published two-hybrid results to come up with a total of 2,709 interactions encompassing 2,039 different yeast proteins. The synthesis of these results yields a single large network of 2,358 interactions among 1,548 yeast proteins, with the next largest network containing only 19 proteins (Nat Biotechnol 2000, 18:1257-1261). Connections between proteins assi

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Protecting plants

By | December 4, 2000

Plants that recognize a pathogen induce both a local defense response and a long-lasting, broad spectrum disease resistance throughout the plant, termed systemic acquired resistance (SAR). In the December Nature Genetics Maleck et al. use microarrays to monitor transcriptional changes during development of SAR (Nat Genet 2000, 26:403-410). Of the 10,000 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) on the microarrays, representing 25-30% of all genes from Arabidopsis thaliana, 413 show changes of 2.5-fold or m

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Acute coronary events more likely at beginning of menstrual cycle

By | December 1, 2000

Almost three-quarters of acute cardiac events in premenopausal women occur between days one and five of the menstrual cycle.

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Patients with Down's syndrome can still feel the pain

By | December 1, 2000

Individuals with Down's syndrome feel pain, even though they react to it more slowly.

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Caught in the act

By | November 30, 2000

In the 30 November Nature, Kopp et al. report that altered regulation of the bric-a-brac (bab) gene drove the evolution of sexually dimorphic pigmentation in Drosophila (Nature 2000, 408:553-559). The fifth and sixth abdominal segments (A5 and A6) of male Drosophila melanogaster are fully pigmented, whereas those of the female or of males of many other Drosophila species are only partially pigmented. The D. melanogaster males discriminate strongly against females with extra pigmentation, so the

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