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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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DNA vaccination against autoimmune disease

By | September 22, 2000

Studies on rats show that vaccination with naked DNA can provide protective immunity from experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.

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FAS-cinating proteomics

By | September 22, 2000

Comprehensive proteome analysis offers a powerful tool to move beyond the genome. In a study published online ahead of print in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Gerner et al. (J. Biol. Chem., published online 7 September 2000) describe the use of high-resolution two-dimensional gel electrophoresis analysis to investigate changes to 1000 protein spots following Fas-induced apoptosis in Jurkat T-lymphocyte cells. Gerner et al. used a range of techniques including metabolic radiolabelling, subc

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How Hydras get their heads

By | September 22, 2000

The expression of Wnt signaling proteins in the head organizer of Hydra, a freshwater polyp, suggests that Wnt was central in the evolution of axial differentiation.

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Beyond the ban on human embryo research: An Italian way?

By | September 20, 2000

In the context of a heated debate on human embryo research, some Italian researchers are looking for a scientific way through the moral and ethical minefield.

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Intravascular radiotherapy prevents arterial restenosis

By | September 20, 2000

An international trial has shown that intravascular radiotherapy can prevent artery re-narrowing after stent implantation.

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Women's rights could lower population growth

By | September 20, 2000

report published today, the United Nations Population Fund has delivered a devastating attack on the world's unequal treatment of women.

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