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Neonatal markers for autism

By | April 30, 2001

Despite intense speculation about a possible link between the rates of administration of the MMR vaccine and an increase in the incidence of autism, the underlying biochemical mechanisms of the condition remain unknown. In May Annals of Neurology Karin Nelson and colleagues from the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, Bethesda, US show that children with autism have an increase in certain neuropeptides and neurotrophins in their peripheral blood from the first days of life.Ne

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Amygdala arrays

By | April 27, 2001

The complex anatomical organization and cellular heterogeneity of the mammalian brain may complicate the interpretation of transcriptome analysis of brain tissues. In the April 24 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Zirlinger et al. describe how in situ hybridization studies can improve microarray analysis of the brain (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:5270-5275). The authors compared the expression of over 34,000 genes using Affymetrix GeneChip oligonucleotide arrays with RNA from f

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Early detection of breast cancer by methylation-specific PCR

By | April 27, 2001

A combination of cytology and methylation markers in breast-duct fluid could be useful for detecting breast cancers that are missed by mammograms.

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how clear is the crystal ball?

By | April 27, 2001

, and a recent report from the UK's House of Commons Science and Technology Committee raise serious concerns about the widespread use of predictive genetic testing.

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Listen to the birdie

By | April 27, 2001

chick chimeras suggest that auditory perception in birds can be exchanged by brain transplantation.

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T cells

By | April 27, 2001

ve T cell precursors to efficient cytotoxic cells can occur only after a single brief antigen exposure in the absence of 'helper' T cells.

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An improved cancer model

By | April 26, 2001

A mouse strain has been generated in which K-ras alleles are activated at random, mimicking the sporadic occurrence of K-ras mutations in human cancers.

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Eaten by Daddy

By | April 26, 2001

There is no genetic evidence for filial cannibalism, in which parents eat their own offspring. In the April 24 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DeWoody et al. document filial cannibalism in fish in nature (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:591-596). The authors captured male fish, of the tessellated darter and two sunfish species, and examined the cannibalized contents of the stomachs of nest-guarding males by polymorphic microsatellite marker analysis. They found that 10 out of 11

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The origin of HIV-1

By | April 26, 2001

Three independent studies quash the theory that experimental polio vaccines administered in Central Africa in the 1950s were the origin of the AIDS pandemic.

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Disruption in oligodendrocyte function indicated in schizophrenia

By | April 25, 2001

Myelin sheaths are critical for efficient signal transmission along axons. Their inactivation could explain some of the neuropathological deficits associated with schizophrenia.In the April 10 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Yaron Hakak and colleagues of the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation, San Diego, California used DNA microarray analysis to compare the gene-activation profiles in the postmortem dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of 12 schizophrenic and 12 no

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