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Bacterium or organelle?

By | September 13, 2000

In the 7 September Nature Shigenobu et al. report the complete sequence of Buchnera, an obligate resident of aphid cells (Nature 2000, 407:81-86). The sequence suggests that this bacterium is on its way to becoming an organelle. Buchnera looks most like Escherichia coli, but with a genome one seventh the size. It lacks genes for most regulatory proteins and for the biosynthesis of nonessential amino acids, cell-surface components (including lipopolysaccharides and phospholipids), and crucial DNA

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Better chips through chemistry

By | September 13, 2000

Two papers in the September 8 Science are a testament to the speed at which biological chip formats and standards are evolving. Taton et al. expand on their established method for detecting DNA hybridization using gold nanoparticles attached to a probe (Science 2000, 289:1757-1760). The previous system took advantage of a color change induced upon nanoparticle aggregation, but a new method of nanoparticle-promoted reduction of a silver(I) substrate allows for signal amplification and detection u

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Cracking cell signalling by sharing - not publishing

By | September 13, 2000

A new research programme is encouraging researchers to forgo publishing their results in academic journals and instead post them straight on the web.

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MODY-fying gene expression in diabetes

By | September 13, 2000

Identification of genes that are regulated by the transcription factor HNF1alpha may explain its involvement in MODY3 diabetes.

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Smoking reduces myocardial flood flow; vitamin C restores flow

By | September 13, 2000

A new study provides evidence that the damaging effect of smoking is at least in part accounted for by an increased oxidative stress.

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Inflammation linked to reduced vasodilatation

By | September 12, 2000

LONDON, September 11 (SPIS MedWire). Elevated levels of serum C-reactive protein (CRP) - indicative of systemic inflammation - are associated with a blunted systemic endothelial vasodilatation, report a team from Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt. Their findings, published in Circulation, add further credibility to the theory that the link between inflammation and cardiovascular risk is mediated by endothelial dysfunction. Fichtlschere et al measured forearm blood flow responses to

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Origin of AIDS: debate intensifies

By | September 12, 2000

Claims that AIDS originated from trials of a polio vaccine in the 1950s are repudiated, but just won't go away.

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Herbal remedies on trial

By | September 11, 2000

Two herbal remedies are about to undergo controlled clinical trials to test their effectiveness in treating memory loss and dysmenorrhoea.

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Alzheimer's disease protein isolated

By | September 7, 2000

A new protein that might be involved in generating the amyloid plaques in Alzheimer's disease has been identified.

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Cyanide used to attack tumours

By | September 7, 2000

An enzyme derived from the cassava plant could be used to selectively destroy cancer cells.

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