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Of hippopotami and whales

By | September 21, 2001

New Eocene fossils discovered in Pakistan suggest that whales evolved from hippopotamuses.

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Staphylococcus

By | September 21, 2001

Although many gene-inactivation technologies have been applied to bacterial genetics, the potential for using antisense technology has not been extensively explored. In the September 21 Science, Yindo Ji and colleagues from GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, describe a comprehensive genomic analysis of the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus using a regulated antisense strategy (Science 2001, 293:2266-2269).They used an adapted tetracycline-dependent (tet) regulatory

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Tumor-growing role for endothelial growth factor

By | September 21, 2001

Malignant cells secrete vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) that then binds to specific receptors on endothelial cells to induce tumor angiogenesis. In September 15 Blood, Rizwan Masood and colleagues from Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California show that VEGF has an additional role in tumor development because it is also a direct growth factor for many tumor cells.Working on tumor cell lines in vitro, Masood et al. found that several tumor types (Kaposi's sarcomas

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Agrin therapy

By | September 20, 2001

Gene therapy with a mini-agrin transgene rescues muscular dystrophy in mice lacking a functional lama2 gene.

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Surgeons have the gall to operate across the Atlantic

By | September 20, 2001

Surgeons in New York remove the gall bladder of a woman in hospital in Strasbourg, with the aid of a robot.

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Validation of gene therapy for heart failure

By | September 20, 2001

Heart failure is characterised by contractile dysfunction caused by a decreased sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA2a) activity. In September 18 Circulation, Federica del Monte and colleagues from Massachusetts General Hospital show that gene transfer of SERCA2a can improve survival and the energy potential in failing hearts.del Monte et al. tested the effects of adenoviral cardiac gene transfer of SERCA2a on survival, left ventricular (LV) volumes and metabolism in a rat model of heart fa

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A new paradigm for cancer treatment

By | September 19, 2001

Anti-angiogenic therapy alone can suppress the growth of established tumors but it can also potentiate the effects of radiation and chemotherapy through unknown mechanisms. In September Nature Medicine Rakesh Jain from Harvard Medical School suggests that anti-angiogenic therapy can also 'normalize' tumor vasculature before its destruction and this mechanism could be exploited to improve the anti-tumor effects of radio- and chemotherapy (Nat Med 2001, 7:987-989).Jain observed that the tumor vasc

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How ephrins wire the brain in reverse

By | September 19, 2001

Ephrins guide developing axons in the brain and are capable of reverse signaling.

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Dendritic and T cells keep in touch

By | September 18, 2001

In the absence of antigen, dendritic cells still interact with T cells to induce cytokine gene expression and maintain protective immunity.

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Genomic mountains

By | September 18, 2001

One of the challenges for microarray analysis is making sense of the mountains of data that this technology can generate. In the September 14 Science, Stuart Kim and colleagues from Stanford University show how three-dimensional maps can be used to navigate microarray data (Science 2001, 293:2087-2092).They established a compendium of gene expression profiles for the Caenorhabditis elegans genome using data from 553 microarray experiments. They created topological maps in which distance defines

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