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Will foot-and-mouth disease vaccines work?

By | March 27, 2001

The UK could be preparing to vaccinate farm animals against foot-and-mouth disease. But will the vaccines be effective against the current strain?

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Heterochromatin interactions

By | March 26, 2001

The human AF10 gene has been associated with chromosomal translocation in acute leukemias. In the March 15 EMBO Reports, Linder et al. describe their study of the Drosophila AF10 homolog, dAF10, in an attempt to understand its function (EMBO Reports 2001, 2:211-216). They isolated the dAF10 gene from a database screen and show that it codes for four transcripts that are differentially expressed during fly embryogenesis. The dAF10 protein contains a PLVVL pentamer motif that mediates interaction

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Pain relief

By | March 26, 2001

The enzyme Cox-2 mediates inflammatory pain at sites of injury. Two studies now show that local inflammation can also cause pain in neighbouring areas by upregulating Cox-2 expression in the central nervous system.

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Chromosome instability in colon cancer

By | March 23, 2001

gene and with defects in chromosome segregation. Two studies now show that microtubules need APC for proper attachment when they pull chromosomes apart.

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Skin ageing and the smoker

By | March 23, 2001

Smokers look older than non-smokers of the same age, probably because they have higher levels of MMP-1 (matrix metalloproteinase 1) in their skin, according to a study in 24 March Lancet. MMP-1 is a zinc-dependent metalloproteinase that degrades collagen, which is important in maintaining the mechanical/elastic properties of connective tissue in the skin.Lahmann et al from Guy's, King's and St Thomas' School of Medicine, London, used PCR to measure mRNA in the buttock skin of 14 smokers and 19 n

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An emerging pattern

By | March 22, 2001

Three studies shed new light on how members of the bone morphogenetic protein family are regulated during embryonic development.

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targets

By | March 22, 2001

Members of the myc oncogene family are often amplified or mutated in human tumours. In the March 15 EMBO Journal, Boon et al. described the use of a neuroblastoma cell line with an inducible N-myc allele to identify genes regulated by N-myc (EMBO Journal 2001, 20:1383-1393). They performed serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) to detect over a hundred genes up-regulated upon N-myc expression. The target genes included over 50 encoding ribosomal proteins, as well as key genes in rRNA maturati

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Two genotypes increase risk of heart attack

By | March 22, 2001

Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) and the angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1 R A1166C) gene polymorphism have both been associated with an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. It is not known, however, if an interaction between these two polymorphisms is responsible. In a paper published in April Heart, a team from University of Groningen, Netherlands confirms that the ACE-DD and AT1 R-CC genotypes interact to increase the risk of ischaemic events (Heart 2001, 85:458-462).Van Geel et al

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Discovery of a schizophrenia gene

By | March 21, 2001

A genetic variant in a putative ion channel gene co-segregates with inherited catatonic schizophrenia in an extensive pedigree.

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Juicy transgenics

By | March 21, 2001

Citrus trees have a long juvenile phase (6-20 years) that delays their reproductive development. In the March Nature Biotechnology, Pena et al. report genetic experiments that accelerated the citrus flowering time (Nature Biotechnology 2001, 19:263-267). They produced transgenic juvenile orange trees that constitutively express Arabidopsis LEAFY (LFY) or APETALA1 (AP1) genes driven by the cauliflower mosaic virus promoter. Both of these flowering genes could shorten the juvenile phase and promo

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