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Haematopoietic cell gene therapy with foamy viruses

By | July 26, 2001

Transfer of therapeutic genes into haematopoietic stem cells can potentially cure blood disorders such as X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency. But human stem cells are relatively intractable to the available viral vectors. In August Blood, George Vassilopoulos and colleagues from University of Washington, Seattle, describe a new vector system based on foamy viruses from the spumavirus family that can be used for gene transfer into murine haematopoietic stem cells.Foamy viruses are nonpatho

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Neuroferritinopathy

By | July 26, 2001

In the Advance Online issue of Nature Genetics, Andrew Curtis and colleagues from the Institute of Human Genetics in Newcastle, UK, describe a new genetic disease that they have named 'neuroferritinopathy'. The neurological disease is characterized by adult-onset degeneration of the basal ganglia and extrapyramidal dysfunction. Affected individuals live within a 40km radius of the home of the earliest founder, a member of a local family from Cumbria, UK. Curtis et al. performed linkage analysis

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Real-time study provides insight into human pain process

By | July 26, 2001

Observation of the brain's biochemical response to chronic pain is enabling the natural painkilling mechanisms of the body to be understood in greater detail.

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Reduced IDX-1 can lead to type 2 diabetes

By | July 26, 2001

cells of the elderly can be enough to induce metabolic dysfunction and type 2 diabetes.

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Creating embryos without sperm

By | July 25, 2001

The announcement that murine embryos have been created without fertilisation by sperm nuclei has opened an important ethical and scientific debate.

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Lipoprotein that promotes chronic TB infection

By | July 25, 2001

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) infection induces a strong immune response, but by an as yet unknown mechanism, can persist within macrophages. In July Journal of Immunology Erika Noss and colleagues from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio show that a 19-kDa lipoprotein produced by MTB, inhibits antigen processing by macrophages and prevents recognition by T cells, thereby promoting chronic TB infection.Using electroelution techniques, Noss et al. extracted a specific component fr

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pRB repression in yeast

By | July 25, 2001

The retinoblastoma protein (pRB) is a tumor suppressor protein that can act as a transcriptional repressor, but the mechanisms underlying this function are unclear and controversial. In the July 17 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Kennedy et al., from the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, describe the use of a yeast model system to address the mechanism of pRB repression (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:8720-8725). They expressed a chimeric protein in which the large

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Genome Rap

By | July 24, 2001

The repressor-activator protein 1 (Rap1) binds to [C(1-3)A]n repeats, acts as a transcriptional activator, and represses gene expression at telomeres by binding to the accessory silencing proteins Sir2, Sir3 and Sir4. In the Advance Online Publication of Nature Genetics, Lieb and colleagues, at Stanford University, describe a study to investigate the genome-wide DNA-binding specificity of Rap1 and Sir proteins in vivo (Nature Genetics 2001 DOI:10.1038/ng569). They performed chromatin immunopreci

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Targeted destruction

By | July 24, 2001

Synthetic chimeric molecules can be used to target proteins for ubiquitin-dependent degradation.

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Pneumococcus genome

By | July 23, 2001

Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) was the bacterial strain used in the historic studies of Avery, MacLeod and McCarty more than half a century ago to demonstrate that DNA is the material of inheritance. The Gram-positive bacterium causes over 3 million infant deaths each year from pneumonia, bacteremia and meningitis. In the July 20 Science, Tettelin and colleagues from The Institute for Genome Research (TIGR) report the complete genome sequence of S. pneumoniae (Science 2001, 293:498-506)

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