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Genetic predisposition for osteoporosis

By | April 9, 2001

COL1A1 Sp1 polymorphism predisposes osteoporosis by mechanisms involving changes in bone mass and bone quality.

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Modulation by matrix

By | April 9, 2001

Interactions of cells with the extracellular matrix (ECM), via the integrin receptors, modulate cell proliferation, survival and differentiation. In the April 10 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Yarwood and Woodgett describe how the make up of the ECM can affect the cellular response to growth-factor stimulation (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:4472-4477). They used cDNA microarrays to analyse over 1,718 human genes and measure changes in gene expression when cells were plated on

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Urine mRNA can predict kidney transplant rejection

By | April 9, 2001

Levels of mRNA for perforin and granzyme B are high in urinary cells from patients with acute transplant rejection.

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Calcium dependent gene regulation

By | April 6, 2001

Calcium plays an essential role in lymphocyte activation and maturation but the exact effect on gene expression is not known. In April Nature Immunology Stefan Feske and colleagues from Harvard Medical School present evidence that Ca2+-dependent signalling pathways mediate both gene induction and gene repression in activated T cells.In the absence of specific inhibitors, they looked at cell lines from two severe-combined immunodeficiency (SCID) patients that are characterised by a strong defect

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Leprosy locus

By | April 6, 2001

There appears to be a genetic contribution to the susceptibility to leprosy, and high concordance rates have been observed amongst monozygotic Indian twins. In the April Nature Genetics, Siddiqui et al. report the identification of a major susceptibility locus for leprosy (Nature Genetics 2001, 27:439-441). They performed a genome-wide scan of 245 independent affected sibpairs from Southern India, using 396 highly polymorphic microsatellite markers. Only one region showed a MLS (maximum lod scor

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Why eating bacteria is good for you

By | April 6, 2001

GG given prenatally to mothers with a family history of atopy and postnatally for 6 months to their infants reduced the frequency of atopy by half.

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a translation

By | April 5, 2001

Scientists have compared reading European Union research proposals to coping with Foucault. We make an attempt to understand the latest one.

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Are SNPs useful?

By | April 5, 2001

In the April Nature Genetics, Marth et al. ask the question how useful are the single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) available in the public-access databases (Nature Genetics 2001, 27:371-372). The public database dbSNP currently holds over 2.8 million SNPs, but as few as 15% have been proven to be genuinely polymorphic. Marth et al. performed two pilot studies to test the genetic utility of candidate SNPs. They analysed over 1200 candidate SNPs and tested their frequency in three ethnic groups

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Thymus: the source of latent HIV

By | April 5, 2001

Successful antiretroviral therapy results in a substantial reduction in viraemia but cannot eradicate HIV. The virus remains latent in a subset of cells where it avoids elimination by the immune system. In the April Nature Medicine, David Brooks and colleagues from the University of California at Los Angeles suggest that the thymus may be the source of latently infected cells, as latent HIV infection can occur during thymopoiesis.They studied SCID-hu (Thy/Liv) mice, in which human thymic implant

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A new mechanism of thymic selection

By | April 4, 2001

The thymus prevents autoimmunity by inducing apoptosis of the T cells that express autoreactive receptors to self peptides. But this mechanism alone is insufficient and CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells are selected in the thymus to control autoreactive thymic escapees. In the April Nature Immunology, researchers from The Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, describe a novel mechanism of thymic selection that is involved in the generation of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells.Using a murine model, Jordan et al

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