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Alzheimer's drugs hurt brain?

By | March 22, 2010

Drugs being investigated for Alzheimer's disease may be causing further neural degeneration and cell death, calling for a change in the way Alzheimer's medications are developed, according to results published in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. β-amyloidImage: Wikimedia commons, Boku wa Kage This finding "would result in a paradigm shift" in the understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying Alzheimer's disease, said linkurl:Brigita Urbanc,;http://www.phys

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News in a nutshell

By | March 22, 2010

Animal rights news: guilty pleas, suspensionIn linkurl:California,;http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/03/two-animal-rights-activists-enter-pleas-for-harassing-ucla-researchers.htmlOlliff two animal rights activists charged with harassing UCLA scientists appeared in Los Angeles County Superior Court and decided not to fight their indictments. On Friday (19th March), 22-year-old Kevin Olliff pled no contest to felony stalking and conspiracy charges for participating in demonstrations in 20

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More support for RNAi in clinic

By | March 21, 2010

Nanoparticles studded with short RNA molecules can silence target genes in melanoma patients, demonstrating the clinical feasibility of these techniques for the first time, according to research published online today (March 21) in __Nature.__ NanoparticlesImage: Wikimedia/Nandiyanto"This is a breakthrough for the field," said John Rossi from the City of Hope Cancer Center, who was not involved in the study. It's the first clinical proof that "RNA is entering the tumor cells and delivering the

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Supermodels?

By | March 19, 2010

What do a yam, a wasp, and a wallaby all have in common? Well, not much, actually, but they're all being touted as the next big experimental model, according to a new laboratory manual due out in April. The second volume of Emerging Model Organisms, from the linkurl:Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press,;http://www.cshlpress.com/ examines a range of organisms -- some familiar, some not -- that could soon be coming to a lab near you. Image:Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press linkurl:Richard Behrin

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"Epigenetics" drives phenotype?

By | March 18, 2010

Researchers have identified a possible mechanism by which DNA regions that don't encode proteins can still determine phenotypic traits such as a person's height or susceptibility to a particular disease, researchers report online in Science today. Image: WikipediaThe scientists found that certain chromatin modifications often considered to be epigenetic -- meaning, regulated by factors other than genetic sequence -- are in fact determined by a person's DNA. Moreover, they found that this c

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Sperm sparring spotted

By | March 18, 2010

Scientists have developed a powerful new way to study sperm competition: Watch the action -- live. The seminal receptacle (SR) and onespermatheca of a female D. melanogasterinitially mated to GFP-sperm malethen remated to RFP-sperm male.Image: © Science/AAASUsing fluorescent tagging technology, the researchers have bought themselves a front row seat to the fight, allowing them to decipher the strategies males use to ensure their sperm (and not another male's) reach the egg, already helping

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Varmus to lead NCI?

By | March 18, 2010

The rumor mill surrounding Nobel Laureate linkurl:Harold Varmus;http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/515.cfm is cranking up again, enlivened by a recent linkurl:report;http://cancerletter.com/tcl-blog/copy130_of_whats-going-on-with-nih in __The Cancer Letter__ that the biologist will be tapped by the White House to lead the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Image: Public Library of Science"Multiple sources in the federal government and outside it confirmed that the announcement appears imminent," the

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Human geneticist dies

By | March 17, 2010

Finnish-born geneticist and physician linkurl:Leena Peltonen-Palotie,;http://www.sanger.ac.uk/about/press/2010/110310.html who uncovered numerous genetic mutations behind various human diseases, passed away last week at the age of 57. Leena Peltonen-Palotie (1952-2010)Image: Academy of FinlandPeltonen-Palotie helped establish the human genetics department at the Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, held appointments at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard i

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Pregnancy helps liver?

By | March 17, 2010

Pregnancy boosts the regenerative capacity of the liver in mice, a finding that may shed light on a process entirely separate from pregnancy -- aging, researchers report in linkurl:a study;http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20231314 published this week in Genes and Development. lithograph of liver, Gray's Anatomy Image: Wikimedia CommonsThe findings are "really unexpected," said linkurl:Nikolai Timchenko,;http://www.bcm.edu/pathology/labs/timchenko/index.htm who studies liver regeneration and

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News in a nutshell

By | March 15, 2010

MIT researcher to head NSF?linkurl:Subra Suresh,;http://dmse.mit.edu/faculty/faculty/ssuresh/ dean of engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is likely to become the next director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), replacing current director Arden L. Bement, who is linkurl:stepping down;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/57136/ to head up a new program at Purdue University. Suresh is still an active researcher in the field of nanobiomechanics, making him a "rarity

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