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More support for transcription trick

By | April 29, 2010

After recruiting the appropriate cellular machinery, transcription factors can further regulate gene expression by encouraging that machinery to do its job -- copy the DNA into an RNA transcript. DNA PolymeraseImage: Wikimedia commons, The Protein Data Bank PDBA new study published online today (April 29) in Cell helps drive home just how widespread this second level of gene control is, and implicates a cancer-causing transcription factor as a major player in the process. "This is another piec


Dynamic view of the MS genome

By | April 28, 2010

In the first ever sequencing of twin genomes, researchers searched deep into the genetics of multiple sclerosis, coupling DNA sequencing with a panoramic look at the regulation and expression of genes, only to come up empty-handed. "It's really a tour de force," said linkurl:Eric Topol,; director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, who was not involved in the research. "It's a fascinating study. It's sobering that they didn't f


Popular hESC line approved

By | April 27, 2010

The National Institutes of Health is set to announce the approval of four human embryonic stem cell lines that were eligible for federal funding under former US President George W. Bush, but originally deemed ineligible under new rules from the current administration. Human embryonic stem cellsImage: Wikimedia commons, Nissim BenvenistyOne of these lines includes the most widely used line of human embryonic stem cells, H9. With only one Bush-approved line already on the new NIH registry, this


More money, fewer postdocs

By | April 26, 2010

Proposed salary increases have many postdocs waiting eagerly for a bigger check, but in the current economic environment, others are concerned about the potential consequences. 


News in a nutshell

By | April 26, 2010

New Royal Society headlinkurl:Paul Nurse,; Nobel Prize-winning cell biologist and president of Rockefeller University in New York City since 2003, has been linkurl:nominated; by the Council of the Royal Society to lead the Royal Society in London. Following a vote of the Society's Fellows, the appointment will be confirmed in July. Paul NurseIma


Retracted: highly cited paper

By | April 26, 2010

Two papers (one highly cited) on the mechanism of estrogen signaling have been retracted after an investigation by Wyeth found that the research data of its former employee Boris Cheskis were "unreliable." Image: Wikimedia commonsThe retractions do "clear up an area of uncertainty," said molecular endocrinologist linkurl:David Ray; of the University of Manchester School of Medicine, whose studies on a related topic conflicted with the now-retr


Yale postdoc shot, killed

By | April 26, 2010

A postdoctoral fellow at Yale University was shot and killed as he left his condominium in Branford, Connecticut this morning (26th April). Vajinder Toor, 34, was gunned down shortly before 8:00 AM EDT today in the parking lot of his housing complex. The gunman, who the linkurl:__New Haven Register__; reports as being a "Chinese national," also tried to shoot Toor's pregnant wife as she rushed to her husband's aid.


Lights, camera, mitosis!

By | April 23, 2010

Cells multiply and divide millions of times each day in our bodies, but researchers still don't know exactly which genes are involved in mitosis. The linkurl:MitoCheck; consortium, a European research collaboration, aims to change that. Like sports trainers filming individual players to dissect the finer points of their games, MitoCheck researchers capture individual cells dividing to tease apart the contributions of individual genes to the process of mitosis. The conso


FDA floats new conflict policy

By | April 22, 2010

Advisers to America's top drug approval agency will have to provide more detailed information about financial interests they hold in pharmaceutical and medical device companies, the US Food and Drug Administration linkurl:announced; yesterday (21st April). The FDA grants conflict of interest waivers to some members of its 32 advisory committees, which convene to discuss food and drug safety issues, review impending approvals


HIV aids deadly pathogen

By | April 22, 2010

Salmonella can wreak havoc in (or kill) people infected with HIV -- and not for the reason scientists have long assumed. Salmonella typhimuriumImage: Wikimedia commons, V. BrinkmannMax Planck Institute for Infection BiologyInstead, a new study in Science shows that Salmonella's ability to cause disease in HIV patients does not appear to stem from a weakened or ineffective immune system, but an overactive one that actively protects the bacteria. The findings may help direct research on developi


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