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  June 20, 2021
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- New Method For Making Stem Cells Doesn't Harm Embryos
Fibroblasts - a common cell type found in connective tissue - can be coaxed back into an embryonic stem-cell-like state with a little genetic trickery.
- Insights Into Seven Diseases Revealed
Published article uncovers the true potential of the human genome. A pair of related papers offer further insights into two of the seven diseases investigated.
- New Cell Source For Cloning Experiments?
Researchers may have come up with a new source of cells that could be used for nuclear transfer experiments and stem cell research.
- Gabapentin Shown Effective for Fibromyalgia Pain
Clinical trial shows that Gabapentin significantly reduces pain.
- Early Results from Alzheimer’s Neuroimaging Biomarker Project Show Promise for Faster Study of Therapies
Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative database now available to researchers worldwide.
- Newly Found Sensing System Enables Certain Bacteria to Resist Human Immune Defenses
A sensory and gene regulation system named PhoP/PhoQ protects invading bacteria, and scientists believe if they develop a better understanding of this system they could develop new drugs that are more effective at protecting people from infection.
- Blood Test May Help Signal Tumor’s Remission & Return in Throat Cancer Patients
Patients with increases in IL-6, VEGF, and HGF concentrations are at highest risk for dying of throat cancer.
- The Dual Role Of BRCA2 In DNA Repair
The dual role of the gene BRCA2 in DNA repair is described in two independent studies.
- A Red-Letter Day For Brain Connectivity
Insights into grapheme-colour synesthesia are presented.
- Deciphering The Histone Code
A method to identify all modifications on histones, the proteins around which DNA is packed, is presented.
- Checking Immune Activation
Armed 'killer' cells can re-enter lymph nodes to destroy dendritic cells -- a specialized type of immune cell.
- DNA Breakage In Living Color
Spontaneous breaks of replicating DNA in bacteria occur at a rate much lower than suspected.
- Gene Copy Number And Risk Of Autoimmunity
Individuals with fewer than two copies of the gene FCGR3B are more susceptible to a variety of autoimmune disorders, including lupus.
- Control Of All Fates
Study investigates how pluripotency, the ability of a stem cell to differentiate into every cell type of the adult organism, is regulated.
- Skin Barrier Formation And Caspase-14
A protein known as caspase-14 has been identified as the enzyme involved in the protection of the skin against UVB damage and water loss.
- Breast Cancer Susceptibility Genes Identified
These findings increase our knowledge of the genetic component of breast cancer risk, much of which has remained uncharacterised.
- Modelling Instability
A mouse model that for the first time mimics the levels of genomic instability in human cancers is presented.
- Successful Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy In Pregnancy
A pregnant woman with cervical cancer has been treated successfully with neoadjuvant cisplatin chemotherapy, in order to stabilize her cancer.
- In Vitro Procedure Yields Functional Vascular & Hematopoietic Progenitor Cells
A simple two-step process induces embryonic stem cells to differentiate into hemangioblasts that appear capable of participating in vascular repair.
- Genome-Wide Association Study Of Bipolar Disorder
Study suggests that bipolar disorder may be a polygenic disorder.
- Gene Combinations Influence AIDS Progression
Different combinations of genetic variants of two modulators of the innate human immune system strongly influence AIDS progression in HIV-positive individuals.
- Gene Has Key Role In Calorie-Restriction-Mediated Longevity
Gene discovered in nematode worms that is essential for ageing.
- The opossum genome sequence casts light on evolution, immunity, and disease
Three papers explore insights gained from the newly published marsupial genome.
- A New Fanconi Anaemia Target
The identification of a second protein target for modification by the Fanconi anaemia (FA) complex, which is important in DNA repair, is reported.
- Standards For The Analysis Of Metagenomes
Simulated datasets for the evaluation of metagenomic analysis programs are presented.
- Engineering Diverse Sets Of Drug Sensitive Proteins
A paper describes a general approach to genetically engineer proteins that are regulated by small chemical drugs.
- Ancient Diversity
An ancient enzyme drives diversification of immune receptors in lampreys, and resembles an enzyme with a similar function in mammals.
- New Player In Inflammatory 'Shutdown'
Scientists show that a protein within immune cells stands poised to dampen inflammation.
- New Genetic Risk Factor For Type 2 Diabetes
Variation in the gene called CDKAL1 is associated with risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- The Immune System And Susceptibility To Cancer
Variation in a genetic element that regulates the expression of the gene encoding caspase-8 (CASP8) is associated with differential susceptibility to several different cancers.
- Chromatin Link To Mental Retardation
A protein previously implicated in mental retardation has now been shown to influence gene expression by modifying histones.
- New Hypothesis For Amyloid Disease
Degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and type 2 diabetes may share common structural features at the molecular level.
- Life Without Dad
Genomic imprinting is not always essential for seed development.
- Mice And Easy Memory Recovery
Long-term memories lost after brain damage can be restored in mice.
- Neuronal Imbalance May Contribute To Addiction
An imbalance between neuronal excitation and inhibition may contribute to the early stages of addiction.
- Enzyme Curtails Allergic Reaction To Chitin
Chitin, the main component of arthropod exoskeletons, elicits an innate allergic response in mice that can be controlled by a host enzyme.
- New Treatment For Muscular Dystrophy And Cystic Fibrosis
Mouse study suggests that a drug that allows cells to ignore a particular type of disease-causing mutation may ease the symptoms of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).
- A New Therapeutic Approach For Huntington’s Disease Found
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) corrects neural defects associated with impaired memory and cognition in an animal model of Huntington’s disease.
- Lentiviral Vector Neutral Endopeptidase Gene Transfer Suppresses Prostate Cancer Tumor Growth (Abstract)
Study demonstrates that lentiviral NEP gene transfer is a novel targeted strategy for the treatment of NEP-deficient PC.
- X-Chromosome Linked Inhibitor Of Apoptosis Protein Inhibits Muscle Proteolysis In Insulin-Deficient Mice (Abstract)
The ability of XIAP to prevent the loss of muscle protein suggests that XIAP could be a therapeutic reagent for muscle atrophy in catabolic diseases X.
- Stable Gene Expression Occurs From A Minority Of Integrated HIV-1-Based Vectors: Transcriptional Silencing Is Present In The Majority (Abstract)
Dae suggest that there are two forms of vector silencing: one occurring immediately after integration, and one occurring in the much longer term.
- Increasing Bad Cholesterol Levels
Study suggests how the gene PCSK9 maintains cholesterol balance in the body.
- Astrocytes Kill Neurons In ALS
Two papers report that astrocytes carrying a mutated version of a protein that causes ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, are responsible for the death of motor neurons.
- Stabilization Contra Retardation
Paper explores the mechanisms underlying fragile X syndrome -- the most common inherited form of mental retardation.
- How One's Own DNA Can Cause Autoimmunity
Study may shed light on the cause of immune activation associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) -- the second most common autoimmune disease in humans.
- Mutation Leads To Male Infertility
Paper reports that a mutation in a gene called AURKC (Aurora Kinase C) has been identified in 14 infertile men of North African descent.
- Genetic Susceptibility To Crohn Disease
A genome-wide assessment of genetic variation in individuals with Crohn disease has identified seven genes or regions that are associated with elevated risk of the disease.
- Amplification Of Estrogen Receptor Gene In Breast Cancer
Study suggests that nearly two-thirds of breast tumors have extra copies of the gene encoding one form of the estrogen receptor ESR1.
- Genes Linked To Chemotherapy Response
Scientists have identified a number of genes in lung cancer cells which, when downregulated, make the cancer cells especially vulnerable to a type of chemotherapy.
- Genes Set Scene For Metastasis
Biologists have identified a set of genes expressed in human breast cancer cells that work together to remodel the vasculature at the site of the primary tumour and that also promote the spread of cancer to the lungs.

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