25 years after the initial discovery of p53, Dr. David Lane and colleagues at the University of Dundee have discovered multiple isoforms of the p53 tumor suppressor protein.
Their paper, which will be released online ahead of print in Genes & Development, establishes that, like the other p53 family members p63 and p73, p53 exists in human cells in at least six different isoforms. Dr. Lane and colleagues identified a heretofore unrecognized internal promoter and alternative splice exons in p53 mRNA.
While further research is needed to delineate how the various p53 isoforms affect p53 tumor suppressor activity, the scientists did establish that some p53 isoforms can modulate p53 transcriptional activity and p53-induced cell death. Interestingly, Prof. Lane and colleagues observed that p53 isoforms are abnormally expressed in breast tumors presenting no mutation of the p53 gene. David Lane and Jean-Christophe Bourdon, group leader in David Lanes laboratory, consider the discovery of p53 isoforms to be "a major breakthrough in the understanding of cancer formation.
Heather Cosel | EurekAlert!
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The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
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The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
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Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
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