Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have harnessed a mobile gene from the cabbage looper moth and modified it for routine use to determine the function of genes in mice and other vertebrates. If the new tool works as they expect, it will speed understanding of genes involved in human biology and disease and accelerate the search for effective new therapies.
The researchers report their study in the August 12, 2005, issue of the journal Cell.
Certain genes or genetic elements, called transposons, can hop from one place to another in the genomes of various organisms. In people, this genetic shuffling ensures that the immune system can generate a huge assortment of protective antibodies. Bacteria use the mechanism to swap antibiotic-resistance genes among themselves. And scientists have “borrowed” and adapted the same handy technique to insert genes and mutate genes in fruit flies and simpler organisms to learn the function of individual genes.
Jim Keeley | EurekAlert!
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A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.
Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...
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