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Aliquots

Getting left-right asymmetry right

Feb. 17, 2011—The protein Nodal has been found to hold the keys to vertebrate asymmetry.

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Integrin curbs cancer’s spread

Feb. 16, 2011—Cell surface molecules called integrins have been found to play an important role when cancer metastasizes.

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Fluorine aids gene silencing

Feb. 15, 2011—Modifying a form of RNAs may improve their efficacy for research and medical uses.

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Seeing serotonin neurons in action

Feb. 9, 2011—Serotonin – a chemical that has roles in multiple brain functions, including mood, sleep and cognition – is manufactured by clusters of brainstem neurons gathered in the raphé nuclei. A reliable, non-invasive imaging method for assessing raphé neuron activity would be valuable for understanding serotonin signaling in depression and related conditions. Using functional magnetic resonance...

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BPA exposure tests in question

Feb. 8, 2011—The safety of industrial chemicals bisphenol A (BPA) and alkylphenols, which are used in commercial products like plastics, has recently been called into question. Exposure to these chemicals is typically measured by their excretion in urine, but impaired kidney function may make such measurements inaccurate. To assess how kidney function influences urinary excretion of these...

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Mapping obesity circuitry in brain

Feb. 7, 2011—In the battle of the bulge, one important battalion is a set of brain cells expressing the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R). Via signals from the fat-derived hormone leptin, these neurons regulate feeding behavior and fat metabolism in an attempt to regulate body weight. But how leptin influences and acts on this brain circuitry is not fully...

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Aliquots – VUMC research highlights

Jan. 6, 2011—RSV prefers stressed cells “Stress granules” – globs of proteins and RNAs – form inside cells in response to environmental stressors and are thought to regulate protein production. Several viruses induce stress granule formation, but the function of these structures during virus replication is not well understood. James Crowe Jr., M.D., and colleagues report that...

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