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Biology

  • 20 Jul 1999

    The rice yellow mottle virus (RYMV), endemic in Africa, can destroy just about every plant in a field. Although native African rice strains are resistant to the virus, it can wreak havoc in fields of higher yielding varieties imported from Asia, which have no natural resistance.

  • 19 Jul 1999

    In search of tiny amounts of antibodies, medical physicist Rosalyn Yalow developed a technique that came up very big for biomedical researchers.

  • 19 Jul 1999

    Researchers may have found the reason why patients with a systemic Salmonella infection, such as typhoid fever, are slow to quell the infection and get very sick.

  • 14 Jul 1999

    Ticks, already infamous as disease carriers, get another black mark in tomorrow's New England Journal of Medicine. A paper there reports that ticks can infect people with a new, potentially fatal, disease.

  • 14 Jul 1999

    On this day in 1970, molecular biologist Hamilton Smith broke new ground for biotechnology. In two papers published in the Journal of Molecular Biology, he described a new class of enzymes--restriction enzymes--that scientists now use to precisely snip DNA.

  • 13 Jul 1999

    The latest in a rash of attacks on agricultural biotechnology has felled the only genetically modified trees in the United Kingdom. In an ironic twist, the 5-year-old poplars had been engineered to help lessen the amount of chlorine needed to bleach paper.

  • 12 Jul 1999

    Claude Bernard, a French researcher credited with founding the field of experimental medicine, was born on 12 July 1813. While conducting experiments on an animal fed a sugar-free diet, Bernard discovered that the liver stores sugar as glycogen.

  • 12 Jul 1999

    Like an origami crane, a protein must undergo a series of delicate folding steps before settling into the correct shape.

  • 8 Jul 1999

    Three new labs are joining the government's human genome sequencing project this month. The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) in Bethesda, Maryland, is awarding $15 million to bring the new members--two academic labs and a commercial firm--on board, raising the number of U.S.

  • 8 Jul 1999

    A strange, two-tailed marine alga hosts an even stranger set of chromosomes, researchers report in today's Nature. Inside the alga's chloroplasts, or photosynthetic fuel cells, each gene occupies its own tiny circular chromosome.

  • 7 Jul 1999

    Camillo Golgi, an Italian physician famed for his microscopic studies of the nervous system, was born on this day in 1843. When he was 30, Golgi invented a technique for staining cells that allowed him to view neurons in fine detail.

  • 1 Jul 1999

    Scientists have found a way to replicate part of the hepatitis C virus (HCV).

  • 29 Jun 1999

    On 27 June 1970, U.S. virologist David Baltimore published a breakthrough paper in Nature describing reverse transcription. The process enables some viruses to insert their genetic material into the DNA of healthy human cells, which can lead to tumors and other diseases.

  • 29 Jun 1999

    MADISON, WISCONSIN--Larger bodies may come with larger brains, but size means little when it comes to how much DNA an organism can pack in each cell.

  • 28 Jun 1999

    Hoping to home in on genes underlying common diseases such as atherosclerosis or cancer, scientists working on the Human Genome Project have been randomly collecting DNA variations that may serve as guideposts to these genes.

  • 25 Jun 1999

    The British government has ignored the advice of two scientific panels and refused to permit research on embryos aimed at finding treatments for damaged tissue and degenerative diseases.

  • 25 Jun 1999

    Computers, rats, and gila monsters all require precise internal clocks to function properly. Now, it appears, so do people.

  • 21 Jun 1999

    STATE COLLEGE, PENNSYLVANIA--Pumas are known by many names--panther, jaguar, and cougar among them. Indeed, experts on the animals thought they were so genetically diverse as to constitute a menagerie of 32 subspecies.

  • 17 Jun 1999

    Biologist Stuart Newman of the New York Medical College in Valhalla is trying to get a patent on a "humanzee"--a chimeric animal made from human and chimpanzee embryos.

  • 16 Jun 1999

    American geneticist Barbara McClintock, who challenged the prevailing theory that genes were stable components of chromosomes with her discovery of "jumping genes," was born on this day in 1902.

  • 14 Jun 1999

    Arpad Pusztai, the British scientist whose controversial studies triggered a furious debate over the safety of transgenic food but were criticized by a Royal Society committee, is fighting to save his reputation.

  • 9 Jun 1999

    Scientists have shed some light on the mysterious winnowing process inside a woman's body that sorts good embryos from bad. A study in this week's New England Journal of Medicine suggests that embryos that take longer to implant in the womb have a lower chance of surviving.

  • 3 Jun 1999

    Making a safe and effective vaccine isn't easy. Usually only a handful of protein snippets, or peptides, from a pathogen are able to spark a protective immune response. Now researchers have developed a computer program that homes in faster on that peptide needle in the protein haystack.

  • 3 Jun 1999

    Studying the genetics of behavior is often like riding a roller coaster. No sooner has one research group tied a gene to a behavior in a certain animal when along comes the next study proving that the link is spurious or even that the gene in question has exactly the opposite effect.

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