Tuesday 26 August 1997
US researchers have worked out how the tuberculosis bacterium and leprosy, its biological cousin, invade cells - a finding that could open the way to new treatments. In Science, Washington University in St Louis reported that the bacteria hijack a protein left over from the natural breakdown of part of the immune system. They then use this to piggyback into macrophages - the "scavengers" of the immune system - where they eventually kill them. A vaccine or an antibiotic could introduce an antibody to block the connection between the complement breakdown protein, called C2a, and the bacteria. Tuberculosis currently infects one-third of the world's population, and kills 3 million a year. It is spreading once again in industrialised countries.
Among cancer researchers, the p53 tumour suppressor gene is a byword. But now they have found a close relation, p73. Reporting in Cell, a team led by Frank McKeon of Harvard Medical School report that p73 is found on the very tip of chromosome 1 - an area missing in many cancer cells. The discovery of p73, which also seems to be a tumour suppressor, could be significant in developing gene therapies.
New Labour, new House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology - and almost all have science or engineering qualifications. Included are five PhDs, a former ICI R&D manager, a food and biotechnology consultant and a former computer programmer - the Lib Dem Nigel Jones. In the past, the committee tended to include lawyers rather than scientists - reflecting the demographics of MPs rather than the population.
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 One Direction: Louis Tomlinson launching his own record label, has already 'signed two acts'
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
Ben Affleck asked TV chiefs to hide slave-owning ancestry, new hacked Sony emails published by Wikileaks claim
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
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