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NIGMS supports all research featured in Biomedical Beat. Although only the lead scientists are named, coworkers and other collaborators also contributed to the findings.

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In This Issue...December 17, 2008  RSS feed News Feed | Help
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Courtesy of cell biologist Haomin Huang, Fox Chase Cancer Center.

Holiday Images: Genetic Mismatch
Haomin Huang • Fox Chase Cancer Center

Like bright berries on a holly bush, proteins (red) attach to chromosomes being pulled apart by microtubules (green). Hover over the image to the next slide, though, and our perfect holiday image blurs because of mutations in an enzyme that helps control proper chromosome segregation. More...

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Baking Soda Ingredient Makes Anthrax Deadly
Marta Perego • The Scripps Research Institute

Bicarbonate, the active ingredient in baking soda, doesn't just make muffins rise—it also activates anthrax toxin. More...

The spores of anthrax-causing bacteria (purple) can live dormant for many years. Courtesy of Janice Haney Carr, CDC.

Basic Research Ages Well
David Sinclair and Ralph Scully • Harvard Medical School

Scientists have found new clues about aging in mammals that could lead to a useful therapeutic strategy for aging-associated disorders. More...

Activity readout of sirtuin-controlled genes (red, low; blue, high) showing major differences between young and old mice. Courtesy of Philipp Oberdoerffer and Tom Prolla.

Modeling Bloodstream Infections
John Younger • University of Michigan

To better understand deadly bloodstream infections, scientists have modeled how bacteria shuttle between vessels and organs. More...

A computer model of a small aggregate of bacteria growing in the bloodstream. Courtesy of John Younger and David Bortz.

Fertility Trait Determined by piRNAs
Gregory Hannon • Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

We usually think of biological traits as stemming from DNA, but a new study shows that fertility in flies depends on another, maternally inherited factor. More...

 Fly ovary showing the I-lelement transposon (green) in a developing oocyte. Surrounding nurse and epithelial cell nuclei are also shown (blue). Courtesy of Gregory Hannon.

Biomedical Beat is produced by the Office of Communications and Public Liaison of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Some of the research briefs in this digest were generated from university or national laboratory news releases. For more information about Biomedical Beat, please contact the editor, Emily Carlson, at or 301-594-1515. To talk to someone at NIGMS about this research, call 301-496-7301. The text in this newsletter is not copyrighted and we encourage its use or reprinting. For image permissions, e-mail
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This page last updated December 17, 2008