Cell & Molecular Biology. (Science News of the Year: The Weekly Newsmagazine of Science)

Article excerpt

Malaria milestones Biologists deciphered the DNA sequences of a key malaria-causing parasite and of the mosquito that usually carries it, findings that suggest new ways to combat the deadly disease (162: 211 *).

Hunger hormone The stomach makes a hormone called ghrelin that, in the brain, triggers hunger. Dieting, gastric-bypass surgery, and genetic mutations appeared to disturb the hormone's production (161: 107 *, 366; 162: 14).

Rice twice Two research groups independently described the entire genetic sequence office, a first for a crop plant (161: 211 *).

Cloning consensus A national advisory panel recommended outlawing cloning aimed at creating a child but suggested allowing medical experiments with cloned human cells (161: 52).

Stem cell stir Generating controversy over the potential of similar work in people, scientists showed that stem cells derived from cloned mouse and cow embryos can cure some animal diseases and create organs such as kidneys (161: 163 *, 356 *). Offering an alternative source for similar human cells, researchers showed that bone marrow from adults contains cells that can mature into many specialized types (161: 390).

Monkey business Scientists obtained long-lived stem cells from monkey eggs stimulated to develop without being fertilized by sperm (161: 94).

Viral threat Stoking bioterrorism fears, scientists proved they could build the poliovirus from scratch, using the widely known genetic sequence and available chemicals (162: 22). …