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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Flawed Gene May Be Cause Of Parkinson’s

Researchers say they have found the first laboratory evidence that a flawed gene is linked to Parkinson's disease, a progressive brain disorder that affects a half-million Americans. A mutation was found in an area of chromosome 4 by analyzing DNA from members of an Italian family that has had Parkinson's appear in generations going back to the 1700s, according to Dr. Mihael H. Polymeropoulos of the National Institutes of Health.

Scientists Find Gene Behind Migraine

For the first time, scientists have discovered a gene that causes a type of migraine headache. An international scientific team has announced the discovery. Eventually, the discovery might allow doctors to identify people who are genetically predisposed to familial hemiplegic migraine, a rare form of the disease. The researchers' report appears in Friday's issue of the science journal Cell.

Common Cold Virus May Kill Cancer Research Lab Sees Promise In Infecting Cancer Cells With Virus

Can the virus that causes the common cold also cure cancer? A company that has exploited an odd link between the mildest and the most serious of diseases hopes the answer may be yes. Scientists at Onyx Pharmaceuticals of Richmond, Calif., report that a specially tailored strain of adenovirus, the cause of colds, can kill tumor cells while leaving normal cells unaffected. Standard treatments like radiation and chemotherapy kill all cells indiscriminately, causing severe side effects.

Scientists Tracking Down Manic-Depression Genes

Scientists who launched an all-points search for manic-depression genes say they've found five possible hideouts. Further work might reveal the genes themselves, a step toward finding better treatments for a condition that strikes 1 percent to 2 percent of Americans at some point in their lives.

Gene Tied To Early Breast Cancer

A single bad gene appears to cause a significant share of breast cancer in young women, especially Jews, in whom it may trigger more than a quarter of all cases under age 40. A whirlwind of research over the past two years has pinpointed a gene that is often to blame when breast cancer clearly runs in families.

Gene Transplant Creates Gay Flies

By transplanting a single gene into male fruit flies, researchers have been able to induce homosexual behavior - adding to the growing body of evidence that there may be a genetic component to sexual orientation. But environment also may influence sexual orientation, at least among male fruit flies. In a related experiment, the researchers found that when a group of "heterosexual" male fruit flies was mixed with a larger group of genetically altered "homosexual" male fruit flies, the straights began to act gay.

All Men Look Alike In Their Genes Humanity Younger Than Previously Believed

According to genetic evidence to be published Friday, modern humanity may be much younger than expected, no more than 270,000 years old. And in terms of their Y chromosomes at least, all men are brothers. They descended from a small group of male ancestors - Adams, if you will - whose sex-determining genes have been passed on relatively intact. In fact, male humans may be much more closely related genetically than are bands of other primates, such as chimpanzees or gorillas.