Yearly Archives: 2008

Structural study backs new model for the nuclear pore complex

Inside the cell nucleus, DNA is transcribed into RNA that then leaves the nucleus and binds to the cell’s ribosomes, where it is translated into proteins. But in order to get to the ribosome, the RNA must pass through a relatively large, complicated and little-understood structure called the nuclear pore complex. Researchers at The Rockefeller University have a new model for the gatekeeper to the nucleus and have discovered the crystal structure of a protein pair that backs it up. More »

Tags: ,

Center for Clinical and Translational Science funds 18 new pilot studies

The Rockefeller University Center for Clinical and Translational Science has awarded 18 grants to university investigators in its third annual pilot-project grant program. The grants, which range from $2,000 to $25,000 each, will fund early studies in translational science that, if successful, might lead to improvements in human health. More »

Tags:

Rockefeller microbiologist tests safety of spiked eggnog

An experiment designed to test the safety of consuming eggnog made from raw eggs suggests that, in general, few bacteria survive in a mixture containing 20 percent rum and bourbon. More »

Tags: ,

Single letter in the human genome points to risk for high cholesterol

In the search for genes that affect how humans synthesize, process and break down cholesterol, a consortium of researchers led by Rockefeller University scientists has found a single letter in the genome that is associated with elevated LDL cholesterol levels, one of the leading health concerns that has come to dominate the 21st century. More »

Tags: ,

Defensive protein killed ancient primate retroviruses, research suggests

Retroviruses work their way into the DNA of their host organisms and stay on even after they have died. Their remnants leave a “fossil record” in the genomes of the species they infected, giving scientists a chance to discover what killed them and, potentially, find clues for fighting retroviruses like HIV that plague us today. Researchers from Rockefeller University have now revived two groups of ancient primate retroviruses and identified their killer as a defensive protein found in humans and other species. More »

Tags:

An enzyme that mutates antibodies also targets a cancer-causing oncogene

The human immune system runs a risky business. It mutates its own DNA to diversify defenses against foreign invaders it has never before encountered. Unfortunately, these mutations sometimes miss the mark, and the result can be lethal cancer. Now Rockefeller University scientists have found that the same enzyme that enables an effective immune response is also responsible for the DNA breaks that cause lymphomas. More »

Tags:

Scientists drill holes through deadly bacteria’s Kevlar-like hide

At a time when bacteria continue to acquire “superbug” powers, researchers at Rockefeller University are devising ways to strip them of their infectious properties. Now they’ve figured out how to drill holes through the tough hide of gram-positive bacteria without obliterating them, and in so doing, have made it possible to study, from the inside out, most of the known bacteria on the planet. More »

Tags: ,

Structure of a virulent pathogen revealed

Certain mean strains of bacteria inject virulent teams of molecules into cells that prepare the way for bacteria to invade the cells and reproduce, spreading disease. Different types of these molecules, called virulence factors, wreak havoc in cells’ basic functioning in different ways. Now, using x-ray crystallography, researchers at The Rockefeller University have revealed the structure of one such molecule that has the especially damaging effect of arresting its host cells’ division. The finding offers clues as to how this bacterial weapon works and, potentially, how to defend against it or even use it to attack cancer. More »

Tags: ,

Research identifies cell-receptor as target for anti-inflammatory immune response

A common treatment for autoimmune diseases — intravenous immunoglobulin or IVIG — has defied scientific explanation for years. But researchers at The Rockefeller University have homed in on a specialized cell receptor in the immune system that facilitates IVIG’s work, suggesting a target for new potential anti-inflammatory agents. More »

Tags:

Tom Muir, Paul Nurse honored at Science and the City Gala

The New York Academy of Sciences has honored Rockefeller University professor Tom W. Muir with a Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists, and also presented Rockefeller president Paul Nurse with a Science and the City Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in New York City. More »

Tags:

Breakthrough in cell-type analysis offers new way to study development and disease

It’s sometimes said that disease does not discriminate, but that’s not true. Many diseases are very particular about the types of cells they attack, laying waste to one population while sparing its nearly identical neighbors for no apparent reason. New research from The Rockefeller University for the first time enables scientists to carefully study the biomolecular differences among types of cells in order to learn what makes some susceptible to attack and others resistant. More »

Tags: , ,

Fatty diet during pregnancy produces new neurons to fetal brain

A study in rats shows that exposure to a high-fat diet during pregnancy produces permanent changes in the offspring’s brain that lead to overeating and obesity early in life, according to new research by Rockefeller University scientists. More »

Tags:

Scientists confirm a molecular clipping mechanism behind stem cell development

Some genes are regulated through a process by which proteins in the cell nucleus, called histones, are chemically modified by small “chemical marks.” New research from Rockefeller University scientists shows that during specific stages of differentiation in mouse embryonic stem cells, crucial marks can be removed by cutting off the end of the histone’s tail. More »

Tags: ,

Researchers find new path to antibiotics in dirt

The bacteria teeming in the earth’s soil produce some of the most powerful medicines we have. But only one percent of these potentially life-saving bugs has been studied because they are hard to grow in the lab. Now scientists at The Rockefeller University have taken the genetic material from a cup of dirt in Utah and derived a new family of antibiotics as strong as any used today. More »

Tags: ,

New clinical study will help doctors assess abnormal bleeding

A new assessment tool being tested at The Rockefeller University Hospital may help physicians and researchers more accurately determine what is inside and outside the normal range of bleeding symptoms. More »

Tags: ,

Without glial cells, animals lose their senses

When it comes to picking up and bringing information into the brain, sensory neurons have always put on a star performance. But now they’ll need to share the credit. In groundbreaking research to appear in the October 31 issue of Science, scientists reveal that while neurons play the lead role, a second type of cell, the glial cell, pulls the strings behind the scenes. The work not only lifts a long-ignored cell out from obscurity but shows how it is a critical member in shaping sensory experience. More »

Tags: ,

New method provides panoramic view of protein-RNA interactions in living cells

The postgenomic era has taught us a big one: That the measure of human complexity has less to do with how many genes we have as it does with how we process them. Now, Rockefeller University scientists offer, for the first time, a genome-wide view — from the first chromosome to the last — of how differences in RNA can explain how a worm and a human can each have 25,000 genes yet be so different. More »

Tags: , ,

Michel Nussenzweig wins Howley Prize for Arthritis Research

Michel C. Nussenzweig, head of the Laboratory of Molecular Immunology at Rockefeller University, is one of this year’s two winners of the Lee C. Howley Sr. Prize for Arthritis Research. The award will be presented at the Evening of Honors reception of the annual Arthritis Foundation meeting November 14. More »

Tags: ,

By imaging living cells, researchers show how hepatitis C replicates

The hepatitis C virus is a prolific replicator, able to produce up to a trillion particles per day in an infected person. By using live imaging, researchers now know how. Their research shows that within an infected cell, the virus uses a combination of big viral factories and tiny, mobile replication complexes to efficiently churn out copies. More »

Tags: ,

Simulator allows scientists to predict evolution’s next best move

In evolution, even the slightest beginnings can lead to tools as complex as the human eye. But how? By modeling the steps evolution takes to build, from scratch, an adaptive biochemical network, Rockefeller University scientists have provided a computational answer to one of Darwin’s biggest questions. More »

Tags: ,