Scientists learn how young brains form lifelong memories by studying worms’ food choices

Scientists learn how young brains form lifelong memories by studying worms’ food choicesNeuroscientists have found that when young C. elegans worms taste poisonous food, they remember that experience for the rest of their life. Their work is teasing apart the biological mechanisms that drive different types of learning. More »

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Rockefeller University president Tessier-Lavigne chosen to lead Stanford University

Rockefeller University president Tessier-Lavigne chosen to lead Stanford UniversityMarc Tessier-Lavigne, Ph.D., will step down from his position as president of The Rockefeller University September 1, 2016, to become the 11th president of Stanford University, it was announced today. More »

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A newly discovered form of immunity helps explain how bacteria fight off viruses

A newly discovered form of immunity helps explain how bacteria fight off virusesScientists have discovered an immune-defense mechanism in bacteria that allows these microorganisms to respond to viral infections with remarkable precision. Their findings could have implications for the development of new therapies against infectious diseases. More »

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Study reveals how herpes virus tricks the immune system

Study reveals how herpes virus tricks the immune systemScientists have captured atomic images of the virus that causes cold sores in action. Structural details reveal that the virus inserts itself into another protein, jamming an important immune system pathway that normally allows immune cells to recognize and destroy foreign invaders. More »

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Jean-Laurent Casanova honored with the Korsmeyer Award

Jean-Laurent Casanova honored with the Korsmeyer AwardJean-Laurent Casanova is the recipient of the 2016 Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award. The award recognizes Casanova for discovering that vulnerability to life-threatening infectious illnesses in otherwise healthy children and young adults can arise from single-gene inborn errors. More »

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Lewis Thomas Prize to be awarded to Sean B. Carroll

Lewis Thomas Prize to be awarded to Sean B. CarrollEvolutionary biologist and author Sean B. Carroll to receive Rockefeller University’s science writing prize. The award recognizes Carroll’s body of work, including his 2013 book Brave Genius: A Scientist, A Philosopher and their Daring Adventures from the French Resistance to the Nobel Prize. More »

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The neurons in our gut help the immune system keep inflammation in check

The neurons in our gut help the immune system keep inflammation in check The immune system must protect against potential infections, but over-vigilant reactions can cause problems. New research from Rockefeller shows that neurons in the intestine send signals to immune cells to curb inflammation. More »

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New findings challenge popular explanation for why a social insect becomes a worker or queen

New findings challenge popular explanation for why a social insect becomes a worker or queenMany scientists have come to believe that DNA methylation, a mode of genetic regulation in which chemical tags turn genes on or off, is involved in determining an insect’s caste. However, a new study of ants finds no evidence to support this role for methylation. More »

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Winrich Freiwald, who studies facial processing, is promoted to associate professor

Winrich Freiwald, who studies facial processing, is promoted to associate professorA leading neuroscientist in his field, Freiwald investigates how a specialized system of brain areas responds to the sight of a face. His work has implications for understanding the biology of social interaction and human cognition. More »

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Study identifies signals that make early stem cells

Study identifies signals that make early stem cellsWhere and when do stem cells first appear during development? Researchers investigated this question by examining how cells organize as the hair follicle first appears in mouse embryos. They uncovered signaling pathways that may provide insights into some skin cancers. More »

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Researchers develop gene-filtering tool to identify disease-causing mutations

Genes that are frequently mutated in the general population are unlikely to cause disease, because variations of these genes are often found in healthy people. A new tool from researchers at Rockefeller uses this concept to help scientists identify the mutations in genes that matter. More »

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Newly discovered windows of brain plasticity may help with treatment of stress-related disorders

Newly discovered windows of brain plasticity may help with treatment of stress-related disordersEven under repeated stress, the brain maintains the potential to adapt and recover. Researchers have shown how changes in gene expression cause these transitory opportunities to open up. Their results suggest well-timed treatment could change the trajectory of a brain suffering from depression or other disorder. More »

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Study links epigenetic processes to the development of the cerebellar circuitry

Study links epigenetic processes to the development of the cerebellar circuitryResearchers have, for the first time, described the pivotal changes responsible for controlling the formation of the part of the brain that allows us to learn and execute complex movements. These changes involve modifications to chromatin, which is DNA packaged with protein. More »

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Experiments explain the events behind molecular ‘bomb’ seen in cancer cells

Experiments explain the events behind molecular ‘bomb’ seen in cancer cellsSometimes, in cancer cells, a part of a chromosome looks like it has been pulverized, then put back together incorrectly, leading to multiple mutations. New research from The Rockefeller University describes the cellular events leading to this molecular explosion, which serves as a precursor to cancer. More »

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New research explores how the fly brain reroutes odor information to produce flexible behavior

New research explores how the fly brain reroutes odor information to produce flexible behaviorTaking advantage of the simple architecture of the fruit fly brain, scientists examined how the molecule dopamine acts like an operator at a switchboard, changing the flow of information. Their work helps explain why the same stimulus can lead to different responses, and quite likely has parallels in the human brain. More »

Widespread skewed expression of mRNA components correlate with fine tuning of protein production

Widespread skewed expression of mRNA components correlate with fine tuning of protein productionIn numerous tissues and genes, the researchers found lopsided ratios in two parts of mRNA transcripts of genes, one of which carries the code for a protein and one that doesn’t. They suspect some of these skewed ratios may help control protein production, particularly in the embryo, but also in the adult. More »

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Luciano Marraffini receives the Hans Sigrist Prize for work on antibiotic resistance

Luciano Marraffini receives the Hans Sigrist Prize for work on antibiotic resistanceThis award, bestowed by the University of Bern, honors Marraffini for his work developing a new approach to fight antibiotic resistance. Marraffini studies CRISPR-Cas systems, which enable some bacteria to acquire immunity against viruses, and is investigating ways to use them to fight off microbial pathogens. More »

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Mosquitoes are tuned to seek out temperatures that match warm-blooded hosts

Mosquitoes are tuned to seek out temperatures that match warm-blooded hostsResearchers have described a process that allows the insects to distinguish between temperatures with high precision to find their prey. Studies like this one may help generate better repellents, traps, and other ways to control mosquitoes. More »

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Groundbreaking ceremony marks start of construction on East River seawall repairs

Groundbreaking ceremony marks start of construction on East River seawall repairsThe university has started to refurbish the damaged seawall that supports the East River Esplanade between 63rd and 68th Streets as part of the campus extension project. The esplanade will also be improved, with a new bike lane, landscaping, and a noise barrier along the FDR Drive. More »

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Researchers discover new aspect of gene regulation and a possible target for cancer drugs

Researchers discover new aspect of gene regulation and a possible target for future cancer drugsThe expression of about three-quarters of a cell’s active genes is controlled by a process in which the DNA-transcribing enzyme hesitates before going to work. Experiments have identified the complex of proteins that helps restart this enzyme when it stalls, and so helped to explain how some promising cancer drugs work. More »

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