Research identifies a protein that helps determine the fate of RNA

Research identifies a protein that helps determine the fate of RNARNA can be translated into protein or turned into gene-regulating molecules. A newly discovered “reader” recognizes a chemical instruction tag affixed to RNA, an important step in determining the RNA’s destiny. Because of the processes involved, the research has implications for cells’ normal function and disease. More »

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Promising class of new cancer drugs causes memory loss in mice

Promising class of new cancer drugs causes memory loss in miceNew research shows that a family of experimental cancer drugs can induce neurological changes in mice. The findings underscore the need for more research to determine whether these compounds can enter the brain, where they potentially might cause side effects such as memory loss. More »

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Expression of a single gene lets scientists easily grow hepatitis C virus in the lab

Expression of a single gene lets scientists easily grow hepatitis C virus in the labIn devising a method to readily grow hepatitis C in the laboratory, scientists might have overcome a major hurdle for basic research into the virus and the disease it causes.
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A newly discovered molecular feedback process may protect the brain against Alzheimer’s

A newly discovered molecular feedback process may protect the brain against Alzheimer’s Researchers have identified within neurons a series of molecular interactions — known as a pathway — that can dampen the production of the Alzheimer’s protein amyloid-β. These results suggest a new route in the search for therapies for this degenerative disease. More »

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Luciano Marraffini and Robert Roeder recognized by ASBMB awards

Luciano Marraffini and Robert Roeder recognized by ASBMB awards

Marraffini, who studies the adaptive immune systems, known as CRISPR-Cas systems, found in some bacteria and used in genome editing, has won the Earl and Thressa Stadtman Scholar Award. Meanwhile, Robert Roeder, who investigates the mechanisms that regulate transcription, the process by which genes are copied into RNA, is the recipient of the Herbert Tabor Research Award.


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In exploring a fly’s choice of a mate, researchers track the neural circuits that bridge sensory perception and behavioral action

In exploring a fly’s choice of a mate, researchers track the neural circuits that bridge sensory perception and behavioral actionA new study explains how taste and smell signals travel from a male fruit fly’s sense organs and into his higher brain areas as he assesses a potential mating partner. The research may provide important clues about how our brains integrate different sense perceptions to make decisions. More »

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New research helps explain why a deadly blood cancer often affects children with malaria

New research helps explain why a deadly blood cancer often affects children with malariaChildren in equatorial Africa who suffer from malaria are at high risk of developing Burkitt’s lymphoma, a highly aggressive blood cancer. A new study sheds light on the long-standing mystery of how the two diseases are connected. More »

Obesity researcher and former hospital physician-in-chief Jules Hirsch dies

Obesity researcher and former hospital physician-in-chief Jules Hirsch diesHirsch, an early leader in the study of human metabolism, was best known for his work on a landmark study that offered an explanation for why people who lose weight tend to regain it over time. He died at the age of 88. More »

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Agata Smogorzewska, who studies DNA repair, promoted to associate professor

Agata Smogorzewska, who studies DNA repair, promoted to associate professorSince arriving in 2009, Smogorzewska has investigated a type of DNA repair that occurs during cell division when cells remove misplaced links between DNA strands. To identify the genes and understand the molecular mechanisms involved, she investigates this repair through the lens of rare genetic disorders. More »

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New research sheds light on the molecular origins of Parkinson’s disease

New research sheds light on the molecular origins of Parkinson’s diseaseScientists have identified two proteins that appear to have a protective effect in the set of neurons most affected by this degenerative disease. When the activity of these molecules wanes, disease sets in. This discovery suggests new avenues for preventing or treating Parkinson’s. More »

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Mutations linked to genetic disorders shed light on a crucial DNA repair pathway

Mutations linked to genetic disorders shed light on a crucial DNA repair pathwayResearchers have identified two new genes in which mutations can interfere with a cell’s ability to remove misplaced links between DNA strands, and, as a result, cause a rare genetic disorder known as Fanconi anemia. These discoveries offer new insight on a repair process critical to maintaining certain tissues and preventing cancer. More »

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Fly brains filter out visual information caused by their own movements, like humans

Fly brains filter out visual information caused by their own movements, like humansTo cut down on the barrage of sensory information, the human brain ignores input caused by eye movements. Researchers have found a similar process in flies, whose brains mute signals generated by flight turns. This discovery gives researchers a new tool with which to study this silencing process. More »

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Atomic view of cellular pump reveals how bacteria send out proteins

Atomic view of cellular pump reveals how bacteria send out proteinsWithin the structure of the simple but previously unexamined pump, researchers found a striking feature: a large, water-filled channel, a natural environment for the hydrophilic proteins that must pass through. Their work offers new insight into the mechanics that allow bacteria to manipulate their environments. More »

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Cell division speeds up as part of antibody selection, study shows

Cell division speeds up as part of antibody selection, study showsIn response to an infection, the immune system refines its defensive proteins, called antibodies, to better target the invader. New research has revealed two mechanisms that favor the selection of B cells capable of producing antibodies finely tuned to target that invader. More »

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Mutations in a single gene underlie vulnerability to two unrelated types of infections

Mutations in a single gene underlie vulnerability to two unrelated types of infectionsResearchers have identified a surprising case in which defects in a single immune gene render children susceptible to two very different diseases: aggravating, but treatable fungal infections, as well as invasive and potentially fatal bacterial disease. This finding suggests a dual role for that gene, RORC, in human immunity to infection. More »

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Discovery points to a new path toward a universal flu vaccine

Discovery points to a new path toward a universal flu vaccineTaking advantage of a previously unknown mechanism within the immune system, researchers think they may be able to improve the immune response to the flu vaccine. If successful, this could mean less frequent flu shots that offer broad protection against the many strains of this ever-mutating virus. More »

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Lifelong learning is made possible by recycling of histones, study says

Lifelong learning is made possible by recycling of histones, study saysResearchers have discovered a new mechanism that helps neurons make new connections with one another, the basis for learning. Their discovery focuses on one particular type of DNA-supporting protein, the histone H3.3, and its role regulating gene expression. More »

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Postdoc Shruti Naik wins Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation

Postdoc Shruti Naik wins Regeneron Prize for Creative InnovationAwarded by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the prize recognizes innovative young scientists based on proposals they submit that have the potential to drive biomedical research forward. Naik proposed using stem cell-based therapies to treat inflammatory diseases, such as psoriasis, chronic pulmonary obstructive disease, and inflammatory bowel disease. More »

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New faculty member probes actions of molecular machines in gene expression

New faculty member probes actions of molecular machines in gene expressionShixin Liu, a biophysicist and Rockefeller’s newest tenure-track faculty member, investigates how these individual machines within the cell interact, and, in many cases, cooperate to accomplish critical tasks, such as DNA transcription and gene regulation. Liu will establish the Laboratory of Nanoscale Biophysics and Biochemistry as of January 1. More »

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Expert in cryo-electron microscopy to join Rockefeller faculty

Expert in cryo-electron microscopy to join Rockefeller facultyThomas Walz, a structural biologist, will establish the Laboratory of Molecular Electron Microscopy as of September 1. Walz uses cutting edge tools in electron microscopy to examine macromolecular complexes and proteins embedded in cellular membranes, and he will help biologists from other fields use the same techniques for their research. More »

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