Genetic mutation helps explain why, in rare cases, flu can kill

Genetic mutation helps explain why, in rare cases, flu can killA small number of children who catch the influenza virus fall so ill they end up in the hospital even while their family and friends recover easily. New research from Rockefeller helps explain why: a rare genetic mutation that prevents the production of a critical protein, interferon, that is needed to fight off the virus. More »

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To survive, a parasite mixes and matches its disguises, study suggests

To survive, a parasite mixes and matches its disguises, study suggests A detailed look at the African sleeping sickness parasite’s strategy for evading its hosts’ immune systems revealed that the blood parasites assume a surprising diversity of protein coat disguises. In fact, the number of disguises necessary to maintain a long-term infection appears to exceed the functional genes that encode them. More »

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Researchers master gene editing technique in mosquito that transmits deadly diseases

Researchers master gene editing technique in mosquito that transmits deadly diseasesRockefeller University researchers have successfully harnessed a technique, CRISPR-Cas9 editing, to use in an important and understudied species: the mosquito, Aedes aegypti, which infects hundreds of millions of people annually with the deadly diseases chikungunya, yellow fever, and dengue fever. More »

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Chemical tag marks future microRNAs for processing, study shows

Chemical tag marks future microRNAs for processing, study showsNew research reveals how cells sort out the RNA molecules destined to become gene-regulating microRNAs by tagging them. Because microRNAs help control processes throughout the body, this discovery has wide-ranging implications for development, health and disease, including cancer.
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Changes in a blood-based molecular pathway identified in Alzheimer’s disease

Changes in a blood-based molecular pathway identified in Alzheimer’s diseaseResearchers identify a molecular bridge between amyloid-β and chronic inflammation, two hallmarks of Alzheimer’s. That bridge, a molecular cascade known as the contact system, suggests the possibility of a simple blood test that could diagnose the disease early and non-invasively.
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Scientists pinpoint molecule that controls stem cell plasticity by boosting gene expression

Scientists pinpoint molecule that controls stem cell plasticity by boosting gene expressionExperiments placed Sox9 at the crux of a shift in gene expression associated with hair follicle stem cell identity. The molecule first makes stem cell genes accessible so they can become active, then recruits other molecules that promote the expression of these genes in stem cells found at the base of the hair follicle. More »

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New antibody therapy dramatically improves psoriasis symptoms in clinical trial

New antibody therapy dramatically improves psoriasis symptoms in clinical trialOnly a single treatment produced what researchers describe as “rapid, substantial, and durable clinical improvement” in patients. This raises the prospect of a treatment that could put this autoimmune disease of the skin into long-term remission. More »

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Lewis Thomas Prize to honor mathematicians Steven Strogatz and Ian Stewart

The first mathematicians to receive the prize for writing about science, Strogatz and Stewart will be honored at a ceremony in Caspary Auditorium on the evening of Monday, March 30. More »

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Analysis of worm neurons suggests how a single stimulus can trigger different responses

Analysis of worm neurons suggest how a single stimulus can trigger different responsesIn experiments, the state of a simple brain network determined the likelihood a worm would move toward a delicious smell or ignore it. Scaled up to account for the more nuanced behaviors of humans, the research may suggest ways in which our brains process competing motivations. More »

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Study details microRNA’s role as a double agent during Hep C infection

Study details microRNA’s role as a double agent during Hep C infectionBoth the virus and liver cells need the microRNA molecules the liver produces to regulate its genes. Researchers found that by co-opting one microRNA, the virus may cause changes in gene expression in liver cells. More »

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Charles Gilbert to receive Scolnick Prize for visual perception work

Charles Gilbert to receive Scolnick Prize for visual perception workThe prize, awarded by MIT’s McGovern Institute, honors outstanding achievements in neuroscience. It recognizes Gilbert’s work on visual perception and brain plasticity. More »

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Growth signal can influence cancer cells’ vulnerability to drugs, study suggests

Growth signal can influence cancer cells’ vulnerability to drugs, study suggestsResearchers found that exposure to the signal TGF-β causes changes in mouse tumor stem cells that help them evade a widely used anti-cancer drug. This did not happen to cells that did not receive TGF-β. More »

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Research captures transient details of HIV genome packaging

Researchers have employed a recently developed technique to capture how a viral protein, Gag, selectively extracts and packages viral RNA into the viral particles that exported to new cells. More »

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Virus-cutting enzyme helps bacteria remember a threat

Virus-cutting enzyme helps bacteria remember a threatThe enzyme Cas9 is well known for its ability to make precise cuts in a genome. New research reveals a new role for Cas9 in its native bacteria: helping the microbial immune system acquire a memory of an invading virus. More »

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Key to blocking influenza virus may lie in a cell’s own machinery

Key to blocking influenza virus may lie in a cell’s own machineryResearchers have found that the immune system fights a flu infection by turning off cellular enzymes the virus needs to put the final touches on new viral particles. The unfinished particles cannot spread infection to new cells. More »

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Drug-resistant bacteria lurk in subway stations, high school students discover

Drug-resistant bacteria lurk in subway stations, high school students discoverAs part of an effort to identify DNA found throughout New York City, students in Rockefeller’s Science Outreach Program have been swabbing surfaces in the subway system. Their work has turned up bacteria resistant to two common antibiotics. More »

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Jeffrey Ravetch wins Wolf Prize in Medicine

Jeffrey Ravetch wins Wolf Prize in MedicineConsidered one of the most prestigious prizes in medicine, the Wolf Prize recognizes Ravetch’s work on the molecular basis of the immune response, including the Fc receptor system that mediates antibody function in disease and health. More »

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Latent HIV may lurk in ‘quiet’ immune cells, research suggests

Latent HIV may lurk in ‘quiet’ immune cells, research suggestsWhen researchers sequenced and compared sites where the virus had integrated into the genomes of infected CD4 T cells, they found evidence dormant but dangerous HIV was hiding out in cells that had never been copied – not the more abundant cloned cells. More »

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Research implicates metabolic process of the liver in the spread of colorectal cancer

Research implicates metabolic process of the liver in the spread of colorectal cancerBy identifying genes that become activated in cancer cells that successfully metastasize to the liver, researchers at Rockefeller have implicated metabolic processes within the liver as a possible means by which starving transient cancer cells can go on to form deadly new colonies. More »

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Study detailing axonal death pathway may provide drug targets for neurodegenerative diseases

Study detailing axonal death pathway may provide drug targets for neurodegenerative diseasesExperiments show that a protein already implicated in degeneration, called Sarm1, functions to trigger the MAP kinase pathway. Inactivation of this pathway at any of three levels could block the death of damaged axons.
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