Category Archives: Science News

Researchers use new CRISPR-based strategy to replicate disease in cells

An experimental Alzheimer’s drug reverses genetic changes thought to spur the diseaseWith a new strategy they developed, Rockefeller scientists used the CRISPR genome editing system to engineer neurons so they looked like those in the brains of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. This development will aid biomedical research by making it easier to create cellular models of disease. More »

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A central clock runs the cell division cycle

A central clock runs the cell division cycleScientists have long known that proteins called cyclins regulate cell division in yeast, but this picture has lately come into question as oscillations in gene expression were posited to run independently in the cell division cycle. Now a new study confirms that cyclins are indeed in control. More »

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New method allows first look at key stage of human development, embryo implantation

New method allows first look at key stage of human development, embryo implantationAlmost nothing is known about the stage of human development called implantation, when the developing embryo attaches to the uterus. Now scientists have devised a method that replicates implantation in an experimental setting, providing a revolutionary system capable of answering basic questions about our own development. More »

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An experimental Alzheimer’s drug reverses genetic changes thought to spur the disease

An experimental Alzheimer’s drug reverses genetic changes thought to spur the diseaseWhen given to old rats, riluzole reversed many age-related changes that occur in a brain region key to learning and memory. This drug also produced effects opposing those seen in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. More »

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Mice engineered with rare kidney disease provide new insights about how cells repair broken DNA

Mice engineered with rare kidney disease provide new insights about how cells repair broken DNAMutations in many genes involved in a certain type of DNA repair cause a rare anemia, but one such gene has been shown to cause kidney disease instead. By eliminating this unique gene in mice, scientists hope to show how and why it has such different effects. More »

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A common brain cell shapes the nervous system in unexpected ways

A common brain cell shapes the nervous system in unexpected waysGlial cells nourish, protect, and support neurons, but their role is far from passive. A new study shows how they can change the shape of nerve endings and distinguish between the different types of neurons they encase. More »

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A newly discovered way for cells to die

A newly discovered way for cells to dieIn studying how worms develop from larvae into adults, scientists have discovered a previously unknown process in which cells are programmed to die. The findings might have implications for understanding some diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders. More »

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Sweet tooth? Flies have it too—and new research explains how they know what to eat and when to stop

Sweet tooth? Flies have it too—and new research explains how they know what to eat and when to stopIn studying the eating behavior of fruit flies, scientists have discovered a set of throat neurons that regulate food intake based on how hungry the flies are and whether they’ve had enough sugar. A similar neural circuit may exist in vertebrates, like us. More »

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Using magnetic forces to control neurons, study finds the brain plays key role in glucose metabolism

Using magnetic forces to control neurons, study finds the brain plays key role in glucose metabolismA new tool to control neurons in mice avoids the downfalls of current methods by using magnetic forces to remotely control the flow of ions into specifically targeted cells. Applying this method to a group of neurons in the hypothalamus, researchers found that the brain plays a surprisingly vital role in maintaining blood glucose levels. More »

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Parasites reveal how evolution has molded an ancient nuclear structure

Parasites reveal how evolution has molded an ancient nuclear structureThe architecture of the nuclear pore complex is similar in humans and yeast, suggesting that it had been established over a billion years ago. But new research in a simple parasite, the trypanosome, indicates that it has actually been evolving steadily. More »

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A virus common among livestock depends on a microRNA to replicate

A virus common among livestock depends on a micro-RNA to replicate Increasingly, scientists are finding that small RNA molecules might be effective targets for antiviral drugs. Using a new screening method, Rockefeller researchers now show that a number of RNA viruses need access to micro-RNAs produced by their host cells to replicate. More »

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New findings suggest severe tornado outbreaks are increasingly common

New findings suggest severe tornado outbreaks are increasingly commonTornado outbreaks, in which multiple tornadoes arise within a limited time, are incredibly damaging. New research suggests that the number of tornadoes per outbreak has increased over the past 60 years, and that the likelihood of future extreme events is growing. More »

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New research clarifies how stem cells get activated to produce new hair—and what happens when their regenerative powers wear out

New research clarifies how stem cells get activated to produce new hair—and what happens when their regenerative powers wear outStem cells residing in hair follicles are held in an inactive state for long periods of time. A new study shows that these quiescent periods are essential for maintaining the cells’ rejuvenating activity over time, and clarifies the mechanisms that bring the cells in and out of quiescence. More »

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Metabolism protein found to also regulate feeding behavior in the brain

Metabolism protein found to also regulate feeding behavior in the brainFeeling hungry or full leads us to change how much we eat, but the molecular wiring of this process is not well understood. Scientists have identified a new player in this circuit called amylin, which works together with the hormone leptin to reduce food consumption. More »

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Scientists question a popular theory about how the nervous system trims its branches

Scientists question a popular theory about how the nervous system trims its branches Scientists have long believed axons regulate their own pruning during development. But recent findings have challenged this assumption, and now scientists have proven that axons receive instructions from the cell body when its time to degenerate.
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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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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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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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