Category Archives: Science News

Fifty years after landmark methadone discovery, stigmas and misunderstandings persist

Fifty years after landmark methadone discovery, stigmas and misunderstandings persistIn 1966, Rockefeller scientists published a landmark paper that would lead to the first medical treatment for heroin addiction. The drug has helped millions of heroin users around the world, yet its use in the United States remains controversial.
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First structural map of the cystic fibrosis protein sheds light on how mutations cause disease

First structural map of the cystic fibrosis protein sheds light on how mutations cause diseaseA map that shows the arrangement of atoms within the cystic fibrosis protein will help researchers better understand how specific mutations cause disease. Ultimately, this knowledge may reveal potential targets for new drugs. More »

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Survey of New York City soil uncovers medicine-making microbes

Survey of New York City soil uncovers medicine-making microbesSifting soil from city parks, scientists have found microbial genes capable of making compounds whose potent effects can make them valuable tools in the fight against disease. Their research suggests that many more await discovery, even in a place as mundane as urban dirt. More »

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New research clarifies why wounds heal more slowly with age

New research clarifies why wounds heal more slowly with age With age, it takes longer for skin cells to close an injury. New research shows that a breakdown in communication between these cells and neighboring immune cells causes this delay—a discovery that has implications for improving healing among older people. More »

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Researchers discover new antibiotics by sifting through the human microbiome

MRSA screenThe bacteria we carry within us could be a untapped source of new drugs. Researchers put this idea to the test by mining the human microbiome for new antibiotics—and identified two compounds that might be effective against some particularly dangerous bacteria. More »

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Researchers shed new light on RNA’s journey out of a cell’s nucleus

Researchers shed new light on RNA’s journey out of a cell’s nucleusTo make proteins, cells must export RNA from their carefully guarded nuclei. Researchers have determined the structure of one important component of the restrictive gate through which this cargo must pass, with implications for understanding disease. More »

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Scientists prove how genetics change behavior by studying worms’ foraging strategies

Scientists prove how genetics change behavior by studying worms’ foraging strategiesLike all animals, C. elegans worms pay attention to their peers and can adjust their behavior in response to competition. Neuroscientists have discovered a genetic component of this social phenomenon, providing concrete biological evidence for game theory. More »

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Researchers watch in 3D as neurons talk to each other in a living mouse brain

Researchers watch in 3D as neurons talk to each other in a living mouse brainWhen the brain is at work, neurons talk rapidly to one another, forming networks. Using a new method based on so-called light sculpting, scientists have recorded the activity in these networks within three-dimensional sections of the brains of mice. More »

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Genomic testing could speed research on skin disease and bring new drugs to patients faster

Mayte Suarez-Farinas and Joel Correa da Rosa in Greenberg BuildingWhen a person suffering from psoriasis starts taking a new therapy, it can currently take months to assess if the drug is working. But according to a recent study, that process could be significantly sped up with genomic testing and analysis. More »

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Study uncovers how cells organize the growth of their structural filaments

Study uncovers how cells organize the growth of their structural filamentsResearchers have described how two proteins work together to guide the assembly of important structural elements known as microtubules within the cell. This discovery helps explain how cells prepare to use these filaments. More »

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A possible explanation for why male mice tolerate stress better than females

A possible explanation for why male mice tolerate stress better than femalesRockefeller scientists have described a molecular mechanism that may explain in part why anxiety levels vary between the sexes. The research team identified a molecule that halts the action of a stress-inducing hormone—but it only does so in male mice. More »

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Study explains how an intestinal microbe protects against other, more dangerous bacteria

Worm Cross Section ThumbnailWorking in animal models, scientists have found that an enzyme produced by one microbe can shield the gut against attack from other, more harmful bacteria. The findings could potentially inform the design of new probiotics for use against dangerous pathogens like those spreading hospital-acquired infections. More »

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New research clarifies how cells take in cholesterol and offers insight on Ebola

New research clarifies how cells take in cholesterol and offers insight on EbolaCholesterol is essential for human health, but getting too much of it can contribute to potentially fatal diseases. New research on the structure of two cholesterol-transporting proteins helps explain how cells use only the amount they need. It also offers new insights into the biology of Ebola. More »

A compound that stops cells from making protein factories could lead to new antifungal drugs

A newly identified compound shows promise for fighting fungal infectionsRibosomes manufacture all the protein cells need, making them an appealing target for researchers seeking to develop new medicines. New research in yeast has identified a compound that prevents the assembly of ribosomes, raising hopes for drug development. More »

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Scientists uncover a clever ranking strategy bacteria use to fight off viruses

Scientists uncover a clever ranking strategy bacteria use to fight off virusesLike humans, bacteria come under attack from viruses—and their immune systems, like ours, are capable of remembering a virus so as to preempt any future invasion. New research explores how the bacterial immune system CRISPR stores and ranks these memories. More »

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Researchers find combined effects of two genes responsible for premature skull fusion in infants

Researchers identify mutations responsible for premature skull fusion in infantsA combination of rare and common genetic variants can cause the bones at the top of the head to unite prematurely, resulting in deformities and, in some cases, neurodevelopmental problems. This discovery will help to diagnose the condition and identify families at risk, while advancing the understanding of complex genetic traits. More »

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Four postdocs honored with 2016 Tri-Institutional Breakout Awards

The prize recognizes promising young scientists from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Rockefeller University, and Weill Cornell Medicine. Four postdoctoral investigators have won the awards, which were established last year by three winners of the 2013 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences from those institutions’ faculty. More »

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Zika infection may affect adult brain cells, suggesting risk may not be limited to pregnant women

Zika infection may affect adult brain cells, suggesting risk may not be limited to pregnant womenA new study shows for the first time that the Zika virus can infect the adult brain in regions that are vital to learning and memory. The findings suggest that the virus could have more subtle effects than have been recognized, perhaps contributing to such conditions as long-term memory loss or depression. More »

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Structural images shed new light on a cancer-linked potassium channel

Structural images shed new light on a cancer-linked potassium channelUsing cryo-electron microscopy, researchers gained new insights about how the channel functions, based on what they saw in the section that spans the cell’s membrane. The channel has been found in a number of cell types, including in tumors, where it is thought to have a cancer-promoting effect. More »

New antibody drug continues to show promise for treatment of HIV

New antibody drug continues to show promise for treatment of HIVAntibody therapy may offer an alternative to standard HIV treatments, which require a strict regimen and can cause complications in the long-term. New results from a clinical trial show that the 3BNC117 antibody can significantly delay the virus from rebounding in patients taken off their current medications. More »

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