Category Archives: Science News

Small RNAs in blood may reveal heart injury

SmallBy profiling the small RNAs circulating in the blood of healthy people versus those with heart failure, a research team identified three so-called microRNAs with the potential for use as indicators of injury to heart muscle. More »

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Discovery of pro-metastasis protein reveals mysterious link to neurodegeneration

Discovery of pro-metastasis protein reveals mysterious link to neurodegenerationMice injected with metastatic breast cancer cells showed less metastasis when researchers silenced the protein TARBP2 in these cells. TARBP2 appears to promote metastasis in part by blocking suppressor genes, including two linked with neurodegeneration. More »

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Researchers create the first model of the DNA ‘replication fork’

Researchers create the first model of the DNA ‘replication fork’This new tool promises to allow scientists to explore the as-yet-unknown details of how cells unzip the double-stranded DNA molecule and replicate it, a process crucial to life. More »

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Genetically driven gut feelings help female flies choose a mate

Genetically driven gut feelings help female flies choose a mateResearchers at Rockefeller University have determined that the Abdominal-B (Abd-B) gene, previously known as the gene that sculpts the posterior parts of the developing fly, is also important for a complex courtship behavior, at least in the case of female flies. More »

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Using geometry, researchers coax human embryonic stem cells to organize themselves

Using geometry, researchers coax human embryonic stem cells to organize themselvesBy confining colonies of human embryonic stem cells to tiny circular patterns on glass plates, researchers have for the first time coaxed them into organizing themselves just as they would under natural conditions. More »

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Potential Alzheimer’s drug prevents abnormal blood clots in the brain

Potential Alzheimer’s drug prevents abnormal blood clots in the brainThe brains of Alzheimer’s mice treated with the compound RU-505 showed less inflammation and better blood flow than those of untreated mice. The treated mice also performed better on memory tests. More »

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Sequencing efforts miss DNA crucial to bacteria’s disease causing power

Sequencing efforts miss DNA crucial to bacteria’s disease causing powerPieces of DNA, including viruses, found outside a microbe’s chromosomes may play a role in disease, but are nearly impossible to identify and sequence using conventional techniques. Researchers at Rockefeller have developed a solution. More »

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New monkey model for AIDS offers promise for medical research

New monkey model for AIDS offers promise for medical researchRockefeller University researchers announce that they have coaxed a slightly modified form of the HIV-1 virus to not only infect pigtailed macaques but to cause full blown AIDS in the primates, an accomplishment that could accelerate the search for new AIDS treatments or vaccines. More »

To recover consciousness, brain activity passes through newly detected states

To recover consciousness, brain activity passes through newly detected statesResearch shows that recovery from deep anesthesia is not a smooth, linear process but is instead a dynamic journey with specific states of activity the brain must temporarily occupy on the way to full recovery. More »

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Research details how developing neurons sense a chemical cue

Netrin-1_Xu_thumb_05302014New structural images help explain how young neurons make the right connections, showing how a signal, Netrin-1, interacts with specific receptors that tell neurons in which direction to reach.
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Researchers profile active genes in neurons based on connections

140519_friedman_retrotrap1_thumbA new technique allows researchers to examine gene expression in neurons that send messages to a synapse. A test run examined dopamine neurons that project to the brain region known as the nucleus accumbens.
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Searching for drugs in dirt, researchers call on citizen scientists

dirtonscale_thumb_2014 Soil microbes are believed to make a wealth of as-yet undiscovered molecules, including antibiotics. But getting at them isn’t easy. To make these potentially helpful bugs easier to find, researchers want to create maps, and they need help.
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Stem cell progeny tell their parents when to turn on

Hsu-follicle-vertical-05052014During an infection, the immune system selects B cells that produce antibodies with a high affinity for the pathogen. New research helps explain the details of how these cells are selected and amplified. More »

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Discovery helps explain how B cells adapt to their targets

Gitlin-b-cells-thumb2-05052014During an infection, the immune system selects B cells that produce antibodies with a high affinity for the pathogen. New research helps explain the details of how these cells are selected and amplified. More »

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Friction harnessed by proteins helps organize cell division

Researchers have found that the fastener proteins that organize cell division can harness the movement around them to do their work. Movement of filaments within the structure responsible for cell division can cause some of these proteins to shuffle along the path of least resistance and into position. More »

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A new web tool effectively prioritizes disease-causing genes by biological distance

With the Human Gene Connectome, an investigator can rank potential disease-causing genes based on a new metric called biological distance. This tool is now available online thanks in part to the work of two high school students. More »

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Genetically identical ants help unlock the secrets of larval fate

Rockefeller researchers are developing a species of small raider ants as a model organism in order to ask questions about the relationships between genes, social behavior and evolution. One such question: How does the interaction between a larvae’s interaction with its caretaker sway the fate of the young animal? More »

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Drug is identified that could block the spread of melanoma

Researchers have found a promising new route to slowing or even preventing melanoma cells from spreading within the body. Using a compound that targets a hormone receptor, the team found they could reduce tumors’ recruitment of blood vessels, a process necessary for metastasis. More »

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Discovery reveals protons sneak through the sodium-potassium pump


The sodium-potassium pump, a ubiquitous and essential molecule located in the membrane of cells, transports more than just the sodium and potassium that its name would suggest. New research shows these pumps also routinely transport hydrogen ions known as protons. Among other things, the work suggests a new dimension to molecules that underlie processes involved in nerve signaling and muscle contractions. More »

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Sniff study suggests humans can distinguish more than 1 trillion scents

Rockefeller researchers tested the sensitivity of volunteers’ noses and brains, and determined that the human sense of smell is far more refined than previously thought. While individual volunteers’ performance varied, on average people can tell the difference between complex mixtures of odors even when they contain many of the same components. More »

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