Analysis of sperm differentiation reveals new mode of proteasome regulation

The proteasome plays a key role in the differentiation of specialized cells and in maintaining them as they age. The ability to manipulate the proteasome has already been useful in the treatment of multiple myeloma; it could help treat other cancers and degenerative disorders including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s as well. New research identifies a key protein, called DmPI31, that regulates the proteasome, which could provide researchers a handle for using it to good medical effect. “Controlled proteolysis is essential for many cell biological functions,” says Hermann Steller, head of the Strang Laboratory of Apoptosis and Cancer Biology. “There had been the impression that the proteasome is just a brute ‘shredder,’ but it doesn’t run at full steam all the time. It’s modulated, and these findings give us new ideas for designing small molecules that regulate proteasome activity.” More »

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Anti-inflammatory drugs reduce effectiveness of SSRI antidepressants

Scientists have shown that anti-inflammatory drugs, which include ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen, reduce the effectiveness of the most widely used class of antidepressant medications, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, often prescribed for depression and obsessive-compulsive and anxiety disorders. More »

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Jesse Ausubel elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Ausubel, a researcher who studies environmental science and technology and industrial evolution, is honored with election to the prestigious independent policy research academy. More »

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Polarized microscopy technique shows new details of how proteins are arranged

A key component of the nuclear pore complex — a Y-shaped cluster of proteins that helps determine what gets in and what stays out of a cell’s nucleus — was first photographed and modeled at Rockefeller in 2009. But fundamental questions about how the structures were aligned in relation to the rest of the 30-protein complex remained. Researchers at Rockefeller University have now developed a new technique that uses polarized light microscopy to help answer questions about the proteins’ orientation. More »

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Fernando Nottebohm to receive Sackler Prize

Rockefeller University’s Fernando Nottebohm will receive The Mortimer D. Sackler Prize for Distinguished Achievement in Developmental Psychobiology in recognition of his seminal work in songbirds that has led to the discovery of neuronal replacement. More »

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‘Big picture’ of how interferon-induced genes launch antiviral defenses revealed

A team of researchers, led by scientists from Rockefeller University, for the first time has carried out a comprehensive, systematic evaluation of the antiviral activity of factors induced by interferon. The findings, published online today in the journal Nature, are a first step toward unraveling how these naturally occurring molecules work to inhibit viruses. More »

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Researchers put potent staph killer to the test, hope for new drug treatment

The ever escalating war between evolving bacteria and antibiotics could be taking a promising turn in favor of the humans. Scientists have genetically engineered a powerful killer of one of the most dangerous bacteria, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). It’s been tested on MRSA in the test tube, on infections in mice and a clinical trial has begun to probe its ability to kill MRSA infected cells from psoriasis lesions in people. Next up, per the recommendation of the FDA, is a test in minipigs. “It’s the start of a new class of drugs,” says the lead researcher, and early signs suggest it’s stronger than anything of its kind currently on the market. More »

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Bruce S. McEwen to receive Scolnick Prize for research on brain hormones

Bruce S. McEwen, a pioneer in understanding how hormones affect the brain, will receive the 2011 Edward M. Scolnick Prize in Neuroscience from the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT. McEwen is being honored for research on how hormones affect the brain’s structure, how they shape responses to stress, how they contribute to sexual differences and how they affect our health and well-being. More »

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Bullying alters brain chemistry, leads to anxiety

Getting kicked around is no fun for anyone, but researchers are finding that it’s not just the body that’s bruised, but the brain, too. New experiments from Rockefeller show that mice that are repeatedly bullied by by dominant males grow unusually anxious around new company, threatening or not. The behavioral change seems to be in part due to a change in gene expression that increases sensitivity to vasopressin, a hormone involved in a variety of social behaviors. More »

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University receives accreditation for its human research protection program

Rockefeller University receives the “gold seal” for human subject protection programs, which recognizes the institution’s commitment to providing strong safeguards on behalf of human research participants.

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Elaine Fuchs awarded 2011 Albany Medical Center Prize

Rockefeller scientist is recognized for her contributions toward realizing the vast potential of stem cells to treat and reverse disease. More »

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Marc Tessier-Lavigne becomes Rockefeller’s tenth president

Marc Tessier-Lavigne, a leading neuroscientist and the former chief scientific officer of Genentech, takes over as president of The Rockefeller University today, replacing Paul Nurse, who has left to become president of the Royal Society in London. More »

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Elaine Fuchs to receive Passano Award

World leader in skin biology and its human genetic disorders is honored for landmark contributions to skin biology and its disorders, including genetic syndromes, stem cells and cancers. More »

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Molecule that spurs cell’s recycling center may help Alzheimer’s patients

A molecule that activates the cell’s natural recycling program may flush away the protein fragments that accumulate and form senile plaques in Alzheimer’s disease. New research suggests that stimulating this activity, either through drugs or natural processes, may improve the quality of life for people with diseases caused by built-up proteins in the brain. More »

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New genetic technique probes the cause of skin cell differentiation in mammals

Most complex genetic experiments have been done in simple model organisms like flies and worms, because they’re easier to work with. But new research at Rockefeller University has applied the technique of RNA interference to probe the DNA of our fellow mammal, the mouse. In the process, the researchers are uncovering a deeper understanding of cell differentiation in early development, and hope to apply the results to cancer research. More »

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Titia de Lange receives 2011 Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science

Rockefeller researcher is honored for her research on mechanisms that help maintain genome stability. More »

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‘Round-the-clock’ lifestyle could disrupt metabolism, brain and behavior

The modern world twists our ancient and natural sleep cycles with ubiquitous electric lighting, shift-work and the like. Now new research in mice suggests that the disturbance could have a serious impact on the body and brain, from weight gain and cognitive inflexibility to poor impulse control. More »

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Newly discovered deep sea lobster named for Rockefeller’s Jesse Ausubel

A newly discovered deep sea lobster is one of many species identified for the first time through the Census of Marine Life, a decade-long project that sponsored 540 expeditions carried out by 2700 researchers from more than 80 countries. More »

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New research traces evolutionary path of multidrug resistant strep bacteria

In a landmark paper published this week in Science, scientists from Rockefeller University and the Sanger Institute have used full genome sequencing to identify the precise steps in the molecular evolution of Streptococcus pneumoniae. Their research shows the changes the genome of this bacterium has undergone in time and during its massive geographic spread over the globe. More »

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Rockefeller joins Pfizer’s Global Centers For Therapeutic Innovation

A new partnership will mimic a venture capital-funded biotechnology start-up model, whereby Pfizer funds pre-clinical and clinical development programs in return for the opportunity to potentially broaden its pipeline with novel and highly differentiated candidate drugs. More »

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