‘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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Amy C. Falls appointed chief investment officer and vice president for investments

Amy C. Falls will be The Rockefeller University’s chief investment officer and vice president for investments effective April 4, 2011. Falls will oversee the University’s Office of Investments and manage the institution’s endowment, which has an estimated value of $1.8 billion. More »

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Research shows when stem cell descendants lose their versatility

The precocious progenitors of every cell in the body — stem cells — have commitment issues. They must remain unattached to maintain the versatility they need to respond to injuries, regenerate tissues and do their other jobs. New research defines the point at which a developing lineage of hair follicle stem cells do settle down, however, and commit to their mission to grow new hair. The findings also reflect a new concept in stem cell biology: that the newly specialized cells send signals back to the stem cells from which they originated, regulating their behavior. More »

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Robert B. Darnell and Victor Wilson named 2010 AAAS Fellows

Rockefeller University scientists Robert B. Darnell and Victor Wilson have been awarded the distinction of AAAS Fellow. Election as a fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. More »

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Scientists identify protein that drives survival of gastrointestinal tumors

Since the introduction of Gleevec as a treatment for gastrointestinal stromal tumors, survival rates have climbed dramatically and recurrence has fallen by two-thirds. But over time, many patients develop resistance to the drug. Now, scientists at Rockefeller University and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have identified a molecule that acts as a survival factor for gastrointestinal tumors, a finding that may lead to next-generation therapies that can pick up where Gleevec leaves off. More »

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Studies describe key role for a protein in cell division

New research shows how one protein, PRC1, acts in the penultimate stage of cell division to help form the architectural structures, called central spindles, needed before the cell can split in two. More »

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Therapy for fearsome brain disease could target blood

Alzheimer’s disease isn’t just about twisted brain cells, but also the blood vessels that feed those neurons. Previous research at Rockefeller University showed that the most common element of telltale plaque deposits in Alzheimer’s brains leads to the formation of tougher blood clots, which could choke off oxygen flow to neurons. The new research shows how these clots are formed, suggesting a target for a drug that might prevent them. More »

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Paleovirology expanded: New virus fragments found in animal genomes

New research now points the way to a record of viruses that have insinuated themselves into the genomes of insects and animals, providing clues about their evolutionary history. The findings could enable scientists to learn from genetic “fossils” of viruses in much the same way that they do from retroviruses, which unlike regular viruses, use their host’s genetic machinery to reproduce. More »

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2010 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize goes to two pioneers of cancer genetics

Janet Davison Rowley and Mary-Claire King, pioneering cancer geneticists, are the recipients of the 2010 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize awarded by The Rockefeller University. Established by Nobel Prize winner Paul Greengard and his wife, sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard, the prize honors women who have made extraordinary contributions to biomedical science, a group that historically has not received appropriate recognition and acclaim. More »

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New Rockefeller University lab building opens

The Collaborative Research Center, a 125,000 square foot, $500 million building designed specifically to help foster scientific collaboration and encourage interactions between scientists, has opened on Rockefeller’s campus. More »

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New class of ‘dancing’ dendritic cells derived from blood monocytes

The discovery of a new class of dendritic cells that stem from blood monocytes in mice promises to accelerate research into clinical therapies that use these cells, known to be the sentinels of the immune system. Much research has been done on classical dendritic cells, which are found in the lymph tissues of mice. But these are hard to come by in the case of humans. The new technique may allow the generation of “authentic” dendritic cells from human blood samples, however, which could make it much easier to advance dendritic cell-based vaccines and cancer treatments that are under development now. More »

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‘Reaper’ protein strikes at mitochondria to kill cells

Many billions of cells in the human body kill themselves every day, as the old and decrepit make way for the new and healthy. This process of programmed cell death, called apoptosis, is crucial in early development and in the routine maintenance of life. New research, conducted in the cells of fruit fly eyes, delves into the molecular complexity of the process and returns fresh insights about the proteins that initiate cell death. The results suggest a technique that could allow for highly efficient, targeted killing of problematic cells such as those that drive the uncontrolled growth of tumors. More »

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New faculty member wants to know how flies make decisions

Gaby Maimon, who will join the university on January 1, has developed a unique system for studying the neural basis for decision-making in fruit flies. By using fluorescence microscopy and glass capillaries pulled to ultrafine tips, Maimon records the electrical activity of specific neurons in the fly brain as it flies, allowing him to understand what’s going on as the fly is exposed to — and reacts to — various stimuli. More »

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Gene identified that prevents stem cells from turning cancerous

Stem cells have tremendous regenerative power, but their potency can also be lethal. Now researchers have identified a gene that prevents stem cells from turning into tumors in mice by regulating the process of programmed cell death, or apoptosis. The work is the first to show that interfering with the programmed death of stem cells can have fatal consequences. More »

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Robert G. Roeder to receive Salk Institute Medal for Research Excellence

Robert G. Roeder, head of the Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, will receive the Salk Institute’s Medal for Research Excellence for his contributions to the understanding of RNA synthesis in animal cells. More »

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Two Rockefeller scientists elected to Institute of Medicine

Rockefeller University scientists Robert B. Darnell, head of the Laboratory of Molecular Neuro-oncology, and Titia de Lange, head of the Laboratory of Cell Biology and Genetics, have been elected to the Institute of Medicine, the health and medicine branch of the National Academy of Sciences. More »

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Paul Nurse named top of the list of 100 most important people in British science

Rockefeller University President Paul Nurse has been named the top British scientist in a new list of the 100 most important contemporary figures in British science. More »

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