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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Robert Darnell elected to National Academy of Sciences

Darnell, who focuses on understanding a group of rare brain diseases, the paraneoplastic neurologic disorders (PNDs), and how they arise in conjunction with immune responses to cancer, is one of 84 newly elected members announced today by the Academy.
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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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Surgeon and writer Atul Gawande awarded Lewis Thomas Prize

Gawande, who practices general and endocrine surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, has written several highly regarded books on public health, including Complications, a collection of stories about his experiences as a surgical resident. 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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Titia de Lange to receive Canada Gairdner International Award

de Lange is being recognized for her discovery of the mechanisms by which mammalian telomeres are protected from deleterious DNA repair and damage responses. The Gairdner is Canada’s highest scientific award and is considered among the most prestigious international prizes in science. 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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Nora Pencheva wins 2014 Weintraub Graduate Student Award

Pencheva, a graduate fellow in Sohail Tavazoie’s Laboratory of Systems Cancer Biology, is one of 13 recipients of this prestigious award. Her thesis project explores the molecular biology of metastatic melanoma — the most deadly type of skin cancer. More »

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Adjunct faculty member Kayo Inaba receives L’Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science award

Inaba, a member of Michel Nussenzweig’s Laboratory of Molecular Immunology who previously worked in Ralph Steinman’s lab, is known for her work on specialized immune cells called dendritic cells. Inaba is being honored as the Asia-Pacific recipient of the L’Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science award, which supports eminent women in science throughout the world who are working in life and physical sciences. More »

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Elaine Fuchs receives prestigious award from American Association for Cancer Research

Fuchs is being recognized with the 2014 Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award for Cancer Research for her contributions to the understanding of skin, skin stem cells and skin-related disease. Fuchs is highly regarded for her studies using reverse genetics to understand the biological basis of normal and abnormal skin development and function. The award, now in its 17th year, recognizes an individual scientist of international renown who has made a major scientific discovery in basic or translational cancer research. More »

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Researchers discover unusual genetic mutation linked to adolescent liver cancer

In the race for better treatments and possible cures, rare diseases are often left behind. In a collaboration of researchers at The Rockefeller University, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the New York Genome Center, an unusual mutation has been found that is strongly linked to one such disease: a rare liver cancer that affects teens and young adults. More »

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Research shows combination of sensory signals draw mosquitoes in for a bite

Researchers used a genome editing technique to engineer a mutant version of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads yellow fever. The mutant was unable to detect carbon dioxide, and studies showed that this hindered its ability to detect a host, even in the presence of other sensory cues like heat and odor. The results can help inform the design of chemical repellents to block host-seeking behavior in both Aedes aegypti and Anopheles gambiae, which spreads malaria. More »

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Sebastian Klinge awarded Sloan Research Fellowship

Klinge, who joined the faculty in September, is among 126 early-career scholars from a range of scientific disciplines to be recognized for their promise as the next generation of scientific leaders. He will receive $50,000 over two years to further his research on the structure and function of ribosomes, the cell’s protein factories. His lab is working to solve the structure of the macromolecules that catalyze key steps of ribosome creation in cells. More »

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Psoriasis researchers identify molecular changes responsible for skin discoloration

Two immune system molecules — interleukin-17 and tumor necrosis factor — are increased in psoriasis, leading the immune system to attack a person’s own skin cells. Scientists found that these molecules disrupt the pigment production of patients’ melanocytes, and are responsible for the dark spots that psoriasis leaves behind. The results could bring about new treatments for pigmentation changes in this and other skin conditions such as eczema and acne. More »

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Biostatistics approach to genetics yields new clues to roots of autism

Researchers have developed a statistical method for genetic screens that improves the classic genome-wide association screen, and, applying to autism, have uncovered genes related to the disorder that had not been suggested in previous analyses. The scientists offer evidence that beginning treatment in infants at the first symptoms could change the course of the disease, possibly preventing the permanent “pruning” of neurons, which occurs during the first two years of life, from cementing autistic symptoms in place. More »

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David Allis, pioneer in epigenetics, to receive prestigious Japan Prize

Allis’s discovery that chemical “tags” bind to specific sections of histone proteins in order to activate or silence nearby genes has ignited the field of epigenetics, a relatively new area of study which explores the inheritance of physical changes that cannot be traced back to mutations in the DNA sequence. The Japan Prize, worth approximately half a million dollars, is among the most prestigious prizes in science. More »

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