In first human study, new antibody therapy shows promise in suppressing HIV infection

In first human study, new antibody therapy shows promise in suppressing HIV infectionIn the first results to emerge from HIV patient trials of a new generation of so-called broadly neutralizing antibodies, Rockefeller University researchers have found the experimental therapy can dramatically reduce the amount of virus present in a patient’s blood. The work, reported this week in Nature, brings fresh optimism to the field of HIV immunotherapy and suggests new strategies for fighting or even preventing HIV infection. More »

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Under the microscope, strong-swimming swamp bacteria spontaneously organize into crystals

Under the microscope, strong-swimming swamp bacteria spontaneously organize into crystalsBiophysicists have discovered that fast-swimming, sulfur-eating microbes known as Thiovulum majus can form a two-dimensional lattice of rotating cells. Not only is this the first known example of bacteria spontaneously creating such a pattern, never before have living things been seen to move together in this way. More »

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The Rockefeller University designated a “Milestones in Microbiology” site by the American Society for Microbiology

The designation is made in recognition of the many outstanding achievements of Rockefeller scientists, and in particular for ground-breaking discoveries by Oswald T. Avery, Colin M. MacLeod, Maclyn McCarty, Peyton Rous, and Emil C. Gotschlich. It will be formally announced at a dedication ceremony on April 8. More »

Intellectual property on pediatric cancer is dedicated to the public

Intellectual property resulting from the discovery of specific DNA mutations linked to a rare and often deadly type of adolescent liver cancer, fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma, has been dedicated to the public by the institutions that made the discovery, The Rockefeller University and the New York Genome Center, in the hope of accelerating progress toward the delivery of diagnostics and therapies for the devastating disease. More »

Rockefeller ranks first among global universities in several measures of scientific impact

Genetic mutation helps explain why, in rare cases, flu can killThe rankings, released by the European Commission-funded U-Multirank survey, placed Rockefeller among the top five institutions in five key categories. Across the entire set of rankings, which incorporates data from 1,200 institutions, Rockefeller was the only institution to receive this many top slots.
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Genetic mutation helps explain why, in rare cases, flu can kill

Genetic mutation helps explain why, in rare cases, flu can killA small number of children who catch the influenza virus fall so ill they end up in the hospital even while their family and friends recover easily. New research from Rockefeller helps explain why: a rare genetic mutation that prevents the production of a critical protein, interferon, that is needed to fight off the virus. More »

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To survive, a parasite mixes and matches its disguises, study suggests

To survive, a parasite mixes and matches its disguises, study suggests A detailed look at the African sleeping sickness parasite’s strategy for evading its hosts’ immune systems revealed that the blood parasites assume a surprising diversity of protein coat disguises. In fact, the number of disguises necessary to maintain a long-term infection appears to exceed the functional genes that encode them. More »

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Researchers master gene editing technique in mosquito that transmits deadly diseases

Researchers master gene editing technique in mosquito that transmits deadly diseasesRockefeller University researchers have successfully harnessed a technique, CRISPR-Cas9 editing, to use in an important and understudied species: the mosquito, Aedes aegypti, which infects hundreds of millions of people annually with the deadly diseases chikungunya, yellow fever, and dengue fever. More »

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Chemical tag marks future microRNAs for processing, study shows

Chemical tag marks future microRNAs for processing, study showsNew research reveals how cells sort out the RNA molecules destined to become gene-regulating microRNAs by tagging them. Because microRNAs help control processes throughout the body, this discovery has wide-ranging implications for development, health and disease, including cancer.
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Changes in a blood-based molecular pathway identified in Alzheimer’s disease

Changes in a blood-based molecular pathway identified in Alzheimer’s diseaseResearchers identify a molecular bridge between amyloid-β and chronic inflammation, two hallmarks of Alzheimer’s. That bridge, a molecular cascade known as the contact system, suggests the possibility of a simple blood test that could diagnose the disease early and non-invasively.
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Scientists pinpoint molecule that controls stem cell plasticity by boosting gene expression

Scientists pinpoint molecule that controls stem cell plasticity by boosting gene expressionExperiments placed Sox9 at the crux of a shift in gene expression associated with hair follicle stem cell identity. The molecule first makes stem cell genes accessible so they can become active, then recruits other molecules that promote the expression of these genes in stem cells found at the base of the hair follicle. More »

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New antibody therapy dramatically improves psoriasis symptoms in clinical trial

New antibody therapy dramatically improves psoriasis symptoms in clinical trialOnly a single treatment produced what researchers describe as “rapid, substantial, and durable clinical improvement” in patients. This raises the prospect of a treatment that could put this autoimmune disease of the skin into long-term remission. More »

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Lewis Thomas Prize to honor mathematicians Steven Strogatz and Ian Stewart

The first mathematicians to receive the prize for writing about science, Strogatz and Stewart will be honored at a ceremony in Caspary Auditorium on the evening of Monday, March 30. More »

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Analysis of worm neurons suggests how a single stimulus can trigger different responses

Analysis of worm neurons suggest how a single stimulus can trigger different responsesIn experiments, the state of a simple brain network determined the likelihood a worm would move toward a delicious smell or ignore it. Scaled up to account for the more nuanced behaviors of humans, the research may suggest ways in which our brains process competing motivations. More »

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Study details microRNA’s role as a double agent during Hep C infection

Study details microRNA’s role as a double agent during Hep C infectionBoth the virus and liver cells need the microRNA molecules the liver produces to regulate its genes. Researchers found that by co-opting one microRNA, the virus may cause changes in gene expression in liver cells. More »

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Charles Gilbert to receive Scolnick Prize for visual perception work

Charles Gilbert to receive Scolnick Prize for visual perception workThe prize, awarded by MIT’s McGovern Institute, honors outstanding achievements in neuroscience. It recognizes Gilbert’s work on visual perception and brain plasticity. More »

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Growth signal can influence cancer cells’ vulnerability to drugs, study suggests

Growth signal can influence cancer cells’ vulnerability to drugs, study suggestsResearchers found that exposure to the signal TGF-β causes changes in mouse tumor stem cells that help them evade a widely used anti-cancer drug. This did not happen to cells that did not receive TGF-β. More »

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Research captures transient details of HIV genome packaging

Researchers have employed a recently developed technique to capture how a viral protein, Gag, selectively extracts and packages viral RNA into the viral particles that exported to new cells. More »

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Virus-cutting enzyme helps bacteria remember a threat

Virus-cutting enzyme helps bacteria remember a threatThe enzyme Cas9 is well known for its ability to make precise cuts in a genome. New research reveals a new role for Cas9 in its native bacteria: helping the microbial immune system acquire a memory of an invading virus. More »

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Key to blocking influenza virus may lie in a cell’s own machinery

Key to blocking influenza virus may lie in a cell’s own machineryResearchers have found that the immune system fights a flu infection by turning off cellular enzymes the virus needs to put the final touches on new viral particles. The unfinished particles cannot spread infection to new cells. More »

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