Study reveals new mechanism in nicotine addiction

Study reveals new mechanism in nicotine addictionTwo chemical signals, acetylcholine and glutamate, were known to act as part of the negative reward system that fuels craving, but it wasn’t clear how this happened. In new experiments, researchers have learned that one of these neurotransmitters, acetylcholine, regulates the other, glutamate, to reinforce nicotine dependence. More »

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A newly discovered signaling molecule helps neurons find their way in the developing brain

Commissural neurons in a mouse embryoIn the developing nervous system, some neurons must extend their branches to connect one half of the brain with the other. A new study sheds light on the molecular mechanisms that guide the winding paths of their axons. More »

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Mutations in key cancer protein suggest new route to treatments

Mutations in key cancer protein suggest new route to treatmentsResearchers found they could disrupt STAT3’s ability to act as a transcription factor and so contribute to the proliferation of cancerous cells, by altering a particular part of the protein. This accomplishment suggests a basis for new, targeted approaches to fighting cancer. More »

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Rockefeller’s newest faculty member investigates how antibodies are made

Rockefeller’s newest faculty member investigates how antibodies are madeGabriel Victora, an immunologist who studies the processes by which the immune system refines its response to an infection, will establish the Laboratory of Lymphocyte Dynamics in September of 2016 where he will study antibody responses at the levels molecules, cells, and whole organs. More »

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DNA strands often “wiggle” as part of genetic repair

DNA strands often “wiggle” as part of genetic repairNew research indicates that every time a double-stranded break occurs in DNA strands, the damaged ends move about during repair. Scientists believe a better understanding of this mysterious mechanism could improve the use of cancer treatments, some of which manipulate DNA repair in malignant cells. More »

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Study reveals the architecture of the molecular machine that copies DNA

Study reveals the architecture of the molecular machine that copies DNAUntil now, the exact configuration of the replisome, a block of proteins that unzips the DNA helix and creates two duplicate helices, was unknown. After taking the first complete pictures of it, researchers were surprised to find the complex possesses a counterintuitive architecture, raising new questions about its functions. More »

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Researchers examine how a face represents a whole person in the brain

Researchers examine how a face represents a whole person in the brainA face is more than a collection of features; it can represent the complete individual. A new brain imaging study shows that parts of a primate face processing system actually prefer faces with bodies, offering new insight into how faces convey this broader social information. More »

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Discovery of genes involved in inner ear development hints at a way to restore hearing and balance

Discovery of genes involved in inner ear development hints at a way to restore hearing and balanceScientists have identified two genes crucial to the production of delicate sensors, called hair cells, in mammals. These genes, or others in the same pathway, could be promising targets for efforts to treat hearing loss or balance problems, the scientists suggest. More »

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Researchers explore how a cell’s protein-making factories are assembled

Researchers explore how a cell’s protein-making factories are assembledThe intricate dynamics of ribosome assembly, an elaborate and carefully coordinated process that happens continuously inside cells, are not yet fully understood. Using a new technique they devised, researchers have mapped out the proteins involved in the early stages of the construction of a ribosome. More »

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Researchers identify potential new leukemia drug target

Researchers identify potential new leukemia drug targetIn some cases of acute myeloid leukemia, a mutant protein is known to cause dramatic changes in gene expression. Now researchers have identified a second protein with similar function that plays an even broader role in the disease. More »

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Jean-Laurent Casanova elected to the National Academy of Medicine

Jean-Laurent Casanova elected to the National Academy of MedicineWith his election, Casanova, who investigates the genetic underpinnings of unusual vulnerability to specific infectious diseases among young people, receives one of the highest honors within the field of medicine. Seventeen Rockefeller scientists are currently members of the academy of medicine. More »

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Helmsley Trust renews $15 million grant for novel digestive disorders research

Helmsley Trust renews $15 million grant for novel digestive disorders research The funding renewal will support research initiatives within Rockefeller’s interdisciplinary Center for Basic and Translational Research on Disorders of the Digestive System. The center brings together about 20 labs that study a broad range of biological processes related to the digestive system. More »

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New faculty member develops light-based tools to study the brain

Newest addition to Rockefeller faculty studies how cellular metabolism contributes to diseaseAlipasha Vaziri, who was appointed a tenure-track associate professor in September, seeks to capture and manipulate interactions among neurons within the living brain. He uses his background in physics to develop innovative ways of recording neural activity quickly and across large areas, all at single-cell resolution. More »

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Two Rockefeller postdocs recognized by Blavatnik Regional Awards

Two Rockefeller postdocs recognized by Blavatnik Regional Awards

Hani Goodarzi and Ziv Shulman have been named a winner and a finalist, respectively, by the Blavatnik Regional Awards, which honor outstanding postdoctoral scientists in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Goodarzi is a postdoc in Sohail Tavazoie’s lab; Shulman, a former postdoc in Michel Nussenzweig’s lab, has since established his own lab at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

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Newly described ion channel structure reveals how excited neurons settle down

The long anticipated structure of an ion channel reveals how excited neurons settle downThe channel, Slo2.2, helps restore neurons’ internal electrical state, and so prevents them from firing at too high a frequency for too long, which has the potential to damage the cells. With the new information about Slo2.2’s configuration, researchers can better understand how it accomplishes this. More »

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Finches offer researchers a new tool to study Huntington’s disease

Finches offer researchers a new tool with which to study Huntington’s diseaseThe most common lab animals, rats and mice, can’t tell scientists much about speech disorders. However, a new study shows how songbirds, specifically zebra finches, may be able to aid research on neurodegenerative disorders that affect speech and vocalization. More »

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Researchers probe the physical forces involved in creating the mitotic spindle

Researchers probe the physical forces involved in creating the mitotic spindleScientists have gained new insight into the formation of the spindle, which is the molecular machine that divides up genetic material prior to cell division. Their work focuses on the motor protein, kinesin-5, which helps to organize the spindle’s filaments. More »

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Funding from Kavli Foundation to establish new institute at Rockefeller devoted to neuroscience

The Kavli Foundation and The Rockefeller University today announced the formation of the Kavli Neural Systems Institute (Kavli NSI) at Rockefeller, funded by a $20 million endowment supported equally by Kavli and Rockefeller. The Institute will become part of a network of seven Kavli Institutes carrying out fundamental research in neuroscience, and a broader network of 20 Kavli Institutes dedicated to astrophysics, nanoscience, neuroscience, and theoretical physics. More »

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Study offers insight on how a new class of antidepressants works

Study offers insight on how a new class of antidepressants worksThe experimental drugs target brain cells’ ability to respond to the chemical messenger glutamate, however, it has been unclear how they work. The recent discovery of a molecular amplification system helps explain how the drugs alter signaling in particular neurons to achieve an antidepressant effect. More »

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Helen Hobbs will receive the 2015 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize

Helen Hobbs will receive the 2015 Pearl Meister Greengard PrizeHobbs, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, is being recognized for her work on the genetic determinants of plasma lipoprotein levels and risk for cardiovascular disease. The prize is intended to honor the extraordinary work of established women scientists and to motivate young women considering careers in the sciences. More »

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