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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Heilbrunn Center announces recipients of its Nurse Scholar Awards

Three nurses at New York state universities have been selected as recipients of the awards, which The Rockefeller University gives annually to support nurses while they pursue independent research. This year’s winners will study sleep disruption associated with asthma in women, the relationship between mothers’ self-perceptions and children’s diet, and how self-perception as a drinker affects smoking. More »

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New findings help explain how molecules are speedily transported into and out of the cell’s nucleus

New findings help explain how molecules are speedily transported into and out of the cell's nucleusThe nuclear pore complex, a gate into and out of the nucleus, is capable of an impressive feat: allowing large molecules to pass through, both selectively and quickly. Researchers have now identified the molecular mechanism that makes this possible. More »

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For worms, positive thinking is the key to finding food

For worms, positive thinking is the key to finding foodA newly described neural circuit in the brain of C. elegans derives precise and simple information from the smell of food, nudging the animal in the direction of the food source. This discovery shows the worm brain may be more sophisticated in processing sensory information than previously realized. More »

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Joel Cohen and Torsten Wiesel receive Golden Goose Awards for research with unexpected benefits

Joel Cohen and Torsten Wiesel receive Golden Goose Awards for research with unexpected benefits

The Golden Goose Award, which honors seemingly obscure federally funded research that has led to major breakthroughs, recognizes Cohen’s development of a map of human population by geographic altitude and Wiesel’s experiments showing cats dots or lights projected on a screen. Cohen’s project has had many applications in fields ranging from microchip manufacturing to human disease, while Wiesel’s discoveries led to a better understanding of the visual system, as well as improved treatment of childhood cataracts.

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New findings shed light on fundamental process of DNA repair

New findings shed light on fundamental process of DNA repairScientists have identified a new component of the molecular machinery a cell uses to repair damaged DNA. The discovery adds important knowledge about a fundamental life process that protects from diseases such as cancer. More »

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Newest addition to Rockefeller faculty studies how cellular metabolism contributes to disease

Newest addition to Rockefeller faculty studies how cellular metabolism contributes to diseaseAfter establishing the Laboratory of Metabolic Regulation and Genetics in January, Kivanç Birsoy will study how cells change their metabolism in the contexts of cancer, mitochondrial disorders, and inborn errors of metabolism. Ultimately, he hopes to develop therapies for these conditions. More »

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Research identifies a protein that helps determine the fate of RNA

Research identifies a protein that helps determine the fate of RNARNA can be translated into protein or turned into gene-regulating molecules. A newly discovered “reader” recognizes a chemical instruction tag affixed to RNA, an important step in determining the RNA’s destiny. Because of the processes involved, the research has implications for cells’ normal function and disease. More »

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Promising class of new cancer drugs causes memory loss in mice

Promising class of new cancer drugs causes memory loss in miceNew research shows that a family of experimental cancer drugs can induce neurological changes in mice. The findings underscore the need for more research to determine whether these compounds can enter the brain, where they potentially might cause side effects such as memory loss. More »

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Expression of a single gene lets scientists easily grow hepatitis C virus in the lab

Expression of a single gene lets scientists easily grow hepatitis C virus in the labIn devising a method to readily grow hepatitis C in the laboratory, scientists might have overcome a major hurdle for basic research into the virus and the disease it causes.
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A newly discovered molecular feedback process may protect the brain against Alzheimer’s

A newly discovered molecular feedback process may protect the brain against Alzheimer’s Researchers have identified within neurons a series of molecular interactions — known as a pathway — that can dampen the production of the Alzheimer’s protein amyloid-β. These results suggest a new route in the search for therapies for this degenerative disease. More »

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Luciano Marraffini and Robert Roeder recognized by ASBMB awards

Luciano Marraffini and Robert Roeder recognized by ASBMB awards

Marraffini, who studies the adaptive immune systems, known as CRISPR-Cas systems, found in some bacteria and used in genome editing, has won the Earl and Thressa Stadtman Scholar Award. Meanwhile, Robert Roeder, who investigates the mechanisms that regulate transcription, the process by which genes are copied into RNA, is the recipient of the Herbert Tabor Research Award.

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In exploring a fly’s choice of a mate, researchers track the neural circuits that bridge sensory perception and behavioral action

In exploring a fly’s choice of a mate, researchers track the neural circuits that bridge sensory perception and behavioral actionA new study explains how taste and smell signals travel from a male fruit fly’s sense organs and into his higher brain areas as he assesses a potential mating partner. The research may provide important clues about how our brains integrate different sense perceptions to make decisions. More »

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New research helps explain why a deadly blood cancer often affects children with malaria

New research helps explain why a deadly blood cancer often affects children with malariaChildren in equatorial Africa who suffer from malaria are at high risk of developing Burkitt’s lymphoma, a highly aggressive blood cancer. A new study sheds light on the long-standing mystery of how the two diseases are connected. More »

Obesity researcher and former hospital physician-in-chief Jules Hirsch dies

Obesity researcher and former hospital physician-in-chief Jules Hirsch diesHirsch, an early leader in the study of human metabolism, was best known for his work on a landmark study that offered an explanation for why people who lose weight tend to regain it over time. He died at the age of 88. More »

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Agata Smogorzewska, who studies DNA repair, promoted to associate professor

Agata Smogorzewska, who studies DNA repair, promoted to associate professorSince arriving in 2009, Smogorzewska has investigated a type of DNA repair that occurs during cell division when cells remove misplaced links between DNA strands. To identify the genes and understand the molecular mechanisms involved, she investigates this repair through the lens of rare genetic disorders. More »

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New research sheds light on the molecular origins of Parkinson’s disease

New research sheds light on the molecular origins of Parkinson’s diseaseScientists have identified two proteins that appear to have a protective effect in the set of neurons most affected by this degenerative disease. When the activity of these molecules wanes, disease sets in. This discovery suggests new avenues for preventing or treating Parkinson’s. More »

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Mutations linked to genetic disorders shed light on a crucial DNA repair pathway

Mutations linked to genetic disorders shed light on a crucial DNA repair pathwayResearchers have identified two new genes in which mutations can interfere with a cell’s ability to remove misplaced links between DNA strands, and, as a result, cause a rare genetic disorder known as Fanconi anemia. These discoveries offer new insight on a repair process critical to maintaining certain tissues and preventing cancer. More »

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Fly brains filter out visual information caused by their own movements, like humans

Fly brains filter out visual information caused by their own movements, like humansTo cut down on the barrage of sensory information, the human brain ignores input caused by eye movements. Researchers have found a similar process in flies, whose brains mute signals generated by flight turns. This discovery gives researchers a new tool with which to study this silencing process. More »

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