New findings suggest severe tornado outbreaks are increasingly common

New findings suggest severe tornado outbreaks are increasingly commonTornado outbreaks, in which multiple tornadoes arise within a limited time, are incredibly damaging. New research suggests that the number of tornadoes per outbreak has increased over the past 60 years, and that the likelihood of future extreme events is growing. More »

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Cori Bargmann honored with the 2016 Scolnick Prize in Neuroscience

Cori Bargmann honored with the 2016 Edward M. Scolnick Prize in NeuroscienceBargmann will receive the 2016 Edward M. Scolnick Prize in Neuroscience. The award, given by the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT for outstanding advances in the field, recognizes Bargmann for her work on the genetic and neural mechanisms that control behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans roundworms. More »

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New research clarifies how stem cells get activated to produce new hair—and what happens when their regenerative powers wear out

New research clarifies how stem cells get activated to produce new hair—and what happens when their regenerative powers wear outStem cells residing in hair follicles are held in an inactive state for long periods of time. A new study shows that these quiescent periods are essential for maintaining the cells’ rejuvenating activity over time, and clarifies the mechanisms that bring the cells in and out of quiescence. More »

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Luciano Marraffini, among the first scientists to plumb the workings of the CRISPR-Cas system, is promoted to associate professor

Luciano Marraffini, among the first scientists to plumb the workings of the CRISPR-Cas system, is promoted to associate professorLuciano Marraffini is exploring an immune response used by bacteria to defend against viruses. His work is mainly focused on understanding the basic biology and evolution of microorganisms, but it also has implications for the development of gene-editing technologies. More »

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Alex Gitlin and Wenyan Jiang win 2016 Weintraub Graduate Student Awards

Alex Gitlin and Wenyan Jiang win 2016 Weintraub Graduate Student AwardsAlex Gitlin and Wenyan Jiang are two of 12 recipients of this prestigious prize, which is given to graduate students at or near the completion of their studies in the biological sciences. Winners are chosen for the quality, originality, and significance of their thesis research. More »

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Metabolism protein found to also regulate feeding behavior in the brain

Metabolism protein found to also regulate feeding behavior in the brainFeeling hungry or full leads us to change how much we eat, but the molecular wiring of this process is not well understood. Scientists have identified a new player in this circuit called amylin, which works together with the hormone leptin to reduce food consumption. More »

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Scientists question a popular theory about how the nervous system trims its branches

Scientists question a popular theory about how the nervous system trims its branches Scientists have long believed axons regulate their own pruning during development. But recent findings have challenged this assumption, and now scientists have proven that axons receive instructions from the cell body when its time to degenerate.
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Scientists learn how young brains form lifelong memories by studying worms’ food choices

Scientists learn how young brains form lifelong memories by studying worms’ food choicesNeuroscientists have found that when young C. elegans worms taste poisonous food, they remember that experience for the rest of their life. Their work is teasing apart the biological mechanisms that drive different types of learning. More »

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Rockefeller University president Tessier-Lavigne chosen to lead Stanford University

Rockefeller University president Tessier-Lavigne chosen to lead Stanford UniversityMarc Tessier-Lavigne, Ph.D., will step down from his position as president of The Rockefeller University September 1, 2016, to become the 11th president of Stanford University, it was announced today. More »

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A newly discovered form of immunity helps explain how bacteria fight off viruses

A newly discovered form of immunity helps explain how bacteria fight off virusesScientists have discovered an immune-defense mechanism in bacteria that allows these microorganisms to respond to viral infections with remarkable precision. Their findings could have implications for the development of new therapies against infectious diseases. More »

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Study reveals how herpes virus tricks the immune system

Study reveals how herpes virus tricks the immune systemScientists have captured atomic images of the virus that causes cold sores in action. Structural details reveal that the virus inserts itself into another protein, jamming an important immune system pathway that normally allows immune cells to recognize and destroy foreign invaders. More »

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Jean-Laurent Casanova honored with the Korsmeyer Award

Jean-Laurent Casanova honored with the Korsmeyer AwardJean-Laurent Casanova is the recipient of the 2016 Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award. The award recognizes Casanova for discovering that vulnerability to life-threatening infectious illnesses in otherwise healthy children and young adults can arise from single-gene inborn errors. More »

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Lewis Thomas Prize to be awarded to Sean B. Carroll

Lewis Thomas Prize to be awarded to Sean B. CarrollEvolutionary biologist and author Sean B. Carroll to receive Rockefeller University’s science writing prize. The award recognizes Carroll’s body of work, including his 2013 book Brave Genius: A Scientist, A Philosopher and their Daring Adventures from the French Resistance to the Nobel Prize. More »

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The neurons in our gut help the immune system keep inflammation in check

The neurons in our gut help the immune system keep inflammation in check The immune system must protect against potential infections, but over-vigilant reactions can cause problems. New research from Rockefeller shows that neurons in the intestine send signals to immune cells to curb inflammation. More »

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New findings challenge popular explanation for why a social insect becomes a worker or queen

New findings challenge popular explanation for why a social insect becomes a worker or queenMany scientists have come to believe that DNA methylation, a mode of genetic regulation in which chemical tags turn genes on or off, is involved in determining an insect’s caste. However, a new study of ants finds no evidence to support this role for methylation. More »

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Winrich Freiwald, who studies facial processing, is promoted to associate professor

Winrich Freiwald, who studies facial processing, is promoted to associate professorA leading neuroscientist in his field, Freiwald investigates how a specialized system of brain areas responds to the sight of a face. His work has implications for understanding the biology of social interaction and human cognition. More »

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Study identifies signals that make early stem cells

Study identifies signals that make early stem cellsWhere and when do stem cells first appear during development? Researchers investigated this question by examining how cells organize as the hair follicle first appears in mouse embryos. They uncovered signaling pathways that may provide insights into some skin cancers. More »

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Researchers develop gene-filtering tool to identify disease-causing mutations

Genes that are frequently mutated in the general population are unlikely to cause disease, because variations of these genes are often found in healthy people. A new tool from researchers at Rockefeller uses this concept to help scientists identify the mutations in genes that matter. More »

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Newly discovered windows of brain plasticity may help with treatment of stress-related disorders

Newly discovered windows of brain plasticity may help with treatment of stress-related disordersEven under repeated stress, the brain maintains the potential to adapt and recover. Researchers have shown how changes in gene expression cause these transitory opportunities to open up. Their results suggest well-timed treatment could change the trajectory of a brain suffering from depression or other disorder. More »

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Study links epigenetic processes to the development of the cerebellar circuitry

Study links epigenetic processes to the development of the cerebellar circuitryResearchers have, for the first time, described the pivotal changes responsible for controlling the formation of the part of the brain that allows us to learn and execute complex movements. These changes involve modifications to chromatin, which is DNA packaged with protein. More »

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